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  #1  
Old 02 Mar 2014, 11:32
vbresults vbresults is offline
 
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My New Thoughts On vBulletin

Not bashing vB -- again, this isn't a vB bash thread. My thoughts on vBulletin have recently changed. After reading, feel free to share your thoughts.

First, It's indisputable: license owner sentiment has been declining for a while now. When they go away or slow down, so do developers.

Indicators on vBulletin.com and .org, plus vB's recent actions lead me to believe their stream of new customers is slowing down significantly, and not only that, but people aren't renewing their licenses.

First, they made the amount of a first-time order $250 (to make up for a drop in sales), up from $160. Second, notable staff has been churning... a lot. Third, they released a SaaS platform at $15/mo.

Right now, vB knows they can't win over the existing customers they burned, and they don't care for developers -- as developers have mostly been useless for vB5 -- so it was time for a change in strategy.

The SaaS platform was made to address all of the core problems. It increases the number of first-time orders while also increasing the frequency of orders from the same customer.

In various ways, they'll begin to put the SaaS platform in the spotlight and try to coax existing self-hosted customers into moving into the SaaS platform -- maybe by throttling vB 4.x development.

That said, vB is still, after all of the recent customer dissatisfaction and staff drama, the leader in the commercial forum market. I'd used to say vB will crash, but trends and their strategies show that won't happen.

In the long term vB is here to stay. Rather than grow or shrink, it will go sideways -- but it's not going to suddenly dissappear. As a closing statement, all of this is contingent on one thing:

Nobody else with clout will come into the SaaS market and serve customers better and/or undercut them. Maybe this certainty was baked into IB's recent legal settlement with a big competitor.

Again, feel free to share your thoughts.

Update: Added what I got on Tuesday, Dec 9 '14

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Last edited by vbresults; 20 Mar 2016 at 07:15. Reason: Added what I got on Tuesday, Dec 9 '14
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  #2  
Old 02 Mar 2014, 21:16
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TheLastSuperman TheLastSuperman is offline
 
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Real name: Michael Miller Jr
vBulletin isn't dying however it's not like vB5 is taking the community base and avid owners in a direction that seems very promising imo. If things continue down this current path I foresee more customers leaving this platform and moving to others... while they sit and spin wheels on vB5 everyone else is catching up and if vB5 is ANY indication of how vB6 will be I'm scared, very scared to be quite honest.

If things are to turn around, we need to see something from vBulletin and not just a new announcement about the "Cloud", I mean wow just wow... a nice concept but the timing was 100% wrong.

Let's review some things that have occurred since vB4 released up until now i.e. vB5 era, bearing in mind this is all my personal opinion:

What was done: Buyout after buyout... is it owned by Jelsoft... no... owned by Internet Brands now ohh no wait that's right, it's this firm now who owns it - Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners VI.
My thoughts on this: Here are the rocket-scientist currently in charge who have staff running in circles like chickens with their heads cut off, spending time and resources on the "Cloud" before making vB5 very very very stable, sad when we see threads and posts like this on a daily if not weekly basis and no, that one is just the tip of the iceberg and an example from vbulletin.org not including the same and if not more threads of the same nature on vbulletin.com. I want to be clear that in my personal opinion the staff are working hard, they are being told what to do - that's what most call a job and they do their best... it's a management issue and should not be reflected on coding/support/other staff.

What was done: A change to the licensing agreement.
My thoughts on this: What a complete and utter disaster, this overall change to how things worked lead to many leaving this software and others who didn't leave it simply left a very bad taste in their mouth. I could say more about this but I'll keep it short and simple by saying I was here during those times, the tone and overall morale of the community took a hard hit and has never since recovered. *More changes have occurred and most certainly within the last 5 years despite staff comments on vbulletin.com to the contrary, therefor to the contrary of that the EU licensing structure was changed within the past 2/3 years.

What was done: A mobile style was released and it was paid for initially then they quit selling that and included it for free.
My thoughts on this: That was great, then it seemed as if they did not care to support the mobile style and thought to include it in the base product so it could slowly die off without much of a fuss.

