• Welcome to Simple Machines Community Forum. Please login or sign up.

New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member

Started by Joseph, April 18, 2005, 09:19:11 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Joseph

Echotainment, LLC. has recently launched an interesting new system that will allow your SMF forum to access the EchoForum Network and gain access to a wealth of informational content that can be  directly imported into your SMF forum. This content includes existing private and public forum networks, a selection of thousands of Usenet Newsgroups, RSS feeds from all over the globe, XML content networks, many thousands of public RSS feeds, mailing lists, and even topical monthly newsletters published by hundreds of sources. All this content can be seamlessly imported into your SMF forum, enhancing it into a huge repository of information and constant activity that visitors will want to return to, again and again, for the information they are seeking.

If you would like to know more about the Echoforum Network, visit http://www.echoforum.com

You can read the full press at http://www.echoforum.com/press.htm
Joseph Fung
Co-Founder & CEO, Kiite
Co-Founder TribeHR, Lewis Media, SMF

Ben_S

Not the best of places to post I know, but it would be good if they set up a demo, it's something I would deffinatly consider if I could see it in action. Also their forums link on their site is dead, seems to have an extra space on it :(, assume they will probably read this, if not I'll drop them an email.
Liverpool FC Forum with 14 million+ posts.

Joseph

Hey Ben - I tried out the site - where is the broken link? I couldn't find it - it worked fine for me.  Also they do have some demos - on their forums there is a category of sample content.
Joseph Fung
Co-Founder & CEO, Kiite
Co-Founder TribeHR, Lewis Media, SMF

Ben_S

On the flash bit at the top, firefox complains that it cannot find forums.echoforum.com%20

Not tried in IE as I dont have flash player installed on IE... Will take a look at their forums for the sample content, the usenet stuff is the thing that appeals to me :)
Liverpool FC Forum with 14 million+ posts.

Richard Rhoden

Hey Ben_S

     I'll take a look at the forums link in the flash, under firefox, and see why it might be having trouble, as far as a demo, sure you can directly visit forums.echoforum.com and look under Sample Content, or you could just sign up for a preview account, completely free and give the service and test run with your own choice of content.

     If usenet appeals to you, I think you will like how well it seamlessly fits into your current forums, no lists of posts, they look VERY similar to the local posts to allow your members to view any and all messages on your site without them seeming different.  And of course, Echoforum doesn't just import messages we will post new local messages in the forums back to the newsgroups as well.

     Again, thanks for the heads up on Firefox, i'll take a look at that right now, i'm sure things were working well with 1.0PR last time I checked but there is so much going on with the site, emails and questions coming in, perhaps I missed something. have a good day, and let me know if you have any other questions.

Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

Ben_S

Hi Richard,

I'll deffinatly sign up for a preview account tonight and have a look through it :).

Ben
Liverpool FC Forum with 14 million+ posts.

Richard Rhoden

Hello again Ben_S,

     That sounds great, can't wait for you to see the service in action. And I have found the problem in the flash banner, and have passed it off to the graphics developer here to have him fix it. Unfortunately I know very little of flash and how it all works, but I will make sure he tests more thoroughly with firefox in the future, thanks for the bug find.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

Oldiesmann

I think I'll sign up for a trial account as well. I'll add the stuff to my test board ;)
Michael Eshom
Cincy Space - now open!

charlottezweb

Wow, fantastic concept.  So it effectively pulls in from whatever usenet or rss feed I specify into the board I specify under a fake account?

Is it customizable?  (where it goes, the username of the poster, etc)

Is it limited to the feeds you have setup or can I use any usenet group/rss feed?

What does it do with attachments? 

Is there a way to have it filter spam?

(Sorry, I might do a little reading later, but wanted to ask the basics!)  :D

-Jason

Richard Rhoden

Hello Charlottezweb,

No problem, alot of the info is available within the info sections of the website, but I'll be happy to go over some of the basics here with you and answer all of your questions.  :D


Wow, fantastic concept.  So it effectively pulls in from whatever usenet or rss feed I specify into the board I specify under a fake account?

