HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

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HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by fashizzlepop on Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:47 am
([msg=51994]see HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

1. I believe the admins need to freely share progress with whatever projects are currently being developed (if any at all) with the community (if we can even call it that anymore).

2. I would very much like to see a weekly update regardless of how anti-climactic it is. Even if it just an funny story by a admin or mod.

3. The community should be more open with their suggestions and criticisms and this thread should be a start.

4. We need more mods/admins. There aren't enough IMO. Not enough administrative presence.
~More mods would be used for new member moderation, described later. Also, for stricter spoiler filtering.

5. Apparently Kage and Monica are 2 of the higher ups on this site, are there others? This is a complete guess as there is absolutely NO evidence (that I have found on the site) of them giving any sort of fuck about this site. Upset, noods.

6. No more lectures to be heard of and the HTS Radio is hardly mentioned... PS. EnigmaGroup.org is holding a small lecture on SQL Injection (live targets) this Friday around 8pm Central.

7. Forum policies should change. New member's posts should be more scrutinized. Many forums moderate the first few posts of new members. Rules are usually applied such as "Google first," "search for previous threads first," etc...

8. I'm not sure how the current hierarchy of admins and mods is set up currently, but it should be less monarchical and more democratic. Ie, no "Lead Mod" rather 2+ Lead Mods to make decisions. Same with Admins.


Who will read this, and who will care enough to make a difference?

Love,
fashizzlepop

Edit/PS: I would like to give a shout out to Thetan and Bren2010 for pushing the development along, regardless of how much others want to shut things down. Also, the current mods are doing a great job *ahem* minus Manica *ahem*!
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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by Goatboy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:11 am
([msg=51996]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

Topic changed to Sticky because it needs to be discussed. Badly. For starters, replying to your points:

1.) I agree entirely. Even I as a mod have only a vague understanding of what's going on.

2.) Yes. The main site updates are pretty weak at best. Even a weekly "This is what has happened recently" post would be nice.

3.) Reason for Stickying it.

4.) More mods AND we need to be delegated specific tasks. As it stands right now, mods pretty much run both the main site and forum, and then there are IRC admins. There should be mods specifically for the site, one for each category of missions (someone who knows each one inside and out), an NZone mod (I nominate myself... again), and any other kind of mod we can think of. At first I was against this idea, but as I thought about it more I realized that several specialized mods would greatly benefit the site.

5.) Kage is God here. He doesn't have much of a site presence, but trust me: He is doing a LOT behind the scenes. Monica is fat and lazy and only plays games all day.

6.) The lectures and radio were sorta spur-of-the-moment ideas and they weren't planned very well. They were kinda like a one-night-stand and a cheap hooker, respectively. I would like to see them come back, but with the staff we currently have, that will be difficult.

7.) I am a HUGE advocate of this. The biggest challenge is how much is built into phpBB. We've done what we can to regulate it, but what we need is a custom-built forum. And with the status of our devs... Yea...

8.) Not sure what you mean here. As mods we are all pretty much on the same level, as far as I know. I know one of the others (Insom of Def?) has "Super Mod" as their title, but I am pretty sure that's just for show. I think a good system would be Admins->Mods->Normal users. Short, sweet, and simple. No need to make distinctions within each group. Oh, and Devs, but they aren't important =D

fashizzlepop wrote:Who will read this, and who will care enough to make a difference?

I care. Goatboy always cares. He loves you... In very confusing and sexually stimulating ways.

Also...

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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by fashizzlepop on Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:53 am
([msg=51997]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

8.) Not sure what you mean here. As mods we are all pretty much on the same level, as far as I know. I know one of the others (Insom of Def?) has "Super Mod" as their title, but I am pretty sure that's just for show. I think a good system would be Admins->Mods->Normal users. Short, sweet, and simple. No need to make distinctions within each group. Oh, and Devs, but they aren't important =D


What I meant specifically is Manica is listed/and acts as 'Lead Moderator' I believe. Insomaniac and Defience are doing great, my problem is that Manica seems to take charge and overrule everything. Your model of hierarchy is what I was advocating for.

And I'm glad Kage is doing something. I think the weekly posts (or even more often) would be extremely beneficial. I would guess Kage hangs on IRC more. Hmm. We should all try to make him read this thread. ;)
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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by s0fa on Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:13 am
([msg=51998]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

First of all - thanks Goatboy for helping me to be able to post here. *grin*

1. I believe the admins need to freely share progress with whatever projects are currently being developed (if any at all) with the community (if we can even call it that anymore).
2. I would very much like to see a weekly update regardless of how anti-climactic it is. Even if it just an funny story by a admin or mod.

This would be something that could be combined I guess. Some informations about currently developed projects, challenges or things around the message board combined with some sort of story from the Internet, a fitting little comic strip or something like that. I know, posting things regularly can be exhausting from time to time but I guess there are some people from the "lower stages" of the community who would be willing to help the team with that.

