blog.matt.rogow.ski

My MyBB story so far...

How I got into using MyBB

Date
Saturday 13th December 2008
Word count
1024
Read time
6 mins

Way back, ooh, must have been 4 years ago, after being badgered by a friend, I signed up to the Channel 4 Forums, to talk about the TV show Lost, which had just started. I thought the forum was quite good, I'd never done anything like it before and I liked how it all worked. Little did I know that the software it used was prehistoric; you couldn't use custom avatars, only the crappy ones they provided, couldn't post images, couldn't use the PM system, weren't allowed to post links, and the general layout was very, very basic. Despite that it went well for a while, but then it went downhill. Not only did Channel 4 sell Lost so Sky, making the forums almost useless, but the moderators there decided to ban everybody for the slightest rule infringement, until there was literally nobody left. I lasted quite a while but finally got killed off, for posting a link to an internal page, something Channel 4 themselves had created, 43 posts away from my goal of 7000. Bad times. Bad times...

Once the mods there had started to become dictators, one of the members started his own Lost forum, which I eventually joined. That went from using IPB, to MyBB (woo) but unfortunately is now on vB (if only the owner knew about MyBB 1.4...). Anyway, this is when I got my first taste of proper forum software. Up until then I'd used the most basic stuff imaginable, but now I had all these new features, and it was great. I grew to really like it, and was a mod there whilst the forum was on MyBB 1.2. And so, the MyBB era began.

Well, sort of... once I got used to the MyBB 1.2 features and the additional mod features, I decided I wanted my own forum. I looked around various places, and the only things I could fine were things like InvisionFree, Create MyBB, those free forums where you put in the name you want and you get a sub-domain forum. I made a few of these which never went anywhere, and eventually asked the admin of this other Lost forum how he got such a good forum and how it worked. He explained, and said he would host for me, for free, for as long as I wanted. So I thought great, I'll do that, and I finally had my hands on some proper forum software, MyBB 1.2. Brilliant. November 2007 marked the start of my experience with MyBB. However, although this went a little bit better than all my other attempts, I still had very little traffic, and didn't have access to my files, so I couldn't add plugins or themes myself. Not good.

So, I eventually got tired of this, and in April 2008, I joined the MyBB Community forums, in search of a better deal. I quickly found one, transferred my forum, and tried to get my forum off the ground a bit more. I started off knowing nothing at all, literally. When it came to uploading the files to my new host, I didn't realise you could upload a .zip and extract it, so I was there for hours uploading each file individually. No joke. Eventually I got the hang of it, but this new forum never really got anywhere, so eventually I scrapped it.

During this time, I began to post in the Community forums a bit. I had got my hands a bit dirty with MyBB by this point, and started helping people in the support forum. I found I could help people, and I enjoyed doing that, so I kept at it, and haven't stopped since. In fact I have posted so much in there, I currently have over 4700 posts, overtaking the mighty Chris Boulton, to become the 3rd top poster. This does feel a bit weird, having so many posts when I've only been registered for 8 months, but I have come a very long way in that time and enjoy giving as much support as I can. I don't post much in the off topic sections, I dedicate the time I have to helping people. There's a few 'types' of support thread. In some, you can give a suggestion or straight answer in one or two posts, job done, problem solved. Some need a few more posts, maybe to clarify things, or certain suggestions don't work out and new ones need to be made. Some require a while to get all the information required before a proper solution can be given, and some require a lot of input from various people, as well as admin, FTP or database access to sort a problem, and even some experimental core code changes are needed. I tend to contribute in any way I can whenever I can, which would reflect my abnormally high post count, but in most cases, I can be of substantial help to someone. Giving support isn't always easy, and my lack of PHP knowledge means I can't help with all problems, and that will always hold me back until I learn it, but hopefully, that will be happening shortly. Hopefully I can also start to create plugins once I have some PHP knowledge.

During my time in the support forums, I noticed how many people had the same problems. Didn't know how to install, how to upload plugins and themes, how to add new toplinks, everything like that. So, in September 2008, I created Learn MyBB, a forum dedicated to MyBB tutorials on how to do things. It's still small, and has a lot more to be added, but has been quite popular, much better than I first anticipated, so I'm very happy. I won't go into much detail about it all here, as it has it's own section.

So, that just about does it... amazing, huh, how something like a TV show changing channels and a bunch of dodgy mods could ultimately lead me to where I am now.