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misteraven

A note from 12ozProphet

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I just published a post to the home page sort of pre announcing the relaunch of 12ozProphet and explaining a few things related to that. You can read it here: http://www.12ozprophet.com/news/note-12ozprophet/ or just got to the home page http://www.12ozprophet.com

 

Anyhow, I've dropped some info here and there and answered a bunch of questions these last few weeks over DM, but thought I'd start a thread in case anyone was interested in asking a question or opening up a dialogue about it. I'll try my best to answer questions with as much detail as possible, so nows your chance to ask me anything that's been on your mind as to 12ozProphet... Where it started, where it went, what went wrong and what I'm planning.

 

I usually don't open up very often about this sort of thing, but if you have a burning question, now's your chance to ask me about it.

 

- Misteraven

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Oh yeah, and another thing... If anyone wants to get a jump on the new forum, DM me and I'll adjust your account so you can test it out.

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One thing I do find myself missing, is push notifications. If it's possible on the tech side, that could be a nice way to drive engagement.

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One thing I do find myself missing, is push notifications. If it's possible on the tech side, that could be a nice way to drive engagement.

 

Currently we can't do push notifications, though if you use email notifications, you'll obviosuly get emails from us and that can have a push notification. That said, I have my eye on a commercial app project that looks super promising. It would essentially allow for a chat type application on iOS and Android so that you can follow threads as chats and then IM certain users. That has push notification. No ETA on it since its out of my control but its in beta and I'd guess will likely be available sometime this next summer.

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Yea whats the krink recipe?

 

I remember when that question led to an automatic ban, LOL!

 

No idea, I think its rusto aluminum roof paint and mineral spirits.

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I mean, iv only been around since 2012, and while I did enjoy the articles put out, after spending more time in the forums I can say I def support this route.

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you really shoulda sold socks and draws in the store though...guaranteed i would have bought at least 8 pairs of winter socks

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Think this questions has been asked/discussed in different threads at this point. Saw someone mention that 12oz always promises a fix or a comeback, then fails to deliver. People have grown tired of this. I know people who were power posters delivering graf content that people wanted to see- now they don't want to come on here because of this 'boy who cried wolf' effect. In a situation like this I would typically advise that at this point it is more important to understand why the same mistake keeps getting repeated and to strengthen that weakness rather than to keep trying to make something 'new & improved', I mean you have about 10 regular users which is pretty sad compared to what it once was.

 

Along these same lines oontzers are asked what to change/fix and it doesn't get done. This new forum has been running for a minute, at least in test mode, and people still don't get alerts on site to basics like receiving messages from another user??

 

Also think you have to get your friends on board. Can't understand why people with so many connections in the graf world can't get those connections to contribute to them. Not just talking here, I've seen this happen with other sites and such. You have a front page with a blog list at the bottom full of a who's who in graf and none of them have blogged anything in years or posted on site. For someone coming on who doesn't know the site, it looks like a dead site. And... regular users want to see content from those people and others.

 

Final thought for now... either trash this trophy/points system or make it worth something, you guys are missing the value of that. Before, you had numerous users infatuated with those tic tacs, props/negs, achieving the next member level. It helped keep people coming on and contributing. Think about that for a minute- you had a whole group of people invested in something that in the end actually had no meaning- that's very powerful and you're not tapping into it. Currently you don't really get anything for trophy points, and the amount of points a user needs is pretty much unobtainable after the 1st level or so. I know this all sounds trivial, this is a site about graf culture 1st, but again- look at how many users you had invested in something pretty much meaningless- powerful stuff there my friend.

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you really shoulda sold socks and draws in the store though...guaranteed i would have bought at least 8 pairs of winter socks

 

Yeah, maybe I'll do socks. I'm such a huge fan of the brand 'Darn Tough' from Vermont that it's hard to imagine making a sock I'd rather wear. Maybe I'll reach out to them to coordinate a collab, LOL!

