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Former vBulletin lead developer Kier Darby to develop new forum software?

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  • MRGTB
    replied
    Originally posted by anthonyparsons View Post
    People are always going to back those they are familiar with... human nature. Xenforo has a long way to go before it becomes a viable competitor to VB or IPB IMHO. Already a majority seem not likely to transition to xenforo because it will only be a forum release. Yes, new product, it all takes time, but seriously, bridging is for amateurs, it is unreliable and buggy at best, it creates dual styling requirements and other integration issues. A forum by itself is a useless product nowadays and more and more sites are progressively shifting away from that model, hence the demands on both VB and IPB to produce a core product that integrates with other solutions without conflict. A forum used to be a standalone website, but more are shifting away from that age old philosophy. Either software changes with the web or it gets left behind. Xenforo will appeal to those who are waiting on 3.x for a speedy solution. If 4.1 doesn't solve that solution for them, some may shift to xenforo. Some have already made-up their mind to shift. Of the poll I read, only about 40% of voters had conclusively decided to migrate, and that was of a 109 voters, so around 40 people is not exactly damaging stuff to VB or IPB from a poll. Many have stated their existing vb installs will remain as is, and they will give the new one a trial on a new project... nothing really damaging overall from what I have ascertained from reading.
    40% of people saying they will migrate is a better percentage than I expected, and not a figure to be sniffed at. Plus you can expect that figure to probably grow slightly as XenForo gets better over the coming months.

    What you did miss out here though, was that most people said they would not convert vBulletin over to XenoForo. Instead will start a new project using it. So it seems most sales of XenForo will not effect vBulletin boards as such because they'll be used as another clean install for a new idea e.t.c. If they end-up keeping that then taking vBulletin down later, or even migrating it over is another story. But it does seem the much bigger percentage is not willing to convert vB to XenForo just yet, they'll be playing it safe for now as another install.
    Last edited by MRGTB; Wed 4 Aug '10, 2:29am.

    Leave a comment:


  • anthonyparsons
    replied
    Originally posted by jmurrayhead View Post
    Don't forget about those who stated for any new additional projects, they would use XenForo over vBulletin.
    I know I will buy one just to try it out. I have several vb, one IPB, phpbb and even did an install on the wordpress bb just to see how it was. I will add xenforo to that list in order to try it out for myself, I will add it as a new project somewhere to test and gauge user feedback as well, as a bunch of forum admins on xenforo praising the work done thus far is not really an accurate gauge in my mind on user feedback. Already it has begun overwhelming the devs there with the requests to pretty much mimic the exact features that vb and IPB already offer (one by one)... which also defeats the purpose IMHO of having a new innovative product within the field.

    Originally posted by Reeve of Shinra View Post
    Ironically, its not too late for the vbulletin team. They've already lost customers to competitors and they will lose more to XF but they can mitigate the damage. It all depends on whether they can correct the issues (and I've gone into that too many times to repeat it here) and deliver a 4.1 that is picture perfect and raises the bar a level.
    Absolutely. I would actually even like to see them release 4.1 as a public beta if they are making full template and CSS changes, so then atleast the vb devs get some timeout from having to officially support it, but garnish that wide base of users feedback to identify and correct all the further aspects that had not been thought, found or fixed prior. IMHO, I believe beta is a devs best friend... Google leave things in beta for years, and whilst that is obviously unrealistic with a software that spans a 2 - 3 year release cycle, I believe beta used effectively can certainly put a cap on having to officially support with wasted time vs. allowing solid dev time to correct bugs and issues reported during beta, release a final rc to gather appropriate approval / any further minor issues introduced or missed, then release it, thus you send a product live that isn't going to overwhelm your support mechanisms.

    IMHO, I think every release should be made public beta which I believe only refines the product before each official release as a gold product thus engaging official support and dedicated support time from staff. To me its a common-sense approach to limit staff downtime and limit negative criticism for releasing of products that the customer base don't find quite solid and robust.

