vBulletin, IPB, XF and headaches

I’m starting to lose my mind these days, and I’m sure I’m no the only one..

My web site www.defendingthetruth.com started off on phpBB back in 2005 as a college project. The forum has grown quite substantially over the years and I needed another solution to phpBB, it just couldn’t keep up and there were many issues w/ spam. So after observing some of the best forum software out on the web, I decided to go withvBulletin 3. Since my purchase, I was very pleased and my forums continued to grow. The addition of vBseo only benefited the web site w/ more incoming traffic and revenue.

I don’t know if any of you are like me, but for some reason I must have the “latest and greatest” technology and software. When something new comes out, I want it. Now we have VB4, XenForo, InvisionPower 3.1, and many others. I didn’t list the “many others” because honestly, I feel it’s down to the big 3.

Has anyone recently left VB for Invision or XF, or vice-versa? I think I may have to force myself to wait a few more months to see VB’s release of v4.1. If it doesn’t hold up to VB’s expectations, then I think it will be time to move onto XF or Invision..

Read on here…

UMLforums.com now live!

It’s official, www.umlforums.com is now officially open for free registration to all University of Massachusetts Lowell students!

What came about the idea of a UML discussion forum? Well, just last week I had a chat with my roommate about the future of www.expertiseforums.com We both agreed that ExpertiseForums was a good idea, but there is just too much competition and work involved to get that discussion forum going.. The software alone costs roughly $300, and it was just useless as I had no ambition for the forum. So we brainstormed a bit until we finally came up with the idea of a discussion forum for all UMass Lowell students.

After registering www.umlforums.com and selling www.expertiseforums.com, ideas just kept popping in my head. One particular idea that may be of great interest to UML students is the thought of having an online marketplace to simplify used-book sales. Buying new books on campus could amount to over $400 easily/per semester. By having a discussion forum as a resource, we could all save some serious money simply by selling/swapping books online.

Some other possible future additions could include a database for off-campus housing, albums/gallery, and many more..

This is surely going to be an interesting project!

Defending the Truth – Going Global

Just recently, I noticed the United States is now all green indicating visitors from all 50 states to Defending the Truth (in the past month) Every Monday, the staff of Defending the Truth receives an e-mail with detailed information listing the web sites Visitor rates, Traffic sources, Content analysis, and Goals in graphs/text. These stats are provided to us thanks to the new and improved Google Analytics program. I encourage those who have not enrolled to definitely take into consideration the free Google Analytics program as you will be amazed with the detailed statistics regarding your web site.

Below is an image of the entire globe. Beige indicates no visitors, Light green indicates a small number of visitors, and dark green indicates many visitors from a specific country. Click on the image below for an enlarged view:
Globe Stats

Upon selecting a country, you can zoom in to see which states have sent x number of visitors:
United States Stats

That’s not all…Check out California when I zoom into that state:
Defending the Truth California Stats

Now with these detailed statistics, I’ve been submitting Defending the Truth to directories and search engines of states and other countries of which in the past have sent no visitors. After doing so, I was able to achieve my goals in receiving visitors from every state in the United States.

My next goal.., achieve visitors from every country to Defending the Truth!

DtT Interviews

DtT, which is the acronym for Defending The Truth, has engaged in some new ideas of which you may have noticed in my last blog posting. In this posting, I would like to focus on the new “Interviews” idea for the political web site.

This new feature will bring to the members and visitors of DtT different aspects of the web site which are not primarily forum based. The idea behind this new feature concludes interviewing the members of DtT along with displaying the interviews on a static page. This will be a great way of getting to know the members politically and socially.

Tadpole256, a moderator at DtT, thankfully volunteered for the position to conduct the interviews. He has chosen myself to be the first interviewed, which can be seen here:
Interviews – Jonathan Kingsbury

Tadpole256’s next interview will be onthefence, another moderator at DtT. I think his attitude of interviewing the staff members first is a smart move as it will allow the members to get a better understanding of the staff at DtT. He will then most likely focus his interviews towards the active members of the web site who have been with DtT for the longest time, most postings, and so on.

Tadpole256 is also greatly interested in voiced interviews. Although I do not really enjoy hearing myself on any type of recordings, I think this is a great way to build a closer connection with the members. Even though I only know a couple of members personally, I feel that the new interviews and voiced interviews will help all of us to get to know eachother much better..as if we have met in person.

The All New Defending the Truth!

Under 2 weeks ago, I made some rigorous changes to my political debate community, www.defendingthetruth.com

Some of the new additions made to the web site include:
-Articles revisions
-Member Interviews
-Politician Reviews
-DtTunes (mp3 jukebox)
-Complete re-design

I think it was definitely time for a complete overhaul as the 2008 elections are approaching. Before the updates were made, the atmosphere of the web site was mostly focused on a political forum. I wanted to give the members more features to play with, along with a cleaner, more user-friendly look. The old design was much too plain and it was in need of a desperate change.I threw in around 40 hours of work into the new site. I am proud of the results and I hope that the members are enjoying the new features. Free speech will now be expanded to not only in a debate fashion on the political forums, but now in a way where members can submit Political Articles and Politician Reviews. Submitting Articles and Reviews will be a great way to reach out to a larger audience.

Please visit www.defendingthetruth.com to check out the new look and features.