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Discussion Starter #1
I expect this post to get tossed in that hidden sub-directory somewhere about site issues. But, I am still at a loss why we don't have our beloved pumpkin emojis back. Tech savvy members have commented that it is a simple task to add them. I know there have been a lot requests about them and adding pumpkin emojis would be a great way to make the masses feel like they are being heard.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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9,610 Posts
Hmmm...what do we have...let's see...
Eek:eek: a devil :devilish: a ghost 👻 a skull💀 and skull & crossbones☠

And whatever these are 👾 😈 THERE'S THE PUMPKIN 🎃 Cats 😺 😸 😹 😻 😼 😽 🙀 😿 😾 and bugs 🐛 🐜
 

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🧛‍♀️🧛‍♂️🦇🕷

The problem is probably licensing rather than no one at VerticalScope being able to technically accomplish adding them. Maybe the new "Premium fee" which supposed to go back to the site, could go towards licensing a set of them.
 

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I saw that whole "premium" thing. Not sure if I'd pay for extra stuff here.
I'm not planing on it either. I really don't see any pf the options as being of any value, and a member's only forum is only really good on a site with a group of snobs who want their own private echo chamber.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Lol...I so rarely check in that I was unaware of a "premium" option. So the old one man show owner could afford pumpkin emojis with limited banner ads and the new big company with ads on overdrive cannot afford pumpkin emojis? Not believing it.

I am not sure what media platform has sucked the life out of this forum. Maybe all the prop people went to youtube channels. There used to be about a dozen or more top flight halloween enthusiasts whose posts were must reads. Not so much anymore. And Bobby you were always a good read. I remember following your drive way alert conversions to operate props.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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9,610 Posts
Here's what you get for Premium, which costs $19.99 a year:

Ad-Free Experience
Enjoy ad-free while supporting the community
Access to Premium Forums
Exclusive access to premium-only discussions
Exclusive Premium Badge
Stand out with a premium badge on your profile
Unlock Focused Reading Mode
Switch off the right rail so you can focus on reading

Not sure what "premium only discussion" could be but I'm pretty sure I'm not interested in them & if you can't post that stuff for the unwashed masses then don't bother posting them anywhere. Also not interested in the badge thing.

As far as ads, Adblocker or Ublock are your friend. No ads anywhere EVAR!!


 

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You can also remove the right rail with a plugin called TamperMonkey, and a little technical knowledge, and add a nice pumpkin icon to jazz up the countdown.

728236
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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Honestly, I don't think I ever really noticed the "rail" until this article mentioned it.

Linky & instructiony on Tampermonkey please?
 

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I've only really tested this in Chrome... Your mileage may vary.

  1. Go to Tampermonkey for Chrome
  2. Install Tamper Monkey
  3. From TamperMonkeys menu select "Create a new script"
  4. Replace the default contents with the following script below. All it does is to inject a new css style into the page. The GM_addStyle line should not have any line breaks.
  5. Click File | Save on the tamper monkey menu and after refreshing you should see a pumkin icon next to the countdown. (the icon is only desinged for the dark theme)
-- Cut everything below this line --

// ==UserScript==
// @name Halloween.com Countdown Tweaks
// @namespace Halloween.com Tweaks
// @description Tweaks to make Halloween.com countdown more user friendly
// @author Bobby2003
// @version 1.0
// @encoding utf-8
// @license Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
// @icon https://images.platforum.cloud/icons/halloweenforum_comx32.ico
// @match https://www.tickcounter.com/widget/countdown/*
// @run-at document-start

// @Grant GM_addStyle
// ==/UserScript==

GM_addStyle( "#day_wrapper {padding-left: 50px; background: url(https://www.halloweenforum.com/attachments/pumpkins-3-png.719461/); background-size: contain; background-repeat: no-repeat;}" );

--- Cut everything above this line --


To remove the sidebar, follow the same procedure for creating a script, and paste the content below. This one isn't perfect as it does remove the sidebar, but doesn't always put a nice visual padding around the content.

