What does Swaylock's need?

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swaylock's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

Hey all,

I'm back in the saddle, ideating around new features and or improvements for Swaylock's...

Please take a moment answer the following question:

What features would you like to see on Swaylock's? 

Can be anything that comes to mind. Improvement, new feature, whatever!

Thanks!

Mike

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bigredchev93's picture
Joined: 05/19/2020

There are two or three things I'd like to see changed, all profile related.

1. show photos of people's work on their profile. If I click on someone's profile, I'd like to see something they've done, any project, boards they've built, etc..

2. show which posts someone has created or contributed to on their profile, and make them click-able.

3. include a location on the profile page. This will allow us to see who is in our area or in a place we might be traveling to.

I'd hate for swaylocks to become instagram, and I dont think it will if it remains just a website (no app), but I realize that it will be an inevitable turn if certain "imrovements" are made. dont turn on direct photo sharing to the profile, but just show photos that have been shared in a thread either as new or as a contribution to another thread. These are simple changes that I think will make the site more interactive.

Cheers,

Tim

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swaylock's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

Great feedback Tim. Thanks for kicking it off...

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Those are all pretty good ideas.  Lowel

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

SammyA's picture
Joined: 01/14/2006

As far as the actual site function, one thing I find slightly annoying is that links in comments do not open in a new window. So if you forget to use the 'back' button on your browser closing that window closes the browser altogether. Most other forums open links externally.

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merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assorted

swaylock's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

Thanks @SammyA

I assume you mean links to external sites? What about if the link is to another thread or comment on Swaylock's?

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mako224's picture
Joined: 12/26/2005

SammyA wrote:

As far as the actual site function, one thing I find slightly annoying is that links in comments do not open in a new window. So if you forget to use the 'back' button on your browser closing that window closes the browser altogether. Most other forums open links externally.

As far as site functionality that would be the #1 thing I hate.   That and having to hit Ctrl-V to paste something. 

More than anything Swaylocks needs time to go backwards to the days before social media.  The sad truth is web forums like this one are dying these days in favor of "Groups" on Facebook where conversations are had using for the most part real identities and where posting pictures and feedback from any device is simple.

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phebus's picture
Joined: 08/09/2013

I wish posts would appear in order of posting oldest to newest rather then helter skelter in response to other posts. 

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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

Allow the upload of photo files larger than 300kb

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reverb's picture
Joined: 03/20/2004

--Could be good to know what thread is really interesting for the people reading. Know the hits of that thread for example.

I think that was a feature in the past (before 2004) but I do not remember right now

Thanks

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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

It might take some paid content to get the ball rolling again.    It's no small effort to get a good write-up posted.  A lot of work for just a couple of replies, not really a conversation. 

And the other fix is going to be a more active moderation.  The site really fell off a while back, when a handful of posters were bullies.  Post something they disagreed with, or post something that was their special secret, and negativity was their tool.  Posters talking about "secret special sauce" or challenging whether another poster "was worthy"  of sharing knowledge with.

Either the moderators delete negativity,  or add  Reddit style upvote/ downvote, " block this user" options to let the user base do it.

I know for me, the stoke of posting died from that.

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swaylock's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

Appreciate this. Moderation is one of the more complex problems of running a public discussion forum.

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stoneburner's picture
Joined: 12/30/2007

IMO this forum hit the rocks with the "down vote."  It allowed a clique of haters to drive people off the forum.  They behaved as if Sways was their own personal BB.  Some even started retro-actively down-voting old posts on old threads.  As a result, I decided to significantly cut back my participation during the down-vote epoch.  Several others did too.

Swaylocks has never recovered from the Down-Vote era.

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Swaylocks Surfboard Design Forum: thoughts & theories ... practical & theoretical

RAIL PROFILE http://bgboard.blogspot.com/2014/03/march-82014-afterr-seeing-recent.html

swaylock's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

Stoneburner,

Honestly, I can't remember the "down vote" era -- I've been running this site for so long. FWIW, some of the best knowledge sites out there have up and down voting (see. stack overflow) so I wouldn't immediatly discount it's utility. Sounds like there needs to be more social structure around it's implementation...but that's another discussion. 

But that is all looking backwards. Looking forward, are there any features you would like to see on Swaylock's to make it better for you?

