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Whither MacNN Forums?
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Clinically Insane
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Aug 2, 2011, 07:33 PM
 
Why are there only seven members online during the day right now? I know in the past people have expressed concern about lack of member growth of the Forums, but I'm starting to get concerned about it myself. Many of the forums would be devoid of discussion but for the contributions of long time members, many of whom are returning after being on extended sabbaticals.

Also, why has MacNN proper essentially abandoned us? Is there truly a breakdown in communication between our Admins and the rest of the site? Shouldn't they be driving traffic to us? I know the news site isn't what it used to be either, but maybe they need to start promoting it and us again. I'm sorry if this is a negative topic to bring up, but don't we need some new blood? Anyone else concerned?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Posting Junkie
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Aug 2, 2011, 07:36 PM
 
Breakdown in communication? They don't communicate at all.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Aug 2, 2011, 07:37 PM
 
WTF.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Aug 2, 2011, 08:13 PM
 
The online page only tracks logged-in members who are online and not flagged invisible. It is possible to track guests too, but that's long been disabled for load purposes.

Here is a more accurate snapshot from the backend.

Server Load Averages 1.18 1.13 1.18 | 462 Users Online (10 members and 452 guests)

Edit: the logged-in members is lower than usual, but the total users hasn't changed much over the last few years. It tends to run 300-600 during the day in N.A. I'm not sure what to make of that.
( Last edited by reader50; Aug 2, 2011 at 08:23 PM. )
     
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Aug 2, 2011, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The online page only tracks logged-in members who are online and not flagged invisible. It is possible to track guests too, but that's long been disabled for load purposes.

Here is a more accurate snapshot from the backend.

Server Load Averages 1.18 1.13 1.18 | 462 Users Online (10 members and 452 guests)

Edit: the logged-in members is lower than usual, but the total users hasn't changed much over the last few years. It tends to run 300-600 during the day in N.A. I'm not sure what to make of that.
Correction:

10 members and 452 bots and crawlers
Bush Tax Cuts == Job Killer
June 2001: 132,047,000 employed
June 2003: 129,839,000 employed
2.21 million jobs were LOST after 2 years of Bush Tax Cuts.
     
Posting Junkie
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Aug 2, 2011, 08:56 PM
 
*MacNN is teh dying.jpg*
     
Professional Poster
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Aug 2, 2011, 09:00 PM
 
It was markedly more active a few years ago, but it seems more active now than this time last year. I remember days where I'd hit 'new posts' and be greeted by 3-4 threads for the whole day.

I do think the growth of competing sites (MacRumors, Engadget, even Facebook) probably hurt 'NN.
     
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Aug 2, 2011, 09:09 PM
 
Just an idea: is OS X just so generally functional at this point that people need less support? When I joined back when, the OS was young, and users came here to learn and solve problems. Now, things are pretty well, so who needs us? I come here daily, just because I love the folks and the amount of knowledge being shared, and do feel disappointed when I see Yesterday as the last post.

So how can we become more relevant, especially for young users who have never really needed tech support? Any clever marketing mavens out here?
     
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Aug 2, 2011, 09:23 PM
 
This place is DEAD. Go have a look at the Mac Rumors forums and you'll see. Lots of help and discussion about hardware and software. At MacNN, it's really about the Lounge, and that means the same old-boy network of 20 or so guys (seems like almost every female who dared identify herself ended up being chased away!). If I were new to Mac and looking for a place to obtain info and interesting discussion, (with all due respect) here wouldn't be my first choice. The community seems to have become a clique and that will be a turn-off for many people.

Well, the memories of what a fun place it used to be will remain.
"Why did this thread cross the line? Because its **** got stuck in a chicken." - Demonhood
     
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Aug 3, 2011, 09:37 AM
 
i don't know why i am still here.
     
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Aug 3, 2011, 09:45 AM
 
It's also August.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
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Aug 3, 2011, 10:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Dr. Wahnsinn View Post
This place is DEAD. Go have a look at the Mac Rumors forums and you'll see. Lots of help and discussion about hardware and software. At MacNN, it's really about the Lounge, and that means the same old-boy network of 20 or so guys (seems like almost every female who dared identify herself ended up being chased away!). If I were new to Mac and looking for a place to obtain info and interesting discussion, (with all due respect) here wouldn't be my first choice. The community seems to have become a clique and that will be a turn-off for many people.
^^This
     
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Aug 3, 2011, 10:30 AM
 
Questions...
1. Would linking stories on the main MacNN site to discussions in the Forums improve participation?
2. Does the Political/War Lounge help or hurt the image of MacNN Forums in the eyes of the hypothetical new member?
     