-- Cut everything below this line --

// ==UserScript==
// @name Halloween.com Tweaks
// @namespace Halloween.com Tweaks
// @description Tweaks to make Halloween.com more user friendly
// @author Bobby2003
// @version 1.0
// @encoding utf-8
// @license Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
// @icon https://images.platforum.cloud/icons/halloweenforum_comx32.ico
// @match https://www.halloweenforum.com/*
// @run-at document-start

// @Grant GM_addStyle
// ==/UserScript==

//Remove useless left sidebar
GM_addStyle( ".sidebar { display: none !important; }" );
GM_addStyle( ".california-thread-sidebar { display: none !important; }" );
GM_addStyle( ".block--messages .message, .block--messages .block-row { color: #cecece !important; }" );
GM_addStyle( ".bbWrapper a { color: #cecece; }" );

//Tweak margins for fullscreen layout
GM_addStyle( ".p-body-inner {margin-left: 60px; margin-right: 60px;}" );
GM_addStyle( ".headerNav {margin-left: 60px; margin-right: 60px;}" );
GM_addStyle( ".p-header-content {margin-left: 60px; margin-right: 60px;}" );
//GM_addStyle( ".full-width {margin-left: 60px; margin-right: 60px;}" );
//GM_addStyle( ".california-thread-body {margin-left: 60px;margin-right: 60px;}" );

--- Cut everything above this line --
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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9,610 Posts
I know there's generally a separate section for admins & mods but other that those bits that aren't open to the public, I'm not sure why we'd ever need one here either. We're all pretty open about sharing our tutorials & pics so there's no need for a "locked" bit of the forum for that.

I can't imagine what would be hidden behind a paywall here.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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9,610 Posts
Just saw this little pop up box so I clicked & here's what I got, though I still don't understand what I'd get for my $20 other than helping to keep the forum up & running properly:

Dear Community Members and Moderators,
This week we have a few performance enhancements, a couple of bugs squashed and a new feature to announce.
Bugs Fixes & Performance Enhancement
This week we’ve made some enhancements to search performance, fixed an issue where searching less than three words sometimes returns no results and fixed the site logo when sharing to Facebook or Twitter.
Premium Membership has Arrived
We are excited to announce an updated version of our Premium Membership is now available. We’re introducing it as a way for members to give back to their communities -- as all proceeds go to re-investing in this platform -- and to improve their site experience. Our site is ad-supported, but many people don’t like to see ads. A Premium Membership is a way to improve their time on the site and give them exclusive access to some features. The site will continue to be supported by ads, so the site will continue to be free to use (with ads) for people who are not interested in the Premium Membership.
The price is $19.99 USD, billed annually. We currently only support the USD currency, however people can still purchase the membership wherever they are in the world. We support PayPal payments, along with Visa, Mastercard, American Express & Discover. The features of Premium Membership are:
  1. A reduced ad site experience (banner ads are removed)
  2. Focused reading mode (the option to hide the right column)
  3. Access to exclusive forums
  4. An exclusive badge on profile avatars
Members can unsubscribe from these automatic payments at any time. Members who cancel will retain their Premium Membership until one year from the date of their sign up.
Members can find information about Premium Membership by clicking “Upgrade to Premium” in the right side widget or in the menu under their avatar. Members can also find purchase options in their Account Settings under Account Details or Account Upgrades.



Previously, some communities had Lifetime Memberships available to members. These members will now have the Premium Membership experience (and will receive those benefits for their lifetime). New Lifetime Memberships are no longer available on the new platform. For any user who already has a Premium Membership, and they paid more than the new $19.99 USD price, we are messaging them to let them know the steps they should take to make sure their renewal happens at the new rate.
We’ll continue to focus on site performance and and feature enhancements to improve your community experience. Please continue letting us know your feedback as we go along.
Your Community Support Team
 

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Besides support I see the only thing going for it is removing ads. But they are not even doing that you just get the banner ads removed the other ads you will still have.
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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i've thought a lot about whether to post this, because i don't want to sound like i'm trashing anyone, but we're all adults here and hopefully this'll be read in the spirit of compromise in which it's meant:

nobody does this for free forever. we've talked before about the animosity toward the business that took over this site from the creator--either we accept that a business runs this place as a business and not a charity, or we accept that an individual with money to burn runs it for free and it dies when that person can't or won't do it anymore. there aren't any other options.

