I'm just getting back to this project again, now that I have all my forums auto-watching properly. That was the first stage in this process.
OK, so adding comment boxes plus existing posts for a given thread to an external site. Here's what I'm looking to do.
BellaOnline has 400 sites. Each site has a forum area in the matching forums.bellaonline.com forum. So for example:
low carb site -http://lowcarb.bellaonline.com/Site.asp
Low carb forum -http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=221&page=1
So far so good. Now the low carb forum has lots of threads in it. I try to make a new thread to go with each new article. So article on eggs and salmonella -http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art178214.asp
forum thread on eggs and salmonella -http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads...lmonella#UNREAD
Nobody is posting in that thread because it's too cumbersome to go from the article over to the forum to post about it.
So I want the thread content from that "eggs and salmonella" article to show up UNDERNEATH the article content on the main BellaOnline site. And then I want a post box so that someone could add their own thoughts to the thread without manually going over to the forum.
If they're not logged in, it would prompt them to log in, but at least logged in members could instantly post.
Here's part of my challenge. My site gets around 15 million pageviews a month. So that's a lot of hammering. I don't necessarily want, every time an article is requested, for it to have to do a lot of queries to the UBB database to drag out the thread content. Especially if most threads aren't changing often. On the other hand, I have hundreds of thousands of threads. I cringe at the idea of having a script write all of these to a file somewhere in a massive directory. Still, clearly the data has to be *somewhere* to be retrieved when the user needs to see it. So I think having static files on a hard drive would be quicker than constant database queries.
Of course I say that and the BellaOnline article database is all done with live queries, so every time someone requests and article it's going into a SQL database for that content. So that is already working that way and the site loads fairly quickly. So maybe my database concerns aren't overly important.
ASP doesn't play well with RSS so I don't want to be writing things out into RSS and then having ASP have to re-translate it again to put onto the page. It makes more sense to write it out in HTML so ASP can simply include that HTML file and plunk it up without any further work.
So I suppose what I really need, and I cringe again at thinking this, is something that, every time a post is changed, it re-writes that thread out to a flat file. Directories choke if they get too big so it'd have to be organized somehow so a given directory didn't grow too huge. And then I'd need for my article database to know what thread ID to grab for a given article, so that when article 12345 was drawing, it knew to go find thread 98765 to show the matching content for.
You can see why I keep putting this off. But I think it's critical to build up discussion momentum again. People just don't seem to go into standalone forums as much as they used to. They now expect to comment and interact right where they're reading the article.