Games Meister
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Aug 3, 2011, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Server Load Averages 1.18 1.13 1.18 | 462 Users Online (10 members and 452 guests)
I seem to remember seeing 50+ members when it was low back in the day.

Even after the redesign, I remember having two pages worth of threads under the "New Posts" button by noon occasionally.
     
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Aug 3, 2011, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Questions...
1. Would linking stories on the main MacNN site to discussions in the Forums improve participation?
2. Does the Political/War Lounge help or hurt the image of MacNN Forums in the eyes of the hypothetical new member?
1. Yes, I'm at other (not Mac related) forums where the news stories comment sections go to forum threads. I don't even go the news site anyway, to me MacNN is the forums and if I want mac news I go over to Engadget/TUAW/AppleInsider/MacRumors.

2. Never spent more than 5 minutes in there. Just had a quick look at some subject titles and it mainly seems to be American politics in there, so its not really of interest to me.

Apart from that, I'm not always at a computer. I know there's a thread in Feedback about this, but can we please have Tapatalk or some kind of mobile site option. NN Forums is a PITA on a handheld screen.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Big Mac  (op)
Clinically Insane
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Aug 3, 2011, 10:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Questions...
1. Would linking stories on the main MacNN site to discussions in the Forums improve participation?
2. Does the Political/War Lounge help or hurt the image of MacNN Forums in the eyes of the hypothetical new member?
I certainly think some MacNN links would help. As others have pointed out in the past, Mac Rumors gets a lot of synergy by having their news story comment links go directly to forum threads.

Regarding the PWL I think it's very unlikely that it would be problematic for new members. It's self-contained for the most part, unlike the good old days when political threads were the province of the regular Lounge. The people who are exposed to those threads are the ones who actually want to read them. And other forums have similar political sub-forums (like Mac Rumors). If anything I think it helps because there's debate and conflict that may spark interest in others.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Mac Elite
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Aug 3, 2011, 10:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
I know there's a thread in Feedback about this, but can we please have Tapatalk or some kind of mobile site option. NN Forums is a PITA on a handheld screen.
Exactly.

I won't even bother with MacNN on my iPhone in its current format.
     
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Aug 3, 2011, 10:54 AM
 
I'm not going anywhere until I get my green stars back!
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Aug 3, 2011, 04:48 PM
 
Some good comments. I think the gist of all of your points is that the world has indeed changed. Like, the hardcore tech questions and support is over at MacRumours. Apple's Support Forums have also exploded.

This place has died down, and it's cliques now. All cliques. The same usual suspects ganging up on people, pontificating about some BS. You'll notice I don't post much outside the Lounge because when I do the responses are weak. Like in software and hardware areas.

I posted recently about using an iPod Touch as my main phone in the iPhone area. Didn't get much response. On other forums it's a hot topic. And people that do chime in typically derail the threads with philosophical dribble.

But I have gotten good advice on here and connected with people and that's good.

Maybe social media like FaceBook really is destroying places like this.
     
Mac Elite
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Aug 3, 2011, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by jmiddel View Post
Just an idea: is OS X just so generally functional at this point that people need less support? When I joined back when, the OS was young, and users came here to learn and solve problems. Now, things are pretty well, so who needs us? I come here daily, just because I love the folks and the amount of knowledge being shared, and do feel disappointed when I see Yesterday as the last post.
This is exactly it. Back when this site started, having a mac made you part of the cult. Now days people don't need a mac forum to find the best software/hacks/games for their computer. Everything apple is readily available.
Im surprised appleinsider is still around.

One way to help would be to condense the forums that don't get used much. ie. "mac pro and powermac" is hardly ever posted in... among others.
     
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Aug 3, 2011, 06:25 PM
 
It's been said before, but I miss the controversy and outrage. I loved the epic battles that got dirty and ugly. I miss rob terribly. I miss that guy from west VA- you know who I'm talking about- something starting with a k I think. Those fights were so brutal. It was entertaining as hell.

I think the intro of the political/war lounge and the goal of bringing civility to the forums have led to a far less interesting place.

But 11 years on or something- I'm still here. And I don't think I'm in a clique.
Paco is bitter about the loss of his .mac webpage. Image will return when his sadness lessens.
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 01:57 AM
 
It's clear that Mac Rumors Forums have such high traffic because it's driven there by their front page, which is a top notch destination for new apple product rumors and information. If MacNN ran such a site we'd have the level of traffic they have.

