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

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  • 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.

    Comment


    • 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!
      No...No...Meester vBulletin, he no work right.

      Comment


      • 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.
        Aussiefootyforums

        New Site New forum
        Come and talk sports all day long


        Comment


        • 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.
          Regards,
          Nick

          Comment


          • 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.
            Plan, Do, Check, Act!

            Comment


            • 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.

              Comment


              • 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

                Comment


                • 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.


                  vB5 is unequivocally the best forum software, but not yet...

                  Comment


                  • 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.
                    ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
                    Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

                    Comment


                    • 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.

                      Comment


                      • 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 4th Aug '10, 2:29am.

                        Comment


                        • That is 40% of a 109 people... not exactly the 40,000 (approx) established license base VB have, let alone what license base IPB have as well.

                          Yes, I do agree though that xenforo will be an up and comer to the market competition with its state of alpha product release. VB still have time to nail their product with a rewrite, and if they get that done and get it right, I think you will find a lesser shift as a result and more begin implementing their unused 4.x license. xenforo have stated it will be months away from releasing the forum only product in Gold... which gives both competitors more time to improve and meet market demands. Even IPB aren't completely meeting licensee expectations... granted, they are doing it better than VB at the moment, but they both have plenty of time, experience, and existing market dominance in their corners.

                          Comment


                          • I don't think it's just solely about the product anymore here. I think it's about the cost involved and when IB will be charging again as well. vBulletin has sky rocketed in price and IB have not even delivered a good product for that increased price. And many people I think are expecting that IB might hit us with another renewal fee on vBulletin 4/5 sooner than they expected.

                            People are sick of feeling that they spent money on a wasted product, and will be milked for more money soon in the future. I really don't think it's about comparing vB4 against XenForo only. There are other factors involved like money.
                            Last edited by MRGTB; Wed 4th Aug '10, 2:43am.

                            Comment


                            • Yer, I do agree I think I liked the old licensing structure better. Sure, its not as concrete for the company to plan upon, but hey, if you keep the customer base happy, then they keep upgrading.

                              Comment


                              • From my own perspective. I can easily afford vBulletin, but I will say this. Let's say I thought vBulletin 4 was great and the best product out there. If I felt it's becoming too expensive and being charged for again a little too often. I would still stop using it, especially if my forums (poor activity) doesn't warrant paying it. I say poor activity because that's a big problem now with many forums out there, lack of activity today. And that is making people think much more about if it's worth investing large sums of money to start a new one, or if they should look at cheaper or maybe free options.

                                That will also have an effect on vB4 sales, seeing as it's not cheap.

                                Would you pay 15,000 for a car your only going travel 2 miles in every day, or buy a cheap run-around instead for 3,000

                                There is a market out there right now for a good quality forum that's cheap to buy and keep updated. If Kier and Mike shock everybody and sell XenForo much cheaper than people are expecting, well undercutting IPB and vBulletin. They will shift sales very fast.

                                Also keep in mind that many people want to try and make money from their forums, they run them as an investment to make money. So they balance the cost against what they make from Ads per year. If that no longer becomes a feasible option because of software cost involved all the time. You know what they'll start to think? Again something else people think about which is not working in vBulletin 4's favour.

                                IPB and IB, are probably hoping to see XenForo come in at "sale price" that's very competitive with their own forum software sold. If it doesn't and instead comes in much cheaper. They can't fail really I'd say! That's what people want now, a great forum product that's also seen as being cheap to buy. And Kier and Mike don't have the same overheads as IPB and IB, so could do it quite easy. I know if I was them, that's exactly what I would do to take sales away from both sides of the fence, based on value for money. That's the type of economic climate we live in anyway right now.

                                I'm not planning on buying XenForo myself (so far) right now. But if it comes out at a "great price", and I see it as being a very good product with it. My view could change very fast.
                                Last edited by MRGTB; Wed 4th Aug '10, 3:26am.

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