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ForumCon 2014

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by AndyB, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    I had a wonderful time at ForumCon 2014. I enjoyed all the speakers and networking with other admins.

    Here are my cliff notes.

    The first group of speakers discussed the importance of mobile devices and their importance to forums. One mentioned how his current forum software lacked responsive and how restrictive TapaTalk was. Unfortunately none of the speakers knew about XenForo and how it already provides a responsive mode. I felt like this is off to bad start because of the lack of forum software product knowledge these speakers had.

    Also the first group of speakers talked about the need to somehow create advertising on mobile devices but confirmed how difficult that is due to lack of screen space. The only nugget of wisdom was mentioned by one speaker who said that video seams to be the best solution at this time. I think he meant something like how YouTube uses advertising in the beginning of a video before the real content is viewed.

    The next speaker mentioned how forum software really needs to advance or it will be left behind. For example he said that users need to be able to take a video on their mobile devices and be able to very easily upload that to a post.

    The next speaker discussed the pros and cons of responsive and mobile applications, how each have their strengths and weaknesses, his conclusion is to offer both at this time.

    The next speaker went over how forum communities are made. He said that communities already exists, and that anyone wanting to start a new forum should look at these already existing real world communities and then create a forum to serve those needs, I thought this was insightful.

    The next group of speakers were from forum software companies like, TapaTalk, vBulletin, Panjo, Vanilla and a few others. They each talked about their product and explained features and there was a Q&A after each presentation.

    The next speaker discussed how debates on a forum are very important as it builds bonding between members.

    The last speaker I listened to (I left at 3:30pm) was very interesting. He discussed what the most important reason a person joins a community and it turns out it's be be part of a social group.

    The last speaker also mentioned the high number of new members that post once and never post again and what can be done about this. He explained that it vital to reply ASAP like within the first 15 minutes and then the new member will very likely become a active member.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  2. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    So did you have fun?

    edit: I need sleep. Have to stop skimming things. lol

    Glad you had a good time :)
  3. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    I did have fun.

    I forgot to mention. The first 30 minutes we all did what they called speed-networking. Two rows of chairs were lined up very close and everyone had three minutes to talk with the person directly across from them. After three minutes the one row would move to the next chair, this way we all got to meet about 10 people. This was fun and a great way to meet others.
    Adam Howard likes this.
  4. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Nice to meet you, Andy, at ForumCon! That is, if I remember you correctly.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
    Adam Howard likes this.
  5. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    It goes beyond me how a conference calls itself forumcon and none of the speakers know about XenForo.
    BassMan, Lisa, SneakyDave and 7 others like this.
  6. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    They know about it, but I think there's more to it than what's being said or perceived. I talked to Oliver Roup, about xenForo because ya know. xenForo is growing rapidly enough, that a lot of forum communities are converting. I told him to target xenForo. He said he would.
  7. RickM

    RickM Well-Known Member

    Did anyone ask the vBulletin speaker about the mess that is vB 5.x, and why it's still alpha-grade software?

    Glad they seem to have *slightly* better speakers this year, but it still says a huge amount about the conference when they don't know what XenForo is...you'd have to have either had nothing to do with the forum community, or been living under a rock, especially given how vocal people were on vBulletin's own forums at the time.

    I hope at least there was some discussion about forum softwares OTHER than Vanilla and vBulletin. Did IPB, BurningBoard, phpBB, SMF etc get discussed or anything?
    Adam Howard likes this.
  8. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    1. I could've asked, but I didn't bother.
    2. vBulletin, again was pretty much... No Show. ProBoards and Vanilla were strong contenders there.

    They just left brochure of... vB Cloud.
  9. s.molinari

    s.molinari Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the report Andy.

    Did you get the names of the speakers and what company they represent? That info would make your report more interesting.

    Adam Howard likes this.
  10. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    The vBulletin speaker was asked why haven't their own sites upgraded to vB5, the speaker explained how their own sites are heavily modified and that upgrading is very difficult to do and he also confirmed that many customers are not upgrading either.