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kmook's picture
Joined: 03/23/2004

Standup Zone has a nice layout with sections for recent posts and recent topics grouped together. It makes it easy to do a quick check of the site for changes.

https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php?board=9.0

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mako224's picture
Joined: 12/26/2005

SammyA wrote:

As far as the actual site function, one thing I find slightly annoying is that links in comments do not open in a new window. So if you forget to use the 'back' button on your browser closing that window closes the browser altogether. Most other forums open links externally.

_______________________________________________________________________________

As far as site functionality that would be the #1 thing I hate.   That and having to hit Ctrl-V to paste something. 

More than anything Swaylocks needs time to go backwards to the days before social media.  The sad truth is web forums like this one are dying these days in favor of "Groups" on Facebook where conversations are had using for the most part real identities and where posting pictures and feedback from any device is simple.

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GregTate's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

I haven't seen the problem lately, perhaps because it has been fixed, but we've had annoying security/hacker issues in the past.  Remedy?

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Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill

gbzausa's picture
Joined: 09/13/2009

As a member for thirteen years i don't really think there is anything wrong with Sways , I agree with all the suggestions so far , I think it is a shame that everysurfer no longer shares his very unique and clever builds  but we live in a world where some people are bullies and it is very easy for them to get there jollies by cyberbullying  , a long time ago at the begining of the internet someone much smarter than me  told me ,arguing on the internet is like banging your head against a brick wall , it feels great when you stop .  The world has changed and now many peoples idea of building a new board is to design it on a computer then hand it off to a buddy that has built a shaping machine in his garage for a few thousand bucks who then hands the blank off to be glassed there you go the new back yard build , Sways not needed . the participation of Sways has shrunken dramatically since the advent of the shaping machine ,just as  the number of custom board builders has shrunken since the shaping machine . You have big well known board builders hyping there new flat to concave with inverted vee thru spiral channel tail board while JOB is ripping up giant pipe on a pink soft top , we have all seen the amount of Costco boards in the water I was in Hi a couple of weeks ago during the big south swell and I saw so many guys paddling out on those things , as I said times have changed we are a bit like dinosaurs , less and less folks think we are relevent but we are relevent to those few who want to build boards the right way and I hope you all keep reading and posting and sharing and thank you . 

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WideAWAKE's picture
Joined: 02/20/2013

Haven't looked at this place in quite some time. 
 

As much as you may not want to hear it, this place is a ghost town because contributing members were tired of getting shit on and personally attacked by internet know it alls. 

why would anyone contribute to or be a part of a negative place like that. 
 

im sure you know who the offenders are. If you don't... you should and the damage is done. your not getting high quality, seasoned board builders to contribute to a place like this any longer because it's a waste of time - just to be called out by a hack. 

everything you could ever want to know about surfboard building is pretty much available, just do a little diggin, study those who are doing it.  

the present is gone and not coming back, I'd suggest figuring out a way to capture the up and coming. 
 

my 2 pennies  

ps. Internet forums are certainly not dead. I'm a member of a few vintage motorcycle building forums and they are highly contributed to, very inviting, informative and respectful places. 
 


 

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"We ain't on our way to Wembley,we ain't gonna win the league. No matter how much they let us down - Westham's still our team"...

swaylock's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

I'm seeing a pattern here. 

Clearly better/fairer moderation is one of the hot items.

Definitely adding it to my list of high priority improvements...

-----

And to those who have been burned by shitty governance around here in the past, please accept my apologies.

I know this forum has suffered from my neglect. My only excuse is that life got in the way for months, perhaps even years at a time. I simply don't have the time or resources to fix or improve things given the amount of revenue Swaylock's currently throws off. It doesn't even cover server expenses. 

And that leads me to the here and now and why I really started this thread. From where I sit, I see a fork in the road for Swaylock's. Unplug it and call it day or end of an era...or sink some time and money into it with the goal of 1. improving it (functionality, new features, etc) 2. bringing some life & excitement back to the community and 3. Generating enough revenue to make it all worth while.

This thread is all about helping me decide which road to go down...

Please keep the feedback and ideas coming...it all helps. Once I have enough ideas, feedback, etc. I'll post  report of my thoughts and what I'm thinking...