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Think this questions has been asked/discussed in different threads at this point. Saw someone mention that 12oz always promises a fix or a comeback, then fails to deliver. People have grown tired of this. I know people who were power posters delivering graf content that people wanted to see- now they don't want to come on here because of this 'boy who cried wolf' effect. In a situation like this I would typically advise that at this point it is more important to understand why the same mistake keeps getting repeated and to strengthen that weakness rather than to keep trying to make something 'new & improved', I mean you have about 10 regular users which is pretty sad compared to what it once was.

 

Yeah, I can understand and respect this sentiment. Not to excuse the situation, but there was an entire website built out about 5 years ago using XHTML. Took like 8 months and a cost of around $75,000 only to find that it was quickly replaced by HTML5 and ended up being scrapped since there were so many issues with it being maintained and scaled when everything else was adopting a new technology. The website up right now, believe it or not is 100% custom developed. We used to use ExpressionEngine as our CMS and I spent the better part of a year working with developers to build it. The entire focus was insuring full integration between the forum, blogs and news and a unified site wide authentication. When I got to the testing phase, everything worked great. Then we manually migrated the forum into the new forum system, a process that took about 3 months, only to discover the new forum didn't have the database queries well isolated so once traffic hit the database server crashed. Spent 2 more months trouble shooting it with the developers of the forum system and even though they used me as a test case to further development of their system, it just moved way too slow and was too little, too late. Figure another few months of research to find a replacement and then perhaps 6 more months to redevelop and test the custom theme using WordPress as our CMS, as well as migrating the forum to yet another forum system. This time, I spent something like $125k. Both times I announced we were about to relaunch, only to fall flat on my face when shit fell apart.

 

This time around, I decided to customize a commercial theme, but there's still a massive challenge with the software bridging the user registration and authentication. We spent about two months researching and testing various forum options, with extra focus on BBPress, which has native integration (solving a mountain of headaches). Problem is that the latest stable release is v2.5 and isolated database queries wont be introduced until v2.6 which is now 1 year late. The beta is supposedly pretty solid, but considering some of the headaches mentioned above, I've decided to stick with the very mature forum software we're running now and apply efforts to instead bridge it back (which isn't easy despite several commercial plugins claiming to do this).

 

Anyhow, yeah... After spending enough to buy a decent house outright, but instead having a bunch of tangled software to show for it, hopefully you guys can understand why several times we announced a relaunch and then we're unable to deliver.

 

As it stands currently, we've locked in all functionality and are only waiting to complete the content and very minor design tweaks to launch. Delay with this is that I've spent the last 3 months on a very laborious client project and am also working on a new book that has a hard deadline of end of month in order to make production in time for a spring release. But we are very close and as mentioned by others, the new forum is actually being used by a few people and so far, no major complaints regarding bugs or functionality and lots of compliments about how slick it runs. I'm also looking into cloud storage and CDN for the forum attachments, which should further optimize the page loads and will likely be implemented before we finally relaunch. Just need maybe 3 weeks uninterrupted to wrap up, but also in the process of moving out of state on top of all else.

 

So yeah....

 

Along these same lines oontzers are asked what to change/fix and it doesn't get done. This new forum has been running for a minute, at least in test mode, and people still don't get alerts on site to basics like receiving messages from another user??

 

Yeah for a couple years, during all the afore mentioned tech drama I was barely able to manage the new development. We were already hemorrhaging money with development and working hard to replace the site with a new one. So I had to cut losses somewhere, which meant not diverting time and money to fix bugs to software that was supposed to be getting replaced.

 

As for the new forum, as far as I know there are no existing bugs... Several have been brought to my attention since we started testing and to my knowledge every has been addressed and resolved. If I'm incorrect and you see bugs on the new forum (Dm me if you aren't running a beta version) definitely speak up. Any critical issues will be resolved as a priority. Suggestions will be considered for the future assuming we can manage them. I likely will not get too deep into major changes that are NOT bugs as I'm still hopeful that BBPress will eventually mature into a contender to replace this forum so that we can eliminate the hassle of bridging authentication and instead use native integration.

