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The Demise Of Ezboard

(category: Forums, Word count: 917)
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For years, EZBoard was a community that offered relatively cheap and easy to maintain forums for managers. Virtually anyone could register, design, and layout a site and invite their friends to participate. Indeed, some of the largest forums on the internet are built upon EZBoard. Unfortunately, a recent system-wide hacking attack has destroyed the company's reputation and sent many managers packing. Let's look at the venerable community and the fatal flaw that has toppled the company from its perch.

At one time EZBoard boasted over 14,000 web communities. Many were started by individuals seeking a discussion forum for their favorite topics, while others were started by business people such as myself. The reasons businesses were attracted to EZBoard were two-fold:

1. We were not knowledgeable enough about PHP to create and manage a site for ourselves, and

2. We did not want to go through the expense of hosting our site on a dedicated server and, instead, used EZBoard's vast bank of computers to house our communities.

Admittedly, reason #1 was a huge part of why I stuck with EZBoard. Sure, I knew about vBulletin and related forums but purchasing a license from them and managing the site on a dedicated server was a pricey option, especially since at one time I was managing more than a dozen forums! I could handle the variable charges incurred from being with EZBoard by paying my subscription charges on either a quarterly, semi-annually or even yearly basis. I doubt that I dished out more than $500-600 in any given year, so it was cost effective for my business.

I should have known that EZBoard was not quite up to the task when their system shut down for several days in Spring 2004 after what was supposed to be a simple system-wide update of the forums. A few hours of down time was extended to several days and forum administrators were left in the dark for all of that time. More importantly, many forum members assumed the worst and peppered many an administrator's inbox with queries. Those days were not fun; EZBoard did recover and gave managers credits exceeding the number of days they were down. Still, if you relied on AdSense revenue - like I do - you lost big time.

History was to repeat itself on May 30, 2005, when a reported outside attack by hackers brought down EZBoard altogether. Yes, the boards were still working, but the majority of messages were gone and any new ones also began to disappear. EZBoard admitted almost immediately they were hacked and were working diligently to restore the 9000 boards affected. Soon, however, the news came out that much of their backup files were hacked as well. Forum managers wondered if EZBoard kept all their files on vulnerable servers or if the attack was done internally. Messages from EZBoard management were vague "in the interest of security" so nobody knew for sure.

As the days passed and forum managers realized that the restoral process would only be partial and take weeks to accomplish, a steady stream of managers began to hit the php sites to see about moving their boards. With trepidation I visited the PHPBB2 site knowing that my skillsets were limited in this area. However, I soon learned that this particular program was open source - in effect, free - and the Flash tutorials explained everything clearly and effectively. So, in one evening I set up the new site, transferred some files, and gave it a launch.

The best part? In the two years since I was with EZBoard my hosting company for web pages had upgraded their site enough to be able to house my message boards. So, instead of having web pages on one server and my forums on another, I could house them collectively. Most importantly, I would no longer have to rely on EZBoard's flawed backup plans and could backup all the files myself.

I still have one EZBoard community and I may keep it, for now. It is a small, but very well established where it is "sitting" and I lost only 4 or 5 files under the attack. Two of my sites I transferred to PHP and two others I decided to delete as they were slower performers. Fortunately, I had gotten rid of several smaller, no performing sites earlier. Still, I felt the pain of EZBoard's hacking incident and decided the time to move was now.

So, what is the future of EZBoard? That is hard to tell. They are promising a major upgrade which would include the ability allowing managers to back up their own sites. That would be a very good move. However, the administrative costs with EZBoard now exceed what managers pay with many standard web hosting companies. Few sites are large enough to require a dedicated server, therefore many managers will likely consider making the move away.

I was twice bitten from EZBoard and did not relish a third hit, thus my two largest sites are now with PHPBB2. The move was time consuming, but the new board has many more advanced features compared to EZBoard. Sure, I have more administrative things to do - like help AOL users who have difficulty signing up - but I no longer am subject to the whims of EZBoard. I am glad that a major risk factor has been removed even with the increased administrative responsibilities. You will be too if you decide to make the move.