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GregTate's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Well, now that you bring it up, the Hot Seat series died because of the reputation that Sways had at the time.  I couldn't find anymore Pro's to join in.  One master shaper said he wouldn't touch it because so many "hacks" jumped into the Q/A answering (wrongly) before the guest could answer.  

All the best, Greg

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Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill

everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

I know you made a real effort, Greg, to get industry pros involved.  It was appreciated.  

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parthenonsurfer's picture
Joined: 02/19/2010

Greg- That's too bad. I really enjoyed the Hot Seat. I came to this site "TO LEARN" and hearing from professionals is the ultimate.

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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

Hi Mike, 

I'll throw this idea out.  Can you work out a way, for the original poster, on their thread,  have a way to remove offensive comments?

I know I'd start posting build threads again, if I could keep the negativity away, and the stoke alive.  

And also, larger photo file sizes.  On my last build thread, I had a bunch of photos, that were too large.  I'd take a photo with my phone, try to upload, and the file size was too big.  And to compress the photo, made the resolution worthless.  Finally, I just gave up.

A website is really content driven.  Give us a way to to give it to you, in a positive,  stoked way.

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gbzausa's picture
Joined: 09/13/2009

Just to jump back in here , I think all the moderators have done a good job over say , the last ten years ,  to be a moderator , your a dick if you don't call out the assholes and your a dick if you do call out the assholes , do you think assholes is to strong ?  Some folks have very thick skin and insults bounce right off or they simply ignore the insults , some folks have much thinner skin and simply say screw it and don't come back . There have been times when over the last year or so Macdingo was just about the only one replying to questions on Sways he seemed to have made it a personal challenge , so what Sways needs is maybe more Macdingos  : } . Maybe the Covid wiped out some of our regular contributors I know I lost good friends . Maybe there are far less folks building boards , that is my view , and those that still are don't need Sways advice  and will only jump in if they have something to add to something of specific interest to them , Lemat is a good example he jumps in on anything that is specific to his builds .  Going back to the Covid I do think it affected Sways , not just by those who succumbed to the virus but for many other related reasons , I don't have the answers but I think it would be a tragedy if Sways were lost it is by far the very best source of everything surfboard building in this world  .  If travel ever gets back to normal perhaps we could organise a Sways get together at the Del Mar show , there are lots of Sways I would like to meet .

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Is the Del Mar Show still alive?

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

mako224's picture
Joined: 12/26/2005

Mostly its just that times have changed.  There are a couple of good board building groups on Facebook and some excellent accounts on Instagram like Kazuma.  Those have sucked the life out of stand alone website based forums like this one.  Same thing has happened to a lot of the fishing forums that were hugely popular 10-20 years ago.

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reverb's picture
Joined: 03/20/2004

Hi Swaylock; I am here since about 2001 or so and yes the reality of the World (and new generations) is other as mentioned by Wideawake and others and as you say may be plug out and called a day could be the best option right now.

You numbered those changes; I do not see what can change implementing its.

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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

I don't know how they do it, but sites like Beachgrit pop up on my news feed.  Eyes on the site is what's needed.  Is there a way for Sways to generate that sort of exposure?  It might also go back to my first post, of paying for content.

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swaylock's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

@everysurfer, Can you elaborate on what you mean by "feed"?

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mako224's picture
Joined: 12/26/2005

I think he's referring to Facebook and Instagram.

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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

On my Android phone, Google News.  I get national news stories, local news stories, Dear Abby... and also stories from Beachgrit and Stab magazine. 

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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

Also, if you start cross-posting with sites like reddit.com/r/surfing.

A good post here can be shared over there.  

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deanbonkovich's picture
Joined: 10/18/2008

Being able to select an emoticon from a list is a feature I would like to see on Sway's.

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jkovasky's picture
Joined: 01/08/2017

I've been a member for six years or so, lurked here longer, have learned a lot and admitteldy not contributed anything of any substance but love reading the archives. I check the site every day.  I just gave an old north shore shaper, what many would say, is a lot of money for a new board. I wish I could have given him more than he asked, he deserves it.  Maybe sways is past its prime, much like that shaper, and I wish it produced more, maybe it cannot. But I could give a few bucks to keep the servers going just to keep what is here, here. It deserves it. 