Is it customizable?  (where it goes, the username of the poster, etc)

It is customizable, there are defaults that we use and setup to start with, but you can always go back into the members control panel and use the more "advanced" features. Here are a few:

1- You can choose any "Member Group" you want the new users that the messages will be posted under to, the default one created is "EchoForum Users" but you can make it anything you want to assign special security, avatars, settings etc..

2- The forum name by default is created in your system to match the one that is in our DB for example if you join alt.games a newsgroup a forum will be created on your site called alt.games. You can change this to match any forum on your site under any category with any settings you want and change the forumname we drop messages into the look for new message outgoing in within the control panel.

3- There is no ONE fake user as that would make having a conversation with multiple people on a topic very difficult, as they would all be different people but have the same name, so which "john doe" where you speaking to. So a minimal fake user account is added to your system for each unique person taking part in a conversation there, we do update the stats for the fake account, such as # of posts last visit date(which is the last date a post was imported to your system from him) etc. These accounts are heavily secured by default and NOT in any way shape or form meant to be logged into, in fact the passwords for each are randomly generated and encrypted at the time of creation so no one, not even US can know what any of their passwords are. Once a user has been created on your system you can go and view that account and see how its setup, security has been a primary concern for us since day one, even all message traffic back and forth is encrypted bidirectionally, even with traffic for the most part being public forums, some of our customers wanted to run private forums and didn't want to worry about "sniffers" grabbing message content that might be sensitive.


Is it limited to the feeds you have setup or can I use any usenet group/rss feed?

This is a function of what level of subscription you are at, at Premium Membership, you choose from our library of over 100,000 feeds, and can also request a feed to be added through our content request department.  But for the member looking for total freedom, Enterprise Subscription is what you are after, with it you can pull ANY feed of any type that we support, and choose to keep it private so it will not be listed for others to join, hence your own private network, or shared communities just between a few sites. Or You could choose to host out any of your local forums to the entire network, so anyone can join, or keep them on a request to join, or just simply private for you to add as you see fit. At this level there is no limits on how many feeds and of what types, you could import hundreds from our list, import several special ones that only you know about, and also maintain a few private networks of forums for sister sites and others. And this all applies to all content types we currently support, with more types planned in the future as well as some truly shocking supprises that we are working on.

What does it do with attachments? 

Currently attachments are not supported, since it make for a far more complex network, as some systems require the file to be uploaded to it locally, others can use a remote http or ftp address. For now we have decided to not support it with this release, but are aware of it, and if demand is enough we might put it back on the table for consideration. Keeping in mind that we are focusing on SMF Forums here, but the software does support interchange between not only all the content and SMF but also PhpBB, vBulletin, UBB, XMB, InvisionBoard, and Ikonboard, with more forum software types coming soon as well.

Is there a way to have it filter spam?

This is an area where we are trying to work as best we can in, for example for the newgroups we are working with our newsgroup provider on adding more spam and crossposting protection at their end for incoming traffic, as it is much easier to add it there then once its in the echoforum network, and for the majority most forums are fairly free of spam due to validation procedures. But we are working on reducing the amount of spam right now we hack out about 85-90% of it, and are working hard with our provider on ways to get that last 10% without compromising the "good" content.

(Sorry, I might do a little reading later, but wanted to ask the basics!)  :D

-Jason


I hope this answers some of your questions, and if you have any others just ask, we have a forum and a helpdesk available to everyone with questions and even feature ideas, we want to hear your thoughts and help guide the development path of the echoforum network. Have a great day.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

charlottezweb

Thanks Richard.  I think these questions might get you more traffic from here as well.  :)

I'll post any further questions on your forum.  Thanks for the thorough response!

