Category Archives: Member Spotlight

Site Battles Madness – Interview with Pandaa

Sorry for the delay on the second interview regarding the Site Battles in our March Madness, replies to the interviews took longer than expected.

I would like to thank Pandaa for agreeing to this interview. He is part of the Community Team, and helped monitor the site battles.

The questions I asked, are in bold. His responses are italicized.


Out of all of the announcements in the March Madness, which were you excited for?

I was very excited for the reordering of the forum to finally be put into place. It was long overdue and we put so much time and effort into making it happen. I’ve always felt like FP was confusing to newcomers, and condensing the board should help a little bit more in the future.

What was your duty or role in the Site Battles?

I helped with setting up the battles in most of the rounds, and I was in charge of paying people for their votes. The whole tournament wouldn’t run without Jack, that’s for sure. However, I know he’s a pretty busy guy and so I just tried to be there for anything that he might not have had time for!

Out of all the site battles that you observed while it was going, which did you enjoy the best?

Tough question! I really enjoyed the Open Carnage vs. Atrium Forum debate. I didn’t know it at the time obviously, but it ended up essentially being this year’s winner vs. last year’s winner. If I’m not mistaken, it ended up with the most total votes in any battle as well (84 votes!).

Which forum do you think had the potential to win but didn’t, due to various circumstances?

I’d have to say FeedbackExchange. Going against a forum like Open Carnage is going to be tough in any round, but FE made it so far in the tournament without so much as a challenge. Sinon has created a really nice forum, and just to make it to the final four out of all the sites on FP is quite the accomplishment. :)

For those sites or forums you voted for, what did you personally use as a judge to vote for those you voted for?

I mainly used the site’s activity and my first impression of it to gauge who was the winner. I can’t really think of a time where there wasn’t a clear winner, in my mind.

I noticed your forum got into the second round of voting, what do you think could have helped your forum out, in the second battle that you ended up loosing?

I really haven’t put much time into my site in quite a while. I need to restart it back up again, but I’d say activity was probably my biggest downfall.

Which forum would you have liked to go against, out of the forums that were in the battle?

Hmm, not sure exactly! Any gaming site other than Open Carnage? Hahaha!

When next year rolls around, do you think you would like to participate in the Site Battles again, either as a participant, or as staff?

Definitely! As long as I’m around, you can expect me to have a part in it!


I am thankful for the time spend for this interview. 🙂

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment below!

Site Madness Battles – Interview with Tucker933

The Site Madness Battles were pretty good, and as such I have decided to interview a number of the people involved, that either got a placement in the top 3-4, had the best battle, or were staff that helped run the battle. You will see a number of interviews being posted over the upcoming week or two, in relationship to those who were involved, that agreed to do an interview for you all!

To start off the Interviews being posted, I have decided to start off with the winner of the Site Madness Battles Continue reading

Interview with Lucky: WebFerno

Greetings, Forum Promotion! It’s been awhile since I’ve brought you news and interviews, but I’m back now! To kick off my return, I’ve brought Lucky!, the owner of WebFerno to the interview chair. He caught my eye months ago with his “coming soon,” banners for WebFerno. If you’re not familiar with WebFerno, it’s a new webmaster based website (you read it right, not forum – website) that boasts some cool features you should definitely check out. Here is my sit-down with Lucky!:

Twisted: So how did you come up with the idea for WebFerno?

Lucky: I have been part of many promotional forums and webmaster forums, but I haven’t been on a website that was designed to have a place where they could network. I spent some time googling to see if there were some, and I didn’t find any, I set out to find a script to power Webferno.

Twisted: Did you end up settling on a script or writing your own? That is, if you can share your secrets, that is.

Lucky: After a lot of time looking, I found one that I really liked and offered features that would complement my idea of a webmaster community. On top of the base script, we have certain features that I have customized to fit Webferno.

Twisted: That’s definitely much easier than writing one by yourself! You said “we.” Do you have anyone else one your development team?

Lucky: I had some help by someone that I meant online. His name is Dan and we’ve done a lot of work together to bring Webferno to where it is now. He brings a lot of business knowledge to the table, so that’s helped a lot.

Twisted: It’s always great to have a partner, especially for a project as cool as WebFerno. If you can’t tell, it’s actually been one of my favorite new projects since I started to see “coming soon” banners around Forum Promotion. Do you feel like you and your team did a good job generating hype before launch?

Lucky: It’s a double edged sword. We had a slow launch and then we moved servers, which left us offline for a month. During this time, we had nothing to show for, other than a blank page. I have tried to spread the word, get advertising space, but it’s hard that we were offline for a month. However, I am looking forward to seeing people use WebFerno and watch it take off.

Twisted: I remember you mentioning something about that earlier when we spoke, I’m sorry to hear that; being offline for that long can definitely kill hype. I know that WebFerno has some awesome unique features. Why don’t you explain some of those for the readers?

Lucky: Well, first we have spaces. Spaces is where our users can make their own page for their blog, forum or group. Within that space, they have the chance post things on the page, post discussions and more. We have an article section that users can read webmaster related articles. We have forums were our users can discuss webmaster relayed topics with others. Our most unique feature is a combination of webmaster tools that only our members can use.

Twisted: The spaces and webmaster tools are the two that really catch my attention! When I was browsing WebFerno, I got the chance to look around the Spaces, but didn’t really get to see the tools because I wasn’t registered. Could you elaborate on some of the tools you offer?

Lucky: Our tools include useful items that webmasters would use. WHOIS lookup, domain lookup, and more. However, It’s nice because all of these tools are all in one place. It’s fast and slick. I don’t want to go too far into detail because it’s reserved for our community.

