Will Facebook Kill Forums?

Pixel Princess

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Pixel Princess While I'm an XF customer, I've been keeping an eye on vB developments and the product does seem to be quite improved over the version in the demo in March 2021. That article editor especially is great and I wouldn't rule out a move to it if XF continues to stagnate.
Indeed FTL. I installed brand new vB5 and the software has worked beautifully from the beginning; zero issues. The only challenges I had, where from my own learning curve (coming from vB4) and those too, were resolved easily, between the vB manual and support.

vB has really made it easy to customize your member forum experience. I'm only at the beginning of working with that part. There are also choices to rearrange your modules on your homepage so your homepage looks updated, (like Drastic suggested) rather then typical message board layout.
 
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FTL

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Indeed FTL. I installed brand new vB5 and the software has worked beautifully from the beginning; zero issues. The only challenges I had, where from my own learning curve (coming from vB4) and those too, were resolved easily, between the vB manual and support.

vB has really made it easy to customize your member forum experience. I'm only at the beginning of working with that part. There are also choices to rearrange your modules on your homepage so your homepage looks updated, (like Drastic suggested) rather then typical message board layout.
I think the next big update from XF will help me to decide what I want to do. I'm really sick of the crappy article functionality on it, especially as both vB and Invision do a much better job of it and both products are getting frequent updates. Again though, I like the many little touches in XF and smooth, fluid operation, so it won't be a slam-dunk decision to stay or leave.

The fact that your personal experience of support is good makes a big difference to me as that was one of the big issues putting me off going vB.

Finally, I just love the way that mentioning a possible migration from XF to vB is considered heresy, lol. If the right (wrong?) people read this, it will put their noses right out of joint and I might get a personal attack or two! šŸ¤£
 

Pixel Princess

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I think the next big update from XF will help me to decide what I want to do. I'm really sick of the crappy article functionality on it, especially as both vB and Invision do a much better job of it and both products are getting frequent updates. Again though, I like the many little touches in XF and smooth, fluid operation, so it won't be a slam-dunk decision to stay or leave.

The fact that your personal experience of support is good makes a big difference to me as that was one of the big issues putting me off going vB.

Finally, I just love the way that mentioning a possible migration from XF to vB is considered heresy, lol. If the right (wrong?) people read this, it will put their noses right out of joint and I might get a personal attack or two! šŸ¤£

I believe vB has taken a lot of criticism and it's like become an unfair pile-on over the years. I tested the vB5 Connect before I bought it for a project; coming from using vB3 and vB4 and found it substantially stream-lined. During the build process my favorite features are still the admin panel (which I know doesn't count), but this one counts as the posting editor is my total favorite feature because I like to write, I don't want any hindrance during the posting experience; the editor is amazing! I also like the fact that I'm not mired by a lot of social obligations of "likes" etc. everywhere I go. Sometimes, you just want to post and sometimes just a short sentence of "thanks" to someone can mean more then "liking" it, but then, that's why I prefer the "modern" forum vibe. The Groups, Blogs and Articles are also crisp and clean. For the record, I do not have any issues with bad code, or bugs. I did do a clean install, no plugins, no added custom skin. The only item I added that could be considered custom was my Website name/Text header and my favicon.

The platform you use is dependent on your type of website niche, personal taste, comfort level, features, price point and your skill set.

I think if you block out the negative chatter and experience testing vB again, you may be surprised. Like FTL said, it shouldn't be heresy.
 

FTL

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Pixel Princess Great to see how far vB has come. Tell me, is the vB post editor better than the XF one, then? I know the XF one isn't the last word in editors, but it's pretty good.

I also like the fact that I'm not mired by a lot of social obligations of "likes" etc. everywhere I go.
Does vB not support likes then? <confused>

The platform you use is dependent on your type of website niche, personal taste, comfort level, features, price point and your skill set.

Totally.

