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  1. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries
    hi Kat, long time no see! Hope you are doing well.
    *waves hi* Sorry I haven't been around. Took some time off to travel the world... But now back to work

    It looks like Alicia is on track to be released next month, the insider reports look good. I'm kind of getting interested in this again.
    TheWeighWeWere.com - Weight Loss Success Stories from A to Z!

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  2. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat
    *waves hi* Sorry I haven't been around. Took some time off to travel the world... But now back to work

    It looks like Alicia is on track to be released next month, the insider reports look good. I'm kind of getting interested in this again.
    hi! Hope you had a good break.

    ALicia sure does look good (the present version).

    But I am still unsure on a number of aspects.

    1 - how fast will it be/how sore on resources
    2 - will it be search engine friendly (eg despite the biggest sites having tens of thouands opf members, when i log on, there are only between one and five members ever online)
    3 - what is the bottom line. If the script is gonna be definitely open source, then why so much secrecy. eg try and become an insider for the new script, and you will see that they demand so many personal details off you. Bizarre.

  3. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries
    hi! Hope you had a good break.
    Very nice. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries
    ALicia sure does look good (the present version).
    Do you have an insider version?!?


    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries
    1 - how fast will it be/how sore on resources
    2 - will it be search engine friendly (eg despite the biggest sites having tens of thouands opf members, when i log on, there are only between one and five members ever online)
    3 - what is the bottom line. If the script is gonna be definitely open source, then why so much secrecy. eg try and become an insider for the new script, and you will see that they demand so many personal details off you. Bizarre.
    I'm wondering about those issues, too... Especially 1 & 2. In all the time phpizabi was up, I never 'stumbled' onto a zabi site as a result of a google search.
    TheWeighWeWere.com - Weight Loss Success Stories from A to Z!

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  4. #179
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    yes, I registered for a few of the top showcase sites and I was baffled by why a top site with between 50 and 60 thousand members should have so few members online at any time (eg one to five online at any time i logged on). It didn't make sense to me.

    I also do not like the attitude of those behind the script. And no, I am not an insider. I haven't seen th enew version as yet...tho I hear that the developers forum has been opened to insiders recently - so I assume the new version must be in beta or very close to it.

  5. #180
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    5 - 6 users online at a time is pretty normal even on a site that does 50-60 thousand members. If you've ever run a site that gets that many visitors a day you know that most of the time you only have a few users on at any given time.

    I would be more interested in looking at numbers during peak times of day and what their peaks are...

    It is also possible that we only see 5 or 6 at a time due to flaws in the way the software is written. That'd be interesting to know too. Has anyone seen an Alicia site that has more than 5-6 users on, EVER?

    Re: Search Engine Optimization. I wonder how much matters based on the software. Can't you just use a well written .htaccess file using mod_rewrite. This is how wordpress enhances their SEO by mod-rewriting the funky urls into well formatted ones that the search engines like.

  6. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenFitts
    5 - 6 users online at a time is pretty normal even on a site that does 50-60 thousand members. If you've ever run a site that gets that many visitors a day you know that most of the time you only have a few users on at any given time.

    I would be more interested in looking at numbers during peak times of day and what their peaks are...

    It is also possible that we only see 5 or 6 at a time due to flaws in the way the software is written. That'd be interesting to know too. Has anyone seen an Alicia site that has more than 5-6 users on, EVER?
    A social community site that has 50K members with only 5-6 users on simultaneously means nobody is coming back. If you do the math, it means that they get minimal traffic every day.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  7. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    A social community site that has 50K members with only 5-6 users on simultaneously means nobody is coming back. If you do the math, it means that they get minimal traffic every day.
    I agree. 5-6 members online for a community that size is a problem. A BIG problem.

    I'm with you Strawberries...the lack of members on the izabi sites is troubling. The only good site seems to be the DogMeet site. (Lots of members, and it seems active)

    Does anyone know if Alicia will integrate with vBulletin?
    TheWeighWeWere.com - Weight Loss Success Stories from A to Z!

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  8. #183
    SitePoint Evangelist dalt's Avatar
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    One of my sites, whilst it isn't a myspace site has 30-50 members online at any time and this traffic normally equates to 30,000 uniques a month.