Twisted: Those tools sound really useful! I completely understanding keeping something for the community, it will give the readers a reason to go check you out! Do you have any future plans for WebFerno that you could share?

Lucky: Other than expanding on what we have now, not really. Of course, we leave it up to our community to offer suggestions on what they want to see. We will always be looking to be better!

Twisted: Well you’ve certainly gotten me interested in registering! Is this your first web project?

Lucky: No, I have built a lot of forums, but this is my first website based idea, not just a forum. However, I just like the Internet!

Twisted: I like how you’re breaking the mold a bit with WebFerno! If you could say one thing to get people to register, what would you say?

Lucky: One thing I could say is we’re unique and offer something that most webmaster sites cannot offer. Come experience a new idea with the rest of the community!

Twisted: Sounds perfect! Thank you for your time, Lucky, and I wish you the absolute best with WebFerno. You may see me around there soon!

Lucky: Thank you for the interview! It was nice answering your questions! Hope to not only see you around, but the rest of the community!

If this interview has interested you in WebFerno, go check it out at http://webferno.com/ and leave your feedback below in the comments. Thanks for reading, and happy foruming!

Weekly Member Interview Series #4 – TehPhantom

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of our Weekly Member Interview Series!

This week, we have decided to interview TehPhantom. This member has been a member of Forum Promotion since 22 Jul 2009.

Now on to the interview!

Tell us a little about yourself.

My real name is Luigi. I am currently 17 years old, and I was born and raised in California, US. My birthday is on Feburary 20th. I am a senior in High School, and I have plans to go to a college. I have a older sister and a younger brother, so i’m the middle of the family, age-wise. I am also a gamer, coder, and a theme designer.

What brought you to Forum Promotion?

If I can remember, I was trying to promote my Wii forum (which didn’t last very long). When I was asking my friends where I should promote my forum, they said Forum Promotion. I wasn’t really active on FP until the second year, when I started participating in discussions, doing exchanges, getting help, .ect.

Do you own or are a staff member of a forum, website or blog? If so, please tell us about them!

I currently own a website, called 1ShotGG (http://1shotgg.com). 1ShotGG is a gaming and streaming community. We help promote channels, and provide discussions about streaming. We are also a gaming community (since streamers stream a lot of games) so we provide discussions for that as well. We have been around since January of 2014, and so far this is one of my most successful forum, because of its unique niche and content. We have over 10,000 posts, 1,000 gamers, and 600 channels promoted. We also have a custom MyBB Theme, and custom plugins.

In general, we are “Forum Promotion” for Twitch.TV broadcasters. I am looking forward interacting with our members.

As a member of Forum Promotion, what do you think is a good defining feature of the community in general?

The content that is posted everyday, and the variety of members around the forums, and the awesome friends I have met around the community. They are one of the reasons why I made 1ShotGG, and made it into a successful forum.

And What do you think is a good defining service feature that you enjoy here?

The package service, the exchange center, and the marketplace. I used those services to start up my forum.

If you had the ability to add one to two things to Forum Promotion, what would you add?

You should consider add a Youtube Promotion service. There aren’t a lot of Youtube Promotion forums out there, and there are a lot of people that want to run a successful channel, and need help in doing so.

Thank you for accepting to do an Interview. Is there any extra comments you would like to mention?

I just want to thank you for interviewing me for this FP blog. I am willing to answer more questions, just don’t ask personal questions please. I’m looking forward to seeing where FP goes. Again, thank you for interviewing me.


And that wraps up this weeks interview! Thank you for reading this, we hope you will continue reading these every week that they are posted!

Feel free to comment below on the interview. Also, feel free to ask the person that got reviewed any questions you feel like!

Interview with Adrian @ Internet Brands

This article was first posted on our blog on 07/10/2010. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.


We’re very excited to announce Adrian Harris who works for Intenet Brands as Senior Operations Manager – Internet Brands is the company which owns vBulletin, the most widely used forum software on the Internet. We asked him a few questions. This is the third in the series of interviews with commercial forum software developers, check out our interviews with Kier Darby and Matt Mecham too.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for us Adrian. Here is the interview,

So firstly – what’s up? Give us a quick bio.
It’s all up =D

I am 26, single, I like good food, motorcycles, the outdoors, people… it is starting to sound like an eharmony profile!

In all seriousness, I stumbled into forums about 6 years ago when I was researching an issue when I worked at Ford Motor Company (I was able to find an answer quicker on a forum, than I could from our engineers!). I kind of got hooked on the “community” and continued to participate, and interacted with some great people. I eventually was made a moderator, then a “super” moderator, and then an admin of the site. I met some great people, and loved the community (still do!), and in late 2007 the forum was purchased by Internet Brands.[more] I was fortunate enough to be offered a position in early 2008 to oversee all of Internet Brands auto communities… given it involved a move to the other side of the world (I was working in Melbourne, Australia at the time), and it would be a big jump from being an engineer, I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but thought I would jump at the opportunity. Fortunately that opportunity has worked out really well, and now I get to interact with over 70,000 great communities, not just 1!

How is life over at Internet Brands?
Its good – it is a relaxed, but focused environment. I don’t think I have worked in a place before where people are so passionate about what they do, nor a place that is so “fast-paced”.

We have stupid Friday shirt competitions (see below), but ultimately we are all here for a common goal, and as enjoyable as the job may be, we try not to let that get in the way of getting our job done.