6. No more lectures to be heard of and the HTS Radio is hardly mentioned... PS. EnigmaGroup.org is holding a small lecture on SQL Injection (live targets) this Friday around 8pm Central.

The same situation is in the article-section, the last one is from around November, nearly two months ago. I know, writing an article is a lot of work but again there are some parts of the community that would be willing to help there. (For example, I am at the moment writing an article about "Cloud Computing", some sort of basic stuff for people that hear about it in the news or something like that but don't want to dig into it very much - some sort of compromise.) But at the moment it's a bit confusing - which steps do I have to follow to submit an article correctly?

7. Forum policies should change. New member's posts should be more scrutinized. Many forums moderate the first few posts of new members. Rules are usually applied such as "Google first," "search for previous threads first," etc...

I think some activity from "older" members in the N-Zone would be a good idea. You just feel better when you are joining a community and you see that there is somebody being interested in you. You are not just some new nick on the board, no, you are a person - a nice "Hello & Welcome" would be enough. It's just about getting people involved in posting and discussions because there are lots of people who just sit by and read quite just because they have a bit of inhibition threshold.

4.) More mods AND we need to be delegated specific tasks. As it stands right now, mods pretty much run both the main site and forum, and then there are IRC admins. There should be mods specifically for the site, one for each category of missions (someone who knows each one inside and out), an NZone mod (I nominate myself... again), and any other kind of mod we can think of. At first I was against this idea, but as I thought about it more I realized that several specialized mods would greatly benefit the site.

IRC shocked me, to be honest. When I joined for the first time the first thing I read was something like "dickless sucker" - as Monica joined the channel she was entitled a "bitch". And in general the conversation was not very "friendly" - I think, there is some regulation needed. (Of course, personal opinion!)

cheers & thanks for this topic!
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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by Vulpine on Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:41 am
([msg=52000]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

I don't know the numbers but I've felt that HTS traffic has been pretty low. I think I can count on one hand the number of folks that have joined and stuck around in the last year. Does anyone know anything about the fan page on Facebook? Last I looked, it was an open forum for exchanging and begging for mission help. Assuming that page isn't controlled by a current member, I say we leverage a HTS email to get it shut down and start our own. An active page could help to generate more traffic for the main site. Maybe even a new dev or two. I'm willing to volunteer for that if no one else wants to fall on that grenade.


s0fa wrote:IRC shocked me, to be honest. When I joined for the first time the first thing I read was something like "dickless sucker" - as Monica joined the channel she was entitled a "bitch". And in general the conversation was not very "friendly" - I think, there is some regulation needed. (Of course, personal opinion!)


Such is the nature of the beast, and it won't be changing anytime soon. You'll need to either get used to it or not log into IRC. Although it may be beneficial to strike some of that behavior from #help, since people go there for assistance and not harassment.
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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by insomaniacal on Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:15 pm
([msg=52008]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

IRC tends to be flame mania. It's mostly for fun, so don't take anything there too seriously. There's a somewhat enforced rule about #help being specifically for computer/mission help, but it frequently goes off topic. It's not that big a deal, since it is IRC after all, but seeing as we have a general purpose chat channel (#hackthissite), there should be more of a presence.

The hierarchy of moderators here is kinda weird. Monica has "Lead Mod" status, and the rest of us pretty much have similar privs (at least in theory, if we complain it usually gets fixed).

I'm not too sure how the recode's going (Yup, most of the staff is in the dark), but last I heard, Bren2010 was our only dev. However, I'd propose that with the recode we also establish a more well organized system of Mods, Admins, and Devs, rather than the hodgepodge we have now.
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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by Defience on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:33 pm
([msg=52012]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

Nice topic.....

Thetan rage quit at the end of December so that leaves Bren2010 as the only active dev doing any work, even though the staff page still lists several people as devs. If anyone is interested please feel free to apply. The recode is being done in OOP/PHP and Bren2010 has said that if you're not that skilled in it, he doesn't mind doing some teaching. I believe that Bren2010 said that v5 isn't looking to be done until the summer time.

Even though it isn't seen, Kage is in contact with Bren2010 on irc in a staff channel where they discuss things. The thing is that HTS has a 'Short News' section on the front page but it never gets updated. The only thing of any value on the main page under 'latest site news' was: 06/12/10: New, Big Changes!

Monica is titled as 'Lead Mod' because she is actually part of the administration. She can hire and fire people as well as add or remove privileges of Mods. Mods have a panel entitled Admin/Mod panel in which we have access to certain privileges like password reset, quotes, change user title, clear user missions, article approval, etc....some mods have more/fewer than others, some mods are forum mods, some site mods. Monica has been busy with her gaming site lately.

It would be great to have someone actually keep up with the "latest site news", but it would also have to be someone who knows what's going on behind closed doors because as was mentioned, most don't.

I think it was Goatboy that suggested an archive for the forums, which I think is a great idea and could really help clean it up a bit and add some organization.

