This news post is primarily for members who have uploaded their videos to MeetFighters, or planning to do so in the near future.
I am considering switching the streaming technology on MeetFighters from Adobe Flash-based streaming to Web-based video. This has a number of implications, and I want to get your feedback before I make this decision. Here's a breakdown of the differences between each technology:
Adobe Flash is going to die. It is installed on a lot of computers for sure, but the technology is slowly made obsolete by new Web technologies and even Adobe no longer sees it as future-safe. Notably Flash is not available on iPhones and iPads because Apple hates you.
On the other hand, Flash has better rights management. It takes a lot more to steal a video that is flash-based than a video that uses web-based streaming. In fact I know of no instance of a video being taken from MeetFighters and posted on another site. This is good news for you if you don't want that sort of thing to happen with your videos.
Web-based video is a new-ish technology but is already available on >90% of devices. It is now the default playback method on major sites like YouTube. Unfortunately the technology does nothing to prevent the downloading of video files from the site; this is part of how it operates and cannot be fixed or worked around. There are tools out there that will download such videos for you from just about any site.
So now the question is this:
Should MeetFighters switch to Web-based Video?
- Yes, let's switch. (I don't mind if my videos are downloaded.) (38 votes: abuster, bailey, Bodypump, boxers4, boxin09, Boxing dude, BuddingBoxer618, connex, Cylus, dudmath, ExcentricPuncher, f4leglock, FighterGuyy, GORILLAPRESSSLAMFAN, gpau1900, gutpunchnick, ikf, Iwreslinca, Jaytwooh, Kaiser, Lion Mike55, LuchadorenCali, LukasHH, marko75, MTLwrestler1967, Oilman, pandamonium, playfulwrestler, puncher, scrasher, ShockR, slvrsqrl, StrikeFighter, touchHD, ukmark, verkauf2001, waterrescue, wrestlerbiker)
- No, stay with Flash. (I don't mind that Flash is not universal and is declining.) (9 votes: GymGladiator, ironranger, Mad Grappler T, MuscChamp, Norcalfur, Tybinola, ulises007, wrestlerguy21, Yo Cesar)
Voting on this poll is limited to members who have uploaded videos, but everyone is invited to comment on the topic.
On a related note, I plan some enhancements to the video service, such as offering related videos, list of top videos for each category and similar goodies.
– Admin out.
Update 2016-02-28: I would like to thank everyone who commented on the issue. I just realized, and I feel a bit stupid about it now, that I might have presented a false dichotomy (flash or HTML5). There IS a third option: it should be entirely feasible to support both technologies simultaneously, and let the video owner choose to allow HTML5 or not.
Some commented that the level of protection afforded by our technology is somehow moot. I disagree. While "if it displays on your screen than it is technically possible to steal it" is true, the difficulty of doing so matters. The present technology on MeetFighters renders most of the regular tools ineffective and the other tools would be out of reach for regular users. Sure, power users can still take our shit, but 90% protection is better than none.
On a related topic, there is a new page now showing the top videos for each category. Enjoy it! Another experiment I'm running now is showing links to "related videos" after one finishes playing. Let me know if you find that useful at all.
MeetFighters has passed 11000 members this week, which is a pretty number.
What will follow now will be some shameless "webmaster cock measuring and comparison", so if you are not into that sort of thing, you can just skip this post. I will be comparing membership numbers between us and our friendly rivals: GlobalFight and Bearhugger.net. Comparing the sizes of sites is not as straightforward as one might think because sometimes it isn't easy to distinguish between "active" members (in whatever sense of the word) from the rest. One could argue that a profile is only useful if there are past opponents associated, or has a good photo, or has been "verified" (as Grunts'n'Groans used to). These are not bad metrics, but they are difficult to check and verify.
More importantly, a user account that has gone unused for a long time is not so useful. For example, BearHugger.net will cheerfully list profiles that haven't logged in since 2010. These inactive profiles clutter search lists, members might waste time writing them messages and never hear back, in fact, these profiles are just dead weight. (This is why MeetFighters marks profiles that haven't logged in in two weeks with an hourglass icon.)