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What do you see in the future for vBulletin – what can we look forward to in vBulletin 5?
Well the forum “space” is evolving, we need to with it – I don’t want to get into specific features, but in general things that we feel will be important with vB5

  • Interacting with other social spaces in a much improved fashion
  • Enable interaction in a more social and rewarding fashion

Will vBulletin 5 be a complete rewrite? When can we expect to see it?
vB5 will not be a “complete rewrite” per se, a significant portion of the code will be refactored, however, there will be aspects of vB4 that will carry over. As for timing, that is completely unconfirmed.

Do you accept that mistakes were made with vBulletin 4? What will you do to make it up to your customers for these mistakes?
Could the release of vBulletin 4 gone better? Sure. Could our product be better today? Sure. I think it is fair to say that all software could be improved upon.

It is also fair to say that there has been a lot of commentary about vB4. Our obligation to our customers is to continue to build on vBulletin 4 and provide the best product we can. We have a number of features we have planned for vB 4 which we have shared with our customers here: http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthre … in-Part-II

We are also providing bug fixes to reported issues, and completing development updates at a much greater pace currently than we were earlier in vB4’s development cycle, we have expanded the development and the management team to further increase our ability to try to meet our customer requests and support our vision of where vBulletin should go.

What’s your favourite vBulletin modification?
I think either the post thank you modification or the Sub-Forum Manager plugin – both pretty simple, but effective in my opinion J

As we’re a promotion forum – how would you recommend new webmasters go about promoting their websites?
Well some of the “more conventional” marketing techniques for webmasters (if you will) that are still very effective, actively seeking out link exchanges with other similar and reputable websites to increase referral traffic and your search engine rank is always going to be valuable. Maintaining an active social media presence (facebook, twitter, youtube etc.) with appropriate referral links back to your website can be very beneficial as well. The biggest thing in my mind however is, content, content, content. We have found that the best way to build both search, referral and direct traffic is to have frequently updated and high quality content published on your site. I understand for newer webmasters that may not have a userbase to leverage to build that content it may be more difficult, but if you seek out a couple of professional, or semi-professional writers that can write relevant articles on a regular basis and upload them to your Content Management System it is a great way to attract users that might be interested in whatever topic you are discussing.

What impact will the growing popularity of social networking sites have on the usage of discussion forums?
They are both a competing entity, and an opportunity for further growth at the same time. It is definitely a tougher “marketplace” on the web, competing with users who have to buy a new tractor on Farmville, upload their photos of their trip to Spain to flickr, Facebook and Picasa, tell everyone via foursquare and Gowalla that they are at Starbucks, comment on Hugo Chávez’s twitter feed and watch the latest Ken Block video on youtube… when is someone going to have the time to even think about the topic that your forum is on, let alone post on it and visit on a frequent basis? I strongly hold the belief that forums need to adapt to the burgeoning social media entities and leverage them to provide enhanced exposure to your forum. Forum software offers a number of tools and optimization for SEO, why-not the same for SGO (social graph optimization) too?

Where do you feel vBulletin and Internet Brands will be in 10 years?
I think it is hard to tell. Ten years is a long time for the web and the Internet for a product or organization. However, I would venture it will be more intra-connected. What I mean is that there will be little differentiation as far devices go in terms of accessing content and services. We want both vBulletin and Internet Brands to be in the middle of that.

Now let’s ask a few questions about your newest competitor. Do you plan to update ImpEx for XenForo -> vBulletin conversion?
There are hundreds of forum software’s out there, we typically provide Impex support for those that have the greatest market need. If there is a need for a xenForo to vBulletin converter we certainly will provide it.

Recently you published some details about a lawsuit against XenForo. Why did you make the information regarding the lawsuit public, did publishing the information actually work to promote XF?
We made the information public so to inform our customers. We have made a concerted effort recently to be more transparent in how we interact with our customers, and sharing details such as these goes in part with this policy. I acknowledge that this attempt to be more open may expose us to being the recipients of a greater level of criticism in the court of public opinion, however we feel that ultimately that approach is in the best interests of our customers.

Many vBulletin users actually oppose the lawsuit. Do you think it’s actually bad for business?
I can understand the sentiment expressed by some of our users. It is difficult to comment on its affect on our business until an agreement or verdict is reached, and I think that myself, or anyone else forming an opinion before the court does would be jumping to conclusions.

Interview with Matt Mecham @ IPB (Invision Power Board)

This article was first posted on our blog on 07/10/2010. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.


Invision Power Services Chieft Software Architect and founder of the forum software, Matt Mecham has accepted an interview with ForumPromotion. We’re thrilled to be interviewing this highly skilled software developer. IPB is currently leading the commercial forum software market in the eyes of many, and has remained loyal to it’s customers where vBulletin and Internet Brands hasn’t.

Matt’s a busy guy but he managed to answer these questions by working around his busy schedule. Cheers Matt.

Did you think ever IPB would get as big as it currently is?
When Charles and I started IPS in 2002, we never dared to think that we’d end up employing over a dozen people and doing something we love doing for a living. I still had a full time job at the time and I couldn’t see that changing. We feel very fortunate to have been able to turn a small PHP script into a business that continues to grow.

Of course, we’re never complacent and always strive to improve. I don’t think you can really take too long to enjoy the scenery. There’s always competition nipping at your heels and that drives you on. I get up every morning and can’t wait to get stuck into the day’s challenges.

Where do you see IPB in 10 years?
That’s a very good question. If you had asked Apple that question 10 years ago, I’m not sure they would have said “Leading the way in portable music players and smartphones”.[more] With this industry trends change dramatically over a short space of time so you have to always be willing to adapt and change. 10 years ago the notion of ‘social networking’ was still in its infancy so few could have predicted the impact Facebook and Twitter have on the web today.