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Phpbb You Can Simplify The Set Up Process

(category: Forums, Word count: 406)
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In several previous articles I mentioned my having downloaded and installed the fantastic PHPBB open source forum. I shared with readers the lengthy and tedious process of selecting the right mirror, downloading the files to my computer, and following all the long, drawn out, and complicated set up steps. Fortunately, what was once a procedure that took the better part of a day can now take 30 minutes or less to complete! Let's take a look how you can shorten the entire set up process and start benefiting from this free, popular program.

When I set up my first two PHPBB forums in June 2005, I did so under duress. Just days earlier, my then message board host - EZBoard - had their entire system shut down by hackers. Or so they claimed. My two popular sites, the Aviation Employment Board and the Corporate Flight Attendant Community were left in the dark as EZBoard's system rendered the sites virtually inoperable. With a repair promised, but several weeks away, I decided that I needed to quickly move away from EZBoard and over to a forum where I could exercise full control. Enter PHPBB.

Because I needed to use a cumbersome EZBoard converter file to transfer threads over to the new site, I had to take the long way of setting up my new forums. Indeed, the converter file was imperfect and quite a number of threads never made the transition. Still, when all was said and done, the new forums were light years ahead of EZBoard.

Since setting up my first two forums, I had to set up a third forum for a customer. This time, I chose the quick route by setting up the forum through my web hosting company. As is the practice of some web hosts, fully set up forums are available for your downloading. Simply select a web host offering this feature, establish your database with them [usually MySQL], and download the files. Within minutes, a fully usable forum will be established on your site and all you have to do is set up the forum parameters and then you are ready to go.

PHPBB is a terrific forum, one that doesn't charge set up fees or an annual license charge [unlike vBulletin] and is certain to help you make your site a success. Download PHPBB today to get started on building your online community!

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Web 2 0 Tag Based Forum

(category: Forums, Word count: 389)
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Web 2.0 generally refers to a second generation of services available on the World Wide Web that lets people collaborate and share information online. Web 2.0 application often use a combination of techniques devised in the late 1990s, including public web service APIs, Ajax and web syndication. They often allow for mass publishing (web-based social software). The term may include blogs and wikis.

Lately, a new Web 2.0 application has launched called SayOutLoud. SayOutLoud is an interesting and new approach to your average discussion board site. It's not a discussion system that you download and install on your site, but a one location where anyone can go and discuss anything at all. It uses tagging rather then using forums and threads to organize content. The system is extremely minimalist and is designed in a way that anyone can get in and start a discussion.

A tag is a keyword which acts like a subject or category. A keyword is used to organize webpages and objects on the Internet. Each user "tags" a webpage or image using his/her own unique tag. An image or webpage may have multiple tags that identify it. Webpages and images with identical tags are then linked together and users may use the tag to search for similar webpages and images.

When you submit your story to SayOutLoud, it notifies several other Web 2.0 services including Del.icio.us and Technorati about your post. Because these systems also support tagging, hundreds of users watching a the tag(s) you posted to will immideately discover your post. You can have the experts reading whatever you had to say out loud in minutes.

SayOutLoud also features your average discussion board functionality where you can search posts and users, manage your profile, and post new threads. Although the main difference is that everything is organized with folksonomy so when searching for users and threads, you can search by tag. Because of this, it also makes it easy for me to find people with related interests and to follow their discussion simply by searching for users on a specific interest tag. I type in "AJAX" and I get a list of members that are interested in Ajax. Same applies to threads. Furthermore, you can also view a tag cloud so you can find new and popular discussions.

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Why Do Some Websites Have Message Boards

(category: Forums, Word count: 395)
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Remember when email seemed so quick and convenient? You could share your thoughts with a friend or group of friends within a period of a few minutes. Then the technology of instant messaging was developed, and with it, message boards. Website builders quickly picked up on the use of message boards, seeing how these boards allowed instant communication between everyone viewing their website.

