Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Rik on Tue 16/Jun/15 8:44am

Hi Folks,

We thought it was well overdue that we give you an update on what Vorb is up to.

But first, some history…

The Christian calendar works on the concepts of B.C. which stands for “Before Christ”, and A.D. stands for the Latin phrase anno domini, which means “in the year of our Lord.” For the purpose of what we are talking about here, let’s talk about EP - “El Presidente” and AT - “After Tama”.

“El Presidente”

Vorb started in 2000 as a stupid in-joke amongst a group of friends who were having difficulty organising mountain bike rides together, shortly after it's birth they all got really good at organising mountain bike rides together and went riding, a lot. The website was started in November 2000 by Tama as a place to put stories and photos from their trips. In early 2001 it escaped into the public realm, got mentioned on TV, had a bunch of people visit it and Tama got excited, drank some V, sat down, started coding and proceeded to work way too hard on growing Vorb.

Vorb won "Best Sports and Recreation Site" at the People's Choice Netguide Web Awards for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and surprised a lot of people with its frighteningly energetic online community.

In 2009 Tama retired after many years of fantastic dedication to his creation and he handed the reins over to Rik.

“After Tama”

At this point, Vorb went through a lot of changes, and it is fair to say, a period of decline. It went through a change of ownership a couple of times and those owners weren’t too sure what to do with it, one of them had an awesome plan but unfortunately for a variety of reasons (the largest of them being the Christchurch Earthquake) it never got off the ground.

So for a while, Vorb was in limbo and it looked like it was going to disappear from the web.

Then I got the opportunity, and bought it.

So now we’re back to square one, Vorb is in the hands of under-capitalized (well… we’re BROKE) benefactors who code in their spare time for the love of it. Whilst self financing the shortfall from ad. clicks and affiliate sales to keep the place going.

So that was the past, what is the future?

We’d like to take Vorb back to it’s roots, a site where people can share their riding exploits. For a while you could do that on Facebook, but these days FACEBOOK SUCKS.

…there, we said it.

So please, SHARE! Show us your videos, photos, stories, bikes and the cool stuff that gets you pumped. When you can’t ride, one of the best things you can do is talk about it.

What can you expect from us?

In the background we’re beavering away trying to make the site more user-friendly, however, with a site this big and complex it takes a long time to perform things that seem fairly rudimentary. Be assured, we ARE working on it, but it does take time.

News & Events

Our events calendar used to be one of the busiest parts of the site, that will probably be the case again as we start plugging in new events across the board over the next few weeks.

As always our front page will act as a bit of a news aggregator, we’d like to pretend we have a band of roving reporters around the globe finding stuff for us but that would be a lie.

Original content

Like radio talkback you can expect a lot of inflammatory opinion that’ll provoke a fair bit of conversation from our resident stirrer.

We’ll do product reviews, which you can expect to be blunt and honest because we’re paying for it ourselves and not getting our palms greased by the product-makers.

There’ll be the odd interview with mover-and-shakers.

But the message we’d like to get across is that all of this will pale in comparison to the real original content, the content created by you, the Vorbii.

Vorb always has been, and always will be what the users make of it, and what’s made of it is up to you.


Who is Vorb?

Editor
Rik Unthank
Rides: GT iDrive 5, GT Avalanche, GTR, Raleigh Dynatech, an various old steel things

About me, two of my earliest memories standout from the usual playing with wooden toy things. Riding my bright red trike and learning to ski. I can’t say which came first but I can say my dad took the time to educate me about the good things in life. SPEED, I don’t care if it’s on wheels or planks, if its motorized or not, if the wheels wear skinny slicks or fat knobblies. Anything that puts the wind in my hair.
I've always cycled, my mum doesn’t drive so if I wanted to get anywhere I had to get there myself. I was swooping down singletrack on a wide handlebar converted single speed road bike long before MTBing was popularized. First proper MTB a diamondback with space-aged ‘biopace’ chainrings Ooo!

Sub Editor
Kevin Unthank
Rides: Cannondale Super V 900, Saracen Kili Pro

It's hard to complain that my earliest bikes were my brothers hand-me-downs when they were a Raleigh Tomahawk followed be the iconic Chopper. My first new bike was a "Racer" in name only, consisting of a cast iron or perhaps depleted Uranium frame but it did have drop handle bars. I hopped on the Mountain Bike bandwagon fairly early with the purchase, in 1990, of a 1989 Ridgeback 601SIS.

Now living in Silicon Valley in sunny California where the nearby hills contain some wonderful trails and the weather is (almost) always nice.

Community and Content Monkey
Scotty Lane
Rides: Santa Cruz Highball, Avanti Giro, MCS Pro 24 Cruiser, lotsa ghetto creations

I’m just here because I refuse to leave. I’ve worked in the bike business since the mid-90’s and spent a lot of time talking crap to people about what makes bikes tick because I was such a poor rider myself. I’ve also spent way too much time on Vorb when I should have been out riding, so I understand what it’s like for the average vorber.

These days I consider myself lucky to get a ride or two in during the week due to the demands of two young kids, however I have a strong desire to eat more pie, which means I need to make time to ride more.
Rik
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""Cities are becoming more rational again, after the folly of car-centric planning," Colville-Andersen"
Member for: 9 years 4 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby RugbySucks on Tue 16/Jun/15 9:01am

Have you considered "Donor Members". Donation is entirely voluntary, and status is noted on the profile. Could be $5 or $20.

Bugger all really, to help keep something you enjoy running !

www.fishnhunt.co.nz run that system.