For IPS, I would like to see us continue to grow and still pushing the boundaries of community software. As long as there are people, there is a need for a centralized community.

What do you do to help the mod community?
We love our modifications community and we continue to work with the community to help nurture it. First and foremost, almost all of the IPS staff are very active on the forums. This includes all the senior developers. I think this is important for many reasons but in regards to modifications it means that we can listen to feedback on how to improve the built in systems in our products.

We host a ‘community resources’ section on our own site that allows modification authors to list their mods. We give them a ‘contributor’ badge on the forums if they have modifications listed. We also have ‘contributor’ forums so that modification authors can ask direct questions to the development team and each other.

We’re always trying to improve documentation on our systems. IP.Board 3 was a huge step up for modification authors because it introduced applications and hooks which makes writing modifications much easier.

Both Brandon and I come from a modifications background, so we appreciate the challenges and needs that it brings.

Developing such big software must be very time consuming – do you ever feel like giving up?
It’s very much a team effort but I never feel like giving up, not even for a minute. I can’t express how much I love what I’m doing. I love the challenges and the people. I am constantly thinking of new ways to drive our products on. Development can be time consuming and frustrating but I thoroughly enjoy it. I’m lucky to do something that I enjoy for a living.

How would you recommend new webmasters go about promoting their websites?
It largely depends on the community. The basics are the same for everyone, though. Harness social networking, don’t be afraid of it. IP.Board comes with Facebook and Twitter integration. Allow your members to share links to these sites so that their social circle can discover your forum and content. I’ve tweeted links to our community forum and that topic can have a few hundred guests on within ten minutes. I’m not saying that those guests will register and become long standing members, but you have to admit that it is a powerful tool when used correctly. I’d say that you have to make it as easy as possible to register and join in. Enabled Facebook Connect. It’s reasonable to assume that most people have a Facebook account so being able to register simply by clicking a few buttons will increase registrations.

Even if you intensely dislike Facebook, don’t underestimate its reach. Facebook may be a short lived fad but it currently has 500 million users. It’s fast becoming a ubiquitous sign in method. I love forums and websites that allow me to sign up using Facebook.

What impact will the growing popularity of social networking sites have on the usage of discussion forums?
When I want to go and see what my friends are doing, I check in on Facebook. I can see their status updates, videos and pictures about their weekend. When I want to make contact with my customers to get feedback on our latest products, I go to our forum.

This isn’t revolutionary but it underlines that social networking sites have a different purpose to forums. Of course, there is some cross over but you cannot replace a forum with Facebook and vice-versa. There is always going to be a need for organized discussion that focuses on specific topics.

More and more people are going from vBulletin to IPB – what does IPB3 have over vBulletin 4?
I think there are several factors in the mass migration from vBulletin. The biggest being that Internet Brands have completely destroyed their brand and customer loyalty in the past year. They have slayed their golden goose. Inertia will keep sales ticking over but the dinosaur is definitely staring at the asteroid.

Of course, disgruntled vBulletin customers are only a small part of our customer base. We do still keep an eye on the situation but we are now also paying great attention to other competitors with a more modern, stable platform we can focus our competitive efforts on

Personally I see the growth in social sites as a good thing. I can broadcast links to topics to my social circle who can choose to share that information on. I can sign up to forums without filling in a long complex form and waiting for an activation email. I can update my status updates from a single source. More people connected means more traffic if you leverage it correctly.

How do you compete in the competitive battle between vB and IPB? – are you winning?
We produce good software at a fair price. We treat our customers with respect and listen to their opinions and needs. I don’t think we need to do anything more.

What do you think about other free forum software alternatives e.g. phpBB, how do they compare to IPB?
I think there’s lots of great free software out there. I have a lot of respect for developers that donate their free time to those projects. I’d say the gap between commercial software and free software is growing wider as the web moves on and we adapt to it. In many ways simply having a ‘forum’ isn’t enough. Customers are looking for an integrated suite of applications they can use to built a complete and feature rich site.

Kier has begun development on a new forum software – XenForo – what are your thoughts on it?
I have a lot of respect for Kier. We only really started talking after he left vBulletin and we have a lot in common. He’s a very skilled developer with a lot of experience and an existing “fan” base which will be a fantastic boost in the early stages. Lots of new projects fail because they don’t offer anything new and are not significantly different from existing and well supported applications so it’s nice to see XenForo approach things a little differently.

XenForo has a lot of visual flair which is great to see. It’s certainly generating a lot of buzz at the moment. I really do wish Kier and Mike all the best and look forward to many years of healthy competition.

You can check out IPB here – http://www.invisionpower.com/products/board/

Interview with Kier @ XenForo

This article was first posted on our blog on 19/09/2010. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.


On behalf of forumpromotion.net, I have had the pleasure to interview Kier – one of the most talented forum software developers in the world – about his brand new software which has smashed the current commercial forum software market, with just a preview of the first Alpha of XenForo.

Thank you so much Kier, also considering the huge workload you have on you at the moment.

What inspired you to create a new forum software?
There has been a trend in recent years for forum software to diversify and add more and more features while allowing the core functionality to stagnate. The fundamental basics of forum software needed to be brought up-to-date, to bring it inline with peoples’ expectations of today’s web applications. [more] We believe that our new software, XenForo, has the capacity to reinvigourate communities by allowing them to rediscover the simple pleasure of posting messages though a polished, modern interface.

