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Media Upload Capability Like Facebook


John_C
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I think going forward, to compete with FB and all other social media, we need to make IPB more like FB and have a direct way to upload video to the forum like Facebook.

For those that will say we don't need that because of hosting limitations, just make it owner/admin enabled in the ACP so who ever wants it can enable it and those who don't can disable it.

I can't tell you how many users that come from Facebook want to directly upload video and when i tell them all the BS they have to do, like create account on youtube, upload, get link, come back to forum and post link, etc., they just don't bother.

As i said, member just want things to work. Gone are the days where members would learn all the workarounds to be a contributing member.

Facebook has changed the dynamics, especially since anyone can start a group and post anything they want and the software automatically embeds video and photos.

Also, the mobile skin needs to be more like Facebook, with more style and controls. We have to compete or forums are going to becomes the dinosaur of the internet social media.

 

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This has been brought up multiple times and there are a LOT of limitations around video hosting that is related to your hosting package (unless you have a serious amount of space and bandwidth, it's not even worth attempting because you can't handle it correctly). You can't make "everything an option" either that is turned off by default. IPS has taken everything carefully into consideration (especially video hosting) and I would hope they know their customers best to know what is feasible/optimal for their software.

Someone will create a third-party app to aid in this though.

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I understand the point you're trying to make, but I'm telling you, forums are going to go away soon if we can't offer simple user friendly posting from any device or pc and any media.

If nothing else, make a way they can upload video to youtube directly through a forum to an admin made youtube account so it'll automatically post video embedded. It might take collaboration with youtube, but it can be done I'd think.

Back to FB....

Facebook is and has been gobbling up the car community.

For instance, my local ford SVTOA board shutdown and redirect to a Facebook group until their domain expired because that is where all their members moved to posting about their cars. Two other car forums local to my state are gone and their users are on FB. Go have a look for yourself at all the car groups on FB.

I have been trying to re-attract my locals to my forum, but it isn't working. They're still wasting all day on FB posting about their cars, etc.

I switched to IPB specifically because I felt it was the more advanced forum and was moving in the right direction. Another reason was because some of my users hated the lack of features of phpBB and did not want to load 3rd party apps like Tapatalk on their iPads and smartphones to gain functionality.

Well, now I'm at that crossroads again. Users have dropped in and are not posting much because FB enables them to do anything they want easily from any device or computer, including video.

So regardless of anything else, if forums can't compete with today's social media, it will die a slow death. It's already been happening to all the car forums I've visited over the years. 

Take noticed IPB. This is just a suggestion in the box. The writing is on the wall. Compete or die. Less people on forums, the more dead they get. Once they die and shut down, that's the end of another paying customer. Not fear mongering, it's just the reality of what I see happening. :)

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For instance, my local ford SVTOA board shutdown and redirect to a Facebook group until their domain expired because that is where all their members moved to posting about their cars. Two other car forums local to my state are gone and their users are on FB. Go have a look for yourself at all the car groups on FB.

That may be true, but do you really think the reason for people to be more active on FB than on a specific online community is the lack of video upload?!

 

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That may be true, but do you really think the reason for people to be more active on FB than on a specific online community is the lack of video upload?!

 

​I think, and he has a point, that forums needs to catch up with some of the usability improvements that the likes of FB have innovated. IPS 4 is making some good progress to be fair - for example with v4 you can actually easily upload an image to your post, instead of uploading it to a 3rd party site, grabbing the URL, etc. - remember those days, urgh! :)

Edited by bigPaws
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That may be true, but do you really think the reason for people to be more active on FB than on a specific online community is the lack of video upload?!

 

​No. That's common sense.

Video is a part of the easy functionality that draws people in droves to Facebook.

I hope soon, people can get on their smart phones and tablets and see as much detail and functionality in mobile as FB users see when they are on their mobile devices. I hope that soon, uploading pictures and video will also be as simple to upload and view on IPB as it is on FB. I want to compete with the very social media that is draining the forums I run and the other forums I like to browse.

That said...

