The Future of the Balls

Hey everyone,

HB started as a non-toxic escape from LET, and many flocked here when @Jarland launched it; it has always been a cozier space, though many people don’t like change and so the use of Discourse put many hardcore LET users off from staying around. This was a constant topic for the first few years.

Since then, we’ve seen alternative forums launch such as LES, which functions (in my honest opinion) as a much healthier alternative to LET. LES succeeded at replacing LET for many; it has an excellent moderation team, uses the same forum software (Vanilla), and is familiar enough without being the cesspool that is LET.

HB has always prioritized being a calmer and no-toxicity environment. We’ve never supported ads (despite receiving many, many offers), and have never prioritized offers. Many have shared mized.opinions on this approach, though I digress. We"ve been referred to as “a bar to chat with other mostly like-minded individuals”, and I couldn’t agree more.

Because of closer-to-LET alternatives being created by reputable members of the hosting cimmunity, HB became less of a necessity and more of yet another forum to chat.

Today, the moderation team consists of me. When the forum was started by @Jarland, he brought both @Mason and myself on as moderators within the first year (if my tired memory serves me right). @Mason left due to some drama a few years back, and is now an excellent admin on LES (to nobody’s surprise). @Jarland brought @Will on as another moderator a couple of years later, who was great to have on the team.

In recent years however, @Jarland passed the forum over to myself after not having the time to dedicate to it anymore, and @Will’s personal circumstances changed, leaving us where we are.

I’ve spoken with @Mason and a couple of others about where I see the future of HB going. In the last few years, my work has become significantly busier than it had been in the past. I love what I do, and so I just frankly haven’t had the time to try and steer HB into being something more. At this point, I view it as akin to a small Discord server where a few friends, old and new, pass through from time to time with anecdotes from their often busy lives.

I don’t think HB needs to become anything more. For LET refugees, LES does a far better job at cultivating a similar but healthier community and environment.

My one consistent thought moving forward has been to disable offers. My other thought was to move to Discord (while maintaining an archive of Discourse), though I’m no longer confident in that direction.

I’d love thoughts from others around this :slight_smile: I’m cirrently on little sleep, as I flew into Chicago last night for work (MANRS has been an exciting albeit busy project recently). So if any of this is incoherent, that’d be why!

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First off, a big thank you and hats off to everyone who’s run this place in recent or early years.

Second, I couldn’t agree more with what you said. I too perceive this place as a pub, in a much more structured way than Discord. I don’t like Discord too much, because it lacks the ability to argue properly. It’s more a chat application, of which I have plenty already and I fail to keep up with.

That said; I’d love this place to remain exactly the way it is. It might look dead occasionally but whenever something is posted, people do reply, which means they are still checking this place regularly (much like myself).

There’s no point in competing with LET and/or LES. I like LES a lot, but it’s way too crowded in my opinion (which I understand is a good thing, but I can’t be arsed to keep up with that, especially because it’s main subject is hosting, which is a rather small subject that will never have my bare attention). This place is nothing like that; but rather a safe place with awesome people that’s not so crowded which makes it much easier to remain in contact and argue in a structured way.

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In my personal opinion. Every community has something special . We do not need to be the number 1 in population.better to mantain the space like always . DO not disturb the balance of the communities. like Solaire has said this is like a pub. Many people are sharing different content and if hostballs dissapear many members would be lost . We love you guys !!! So like it is said balance is positive thing and should be mantained in that way. just my 2 cents. Kind regards!

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Discourse is developing their own chat system. They’ve been incrementally adding features to it. We don’t use it on our Discourse but maybe it would fit better here?

I think the site is currently used in a way that’s more compatible with a mailing list than it is with discord. Though, that’s not a recommendation :scream:

Maybe there’s a way to make moderation a little easier. Is it easy to appoint a bunch of low-key micro mods who can take moderation action against users with less than 10 likes instead of reporting?

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Thank you for the feedback so far, I really appreciate it! :slight_smile:

To clarify, I’m not suggesting that anything needs to change. The only thing I’ve seriously considered (and continue to) is to remove offers, because I don’t think they make sense in the current state of HB.

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To be fair (and agree with you), the offers currently on HB are far from the original low-end stuff that got people excited about this stuff anyway. I’ve seen core2duos being sold for 100+ euros/month, and just going through the current offers I can see the following:

  • 8gb vps for 55/month
  • 8gb vps for 35/month
  • 8gb vps for 45/month
  • 4gb vps for 80/month (!!!)

For offers, LES gives a much better platform. I wouldn’t be too sad to see them go.

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I couldn’t agree more with what @Solaire and @Verona said. I wouldn’t really want to switch to Discord (structure, pace, etc) as I love this place for what it is and enjoy catching up with some “old” friends, or read about anecdotes from @Solaire latest trips :smiley: Personally, I see it definitely as something that derives its value precisely from being different than LET/LES, with a calm, soothing nature.
If anyhting, I thought the offer posts became sort of spammy lately, and I don’t really come here for offers, so I wouldn’t be sad to see them go. However, if any of the OGs here were to launch a new business and/or need feedback, I would always be happy to support that, too. In the end, this is something where I’d be happy with whatever the majority wants :slight_smile:

On another note, thanks for keeping the forum running and for anyone who is/has been involved over time!

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I agree that this is more of a group of folks who are less drama and more knowledgeable crowd.

I don’t mind about getting rid of the offers and (while I doubt the forum costs a lot to host) if funding is needed I’m happy to throw money at the problem until it goes away. If there’s like a donation bin or something happy to contribute. My day-to-day keeps me off the street so I don’t mind.

Overall, it’s just a smaller more curated group of individuals who are less prone to drama or emotional extremes and I think that’s the most important part.

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I’d be okay if you wanted to shave the offers off your balls.

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I don’t visit the green and yellow forums like I used to, but I prefer to keep HostBalls the same. I like to stop here from time to time. Next time I have news about my server, take a trip, or make flan, I’ll tell you.

Thanks for keeping this place alive!

PS: You could get rid of the offers, I never read them.

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The offers can be a bit annoying indeed, I’d rather have some curated HB specials (or at least within some LowEnd limits).

I usually check in a few times per day here. As some others said I don’t actually interact on the green forums (except for posts related to FreeVPS as I’m involved there), here is where I rant and post if I have something to say :slight_smile:
This is the little brown local pub that we all love <3

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Agree with the rest, HB is fine as is, and offers can be done away with, lately they are never good. I only look at them if other people have liked them. Appreciate the personal feel here!

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Slightly off-topic, but for future reference: you can mute entire categories easily with Discourse. I’ve had the offers category muted for a long time now because it bothered me too.

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This is Discourse’s recommended method to “hide” categories. The categories still exist, but I’ve disabled posting, and had already muted them by default for all users :slight_smile:

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I’m not super active anymore, but I pop in 3-4 times per week, just to see what’s happening (FOMO?)
I’m rather happy the offers went away, because I like this little community we have here. So CHEERS everybody :beers: and have a great weekend!

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I don’t know why but I mis-read that as ‘or make Fran’ and that ungodly Fran in the hotel room picture seared in to my brain.

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Oh no, it’s actually flan. Well not really, it’s the toxic yellow stuff that comes in pouder.