Ways Launch.Forum can improve?

Discussion in 'Community Forum Software' started by Kaiser, May 11, 2011.

  1. Kaiser

    Kaiser Regular Member

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    Launch.Forum is a new forum software created by Joe Ward of the Viralage team. It has not yet been released as its currently in alpha stages. I would like to know your thoughts an opinions on this new forum software, and ways you guys think it could improve.
     
  2. Trealix

    Trealix Gamer

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    Although this seems like another version of TinyBB it seems very simple and could improve, to me It looks like another simple version of Xenforo but without the cool features.
     
  3. Benjamin

    Benjamin Regular Member

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    Im finding that software awful, like... i like the colours and stuff but navagating is just bad lol :P
     
  4. Kaiser

    Kaiser Regular Member

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    Not much constructive... I find it to have alot of potential. But yea you have to remember its in alpha stages, so there is still a a good amount of time avaiable for it to improve, which its doing.
     
  5. Benjamin

    Benjamin Regular Member

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    lol yeh sorry about that. I believe it can improve and will improve but if i had a choice, i wouldn't use it :P
     
  6. KajMagnus

    KajMagnus Regular Member

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    Hi!

    Is it okay that I resurrect this old thread and post more info on how I think LaunchForum.com could be improved?

    When I visit http://launchforum.com/ I don't understand what to do. The purpose of the site is not explained (?), and there is no button that says "Click here to create a new forum, it's free". — Instead, the page looks like a blog. And there's a Login with Facebook button, which I wouldn't click, because I don't intend to login to the supposed blog or its related forum. And then there's a colored wrench inside a colored circle, but the text around it is rather small so I don't read it. — What happened instead was that I thought "Was I not supposed to be able to create a forum here? Perhaps they've changed focus and are doing something else now?" And I closed the page.

    Eventually, I encountered LaunchForum again on admin-talk.com, and had another look at the site and LaunchForum's intro video, and understood how it's actually working and what one is supposed to do at the site.

    Conclusion: I think that redesigning the homepage, to make the purpose clear, and adding a call to action button, is the single most important thing that can be improved.

    Lastly, I'd like to say that I like the idea that one can click-and-change everything :-)

    Best regards, KajMagnus
     
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  7. AWS

    AWS Administrator

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    Launch Forum while being a good idea at the right time has turned into nothing of substance. It's sad really because the time was right for a new player in the forum market. vbulletin 4 was a mess, IPB was just starting to find it's way to the masses and xenforo wasn't even a concept yet. While it started out with a bang it soon became a whimper. Now I think it's too late to fire it back up. I know I would no longer be interested in it as IPB and xenforo fit my needs. Not to mention the new fresh ideas that they had then are now old hat.
     
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  8. Joe Ward

    Joe Ward Regular Member

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    Hey guys - I'll drop back in again tomorrow to reply to you all in detail. Just wanted to say that your constructive criticism is warranted. We have been whimpering along. I'll respond and let you know how we believe we still have a shot as a forum alternative. =)
     
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  9. John

    John Regular Member

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    Actually getting something "out the door" and not just talking about it would be a big first step, Joe. ;)
     
  10. Brandon

    Brandon Regular Member

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    I'm surprised @Joe Ward hasn't replied here. :whistle:
     
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  11. fattony69

    fattony69 Regular Member

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    Like he did yesterday...:thumbsup:
     
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  12. Brandon

    Brandon Regular Member

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    ha, I didn't even see that :facepalm:
     
  13. fattony69

    fattony69 Regular Member

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    And now you look like a fool! :ROFL:
     
  14. Brandon

    Brandon Regular Member

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    I'm use to it..lol
     
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  15. Joe Ward

    Joe Ward Regular Member

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    Ok, this one gets first response because it's right on the money! I AGREE. =)

    The very simple answer is that we have bugs and the feature set I want for MVP (Minimum Viable Product) isn't ready yet. I wouldn't be doing anyone any good by releasing it in its current state. It's not finished.

    We messed up early on by thinking our development timeline would get us to a much earlier launch. So we were overly optimistic by a *long shot* when we first started talking about Launch.forum and what we had in mind. We started out with a skeleton crew, and now we have a skeleton crew with much less hours to contribute while we earn a living with other stuff. We got off track with some unexpected cannon balls hitting the fortress walls, but we survived the barrage! =)

    At present, I'm happy to answer any questions about LF, and I'll occasionally chat about something we have in mind. However, I'm not bombarding everyone with descriptions of everything we have "planned"... Until we start coding them, ideas are a dime a dozen, no matter how good they are! ;)

    It's a slow project, not a dead project. But I promise if we ever get to that point, I'll make sure everyone knows we're throwing in the towel. =)
     
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  16. ragtek

    ragtek Regular Member

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    Cmon joe!
    Take a example at IB & vB4 / vB5 and sell the current version!