I think if you block out the negative chatter and experience testing vB again, you may be surprised. Like @FTL said, it shouldn't be heresy.

But I'm such a heathen like you wouldn't believe. :p

But seriously, it looks like the criticisms at the time were valid. Trouble is that once a product gains a bad reputation, it sticks even when it's much improved and it's no longer valid.

Case in point: Windows Vista - it really wasn't a bad product in the end. "WHAT?! Declare the rightously angry, ready to stone me into submission.

Yup, I used it from the beginning waaay back in 2007* and in those days, it tended to crash, had compatibility issues and was pretty slow. Plus that debacle with labelling PCs as Vista Ready when they weren't, which was actually fraudulent. However, MS kept plugging away at those patches, so by SP1 it ran pretty well and by SP2 and then later patches, it was near flawless. It remained a bit on the slow side, but was quite improved over the initial release. It also introduced that DirectX driven Aero UI which looked fantastic and still does today.

The successor, Windows 7, was basically a refined Vista with better performance, but the colour scheme wasn't quite as vibrant. I still miss Vista for its interface.

*15 long years ago. Just where did the time go?
 

Pixel Princess

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Pixel Princess Great to see how far vB has come. Tell me, is the vB post editor better than the XF one, then? I know the XF one isn't the last word in editors, but it's pretty good.


Does vB not support likes then? <confused>



Totally.



But I'm such a heathen like you wouldn't believe. :p

But seriously, it looks like the criticisms at the time were valid. Trouble is that once a product gains a bad reputation, it sticks even when it's much improved and it's no longer valid.

Case in point: Windows Vista - it really wasn't a bad product in the end. "WHAT?! Declare the rightously angry, ready to stone me into submission.

Yup, I used it from the beginning waaay back in 2007* and in those days, it tended to crash, had compatibility issues and was pretty slow. Plus that debacle with labelling PCs as Vista Ready when they weren't, which was actually fraudulent. However, MS kept plugging away at those patches, so by SP1 it ran pretty well and by SP2 and then later patches, it was near flawless. It remained a bit on the slow side, but was quite improved over the initial release. It also introduced that DirectX driven Aero UI which looked fantastic and still does today.

The successor, Windows 7, was basically a refined Vista with better performance, but the colour scheme wasn't quite as vibrant. I still miss Vista for its interface.

*15 long years ago. Just where did the time go?

In my personal opinion the vB post editor is the best! It's just a seamless experience....love the advanced editor too. I don't have to fight with smilie placement like in xF. I can post, add a smilie and move on. That smilie will go where I want it. Not that the smilie quirk is where I'm drawing the line on good from bad. I have a full color editor or I can put in the specified text color I want, slightly different from xF. It's not a deal breaker but it also saves time to be able to propagate a color wheel like grid (vB 280 shades to view; xF 28). Again, not a big deal, but if you are on a creative website, color might be important.

Yes, vB has "likes" but that's it. Sorry, I didn't explain that better. You click "like" if you like a post as opposed to a choice of smiles. I love smiles and emojis but the "mire" part is taking the time to pick the right emoji for the post and even still, sometimes it doesn't fit. There are emoji's however in the post editor for use in your post and you can add custom emoji's which I plan to do soon. Personally, with all of the chatter about forums updating and getting into this century, I wouldn't have an issue, if "like" was replaced with something else. "Like" is a product of FB and the further away platforms can differentiate from FB, I believe the better forum platforms will be and likely have a resurgence. It does take a lot of hard work and diligence these days. Creating a forum is not for the faint-hearted that wants instant gratification, though with ingenuity, diligence, resilience we all can build nice places for members to be part of.

Your point on a product getting a bad reputation is also my point too. vB has to some degree deserved some criticisms, but that doesn't mean that a platform can't redeem itself. Since I've been working with vB5 Connect, I'm pretty jazzed about my experience so far. It's amazing!

And....on that note, I thought of the The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon referred to Vista and I thought I'd share for some laughter.

