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Discussion started by Faithful_City (IP Logged), 11 August, 2019 11:05
11 August, 2019 11:05
The Forum

What is it and why has it appeared? An explanation.

Over several seasons there has been some frustration from administrators and users of Sportnetwork in the way that it is managed by Durham Associates and the age of the software. I suppose you could call it not keeping up with the latest technology. However SN believed that they were providing a product that was doing OK for its customers.

As far as I can make out this led to several clubs looking to find new providers, Gloucester has always had their own, now Wasps and Harlequins have their own but have retained their Sportnetwork presence albeit very light traffic.

A Sale supporter wether on his own or in a group of like minded supporters decided he could build his own Message board/forum and run it on a server he has at his disposal.

They have used phpbb software here are some details

It is a pretty stable system and has some really good features which Sportnetwork doesn't yet, but does not provide all the facilities we have on our Sportnetwork website.

It was then decided to expand and create sub forums off the main database for each of the clubs in England. This provided a similar organisation to Sportnetwork in that all the clubs were available. Even so clubs needed to be encouraged to join the new forum known as VFT22. With increased hits/traffic advertising revenue has risen. However only Sale, Falcons and Irish moved over.

VFT22 carried out an awareness campaign telling supporters that it was live and available and much better than Sportnetwork.

Our admin (Lindsay) created a poll to ascertain what supporters on here thought about moving across to VFT22. There were 47 votes, 31(66%) voted to move 34% did not vote to move. There is no way to confirm where those votes came from but it was 66%.

The Poll Thread

Lindsay decided to move and informed supporters the site was moving over to VFT22 on the 17th August. At some stage she informed Sportnetwork she was leaving on the 23rd giving them 2 weeks notice.

Like any business when someone in such a critical position has told you they are leaving because they prefer someone else's product SN were forced to remove her from admin authority and look for someone else to run the site they did not want to lose the Warriors as this would have affected their ability to retain sponsors and ultimately staff.

I had been testing out VFT22 and spoken with Sportnetwork to see if they had any improvements planned in the near or distant future. They assured me that had and would be looking to do several upgrades especially the security.

Sportnetwork approached me to see if I would takeover the site once Lindsay had left because I had initially set up The Warriors site and could quickly get back into the swing.

I agreed and have done so to keep this site running as have all the other regular Rugby Supportnetwork sites.

I would like to think I can do as good a job as Lindsay has over the years and with a new pair of eyes possibly add a few useful facilities.

No-one from Sportnetwork, VFT22, myself or Lindsay went behind anyones back.

This is where we are and I hope both forums can flourish and drive each other onwards and upwards if the services they can provide us the supporters.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 26/08/2019 08:49 by Faithful_City.

ROLLO on tour
14 August, 2019 09:41
I can understand why you have done this JP and wish you all the best, we have been friends ( with the occasional difference of opinion. ) for sometime.
If I recall you set up this site so that we could be part of a rugby commuity and the site which was run by Steve & Mary closed down as it served just Worcester. ShedWeb which only serves Gloucester has continued to prosper, with very litte traffic on the Glos SN site and no registration yet on the new one, and I would suspect there wil not be. I suppose this proves that an independant site can flourish if the debate is good enough and there are sufficinet members to keep it vibrant. ShedWeb is certainly that.
I can't speak for the techncalities so don't know which site is better but for me the level of good debate with the ability to disagree with good grace seeing the other posters point of view is what should count. My impression is that after a while there may be some who have moved to the new site that will be looking for calmer water elsewhere.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 14/08/2019 10:03 by ROLLO .

14 August, 2019 14:14
Hi Rollo

The main reason I kept this site open and hopefully as active as I can keep it, is that the vast majority of Rugby Clubs are with Sportnetwork with have active forums. Obviously the traffic slows down at this time of the year but is definitely increasing as we near the RWC and the start of our season.

Below is a list of rugby clubs and wether they have an active SN site.

Glaws have never had one to talk of, Quins have gone totally independent (as per Glaws) and Sale have gone independent.

The rest are fully active on Sportnetwork and I want to be able to interact on the same community that we have for many many seasons.


16 August, 2019 08:36
Just to clear up a few things as there are some incorrect statements in the post.

I set up View From The 22 back in June 2016 although I did nothing with it for a long time so just left it set up in the background. Through talks with The Major (Sale admin) we decided to move the Sale board across because he was fed up with SN and their promise of updating the software but then nothing happening coupled with the lack of an SSL certificate.

The site runs on phpBB with a Wordpress site bridged to it where there is a Prediction League running and there will soon be pages for each club with guides to the ground.

"There were 47 votes, 31(66%) voted to move 34% did not vote to move. There is no way to confirm where those votes came from but it was 66%. "

You state that 34% didn't vote for the move but 11% said they weren't bothered which indicates they would go with the majority and 9% said wait and see. In my mind that isn't voting to remain but more seeing about the options before deciding. You are correcting in stating that you can't verify where the votes came from but that applies to both sides of the vote. Other club who wanted to stay on here could have voted remain.

Like you say I hope both of our forums are successful in the long term and who knows we may end up on the same board in the future!

Falcons Admin
17 August, 2019 19:52
Good luck John -we at Falcons who are staying with SN wish you all the best for this site and the Championshipsmileys with beer

18 August, 2019 07:38
Thanks for your best wishes.

SN has been our home for many years it has some good facilities and some that can be improved, which I know Jon, Dave and team are working on.

I will try and make it an informative and interesting supporters web site as well as having a dynamic forum as part of its makeup.

Sometimes familiarity can translate as needing change, but Change for change sake is not always the best course of action.

20 August, 2019 09:42
Folks, there are drop down links on every page to make it easier for you to surf around clubs, boards, info sites, club directions, other forums and much much more.

Please use and see how useful it makes our website.

If there are any additions just ask either here on a PM and I will try to accommodate. I donít want to make it too cluttered but it is all for you.


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