    Leave a comment:


  • ManagerJosh
    replied
    Originally posted by beishe8 View Post
    That is necessary to survive.
    I don't think it's just necessary, but a reality on the fact their fixed costs are extremely low. We're paying a higher price to Internet Brands because their overhead is significantly more.

    Leave a comment:


  • beishe8
    replied
    Originally posted by FreshFroot_ View Post
    Also remember.. Kier has stated he would like to BRING back the old policy they had... which was allowing users to renew yearly instead of having them pay so much upfront PER a version.

    It would be nice to see the old pricing scheme there. $160 US owned, 100 leased and $30-40 renewals
    That is necessary to survive.

    Leave a comment:


  • FreshFroot_
    replied
    Also remember.. Kier has stated he would like to BRING back the old policy they had... which was allowing users to renew yearly instead of having them pay so much upfront PER a version.

    It would be nice to see the old pricing scheme there. $160 US owned, 100 leased and $30-40 renewals

    Leave a comment:


  • Abomination
    replied
    Originally posted by Reeve of Shinra View Post
    What makes XF dangerous -- hope.
    XF for president!!!



    Originally posted by Reeve of Shinra View Post
    For those less inclined to go through another 'presale' event, some are content to stay with vb3 (no new revenue for IB), some will migrate to IPB 3 in the near future (again no new revenue for IB) and others will wait and see how XF develops and switch to that when it becomes a viable candidate to do so (again no revenue for IB). Whether XF succeeds or not, it clearly states that people won't be buying vb5. Those planning on lingering around on vb3 or vb4 right now may want to milk whatever value they can out of the product they already paid for.
    Bingo.

    And my prediction is that will cause other things to change in the future.


    Although I think 'reduced revenue' is better wording than 'no revenue', I am sure many will not know about xf for a while.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reeve of Shinra
    replied
    Originally posted by schwab2clarkson View Post
    So true.
    There are heaps of forums that compete with vBulletin some paid and some free. This is just going to be another competitor that will find out that vBulletin is better than what they are.
    Despite my criticisms about vb4, I've tried to be very fair when it comes to feedback so here goes:

    Lets start with something basic....

    I knew a dating coach and one time he said (and I paraphrase a little badly here) that he never lost a girl to another guy. The only time he lost a girlfriend was when he wasn't taking of her needs. The same is true of vbulletin -- just look at the love, the loyalty, everyone had. We were excited and passionate about vb4 like a girl knowing that her boyfriend was going to propose soon! Then one night the girl goes home, expecting him to pop the question over a home cooked dinner, only to find her fiance f--king her best friend on the couch. No matter how hard he tries, no matter what he does, she will never trust him again. Trust is such a fragile thing, and the loyalty and respect and trust we had for vbulletin vanished as mishap after mishap occurred and promise after promise was broken by the collective vb management team. So if anything, its not that XF is wooing people away, its that vbulletin lost the relationship it had with us and we now find ourselves back out in the market and interested in others.

    What makes XF dangerous -- hope. Many people feel that XF will be able to do everything they've wanted a forum to do. Maybe not from day one, but sooner rather than later it will clean the house and grant wishes. It doesn't matter what it can or can't do, only what they think it might be able to do.

    For those less inclined to go through another 'presale' event, some are content to stay with vb3 (no new revenue for IB), some will migrate to IPB 3 in the near future (again no new revenue for IB) and others will wait and see how XF develops and switch to that when it becomes a viable candidate to do so (again no revenue for IB). Whether XF succeeds or not, it clearly states that people won't be buying vb5. Those planning on lingering around on vb3 or vb4 right now may want to milk whatever value they can out of the product they already paid for.


    Maybe I'm in a unique position here because one of my main sites started out as something of a joke but a ton of unhappy people from other communities found us welcoming and decided to stick around. They brought their friends with them too. This happened 10 years ago and without any promotion whatsoever the community still goes strong and older members come back every so often to say hi and chat for a bit. I saw the same thing happen when XF opened its doors to the public only it was like a rampaging elephant on crack. In one night they built not only a community but a culture. Think about it.