    Based on my traffic, 5-6 online at any time would only equate to 3-4000 uniques a month.

    Dalt

  9. #184
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    yes, once the new versions of Alicia and Datemill finally get released, it will be important to look at all the pros and cons. Alicia will undoubtedly look amazing; and lots of whistles and bells - but Dan at datemill will no doubt have a load of great stuff in the new datemill.

    Speed, SEO and features will be big issues for me. I have seen the new engine that datemill will run on, and itis lightening fast. IIRC there were 30,000 listings on it, but yet a search went thru in seemingly milliseconds.

    Another problem that I have noticed with the present alicia, is that it is slow to load. I logged in to that dogmeet site (the one you mentioned Kat) and as with all alicia sites, it was dreadfully slow to load each page. BTW No-one was online when I logged in

    Re the vbulletin question, sorry Kat I don't know the answer.

  10. #185
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    I've had a great relationship with Dan for quite a while. The big pros about Datemill are that (1) Dan knows dating scripts and built a good one prior to this effort; (2) He's been around a while and not fly by night; (3) Alicia seems like vaporware and the money for a script typcially buys development.

    Even though I haven't made any push with my current site (and still got about 1000 members... need to approve!) it will be upgraded significantly on another superb domain that I own that will be the focus of attention. Look forward to Dan's release.

    I want to like Alicia but it's even worse than phpbizabi or whatever it's called. At least the latter is a product.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  11. #186
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    I always meant to ask you, slinky, re your site. You created an awesome looking site (based on Dan's script) and i always wondered how things were going. Is it pretty search engine friendly? Do people return? Do you think it is possible these days to get a lot of visitors/interest in such a site? ie with so many sites around.

    If datemill is search engine friendly, I think it will be the one that I go with.

    Alicia may look nice, but Dan has been in this game a lot longer and he's a great person to work with.

    PS - like we said in email last year, we could maybe share the cost of any enhancements on the new script.

  12. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenFitts
    5 - 6 users online at a time is pretty normal even on a site that does 50-60 thousand members. If you've ever run a site that gets that many visitors a day you know that most of the time you only have a few users on at any given time.
    Thats really wrong,

    With that many registered, You'd expect a few hundred online at ANY time during the day....

    I wouldnt be suprised if those are fake profiles, something is just not right

  13. #188
    SitePoint Member dancaragea's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    I want to comment a bit on the following sentence:

    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries
    If datemill is search engine friendly.
    Url rewriting (used for search engine friendly urls) work only if:
    a. The web server is Apache (not working on IIS)
    b. Your host lets you use .htaccess files.
    c. Your host allows you to rewrite urls from the .htaccess file.

    These 3 are some big IFs that make about 50% of our customers not being able to use url rewriting (almost everyone is using apache but not many are allowed to use .htaccess and even less are allowed to rewrite).

    With these in mind we decided not to include rewriting by default in our new application but maybe offer a tutorial on how to do it or as an addon.
    Besides it depends very much on the way you setup your site: if you have all pages but the index available only to registered members then rewrite is useless because search engines won't be able to get past the login screen.

    You can use S.E. friendly urls even in our current Dating Site Builder if you meet the 3 ifs above (or in any other dating script and any other web site).
    In DSB the url of a member profile is like this:
    http://www.yourdatingsite.com/profile_view.php?user_id=<uid>
    Simply add these 2 lines into the .htaccess file in the root folder of your dating site and you're done:
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule ^profile/([0-9]+)$ profile_view.php?user_id=$1 [L]

    Then point your browser to http://www.yourdatingsite.com/profile/1
    and if it works you should see the profile of the admin member (It's that '1' in the url that takes the place of the <uid> in the long url - you can put whatever uid you want).
    Remember - you need to allow profiles to be visible to guests otherwise you'll be redirected to the login screen.

    Note that the rewrite rule above is not tested - it's from memory and might not work but it's close if it doesn't.

    So you see, having friendly urls is not such a difficult thing and it's definitely not something we must hardcode in the scripts.

  14. #189
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    Dan, thanks for the detailed post.

    On my host, I have never had any problems (I have various cms/blogs/property type sites). My host allows .htaccess files and i have serach friendly urls. I didn't even realise that htaccess was an issue among hosts.

