Forums - Yes, You've Got Options!

Discussion in 'Community Forum Software' started by Joe Ward, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. Joe Ward

    Joe Ward Guest may be the latest new player to the game. However, one of the coolest things about forums or online communities is that you have a huge number of options to choose from! Over the years, survival of the fittest has really kicked into full gear and some of the giants like vBulletin and IPB found themselves a very comfortable seat at the top of the stack! =)

    FYI - I'll shock some of you in a minute when I link to many of the known forum options out there... #wow

    For now, the question is:

    How does find its place in a world over populated with forum software?

    We started by following these two principles:

    1. Commit to #collabetition
    2. Be a Specialist

    Commit to #collabetition

    We blogged about collabetition before. To us this means playing hard and always doing your best, but keeping a collaborative mindset at the same time. If every discussion board software tried to be 100% different from each other, ignoring the best ideas of all of the others, they would be completely unrecognizable from one another - and many wouldn't look much like forums at all!

    What works, works. Innovation is about finding new ways to do things better. Easier, faster, more efficient, more powerful, more fun. It's not about finding a way to do everything different than your competitor. We're standing on the shoulders of the giants of the forum world, and the traditional components of LF are a tribute to them all... right on back to the days of dial-up BBS (bulletin board systems) - as some of you may remember! =)

    We'll never hide from or pretend our competitors don't exist. We won't be afraid to link to them, and we certainly won't be afraid to say when we like something they've done. We also won't play shy when we think we have features that improve the forum experience for everyone! =)

    Be a Specialist

    The opposite of the #collabetition approach to building a forum software is cloning what has already been done without any true innovation or added value. It happens. In the forum world, you will find many clones. To be useful to people who want to run a forum, if you plan only to copy what's already been done, then you have to be sure you can do it better than everyone else who has done it before you.

    Sounds easy until you consider the amount of time (years) and experience the leaders have put into doing just that. We're not going to be the team that rebuilds vBulletin. We are specialists. When we created the vision for, we knew our focus would be ease of use, and we created a usability approach that is new to forums. With "Change It Where You See It" and some of the exciting new stuff we have planned, is not just another option. It's an option that stands out because it solves a problem in a new way that people really appreciate.

    How do you choose?

    The best answer is:

    Find the forum software that specializes in the area that is most important to you. If you want "ease of use", then is definitely one of your best options.

    You should also check out Patrick O'Keefe's article on the topic called "What is the best forum software? The definitive answer".

    See also the forum software reviews from and the forum matrix. Great resources.

    Are you ready to be shocked?

    Here is an incomplete list of the forum/community/bulletin board software that is available for you to choose from! Of course we hope that you'll check out our very own! =)

    IP Board/IPB, vBulletin, xenForo, lefora, bbPress, myBB, Vanilla Forums, phpBB, Jive, Salesforce Chatter, SocialGo, ZetaBoards, Zoho Discussions, Beehive, Drupal forum, FluxBB, IceBB, Joomla forum, UBB, WowBB, Forumotion, ProBoards,, esoTalk, Extreme Message Board (XMB), Fruit Show, FUDForum,, MiniBB, MyProBB, Phorum, PunBB, Quicksilver, SEO-Board, SMF (simple machines),, UseBB, Viscacha, Wikid Forum, Woltlab BB, XennoBB, JavaBB, JForum, jGossip, JsForum, MVNForum, Nemesis, BulletinBoards, ForumCommunity, FreeForums, Google Groups, Nabble, Ninja Post,, Comm100, NearForums,, E-Blah, RichMessageBoard, BMForum, FuseTalk, telligent Community, Kunera, Kusabax, MercuryBoard, nextBBS, ovBB, PHPwnage, ActiveForums, ASPNetForum, ASPPlayground, bttlxeForum, dnfBB, GoBoardz,, ITCN ASP, iyzi Forum, MegaBBS, Snitz Forums, Toast Forums, Web Wiz Forum, Yet Another Forum (YAF), Xperience forums, Boardawy, Forulio, Gossamer Threads, Groupee, Ikonboard, Ikonforums,,, PasForum, Pocoo, (Ruby Forum) rForum, swfBB, Tetrabb,,,,,, AlanBBS, and AslanBBS.

    That is 104 with some removed (defunct or not online) and there were still more I did not cover at Forum Matrix!

    Continue reading...

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