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ZDAX's picture
Joined: 08/13/2022

Hi everybody!
(please excuse my english, google traduction also). I'm from Corsica, France, and discovered Swaylocks a few years ago, when I wanted to make my own surfboard. There were a french forum (shaper.fr) that no longer exist, and all the content is gone now. I think swaylocks is the largest database of surfboard building on the web. I learned so much things here. From real professional shapers legend of the industry, like passionate backyard builders (and that's the real power of swaylocks: members).

Of course, the interface and the aesthetic of the site is old school, it's a bit messy and it's realy easy to get lost. But all the informations are here.
I would be very sad if the site and its data were to disappear one day. Please keep it alive! If a subscription is necessary, so be it. Maybe a call for donations first?

Do not think that social networks, and instagram can replace a site like swaylocks. Most accounts are used for communication and promotion. On these medias appearance is more important than substance. The beauty of boards more important than functionality, and even the picture more important than reality. We need a real reliable knowledge base!

Well, "What features would you like to see on Swaylock's?":

- a real, precise "search" function, especially concerning the date of the results displayed. Many results dating back more than 10 years, some tools, materials, techniques or prices have evolved since then.
- I don't realy understand the homepage. As I live far away, I'm not interested in classified ads, so I think they take up too much space, but that's completely personal!
- I don't realy understant the Swaylopedia either. So much pictures are missing. Maybe with catégories families of terms (shape, tools, glassing, surfboards)? With a big cleaning!
- a map with the location of members

Thank you for all this work, the involement of all who participate in it.

Yannick
Zdax surfboards (thanks to Swaylocks!)

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stoneburner's picture
Joined: 12/30/2007

I think ZDAX is spot on.  The greatest value of Swaylocks may be its worth as a database/reference resource/knowledge repository.  If for no other reason, it should be preserved for that.

It would be nice if Sways had easy posting technologies similar to FaceBook -- ability to just copy and paste photos directly into a post; or pasting video links into a post that automatically give visual imagery and access to the external video of interest.

But don't say you were not warned if you re-instate post down-voting (i.e. negative input indicators/emojis) -- this forum will become a membership participation desert.

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Swaylocks Surfboard Design Forum: thoughts & theories ... practical & theoretical

RAIL PROFILE http://bgboard.blogspot.com/2014/03/march-82014-afterr-seeing-recent.html

jackaldrich0's picture
Joined: 02/05/2019

What does Swaylock's need? Preservation. 
 

I think there will always be amateurs interested in hand shaping. There will always be people stubbornly insisting on learning the things the hard way, people who rediscover old ideas and think they are new, people who will try build boards out of laminated construction foam and plan intricate resin tints for their first glass job. For as long as that remains true, there will be people who seek out the information here on Swaylock's. 
 

Is still possible for a garage hack to grow up and become a production board builder who ends up setting surfing on a new course? Not my place to say. My feeling lurking here is that there are people here who desperately want that to be true, and as such treat beginners the way they were maybe treated back when revolutions were happening more than once per decade: with a signature one-two punch of ridicule followed by constructive criticism. 
 

I think that barrier to entry is inherent to both shaping and surfing. We are a people who, upon encountering a low wall, and embarrassing ourselves once trying to climb it, persisted in making it over to see what was on the other side. 
 

Matt Warshaw said that the scarcity of good waves is essential to the experience of surfing. The word amateur shares a root with the word "love", as in, someone who does it only because they love to do it. 
 

Take this all with a grain of salt, I'm not a pro, I'm nobody. I've only shaped twelve boards, and only posted one or two of them. But every time I start a new project, Swaylock's is the first place I look for guidance and inspiration.
 

Given the opportunity I would gladly donate towards the cause of preserving/archiving the information here. 

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stoneburner's picture
Joined: 12/30/2007

Without the garage and hobby builders, this forum would die.

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Swaylocks Surfboard Design Forum: thoughts & theories ... practical & theoretical

RAIL PROFILE http://bgboard.blogspot.com/2014/03/march-82014-afterr-seeing-recent.html

lemat's picture
Joined: 04/17/2010

When I start shaping at 17, long time ago, we had some shaping information with photos in surfing magazines and there was one place, hard to find if you don't know that sell specific materials. Some diy guys like me made their boards with eps and hot wires like we made our rc planes wings...

