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Ahb - The Future?

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dane

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Ok...I have been inspired to spend some time on the AHB site to try and make things better for you guys and to make the community grow (I even went over to ESB yesterday to pick up some ingredients for a new brew....the perfect thing to get back into things.)

Just an update on what is happening.

Atm I am testing a new chat system - at this stage I am heading for a web-based chat system that uses an IRC backend. For those that dont know IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a network design especially for chatting. You can use a specific IRC client (ie. Mirc) or you will be able to use the web-based chat system which 'tunnels' into the IRC network. Previous pure web-based chat systems have been to slow and I think this is really the best solution.

Please let me know if you have any other ideas regarding this or if you have seen a specific site that has a good FAST chat system that works well. I think a live style of chat system is better than a web-based message board system...again comments welcome.

Regarding the other sections on the forum.....the links section can be brought online pretty much straight away so I will get that added ASAP (I'm sure I have a backup of the lank web-links module so I will restore that and then verify links). Forum members who own brew shops are encourgaed to enter their details to promote their business. Regarding this I would also like to put together a list of current forum members who are retailers as I have some ideas that could benifit everyone :D

The gallery can also be put online pretty soon, however is it something that you guys think will be used or is needed? I know we did have it running previously but it wasn't really used. With the ability to be able to link as well as upload pics in threads I'mnot sure if there is a need for a specific gallery. Thoughts?

There has been a lot of talk about AHB Gear and Merchandise (thanks to Doc for bringing it up once more). I know this was talked about way back almost when the site started and I think now that we have a 400 or so strong member base it is time to get this organised. I have been getting some quotes and looking at some samples this week so stay tuned for that. ATM Polos & Hats are being looked into but I'm sure this will grow into beer glasses, bottle openers, beer runners, fridge magnets etc.

I will be working on a new front page layout. ATM if you go to http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com is just redirects you to the forums. I would like to have a front page - that will still list recent posts and current users online, PM's etc, but also like to have a recipe of the month and review section. Pr1me suggested getting some of our more knowledgable brewers to write some colums or reviews which I think is a great idea.

What ideas do you guys have, content wise, to include on the portal. I want it to be clean and simple but have interesting content. I know people mainly use the forums but it would be nice if everyone still went to the front page to check stuff out rather than going straight into the forums. Let me know your thoughts on the front page and the portal (it will be custom made so I am pretty flexable). Any comments from either a design/layout point of view or a content/information point of view. I have been getting a lot of feeback from members saying how much they enjoy the site and how knowledgable some of our members are so it would be nice to be able to make use of that.

Regarding the recipe DB, this is probably the biggest job to do and at this stage the most difficult (also the most sought after :p ). I'm a code hacker, rather than a programmer so this will be tough. I have come across some reciepe systems that I probably can customise but it would be great if it could interact with the forums/front page etc, so I am still looking into this.

I hope this puts everyone in the picture and I am looking forward on getting things going.

Stay tuned!!

Edit: Fixed spelling/wording etc :p
 

Wax

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Fiscus,

Scrolling realtime news is always a sure way to bring people back to a site. There's a heap of cheap and some free news feed providers out there. If you could locate one with a "beer" channel it would for sure be a hit with AHB members.

Just an idea.

Wax
 

dane

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Wax said:
Fiscus,

Scrolling realtime news is always a sure way to bring people back to a site. There's a heap of cheap and some free news feed providers out there. If you could locate one with a "beer" channel it would for sure be a hit with AHB members.

Just an idea.

Wax
I'm not too sure how much Beer news there is?? But I will keep it in mind. RSS is easy to implement however I want to make sure it is all relevant and interesting and not just putting content in there for the hell of it.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

I'm not sure if this has ever been publically shown but I thought I would post it here anyway.

I have attached a screenshot of a concept site I did ages ago, I just thought I could share to get people ideas flowing. I think this is probably a bit to graphics heavy but as I said just a concept. It could be streamlined and cleaned up a bit. A suggestion was also made that while board stats are all well and good no one really cares so they could easily be removed. The bottom section has the latest threads list and to the right of that it had the news section ported (ie. this thread would be there). While the content is all working on my testing site the styles/fonts weren't done so it didn't look good, so I thought I would just take a screen with no content.

Enough from me.....

concept.jpg
 

BarneyG

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Hey Fiscus,

1st of all I think the forum setup now is great :p I look forward to the recipe section when ever it becomes available.

I think a frontpage for aussiehomebrewer would be a great idea, imho it would attract more new members, due to the fact that it wouldn't look so much like a exclusive club.

In regards to chat, you could perhaps look at this Aus based forum:

http://svr58.ehostpros.com/%7Eopela58/phpBB2-3/portal.php

the chat setup is nice and easy! ;)

My two cents anyways!
 

BarneyG

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Also the screenshot you have taken looks awesome :D
 

Doc

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As far as a recipe database go one of the nicer ones I've seen that actually lets you formulate recipes is Cyberbrau. The good thing is it is all PHP and MySql based. The downside is it is all in Imperial Units.
I did attempt at one stage to rewrite the parts for metric units, but I didn't have enough brewing knowledge at the time and I ended up losing the plot.

Beers,
Doc
 

dane

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Doc said:
As far as a recipe database go one of the nicer ones I've seen that actually lets you formulate recipes is Cyberbrau. The good thing is it is all PHP and MySql based. The downside is it is all in Imperial Units.
I did attempt at one stage to rewrite the parts for metric units, but I didn't have enough brewing knowledge at the time and I ended up losing the plot.