I'm only here making suggestions, not to argue the for or against it. I'm just relaying what the membership is telling me and what I see happening in reality. If these suggestions are doable at all to improve IPB, then why not. Take it for what it is worth. :)

 

 

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What kind of hosting plan do you have, John_C?

Because if you just have any type of standard shared hosting plan, you almost certainly won't even be able to use this feature you want. Extremely few shared hosts offer ffmpeg support on their servers, because video encoding is a very resource intensive process. The storage and bandwidth requirements are also equally massive.

Looking at the website in your signature, I actually see that you appear to be hosting with GoDaddy of all providers. You can absolutely forget about utilizing a feature like this there.

I've worked on developing platforms for video hosting before. I can do this because I spend hundreds of dollars a month investing in dedicated hardware that I lease from a datacenter to be able to run web applications like this. One of my servers has a ~6TB RAID array for storage and can easily consume terabytes worth of bandwidth a day and needs a dedicated 1Gbps connection line to sustain its peak traffic. Are you willing to pay that much for hosting? Can you manage a server on your own? Are you willing to hire a competent Systems Administrator to do it for you? Can you properly configure and tune your system for efficient media streaming?

You have to realize that you're not Facebook. You can't be Facebook no matter how hard you try. If you want to offer highly complex and advanced features like this, you're going to have to invest significantly more time and money into implementing them, significantly more time and money than the average client is willing to put forth. This is a very niche and very complex feature that 99%+ of clients wouldn't even be able to use even if they wanted to, likely including you as well.

Don't get me wrong, it would be awesome to have something like this, but this isn't some simple plug-and-play feature IPS can just throw in as an optional thing. Video streaming/hosting is huge and complex issue to deal with, both on the software and hosting side. It's simply not something that would be even remotely realistic for IPS to offer.

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You might have missed this in my earlier post:

If nothing else, make a way they can upload video to youtube directly through the forum to an admin made youtube account so it'll automatically post video embedded. It might take collaboration with youtube, but it can be done I'd think.

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One more comment here.

We can't be resistant to changing the way forums have been designed the last nearly 20 years. Facebook has made everything so easy and dumbed down, and given everyone such easy was to toss up pictures, video and share information that forums now feel like work to the average social media user.

It's crazy, but it is the truth.I have a member who didn't even upload an avatar picture, no profile info and won't do anything but rarely post. He has a 2013 Shelby GT500 modded, a turbo Fox Mustang LX Coupe, etc. He spends all his time on FB because it is easy to do everything from his iPad.

When you get on your smartphone or tablet and then get on IPB and see how watered down the mobile skin is, and what you have to do to share a video from a smartphone compared to Facebook, basically, you can see why we're losing these members.

 

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You might have missed this in my earlier post:

There's two ways I see this possible:

  1. User uploads the video to your server temporarily and then in the background your server uploads/processes it with YouTube. Not really solving our space, bandwidth, high resource intensive issue here.
  2. Your website just "acts" as a user interface to YouTube through an API of some sort that I do not know exists (do not think it does). Transfer though of this file to YouTube will probably take longer than your visitor is willing to wait or go through a tremendous amount of check/balances where it would be faster just to go to YouTube, upload the file and then copy/paste the link in the forum post.

One more comment here.

We can't be resistant to changing the way forums have been designed the last nearly 20 years. Facebook has made everything so easy and dumbed down, and given everyone such easy was to toss up pictures, video and share information that forums now feel like work to the average social media user.

It's crazy, but it is the truth.I have a member who didn't even upload an avatar picture, no profile info and won't do anything but rarely post. He has a 2013 Shelby GT500 modded, a turbo Fox Mustang LX Coupe, etc. He spends all his time on FB because it is easy to do everything from his iPad.

When you get on your smartphone or tablet and then get on IPB and see how watered down the mobile skin is, and what you have to do to share a video from a smartphone compared to Facebook, basically, you can see why we're losing these members.

 

I don't think you're getting the point. Facebook has gobs of money and resources they can throw at developing and supporting server-side technology. If you intend to compete with Facebook you're going to lose. Google even lost to competing with Facebook, how are you going to win?

