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New Lighthouse Website: LighthouseFans.com

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Postby LighthouseFans » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:32 pm


Hi,

My name is Cary, and I have a new lighthouse website at http://lighthousefans.com that I'd like to invite everyone to visit. We are working on a comprehensive, user-contributed database of lights around the world, with many search and sorting features (e.g. search lighthouses within a certain distance from any zip code).

If anyone can submit new lights that haven't been covered yet, we'd definitely appreciate it, and we're looking for photos of any lights that we don't have pics for yet (or aren't even in the database yet). Hope you stop by :D

Thanks,
Cary [LighthouseFans]
http://lighthousefans.com
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Postby Zachary » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:14 am


Good idea, when I have some spare moments I'll add some Texas Lights
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Postby Ross » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:27 am


I've been trying that for years, good luck!
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Postby LeadingLight » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:43 am


Good luck...the start is not the problem, but the maintenance will be a tough job.

Cary, can't you link your forum to the ones here at lighthousing.net. The forums here are frequently used by dedicated lighouse people. It is such a pitty that you put energy in a new forum while what you want is covered yet by this great forum that Ross created. If you limit your work to the database and direct to Ross' forum both your efforts might strengthen each other instead of compete. After all you share the same goal as everyone here.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:28 pm


What you are trying to do here Cary is reinvent the wheel. There are several lighthouse databases on the net but the most up to date and well maintained one is owned by the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society at:

http://arlhs.com/awards/arlhs-numbers.html

I know the guy who managed it up until a couple of weeks ago and he spent hours and hours keeping it up to date. He unfortunately resigned so what will happen to the list now is anybody's guess.
I also have a complete list of Australian, New Zealand and some Pacfic Islands lighthouses on my web site and I know how long that took to put together.
All I am saying is that you have a big job in front of you and I wish you well with it.
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Postby Keeper » Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:00 pm


I just want to add that there are two other very extensive lighthouse databases already online:

The Lighthouse Directory, maintained by Russ Rowlett:

http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/

The Lighthouse Explorer database, maintained by me:

http://www.lhdepot.com/database/searchdatabase.cfm

I agree with the comment about the site "trying to reinvent the wheel." But the photos on this new site are quite nice, and it could very well carve out its own niche as time goes on.
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Postby Hersh » Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:41 pm


Maybe reinventing the wheel isn't such a bad thing... Competition can be healthy! If this new site is better than the others, it will become more popular. If it isn't, then it might just fade away. Think about it this way, if Ross had not created this site because of the CF forums we'd be without this place that many of us call home.

One piece of advice I'd have for you, Cary, try to keep up good relations with the other sites on the net. We've seen here what can happen when groups get territorial and bicker amongst themselves.

Good luck with your site!!
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Postby LighthouseFans » Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:56 pm


Thanks for the comments everyone. I know there are various lighthouse database/info sites, and lighthouse forums around the net, but none really seem to tie the database and forums into a community-type atmosphere where users can directly contribute to the database, share opinions/reviews of each light, and go into a forum where they can chat with the same people who posted information about specific lights.

The site was originally intended as a personal database to keep track of lights I've visited, but I decided to extend it out and let everyone contribute. I personally don't think there's any problem with having more than one lighthouse site that performs the same function -- after all, they will all provide more exposure for lighthouses, which in turn could lead to more donations/lighthouse enthusisasts to keep endangered lights alive. In reality, the net is so big that some people will only find lighthousing.net while others will only find lighthousefans.com.

Hersh - thanks for the advice. I always try to keep good relations with other sites. I have a good half-dozen or so non-lighthouse-related sites on the web, so I've learned to stay out of all of the drama on the net and keep me and my sites' reputations as respectable as possible :D LighthouseFans is just a fun site for people to enjoy and get information on lights - if they prefer another site, then I won't cry myself a river :lol:

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http://lighthousefans.com
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Postby Keeper » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:53 pm


Your intentions are admirable and the site has great potential -- I wish you the best with it.
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Postby LighthouseFans » Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:24 pm


Keeper wrote:Your intentions are admirable and the site has great potential -- I wish you the best with it.


Thanks for the kind words, Jeremy, and thanks for also submitting the entry for Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse :D Your photos are fantastic, and some have even persuaded me to visit lighthouses I wouldn't have otherwise.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:55 pm


Keeper wrote:I just want to add that there are two other very extensive lighthouse databases already online:


Please accept my apologies Jeremy. It was my intention to mention yours and Russ's web sites as well as Ted's but it slipped my mind. There is also this one:

http://www.luechthuus.de/lt7000/lt7000.htm

Cary, your intentions are admirable and I also wish you well. I was just attempting to point out the huge effort required to compile a list even if it is done by others. For example it would take me quite a while just to add my New Zealand list to your site.
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Postby LeadingLight » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:44 pm


Hersh wrote: If this new site is better than the others, it will become more popular. If it isn't, then it might just fade away.


And if it is just as good an other they might all take only a half of what already is a small "market" and both fade away. Competition can be healthy but mainly when you work for own (financial) profit. Lighthouses are nobodies financial profit.

Cary, I am not criticising you and I agree with you that every new site that gives attention to lighthouses is contributing to awareness of the importance of preservation. And I really enjoyed your work and your photography and appreciate the fact that you shares your database with all of us.

I've just seen so many forums come and go. The worldlights.com forum, that I moderated a few years, was probably one of the first forums ever on the internet and very heavy used some 7 years ago. Then there were some very active msn-groups. They all faded away. Lighthousing.net is the first LHforum I know that gets contributions from people with a big technical and historical input. The forum is partly achieving what an organisation like the <a href="http://www.worldlighthouses.org" tareget="blank">World Lighthouse Society</a> stands for: exchange of information that supports others in preservation work.
Competition is okay, but fragmentising is a threat. Might be the European view vs the American view (but aren't Europeans more experienced in preserving monuments? 8) ).

So again, if technically possible, I would recommend to see if any new forum plans can be combined with this forum to make it the number one meeting point of serious lighthouse people. After all we have one common goal. But of course it is up to the initiators to decide. I am just a pigheaded Dutch writing down some thoughts :roll:
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Postby Pharoslvr » Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:15 pm


The very best to you, Cary! From what I've seen, your new site
has a lot of promise!
Congratulations!! :)

Brent
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Postby LighthouseFans » Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:23 pm


Pharoslvr wrote:The very best to you, Cary! From what I've seen, your new site
has a lot of promise!
Congratulations!! :)

Brent


Thank you, Brent! :D
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