Then start internet revolution with forums where passionate pro shared their knowledge and diy builder shared their enthusiasm, some take it, made their business with it and go away, others stay keep fighting for their ideas in more or less good vibes... That's life.

Nowadays there is at least 4 places where you can buy everything to make boards near me. 3 have internet buying facilities, surfboard building kit and  shaping machines, they also can learn you how to lam... Lot of works, many new Instagram shapers that sold some boards and killed old school buisness... Boards quality fall down a lot as priced grown...I don't look at Facebook groups, sometimes Instagram, a bit megalomaniac. Is it the future?

So if you can, keep swaylocks as it is or at least as an open source that could help guys to build the future.

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unclegrumpy's picture
Joined: 09/16/2006

  I only have this to say:

 LONG LIVE SWAYLOCK'S!  

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No; It's not an ironing board.

everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

Well, somebody beat me to it, but just in case Mike does pull the plug, it has been set up.  

 reddit.com/r/swaylocks

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gbzausa's picture
Joined: 09/13/2009

Mike , perhaps we should be asking you , what do you need ?

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swaylock's picture
Joined: 01/27/2009

ha ha. good question...

I need...

  • to upgrade the software Swaylock's runs on.
  • a good chunk of change to do that, well into the tens of thousands to do it right.
  • to figure out new ways to draw in new users.
  • to figure out what people want to participate in/get out of swaylock's. This means new features and improvements  (that's the original point of this thread)
  • to figure out what people are willing to pay to participate in/be a part of swaylock's.
  • to generate reasonable ongoing revenue from the site to make all the effort worth it
  • to do it in a way other than banner advertising (banner ads look like shit and don't generate enough revenue).

 
I want...

  • to rebrand swaylock's
  • to bring back the original spirit of Swaylock's and introduce some new spirit at the same time.
  • more time in my life to do everything I want to do...
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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

You left 

"• a warm puppy " off the list.

With the preface that I know nothing about the internet ant it's workings, it seems a discussion forum for us numbskulls won't generate much revenue.

I'm thinking it would need to become a lifestyle brand.  A bit of an etsy marketplace.  Craftsmen making surf gear, apparel,  boards.  U get a percentage of everything sold.

Then add an influencer/ surfers journal section where stories can be told.

A search with categories.  Just like PornHub.  What's your kink?  Glossing? A dozen glassing videos in a drop down.  Shaping? Another series of videos.  Materials? Etc.

Paid advertising too.  Not just banner click bait.  Fiberglass Hawaii gets a link.  Resin Research gets a link.  Revchem gets a link.  Okley glasses gets a link.  Just like Google, a few cents per click. These links would be at the top of the search.  So if I search for shaping blanks,  a U.S  Blanks add runs for 10 seconds before each video.  That add should list the price and model of the blank in the video.  Ant the end of the video, a click to order link.

A "tip of the week" where board makers can write a short essay on whatever hints they want to share.  That would have to be managed by the administration.  This would not be a discussion area.  You might get some pros back that way.

I've said it before, so I know I'm nagging; it has to be closely moderated.  It has to be full stoke only.  No snarky comments about how someone else knows better.  No put downs.  No over the top bragging.  Sways magic days were around pre2010  Kokua was the man.  Only stoke, and shared everything.   Real Legend pro builders were posting.  

I hope these ideas make you millions Mike.  I'm going to want my percentage!  

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Some good comments here. 

As a moderator, I have to speak in defense of the moderation here, which I think is top-shelf (even tho I myself haven't been much involved the past year - after losing my kids to a tragic car accident and my wife of 33 years to covid, surfboard shaping took a backseat during my breakdown / recovery of the past year).  The exact amount of moderation is a fine line, and while swaylocks moderators have been very good about limiting the sh!t-slinging fests, I also know that I have personally come under fire many times for not blocking or deleting more, and for the exact opposite, deleting (or moderating) too much. Like Trevor says, damned if you do, damned if you don't.
 

I try to be very tolerant in the gray area, and only take any action at all when a line is clearly crossed.  And then its usually just moving a thread to errors and bugs, or deleting one specific sentence that is over the line.  Both of which are very rare occurrences for me.  But I am unapologetic about that, it is what a moderator is IMO supposed to be doing.  