Beers,
Doc
I have come across Cyberbrau before and I too have tried a metric conversion - pretty tricky stuff. I know there was discussion on their forums about getting an effort together to convert it, not sure if anything came from it.

A customised Cyberbrau would be ideal as it is DESIGNED for (and by) brewers just not sure if I can convert it.

I have another package at home that I will look at. While it isn't made with brewing in mind, it could be customised pretty easy. I will have a look when I get home to see what I can dig up.
 

ozdevil

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Firstly i would like to say what a great forum and certainly has some great people involved in the forum willing to help each other out..

secondly

Far as the Forum goes personelly i feel it doesnt need to much attention to it i feel it has the right feel already

Also i also agree that a front page would be good idea and prolly just set Ahb off a bit

thirdly

I think the site administrator should supply us all with free beer for supporting the forums :ph34r: :p :D

anyway I just think the site at the moment is very user friendly for the reason it is basic and its pretty common board that people can easily navigate throu

anyway fiscus keep up the the good work of the site and i am sure what ever you do to improve the boards will be greatfully appreciated by us all

cheers and beers
ozdevil
 

AndrewQLD

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Totally agree with Ozdevil, keep it simple for us simple brewers. A recipe section would be great, but otherwise it's cool as is.
Great job Fiscus
 

PostModern

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A front page would be great. As wonderful and useful as the forums are, a front page full of articles and links to the goodness of the world of beer would really set it off. A great example of a successful single interest site is www.overclockers.com.au Their forums supplement the web page and vice versa. As you know, I'm a regular and food admin over there (tho I spend most of my time posting in the homebrew thread ;))

You could have regulars write articles, reviews of beers and kits and news of grains, style explorations and so on. The forums would be a useful medium for discussing the material behind the articles. Set up a "best new homebrew product of the year award" and so on. Before long you'll have sponsorship paying for the site's upkeep, regulars writing the articles and all you'll have to do is sit back and bank the cheques :)

I'd be keen to sharpen my editorial pen and write up a few articles, so long as you sent me the products to review ;)
 

GMK

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I am willing to review products if they are sent to me as well.

I like the idea of the front page and links etc.
Best new home brew product is good.
Would also like to see an aust map broken down by states and cities that shows Aust micro brewries and links to their web site if they have one.
Can also get them to pay some advertising for it.
Can also have the newest micro brewery opened in Aus - with a review of their beers - that they supply to the reviewers.

Good stuff....
 

Kai

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IRC-based chat works very well. I think that's a good idea.
 

kook

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I'm willing to write amatuer short (commercial) beer reviews? I'd have no problem supplying enough reviews to post one per day?
 

big d

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im more than willing to help in anyway .
just dont use that front page with the bloke in the suit and tie. :(
dont think too many on this site are suit/tie drinkers.yeah yeah i no its only an idea but all up a very good one fiscus.change the bloke.
on gmk,s map idea maybe this could also be broken down to members in each state and brewing type.k/k partials ag.
ive a few other ideas but will think about them some more.

cheers
big d
 

JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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Can you actually download Cyberbrau? I can't seem to access bugger all (maybee work network?). Don't really know php but I would be interested in having a hack at it for the fun of it ..... can't be that hard can it ? :)
 

dane

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JasonY said:
Can you actually download Cyberbrau? I can't seem to access bugger all (maybee work network?). Don't really know php but I would be interested in having a hack at it for the fun of it ..... can't be that hard can it ? :)
JasonY get it here

I'd be interested how you get along with the conversion if you try it. Let me know how u do.
 

pr1me

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i want a AHB polo shirt..... hopefully with something offensive written on it.... yes.... offensive.... ^_^
 

JasonY

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Ok, have hacked up a conversion of cyberbrau to metric or yank units (choose when you register) ... and have it running here.

Not sure if this is what you want for the site fiscus, but it doesn't look too bad although I don't like the way some of it works ....

Take a look mess about, try and find any stuff ups I have made (probably heaps). :huh: I think the IBU calc is a bit suss ...

If this is the one for the site and ppl have some improvements then I can only try to bung them in it .... :ph34r:
 

jayse

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Finally read this thread. I have been harping on for a while about the front page idea. and its a very very good idea. I think any look and format you come up with dane will be good. Everyone has great ideas so far so just add them as you see fit.

Anyway my guide was written with the inspiration to take the forums too a next step further and iam looking forward to some others taking the time to post some indepth topics in article form.

That means brewers of all types willing to just sit down and write any article you like about anything brew related.

What you can do is endless. the info in these such sub sections is up to us the users.
so if your like me and never written anything before and think you have a story to tell put your drunken fingers on the kjeuboard and type.

front page me, Jayse
 

Doc

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JasonY,

Not bad for a first crack.
When I tried to do it I got to where you are now.
Then noticed I needed to covert the existing recipes in the default DB.
So then I coverted those. Oz to grams, Lbs to kgs. ......
Then I noticed I needed to convert multiple scripts for defaults. eg If adding a new recipe it now defaults to 5 litres.
Then it was the temp ranges for yeasts etc to convert from degF to degC.
I got to the point where I had altered lots of the calcs to metric and I discovered that when I entered a new recipe and the scripts were calculating the bitterness and colours of the brew they were all wrong.

If I was to have another stab at it I would leave all the calcs as they are and do the conversions at the end.
However this would mean that anyone inputing a recipe would need to do so in Lbs and Oz and degF etc.

That is when I said @&#U$O this and I'm going off to brew.

I hope you have more patience than I had.

Beers,
Doc
 

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