 

Also think you have to get your friends on board. Can't understand why people with so many connections in the graf world can't get those connections to contribute to them. Not just talking here, I've seen this happen with other sites and such. You have a front page with a blog list at the bottom full of a who's who in graf and none of them have blogged anything in years or posted on site. For someone coming on who doesn't know the site, it looks like a dead site. And... regular users want to see content from those people and others.

 

Yes, none have not blogged in years. You'll note all were active and then they simply stopped at once. Can't tell you how much flack I got for that, but its not due to lack of support from them. Rather, when we went through that tech drama mentioned above and moved from Expression Engine to WordPress, we fucked up the method used to differentiate user roles with specifics to how and what can be accessed in the admin and how the assets and posts are handled by the system. Once we migrated to WordPress, the custom theme we had developed had issues with that and though we ultimately got the news section and contributors sorted out, it was going to require significant time and money to modify it to accommodate the blogs. Mind you, by this point I've probably spent about $250k in three years on development. So by this point I was evaluating the overall direction for 12ozProphet and decided that I wanted to go back to the roots of it. If I'm going to aspire to focus on 12ozProphet full time and make real life sacrifices that affect my family by investing massive amounts of money (for me at least), I need to recalibrate what 12ozProphet is all about so that I can wrap my own head around it and really believe in what I'm doing. So out of respect for the bloggers, I spent a month salvaging all their content for archival reasons, but decided I would no longer invest in maintaining that or the news (sounds easy, but considering how much effort went into fixing the system paths and URL structure for years worth of content, shit has been no joke!). Instead, I plan to start publishing books again occasionally, get the apparel stuff I've been envisioning for years going again and instead focus inwards on our own efforts and projects, as well as occasional collaborations with third parties that I respect and get me excited. It'll always be rooted in graff since that's where I come from, but expect it to wander into new directions that will likely be unexpected. This is precisely what made 12ozProphet great in the beginning and somehow got lost along the way. Sounds retarded, but when we introduced Os Gemeos back in 1996, we got a lot of shit for it early on because they weren't train painters from NY. I went with my gut and you all know the history after. I expect the same to happen again.... I'll put out stuff that has people like, 'what the fuck?!' and then hopefully years later it'll be second nature. If nothing else, there's real passion behind it and a real desire to push new boundaries and for now, that's what I need to keep doing this.

 

Final thought for now... either trash this trophy/points system or make it worth something, you guys are missing the value of that. Before, you had numerous users infatuated with those tic tacs, props/negs, achieving the next member level. It helped keep people coming on and contributing. Think about that for a minute- you had a whole group of people invested in something that in the end actually had no meaning- that's very powerful and you're not tapping into it. Currently you don't really get anything for trophy points, and the amount of points a user needs is pretty much unobtainable after the 1st level or so. I know this all sounds trivial, this is a site about graf culture 1st, but again- look at how many users you had invested in something pretty much meaningless- powerful stuff there my friend.

 

The points system is just a minor feature of the forum software along with hundreds of other features. I never put that much thought into it, but clearly you feel its important. If that the consensus here, I'm happy to discuss and explore it further to see how it can be evolved into something that you guys really respect. If you're serious about it, start a new thread and @ me and we'll start that process.

 

--------------

 

All this said, not sure if an apology is the right response but I am sorry for all the shitty times here. Honestly I've spent so much time and money on this that it's frustrating to live with a lot of the bullshit. There's plenty of times I wanted to pull the plug and almost did that back many years ago when I got into a massive disagreement with the OG mods. I guess in hindsight a lot of the friction is over stupid shit, but at the end of the day 12ozProphet literally encapsulates my youth. It's a part of me and I wouldn't be who I am without having done all this. I've heard many others describe it a similar way. One of my closest friends in real life, who literally started working at 12ozProphet at 15 years old (now in his 30s) met his wife on 12ozProphet and now has a great little girl with her. I've heard of several marriages that started with an encounter on 12ozProphet, several with kids, and even can claim a mod that shares this story.