    I am really looking forward to the new datemill script. Based on the engine that you have shown me, it is gonna be very impressive.

    Best wishes.

  15. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancaragea
    Hi guys,

    I want to comment a bit on the following sentence:



    Url rewriting (used for search engine friendly urls) work only if:
    a. The web server is Apache (not working on IIS)
    b. Your host lets you use .htaccess files.
    c. Your host allows you to rewrite urls from the .htaccess file.

    These 3 are some big IFs that make about 50% of our customers not being able to use url rewriting (almost everyone is using apache but not many are allowed to use .htaccess and even less are allowed to rewrite).

    With these in mind we decided not to include rewriting by default in our new application but maybe offer a tutorial on how to do it or as an addon.
    Besides it depends very much on the way you setup your site: if you have all pages but the index available only to registered members then rewrite is useless because search engines won't be able to get past the login screen.

    You can use S.E. friendly urls even in our current Dating Site Builder if you meet the 3 ifs above (or in any other dating script and any other web site).
    In DSB the url of a member profile is like this:
    http://www.yourdatingsite.com/profile_view.php?user_id=<uid>
    Simply add these 2 lines into the .htaccess file in the root folder of your dating site and you're done:
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule ^profile/([0-9]+)$ profile_view.php?user_id=$1 [L]

    Then point your browser to http://www.yourdatingsite.com/profile/1
    and if it works you should see the profile of the admin member (It's that '1' in the url that takes the place of the <uid> in the long url - you can put whatever uid you want).
    Remember - you need to allow profiles to be visible to guests otherwise you'll be redirected to the login screen.

    Note that the rewrite rule above is not tested - it's from memory and might not work but it's close if it doesn't.

    So you see, having friendly urls is not such a difficult thing and it's definitely not something we must hardcode in the scripts.

    That's right, I have already come across several hostings that don't allow mod_rewrite.
    But then again, if you're serious, then you don't use such hosts.

    I was wondering how much server load mod_rewrite produces. Let's say you have 30 entries in your .htaccess file. Does it slow down your site?
    And wouldn't it be possible that the script uses SEO-friendly pages by default - without mod_rewrite.

  16. #191
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    Social Networking Site

    Quote Originally Posted by Kat
    I'm looking to base my next community launch on a social networking script. I've just started looking into this, so I'm kind of new.

    Are there any great ones that I should know of, and some I should stay away from?

    I'm willing to pay 'decent' money for a good script.

    Or...should I have one coded from the ground up?

    Not sure if you would be interested but I have a social networking site available for cheap.

    I actually just finished up working on it & it turns out that now that I'm finished I'm not going to have the time to work on it due to my work schedule.

    I would only be asking $550 for it. It's a great script with tons of possibilities.It was intended to be a local SN site but the name would just need to be changed.

    Throw an email if your interested. jmorrow76@gmail.com

  17. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberries
    If datemill is search engine friendly, I think it will be the one that I go with.
    What is the ETA on datemill?
    TheWeighWeWere.com - Weight Loss Success Stories from A to Z!

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  18. #193
    SitePoint Member dancaragea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat
    What is the ETA on datemill?
    Kat, some guy just wiped the floor with me on our forums because I told someone we'd finish by the end of the august and we weren't able to...So I can't give you a definitive answer, there's no deadline set yet.
    I know it's not the answer you wanted but if we are to create something good we should take our time to make it right from the start.
    We're more than 60% done and we will hopefully finish this year.
    Here's the official announcement:
    http://forum.datemill.com/index.php/topic,1490.0.html
    and here is the discussion where I show the site we created using the new engine we'll be using for our new application:
    http://forum.datemill.com/index.php/topic,1488.0.html

  19. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancaragea
    We're more than 60% done and we will hopefully finish this year.
    "This year" is ok - that's about 90 days

    I can deal with that, since I'm busy making updates to TheWeighWeWere. (ps ban that rude guy )

    Will datemill integrate with vBulletin, or any of the popular blog platforms? (Esp MT?)
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  20. #195
    SitePoint Member dancaragea's Avatar
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    With vBulletin for sure - at least unidirectional (from our app to vbulletin).
    With blogs, if they publish rss feeds, probably yes too: I am working on a rss module to push news from us to customers (in their admin panel) and it should be trivial to adapt it to read feeds from any url and put them in a page - in a member's profile page for example.

