I made a conscious decision when creating GeoPrac.net to NOT include a forum or bulletin board. I feel that with my technical skills and using one of the excellent open source products out there I could have done a nice job of integrating it into the site in a way that is not done on similar sites in our field…but I had to ask myself why? The main reasons I decided against it are that a forum is only as good as the people using (and moderating) it and after I found out how much time was invoved in just keeping fresh content on GeoPrac.net, I didn’t want to have to moderate and reply to posts on top of that. That’s why I have instead chosen to promote the forums at Geoengineer.org and in the Geotechnical Section at Eng-Tips.com. Up to this point, there has not been much promoting involved…hopefully GeoThreads will change that
Check out GeoThreads!
With the new GeoThreads feature on GeoPrac.net, you can view the forum threads on topics such as foundation engineering, slope stability, site investigations, geophysics, laboratory testing and more right here in one place. Quickly scan the thread title and a short introduction to find items that interest you and jump directly into the thread at the forums at Geoengineer.org, Eng-Tips.com or other related sites to view the full post and subsequent replies! As a bonus feature, the “Hot GeoThreads” module will show up on the left side of the site (currently near the bottom) with a list of the 10 most replied to threads started in the past month so you can see what topics have the geo-community buzzing.
I built these applications with extensive use of Yahoo! Pipes and a custom designed caching system that runs on a set schedule. Because of the reliance on Pipes, I can’t guarantee the freshness of the info, but in my testing, it’s typically updated within 1-2 hours. I also don’t want to make the site owners mad by straining their server, so I won’t be releasing RSS versions of this info. Hopefully between my caching mechanisms and those of Yahoo! Pipes it will be minimal negative impact and increased traffic coming from GeoPrac.