 

So yeah, just doing the best I can with the hand I was dealt and hoping if I can bring it back to something that I'm passionate again, that maybe we'll see great things happen.

 

Any more questions?

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@misteraven one of my pet peeves with restaurants is when they open for business but aren't really ready. Like if a pizza place says open @ 11 they better have some slices out and ready @ 11. Think it's the same concept here based on your description, like don't say you're back until you absolutely know that things are up & working correctly. The blog- I didn't mean to focus so much on that, the point was that you need the writers back on here (blog writers or otherwise) and you need them posting content.

 

The trophy thing- rather meaningless to me personally but I have played along for amusement at times. Kind of sounds like you're saying it's just something that comes with the program. If this is the case I am even more amused that people became so invested in it. Anyhow, apparently users became endeared to it, I remember people logging back in after the first reboot or so asking where are my tic-tacs, how do I neg? It is probably lowest on the list of priorities but if it is going to exist on the site you might look at it later- all those users chasing props, negs, e-status...

 

Finally ease up, know this is your baby & all but you have some loyal followers on this ghost ship and more people who will get (back) on board when you get things right. I def have 12oz stories from the website, still have my mags from years ago, still have the graf books I got through 7th Heaven years ago like the German graf books! So, no hating here. :peace:

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I appreciate what 12oz has been in the past. When I first signed up, it was when I was first getting into paint and all that. I think what kept me around was the fact that there were places to talk about other shit and actually learn something or even just interact with people on other levels. I know for a fact though, as soon as I saw Instagram come up, I knew people were going to just make random pages and just start using that to post and post less here. I am pretty sure because it is easier to get your work seen instead of having to stay in one city or region(one post here on 12oz brickslayers). There should be a better way to 'discover' or get things seen at least on Brickslayers.

 

I think what needs to happen is find a way to bring good video stories or something to the site, Q&A with artists(but there will be trolls), Merch(connect with a service to print on demand if you don't want to hold stock), and yeah as mentioned get people posting on the blog again.

 

I think 12oz as a brand should be more of a hub for the culture than only forums, which means the quality of production or execution should be higher, and I know that is easier said than done, but I am sure there are enough connections there to get folks inspired to contribute. Shit i know it might seem like a stretch but why can't 12oz have a show on Vicetv? Any connections there? :D

 

Anyway Im just spitting out what comes to mind here, I appreciate all your work, and I can see it being bigger than just a forum but the hard part for sure is figuring out what the focus should be and how to chunk out the steps into small goals..

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Just a heads up that there might be some wonkiness over the next few days - week. I'm working with a few people to setup Amazon S3 storage and implementing a content delivery service (CDN) to offload all image uploads / attachments from the forum off our server and onto their cloud storage. Besides freeing up much needed server space, we're expecting it to also improve performance, especially on photo heavy pages since we'll also be running a script to copy all linked images into a local copy (which will also prevent broken images in old threads in the future). If you see anything critical or persistent, please DM or let a moderator know.

 

Thanks for your patience while we make 12oz great again!

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I've been coming back here for years and hearing the same old shit.

 

I will believe it when I see it.

 

I never even got a sticker.

 

 

Trump voice "sad"

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Oh yeah, and another thing... If anyone wants to get a jump on the new forum, DM me and I'll adjust your account so you can test it out.

 

Eh captain, hope all is well. Congrats on the forthcoming angle, sent an email seeing about getting an old locked out account deactivated.

 

I'll be contributing when I can regardless now that I've opened the forum back up but would be ill to get my old numbers n name back if it's at all possible.

 

And ya, definatly curious about this new format I'm reading about.

 

Good to see you back on your grind, the Graffiti world owes you more than maybe any other subsidery platform.

 

Peace

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