    Ironically, its not too late for the vbulletin team. They've already lost customers to competitors and they will lose more to XF but they can mitigate the damage. It all depends on whether they can correct the issues (and I've gone into that too many times to repeat it here) and deliver a 4.1 that is picture perfect and raises the bar a level. Its a very tough spot to be in. I doubt the current team can execute on such a plan if they even have one. But maybe, ... just maybe... if they were able to do so, they could retain a good number of people.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick
    replied
    Originally posted by jmurrayhead View Post
    To those of you who said that Kier and co didn't listen in the past, it was said they could only do so much because they weren't the owners of vBulletin. They had to go in the direction that the owners wanted. And let me tell you, as owners of XenForo...they ARE listening to customer feedback and ARE working daily to provide the product that customers want.
    Exactly. People weren't in love with every aspect of how vBulletin was managed (before IB came along) and because Kier was essentially the face of the company, everybody puts the blame on him. He's just the lead developer of the product; not the CEO, not the project manager, not the one who makes decisions. So in essence, any faults with the vBulletin company (whether it be lack of communication, slow development, or poor product) were just that: faults of the company; not faults of Kier. You must realize that Kier wasn't in control.

    In contrast, with XenForo, Kier and Mike are in control. I'm sure they are relieved to be lead developers and owners, allowing them to maintain their own visions, as well as make all decisions for the path of the product.

    Leave a comment:


  • carntheroos4eva
    replied
    So true.
    There are heaps of forums that compete with vBulletin some paid and some free. This is just going to be another competitor that will find out that vBulletin is better than what they are.
    Originally posted by anthonyparsons View Post
    People are always going to back those they are familiar with... human nature. Xenforo has a long way to go before it becomes a viable competitor to VB or IPB IMHO. Already a majority seem not likely to transition to xenforo because it will only be a forum release. Yes, new product, it all takes time, but seriously, bridging is for amateurs, it is unreliable and buggy at best, it creates dual styling requirements and other integration issues. A forum by itself is a useless product nowadays and more and more sites are progressively shifting away from that model, hence the demands on both VB and IPB to produce a core product that integrates with other solutions without conflict. A forum used to be a standalone website, but more are shifting away from that age old philosophy. Either software changes with the web or it gets left behind. Xenforo will appeal to those who are waiting on 3.x for a speedy solution. If 4.1 doesn't solve that solution for them, some may shift to xenforo. Some have already made-up their mind to shift. Of the poll I read, only about 40% of voters had conclusively decided to migrate, and that was of a 109 voters, so around 40 people is not exactly damaging stuff to VB or IPB from a poll. Many have stated their existing vb installs will remain as is, and they will give the new one a trial on a new project... nothing really damaging overall from what I have ascertained from reading.

    The simple fact though is that xenforo is a newcomer and it will take years for it to establish itself as a solid competitor to VB & IPB. Only those truly disgruntled persons who also followed Kier and Mike are going to immediately shift, anyone else is going to weigh up all factors. Some have shifted to IPB, some don't like IPB after they shifted and are waiting on VB to improve its game... the list goes on. Some admins are going to get quite a shock at the same time if they have established forums, being that many are making decisions that their users may just not like. Unless you run the only forum of its type in the world, they will shift or simply stop using the site if you piss them off.

    I have seen plenty of major forums for their topic just die because of administrators shift in attitude or priorities, design, policies and more. What goes up will always come down, its just a matter of for how long each way.

    Leave a comment:


  • jmurrayhead
    replied
    Originally posted by anthonyparsons View Post
    Of the poll I read, only about 40% of voters had conclusively decided to migrate, and that was of a 109 voters, so around 40 people is not exactly damaging stuff to VB or IPB from a poll. Many have stated their existing vb installs will remain as is, and they will give the new one a trial on a new project... nothing really damaging overall from what I have ascertained from reading.
    Don't forget about those who stated for any new additional projects, they would use XenForo over vBulletin.