  21. #196
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    Dan, are there good numbers of folks online (at any one time) in the top websites that use your old/present dating builder script?

  22. #197
    SitePoint Member dancaragea's Avatar
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    I can't say I really know...there are not many sites I watch regulary. However, I've seen much more than 5-6 online several times.

    The number of members online is not so much related to total number of members as you might think and *usually* it is not the fault of the script as it is the fault of the owner and/or bad promotion methods.
    It's all about the loyalty of the members - you could have a site with 30 members but so loyal that 20 would be online everytime (that would be something indeed )
    We have a customer who got their members mostly through unsolicited emails - they have hundred of thousand of members but not many online and they are going down slowly (at first they were making about $8000/mo, now they're at about $1000 )
    There's another site for "disabled singles" which got good sponsors - they had tv ads, newspaper ads, they hired someone to write some articles, they are active on the forum, they are constantly requesting us to add features to their site. There are also not many people online at the same time (I think 20-30 is their max) but people do come back and there are a lot of paid users.
    They are slowly going up.

    And there's another site (johnboy on our forums is the owner) which:
    1. we moved existing webdate members to our script
    2. doesn't even have it's own domain (it has something like http://www.site.com/the-dating-site)
    3. has mostly our default design (which everyone knows it's not too appealing hehehe)
    4. has no ads, no SEO or other optimization

    Yet the guy is on profit in less than half a year and there are a lot of loyal members coming back.
    He had a problem with flashchat suddenly not working the other day and asked me to fix it. After fixing it I stayed in the chat for about 5 minutes and people were already coming in, glad that the problem was fixed because they "were missing the chat" and everybody was talking to everybody and there was a real community feel.

    I said it once - if you buy a dating script, put it somewhere and expect it to make you rich with no involvement you better try the lottery - there are higher chances to hit the jackpot.

  23. #198
    SitePoint Zealot bettyboob's Avatar
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    I'm also looking into creating my own social network communaty, but there are so many choices to made......... :-)

    So far i love the dolphine web community

    Cheers
    Last edited by bettyboob; Sep 23, 2006 at 16:41.
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  24. #199
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    bettyboop, I hope you find the right script. If you look through the archives, you'll find one massively long thread where the various script possibilities are discussed. 'Slinky' above makes major contributons to the thread. Anyways, in that thread you'll also see key issues which need to be thought about.

    Dan, thanks for the excellent post. I had a read at it a few times in trying to take in all the points. I fully realise that any dating/community site needs to be nurtured and a lot of time spent on it to help it grow. I have had a few sites in the past 5 or 6 years that have called for such effort. And slowly I getth visitor numbers up and up......but it is a bit of work. (PS , Kat, I wish that I had your magic touch of getting big numbers, quickly!) :3)

    I have never been involved in a dating site before, but from looking around I do wonder if the era of a paid/subscription site is coming to a close. Unless you have a niche area, it seems you are competing against massive competition. And many sites seem to get by on advertising, rather than subscripions. After all, why would a person pay you mony, when they can sign up for the likes of a community based site like myspace for free.

    I fully anticipate that my own site, which will be a niche area, will be free for a few years....relying on adsense and the likes.

    Dan, I know that you are keen to get blogging/discussion in the new script. I don't know if it is of any interest, but have you checked out the awesome open source, vanilla chat script? getvanilla.com After being highly recommended, I have been using it for a few months now on sites.........very impressed with it.

  25. #200
    SitePoint Member dancaragea's Avatar
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    strawberries: a dating site is not the same with a social networking site. I think they both have their strong points and one will not kill the other.
    A networking site is usually focused on sharing everything to everybody while a dating site is focused on searching for others. The border between the 2 is thin but it exists.

    Then there's the matter of privacy: On myspace a total stranger could find a whole lot of information about you because you're encouraged to share everything. On a dating site your privacy is protected because it requires members to be logged in and approved before they can make contact or find out more about you.

    Then dating sites are niche sites by themselves: they focus on 5-10-20 fields (I am a man, looking for a women, for casual sex, etc).
    Networking sites favor large amount of information in text format which are not searchable in this manner - they usually go with tags and full text search.


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