    They really needed to have more speakers that run smaller forums and talk about things they did which were successful, for example features members like.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
    RickM, Adam Howard and BassMan like this.
  11. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    Sorry I didn't get the names of the speakers.
  12. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    One speaker I forgot to mention talked at length about her curtly hair forum. This speaker explained how she started the forum back in 1998 using vBulletin and how she went through the growth process. Here business turned out to be hugely successful and she was kind enough to explain how important the forum portion of her website still is today. She explained how working with other businesses in her field was the key to her success.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  13. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    One speaker asked for a show of hands asking who was there that owns a private forum and who was there that is involved with a corporate forum. Turns out the show of hands were 50/50. The same speaker went on to explain using metrics that corporate forums for the most part fail to attract members and that private forums for the most part are very successful. The speaker also talked about paid forum moderation and the different types large businesses use to moderate each post and the costs involved.

    Forumcon has a major problem in that half the audience is interested in private forum information while the other half corporate forum information. Most of the speakers talked about their corporate forum experience and although I enjoyed listening to this, they really needed to have more private forum speakers to offer advice on smaller forums.
    Adam Howard and BassMan like this.
  14. RobinHood

    RobinHood Well-Known Member

    This is the only reason I keep a private facebook group still alive and haven't closed it, forcing the users to use the forum alone. They can upload video straight from their phone/tablet/PC. The forum can't currently provide this functionality and I'd rather they still share the videos even if it dilutes the content between two websites, rather than not sharing it at all. It's a shame though, as some people then get lazy and tend to use the fbook page more often than the forum or cross post to ensure everyone sees the content, which results in lots of duplicate content and each person visiting the forum less regularly.

    Infrequent video uploaders (and even the regulars if they're on a mobile device) don't want to create a new account on an external site (YouTube or wherever), download the youtube app so they can upload from their phone, login, upload, set appropriate video permissions, find the share ink, switch back to the forum, then create a new post and embed the link. It's way too many arduous steps for people who just want to casually share a video up to about 3 mins long from their mobile device.

    It would be great if they could just create a post in a forum where they know what the permissions are/who the audience is and click upload a video, job done.
    AndyB likes this.
  15. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    Excellent information, robinhood.

    One big problem with Facebook in this regard is they currently don't have mobile video support, for example I can't watch a Facebook hosted video using my iPad.
    Adam Howard likes this.
  16. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

    I am wondering when it will be possible to take a picture with a mobile-phone and upload it directly into a Forum-thread with just 1 click ?


    Adam Howard likes this.
  17. Richard Milllington

    Richard Milllington New Member

    "One speaker asked for a show of hands asking who was there that owns a private forum and who was there that is involved with a corporate forum. Turns out the show of hands were 50/50. The same speaker went on to explain using metrics that corporate forums for the most part fail to attract members and that private forums for the most part are very successful. The speaker also talked about paid forum moderation and the different types large businesses use to moderate each post and the costs involved."

    This was me. It was trying to gauge what the make-up of attendees was. It was more mixed than what I thought.

    I actually said private forums are typically more successful than corporate efforts, but the failure rate of both is very high.

    Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. It was terrific to meet everyone and see what's going on in the forum space.
  18. OSS 117

    OSS 117 Well-Known Member

    My issue with video upload, assuming to your server, is size allocation per video and the transfer dent from each video onto yours. You can skip server intensive conversion if you play the video straight out, but depending on the format, it'll put a dent in traffic and space.

    YouTube or Vimeo don't exactly offer such a feature for site and their conversion process is slow as molasses.

    Not that a lot are affected, but if you don't have the space for image uploads/attachments, then I'd look into the IMGUR API. When I looked into it, it could be hooked into an account. The calls to pricing isn't bad either.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  19. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    Hi Richard,

    Thank you for clarifying. I enjoyed your talk very much.
  20. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that always amazes me about this "boring" event. It reminds me of E3 where we get to see the same old rehashed games *cough* modern warfare* and the best gaming companies are not there *coughs* Valve *cough*. I think this is a case that the software (valve as a company) speaks for itself with it's excellence it doesn't need to push and attend events such as these. Let's be honest, the average person would be falling asleep within 5 minutes rehashing the same ole, same ole.


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