    The truth is...vBulletin isn't going to die, just yet. At this point, I don't care where vBulletin is going. But I will say this:

    To those of you who said that Kier and co didn't listen in the past, it was said they could only do so much because they weren't the owners of vBulletin. They had to go in the direction that the owners wanted. And let me tell you, as owners of XenForo...they ARE listening to customer feedback and ARE working daily to provide the product that customers want.

    Okay, this is the last time I post here. Just wanted to add my $0.02. Have a nice day!

    Leave a comment:


  • anthonyparsons
    replied
    People are always going to back those they are familiar with... human nature. Xenforo has a long way to go before it becomes a viable competitor to VB or IPB IMHO. Already a majority seem not likely to transition to xenforo because it will only be a forum release. Yes, new product, it all takes time, but seriously, bridging is for amateurs, it is unreliable and buggy at best, it creates dual styling requirements and other integration issues. A forum by itself is a useless product nowadays and more and more sites are progressively shifting away from that model, hence the demands on both VB and IPB to produce a core product that integrates with other solutions without conflict. A forum used to be a standalone website, but more are shifting away from that age old philosophy. Either software changes with the web or it gets left behind. Xenforo will appeal to those who are waiting on 3.x for a speedy solution. If 4.1 doesn't solve that solution for them, some may shift to xenforo. Some have already made-up their mind to shift. Of the poll I read, only about 40% of voters had conclusively decided to migrate, and that was of a 109 voters, so around 40 people is not exactly damaging stuff to VB or IPB from a poll. Many have stated their existing vb installs will remain as is, and they will give the new one a trial on a new project... nothing really damaging overall from what I have ascertained from reading.

    The simple fact though is that xenforo is a newcomer and it will take years for it to establish itself as a solid competitor to VB & IPB. Only those truly disgruntled persons who also followed Kier and Mike are going to immediately shift, anyone else is going to weigh up all factors. Some have shifted to IPB, some don't like IPB after they shifted and are waiting on VB to improve its game... the list goes on. Some admins are going to get quite a shock at the same time if they have established forums, being that many are making decisions that their users may just not like. Unless you run the only forum of its type in the world, they will shift or simply stop using the site if you piss them off.

    I have seen plenty of major forums for their topic just die because of administrators shift in attitude or priorities, design, policies and more. What goes up will always come down, its just a matter of for how long each way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lionel
    replied
    I hate to tell you the amount of people that come to my site and had in their mind that vB was just a forum. Sure enough, after they saw my addons, they came back to buy them, and of course had to buy vB first.

    And the amount of customers that told me that they don't like vB because it's all the same look. When I pointed out to them some real gorgeous templates, that was enough for them to come here and grab their copy.

    Unfortunately I am just one person.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alfa1
    replied
    I had to search for a year to find all commercial addons, coders and desginers available. IB and Jelsoft have been very effective at hiding commercial possibilities for vbulletin from their customers. As such they also hide the potential of their software and take away the breeding grounds for new addons. Limiting growth of new functionality and thereby limiting their own sales.

    I believe Lionel is spot on. The company that will allow external developers, designers to advertise their products and services will win. Even if it is a new company like XenForo. But from comments on the XF forum, it seems that XenForo will sail the same route as vbulletin did some years ago.

    It's easy to prove that what Lionel says is true. Just take a look at the features that are being requested from XenForo. Its the same over and over again: a feature set that ranges way beyond a forum, or what vbulletin has to offer. Even beyond what IPB has to offer. Market demand is where no company currently is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lionel
    replied
    In my opinion, what really put vb to the top was vb.org. Unfortunately they have a strange policy of preventing independent coders to advertise their products, although this could have translated into more sales for them. The world is not made of IB and Xenforo developers only. I think the company that will allow external developers to show users how they can extend their forums will be the winner. I sincerely hope that xenforo will not take the vB stance about that.

    Leave a comment:


  • beishe8
    replied

    Leave a comment:

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