-Jason

Richard Rhoden

Feel free to post questions here, at our forums, or via our helpdesk, we are watching everywhere for new questions and activity so any of the venues will be fine, always happy to answer any questions about the new service.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

Ben_S

I like the concept, still havent got around to testing it as yet, one thing I would deffinatly like more though would be for the usenet users posts to appear as guests rather than users if at all possible.
Liverpool FC Forum with 14 million+ posts.

Richard Rhoden

The reason for the setting up of user accounts is so there are unique usernames for everyone to maintain a conversation with and know who they are speaking with.  In echoforum you can assign all echoforum users to use a specific member group, this could allow for what you are wanting, these "remote users" could appear somewhat different, maybe a custom user title, only show as guest, the member group name could be Guest Member, or any other functions that a user group would allow.  Perhaps in a future version adding some extra configuration controls over the specific user account creation would be viable, check boxes such as guest, or other options that would be useful. Play with the network and keep the feedback coming, only with you and other users feedback will we be able to continue adding new features that you really want and continue to mold the service making it better. Thank you for your ideas and have a great day.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

bjones9942

Richard -

Can you have multiple feeds going into a single forum?  I would, for example, like to load the 'alt.widgets.*' and the 'rec.widgets.*' and the 'fido.widgets.*' groups into a single forum called 'global widgets'.

If this is possible, does a reply originating from the forum flow to the proper newsgroup, or would it be crossposted (preferably I would like the option to choose, but a static - 'replies to originating newgroup/source' would suffice)?

Thanks for the info!


Brett
'No one can be exactly like me.  Even I have trouble doing it!'
  -- T. Bankhead

Richard Rhoden

Hello Bjones,

No, there is a one to one relationship between a content feed and a forum on your site. Since most forum software doesn't have a way to track messages in that way ie: a true non-linear chained fashion. The best option if we allowed for such a feature would be to cross post all replies back, and of course messages that originated from lets say alt.widgets would also crosspost into fido.widgets and vice versa. This would make a echoforum feed very able to crosspost to dozens of external content sources, and make alot of people angry. So we have decided to stick with the one to one relationship for now, perhaps in the future as forum software continues to evolve better message tracking on a per message basis will come into play where cross posting could be protected against.  Sorry. Any other questions I could answer for you?
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

bjones9942

Richard -

Thanks for the quick response!  I can certainly see the headaches involved in having to store the original source of each message - and then trying to determine where to send new topics (especially when many people like to create a new thread for their 'replies').

I do think however, that this could be a viable 'feature' if implemented in a fairly strict manner - ie, limit the number of feeds (10 seems a good number), and then display check boxes (with only one selectable) during posting:

  • Post locally only
  • Post to [feed x]
  • Post to [feed x+1]
  • ...
With a

  • Post to [originating feed]
As an option if the message is a reply.

I guess I can dream, can't I?  :)

In any event, I'm planning on checking your service out - it's a great idea!
'No one can be exactly like me.  Even I have trouble doing it!'
  -- T. Bankhead

Richard Rhoden

Hello,

     Well I could see how that could work, maybe defaulting to "Post to Origin" and have other options such as local only, etc... But this would be a modification to the forum software itself and then echoforum would carry on the "standard" and pass it back, would take a couple of extra fields for each message. But who knows modifications like that are what "mod" writers are for, adding new and interesting functions to an already outstanding piece of software.  You never know where the future will take you. Have a great day.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

ecow

Richard,

Can you move a topic out of the the desigated forum and the replies to that topic still be sent to the original source?

Richard Rhoden

No, the system is based on a one to one relationship between a forum on your site and a content feed from the echoforum network. So if you moved a topic or thread out of the designated forum into another echoforum would not know where to look to find it, otherwise you could get crossposting and content duplication within your own forum.

On the other hand it is no problem, to move all threads from one forum on your site to another one, perhaps better named one or just as a matter of reorganization, and then using the members control panel set the new forum as the destination for that perticular content feed.

Hope this helps answer your question, if I can be of any further assistance just ask.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

Advertisement: