May 27, 2004

On-line Forums - which one? Curious George : When I'm not devouring the threads on MoFi, or waiting for the MeFi to come back on-line, I manage a sizeable database. I've been looking at ways of communicating better with the userbase (approx 500) and encouraging them to share best practice amongst themselves. An on-line forum seems to be a sensible way forward, I've seen Yahoo Groups and it seems to fit the bill, BUT under their Terms and conditions they own all of the information posted to the forum. Does anyone know of any other forum hosting sites or even have any experience of hosting on their own server with some off-the-shelf application,
  • Ezboard has worked for me in the past fairly well.
  • majordomo.
  • come on, lloyder, 'fess up: what's yer database about?
  • 'fess up Smile when you say that, Dishy :)
  • Sidedish, very boring. It's a transaction based DB, holds about 4-500 million transactions in it at any one time.
  • lloyder: what in he HELL does that mean???? *clueless* (that said, it DOES sound, um, impressive somehow.)
  • (THE hell, not HE hell. that would be opposed to SHE hell.)
  • If you were in the UK and you bought a rail ticket, the details of the transaction would end up in my DB. So as I said V boring. Though I am now thinking how a He Hell would be different to a She hell
  • opposed to SHE hell Been there. Looks nice in the brochures, but *shrug*
  • phpBB absolutely rocks... an example is here. Cost: $0.00.
  • If you were in the UK and you bought a rail ticket, the details of the transaction would end up in my DB SO YOU ARE..... (gasp!) ....... A UK ELECTRONIC SPYING SERVICE???? *scary music*
  • (i'm frightened! hold me!)
  • Have a look at, they have a list of forums to try out. I'm about to use phorum for a small temporary website (30+ users).
  • Fuck. I just bought a return ticket from Victoria to Chichester. U 0wnz0r me.
  • I second the PHPBB recommendation. I know nothing about PHP and had a very easy time getting it configured on my server. Of course, my host had it build in and offered some simple startup tools in their control panel.
  • It depends what sort of sharing you want. If you just want a mailing list, Mailman is a doddle to set up and manage. If you want the interaction system du jour, phpBB does indeed seem like a good clone of the UBB style things, and actually works with real databases, not just MySQL. Of course, you could also use a Philter...
  • Take a look at PunBB. It's small, easy to manage, and while it lacks the bells and whistles of the larger boards, it seems to do what it does very well. It's also pretty easy to set up.
  • I've been using phpBB for the last year or so and can generally recommend it, too. It is lacking a lot of features that you find in other BB forum packages, but many of them are available as add-on hacks. I'm looking at Expression Engine as a different way to manage my own online community, but a "group blog" model is very different than a forum model. The Philters are all interesting, but to me they're ultimately too limited to the "post-and-response" format.