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New Forums!

PostPosted by Randell of Neuron » Fri May 29, 2015 8:04 am

Most of you reading this won't know, but at one point we had forums for Neuron and they were super stupid successful. Unfortunately that was back in the day when you had to install, host, configure, and maintain everything yourself! We got to have quite a following. As a matter of fact, at one point we had over 1,500 registered members!


Unfortunately, it was a major time suck that sucked harder and harder as time went on. Because it was hosted by us, we had to maintain the SQL server, the permissions for the php files...not to mention that ever week some 15 year old past version of myself would find a hack and exploit it. So I ended up having to patch the damn thing like every week, which really sucked. Some patches required complete reinstalls! Finally I just got fed up and when we put up our new site we never installed a forum.

Shortly after we decided to set up a blog, and the easiest way to do that is with Wordpress. However, just like PHPBB you had to host it. Later there would be sites allowing you to host offsite, but you couldn't do all the customization that you could do if you hosted it. So we basically made a Wordpress blog that looked like a website (like most people that have a site and a blog do).

Finally I got fed up with the patching and updating and all the hassle. I was spending so much time on the stupid web server I never got any work done. So we just scrapped the blog.

I then started blogging on other sites. Since we are developmental partners with Intel, they gave us a blog. That seems like an awesome thing until you find out that you have to have every blog pre-approved. That takes them anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks to get off their asses to approve it. Then the straw that broke that camel was when I wrote a blog that mentioned AMD and they wouldn't post it because it mentioned AMD and that was a competitor. Well fuck that.

Then I started blogging on Gamasutra since they just started having blogs. That was awesome, for a while, then that went South too. A lot of my blogs got featured in the beginning. Then 1000x other people started blogging. Which is fine, but then it is like Twitter. I would write a 10 page blog and it would get buried by the other 20 people after 10 minutes. Not to mention the people that read the blogs weren't exactly interested in "Neuron" unless the blog caught their eye. So it really only served to drive traffic to Gamasutra and not to us. I looked at Google Analytics and 1 / 100 people that read the blog visited our site. So I stopped that too.

In the beginning facebook was awesome, we could put up a company page and even have HTML control of the way it functioned and looked! Then facebook got super greedy and decided that if people are going to see company content they are going to charge the companies. So now every time we post on facebook it will come up and tell me that 17 / 300+ people (who followed your page) actually saw your post. WTF? Oh, but wait, fb will offer to boost the post for more visibility if you pay them....Fuck you facebook! The people actually clicked that they liked us and want to follow us and in return you punish them by withholding content unless the company pays. Eh, no!

Twitter is awesome and has a far far less noise to signal ratio than facebook, but is limiting by the 140 characters. Not to mention that if you post, and it doesn't get seen in a half will get buried in the feed.

Well, now there are companies that host and maintain forums for you! So I was thinking...when someone blogs, don't others get to comment on their blog? Yet that is all they can do. Why not just make a forum and use it as a blog...I mean really, what is the difference.

In any case, we now have a blog, and a forum and our content won't get lost, buried, and the people that come here will get to see all the content without having it held ransom for a fee! So that is what you have, a Blog / forum or a Blorum! :D
Randell the awesome
Neuron Games, Inc.

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