Quest for the Best Paragliding Forum won the forum comparison

by Jérôme Daoust.  Revised 2005/2/10 12:43


1.      Project Description

2.      Forum Requirements

·        Forums VS Requirements

·        Suggested moderation guidelines

·        Suggested discussion categories

3.      Frequently Asked Questions

·        General



o       Blank window problem

·        Big Air Forum


Project Description

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This page is dedicated to the project of transitioning to the best paragliding Forum. Of course, people are free to go where they want. This project only serves those who want to benefit from my homework if they don't have the time to compare Forums for themselves. Personally, I am not interested in moderating or owning the selected Forum. I just hope to see paraglider pilots unite under the best possible Forum.


Phase 1

  • Learn through experience, the requirements for an ideal Forum. Done, 2005/1/18 - I learned by moderating the Big Air Forum for 2 years, and still moderating another.

Phase 2

Phase 3

  • Promote the selected Forum.  Start date of 2005/2/8.
  • 2005/2/8: It seems the selected forum, needs no promotional help, since critical mass is already achieved (good discussions) and user count is steadily rising. I feel my job is done and will now just go along with the ride.


Forum Requirements

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For a list of all requirements and how the potential Forums compare, see Forums VS Requirements.


Suggested moderation guidelines.  Work can be divided with moderators covering specific topic categories.  Guidelines:

·        Acceptable:

o       Manufacturer/Company/Pilot criticism is welcome but needs to be credible (adding your real name will help). When necessary, there will be an attempt to inform involved parties to allow for a response.

o       F*#K, S&?T and other swear words. But remember that putting emotions aside will add credibility to your message.


o       Bad schpeling.

·        Unacceptable:

o       Subjects unrelated to paragliding (politics, racial, religion, tap dancing).

o       Although criticism of a company/manufacturer is encouraged, let’s stick to the facts and not let emotions get in the way. The following are unacceptable :

§         A message which main purpose is to disturb/tarnish another person, and brings little value.

§         Criticism about an instructor. Please send it to your country's association instead of this Forum, it has the power to regulate.

§         Criticism about a person's behavior. Please don't report here a verbal or physical confrontation you have seen or experienced. The people involved should report it to local authorities so that a case can be built against the offenders and possibly added to previous offenses.

o       Impersonators (using someone else’s name to convey their own message).

o       Advertising mainly benefiting the promoter :

§         Personal ads (For Sale, or Wanted ) only benefiting one seller and buyer. Use the Marketplace section for this purpose.

§         "Buy your gear from me" type, where there is not obvious benefit (like a super-low price) to buyers.

o       Discussion about specific moderation. If you want to discuss the reason why your message was edited/removed, send an E-mail to one of the moderators.

o       Obvious attempt to dilute a discussion.


Suggested discussion categories:

  • Pilot skills.
  • Wings.
  • Harness.
  • Electronics (Vario, GPS, Radio, Camera…).
  • Other equipment than above.
  • Event: Fly-in (for pilots of all levels).
  • Event: Competition.
  • Flying site.
  • Safety / Accidents.
  • Marketplace: For sale.
  • Marketplace: Wanted.
  • Commercial.


Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is the best Forum?

o       The best Forum is where your friends are, where you can have quality discussions, and learn from each other.

o       As of 2005/2/8, my recommendation is the

  • I don't want to be told what Forum to go to.

o       There is no need to follow my recommendation. But some will want to benefit from my homework (Comparing potential Forums against a list of desired features) as they have little time to invest themselves, or want to avoid duplicating the effort of my study. My goal is to provide an unbiased recommendation for those who want to benefit from my effort.

  • What qualifies you (Jérôme Daoust) to establish the Forum requirements to select the best Forum?

o       Moderating the Big Air Forum for 2 years brought me valuable insight on what should constitute an ideal Forum.  Also, participating in other Forums (not all paragliding) provides good ideas on what would make valuable features, in comparison to the Big Air Forum.

  • Will people be willing to move to a new forum?

o       User count. The most popular Forum is one where all the people are. But it's a chicken-and-the-egg kind of situation. Once critical mass is achieved on a new Forum, then people start gathering even faster. One potential forum candidate has its user count steadily rising since 2005/1/18, which does indicate that some users are willing to join a new Forum.

o       Moderator workload. From the outside (user's perspective), this current Big Air Forum is the best right now. But consider the burden on the moderator(s) for maintaining sanity on a Forum where anonymous posting are possible and you will probably end up with lots of turn-around in burnt-out moderators which will get increasing difficult to replace as they report how much work it was for them.

o       Quality of discussions. It is my belief that if people stood behind their messages by displaying their real name (in their profile, linked web page or user name) the quality of discussion would take a significant step forward. People can still criticize another or a company/product but it will be more serious. The Big Air Forum is currently not enforcing this rule, or has the mechanism to do it. There would also probably be less of a need for moderation, as people would self-moderate.

