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The Need for a MediaTemple User Forum

I've spent a few hours today trying to get SpamAssassin (2.6.3) to trust the local network or, at least, to removed RCVD_IN_DYNABLOCK. I've edited /etc/mail/spamassassin/local.conf and /var/qmail/mailnames/barzeski.com/erik/user_prefs. I've changed the site-wide user_prefs.template and restarted the server a few times.

None of these changes seemed to have much effect. RCVD_IN_DYNABLOCK was still being given a score of 2.5, and simple emails from myself to myself were scoring 2.6 (the extra 0.1 is from RCVD_IN_SORBS, because my cable modem is assigned a dynamic IP via Adelphia's cable system).

When I was using Interland, a friend and I talked about setting up a forum whereby Interland VPS users could share information with each other, bypassing the company's "tech support" altogether.

Given MediaTemple's paltry kbase and their reliance on Plesk, an "über-control-panel-server-in-a-box" system, there aren't a lot of places to find answers. MediaTemple is apparently very strict in dropping you into "unsupported" mode if you go outside of Plesk to make changes to your system… which means there are potentially a lot of customers who want only to change something small - like their SpamAssassin settings - but aren't sure how.

The idea is rather simple. I would create a forum, install the software, and invite other MediaTemple customers1 to join in the conversation. I could ask someone to help me with SpamAssassin, and someone who's managed to edit the proper file could post a response. We'd build our own knowledge base by collaboration. MediaTemple should have no issue with the forum as it would basically be like a large user-driven community with one thing in common: they're customers of MediaTemple. Perhaps they'd even cut us a break on the cost2.

Yes, I'm aware of existing forums like WebHosting Talk, but a search for "mediatemple spamassassin" returned no results. I'm looking for a bit more focus from an end-user perspective than WHT and other similar forums that focus on the business side of web hosting can offer.

So, I'm up for it. The question is: who else is? If you're a MediaTemple customer, let me know: would you be willing to join such a forum, to help others and to be helped, and to perhaps donate a few bucks to offset the cost of the account?

P.S. Any ideas on a good domain name?

Footnotes

  1. Both (dv) and (gs) customers would be welcome, with different sub-forums for each, because I suspect the (gs) folks could use some help, too.
  2. Though, at $20/month for a (gs) account, such a break may not be necessary.

33 Responses to "The Need for a MediaTemple User Forum"

  1. Eric: Thanks for the messages on my blog. I think you've got some great ideas and I'm all for helping you out in this arena. Perhaps we can talk offline about it. I have a few projects I'm wrapping up this month and then I may be able to devote a little time to the project!

  2. MediaAltar?...

  3. Funny, I had a support request open regarding some .htaccess issues I was having and I suggested to them that they should have a forum or something running, unfortunately it fell on deaf ears. I agree with your sentiments about the knowledge base, to me it has been useful, but it's a little skinny on content.

    Count me in!

  4. as for hosting, i wouldn't have a problem hosting the forum/site on my (dv) for a while. if/when it takes off, we could always move it to a separate account later.

    I have never had a problem with mt's tech support - they're fast and accurate. I've put in well over 50 tickets and all have been resolved within an hour or less. To me, that's dependability and reliability.

  5. i'm thinking.....bbpress 🙂 haha we should give it a run for its money.

  6. Yeah, the next question is, are you going to host the MediaTemple support forum... on MediaTemple? 😉

  7. Yes, I think we will host it on MT. It only benefits them.

    Justin, I'd probably prefer to host it on its own account from the get-go. It will save everyone the trouble of having the thing move at some point. I don't think moving from (gs) to (dv) isn't quite as easy as upgrading your (dv) account, and the goal of something like this should be to make it as stress-free as possible.

  8. My team bought a (dv) yesterday and the need for a users forum is a definite yes. I'm not sure why this doesn't already exist, but let's make it happen.
    As for a domain, I like Arden's 'MediaAlter' or how about a spin on that idea, MediaMonastery (Abbey, Cloister)? These are all studious places, no?

  9. Gernot said on November 16, 2006:

    My team bought a (dv) yesterday and the need for a users forum is a definite yes. I'm not sure why this doesn't already exist, but let's make it happen.

    I can't say too much, but I can say that January 1, something will happen.

    Gernot said on November 16, 2006:

    As for a domain, I like Arden's 'MediaAlter'…

    Go to mediaaltar.com and see what happens. 😉

  10. MediaCathedral? MediaRectory? MediaChurch? MediaSynogogue? MediaMosque?...

  11. Erik J. Barzeski said on November 16, 2006:

    Go to mediaaltar.com and see what happens. 😉

    I feel loved.

  12. *Bows at the altar*

    I hope MT doesn't have a problem with this. I'm so on your side - I think it will be good news for everyone. Any buzz you want spread? Need any help? Just say the word.