A message board can be found in several different formats. Some websites require visitors to create an account, with a user name and password, before they can post a message on the board. Other websites have message boards that are open to anyone to post anonymously. Their post will show up instantly on the board. Sometimes, a message board will be watched over by an editor, or moderator, who can reject or delete posts based on whether the content of the post is appropriate for that website. On these boards, posts are often delayed for a brief period of time so that the moderator can read over the post. Some message boards are divided up by topic. These are also referred to as threads. Visitors to the message board can pick a topic, and when they post their message, it will appear under that topic.

So what is the benefit of a website having a message board? Some websites are actually built around message boards. An example of this type of website might be a hobby website for people who like to paint scenery. The site would have a message board where artists could come to talk to other artists to get ideas or tips, or to find out about a specific topic related to painting, such as where to buy a certain type of paint or brush. Other websites have message boards to encourage traffic on their site. Think of a music group, for example. By providing message boards for their fans, they are encouraging their fans both to visit their site and to spread the word about their group, which would in turn increase album and merchandise sales.

If you are looking for information on any topic, a message board is a great place to visit. And, if you are building your own website, consider adding one; there are many benefits, and it will be appreciated by everyone who visits your site.

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Using Forum Posting To Drive Traffic

(category: Forums, Word count: 186)
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Post relevant information to forums and genuinely contribute to discussions. And have your signature along so that your link will be there. When you visit sites with guestbook, forums, or blogs make posting leaving your link behind. And people will click it and find your site and shop.

Go to http://www.big-boards.com for a list of forums.

But all the forums are yelling, "Don't abuse forum rules!" What are forum rules? They don't want you to post a link, even if it offers help. If you do, the moderator will delete your entry immediately and have you banned. If your signature is even allowed, nobody reads signatures. Ask this: when is the last time you personally read a signature?

It is only when your comments and discussion is so powerful that people will trace you. Like most traffic techniques, fun comes in first.

You should just try to help other and have fun while posting in forums and leave your signature so that anyone interested in you can find you.

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How To Become A Successful Freelancer Designer On The Contest Forums

(category: Forums, Word count: 372)
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Do you want to know the best method to become successful as a Freelance Web, Logo & Template Designer? This article will help you save hours hunting around for the best forums and techniques to succeed!

There is no better way of improving your skills, getting recognised and building up ideas than to compete in the Graphic Design Forums. With so many different contest forums on the web it is difficult to pick out the ones that are best suited to for you. There are literally hundreds of web sites offering freelance services and forums.

A good way to help you decide is to think about what kind of results you wish to get out of joining. Some people join to compete against other designers in the hopes of winning competitions and receiving financial rewards. Others join up to learn from their professional competitors and slowly build up their skills and reputation. The problem with competing for money is that unless you are a well established and talented designer with loads of previous experience you are unlikely to win many if any competitions. How do I know this? Well, I tried to do that exact thing for over a year and it rarely paid off for me.

It is important to understand that top professional designers with years of experience will be regularly showing of their creative skills by submitting their superior designs. They have a system in place for quickly and professionally come up with brilliant designs to meet the clients specifications. However, don't let this put you off as competing against the professionals will help you to improve your own works.

When looking at current submission think of how you could improve upon that design. I am not saying rip off their designs, as this will lead to your account being banned from the forums. Simply acknowledge their work and come up with something equally as original based on the guidelines set by the client and submissions already present.

Here are some useful design forums to look at:http://www.sitepoint.comhttp://www.namepros.comhttp://www.designcontests.netNext weeks article will focus on these forums in more detail. We will also discuss how to successful build up a reputation.

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Selling Yourself On Forums

(category: Forums, Word count: 811)
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Because of the anonymous nature of the internet people are generally more skeptical when it comes to doing business online. Owing partly to famous internet scams sensationalized by the media and to bad personal experiences online, people are less likely to trust a party whom they've never met in person.

