Look at phpBB with different eyes? changes..?

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ssnobben
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Look at phpBB with different eyes? changes..?

Post by ssnobben » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:11 am

Hi all,

I have been following phpBB since the early days of the finn starting phpBB and myself building a community bb style already 1996. I have always supported and love phpBB.

But what I have noticed now is how very much of the usage and discussion that fit and was popular with forums before now shifted to other formats like Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social media and apps. Forums losing users and value for site owners.

Example. I like the way Joomla CMS and phpBB forum is well integrated with integrationsscript like Jfusion, phpBB bridges but what I have seen is for example in the Joomla community that people tend to disappear from the before lively phpBB forum discussion that is a large phpBB board.

Now most Joomla people shifting using Ning social networks for discussions, Google groups and Twitter mostly instead of the phpBB board.

The problem I believe is not significant for just Joomla community - I have a feeling that the way phpBB and other forums is structured and design is not up to date with today's end users preference of communicating .

What you think?

Should it be possible to easy implement and complement phpBB with these kind of structural and design changes (good word for Obama) so a forum software like phpBB would be the best core engine for social networking?

Have anyone from core dev teams looking into this and analyse what's really important from the user and site owner perspective regarding this new social network environments that is demanded? Have ever phpBB tested the user experience of what is good and what is bad regarding the user interface more than technical peoples belief?

What can we do better?

All the best!

Example Ning http://about.ning.com/jobs.php

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Kellanved
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Re: Look at phpBB with different eyes? changes..?

Post by Kellanved » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:46 pm

Many of the aspects that were handled by bulletin boards are moving to social sites like facebook, that is a trend which is just happening. Forums bloomed with the "every single entity has a homepage" idea of the net, social communities are collecting everything again. We will certainly see some aspects of social sites come to forums, probably openid based cross-forum sign on, feed based cross posting and similar concepts. However, many sites that would have opened a forum two years ago, will instead form a facebook group today.
Forums stay interesting for a large number of uses, for instance any application where cross-referencing a (customer) database is important, anything that requires the control of information by the site owners (intranets!), revenue generating communities, customer support (due to the much better search functionality), etc.
What I certainly see as a mistake is trying to become facebook - it's largely impossible to beat social networks at their own game and forums trying to become facebook will fail. For many uses, facebook is just better than any forum, for some a real forum is superior. I just hope we don't end up back in AOL/compuserve days, as the facebook features were essentially present there too.
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imkingdavid
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Re: Look at phpBB with different eyes? changes..?

Post by imkingdavid » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:40 pm

I agree that a lot of users are going to prefer using Facebook and other social networks, but there is still more scalability with forums that you can host on your own server, as opposed to a basic group on Facebook with limited configuration ability. With phpBB you can install MODs to get the functionality you want, but you can't with Facebook.

And I agree that phpBB should not try to mimick facebook, as facebook will win. Yes, the developers should look for good ways to integrate some of the features, but phpBB is a forum, not a social network software.
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ssnobben
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Re: Look at phpBB with different eyes? changes..?

Post by ssnobben » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:51 am

Yes and no really.

Things changes and doing that faster and faster.

I think that letting the site owner decide how they want to design their site is the key part. You can never be a new facebook or twitter copy large scale but you can make something similar for your own site "community" that is not just about being a standard forum. You will loose traffic and users if you think not out of your own "forum standard box" slowly but sure I believe.

One example now is looking at competitors to phpBB like how Vbulletine have been successful to move towards a integration of a forum and a CMS system.

Why do you think they move that direction?

Should they just say "hello stop we are just a forum we cant and should not compete against the 100 other cms out there bla bla"

The key is to make a system that can be flexible to handle any kind of information and communication and make it easy to use for everyone. Difficult sure it is and stay focused on what key part of building blocks to dev and what key areas but as always you have to listening to your users and customers needs and preferences.

One example of Vbulletine smart function with a CMS and forum 100% integration is cross-publishing promote to articles to front page http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/content. ... the-Forums You can use the power of user generated content with a smarter integration of a forum and a CMS system. http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/content. ... umentation

I know about phpBB forum and for example Joomla CMS for a long time and the impact of Vbulletine with its move to a combination of a forum and CMS will have impact be sure for both Joomla and phpBB future. It would be nice if a CMS and forum like both Joomla and phpBB also could work closer to make both apps gain for the future bcs both are great GPL apps in their area as CMS and forum.

There is nice integrations there but the question is if that will be good enough for the future bcs the competition will raise and you can normally just have o n e forum app and/or one CMS system for your website.

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Re: Look at phpBB with different eyes? changes..?

Post by naderman » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:51 pm

I agree that phpBB should become more easy to integrate in the future so that it can basically offer a communication tool within other applications. For example a social website could then actually use phpBB for its groups' discussions. Rather than becoming a CMS we should try to offer solutions that neatly integrate phpBB in more existing Content Management Systems or other kinds of new age web apps.

ssnobben
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Re: Look at phpBB with different eyes? changes..?

Post by ssnobben » Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:59 am

Thanks I like the idea of a communication tool within other applications.

I know from the discussions in the integration tool for a CMS Joomla and forum phpBB (there are other tools and integrations too) Jfusion http://www.jfusion.org/ that the questions is what to integrate, how to do it and what to share.

Now with Jfusion you can have phpBB as master and Joomla as slave and vice versa. Meaning that you can also use a combination of phpBB, Joomla and example Magento if you want.

If phpBB could make things easier to share and integrate to other apps too, maybye with something like Widgets code or similar for cross sharing of user data and information data (forum posts)?

In Jfusion there is so called discussions bot where you can put the discussions on front page of Joomla http://www.jfusion.org/index.php/info/b ... lease.html and this is one example how to make information (UGC) sharing between two systems like Joomla and phpBB.

Maybe phpBB could look at Jfusion and get some ideas from there. It will be a new Jfusion 2.0 version and Discussion bot coming out in December that would be awesome so stay tuned and check it up.

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