  • Why did you pick it as the best Forum on 2005/2/8?

o       Real names are shown next to each message, creating a self-moderating environment, and avoiding anonymous criticism.

o       The owners are highly motivated to invest in making it the best Forum, listening to user requests and adding features.

o       I had planned to wait until 2005/3/1 to select the best Forum, but the last viable contender chose to retire.

  • What is the current user count?

o       User count evolution over time.

  • Will it have a Killfile?

o       It is expected to have one. Discussion.

  • What is the karma system?

o       A way of qualifying users by their piers.  Discussion.  Merged with the on 2005/2/2.

  • Blank window problem: I just see a blank window when I go to this Forum.

o       This has only been a problem for some users under Windows 2000 using IE (Internet Explorer) 6.0. Other browsers (Netscape, Firefox, Mozilla) or Operating systems (like Windows XP) run fine.  The fix for IE + Windows 2000…

§         Install the "Greek (ISO)" language pack:

ü      Try switching to "Greek (ISO)" when going to this place in the IE menu: View: Encoding: More: Greek (ISO).

ü      Then IE asks you for the CD and proceeds installing the Greek (ISO) language.

§         View: Encoding: "Auto-Select" DISABLED.

§         View: Encoding: Set to "Western European (Windows)" when visiting another web page (not the forum). Not, to worry, despite the disabled Auto-Select, encoding will still automatically toggle to "Greek (ISO)" when visiting the forum.


Big Air Forum.

  • Why not stay with the "Big Air Forum"?

o       It is a popular Forum, and has the advantage of popularity and indented message presentation.  But allowing for anonymous posting does not help discussion quality and moderation effort is considerable in its current state.  There has been preparation for a new format, which addresses the lack of proper user identification, but the new format will be a step back in terms of presentation, as a non-standard engine has been chosen.  Kinsley Wong is a great guy and has provided a great service, but we need to find the best Forum solution for the future.

  • Why didn't you (Jérôme Daoust) remain as the moderator?

o       Too time consuming, requiring 1-2 hours per day.  Tasks involved reading every message for potential moderation (anonymous posting allowance not helping), moderating and working with the authors, maintaining meaningful thread titles, creating links, helping people format their messages.  This was a good time to release myself from this task in view of a planned vacation and an upcoming change in job description (yes, I also have a normal job).  Moderating since 2003/2/24 up to 2005/1/18, I feel I invested more than my share of personal time, and have been seeking a better Forum format since 2003/8/17 (related discussion).

  • Did you (Jérôme Daoust) try to harm Kinsley Wong (Forum owner) by appointing Murray Hay as the new moderator?

o       No.  Although there seems to be an anti-Murray group, I believe he has both the motivation and fairness required to moderate the Forum.  A moderator's job is only to apply the posting guidelines.  And with the amount of work required to moderate this Forum, we should be happy Murray stepped-up to the task. Others can feel free to propose themselves to Kinsley as alternate or additional moderators to help out Murray.  I am sure that all help will be welcome.

  • Why did you (Jérôme Daoust) leave as moderator BEFORE identifying the next best Forum?

o       If I would still be moderator while promoting my project for finding the best Forum, I'm sure I would have been accused of other things, like abusing my moderator privileges and biased in my comparative study..

  • Is Murray Hay a cause for leaving the Big Air Forum?

o       It would be more of an emotional response than a logical one. Since Murray has started moderating, I do have one reproach: Too lenient with the messages not following the posting guidelines.

  • Are you (Jérôme Daoust) showing Kinsley the respect he deserves while selecting the next best Forum?

o       Yes. Although the quest for the next best Forum is based on matching established requirements, in the event of a tie I will favor Kinsley if he can provide an equally good Forum format. Kinsley has provided many services (Free Forum, Classified…) to the paragliding community over the past years. The thing to keep in mind is: What decision will be best in the long run?

  • Will Kinsley provide a new version of the Big Air Forum?

o       Not planned. In a message sent 2005/2/8, Kinsley said he will not create a phpBB Forum version.


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