So in quantifying the "effective membership" of a site, I came up with the following metric: A profile is active if it was used within the past 30 days. There could be better metrics, but this one is easy to work with and get some real numbers.
GlobalFight, at a quick glance, has 12,000 members (as reported by "Search Newest Profiles" with the search criteria set to 30 years) or 13,500 members, as reported MegaSearch without any search criteria. The discrepancy is due to how MegaSearch will return duplicates, like so:
What this means is that figures returned by MegaSearch will be off by about 9% on average.
GlobalFight will not tell you when a profile was last used if it is beyond the 30-day limit (part of the reason I chose 30 days as the limit for this post). However, you can instruct MegaSearch to give you the full list (with duplicates) sorted by last login. If you do this, and scroll down the lost long enough, you will find the first profile that hasn't logged in in 30 days will be around the 6,800 mark. Adjust this with the average duplicate rate and you arrive at the effective membership size of 6,200.
Bearhugger.net profile list contains an impressive 8400 profiles, and there are no duplicates there either. However, if you sort them by "login" and start scroll down, you will find the first "inactive" profile at around the 1900 mark.
We are very open about membership sizes and use no obfuscating techniques. (Even back when we had a hundred members, we proudly stated so.) Of our 11,000 members, 10,200 are "active". These metrics are very close because members who do not log in for a while are automatically suspended by the system so they don't clutter search results and such.
I also must point out that MeetFighters makes a very conscious effort to keep membership low. We do not advertise anywhere, preferring word-of-mouth to adwords. We also routinely delete profiles that are duplicates; in fact one person operating multiple profiles is against our Terms of Service.
|MeetFighters (gross membership)||11,000|
|MeetFighters (effective membership)||10,200||(9% inactive)|
|GlobalFight (gross membership)||12,300|
|GlobalFight (effective membership)||6,200||(50% inactive)|
|Bearhugger (gross membership)||8,400|
|Bearhugger (effective membership)||1,900||(77% inactive)|
Now it is worth mentioning that these are just numbers and they do not reflect the usefulness of each site for any particular purpose. I'm sure one could come up with a metric that would make Bearhugger or Globalfight the number one.
However, the large margin between MeetFighters and the second place is a good indication that MeetFighters is now the Biggest Wrestling Personals Site on the Net. You'll have to excuse me if I feel a certain amount of pride and sense of accomplishment at that. It's not bad for a site run by volunteers in their spare times. :)
In other news...
Work is ongoing on the new Message Center. I have also added some small new features to other parts the site too, you might spot them with a keen eye.
That's it for this week! Admin out.
I am happy to announce that the new Message Center, first announced here, is now live. I would like to thank everyone who participated in testing it, reported bugs and submitted ideas for improvement. Most of the feedback accumulated over months have been incorporated into this new module, and I feel that it is a huge improvement over the old mail interface.
As with all big changes, there are bound to be some problems. If you are having trouble accessing your messages, please file a bug report here. We will try to figure out what is going wrong, and hopefully fix it quickly.
In a site this big, it is nearly impossible to make big changes so that every single member is happy with it. If you are one of those souls who dislike this particular one, please remember that the beta has been ongoing for months and you had ample time to voice your concern, and also that you can access the old mail interface here.
How do I see my messages?
- Open the Message Center
- Choose the "All" tab (or "Unreplied" or "Unread").
- Select one of the threads.
- Scroll down past the form to see messages.
- Open your friend's profile.
- Click on the "User Menu" button and then "Send Message".
- Scroll down past the form to see messages.
– Admin out
Update 29th DecHi everyone,
Thanks for expressing your love and hate for the Message Center. :)
I have made some improvements based on some suggestions above:
- (Wrestlecub's idea) The "Message Sent" dialog is replaced with a simple alert box that goes away when you click close or start typing your next message.
