Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,590
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,590
Interviewed By: Bookie
Spotlighted Site: VH Trading Forums
We were able to snag the second Place Member Spotlight Winner, Scott Roberts for a few questions this month to get the scoop on his site, and making those stylin' forums.

UBBDev: What is your background and how long have you been on the web?
BlueWave: My background is music, both as a fan and a player. I've played guitar in bands off and on for 16 years. I bought a computer in 1995 and started dabbling with basic website design around a year later. It soon became an addiction and I read all the books I could on the subject. By 1998 I was maintaining several websites for myself and others (including some music and guitar oriented ones) and making a respectable living doing sites on the side. Since then I've been working fulltime as an ASP developer, web designer and graphic artist, and I take care of two Van Halen websites, and

UBBDev: How did you brainstorm the idea behind VH Trading?
BlueWave: It was created to be a simple informational reference for Van Halen bootleg traders, sort of as a companion to a mailing list a bunch oflongtime VH fans started in 1998. And before I go any further, let me stress that we practice the TRADING of unreleased music, not the selling or buying of it. Trading is legal, and selling is illegal. (And the distribution of previously released material using a file-sharing program is illegal, too, but we won't get into that, okay? LOL!) Anyway, the site has evolved and grown tenfold since its inception but I hadn't thought about adding a message board until early last year. Once I did added the UBB I realized that I should have done it much sooner…

UBBDev: What was your reason for purchasing the UBB for your site?
BlueWave: The primary credit should go to (run by Brett Norton, who is known as Slurpee around these parts), the first Van Halen UBB, for planting the seed of inspiration to add a board. I did some research and found that at the time, UBB was the most versatile, most customizable, best-supported, and easiest-to-use board, and it also had a great community of hackers and developers who openly share hacks and ideas. So I went with the UBB. Even though I'm someone who deals primarily with MS technologies, I couldn't find an ASP board as good as the UBB.

UBBDev: What do you like and dislike most about the UBB™?
BlueWave: Hmmm. there's a lot things I like about it. Most of all, I guess, is the easy customizability of the boards. When it comes to dislikes, number one would have to be the absence of back-end database support. I also dislike the fact that new versions are released too often. Just when you get your board modified to your liking, an updated version rears its head.;-) On a more serious note, I wish Infopop would be quicker to implement some of the more popular hacks into the board as an "official" feature. It took, what, two years before they finally added a Who's Online-type feature with the Recent Visitors? I guess they have their reasons, but I wish they were a bit more open (and faster) to integrate features almost everyone seems to love.

UBBDev: What do you do to keep your site "fresh" and what do you recommend to keep people coming back for more?
BlueWave: Content, content, content. Keep the conversation of your board on-topic and intelligent. It's also good to have a great group of forum members who know and respect each other well. Remember, it's quality, not quantity.

UBBDev: What is your beverage of choice when modifying your UBB?
BlueWave: Anything with caffeine.;-) Coffee, Mt. Dew, Diet Mt. Dew are all excellent for keeping my heart rate up around 200 BPM. LOL!

UBBDev: Name the mod to your UBB that you like the best and name the mod your users like the best?
BlueWave: I like the Memberlist the best because part of the purpose of VHTrading is contact with other traders, and the Memberlist provides great information about board members at everyone's fingertips. I also made a custom Trade URL List hack (which is 80% the same as the Memberlist one) on the VH Trade Forums which lists the personal trade websites of members for quick reference. I also like Mike Bobbitt's Uploadable Photo Gallery. There's not one hack that users love in particular. I don't think I've received overwhelming positive feedback about one over another.

UBBDev: Which mod, do you feel, is most beneficial to your UBB? In other words, which one modification is an absolute necessity on your UBB?
BlueWave: A lot of UBB owners would name one of the big ones, but I'm a huge fan of the smaller, more "behind the scenes" mods like the Last Reply By and the Anchor hack. They may not knock you out with their innovativeness but it 's hard to imagine my board being the same without their small but simple effectiveness.

UBBDev: What do you do to attract member to register at your forums?
BlueWave: For one, I try to have easy-to-find registration links on both my forums summary page and my site's main page. I like to be a part of the greater Van Halen internet community. I post on other message boards and mailing lists to keep links to my site "out there" and visible. So if you want people to come to your little niche community, you've got to be an active part of the greater community.

UBBDev: What time frame do you usually spend modifying or working on your UBB?
BlueWave: Usually late at night. I also try to get work done on my sites during my lunch break.

UBBDev: Are there any "tricks of the trade" you'd like to share that any UBB owner can use to improve the success of their site?
BlueWave: If you're desiring to bring in more traffic and posting, there's a few things you can do. First, don't start your board out with umpteen different forums. People will see a bunch of empty forums and won't want to post. Start out with only a few forums and slowly add others when certain subject matters become popular. And don't be afraid to delete or merge forums if they stay low-traffic. As an administrator, be sure to respond to every post at the beginning so that the post counts rise and your board will look busier and more enticing for others to register and post. Also, get a few friends to sign up to your boards and have them post heavily to increase traffic. Most important of all, make the links to register highly visible on your UBB and your main site home page; don't make people hunt around for them. If you want to increase the quality of your forums, you've got to surround yourself with mature, intelligent, and respectable moderators. Don't let just anybody "of the street" become a moderator. Quality begets quality. If you and your mods post in "hAckOR sp33k" like an immature little kid and argue with and flame everyone, then you'll have a garbage board (no offense to the younger crowd; I know there's a lot of intelligent young people out there). Be professional and tactful, and it will pay off big.

UBBDev: What are your future plans for your site?
BlueWave: I'd like to have a tighter site integration with the UBB (guys, hurry up and get the UBBPortal done! wink ). I would like to have better site structure overall and make a lot of the non-UBB pages more configurable and searchable. I'm also going to have free hosting for bootleg traders' websites. Plus there will be many "behind the scenes" stuff that will make the site XHTML compliant, load faster, and so forth.

BlueWave: I just wanna say thanks to the UBBDev staff for this award, and I wanna give a thumbs up to everyone on the UBBDev forums for making it a great community to be a part of. Peace!

Sponsored Links

Link Copied to Clipboard
Donate Today!
Donate via PayPal

Donate to UBBDev today to help aid in Operational, Server and Script Maintenance, and Development costs.

Please also see our parent organization VNC Web Services if you're in the need of a new UBB.threads Install or Upgrade, Site/Server Migrations, or Security and Coding Services.
Recommended Hosts
We have personally worked with and recommend the following Web Hosts:
Stable Host
Visit us on Facebook
Member Spotlight
Posts: 69
Joined: January 2001
Forum Statistics
Most Online5,166
Sep 15th, 2019
Today's Statistics
Currently Online
Topics Created
Posts Made
Users Online
Top Posters
AllenAyres 21,079
JoshPet 10,369
LK 7,394
Lord Dexter 6,708
Gizmo 5,833
Greg Hard 4,625
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Likes Received
isaac 82
Gizmo 20
Brett 7
WebGuy 2
Morgan 2
Top Likes Received (30 Days)
isaac 1
The UBB.Developers Network (UBB.Dev/Threads.Dev) is ©2000-2023 VNC Web Services

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 8.0.0
(Preview build 20221218)