 
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FTL

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In my personal opinion the vB post editor is the best! It's just a seamless experience....
Damnit, you're making me regret going XF! :p

That functionality does sound very good and that it doesn't do anything stupid is really important, too.

Agreed that forums shouldn't just ape Facebook. Copy its best bits and then go one further to give people a reason to want the forum experience.

btw, been looking at the prices for vB and the cloud option looks very affordable. My forum would need the smallest option at just $14.99 / month billed annually sounds great.
 

mysiteguy

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I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I also think it's a good idea to give fair warning with vB5. In my opinion, vB5 from a technical perspective is a polished turd.

What's going on behind the scenes with its architecture is awful. Initially, it's not bad, but as the size of the forum grows, the load grows more than it does with other platforms. In vB5 everything has entries in the node table. It ends up with a mishmash of queries that have JOINs upon JOINs upon JOINs. The query load becomes worse over time due to this. The worst part is by the time many sites learn this, the forum has become large enough that the migration to another platform is double the pain it would be with another platform.

Add to that when you decide you want something custom/different from stock, your choices are few.
 

FTL

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I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I also think it's a good idea to give fair warning with vB5. In my opinion, vB5 from a technical perspective is a polished turd.

What's going on behind the scenes with its architecture is awful. Initially, it's not bad, but as the size of the forum grows, the load grows more than it does with other platforms. In vB5 everything has entries in the node table. It ends up with a mishmash of queries that have JOINs upon JOINs upon JOINs. The query load becomes worse over time due to this. The worst part is by the time many sites learn this, the forum has become large enough that the migration to another platform is double the pain it would be with another platform.

Add to that when you decide you want something custom/different from stock, your choices are few.
Agreed, it's important to know what's going on under the hood and this doesn't sound good. I have no idea how any forum software works internally other than the basics, so I'll take your word for it. Presumably, XF and Invision are much better in this respect?
 

Pixel Princess

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FTL My bad....:ROFLMAO:

mysiteguy Always great to hear expert opinions. Agreed that choices are few as vB.org is dead. Very disappointing from years past, where there were so many great modifications to incorporate. On the custom part, that's exactly what I'm avoiding for the very reason you stated. I'm keeping it simple.
 
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Alpha1

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Another thing to consider with vb is that the core business of its owner (Internet Brands) is to monetize their thousands of online forums. i.e. your demise can be to their benefit if you are in the same niche OR if you want to sell out cheap. IMHO its not a healthy situation to be dependent upon a corporation that may benefit from your demise.
 

Pixel Princess

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Another thing to consider with vb is that the core business of its owner (Internet Brands) is to monetize their thousands of online forums. i.e. your demise can be to their benefit if you are in the same niche OR if you want to sell out cheap. IMHO its not a healthy situation to be dependent upon a corporation that may benefit from your demise.
It's unfortunate that there are so many businesses in general that have or may have poor business practices, however, being an insider of other platforms inter-workings, I have knowledge of some platforms poor business practices, and their personal use of member's data. I do wish for more integrity from the businesses that we rely on, associate with and trust until otherwise are betrayed, which we then have to make choices to find an alternative. The downfall, is we take on that expense to make the change. I just want to avoid that entirely.
 
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mysiteguy

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Agreed, it's important to know what's going on under the hood and this doesn't sound good. I have no idea how any forum software works internally other than the basics, so I'll take your word for it. Presumably, XF and Invision are much better in this respect?

Xenforo has a decent structure. There are a few things which could use improvement, like a few queries with large lists that could use some polishing, but it has more do to with the queries they used instead of the overall architecture. Invision is about the same, some weak points but no fundamental flaws.

I do agree about the editors... Xenforo's could use some extra functionality. I've run into limitations myself. But I think mostly that's a content creator complaint if you write a lot of articles. But not so much a user complaint. Look at reddit and fb, their editors aren't much more complex than simple text input but it hasn't stopped their success.
 
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