Is TAZ now (or soon to be owned) by VerticalScope?

Joeychgo

TAZ Administrator
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Feb 28, 2004
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6,993
What I mean is any buyer might worry the XF team would leave (again) and start another company (again).

Im sure any sale would include a non compete agreement.


Never say never but the circumstances wouldn't be the same.

My understanding is JelSoft, vBulletin's development company was sold to Internet Brands by James Lim who I presume had authority over the rest of the development team. Some of those developers who went on to form Xenforo may not have had any say in the sale (conjecture on my part) which resulted in them working under Internet Brands in some capacity.

There are other posts which give reasons for the subsequent abandonment of Internet Brands and the formation of Xenforo but the bottom line is the circumstances in which the original Xenforo team chose to leave Internet Brands in order to create a new product are unlikely to be repeated because this time, they have control.

My understanding is that:
  • Keir, et al, were not involved in the sale or aware of the sale until it has taken place or close to that point.
  • Keir was effectively running development for vB at that point. When IB pissed him and the others off so much that they left, IB lost its development leadership.
 

Pete

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Think so? I think IB lost their ass on that deal.
I'm not so sure they did.

I'm sure a lot of people assume vBulletin was purchased to further the vB brand under the IB label but I'm not convinced. IB hold a number of sites that they monetise, as well as licensing deals for a bunch of things.

Now, a number of these sites ran on vBulletin (and may still do so, I don't know off hand and frankly can't be bothered to trawl too hard) so buying up vBulletin has three obvious strands:

1. They acquire the technical knowledge first hand for shoring up their own codebase
2. They get to protect the future of their sites by removing a dependency on an external vendor
3. They can licence out the platform as a revenue stream

However there is also a more insidious variation on the third item:
3a. They can decide *not* to licence it out and take away one of the big brands that 'powered the forum parts of the internet'

The thing about this is that it isn't even hard to do the last one, you just underfund it and attrition will do the rest. And you can get some residual revenue in the meantime by even continuing to sell what you do have, maintained with a shoestring budget dev team.

Consider for a moment the state of the forum landscape in 2010. Even then vBulletin's future was in question - with no obvious roadmap beyond the 3.x days, and the lawsuit itself was... sketchy. I will freely admit the details are hazy at this point (and I don't feel like trawling for the filings).

But I would point out 2 things that always struck me as weird:

1. Why do it the day before the beta goes out? If you have a strong claim and you genuinely feel you have been injured, wouldn't you file it as soon as possible to limit the damage? The timing always came across as petty.
2. Surely if the claim were as infringing and damaging as alleged, there would have been an injunction against sales anyway?

I don't - and have never believed - that the IB vs XF lawsuit was ever about copyright claims or 'failure to return proprietary information' or whatever the wording was, but IB attempting to stifle someone coming in and becoming the new vBulletin which could be a credible business threat to them. Not because of the vBulletin part itself but of the fact that a new big-deal forum platform will no doubt lead to new forums that could absolutely put a dent in their bottom line.

I'm not saying it makes sense to us in our corner of the market - but it doesn't have to. It only has to make sense to the corporate beancounters and lawyer types, who do not think the same things. In short, I think the entire vB acquisition was 'simply part of the cost of doing business' and nothing in the intervening time has changed that opinion.
 

Alpha1

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May 28, 2007
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Think so? I think IB lost their ass on that deal.
Why do you think that?

Their financial records showed that they did really well. They were also able to scoop up a very large number of websites on the cheap in a situation where webmasters were in a frustrating and desperate situation. There was staff on vbulletin.com contacting frustrated customers with extremely low ball offers. For example: offering a low 5 figure amount in cases where a 7 figure amount was offered by serious buyers. Some years later they stated to have grown to 2000+ websites.

The way vbulletin management treated customers reeked of clowning. Of course there are various ways to interpret the events. My impression may be wrong. I always got the impression that management was laughing their ass off with events that made customers more desperate. If this is the case (I suspect it is, because there is a clear pattern of behavior) then management were trolling pros.

Many vbulletin sites were in ruins after vb4.0 and Google ranking tanked.

Meanwhile their own sites got really nice software feature updates. Ironically those upgrades included features that were popular among vbulletin customers, were deemed close to impossible because of the complexity or similar to promised features that were retracted or to which the vbulletin developer suddenly went missing.
 
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haqzore

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Dec 6, 2012
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I'm not sure why people are asking.

It's very simple.

VS owns Threadloom.
Threadloom owns TAZ.
Therefore, VS owns TAZ.

1 + 1 = 2

What am I missing here? Until someone announces the sale of TAZ to a party outside of VS entirely, there is no question. VS owns TAZ.
 

DarthVader

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Nov 12, 2017
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I'm not sure why people are asking.

It's very simple.

VS owns Threadloom.
Threadloom owns TAZ.
Therefore, VS owns TAZ.