Donor members can put classified ads up, start threads etc...
RugbySucks
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Rik on Tue 16/Jun/15 9:13am

Yep we can put up a "Donate" button if people want that.
Rik
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""Cities are becoming more rational again, after the folly of car-centric planning," Colville-Andersen"
Member for: 9 years 4 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby dwgknz on Tue 16/Jun/15 9:35am

Rik wrote:Yep we can put up a "Donate" button if people want that.


+1 for this, I'd like an anonymous donation tool where we can drop a bit of money from time to time as funds allow. I did ask about this a while back but it all got a bit up close and personal. I don't want it to be all judgey on how much/ little I can spare at the time!
dwgknz
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby psychavoc on Tue 16/Jun/15 9:36am

Cheers for the update, Rik. I hope Vorb gets back on its feet again :)
psychavoc
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"www.celiaridesbikes.com"
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby dwgknz on Tue 16/Jun/15 9:42am

Thanks for the update Rik, Kevin and Scotty and thanks for keeping this all together.

Could we also please address this weeks elephant in the room as part of the state of the nation? What gets someone banned and suspended because there doesn't seem to be much consistency as a user. Some stuff seems to be ok, the systematic destruction of Gumby and his head tube springs to mind as something I thought got a bit dicey (tbh I got involved in that too) so what's not ok?
dwgknz
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Member for: 4 years 7 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Scotty on Tue 16/Jun/15 10:20am

dwgknz wrote:Thanks for the update Rik, Kevin and Scotty and thanks for keeping this all together.

Could we also please address this weeks elephant in the room as part of the state of the nation? What gets someone banned and suspended because there doesn't seem to be much consistency as a user. Some stuff seems to be ok, the systematic destruction of Gumby and his head tube springs to mind as something I thought got a bit dicey (tbh I got involved in that too) so what's not ok?

I haven't talked to Rik properly about this yet, but here's what I'm thinking.

The problem with being the main guy who pays the bills and puts out the fires, it means that you become awfully sensitive to criticism...

...Red mist descends. Ban button gets hit.

So, that's not good, and not the best way to do things. Everyone's human though - what we need to do if we're serious about being a community is work out a way to mitigate this in the interests of fairness for all parties.

To clarify, the only time perma-bans get used is for spammers, most of the time people get put away so everyone can have some space for a bit of a think. After having that think a lot of people decide Vorb isn't the place for them - and that's fine.
Scotty
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Member for: 15 years 7 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Bigfoot on Tue 16/Jun/15 10:39am

psychavoc wrote:Cheers for the update, Rik. I hope Vorb gets back on its feet again :)


:withstupid:
Bigfoot
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"We are the Village Green Preservation Society"
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Rik on Tue 16/Jun/15 11:08am

Scotty wrote:To clarify, the only time perma-bans get used is for spammers, most of the time people get put away so everyone can have some space for a bit of a think. After having that think a lot of people decide Vorb isn't the place for them - and that's fine.


Couldn't have put it better myself.
Rik
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""Cities are becoming more rational again, after the folly of car-centric planning," Colville-Andersen"
Member for: 9 years 4 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Scotty on Tue 16/Jun/15 1:06pm

dwgknz wrote:What gets someone banned and suspended because there doesn't seem to be much consistency as a user. Some stuff seems to be ok, the systematic destruction of Gumby and his head tube springs to mind as something I thought got a bit dicey (tbh I got involved in that too) so what's not ok?

Sorry D-dub I meant to address the consistency question, I've got some more coming on that in the next few days.

I still refuse to apologize for that Gumby thread, that was just hilarious. :lol:
Scotty
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Member for: 15 years 7 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Velocipedestrian on Tue 16/Jun/15 5:04pm

That Gumby thread started out as community assistance - no one wanted to see him lose the front end of his bike while JRA.

'Course, once he got all huffy about the advice...
Velocipedestrian
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"Vorb Trophy Husband of the year 2015"
Member for: 11 years 0 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Simonius_Titius on Tue 16/Jun/15 5:12pm

Velocipedestrian wrote:huffy ...

Various insults were slung but I don't think anyone went that low. :p
Simonius_Titius
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"The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. - Gloria Steinem"
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Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Velocipedestrian on Tue 16/Jun/15 6:00pm

Simonius_Titius wrote:
Velocipedestrian wrote:huffy ...

Various insults were slung but I don't think anyone went that low. :p


You're such a Gumby,I bet you ride a Huffy.

Ouch.
Velocipedestrian
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"Vorb Trophy Husband of the year 2015"
Member for: 11 years 0 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby Velocipedestrian on Tue 16/Jun/15 6:03pm

dwgknz wrote:
Rik wrote:Yep we can put up a "Donate" button if people want that.


+1 for this, I'd like an anonymous donation tool where we can drop a bit of money from time to time as funds allow. I did ask about this a while back but it all got a bit up close and personal. I don't want it to be all judgey on how much/ little I can spare at the time!

+1 also, preferred as anon and not having any effect on what permissions it gives users, re:
RugbySucks wrote:Donor members can put classified ads up, start threads etc...


"As funds allow" can be pretty relevant at times.
Velocipedestrian
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"Vorb Trophy Husband of the year 2015"
Member for: 11 years 0 months

Re: Talkback Tuesday: Vorb State Of The Nation

Postby philstar on Tue 16/Jun/15 6:35pm

correct me if i am wrong but in the EP days before the change in of format there used to be more organization of "open" social rides through vorb?

I guess as vorb got too big this got to be a problem of "i don't want to organize a ride, what if only dickheads turn up".
philstar
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"misanthropic"
Member for: 11 years 7 months

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