As we continue to introduce to our new vBulletin 4.0 Publishing Suite, we would like to share our broader vision and answer some questions about where we are headed.
First, our vision. We believe that both content and community are king. Launched in 2000, vBulletin has grown to become the leading and most powerful forum management software in the world, with considerably more than 100,000 copies sold. If you combined the traffic of all vBulletin sites, they would easily rank in top ten largest sites globally—roughly same the size as Wikipedia in terms of unique visitors.
We take pride in the success of our customers as they build some of the leading websites in the world.
But we feel this is only a start. To bring vBulletin to the next level, we are investing heavily. Over the last year, we have doubled the number of developers working on the product—and they are a very talented group. You should expect a much faster pace of development—and more exciting new features.
To focus our efforts, we continue to do research with vBulletin community owners and webmasters. We find that many of the most successful sites want to become more significant content publishers. This is because many communities that started as simple discussion forums have grown into powerful databases of knowledge and content— true leaders in their areas of expertise.
These site owners tell us they want simple, but powerful tools to manage articles, blogs, and all manner of content—all in one publishing platform. The new vBulletin does this elegantly. And by fully integrating with our forums, we believe that our new Suite uniquely captures the power of community and content in a single platform.
This doesn’t mean that we have slowed investments in forum functionality. To the contrary, we continue to invest heavily in the core forum platform and the new product includes some important new features. In our research, vBulletin site owners tell us that in addition to content management, they want tools to help with such activities as: advertising monetization, SEO, site analytics, and mobile.
While we have made some changes in vB 3.8 and vB 4.0 along these lines, many of those changes are ahead for the vB 4.0 series. In subsequent posts from our staff you will learn more specifics about our vision in these areas, in addition to our plans about more content management features, and more enhancements to forum and blog functionality.
You may have noticed that we’ve priced vB 4 products to strongly encourage adoption of the Suite by offering a much larger discount on the Suite. This is very intentional. We now view vBulletin Publishing Suite as our core product. As we add new functionality, it will continue to be fully integrated with the Suite.
You may have also noticed that we’ve finished migration of vBulletin development from the U.K. to California. We have deep respect for the wonderful heritage of vBulletin.
The primary reason for the move was the availability of pools of technical talent and proximity to the resources of our parent company.
We are occasionally asked about the role of Internet Brands as the parent of vBulletin. For instance, how important is vBulletin to Internet Brands? The answer is: very important. Internet Brands is the largest operator of vBulletin sites in the world. We deeply care about the software and will continue to invest heavily in its development. Internet Brands brings far more resources to the ongoing development of vBulletin.
We are also asked: how do we view certain vBulletin sites that compete with Internet Brands sites? The answer is: we manage vBulletin for its own success and we view those sites as valued customers. vBulletin thrives as its own community continues to grow. Internet Brands websites must compete on their own and receive no “special treatment”. Even where we compete, we are all in this together. It’s a big world.
In closing, we are extremely confident about vBulletin’s continued growth and success. We are grateful for your wonderful support. And we have enormous excitement about the road ahead for us all.
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