Interview:Derek from Gaia Online-Largest Online Forum


Aug 22, 2004
fumbalah submitted a new Article:

Interview:Derek from Gaia Online-Largest Online Forum

Thanks to Derek for taking time out of his very busy schedule to do an interview with me. :). Hope you all Enjoy!

Can you give our members a brief biography?

Me? I'm a 31 year old Chinese guy who happen to have a lot of interests
and hobbies. Not an expert at anything, I just tend to go wherever my
interest takes me. Eventually I ended up in the networking industry for
the better part of my career. With interests outside of technology which
includes business, marketing and administration, I had been involved
with different ventures and projects. From computer stores to internet
services, being an entrepreneur had always been a part of me.

Why did you choose to start Gaia.?

Japanese anime and video games had always been a source of inspiration
for me and my housemates. There were times when we played a lot of
online roleplaying games, and one day we've decided to discover the
potential of the anime oriented community on the Internet. We noticed
that there isn't a central community centered around anime in general,
and we wanted to start a community that will represent internet users
like us.

Why did you choose phpBB over other forum software?

It's free! :D Been using it since it first came out so I was comfortable
in installing and editing the program. The growing pain would be
tremendous if we went with a paid software which we continuously edit
and we expand and install more servers. I couldn't imagine running
anything with a per server license when there are a hundred servers
installed. Besides, the phpbb community always carry an inspiring and
helpful environment for developers.

What is your favorite thing about running a large online forum?

Our users most definitely. Nothing like receiving immediate feedback
from thousands of users for every feature, update, or bug that showed
up. Nothing else will make you feel more alive. :)

How many moderators/Super Moderators do you have?

Hard to keep count as our moderators can mentor a few helpers to furthur
moderate the forums. I estimate about a hundred. It's quite a challange
for every moderator because of the high traffic volume on Gaia. Can't
thank everyone enough for holding the community together.

What is your favorite moment from Gaia.

It was the first party that was organized by our users. To help
celebrate the event I programmed in a flying gift box which would grant
Read more about this article here...
Last edited by a moderator:

May 20, 2005
Very nice interview however I do miss some important questions.

Like how many programmers are working on gaia?
How many graphic artists are designing the graphics?
How big is the team in general (like manager, PR, developer, and so forth)

Thx for the read



Mar 18, 2004
fumbalah said:
we'll finally reach the beta stage of our development
:yikes: These guys are still in alpha???

Good lord, what will they be like when they get really serious?


vBulletin Guru
Jan 29, 2005
I found that same quote interesting as well... I can't believe he meant the entire forum, I think he means development of just those new features he's planning... by making them live, they become beta for further testing before going "gold"... sort of like how Jelsoft does vBulletin releases.

MGM out


Mar 18, 2004
That was my second thought too MGM, after the first thought posted above. But the entire para suggests he's talking about Gaia in general
Do you have any new features that you are excited about?

We are about to release a host of real time interactive features that
will allow for many gaming or community related ideas. As soon as those
features go live we'll finally reach the beta stage of our development
so I'm extremely excited about this upcoming milestone.
The two snippets "As soon as those features go live" and "milestone" plus just the 'tone' of the answer sound like the whole shebang to me. I guess we'll know soon enough :)