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IP Home Port Annual Update For 2011
 Moderated by: Stuart W, Grainne
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 Posted: 12-09-2011 08:22 pm
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Stuart W
Dockmaster


Joined: 02-19-2004
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 2807
Model: IP27
Hull #: 29
Name: Shenandoah
DSC ID: 88888888 ...
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All,

The upcoming holidays remind me that IP Home Port has now been serving the Island Packet owner community for over 13 years - ever since the website was originally launched in November of 1998.  There are now ~4,200 user accounts, ~15,000 forum posts, and ~1,250 owner entries in the Registry.  Overall site traffic in terms of unique visitors, page views, posts, etc. continues to reach record levels on a regular basis.

Highlights of this year include :
  • The website was completely re-built using UltraBB forum software.  The new 4th generation of the IP Home Port website went live in July and has been running very well ever since.  This new software enabled a wide variety of new features and customizations, some of which are still in development.

  • The IP Home Port Photo Gallery was re-launched in August.  This new Gallery, launched in the spirit of the original version introduced in 1998, is highly customized to meet the specific needs of IP Home Port users.

  • The new IP Model Info Pages were introduced in September.  These 26 pages represent the single best source of IP model information anywhere.

  • The new IP Comparison Tables were introduced in August.  These 7 detailed tables allow you to quickly compare a large number of key parameters for your favorite IP models.

  • The new RSS Portal was launched in November.  This custom-coded portal gives on-demand, real-time access to RSS feeds from selected owner blogs, sailing magazines, and industry news sources.

  • Perhaps the biggest recent change to IP Home Port (aside from forum software migration completed in June/July 2011) was a fundamental shift in site access permissions that took place August 1.  Historically the site was wide open for all to browse, but concerns regarding member security, site integrity, and server performance forced a change whereby we require user registration and login before the majority of the site's proprietary resources can be viewed on-line.
All of these new changes are described in greater detail in the Announcements section of the forum (LINK).

Format and technology aside, IP Home Port remains true to its original design intent, namely the establishment of an independent, volunteer-managed, and  commercial-free environment for owners (and owner wannabe's) to share their love of IPs.

One of the other original objectives for IP Home Port was to have a very low profile in terms of adding noise in your e-mail Inbox - we all have too much spam and other unsolicited communication showing up there these days so I'm committed to ensuring that this site doesn't make that problem any worse.  To quote Joe Friday, "Just the facts, ma'am ...".  

IP Home Port is configured so that you'll only ever receive those communications that you have specifically requested - and that includes any broadcasts from me as the website administrator.  For example, one of the really valuable features of this web-based forum application is that you can selectively subscribe for either daily digests or realtime notifications on a topic-by-topic basis ... or even just those threads where you've posted a reply.
  • See LINK for information about Daily Digests

  • See LINK for information about Realtime Notifications 
      
  • See LINK to adjust your Preferences re: other communications
I want to thank everyone that participates in the forum and the rest of the website (regardless of frequency) as the many contributions help to make this a unique and valuable on-line repository of information concerning the purchase, sailing, and maintenance of Island Packets.  While the forum is organized in a logical manner to help owners to find what they're searching for via simple browsing by topic,  the keyword search capability adds an even more powerful way to explore all ~15,000 posts submitted since this version of the forum went live in 2004.  If you haven't used the Search function before, make a New Year's Resolution to give it a try!

I also want to thank Bobby Ward, username Grainne, for his outstanding efforts as moderator for the forum.  Not only does he readily share his extensive knowledge of boat system installation and repair (witness his 1,600+ posts!) he also does a great job of maintaining order in the sometimes chaotic world of on-line forums such as this one.  The fact that few of you are aware of what goes on behind the scenes and on an almost daily basis to keep this ship on course is a testament to his efforts.  What makes this all the more impressive is that he does it all, at least this time of the year, from on board Grainne and floating somewhere in the sunny Caribbean.

As many of you probably know (but some apparently don't) this website is operated strictly on a volunteer basis and at my personal expense - no funding is received from any source.  That said, no monetary contributions are requested or desired, but if you feel that the forum has been of value to you (especially those of you who have sold boats or gear via the Classified Ad section) then I humbly suggest an appropriate contribution to the charity of your choice - especially if your employer offers a matching program to increase the leverage from your donation.  There are many around us that could use a little help right now ...

Now is a great time to do the following :

1) Check your forum profile to make sure that it's complete and up-to-date - see this LINK for more information.

2) Review any classified ads that you may have posted to make sure that they're still active - if the items have been sold or other updates are required please take a moment to clean them up.  To delete an ad, simply replace the original text with the word 'Delete' and save the changes - either Bobby or I take care of the rest. 

3) If you're an owner, please check your Registry entry (LINK) to make sure that it's accurate, or if you're an owner and don't have an entry in the Registry then create one via this LINK.

4) Review the Terms Of Use for the website.  They can be viewed at this LINK.  While largely unchanged since the site was launched, there have been some amendments over the years to deal with problem users.  These Terms Of Use can and will be enforced as necessary to keep the website a pleasant place to learn and share.

5) If you have any thoughts or suggestions re: IP Home Port, specifically what features you would most (or least) like to see in the future, please let me know via Private Message to username 'Stuart W'.  Thanks in advance ...

Best wishes to all for a safe and happy 2012!



____________________
Stuart Williams
Webmaster, IP Home Port
The Official Website For Island Packet Yacht Owners Since 1998




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