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"Happy Birthday to Me" Topic


36 Posts

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857 hits since 12 Oct 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 Oct 2018 11:43 a.m. PST

In this age of global communications, I started receiving 'happy birthday' messages since about noon yesterday, and I suppose they'll keep coming in until noon tomorrow. It rather expands the concept of 'birthday'! grin

At any rate, yes, I'm a year older once more, and I am happily celebrating my special day with friends and family, here and far.

I'm also looking back happily on another year of TMP, with the usual mix of triumphs and challenges.

For a while, it looked like Facebook might steamroll over little websites like ours, but that threat is fading as advertisers realize that a lot of gamers that are on TMP aren't on Facebook, that Facebook is a very imperfect tool for reaching your followers, and that the new generation sees Facebook as something their grandparents use.

I've had a number of congratulations from TMP members for 'softening' TMP's moderation style over the past year. I find this a bit amusing, as what has actually happened is that we're seeing the fruit of a policy of recognizing that some people will never behave on the forums and need to be asked to leave. With a few 'bad actors' out of the picture, it is wonderful how smoothly the forums operate, and how few complaints that we receive (the complaint level is down by about 80%!).

The other change we've made, which I think is contributing to the improved atmosphere on the forums, is that we've supplemented the Dawghouse with 'Talk to Gwen'. For some people, getting tossed into time-out for a few days wasn't getting their attention or changing their behavior. On the other hand, having one of our staff members actually talk to them about their forum behavior typically has one of two results – when we're lucky, they understand what they're doing wrong and change their behavior; or they demonstrate they're unwilling to change, and we then ask them to leave the community.

Let me also take this moment to thank our advertisers and Supporting Members. I have heard horror stories about what other publishers have to go through to collect payment, and I am relieved to say that TMP has never had that problem – the vast majority of our advertisers pay us promptly when invoiced. grin

I am also appreciative of all of you who reward our efforts by paying for a Supporting Membership. All of here are mindful of your financial contributions, and we thank you.

Of course, the continuing problem with TMP is the crisis of our aging technology. TMP is essentially a custom content-management system (CMS) built using a programming language that's forked into a different direction and a database system that's very dated and limited.

Those who don't know much about website development might think that I could just take an off-the-shelf CMS system and port the data over. What that overlooks is that TMP is highly custom, and our various systems are highly interlinked. Over the years, I've looked into many of the popular or trending alternatives. It's has been more educational than useful! One system was customizeable, but would overwrite the customizations whenever they put out an update! Another system was great until you needed any kind of support. One CMS system I tried put out an 'update' that broke everything, no explanation given. The good news is that I am yet again investigating another possible solution for upgrading TMP. So far, I am optimistic that this might be the one!

While I'm in a reflective mode, I'm also proud of how this business has been able to employ a number of Third World staff members over the past few years. For most of them, this was a life-changing job that significantly improved their lives. Most of our former staffers keep in touch with me, and most would love to come back to work here someday. (One is married now and living in the U.S.)

The experience has also taught me a great deal about the challenges of having remote workers in the Third World. It's hard to work when the power frequently cuts out, when any passing storm slows your internet bandwidth to a crawl, and when your computer or laptop is subject to heat, humidity and other environmental situations it was never designed for (little tiny ants!). Even playing games is difficult when there's no room in cramped living conditions.

I have a dream of building a modest 'campus' facility where a handful of staffers could both live and work. This would greatly improve productivity. Some plans have been drawn up. I have looked into affordable methods of Third World construction. Unfortunately, at this point, my dream exceeds what I can afford! grin

So, on the occasion of another birthday, I am happy with my life, I am happy to be at TMP, I enjoy my work, and I am optimistic that this business will continue to grow. I am looking forward enthusiastically for what can be accomplished before my next birthday!

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 11:46 a.m. PST

All hail Maximum Leader Bill!

Happy birthday, and thanks for all you do.

Mark

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 11:53 a.m. PST

Well, Mark stole what I was going to say. Happy birthday, thanks for keeping TMP alive and maintaining it's character. Thanks for this update. And good luck in the coming year!

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 12:02 p.m. PST

You gotta substitute Bill's name but I think this works:

YouTube link

All Hail, Bill!
Ohhhh, say can you see,
Bill on Mighty TMP…

Happy Birthday!

wrgmr112 Oct 2018 12:15 p.m. PST

+1 Mserafin

Happy Birthday Bill!

Tom Reed Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 12:19 p.m. PST

Happy birthday!

WarWizard12 Oct 2018 12:23 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday and many more!

Phillius Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 12:51 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday Bill, enjoy your day.

Joerg Bender Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 1:08 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday, Bill!

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 1:18 p.m. PST

All the Best!

Silurian12 Oct 2018 1:29 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday … and, renewed!

Rogues112 Oct 2018 1:43 p.m. PST

Have a great day and another great year. Thanks

Scott…

10mm Wargaming Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday mate

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 2:15 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday Bill! I appreciate your effort on behalf of TMP.

Dave
Stone Mountain Miniatures, Inc.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday Bill. Thanks for putting up with everything and keeping everything going even when the going got a little tough. Keep up the great work. This seems like a family of good friends.

JimSelzer Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 3:15 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday
and have many many more

Earl of the North12 Oct 2018 3:51 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday Bill.

14Bore12 Oct 2018 3:59 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday Bill, still have a few more hours of celebrating.

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 4:23 p.m. PST

A very happy birthday, and wishing you many more!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 Oct 2018 4:41 p.m. PST

Thanks, everyone! grin

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 4:48 p.m. PST

Happy birthday and best wishes for a happy year too!

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 4:49 p.m. PST

I never forget how much TMP means to me, a great resource.
Thanks to you and the other staff on your natal day!
Hmm, that reminds me, we haven't done Zulu wars skirmish recently…!

pmwalt12 Oct 2018 5:49 p.m. PST

That's a great update. happy birthday and best wishes to get your dream going for TMP.

Cacique Caribe12 Oct 2018 6:41 p.m. PST

Big party planned?

Dan

picture

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 7:14 p.m. PST

Happy full planetary rotation

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 8:19 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday, Bill. Thanks for the happy memories over the years. May you keep them coming for many, many more!

Texas Jack12 Oct 2018 11:19 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday Bill!

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 2:27 a.m. PST

Belated birthday wishes, and many happy returns of
the day !

Personal logo Dschebe Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 2:51 a.m. PST

Happy birthday! And now for the next, step by step, without any hurry at all.

abelp0113 Oct 2018 5:42 a.m. PST

Happy Birthday Bill, hope you have a Great day!

Old Wolfman13 Oct 2018 7:05 a.m. PST

Way to go,Bill!

Gone Fishing13 Oct 2018 8:23 a.m. PST

Happy birthday, Bill! Thank you for all you do around these parts!!!

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 11:40 a.m. PST

Happy Belated Birthday, Bill!

Rick

coopman13 Oct 2018 1:56 p.m. PST

Happy Birthday, Bill. Thanks for everything that you do to keep this place running smoothly.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2018 8:21 p.m. PST

Hopefully you enjoyed your natal day anniversary.

General Kirchner15 Oct 2018 1:48 p.m. PST

happy birthday!

thanks for providing a rational outlet to an irrational hobby!

its been a source of joy over the years.

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