Why can’t non-members view many forum threads?
Jan 12, 2022 at 9:41 am #3736725
If you don’t have a BPL membership or are not logged in, you will be blocked from viewing more than the first OP post to many forum threads. This is a new feature/bug that came about with the forum software upgrade. Is this by design or a bug?
I’ve been lurking for a long time, and feel like I might finally have something to contribute to this forum, but I don’t feel good about the idea that my contributions to this site will be paywalled and in effect monetized. And I get to pay to have that done? Seems like something went wrong somewhere?
Any thoughts on this? Do any of the users here realize their posts can’t be viewed by anyone other than BPL members on many forum threads? Weird thing is that it only affects certain threads. Some forum threads can be viewed entirely by non-BLP viewers.Jan 12, 2022 at 11:21 am #3736737David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I notice that before I’m signed in, I often see a small fraction of the posts on a thread.Jan 12, 2022 at 1:18 pm #3736741Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
Many other sites pay the bills by selling ads, including Reddit and Phoronix (a tech site). Reddit has a “premium” membership where you pay for ad-free browsing. Phoronix does the same thing.
FB, Instagram, and TikTok are all ad-based revenue generators. They use your data gathered about you to sell ads targeted to you.
I don’t see a lot of ads being run on here, so I figure the bills gotta be paid somehow.Jan 12, 2022 at 1:33 pm #3736742PaulWBPL Member
@peweg8Locale: Western Colorado
If you’re a member, and not logged in, I believe this is normal behavior.
If you’re not a member, well… you get what you pay for.Jan 12, 2022 at 1:43 pm #3736743
Why are only some threads affected by this? Is there an option to make a thread public vs. private in the settings?
BPL comes up in google searches when looking for details on products or skills. Eventually, BPL will not come up as often if much of the forum content is completely blocked.
And I do hope this does not come across as trying to be mean to the site owners here. It’s a great source of info here, and I would like to see it keep thriving that way. Hopefully this is all just a bug and not intended.Jan 12, 2022 at 1:58 pm #3736745Ben H.BPL Member
@bzhayesLocale: No. Alabama
I’ve noticed it too, and I agree it does not appear intentional: there is no link to “become a member to unlock the rest of the thread.” It is bizarre.Jan 12, 2022 at 8:41 pm #3736791
Hey everyone. Sorry for the late response. I wanted to check in with Ryan to make sure I had this right: Nothing has changed.
BPL aggressively caches the forums for users that are not logged on. We do this in order to help keep the site loading quickly. If you aren’t logged in you could be seeing content that was cached hours or days ago.
Ryan did mention that reducing the cache time is on the todo list.Feb 17, 2022 at 10:32 am #3740645
I’m sort of curious if this has been addressed at all? Why would caching allow the first post of a thread to be shown but then the paywall signup thing is all that shows for replies?
I logged out and was unable to view most thread replies on threads created after the software change. ALL threads before the software change have replies that can be read, even replies made recently.
Shouldn’t the website here be worried that massive amounts of its content might not be accessible by search engines? Wouldn’t that hurt search ranking?
Sorry if this is coming across as too complainy, again, but I would like to see this site succeed and I’m not sure making most of the forum content paywalled would be helpful.Feb 17, 2022 at 11:57 am #3740653RatatoskBPL Member
I share your gripes, but TANSTAAFL. Hyperlinking product names in posts to a webstore (which effectively means every post is being scanned) is pretty bald, too. I’m happy to exchange my $27 (actually $34, because my initial seven-dollar subscription didn’t roll over when I upgraded the next day) for the available resources, but I keep Umatrix and Ublock running, and keep circumspect about what I may happen to be using or buying.Mar 1, 2022 at 12:26 pm #3742039
So, it appears the bug has been fixed? I can’t find any forum threads that are not visible when I am logged out, or in incog-mode. It all appears to be working as it should, as of right now, today.Mar 1, 2022 at 2:40 pm #3742048
Ryan did mention that reducing the cache time is on the todo list.
That is great to hear, Johan! I haven’t spoken with Ryan about this issue lately but it sounds like the caching has been adjusted.Mar 5, 2022 at 10:59 am #3742427
Curious question. Would this have any effect on Google’s ability to crawl this site? I can’t imagine it would be good in the long run to have BPL show up low or not at all in search results. I can imagine you will see less people discovering this site if it doesn’t come up when someone searches about a new product that is being discussed on BPL.
As someone who used to do QA work on video games (extremely complicated computer systems), it’s sometimes hard to tell if something has been fixed or not in the long run, which is why I qualified my observation of it working as only being at that exact time seeing it working. The last couple of days, it has been faulty and not showing posts in forum threads to non-members.
Are the servers in the midwest or on the east coast? Might explain why if the wind is blowing too hard from the west, those electrons can’t make it all the way to my computer in Washington State on certain days. ;)Mar 5, 2022 at 12:38 pm #3742437
My understanding is the caching is related to lighten the load on the server running the database queries that occur when someone clicks a link on BPL. We are keeping things snappy for paying users by serving an up to the second version of the whatever page is being accessed while non-paying users (or paying users who are not logged in) get a cached version that is X minutes/hours old. I do not know what the interval of X is nor do I know if it is a static or dynamic number.
It occurs to me now that you may have just hit recently cached content the other day when you last posted in this thread.
Also I believe these settings get adjusted regularly to optimize the performance of the site. It’s a moving target.Mar 5, 2022 at 11:36 pm #3742469Rex SandersBPL Member
I’ve frequently found up-to-the-hour-ish BPL hits using DuckDuckGo. Probably depends on some convolution of BPL cache refresh plus search engine crawling intervals.
Wind from the west just adds delays, typically less than one second if the photons and electrons are blown the long way around Earth to your house from a data center just east of you. In a straight line. On a warm day. YMMV – literally :-)
Why yes, I’ve played many roles over the years, including network engineer.
Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.Mar 6, 2022 at 10:03 am #3742484rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
“We are keeping things snappy for paying users…”
Except, at least for me, when choosing ‘Recent Forum Topics’ from the main page dropdown menu. It still takes several seconds to load, an issue since the updated site came online, fwiw.Mar 6, 2022 at 11:33 am #3742490
Good news from BPL:
The developers will be working on the caching issue(s) during March. We should see some performance gains soon.
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