1 + 1 = 2

What am I missing here? Until someone announces the sale of TAZ to a party outside of VS entirely, there is no question. VS owns TAZ.
What you're missing is the horrible communication to the community. If VS did indeed acquire TAZ it would be good for to openly communicate that to the community and not try to hide it (I know TLChris has read my question above and chose not to answer). Not even the "staff" know the situation..
 

Pete

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I'm not sure why people are asking.

It's very simple.

VS owns Threadloom.
Threadloom owns TAZ.
Therefore, VS owns TAZ.

1 + 1 = 2

What am I missing here? Until someone announces the sale of TAZ to a party outside of VS entirely, there is no question. VS owns TAZ.
VS owning TAZ was a given. The part outstanding is what this *means* for the userbase.
 

CrimsonGalaxy

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What you're missing is the horrible communication to the community. If VS did indeed acquire TAZ it would be good for to openly communicate that to the community and not try to hide it (I know TLChris has read my question above and chose not to answer). Not even the "staff" know the situation..
Unless they are not allowed to speak. In another thread someone was married to someone else who was an admin for a forum that got bought out by VS and they weren't allowed to say anything. Not even after the fact. So, they may not be allowed to say anything.
 

Taylor J

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Messages
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Unless they are not allowed to speak. In another thread someone was married to someone else who was an admin for a forum that got bought out by VS and they weren't allowed to say anything. Not even after the fact. So, they may not be allowed to say anything.
I'm pretty sure that's not how that was portrayed in the other thread. The other party wasn't allowed to speak until it was announced pubicly by VS. In this case it's already been announced by VS themselves.
 

Pete

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knockedAbove

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Aug 25, 2006
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Hello all,

Some of you may have seen the press release that discusses the planned acquisition of Threadloom by VerticalScope. With that exciting news, it also means TheAdminZone is expected to become a part of VerticalScope.

We're excited about the additional resources this will make available to TAZ, including over a decade of community management experience, as well as additional community leaders and knowledge.

More details to follow. Thank you for your patience as we transition to the next chapter for TAZ.

Chris

 

DigNap15

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Sep 14, 2019
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If you read the update in full TAZ says they will be able to have more resources!

They don't need more resorces they need more active members.
This place is nowhere near as busy as it used to be
 

zappaDPJ

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Aug 26, 2010
Messages
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This place is nowhere near as busy as it used to be
In reality TAZ members are posting approximately 20,000 posts a year which is roughly double compared to the first ten years of life.

As I said elsewhere, activity levels tend to come in peaks and troughs and my perception (based on back-of-the-envelope maths) is TAZ is currently at least as busy as it has ever been and possibly more.
 

LostAddmin

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Which means they can either be very hands-off with it, or integrate it into their regular portfolio including a migration to Fora.
In my experienced ... both lead to killing communities, just at diffrent paces.
 

sbjsbj

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Feb 9, 2015
Messages
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In my perception TAZ is basically dead since Sandman gave the site over to Threadloom.

I mean, to be fair, when Sandman was around the last 1-2 years were not great either, but at least more people were around. Where is all the crew like Lisa, Shawn, Poet, Trixie, Ozzy, Alpha, the Pixelexit guys etc.? I never see them around anymore.

I was excited when TL got the site, I thought they will spark some activity here by doing stuff. But they didn't do a single thing on here. There is no content to talk about.

To me it went just downhill from then but I didn't want to say it out loud. Nobody provides admin related content anymore.
 

knockedAbove

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Aug 25, 2006
Messages
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In my perception TAZ is basically dead since Sandman gave the site over to Threadloom.

I mean, to be fair, when Sandman was around the last 1-2 years were not great either, but at least more people were around. Where is all the crew like Lisa, Shawn, Poet, Trixie, Ozzy, Alpha, the Pixelexit guys etc.? I never see them around anymore.

I was excited when TL got the site, I thought they will spark some activity here by doing stuff. But they didn't do a single thing on here. There is no content to talk about.

To me it went just downhill from then but I didn't want to say it out loud. Nobody provides admin related content anymore.
I agree. Maybe a smaller, more casual admin hangout is needed. For those of us that have been around forever and mostly want to talk about the industry news/drama and other non-beginner topics.

Here's some nostalgia for you:
Dev Offload - 248 of 455.jpeg
 

KimmiKat

Adherent
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
444
I like that and independently run.

But not everyone stays forever and some have moved on to other things. Freakbook didn't help either. I remember on another board TL was running, some members called it getting "Loomed!"
I agree. Maybe a smaller, more casual admin hangout is needed. For those of us that have been around forever and mostly want to talk about the industry news/drama and other non-beginner topics.
 

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,581
Unless and until someone can point to specific, tangible things Threadloom (VS) should be doing differently, starting another site to compete with TAZ will change nothing.

I've no skin in the game. I don't work for Threadloom or VS. But this is fact (imo).
 
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