Something that gets people involved?

Shadowdare

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Something that gets people involved?

I'm looking for some bulletin board which has simple goals and aims and good support. FluxBB is nice and fast, their CSS theming idea works out very well except all the essentials don't come out of the box and things have to be installed by mods such as CAPTCHA and a PM system.

Vanilla is nice but it's a little slow and I don't like the interface, though it is unique from the common "forum layout." Vanilla is a little like bbPress, they both have an interesting "new posts/threads" box on the front page. Do you think this gets users more involved because they can obviously see new topics and posts being created without having to look at the "new post in forum icons"?

It would be nice to see forums come natively with all CMSs but the one that comes in Drupal 7 really stinks, still! Even after doing the template changes and design changes to make it look more like a forum, but it still doesn't have enough features.

I'm currently using MyBB, however, but I'm looking for something free, fresh and something that will get the users more involved in creating threads and posts without worrying about signatures and nonsense like that.

Should I stay with MyBB?

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Lastnico

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Re: Something that gets people involved?

Hi!

Sorry, I just found back the path to the forum here... and to your post Wink

Anyway, your description of these forum are right, even if I don't find Vanilla that slow. I however do think that pushing recently updated topics in top of the list is really useful to get a dynamic community, but it could be annoying with large traffic websites, were new topics have a little chance to be seen as they will stay no longer than 1 minute on the front page.

About CMS, even if I admit that Drupal forum is quite limited, it can however be easily customized and improved like what you see here. Okay, it takes time, but the result is (I hope) here! Wink

According to what you are saying, I think you are looking for a modern and free forum software, with a good base of features (CAPTCHA and PM are often must-have requirements), so yes, I would say, keep MyBB. If unsure, simply test our demonstrations of more complex software like vBulletin, Invision Power Board and Simple Machines to see if you are really missing something with your current installation.

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Shadowdare

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Re: Something that gets people involved?

Hi Nico,

It's been a while and I've been testing out Vanilla on a live environment for about three weeks so far. A couple of my members say that it is easier to register because there are less fields to enter and it's faster. Posting is also faster too with newer and more AJAX technology than MyBB. I love the profile wall that Vanilla provides. WordPress integration is nice but it isn't really needed if the community features are all going to be on the forum so I don't really care for WP integration.

I have a technology and gaming website. Is that too broad? The blog is the front page and the forum is the second major page. I find both MyBB and Vanilla to be good, better than SMF or phpBB. I'm not sure which one to use. Some of my members find Vanilla to look to simple on first impression. They never even gave it a try for a couple of days so they avoided using it. Sad

In your opinion, what do you think are the big differences between Vanilla and MyBB? Which do you like about both and what do you hate about each other? For a gaming community, which would you choose? For a tech support and discussions forum, which would you choose?

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Lastnico

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Re: Something that gets people involved?

Well, I might suggest you to use Vanilla for the tech support, while MyBB could be more appropriate for the Game Forum.

Indeed, for the Technical Forum, once a problem is fixed, the thread is no longer important for the user who submitted it, and it is always available through a search for other people encountering the same issue. Popular problems are always displayed on top of the list, and you are almost sure most of them will be closed a day, and will slowly disappear from the homepage.

For the Game forum, if your community loves talking about stories, new patches and the game universe, then it might be more interesting to have a more formal way to display them, and hence organizing them in a classical forum layout.

That's, by the way, just an suggestion, without knowing very well the topics of your two websites.

PS: Sorry for the delay, I just came back from holidays...

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Shadowdare

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Re: Something that gets people involved?

Really good points there. I want my forum to be a place where people can discuss many things in the technology community but also receive tech support. I also want it to be a place to discuss anything about the gaming community as well. Those two topics kind of combine with each other. I find the biggest problem with Vanilla is that having two categories on my website can be confusing with their hierarchical layout.

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Shadowdare

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Re: Something that gets people involved?

Hi Nico,

It's been a while and Vanilla has added many changes. MyBB is going slow with their development and is working on MyBB 2.0 I guess. What do you think about Vanilla and MyBB today? Again, do you think the 'all threads on the front page' look is better than just categories?

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Lastnico

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Re: Something that gets people involved?

Hi,

Well, from my point of view, it really depends on the purpose of your forum and the nature of the discussions posted there.

If it's something that must be marked in the rock for several months/years, then a standard forum like MyBB will be good as it's really easy to go back in a given category to previous pages. I think Vanilla is more suited for fugitive discussions, to ask help for fixing a problem, discuss about a basic topic,... while standard forums would allow more advanced conversations, lasting several years if people are still motivated.

But still, note the two software allow these possibilities, simply the format and layout can give the feeling I've just given you above.

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Shadowdare

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Re: Something that gets people involved?

Hi Nico,

Thank you for responding. I still find myself jumping back and forth between Vanilla and MyBB. MyBB's designs are a bit more easier to design because of the table layout and Vanilla's takes a bit more work but is way more flexible.

Vanilla seems to force people to view the latest posts instead of looking over the forum links like other forum software do, but at the cost of organization and important (long lasting) threads. Vanilla does have a search feature, but the index will be harder to navigate because of the organization compared to MyBB.

You can see the type of organization and posts I had on my MyBB forum for not just tech support and stories, but a general tech and gaming forum (don't mind the design, haven't updated it): http://driftapex.com/forum2/
Vanilla: http://driftapex.com/forum/

What I like about Vanilla is that everyone sees the latest posts, there is a social wall (though it isn't really used by anyone), clean code and flexible designs, lack of useless features like signatures, and so on but it's missing a few statistics features, etc. MyBB is good because it has categorization and history features, some more advanced features, but is missing some social aspects.

I find that many of my users didn't hesitate to register on my Vanilla forum and many were too lazy to sign up for the MyBB one because of all the registration fields. My users don't mind using either one. Vanilla looks like a different forum that many aren't used to and MyBB looks like every other forum layout (more competition; other forums have the same layout and people might not join? Quest ).

What if I added a box on top of the MyBB showing the latest 5 posts/threads or something like that?

What do you think would work the best for me or is there a new software that might work better? Please feel free to ask me any questions about my website if you need to know. Also, sorry for asking so many questions, Nico. I know that you know a lot and I'm just wondering what you think. Tongue

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Lastnico

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Re: Something that gets people involved?

This is really depending on the preferred tool of your community. I think I would choose Vanilla simply because its design and its paradigm are way more advanced and modern, more particularly if you compare it to any other "classic" software like MyBB. But, the drawbacks, are, as you explain, lack of organizations and categorization.

From my point of view, adding the latest 5 posts/threads in MyBB front page will not change the first feeling users will have. Moreover if they find the registration process too long and annoying.

Hope it helps Wink I don't know if anybody else here faced this problem and solved it?

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