With that said, I do believe making these "easier to use" interface items that are capable in our realm definitely need to be addressed. Unfortunately, video is just not capable in the average forum admin's realm. 

Edited by ForeverPontiac
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There's two ways I see this possible:

  1. User uploads the video to your server temporarily and then in the background your server uploads/processes it with YouTube. Not really solving our space, bandwidth, high resource intensive issue here.
  2. Your website just "acts" as a user interface to YouTube through an API of some sort that I do not know exists (do not think it does). Transfer though of this file to YouTube will probably take longer than your visitor is willing to wait or go through a tremendous amount of check/balances where it would be faster just to go to YouTube, upload the file and then copy/paste the link in the forum post.

I don't think you're getting the point. Facebook has gobs of money and resources they can throw at developing and supporting server-side technology. If you intend to compete with Facebook you're going to lose. Google even lost to competing with Facebook, how are you going to win?

With that said, I do believe making these "easier to use" interface items that are capable in our realm definitely need to be addressed. Unfortunately, video is just not capable in the average forum admin's realm. 

​#2 is getting closer. That's why I feel some collaboration with youtube might help in developing a faster easier way to integrate this in to IPB.

I get Facebook has money and resources. I understand Sys Admins, IT guys, etc., know how the background works, understand the cost and resources, etc. But it is going to take some outside of the box thinking to compete and make things work on a forum level.  That is why in post #2 I suggested collaboration with youtube to integrate and speed up posting video as a progressive step forward to integrate video posting capability that would be easier and more simple than how it is now.

If we lock ourselves in to a defeatist mindset of I can't, we can't and stick to the horse and buggy, we're going to be obsolete soon. That is a fact. Majority of folks are on the web for recreation and play when it comes to social media, not work. If things are too difficult and too much work, they just avoid it altogether. Facebook is easy, simple and relaxing to used from any device and you can do anything you want from FB, i.e., photo, video, groups, etc. 

That said....

The largest majority of folks browsing now are using mobile devices and tablets, so the mobile interface should be #1 in priority and should become more functional and styled in the future. But we also need to make posting as seamless and as easy as FB with sharing media from any device, mobile or pc.

Edited by John_C
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If we lock ourselves in to a defeatist mindset of I can't, we can't and stick to the horse and buggy, we're going to be obsolete soon.

​One could also argue the opposite: chasing after Facebook’s functionalities will make our sites obsolete, because that’s a battle we can never win. It could be better to focus on all aspects of an IPS community that Facebook does NOT offer. 
(For example: I put a lot of work in building knowledge databases around my field in IP.Content databases. This is exclusive stuff no social network can offer and it is tied to the forum, so there is also permanent forum activity around that content.)

Regarding “easy use”, especially on mobile – you are preaching to the choir. Everyone get’s that, including IPS staff. No one is arguing against it. A leap for better mobile use might be a full IPS app for all major mobile platforms someday. But that’s again a matter of financial resources. 

Regarding your idea of a video upload to the admin’s user account: I am not sure YouTube even allows this. But anyway, this really feels like a typical project for a hook and not a all like a typical core feature. IPS users around the world can probably easily come up with hundreds of web services where an API connection can be useful to exchange some content. 

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It will take 3 video uploads that violate YouTube's terms of service to permanently terminate your websites YouTube account. One (or two, I can't remember) just to temporarily restrict your upload privileges.

But yes, YouTube has an API you can use. You could actually have users link their YouTube accounts and possibly make this work. It would probably be complex to implement as a plugin/hook but I'm sure it can (probably) be done.

The YouTube idea actually doesn't sound that bad to me.

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YouTube has an API you can use. You could actually have users link their YouTube accounts and possibly make this work. It would probably be complex to implement as a plugin/hook but I'm sure it can (probably) be done.

The YouTube idea actually doesn't sound that bad to me.

​That is what I'm hoping is at least to get the capability if nothing else. I would love it to be offered and supported by IP.Board, but if it has to be a hook, cool with me. 

 

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