    IT's definitive BETTER then vB5!!!!!!!!!!!!! and if they're able to make some sells, you'll be able to do it too!
    And all the extra money could be spent for an extra developer to help to to reach your MVP
     
  17. ragtek

    ragtek Regular Member

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    It was IMO the wrong decision to stop development and not try to find some early buyers (e.g. me:P)

    I mean it looked really promising, much better then vB4, xenforo had the problem with the lawsuit, that's why launch forum was a real shiny star at the horizon.
    It was IMO THE PERFECT timing!!!!!!!!!!
    Sadly nobody wanted my money, development stopped, nobody from the team was present anymore... => dead project

    Now it will be really hard to get some attention again...
    xenforo hasn't any lawsuite problems anymore
    ipb is working on their new version
    next major wbb version is in the pipeline
    dozen hobby coders are working on their own forum/community software because it's the perfect time to release something new and i'm sure from 10 hobby coders 9 won't be known in 2 years, but 1 will make it right and get successful

    (edit: and vB isn't even worth to be in the list anymore)
     
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  18. Joe Ward

    Joe Ward Regular Member

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    @ragtek:

    We're simply not ready. I can't accept money for an unfinished software, unless I'm doing it through Kickstarter!

    We didn't stop development at any time, but we've had long pauses, and our rate of forward development is so slow right now that it feels like we've stopped sometimes. ;)

    From a biz standpoint, the xenForo / vBulletin dispute did create a window of opportunity, during that limbo state. However, would we really want to be the forum software that was successful because competitors were in a state of flux? That's not my goal.

    The only forum software that can compete with vBulletin and IPB (at this point in time)... in the style of vB/IPB development... is xenForo. Kier and Mike are the vBulletin guys, after all. They've already demonstrated that they can quickly re-engineer a product that has an original forum feel, that's fast, and has some new stuff built in. We can't compete with guys who are the best in their own game! People love their stuff so far, and I like it too. =)

    On the other hand, Launch.forum has features already implemented that nobody else is doing, and they'll have to emulate us in order to get there. So, my suggestion, is that we are *not* going to try to go head to head with xenForo and build a better vBulletin or IPB type forum. We'd never be able to match what they'll produce. Instead, we're going to keep the core forum DNA, but create a new species. We've already done that in a product that is less than 1/2 finished.

    I'm 100% confident that we have interesting stuff nobody else is doing that will be very valuable to the forum community. And, I also am willing to put that in perspective. I.e. if you're development is not moving forward fast enough, the greatest ideas in the world are useless until they get released. That's why I *completely* understand and agree with the criticism - and I have to find a way to try to get Launch.forum done and out there in the wild, so you all can decide if it'll be an option in the forum world or if we missed the mark. =)

    We have all kinds of great doctor's notes and "dog ate my homework" type explanations for why we are where we are. However, it's not how we got here that matters. It's how we are going to get this project moving forward - and that is a challenge at this point - for which I don't yet have a definitive answer.
     
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  19. Joe Ward

    Joe Ward Regular Member

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    I agree. We've been whimpering. The key mistake was announcing the software with an optimistic timeline. So we put an interesting looking framework out there, and then our development fell off due to a variety of unfortunate circumstances.

    I know that we'll be filed away for awhile now as an afterthought by forum pros, and overlooked by those new to forums until we hit another phase. That's ok with me, because our only concern should be how we're going to complete LF. I'm very happy that you guys are taking the time to put us in our place, in the nicest way possible, because without the feedback we'd otherwise be completely guessing at how we might be perceived and the expectations you guys have for us (i.e. the ones we're currently not meeting). ;)

    I don't think we can fire back up the current version of LF. However, I will eventually ask that you all try it out a few times as an admins - when we release. Most of you guys are too skilled and advanced to appreciate the simplicity - you're power users and you never needed much help with the old guard software - but you may "feel" the simplicity after using it for a while. For those of you who like to launch multiple sites, we may be a great option for you to consider. Very fast, low overhead deployment.

    I really don't think our fresh ideas are that eroded yet, and for every 1 that we talked about, there are 20 more hiding in our private forums. I like that vB5 went with the inline editing direction, and I like that xenForo is so slick - but it's been awhile since I've been blown away by any innovative new feature idea. BTW - As a matter of research, I'd love if you guys could post some counter-examples for me! What's the best of the new you're seeing in the wild? =)
     
  20. ragtek

    ragtek Regular Member

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    Sounds fair. (probably too fair)
     

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