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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,590
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,590

HostBoard : 2nd Place September 2002
By: Staff of UBBDev

Note: With nearly 65,000 members and hundreds of thousands of posts, Hostboard is one of the largest UBB's running. Backed by a custom MySQL backend and completely unique features not found anywhere else, they are also probably the most heavily customized forum anywhere, any brand. We get the hyper-energetic Steven (1QuickSI) to stop just long enough to give us the inside scoop on what makes HostBoard tick.

Allen: Welcome and congratualtions Steven, smile . To begin the interview, tell me about the history of your site and when you got started.
Steven: The history of Hostboard is rather long and actually is physical documented from inception to current. It all started at registering the domain in December of 1998 and then actual site was launched in mid January 1999. Back then Hostboard was owned by Bettman and administered with the aid of his close friends; Beorn, Hellraiser & Ricky. From its inception Hostboard was meant to be a community where people could come and make friends and through the modifications that were made to the UBB code they were able to enhance this desire whereby they were able to host message boards based on user requests thereby creating a community from within. Then around the beginning of 2001 it was decided by Bettman that Hostboard was really taking off and starting to take much more time to properly maintain and that a new suiter should be found to take the reins and lead Hostboard in to the future. This is where I took over and where Hostboard currently remains.

Allen: When did you start using UBB on your site?
Steven: I first started out using various bulletin board software for approximately the last 20 years and started using UBB as an end user in the end of 2000 (Hostboard believe it or not). After it was decided upon to take over Hostboard I was completely enveloped with UBB since the beginning of 2001 and have not looked back since.

Allen: Which are the most popular forums on your board?
Steven: This has to be one of the more difficult questions as Hostboard is unlike any UBB in the world. It has been modified to allow the registration of message boards thus making it an actual online service. At the current moment (9/5/02) we have over 63,500 registered users and over 2250 communities (message boards) All of which are used by their creators (moderators) using our standard template or customizing it with their own graphics on their own.

Allen: Besides the UBB, what other content do you have on your site?
Steven: Hostboard provides a Web-based application service that engages business and individuals to build, join and participate in customized and personalized online communities. Our entire site is dedicated to the building of online communities so this what our site revolves around.

Allen: How do you keep your site "fresh", and what can you recommend that will keep visitors coming back for more?
Steven: Hostboard is growing at an alarming rate. Because of this there is always new people and message boards being created all the time. All of them being public anyone can browse through and find something of interest.

Allen: What's the UBB mod that you like the best? And the one your users like the best?
Steven: As Hostboard grew and matured we knew that individual message boards needed to have the ability to be customized/managed and a way for moderators to be able to do this with as little interaction from the administration as possible. With the aid of Jordo from UBBDev a Moderator's Control Panel (MCP) was born allowing moderators to customize their message boards as they wanted. To this day the MCP is a work in progress with many new features in the works.

Allen: What's the one mod that you feel is an absolute necessity for your UBB?
Steven: I believe Hostboard is most heavily modified UBB system in the world today. With the aid of Jordo and Andrei as developers we have been able to transform the backend of our UBB system from a flat file system to that of MySQL. This single modification has had a dramatic increase in system performance and I would have to say the single most important modification we have done to date.

Allen: Are there any "tricks of the trade" you'd like to share, so other UBB users can benefit from your experience?
Steven: Being so radically different then what your typical UBB would be, all I would recommend is look at other systems that reflect/resemble something that you would like your site to be. Then with a clean piece of paper start mapping out your site along with all your ideas. Also be patient! You can not expect people to come just because you have a site. As well thought out and put together as your site maybe it takes time to build a community where you have people visiting on a daily basis. Don't forget to document as much as you can as it will help you in the future knowing how things work or did not work so you can re-visit them or not make the same mistake again.

Allen: Your site has really taken off, what are your future plans?
Steven: Hostboard is a continual work in progress. There are many, many new things that are being planned that will allow our community to grow well in to the future.

Allen: Thank you for an excellent interview. smile Now I'll fire off a few questions to learn a little more about the person-behind-the-site.
Steven: OK, shoot! laugh


Allen: 1QuickSi is an unusual name, are you into the "fast and furious scene"?
Steven: Hey someone actually is on the right track on what my ID stands for smile Yes, my ID is that of my car. A 2000 Honda Civic SI that runs a super charger putting out about 230hp.

Allen: What do you do for fun away from the computer?
Steven: I own and operate a Pro Monster Truck with a crew of my friends.

Allen: Wow! How often do you get to run your monster truck and do you race your car?
Steven: I have been as far as Utah but typically run east of the Mississippi as I also have (or I should say had) a full time job managing a data center for a company until they moved their CT operations to IL so my traveling up until recently has been limited.

My car is just a toy and while it will turn easy 13 second quarter miles it is my daily driver so I really do no push it often.

Allen: Got any favorite caffiene-ated drinks you'd like to share?
Steven: Nope, I do not drink soda, coffee or tea... I am wound up enough naturally

Allen: Name your top 3 places to travel away from home
1. Florida Keys
2. Caribbean
3. Planet Earth - There are just so many places I want to visit!!!

Allen: Got a pick for the SuperBowl this year?
Steven: Well I would hope for the Miami Dolphins but they have along way to go before they are contenders again but I can hope, can't I

Allen: Great, that does it! Thank you for your time. laugh

Steven: Thank you! laugh

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