I would have no objection to giving the author / originator of a thread some power or input to moderating their own thread.  Maybe some kind of icon would identify a thread as moderated by the author of the thread, and people could choose to read or participate knowing in advance what they are getting into.  Even tho its easy to say "ignore the trolls", most trolls know how to push buttons that make them hard to ignore, regardless of how ignorant, inflammatory, or off topic their comments.  Its an unfortunate fact of life.  I too would like to see more build threads from everysurfer and others, who I know refrain from posting because of the sh!tstorms their threads generate.  It does kinda kill the stoke.  Greg Griffen specifically told me that is why he quit posting.

I agree that posting pics could be easier.  Instagram allows you to upload a pic of any resolution, and it gets posted at a standard (usually lower) resolution. Its a hassle for me to post from my phone, cuz I have to take a screenshot of my pic to get the lower resolution needed.

I also think that a savvy keyboard cowboy could generate some income and some activity with a swaylocks site on Instagram, maybe tik-tok, or even facebook, with a link to the site.  Instagram and tik-tok short videos are the rage, and there is a ton of content here to draw from, if you know how.  Maybe moderators or other volunteers could be trained and tasked with keeping the accounts active.

I know some blogs and accounts like kookslams and jamieobrien generate income with swag, I don't know much about it, but it clearly brings money in for them.  Towels, t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.  If you had a monthly competitition for nothing more than bragging rights you'd probably get a lot of free content to pick from.  Somebody has to fill and ship the orders, but if they can figure it out I'm sure swaylocks can too.

I also would love to see a "hub" for each member where you can go to see links to their past posts, threads, pics, etc.

Also, I recall a shopping list of changes and upgrades that were supposedly in the works some time back, and I was excited about it.  But they never came to fruition, just sayin'.

Like most here, I consider this an entirely different level from most social media platforms, where content is thin and conversations are superficial.  I would hate for us to lose this repository of info, like we lost tree-to-sea wood surfboard forum several years back.

These are just a few of my knee jerk reactions to the thread, I hope there is something here of some value.  I really value this site.

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newschoolblue's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004

Huck,

You're an honest-to-God gem of a person.  Thank you for everything you've contributed to Sway's over the years in the way of stoke, good vibes, and creativity.  I just wanted to make sure that was said.  I'm really sorry for everything you've been through.

I wish I had something else to add to the thread, but there have been some really good suggestions made already.  I hope the forum can be kept alive, or at the very least preserved for posterity.  It's been a pleasure to have been affiliated with this funny little community for the last twenty-plus years.  I haven't had a lot to contribute, but have tried to be helpful when I could.  Thanks to all of you for the wisdom and stoke.

Kind regards,

Andrew

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thrailkill's picture
Joined: 05/07/2004

newschoolblue wrote:

Huck,

You're an honest-to-God gem of a person.  Thank you for everything you've contributed to Sway's over the years in the way of stoke, good vibes, and creativity.  I just wanted to make sure that was said.  I'm really sorry for everything you've been through.

I wish I had something else to add to the thread, but there have been some really good suggestions made already.  I hope the forum can be kept alive, or at the very least preserved for posterity.  It's been a pleasure to have been affiliated with this funny little community for the last twenty-plus years.  I haven't had a lot to contribute, but have tried to be helpful when I could.  Thanks to all of you for the wisdom and stoke.

Kind regards,

Andrew

WELL SAID.

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Bill Thrailkill SHAPER SINCE 1958
erodstrom's picture
Joined: 07/21/2007

I'm a newer garage shaper, old enough to appreciate forums and young enough to enjoy instagram. 

I don't think swaylocks type forums and social media truly replace each other, and I'm always surprised and a little bummed when I meet another newish garage shaper who doesnt go on here. I haven't yet, but I've considered pressuring (ahem, encouraging) them to join and be more active here. Instagram gives a 1-2 second flash of what someone is doing. Nothing in depth. Those posts are almost ad-like. Ideally, I could see shapers posting an instagram photo with a note to go to their Sways posting for more in depth photos and writeup. 