We’ve focused on a modern UI and engaging features to keep visitors on your site for longer, and to inspire them to return. By building on top of our new application framework, we are to develop very quickly and reliably, and in turn modification authors will enjoy the same benefits when plugging-in their own functionality.

How do you think XenForo compares to rival softwares such as vBulletin or IPB?
That’s a somewhat difficult comparison. Both IPB and vBulletin have a big head-start on us in terms of the range of features they have built-in over their years of development. On the other hand, by virtue of being completely new, XenForo has the advantage of being designed for the way people want to use the internet today, rather than being encumbered with legacy functionality that was designed for a market that existed ten years ago.

XenForo seems like a healthy mix between vBulletin and IPB – was this intentional?
We haven’t gone out of our way to copy either, though by virtue of being a forum system we obviously share our core functionality.

Starting out on our own has required that we work very quickly and concentrate on what we consider to be the most important and valuable functionality. In a number of cases, we have looked at features that have been built in previous years and decided to drop those features as irrelevant to the market in 2010, or to merge several features together to make an overall more useful system.

What are your thoughts on vBulletin 4 and Internet Brand’s development on the product?
It’s no secret that my team and I were committed to a complete rewrite of the vBulletin code for version four and were waiting to get started on it since the release of vBulletin 3.6. Internet Brands management believed that the rewrite would take too long, favouring instead an approach that kept the 3.x code in place, which they believed would result in a product being brought to market sooner. Who can say what the situation would have been like today had the chosen approach been different.

Would you say you have learnt from vBulletin 4’s mistakes?
Absolutely. It’s been an education.

How easy will it be to convert our current forums to XenForo?
We don’t have a convertor for phpBB yet – given our background, a vBulletin converter was our highest priority, but I can say that the importer does a good job of matching up data from vBulletin with the corresponding XenForo fields. It also has two additional features which should make the import go as smoothly as possible.

Firstly, although XenForo has its own method for storing passwords that differs from that used in vBulletin, and IPB etc., XenForoo has the ability to specify a different authentication scheme on a per-user basis. Therefore, if we import a bunch of users from another system, we can store their passwords as they were stored in the imported application, and then use the authentication method of that system to verify them when the user attempts to log in to XenForo. As a result, users need not lose their passwords when being migrated to XenForo.

Secondly, we have a script that can pretend to be the old application, and 301-redirect requests for content on the old forum to its new location in XenForo. This means that visitors arriving at your forum via search engines or bookmarks will not find themselves at a dead page, and should help to preserve page rank for the content in question.

How easy will XenForo be to style and mod for?
The styling system has been one of our highest priorities, as making styling as easy as possible for novices while not getting in the way of experts is a guiding principle. There is a lot to talk about, and we will soon be doing a Have you seen… post describing some of the things customers can expect in version one.

XenForo is built on very solid MVC principles. I have already built three applications on top of the framework for my own personal purposes, and creating them was a joy. Although working with fully object oriented code is definitely a step up from the procedural scripts that some plugin authors may be used to, I think that with a little user education on our part and a willingness to try out new things on the part of the community, we will see some truly great add-ons of a quality not seen before emerge from the community. We already have the support of a number of highly influential developers from the modification communities of other forum software – they say they can’t wait to get stuck into XenForo.

Where do you see XenForo in a years time?
Within a year, XenForo will have certainly seen its first major version release and may even have seen its second or third, depending on how quickly we iterate and the nature of the new features and API changes we develop.

We hope to have a significant number of licensees running successful sites, both those who have migrated from other forum software, and brand new communities. We expect to see some very interesting things coming out of the modification community as those developers who are using the system to its fullest introduce the fruits of their labours.

In terms of the core product, We expect it to retain its ease of use and focus on user experience and quality features as we extend the scope of its functionality. We certainly don’t want to clutter the intuitive and graceful user interface with controls and icons and gadgets for infrequently-used functionality. A prerequisite of a feature making it into XenForo is that it must have a great UI and be pleasurable to use.

Could you give us a clue as to how the pricing details will be?
XenForo will be priced competitively with the leading commercial bulletin board solutions. The exact prices will be announced when they are finalized, but right now our priority is the software not the finances.

What methods should new webmasters use to promote their forum?
The same guidelines apply to running a site and promoting it as apply to writing good software. Keep your focus narrow and concentrate on doing a few things really well rather than spreading yourself too thinly and doing a lot of things in a mediocre fashion. Engage with and foster your enthusiasts, and they will do your promotion for you.

Will you be implementing a CMS, or blog system later on?
Given the demand that has been shown on our forums, I would have to say yes, I expect that there will be. The difficulty with a CMS in particular is pinning down exactly what people really want. The definitions of ‘CMS’ as far as customer expectations seem to range from a simple article publisher to a tool that would allow you to build your own Amazon.com with a point-and-click interface. For the time being, our focus is on the forum functionality and ensuring that it provides best-in-class performance and user experience. Once we have nailed that, we will start looking at branching out.

Congratulations on creating such a marvelous piece of software. I can see already the huge potential in this. Thanks for the interview. :)

Thank you very much, and thanks to all the people posting on XenForo and making it such an engaging place to be right now. We are looking forward to once again our software running on sites all over web once XenForo goes on sale.

Want to see it for yourself? See XenForo for yourself here – http://xenforo.com/community/

Member Spotlight – Mikaya

Today we are back for another segment of the Member Spotlight! I apologize as it has been a while since the first segment; hopefully we can keep these regular in the future! Anyway, today we are interviewing Mikaya. She has been a member of Forum Promotion for around five months and has already served on two separate staff teams, the Package Team and the Community Team. She is an Administrator at 3DS Pedia and a Community Team member on Forum Promotion. For the purpose of this interview, I will be known as “TF” and Mikaya will be known as “M.”