What was done: A Mobile Suite released.
My thoughts on this: Ahh so to me this seems like they found another way to make money, smart honestly from a business perspective as they are a business but why slap us in the face w/ a mobile style then not support it only to ask money for a mobile suite? Indeed it is quite different... Android App, iPhone App more similar to tapatalk than the mobile style but another example of one thing being left to die while another one has time invested into it and neither seem too hot currently if truth be told.

What was done: A Facebook App developed, sold separately. Did well for a while, had many using it but then it died off as well.
My thoughts on this: Doesn't seem like its being supported anymore, pity.

I could list more, I could clarify more but I won't as the past speaks and current actions and direction taken regarding the product speak for themselves. I do not find vB5 to be a very promising future for vBulletin and I sincerely hope it improves, promptly.

^ Perhaps it's a little or a lot of that involved but in the least part of the equation and I'm not alone in thinking some of this, I may have worded it differently but others think the same if not similar per some recent discussions and others.

http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=308445

^ Notably from that thread this comment regarding big-board customers and he's exactly right imo:
Originally Posted by Princeton View Post
xenforo still has a lot of growing up to do - at the rate they are going I give them 1-2 years before they start attracting a larger audience

vbulletin really shot itself in the foot with vb5 - lost many customers ... there are still many out there that haven't upgraded to vb5 or any other platform ... they are just waiting ... still holding on to 'vbulletin' ... many are big boards ... hoping that something happens

If vbulletin continues to lose big board customers they lose their biggest marketing opportunity.

I started with vbulletin over a decade ago because of big board sites that I frequented. They all used vbulletin. If they and other vbulletin big board sites switch today to another platform the potential for new customers will drop for vbulletin. All those big board users will no longer be exposed to vbulletin. They will now be exposed to another platform ... maybe even trying it out for themselves ... downloading ... installing ... exploring - just like I did over a decade ago with vbulletin. It's a lost opportunity too convert a user to customer.

Me, I'm still hoping for a vbulletin turn-around. Still waiting...
So while I'm not bashing vBulletin either, I must still stand my ground opinion-wise and hope for improvement.
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Last edited by TheLastSuperman; 04 Mar 2014 at 00:21. Reason: quite to quit
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  #3  
Old 02 Mar 2014, 21:22
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katie hunter katie hunter is offline
 
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Maybe this certainty was baked into IB's recent legal settlement with a big competitor.
Xenforo is hardly a competitor. It was just a temporary hype filled with propaganda, and it is dieing for a while now. 50k registered members/client on their main forum --> Members: 50,866, is hardly any competition compare to VB.

It is true that whenever we are disappointing with the way IB is handling VB and the lack of innovation and future features, we always tend to hype another forum software that isn't even complete. It is just how things appear to grasp more attention, so they can start listening and i think the main issue here is investment. I don't think IB has a vision for forum software and wants to expend it in the market to make it more social rich in features or similar to twitter. They neither appear to want to invest in it or hire more quality and new web developers to advance Vbulletin.
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  #4  
Old 02 Mar 2014, 21:45
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Paul M Paul M is offline
 
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What on earth are you talking about here ?

much like the option to sell/transfer licenses was taken away recently.
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  #5  
Old 02 Mar 2014, 21:53
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Max Taxable Max Taxable is offline
 
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I could list more, I could clarify more but I won't as the past speaks and current actions and direction taken regarding the product speak for themselves. I do not find vB5 to be a very promising future for vBulletin and I sincerely hope it improves, promptly.
Hasn't this entire episode felt - to folks old enough to remember - alot like the "New Coke" disaster, or the Windows Millennium disaster? Only drawn out over years instead of months?

There's something to be learned from this, IB. Both above tried to fix what wasn't broken, trying to become something they were not and were never intended to be - and the loyal employees, customers, vendors, everyone else be damned.

For those folks even older: Didn't this same thing happen to the big three automakers, back in the 70s and 80s when they tried to compete with the Japanese and German car makers who were worming their way into the US auto market by kicking Detroit's collective ass in quality and reliability of the product?