  13. I think the might be beating you to the punch... I sent in a request for a forum and a system status RSS feed through the General Feedback form on November 13th (there's a link on the first page after you sign in), and received the following response from Media Temple's marketing director in less than an hour:

    Hi Teddy,

    Thanks for the feedback and welcome to (mt)!
    Funny you should ask about a forum. We are evaluating forum software now and are in the process of contacting some of our power posters from the Grid-Server's beta forum. We should have it up in the next two weeks and it'll be available through the account center.

    Also an RSS feed is in the works as well as other cool tools and new containers (django is coming soon). We've been a busy beavers since our Grid-Server launch and we're knocking out things as fast as we can. 🙂

    Warmest Regards,
    Alex

  14. Teddy said on November 17, 2006:

    I think the might be beating you to the punch…

    "They" aren't beating anyone to the punch. MediaTemple found this entry a day or so after I nabbed "mediaaltar.com" and now we're working with MediaTemple to help set up an official/unofficial forum. Target launch date is January 1.

  15. Even better! Outside input always makes thinks better (or at least more egalitarian).

    Let me know if I can help out -- beta testing or something...?

    [Whoops, completely missed the January 1 comment above!]

  16. Teddy said on November 17, 2006:

    Let me know if I can help out -- beta testing or something...?

    Me too. If there's anything I can do—design, setup, moderator, suggest more theologically-related names—I'd be more than willing to pitch in.

  17. This is a great idea. I have been having an issue trying to find the correct configuration to run multiple WP blogs on my DV. I'm running into some memory issue I think. I might have to move to the Rage plan but would love to know that I'm getting the most from each platform and have a better understanding how to work with Plesk on the DV.

    Looking forward to it and as other have said I would be happy to help out.

  18. Heh, it's funny - I was looking for forums to bitch about Mediatemple's instability as of late, and found this thread. Of course, mediaaltar.com appears to be down right now, which makes me think that's it's hosted on the Grid Server - which of course, also hosts several of my domains, and is currently down...hence my searching for forums in which vent in the first place. 🙂

    Thought it was funny.

  19. Andrew E said on November 28, 2006:

    Heh, it's funny - I was looking for forums to bitch about Mediatemple's instability as of late, and found this thread. Of course, mediaaltar.com appears to be down right now, which makes me think that's it's hosted on the Grid Server - which of course, also hosts several of my domains, and is currently down...hence my searching for forums in which vent in the first place. 🙂

    It's down because it was removed in light of the "semi-official" forum we're kicking off soon.

  20. What happened?

  21. Gernot said on January 27, 2007:

    What happened?

    Nothing. 🙁

  22. Does this project need a revival?

  23. Sheldon Kotyk said on February 1, 2007:

    Does this project need a revival?

    It may. 😛 I'll follow up today.

  24. If you're following up on this, I'd suggest not just a forum, but a wiki, too, where registered users could make their own KB. DreamHost has a user support wiki, and it's quite an excellent resource.

  25. I've just moved to a (dv) server on MediaTemple and am having similar problems trying to figure out how to customize simple things (like SpamAssassin and SSH access).

    Any plans to make this happen? To start off we could always start out with a Yahoo or Google group and then move on to something more robust if necessary.

  26. bennybobw said on March 27, 2007:

    Any plans to make this happen? To start off we could always start out with a Yahoo or Google group and then move on to something more robust if necessary.

    They're taking so long, I think we should do something on our own. Yeah. Give me a day or two to think about it. A Google Group is the most likely candidate right now.

  27. I'd be willing to set up a simple phpBB or similar forum, if you still have the MediaAltar.com domain and have somewhere to host it. That might be a bit easier to shuffle around later than a Yahoo! or Google group.

  28. [...] promises of a MediaTemple user forum - promises that led me to take down a site I'd started building for that very purpose - from [...]

  29. Any luck with the (mt) community??

    If you guys don't already have one and don't plan on making one then I'll probably go ahead and put one on the web.

    We really need a community pronto.

  30. Hey guys,

    Although this is quite an old post I'd like to communicate here that we are paying attention to your suggestions and feedback. I don't wanna spill the beans but something significant is in the works to better facilitate our growing community.

    --Arman Z. - (mt) Media Temple, Inc.

  31. At last?

    Significant things normally take a long time to produce... is this going to be the case for (mt) or will we be able to see something soon?

  32. Hey everyone, I'm about to start pulling my hair out due to some issues I'm having with my DV. A MT forum would be *completely* awesome. Any progress on this idea lately?

  33. I've suggested a forum/wiki to mediatemple before. the knowledgebase is getting better over time, but it still pales in comparison to an active wiki or forum. I've been using several (dv)s for a couple years and I'd be happy to share what I've learned with others, since I had to pretty much figure everything out and build solutions from scratch, and I'm sure others are facing the same issues that I have. that said, I don't want to be part of a locked-in EULA'd "community" if its just trying to keep out people that on one hand might be helpful, but might also be critical of mediatemple. with that, any news on the user forum?


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