(After Pleasantries)

TF: So what keeps you coming back to Forum Promotion?

M: The wonderful and hardworking staff making Forum Promotion a better place for everyone! They do so much for the community and are great individuals who are always up for a laugh and are very easy to get along with!

TF: Good answer! Do you enjoy working on the staff?

M: Yes. I started off my staff venture being on the Package Team. It was a wonderful experience, and was never dull. I enjoyed every minute of it, and working with great team members made my experience worthwhile. Now transferred to the Community Team, I will try my best in this role! Apart from that, I have met some phenomenal staff members along the way and I’m honored to be apart of the staff. It’s a pleasure working with each and every one of you!

TF: Well you definitely make a great staff member, if I may say so myself! As a staff member, you get to see all parts of Forum Promotion; if you were able to change one thing about the forum, what would it be?

M: The old fashioned theme that has been there for quite some time. We need a more modern look to attract visitors and more importantly, the current members who visit on a daily basis. Let’s update our look and make a good impression to those who visit the community!

TF: I completely agree! Now let’s look away from Forum Promotion and more on to you and your administration! Tell us a little about 3DS Pedia.

M: It was founded on August 19th, 2013. It’s primarily based on the popular gaming company known as Nintendo, featuring discussions focused on the 3DS and Wii U, and many well-known titles for both consoles. There are also sections for general gaming, anime/manga to cater for those crazed anime fans, graphic design for those who are skilled and creative in the GFX arts, and of course general [discussion] for times when you want to take a break from gaming-related discussion.

TF: Even as a non-Nintendo fan, I’m pretty interested in your forum now! What’s your favorite part about 3DS Pedia that could attract more members?

M: There is always something to talk about whether it’s about gaming or general. The activity is decent, there is always at least a few or even several (during peak times only) members who are up for a friendly chat, and a good laugh, whether it’s about Pokemon X/Y or just some random subject.There are regular Pokemon tournaments that you can try your luck in. The most popular feature would be the Pokemon League, you can challenge gym leaders (members of the public) to earn badges that will appear in your posts. They will not go down without a fight, and are pretty tough. You will need luck and a solid strategy. One other unique feature would be the play coins system. Earn Play coins from Pokemon contests/challenges, raffles or even sell your spare Pokemon. You can also post quality threads and posts to earn pc. Once you have a substansial amount, you can then purchase eShop Credit (3DS/Wii U) to buy that game that you’ve meaning to buy for ages.

TF: That’s a pretty creative system. It almost makes me want to register to try it out, actually! Who came up with that system?

M: Marc, the owner. That’s pretty much the community in a nutshell. I wrote so much!

TF: It’s perfect! One last question, if you don’t mind. What has been your hardest challenge as an Administrator at 3DS Pedia?

M: Managing the community, as there is a lot of content (as in threads/posts/members) that need to be checked over. As more and more is  being submitted/added over time, the staff and I have to keep an eye on the forum and keep it clean from spam and any sort of offensive behavior. A tidy forum allows easy navigation by members, old and new alike. We also want to make a good impression to those who are yet to join the community. Since we are pretty active, and have time to moderate the community when required, so this doesn’t pose as a threat.

TF: It’s great to know you have the community under-wraps! Moderating is often a difficult and time consuming job on any forum. Thank you for your time, Mika!

M: My pleasure, happy to help! I enjoyed answering your questions, they were interesting!

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Mikaya and 3DS Pedia as much as I did. Have more questions for Mikaya? Ask them in the comments below and she’ll try to answer you as best as possible! Remember to check out 3DS Pedia!

Stay tuned for our next Member Spotlight soon!

Interview with Jordan Howard

Could you tell us a little about who Jordan Howard is?
Well, obviously my name is Jordan Howard ;). I live in northern Ontario, Canada. I love being Canadian and sometimes like to think it is one of my best attributes (I like to make sure everyone knows I’m Canadian) :D I currently own a network of websites, and have also been known to invest in other start ups to help others get off the ground. Developing websites has been a passion of mine since my early childhood. I started early when I was 7 or 8 just making some of the most basic webpages for myself just to share around with friends and family. Here I am over 10 years later now 19 still going at it. I guess you can say it was a a phase that never ended.

You have a network of sites under the Pardy Networks banner (at Pardy.co), where did this name come from?
Well, to start, I suppose I should tell you my name is Jordan Howard (as I just mentioned). However, very little people in the webmaster community know I legally have two last names. My full name is Jordan Pardy-Howard. On the business side of things, I like to to go by Jordan Howard as it sounds more professional then the fun loving Pardy name. Although, I still wanted to incorporate my other last name in my work. Thus, Pardy was going to be the name of my Network.

You now own two forums WebGurubb.com and the 2 million post general chat forum OffTopicz.com (which makes you a Big Board Owner). You also have an interest in ForumHour.com. What is the appeal of adding forums into your network?
To be honest, I never really was a forum guy in the past. I only recently started with forums in the summer of 2012. Which would make that about 1 and a half years ago. (I know it seems so long ago now!) After I had to sell off my shares in my previous network, I needed something new and fresh to keep me occupied. I saw a forum up for sale at digital point, and thought it could make a interesting new avenue. So now, you guys are stuck with me. :P

I joined up on WebGuruBB about a month or two later (In September) as a member of the forum. Nearly a year later I got a PM in my box from xpl0iter (Plato) asking me if I was interested in purchasing the forum. At the time I was heavily investmented on another admin forum, but the investment sort of “flopped”. Nonetheless, I took xpl0iter’s opportunity to take WebGuruBB off his hands and to hopefully help make it grow.

