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Is VB alone feasible for ezine/emagazine hosting??

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  • Is VB alone feasible for ezine/emagazine hosting??

    Question: Would it be dependable and 'appropriate' to use the Vbulletin 'email all forum members' feature--to replace any need for an ezine or 'mailing list' software or hosting service?

    Note. As you can tell, I am inexperienced with ezines--and with VB. My Vbulletin has been offline several years. Just getting ready to upgrade. I am not well aware of the latest features, etc.

    (But maybe there is now an 'ezine feature' already built-in...?) (Well, I just did a forum-wide search here for discussions with 'ezine' or 'emagazine' in the title--and found nothing relevant.)

    Reasons in Favor:
    • My major project is a free ezine about 'holistic health.' I want every ezine subscriber to 'automatically' become a forum member, so they can freely discuss the topics in my ezine. So, why not simply use the VB itself as the ezine-sender?
    • Simplified forum membership--just need to put in email.
      Reason: I want to reach people who are not internet-literate--but who use emails. I want to encourage them gradually to use the forum. So, the sign-up must be as easy as possible. Also, forum membership = ezine subscription.
      One problem(?): the last I checked, anti-robot optical recognition will not work together with a 'simplified sign-up.' (?) However, I think I can overcome this problem by putting an 'entrance page' before the sign-up page. This 'entrance page' can require the anti-bot recognition.
    • All new members told: forum membership = ezine subscription.
    • Every ezine email will contain an 'unsubcribe' instruction: go to forum contol panel: 'no admin emails.'
    • Problems with separate ezine hosting:
      * Harder to encourage ezine subscribers to use the forum. I.e., they must sign up separately for the forum. (?)
      * Harder for me to synchronize 'paid ezine members' = 'premium forum members.'
      * Ezine hosting is not cheap, and maybe gets more expensive if I diversify. I.e., a separate ezine for 'paid' members = separate bills for ezine hosting, maybe.


    Reasons Against:
    1. Does VB have an efficient feature to 'purge inactive emails'? I.e., when an email 'bounces' because the user no longer exists--this email needs to be removed automatically or semi-automatically.
    2. I know of several successful ezine writers who also have an active VB forum. However, *nobody* ever seems to use the VB system for ezines. Most of them do not even use their own ezine software. They pay significant fees to an outsourced ezine hosting specialist. Makes me wonder. Please explain somebody: is there a very good reason for this...?
    3. Perhaps with several thousand subscribers, it is 'inevitable' that I will have problems being mistakenly reported as 'spam'? Thereby intermittently shutting down my entire webhosting and/or blacklisting all emails from my IP...? Better to let the 'ezine specialists' handle these nightmares...?
    4. Perhaps the answer is to use VB ONLY for the 'premium' ezine members. I.e., 'email all premium members' using Vbulletin.
    5. Anything else I have not thought about perhaps?


    Thank you anyone for advice...comments...ideas...whatever...!
    sigpic Krystof
    Starnectar Free Forums

  • #2
    Originally posted by Christophe_O View Post
    Reasons Against:
    Does VB have an efficient feature to 'purge inactive emails'? I.e., when an email 'bounces' because the user no longer exists--this email needs to be removed automatically or semi-automatically.
    vBulletin has NO mechanism for deleting users with bouncing e-mails.

    There is an unsupported add-on to provide this much-needed feature called vBouncer. The developer of it is no longer working on it so you'll need to read through this entire thread to find a version that works with vBulletin 3.6.x:
    http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=83486

    Originally posted by Christophe_O View Post
    I know of several successful ezine writers who also have an active VB forum. However, *nobody* ever seems to use the VB system for ezines. Most of them do not even use their own ezine software. They pay significant fees to an outsourced ezine hosting specialist. Makes me wonder. Please explain somebody: is there a very good reason for this...?
    I think people use a 3rd party ezine company because they cannot do the graphic design and layout themselves to produce a polished multiple page document that users can read each month. A few paragraphs and pictures posted on a forum will not equal this.

    Originally posted by Christophe_O View Post
    Perhaps with several thousand subscribers, it is 'inevitable' that I will have problems being mistakenly reported as 'spam'? Thereby intermittently shutting down my entire webhosting and/or blacklisting all emails from my IP...? Better to let the 'ezine specialists' handle these nightmares...?
    I suppose people could be using 3rd party ezine companies to handle e-mail issues, but unless you are talking thousands of people, I think you can handle this yourself.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you Feldon!

      Probably it was not a good idea from the start, to fill the VB database with ezine subscribers--most who would not use the forum. So if VB can not do the bounce-removals without an unsupported add-on, that clinches it for me.

      The successful ezines that I mentioned do not use HTML, and I also intend not to. Plain text may make less profit but is less complicated, more respectful, and I like it better.

      So, I am looking now for a highly reputable but reasonably-price ezine host. It is worth paying for one less headache. I do expect over 1,000 subscribers. But if the prices are no good, I will try the free PHP List that is in my Fantastico.
      With all the negativity and whining, I bet Jelsoft rues the day they ever considered releasing add-ons.
      ...so...I would be especially pleased if you might comment on my other discussion. I am suggesting that VB might make the ideal blog if they just supply certain 'include' calls to place into static pages, no hacks or add-ons. Maybe it is already do-able? My discussion here:
      Flog: ultimate forum blog: no hacks, no add-ons
      sigpic Krystof
      Starnectar Free Forums

      Comment


      • #4
        You say "no hacks, no add-ons" and "static pages". People want the flexibility and power of vBulletin and its permission system. That is not possible except via vBulletin Plugins and dynamic pages. Especially with the interactive blog you mention in the other post.

        I have no problems with Plugins and Add-ons, if they are supported and easy to install. We used to edit the original PHP files to add things in vBulletin 2 and 3. We've come a LONG way. The whining people are doing about the Blog and Bug Tracker add-ons has nothing to do with the fact they are add-ons and everything to do with their preconceived notions of how these should operate.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you again Feldon. I think you are saying: stability-stability-stability and ease of maintainence is top priority. If necessary, this is more important than meeting fancy design expectations. I certainly agree.

          Basically, my goal right now is to get Vbulletin to replace a blog. As is. No add-ons needed. I am just asking that VB designers might consider a few little 'features' to make this easier to do--rather than a full scale add-on.

          If all else fails: I will use I-frames to put VB subforums at the bottom of my web pages. Not pretty, but it will do.

          Probably I need to show a prototype. Otherwise, my idea is difficult to explain....I hope to have a prototype next month...and hope to see you then...
          Last edited by Christophe_O; Mon 7 May '07, 8:20pm.
          sigpic Krystof
          Starnectar Free Forums

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