- There is a vertical ellipsis button in the lower right corner. Clicking it shows a bunch of buttons that allow for deleting individual messages, translate, etc.
- (Wrestlecub's and frenchgrappler's idea) There is an "Outbox" now that lists sent messages and their states (unread, read, replied).
- (Wrestlecub's idea) A "mini-bio" (I call it the profile summary) pops up when you hover over the title on a thread view.
Some responses to other concerns:
- @Boxe: It is possible to delete individual messages by clicking on the message bubble and then on the red Delete button.
- @Boxe and @frenchgrappler: There is an indication at the top-right of message bubbles if a message is unread. You can now also see the read state of your sent messages chronologically on the Outbox tab.
- @Boxe wrote: "Before entering you would haven´t to enter to register to reply " -> I'm sorry, I don't know what that means.
- @frenchgrappler wrote: "more difficult to send pics with the message on i-phone!!" -> Sorry, I don't have an i-phone. Can you please explain why is it more difficult?
- @frenchgrappler wrote: "At each time more manipulation. " -> Can you please explain what you mean?
Everyone else, please bear with me as I make improvements. Your ideas are welcome. I am making this site for YOU!
Update 26th January
The 1-month limit on threads is now lifted. Loading times should be faster too. It was more effort than I had originally anticipated, so thank you all for your patience.
@rangerboots: I made the Delete /etc buttons in the conversation's speech bubbles smaller, hopefully they will fit your screen better. I am thinking about replacing the buttons entirely with a dropdown menu.
Regarding deleting multiple messages: You can either delete the entire conversation with three clicks (Top red menu -> Delete all -> Confirm), or individual messages with two (Click on speech bubble -> Delete). For now I am considering this "good enough"; cluttering the UI for the sake of supporting the deletion of select messages with one click each does not seem like a good trade-off.
I consider deleting a message without opening it to be a fringe use case and will not be supporting it. I am very much in favor of keeping the UI clean and uncluttered.
I will not be implementing a "Mark thread unread" operation. What I am considering instead is implementing a "Mark thread replied / unreplied" option; that should ideally cover the same or similar use case.
Work on the mail center is ongoing, I'll be posting updates here as they happen.
Hello boys and girls,
It was 7 years ago today that the site officially opened.
The last couple of months were a bit difficult. First the new server developed a hardware problem in one of its hard drives. We managed to fix it and replace the defective drive without data loss, but it's been a bit hectic and I spent way more time on the line with our data center sweating that I would normally want to.
Also, with the new server came a new IP address. Unbeknownst to me, that netblock has been, at some point, used by a spam outfit, and basically everyone on the internet had us on block lists (except for google, because they actually know how to filter spam). This severely limited the site's ability to accept new members while I was scrambling to get the new IP address unblocked from large providers like hotmail and yahoo. Some were straightforward, some less so. In the end I gave up and instead got our old IP address back. Verizon is still blocking us, and I gave up on trying to reason with them. (Seriously, fuck Verizon.)
You may have noticed some small, incremental updates to the site. There is a largish backlog of improvements for me to do, but the amount of time that I can devote to site updates has been fairly limited recently. I will try to do more in 2016.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the translation and support team of MeetFighters. You guys rock, the help you provide is worth your weight in gold. :) Also big thanks to everyone who has helped financially or sent me messages of encouragement.
On to the next 7 years! :)
This weekend MeetFighters has moved to a faster server. This was made possible by all your generous donations to the site. Big thanks to everyone who pitched in!
The switch was a largish undertaking involving operation system upgrade and also updating many parts of what comprises the MeetFighters service, including the video streaming and chat parts. As with all major changes, there are bound to be some snags. Please let us know if you hit any.
Finishing touches to the new message center are coming up. The switch to the new code will be happening in October.
Unfortunately the mobile app is currently on hold, but we hope to resume work on it in a few months' time.
That's all, folks!