Off Topicz is the newest addition to the family as I have just acquired it. It seems the community may have had a dark past. However, I plan to look past that and help get the forum to its prime. The community has a fantastic small number of dedicated users on the forum that seem to be some of the most friendliest people I have talked to. I am looking forward to be part of that community

Regarding ForumHour, the site is currently owned by Brad who is basically PardyCo’s designer. He pretty much does all of our custom design work. (Along with his own work). When he came to me asking for help regarding the site, I certainly would have agreed to help him out. As it stands, FH is still a standalone independent forum that has no connection to PardyCo Networks.

I suppose I still have yet to answer the main question of what is appealing about them. I can tell you that its not about the money. I’m not here buying the forums to try to make a quick buck by slapping some ads on them. In fact, I’m not even planning on putting ads on Off Topicz at all. WebGuruBB has a few ads on it, but I am not making a single dime off them. Those ads are there to help pay for new features for the site. Our custom addons, themes, contests, member prizes. Well they are not being generated out of thin air xD

I suppose it is the since and feel of a community driven project. I have grown to love the way the community thrives. The way we can meet new people and make new friends. I like to think I have made a few with WebGuru. Hell, I consider Josh to be an outstanding guy. I talk to him nearly every day now with stuff that has nothing to do with WebGuru. Some of the conversations we have are just to funny xD

You had a previous network which you were forced to sell. Explain how it was different to your current network.
Well, for the most part the old one was mostly websites owned by other people that I had invested into. The old network did not even have its own website. PardyCo is now mostly contained of websites that I own, run, and manage. I certainly won’t stop investing into other sites. However, right now as it stands the current financial situation does not exactly allow me to.

Has the silent partner or hands on owner model been more successful for you?
I was actually asked this question (or at least a similar one) by a friend not to long ago. It honestly depends on the situation and what type of website it will be. For the most part as you can probably guess why, forums are more of the hands on owner that will require a lot of your attention and communication between you and your members. I believe the only time it is safe to be a silent partner is when your investing into a website that has a strong capable owner of maintaining everything. You also have to make clear that all you are is an investor and nothing more.

What do you look for when you are purchasing a site?
The innovation, the mission/vision the site has, and if I believe I can perhaps help it in some way are the 3 most important.

I have people coming to me daily in regards if I am interested in buying their sites. Most of the times I have to decline. Not because I don’t like the site or idea, it is just I don’t think I would be the right guy to take over.

If the site is not profitable, then there are a couple things I will look for.
– Is the niche in my area of expertise?
– Is it something I am interested in doing?
– What is the current follower base / traffic?
– How easy is it to maintain?

The forums you own suffered from activity problems under their previous owners. What are your tips for forum revival?
I am no angel when it comes to activity with my forums either though ;) I am very fortunate that both my forums have a small amount of dedicated users that will stick around. Could not thank these users enough. Ownership changes are not always easy. For the first while I normally don’t want to make any drastic changes unless it is necessary to help the forum as a whole. For the most part if you where not part of the community previously, you will first want to get to know your users first hand. This will help you go a long way. It is imperative that the forum keeps its original vision. If the previous owner had a vision for that forum, changing it will probably loose more members then gain.

For some basic tips:

  • Keep trying. Don’t buy a forum hoping it will be instant success. I have seen this far to many times, people buy an established forum, they never show up (or at least not anymore), stop posting, stop trying to bring new features or innovative ideas, etc. The forum will then die, and they wonder what happened. Even if you are busy to post more often then you should, making sure you are doing your administrative job of getting new innovative ideas and features into the board will go a long way.
  • Make sure your staff are active. Nothing says to the users more that your forum does not mean anything or that your forum is dead then that of your staff not participating or being inactive.
  • Contests. Although may not always be successful, it still draws attention. WebGuru once held a $800 webmaster contest that I personally deem to be a failure. The contest itself was good, it did gain a couple members, and everyone who participated did win their prizes. However, the goal of the contest was not met. Still, even users who where not even part of the contest (or even part of the forum) still talk about it on other forums. Thus, generating word of mouth / promotion for your forum. If it is a successful contest, then all the better.
  • Marketing. If you have the financial status to do some marketing. Buying some advertisements or doing some promotion on other websites with the same niche can be a huge benefit in getting targeted traffic.
  • Post on your competitor sites. Now I don’t mean going around and posting your links all over their site. That will just leave you banned, and going nowhere. However, actually participate on their forum. Become a valued member of the community. Actually help out. You would not believe the users who may flock to your site if you seem to care for communities rather then try to take them down in a forum war. If a user on the site starts a thread asking for help, and you have answers on your forum. Provide all the information and leave a source linkback to the thread at your forum. Most sites allow this. (Be sure to read the rules).
  • Post exchanges. Although may not be the best option. Getting your forum started with new posts other from yourself may help other users to be able to post around. Try and see if other fellow community owners are willing to do some post exchanges.
  • Last but not least, make the community a fun place to go to. No one likes a forum that is run by dictatorship, and is only up to gain profit. Make a community out of your forum. Not a business. Sure, if you need help with hosting bills or if your making profit that’s great. I’m not saying to not post ads or offer premium subscriptions, but just make sure you run the site as it should be. A community. Remember that its your users who make the forum. Not you, not the software, not the theme, etc. your users are your most valuable asset when it comes to forums.