I think the decline of the MacNN front page is strongly correlated with the lack of growth/activity on the Forums.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Baninated
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Aug 4, 2011, 02:14 AM
 
I think some of it has to do with the main macnn.com page being redesigned. It doesn't make a clear link to the forums and it's incredibly hard to look at. I still go to legacy.macnn.com which is so much nicer and fed people to these forums.
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 05:31 PM
 
The forum tab on the main macnn.com was broken for about 2 weeks and no one noticed or cared.
Bush Tax Cuts == Job Killer
June 2001: 132,047,000 employed
June 2003: 129,839,000 employed
2.21 million jobs were LOST after 2 years of Bush Tax Cuts.
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 07:03 PM
 

Nobody ever mentions my legendary sexual prowess.
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Questions...
1. Would linking stories on the main MacNN site to discussions in the Forums improve participation?
2. Does the Political/War Lounge help or hurt the image of MacNN Forums in the eyes of the hypothetical new member?
Prob helps more then hurts. Keeps a lot of crap off the regular forum. I think people are forgetting that this is a seasonal thing around summer time. People spend less time in front of the computer during the summer. When the weather gets bad again the forums will be back to normal.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 08:54 PM
 
I don't come here for political discussion and don't wish to see it. Because the actual Mac traffic is so low, the new posts searches are often more political than Mac content, so I rarely participate in the forums anymore.
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 09:00 PM
 
The facebook login option might also be doing it. People don't need to make a macnn login to post comments on stories. And since they don't have a login they dont do the forums unless the facebook login for comments works with the forums too?
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Baninated
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Aug 4, 2011, 09:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
The facebook login option might also be doing it. People don't need to make a macnn login to post comments on stories. And since they don't have a login they dont do the forums unless the facebook login for comments works with the forums too?
+1 Agreed.
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 09:07 PM
 
And the macrumors comments are the forums MacRumors.com News Discussion - MacRumors Forums and on top of that they have the +1 for G+ and the like button for each story on the main page easy to click, where in macnn you have to expand the story to get those buttons and they are not even that obvious either. I just went to look to see if macnn even had the facebook like button. Until now I have never noticed. It stood out instandly on macrumors.

http://forums.macrumors.com/member.php?u=31894

I have 9 posts on macrumors because I always liked this place better. But I have to admit these are the things that really annoy the hell out of me

- TO MANY AD's I know you want to make money but its to the point that making money is more important then driving traffic. All those ad companies macnn use slow the site down a lot. I got past it with ad blocks but its unusable on my iphone because of the ads. I dont like the mobile version of the site.

non tech savvy people have to put up with the ads and I just turned my ad blocks off and ya the site is the sucks. I would be willing to bet the administrators and the staff use ad blocks.

That top bar that floats on when you scroll, lose it. I doubt people use it and its annoying.

The site is cluttered and kinda ugly, its not a clean simple design. The story size format is small, to small. No one uses 800x600 monitors any more. The format should be larger so more of the story shows up in the preview area. But of course this is a profit choice, forcing people to click on to a new page.

The sub menus are poor because you have to hover over the button to see more options.
( Last edited by Athens; Aug 4, 2011 at 09:16 PM. )
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 10:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
And the macrumors comments are the forums MacRumors.com News Discussion - MacRumors Forums and on top of that they have the +1 for G+ and the like button for each story on the main page easy to click, where in macnn you have to expand the story to get those buttons and they are not even that obvious either. I just went to look to see if macnn even had the facebook like button. Until now I have never noticed. It stood out instandly on macrumors.

MacRumors Forums - View Profile: athens

I have 9 posts on macrumors because I always liked this place better. But I have to admit these are the things that really annoy the hell out of me

- TO MANY AD's I know you want to make money but its to the point that making money is more important then driving traffic. All those ad companies macnn use slow the site down a lot. I got past it with ad blocks but its unusable on my iphone because of the ads. I dont like the mobile version of the site.

non tech savvy people have to put up with the ads and I just turned my ad blocks off and ya the site is the sucks. I would be willing to bet the administrators and the staff use ad blocks.

That top bar that floats on when you scroll, lose it. I doubt people use it and its annoying.

The site is cluttered and kinda ugly, its not a clean simple design. The story size format is small, to small. No one uses 800x600 monitors any more. The format should be larger so more of the story shows up in the preview area. But of course this is a profit choice, forcing people to click on to a new page.

The sub menus are poor because you have to hover over the button to see more options.
     