As an online marketer, you face the challenge of building trust and loyalty without the benefit of a physical handshake, a face-to-face meeting, or even a smile. To this end online forums can provide an excellent way to build meaningful relationships with people and attract new customers.

By joining a forum in your area of expertise, you gain access to a community that shares your interests as well as a pool of potential customers. There are countless forums dealing with just about any topic imaginable. The vast majority of forums do not charge you a fee to register or post messages. Many allow you to include with your posts self-promotional "signatures" that you can use to promote your business and link to your website.

A good way to locate a forum relevant to your line of business is to do a keyword search using one of the major search engines. Why a major search engine? A Google search for "website marketing forum," for example, will not only return dozens of relevant forums on website marketing, but will also give you an indication of how highly they are regarded by the search engine giant, as gauged by how high they rank for that key phrase. Forums that rank higher on the search engine result pages (SERPs) are the ones of which you'll want to become a member.

Forums allow you to share knowledge and gain reputation as an expert in your field. Offering concrete advices that are immediately useful to other people is an especially effective marketing technique. Once you've gained credibility in your field, you will be sought after for your professional expertise without your having to promote yourself.

Participating in forums is also an excellent way to humanize yourself and your business. When people deal with you, they'll know that they're dealing with a real person, not a nameless, faceless business entity. By staking your reputation online, you demonstrate that you are willing to accept some degree of accountability for your actions.

If you're a generally honest and agreeable person in the real life, there is no reason to hide behind a company name when conducting business online. The personal qualities that make you likable in the real world will also make you likable in cyberspace. Indeed, establishing meaningful relationships online is a lot like making friends in the real world. After all, on the other side of the terminal is a real person with real emotions just like you.

Another key to meaningful online relationships is to create an atmosphere of openness and transparency. Although you normally use a nickname to start and respond to posts in public forums, you should use your real name in private correspondences. It is good practice to begin your messages with a salutation, addressing them by their real name whenever possible. A little courtesy can go a long way in building loyalty and trust.

Apart from selling your personal qualities, you must have something of value to offer to people- and at prices that are fair to everyone! On a venue where your personal reputation is not at stake, you can price a widget for any amount you want and hope someone will come along and buy it. When you do business on forums, however, you must be extra value-conscious when pricing your product or service. If you overprice your widget, you risk receiving flames from other members that could harm your reputation. This is why it's so important to research what other members are charging for a similar widget and to price yours competitively. Often you'll end up charging lower prices to members of your forum than to other customers with whom you have not developed as close a relationship for the same widget.

Building positive relationships is about making people feel important. Just as you want to feel good for having sold your product or service, people want to feel good for having bought it. This is why it is so important to promptly answer their questions and attend to their concerns. Listen to their inputs and incorporate their ideas into your business practices. This is how you make your customers a part of your team. It's not a stretch to speak of your customer as a member of your team. When you really think about it, no business can exist without its customers. Teamwork is not limited to interacting with other members of your company. It also takes teamwork to build a constructive, mutually beneficial relationship between you and your customers.

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What Is The Paypal Forum For

(category: Forums, Word count: 621)
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The Internet offers a large variety of payment systems used by thousands of people everyday: PayPal, E-Gold, 2Checkout...These powerful tools have to be used wisely because scams are everywhere and, unless you are aware of some basic rules, you risk loosing your money. If you don't want to read an article or two and listen to advertising, the best thing is to become a member of a PayPal forum or an ePayment system forum. These are the places where you will find objectivity, discuss the best options and learn all about the available services.

Knowing what a PayPal account is, how to create one, using subscriptions, finding out about advantages and disadvantages are basics that you can easily discover by simply asking someone on a PayPal forum. Why bother reading many articles and finding out only half of the story when you can talk to real people and learn from their experience? The ePayment system forum can help persons make the right decisions regarding what method of online payment they should use, which is faster and safer, the dos and don'ts when using online services. It is very easy to receive clarifying answers to specific questions than to walk blind folded through a huge mass of information. The PayPal forum is very accessible and helpful to both beginners and experienced because sharing will open up your eyes to details you might not have noticed before.