The site has been stagnant for a long time and it seems like it might be a long time before that changes.

fashizzlepop, props for starting this discussion.
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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by sanddbox on Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:44 pm
([msg=52015]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

fashizzlepop wrote:1. I believe the admins need to freely share progress with whatever projects are currently being developed (if any at all) with the community (if we can even call it that anymore).


Agreed. As most of the work is being done on the development side of things, I really wish we had more openness on the development side of things.

2. I would very much like to see a weekly update regardless of how anti-climactic it is. Even if it just an funny story by a admin or mod.


Fair enough. Perhaps bi-weekly would be better.

3. The community should be more open with their suggestions and criticisms and this thread should be a start.


Agreed again. Not much more to say on this besides to remind people to post their threads, like this one, in the Comments & Suggestions subforum.

4. We need more mods/admins. There aren't enough IMO. Not enough administrative presence.
~More mods would be used for new member moderation, described later. Also, for stricter spoiler filtering.


This is where I disagree. We have enough moderators; what we need is more specialization. Also, devs.

5. Apparently Kage and Monica are 2 of the higher ups on this site, are there others? This is a complete guess as there is absolutely NO evidence (that I have found on the site) of them giving any sort of fuck about this site. Upset, noods.


As far as control of HTS goes, the three head honchos are IceShaman, Kage, and SilentShadow. SilentShadow/IceShaman control HTS, and Kage runs it. Most of the time.

Monica fits in as the staff manager. Basically, she yells at young boys and keeps an eye out for takeovers (which occur - and fail - more often than you would think). She is also in charge of the HTS Staff CounterStrike Gaming Division (HTSSCSGD).

6. No more lectures to be heard of and the HTS Radio is hardly mentioned... PS. EnigmaGroup.org is holding a small lecture on SQL Injection (live targets) this Friday around 8pm Central.


Say what you will about lectures, but we can't be the ones giving every lecture. User participation is a must, so increasing userbase/user activity is a priority.

You'd also be surprised about how many visitors we get. However, very few of those visitors became a large part of the community.

7. Forum policies should change. New member's posts should be more scrutinized. Many forums moderate the first few posts of new members. Rules are usually applied such as "Google first," "search for previous threads first," etc...


We've discussed new forum policy extensively; most of the changes will be set into effect at the launch of HTSv5. The site is a mess right now, so it's very hard to make progress before the update.

8. I'm not sure how the current hierarchy of admins and mods is set up currently, but it should be less monarchical and more democratic. Ie, no "Lead Mod" rather 2+ Lead Mods to make decisions. Same with Admins.


This is where Kage and Co. do not budge. However, we do make most of the decisions as mods, although Monica always makes the final decisions (when she's online, which seems to coincide with her menstrual cycle).

Who will read this, and who will care enough to make a difference?


Ew.

One last thing: We are pulling some strings (more accurately, squeezing some balls), and will probably be getting a few more devs.
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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by Defience on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:25 pm
([msg=52112]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

^^ bumping for more views, comments, suggestions, gripes.
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Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking

Post by tremor77 on Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:46 pm
([msg=52175]see Re: HTS Needs to Stop Sucking[/msg])

Early on in the dev process I was partially involved, I just have so much going on I rarely get much time to HTS lately. I'd be willing to offer my services in whatever capacity I can. My PHP is Jedi and if you want to increase traffic, user participation and community that's kind of my specialty - being a marketing developer... its actually my job. Some suggestions I would add.

1. A searchable HTS Wiki or Knowledge Base. Make it big, make it bold.. LOOK FOR ANSWERS HERE FIRST. This way you can try and reduce the number of repeated forum questions, although you'll never end stupidity.

2. I think the site could monetize better. Alexa rank of #48,358 at time of this posting. I would kill to run a site with that ranking and the sole ad space within the forum is a mini-banner.

3. Thetan was/is awesome but I think the re-code had lofty expectations and parameters. Why re-invent the wheel when there are powerful CMS/Community options available? Even if you were to pay for something like VBulletin or XenForo. Drupal 7 was just released as well.

4. Perception Vs. Reality of who HTS is. I think it's time to 'class' it up a bit. HTS still has a bit of a 90's wild west hacker look and feel to it, and some of our methods and examples are quite outdated too. We should try to present a "We are sophisticated, training/teaching oriented, security minded" and not a bunch of skiddies look. Bascially I'm speaking to the color schemes and layout, and the logo. HTS should present itself as a more mature, corporate style community.

5. As far as I can tell, HTS is still one of the premier communities for hackers (Internet Security Specialists) that exists. In my world of marketing, we find our competitors, steal their good ideas and exploit their weaknesses. We should do the same. I saw we take a good look at http://www.defcon.org/ at use them as a template for improvement... minus the cheesy cartoon characters oh and their forums suck too.. but they have the right idea for social media tie-ins.

6. Pull some RSS Feeds. Gizmodo or CNET, something like that.. pull some tech related news feeds from 3rd party sources to stream on the site.

That's about all from me.. I'll try to do whatever I can but, with my current responsibilities I'm not particularly available to do much.
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