When is the correct time to sell a site (provided you aren’t desperate to sell)?
Well if we are not talking about financial problems (Making you desperate to sell) then I just want to state something. A lot of website owner see value that is not there. They have a emotionally attachment to the site that clouds their judgement on what it may actually be worth. It is important to look at the sale in a buyers point of view rather then the owners. With that said, don’t also low ball yourself 😉 I can’t tell you how many times I see a website owner sell their site for pennies (Yes, I’m looking at you Brad). A few things to consider before selling:
– Are you still able to manage the website?
– Is the website easy to operate?
– What are the costs of maintaining the website?
– What is your current income/profit?

If the site you are running is very easy to run, and you still have more then enough time in the world to run it, then you have to think to yourself what is your main reason for wanting to sell? Perhaps make a quick buck? Perhaps invest the money in a new venture/ idea? Nonetheless no matter what your reason is, make sure you won’t regret it in the future.

Perhaps it is the opposite. You love running the site, but you just no longer have the time and or money to do so. You are now looking to find the right buyer who will treat the site as you once did with the same vision you once had. If this is the case, then you will want to go into it further. By this, I mean these will all be questions the buyer will ask.
What is the traffic like? Is it good?
Is it / could it be profitable?
Easy to manage?
If at least two of the three is a yes, it could be a good time to sell.

In your current network, what is your favourite site? The one you most enjoy working on.
Oh definitely WebGuruBB. It is really easy to manage, and I love the software it is using. Not to mention I love the users on the site. All very friendly, and welcoming. Made a few new good friends from the community. Even if it is not the most active in terms of posts in comparison to other forums (At the moment) this is a site I don’t think I would ever sell. The niche is right up my ally. Passion and love is going into that site :D
A close second would be [url=’http://www.xat.so’]www.xat.so[/url] It is a social network I had made using the php dolphin script with several custom modifications and changes made to it. I made the site for users who use the chat website xat.com. It has a nice little community of users who use it daily as well. Love developing for it. Right now I have a developer making cool new features for the site as well. The site is not really a social network for the general internet users. Which is why I think it is doing semi-well as it is niche specific and geared towards users of the chat network. A lot of young teens use the site and to help with user privacy and security I made this to make sure users who like to stay connected to new friends they meet online are not having to give out personal Facebook accounts that may result in personal information being leaked out.

What does the future hold for your network overall and what specific plans do you have for WebGurubb and OffTopicz?
Future for the network? Well we are currently in the process of redeveloping the main website. New design, new framework, new features etc. There is also one big site I am currently working on. I actually already went over my budget for it as well. No one knows what it is yet, and I don’t plan to release any information on it for some time. Probably will be done by the end of the summer that is to come. At least I hope. I also want to start getting back into investing into more of other peoples sites and start ups.

Regarding WebGuruBB, I actually had so much plans for this site when I had first acquired it. These plans have somewhat slowed down a bit since then. However, that has not stopped me on keep providing new features to the site. WebGuruBB now has 4 custom coded addons for the site that is also freely available to download in our resource centre. The newest one being User of the Month. I was hoping to start providing more contests on the forum, and getting the site more active with webmasters. I see a future for WebGuruBB. There just needs to be a bit more incentive on my part.

Just my plans keep changing up all the time. I was once going to start a $2,000 investment prize contest on WebGuru that would go towards a users start up idea. However, then something else had came up that needed some investments. I need to keep my trains of thoughts on one track. Hopefully find a balance in managing 20+ sites at once.

With Off Topicz, it may be a bit to early to tell. I know I have just put up a new theme and logo but besides that I am currently just trying to get to know the current users a bit better before I try anything drastic. I can say am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces there though :D

Member Spotlight – Dragonborn99

Welcome to the first segment in the new series I call “Member Spotlights.” In this series, we will interview different members of Forum Promotion, asking them questions about their experience in the community. I’ll be picking users throughout the forum randomly, so hopefully we can meet some great people! This week, we have dragonborn99! Dragonborn is currently the administrator of RPG Lounge and has around 1,700 posts here on Forum Promotion. He began working as an administrator last year on an old gaming website that has since shut down. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, gaming, and role playing. For interview purposes, I will be marked as “TF” and Dragonborn as “DB.”

TF: Hello! How long have you been on Forum Promotion?

DB: I have been on Forum Promotion since last year, August. I only began becoming active around the Christmas Holidays last year.

TF: Oh! I thought I remembered you from a long time ago! What keeps you coming back actively?

DB: It’d be the great community FP possesses and the awesome staff which are always active around the community, ensuring things are smooth around the forums. Forum Promotion is also a great place to aid with my forum.

TF: You say FP is a great place to aid your forum. What’s your favorite service?

DB: My favorite service? It’d have to be the reviewing service as it helps my forum get more members and I get to hear a professional opinion on my site and where improvement needs to be made. This service has helped me improve things I didn’t think could be improved.

TF: If you could join one staff team, which would it be and why?

DB: It would have to be the Package Team. The staff there seem like fun people and it’d be a great way to meet new people, not only on Forum Promotion but on the other forums you’d be helping as a packager.

TF: You know they’re hiring right now!

DB: Oh yes. It’s just that I’ve been busy as of late and not sure if I’d do very well with a packager.

TF: Completely understandable!

TF: Thanks for your time, man!

DB: No problem. Questions are always great.

Thanks for taking the time to read about Dragonborn! Be sure to check out his site, RPG Lounge, and stay tuned for our next Meet the Community member: Mikaya!