technology today has made it increasingly hard for businesses such as this to make money, to the extent they have to get stupid about it. (i mean come on...the idea of a premium membership for this site feels like a joke, right?) 20 years ago, if i bought a newspaper, i bought the ads that it came with. i couldn't hit a button and make the ads disappear. that's how print media was able to exist.

now it's 2020, and we can hit a button and block every ad on this site. if i'm the guy running the business that runs this site, i'm not selling those ads for very long if everyone's blocking them. the fact that we feel like we're owed a gathering place for our hobby--a gathering place that costs money to run--and we deserve for it to come free of even minor inconveniences (ads) is absurd to me. the math doesn't work.

that's not to give the admins a pass though--if the ads get to an obtrusive point, or bog down site functionality, or if we start talking about ridiculous premium memberships, we'll push back against that or we'll just leave.

there has to be an implicit compromise between us and the site admins, and i think the social contract is this: keep the ads at a reasonable level, and we'll keep them turned on. you make your money without ruining our experience. i've had ads on since the idea of the premium membership came around, and i gotta say, they're not an issue. i've also never had them blocked on my phone, and they don't seem bad there either. it's not my place to tell anyone what to do, but maybe if we all allow reasonable ads, absurd ideas like premium memberships will go away.
 

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i've thought a lot about whether to post this, because i don't want to sound like i'm trashing anyone, but we're all adults here and hopefully this'll be read in the spirit of compromise in which it's meant:

... Truncating the large amount of text ...

there has to be an implicit compromise between us and the site admins, and i think the social contract is this: keep the ads at a reasonable level, and we'll keep them turned on. you make your money without ruining our experience. i've had ads on since the idea of the premium membership came around, and i gotta say, they're not an issue. i've also never had them blocked on my phone, and they don't seem bad there either. it's not my place to tell anyone what to do, but maybe if we all allow reasonable ads, absurd ideas like premium memberships will go away.
I don't have an issue with ads either, and if I temporarily turn off my ad blocker they are hardly even noticeable compared to others sites I have seen. Never checked out the site on mobile so I can't comment about that. I've never really had an issue with Vertical Scope that other people seem to, other than it being a large company which makes them much slower at doing things rather than a mom and pop org which can just do things at the spur of the moment without regard to any consequences or affects, which I understand. People used to say that Vertical Scope killed online communities but I haven't seen that to be the case here. With the fairly active VS admins, and the new software which blows vBulletin away they are obviously paying attention to the site on a technical level. Now over on Haunt Forum that's another case. That site seems to be getting left for dead, but it also doesn't have the same level of engagement that this site has so it may be a lesser priority. Now, obviously ads are not going to pay the bills and $20.00 per year is not going to break anyone's bank. Most people probably pay more per month than that on coffee. If this site was still run by an individual I would probably sign right up, but it's not. It is run by a for-profit corporation and because of that I want something more for my money than a slight layout change, a few hidden ads, a private echo chamber, and a badge that I could really care less about. Maybe this approach works on other sites, but on this site I think Vertical Scope missed the mark and maybe that's because they either don't quite understand the community here, or there are enough levels of management that this level of understanding gets watered down by the time it reaches an actual decision maker. I don't know. What I do know is that i don't see a reason to get the premium membership because I don't see any value to it other than to give a corporation $20. I would rather add value by posting decent content. Maybe vertical Scope should have given Premium members pumpkin emojis.
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I'd rather just donate the money some other way if they need the money to keep this place going. I don't feel like this particular forum needs Premium stuff so I'm not paying for that, but if they have some other way to help us stay up & running I'd gladly do that instead.
 

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The problem is probably licensing rather than no one at VerticalScope being able to technically accomplish adding them. Maybe the new "Premium fee" which supposed to go back to the site, could go towards licensing a set of them.
If I'm not mistaken, the jack-o-lantern emojis were actually created by the original owner of the site. When the site was sold, I would think all intellectual and physical properties of the site came along with the purchase. The pumpkins were unique to Halloween Forum, not the generic emojis that we now have at our disposal. There was a smiling, a frowning, and a few other options you could choose for your pumpkin. None of the current emojis offer that. I am not dismissing the hard work that went into keeping the site both alive and up and running. However, as you can tell from the offer of premium membership, those who own the site now see it as a money making venture. Branding the site with unique features like the old pumpkin emojis is actually a plus in that respect.
 
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