But, be careful! Not everything you hear or discuss on the PayPal forum is true. Check everything before and ask for second opinions.

The PayPal forum is full of interesting information. Discussions on the ePayment system forum don't refer solely to signing up or using PayPal. People discuss their newest ideas on how to make money fast in a legal way, if what they heard was effective and how it worked for them, the news in the financial field and the impact it had on them. Many people use the PayPal forum just to keep in touch with what's new. For example, a message someone left on the ePayment system forum regarding an investigative report of the Melbourne (Fla.) office of e-gold's parent company, Gold & Silver Reserve Inc. created many interesting comments. The FBI pursuit was ironically disconsidered by the PayPal forum members who have opposite opinions. So, you see interesting subjects bring together a lot of people with common interests and enrich their horizon with the newest information available.

Another interesting aspect of the PayPal forum is that scamming is tried everywhere, especially on the Internet. The ePayment system forums are looking to avoid scams by discussion. There are all sorts of persons looking to scam or take advantage of your trustfulness. Some will try to convince with seemingly honest messages on the ePayment system forum, underlining the fact that their method is very legal. Don't be fooled! And also don't worry! These messages are on PayPal forums, so there will always be someone with the courage to contradict. However, it is up to you to decide who is wrong and who is right and do what ever it is best for yourself. That's why the ePayment system forum is recommended: because various opinions help you make the best choice...

The Internet is a world full of possibilities that can make our life easier, but it is also dangerous because of speculation and scams. For the safety of the financial transactions it is better to investigate all possibilities and aspects of online transfers. The PayPal forum or the ePayment system forum can be very helpful for those who want to ask questions, discuss certain problems and find out information without special searches or loosing precious time.

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Forums What They Are And Why They Re Essential For Anyone Considering An Online Business

(category: Forums, Word count: 513)
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Well... first off, let's define exactly what a Forum is so that you'll be able to relate to what I'm about to explain within this article.

The simple definition of a Forum is... it's a online community with a open discussion that allows you to 'Post' questions or queries related to a specific topic.

You can find Forums online related to any topic under the sun, so it doesn't matter what the question is that you might have because there's a Forum out there with hundreds, if not, thousands of members ready and willing to give you helpful Tips and Advice to the questions you have making your life and decision making that much easier.

I can't stress this enough, especially if you're New to Internet and the Internet marketing scene.

Now, for the last segment of this article on want to focus on WHY forums are essential for Anyone who is considering starting an online business.

Well, the main reason is this... Forums are a great way to research your market you are considering developing a Product or Service for.

Why, you ask?

Simply because this is where people go to post there questions about a certain problem they're dealing with and the 'Rule Of Thumb' is... when creating a Product or Service (no matter what kind of product or service it is) make sure it solves a - Problem.

This is the KEY ingredient to the success of your Product or Service.

Seriously, take a look at all the Posts from the members and note which ones share the most common threads.

If you see alot of common treads, that means there's potential for a Product or Service to be developed.

By doing this simple task it will save you Time and more importantly... MONEY, because who would spend the Time and Money researching and developing a Product or Service if there was NO demand for it. Right?

You see how this works.

It Pays to do a little research.

And Research is the KEY ingredient for a successful Product or Service and Forums are simply a great place to get started, especially for anyone considering starting an online business.

Now, with that said, what you need to do now is figure out what you would ENJOY doing as a online business and draft up a business plan from there.

This is a VERY important step.

Then, go to your favorite search engine and search out a few forums within the area of business your interests lie and become a member.

Take notice to the main topics and write them down on a notepad so you can look over them later to see if there's any potential.(Remember, the most common threads)

It's that simple.

I truly hope this article helped you and opened up your mind up to the endless possibilities that await you online, no matter what business your considering.

We all need Answers and Forums are simply the BEST place to get them answered.

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