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Aug 4, 2011, 11:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Questions...
1. Would linking stories on the main MacNN site to discussions in the Forums improve participation?
Apple Insider does this (linking from front page articles directly to a forum thread that's opened automatically, wit the text of the article as the first post, posted by "kaspar's automated slave,") and the discussions there are always lively, even if they're sometimes moronic. Lots of newbies over there -- most of the join dates you see on accounts commenting are 2009 -2011.

I think it's a fine idea in principle, but who actually reads the front page of MacNN

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 06:54 AM
 
I can't believe this thread only has 32 replies!

Back in the good old days, the "MacNN is dying" threads would get at least two pages on the first day.
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 07:20 AM
 
ebuddy
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 09:20 AM
 
I think it's the slow time of the year, a lot of people are away. I just came back from a little hiatus and found the same old crew doing the same old thing, which was quite reassuring.

As for improvements, I'd like to see a faster site. There appears to be a bit of quirkiness with page loads and reloads, sometimes things just hang for no apparent reason - I'm on a 80Mbps line, so it's pretty noticeable.

I can't speak for the rest of the forum other than the lounge - which is kind of like a retirement home for mac heads. The early years were spent in other threads, but that wears on you after a while. I leave that for the unjaded mac fans with youth to spare. All around though I still love this place. Always good for a pick me up.
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
I can't believe this thread only has 32 replies!

Back in the good old days, the "MacNN is dying" threads would get at least two pages on the first day.
No, MacNN is just beleaguered.
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 01:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
I think it's the slow time of the year, a lot of people are away. I just came back from a little hiatus and found the same old crew doing the same old thing, which was quite reassuring.

As for improvements, I'd like to see a faster site. There appears to be a bit of quirkiness with page loads and reloads, sometimes things just hang for no apparent reason - I'm on a 80Mbps line, so it's pretty noticeable.

I can't speak for the rest of the forum other than the lounge - which is kind of like a retirement home for mac heads. The early years were spent in other threads, but that wears on you after a while. I leave that for the unjaded mac fans with youth to spare. All around though I still love this place. Always good for a pick me up.

If you are referring to the forums there is a ton of optimization that could be implemented, excluding all of the server side stuff (e.g. gzip compression/mod_deflate, APC, PHP CGI vs. Apache module, etc.)
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 01:58 PM
 
The slowness with the main page is the ad networks MacNN uses
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 02:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
I can't believe this thread only has 32 replies!

Back in the good old days, the "MacNN is dying" threads would get at least two pages on the first day.
Yea, but half of them would be server-hiccup induced double posts.
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:07 PM
 
Macnn is doing better than some of the boards I visit, one of which was decimated by Facebook. I mean, everyone migrated to facebook but the interaction isn't the same.

There's only so much sharing people want to do in various places.

That said, post more of teh funny!
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
That said, post more of teh funny!
I hope you aren't encouraging the return of the HA HA pirate guy
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:09 PM
 
497 views, 39 posts. That in itself doesn't bode well.

+1 for the facebook login thing. +1 for better advertisement on the main page. +2 for going back to legacy.macnn.com as the main page.
     
Baninated
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:10 PM
 
doublepost
( Last edited by bstone; Aug 5, 2011 at 03:10 PM. Reason: dp)
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
The slowness with the main page is the ad networks MacNN uses

It's slow even with the ads blocked
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:16 PM
 
I find most sites are slow these days. I think there's so many users. But also crap code, specially cheap WordPress sites.
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:25 PM
 
When taking growth in the Mac/Apple user base into account, the drop in the activity level of this place relative to 5-7 years ago is even more astonishing.
I like chicken
I like liver
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
When taking growth in the Mac/Apple user base into account, the drop in the activity level of this place relative to 5-7 years ago is even more astonishing.
Not completely. That base was more of a dedicated hardcore, while most new comers are more of the casual variety.
I also think this forum sees less traffic because OS X works so much better than it did 5 and 10 years ago.

But yes, it stands to reason that numbers should still not have gone down overall.
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 03:32 PM
 
Right. Twilight threads aside, when does a place like this ever get on the popular radar for casual Mac fans? I sure don't want people I know associating me with besson.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 04:32 PM
 
Maybe MacNN needs to publicize more. Flashy colors, hot babes, cheap merchandise.... whatever it takes.

We need MacNN mugs! And smoking jackets.
     
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Aug 5, 2011, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
If you are referring to the forums there is a ton of optimization that could be implemented, excluding all of the server side stuff (e.g. gzip compression/mod_deflate, APC, PHP CGI vs. Apache module, etc.)
There ya go - all that stuff.
Not sure if computer graphics and Native Americans would welcome such a confrontation, but whatever.
     
 

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