A large part of of the value of Swaylocks to me as a new shaper: for every question I have as I learn to build boards, Swaylocks has multiple threads from multiple decades with totally different approaches and thought processes. It's really valuable. Some approaches get identified for why they are a bad approach, others clearly rise to become the consensus "right way to do it", and others become options for particular situations where the best materials or space or tools are not available. I try to read every thread about an issue before I move forward, in an attempt to identify both what to do and what not to do, and why, and what gray area options might fit my needs. Swaylock's, as a mature full recording of these thousands of conversations, is priceless.  

To me, for every interest, the main forums for that interest online become the living library for that topic. Modern Vespa, The Samba, Cichlid Forums, Old Jeeps, Ih8mud, all of them, like Swaylock's, have decades of conversations between rookies and amateurs. Unlike Instagram or facebook, the searchable database aspect of a forum is a huge strength and something that in my mind makes forums somewhat immune to being completely replaced. 

A weakness of Swaylock's, as already mentioned by others, is the clunky, outdated tech. It's hard to load photos, it's hard to move around the site on a cellphone compared to a computer, and every page on the site loads slowly. Classified ads seem to zombie along undeleted, years after the item was sold.  Whatever. Those are fixable with upgrades. Fundamentally, as a straightforward forum about shaping, I think the bones still work well. 

I've followed swaylocks since the beginning, didn't join until 2005 or so, and only started posting and shaping in the last few years. The group present now, although smaller than those busy years in the early 2000's, is a supportive and positive group. 

I wonder with some social media ads and mentions from established shapers who might still be friendly to Swaylock's what might be possible. 

Like others, I'm sure, I'll admit to daydreaming a few times "how would I bring back Swaylocks?" If I had the site myself :)

I'd suspect there might still be some "vintage website" affection for Swaylocks out there. I wonder if possibly a new series of "Hot Seat" Interviews linked to Instagram ads trumpeting their publication on the site combined with a logo and maybe sways merchandise for sale could bring some new traffic.

Also, shapers like Josh Martin and Brock Jones and others are skilled at creating short how-to videos and articles on instagram that would work well on Swaylocks; maybe there would be a way to involve shapers like them who are comfortable in the instagram world and could shine a light back this way.

Sorry for the long comment by a newbie; I do love Swaylocks and get tremendous value from it. 

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reverb's picture
Joined: 03/20/2004

...sorry to burst your dream bubble fellas but reality is reality and that is what is seeing here. An internet space like this cost to maintain and maintain this site for what? for a few retired guys that do not have other Life? Sounds harsh but again; is the reality. I am included in this reality.

As others mention in this thread; the internet World and now the new generations want different things.

Old members actually will not come back; all the stuff that you mention about possible changes to try to bring new members here not work at all; Is not negativity is what I and you can see in Internet and again with new generations that do not care about things that happened "last year" Yes; in a big Country like USA could be a few new guys trying to make something with their hands; like a board; but Swaylocks cost money to keep it into the net and for what? for these few guys?

Yes; all very pretty to keep this site going on but if you do not have the old members; do not have members that now are famous; do not have Industry members that are not coming and opted for Instagram; that the forums are dinosaurs and you know new generations do not even use email because for they as these forums is outdated and no matter what you can make up the chick; still would be not hot enough for the masses no matter if actually is pretty.

Heck; even surfboards shapers do not exist anymore! All fake right now about many things included the mediatic virus.

How many active members are? a few. In several forums of other stuff I see that; only a few members everyday and a few new members that mostly lurk over. Nobody cares and nobody want this anymore; you know thousands and thousands of surfers in USA; Brazil; Aussie land and beyond; many many boards brands (the machine; yes lower case) and only few members here?

I understand that these words sound bad but is a reality. A reality that I see on and on with youngsters that surf like a photocopy and their boards are just that and they do not care about anything board related except that the parents pay for their trips to some International torunament in some other Country and to live in their bubbles thinking that they can be the next big thing. Too much Ego; free Money; time; health and no care for anything except themselves.

I do not see those guys here. Do we need those? I do not think so but who are we need? Well; again; the only ones that can appear would be one of those other few guys that I referred but they are only a few in a 300000 million people Country...

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

You are the man!  Take your bullshit and move on amigo.  Lowel

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

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