The difference is, nobody was kicking vBulletin's ass. Nobody was kicking Coke's ass, or Microsoft's ass. vBulletin is kicking its own ass. The other difference? Coke, Microsoft and even the US auto industry woke up from their fantasy of being a "me too" and went back to their roots and saved their own collective asses.

If IB continues on its present course there will be NO saving vBulletin's ass. You better wake the hell up and start studying some product history and the blunders - and recoveries - therein and the lessons taught.

You've taken a once robust, market-dominating platform and turned it into garbage and a punch line to tech nerd jokes. Enabling far inferior competitors - who never had a ghost of the prayer of even sniffing decent market share for forum platforms until you stepped on your own penis with atrocities like version 5 and to a lesser degree, version 4 - to begin taking over the market, filling a void YOU created.

And that's the memo. You may now resume shaving your back.

Last edited by Paul M; 03 Mar 2014 at 12:26. Reason: Language
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  #6  
Old 03 Mar 2014, 07:38
vbresults vbresults is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Paul M View Post
What on earth are you talking about here ?
Fixed that recently part.
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  #7  
Old 03 Mar 2014, 12:23
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XiTCLUB XiTCLUB is offline
 
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Real name: Mian Shahzad Raza
Movement of Digitalpoint Forums to XenForo, exactly describe what i feel.. Change in User Interface and make it light weight ..
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  #8  
Old 03 Mar 2014, 12:23
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Paul M Paul M is offline
 
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Originally Posted by vbresults View Post
Fixed that recently part.
Again, explain what are you talking about.
much like the option to sell/transfer licenses was taken away
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  #9  
Old 03 Mar 2014, 15:29
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DreadsUK DreadsUK is offline
 
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I am pretty new to vBulletin. I was on a vb forum about 8 - 9 years ago which lead me to buying a vB licence last year.

I looked at a few different bulletin boards and vB was honestly the only thing that seemed to offer the functionality and style that i wanted.

I brought vB5 in april and was sorely disappointed. By june it had fully crashed and nothing, and i mean nothing worked at all. It was dead. We were then offline until november where i had to pay a developer to downgrade from vb5 to vb4 costing the same, if not a little more than the original licence. This was mainly for migrating everything over as it had to all be done manually which i knew nothing about at the time.

Once i downgraded to vB4, i've found everything runs perfectly. The mods are available and developers are plenty.

In my opinion, vB is the best on the market. I'm still annoyed about the additional costs, but it does what i need it to.

My 2 pence
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  #10  
Old 04 Mar 2014, 07:05
DirtRider DirtRider is offline
 
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Something that I also don't get are the others as we see that seem to be convinced that VB is still doing great and we don't have a problem at all. Just looking at the stats lately on VB I remember the time when you would see hundreds of members online at any given time. It was also impossible to keep up with new threads no matter how often you logged in per day. So where are we today with an average of 20 to 30 members online and around 50 new threads per day.

Those that still feel that Xenforo is not a contender better start thinking again

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Old 04 Mar 2014, 07:27
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New Joe New Joe is offline
 
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Originally Posted by DirtRider View Post
Something that I also don't get are the others as we see that seem to be convinced that VB is still doing great and we don't have a problem at all. Just looking at the stats lately on VB I remember the time when you would see hundreds of members online at any given time. It was also impossible to keep up with new threads no matter how often you logged in per day. So where are we today with an average of 20 to 30 members online and around 50 new threads per day.

Those that still feel that Xenforo is not a contender better start thinking again

So are you still using vB or have you switched to xenforo?
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  #12  
Old 04 Mar 2014, 07:34
DirtRider DirtRider is offline
 
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This time next week my import will be completed to xenforo
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  #13  
Old 04 Mar 2014, 11:31
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katie hunter katie hunter is offline
 
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Originally Posted by DirtRider View Post
Something that I also don't get are the others as we see that seem to be convinced that VB is still doing great and we don't have a problem at all. Just looking at the stats lately on VB I remember the time when you would see hundreds of members online at any given time. It was also impossible to keep up with new threads no matter how often you logged in per day. So where are we today with an average of 20 to 30 members online and around 50 new threads per day.

Those that still feel that Xenforo is not a contender better start thinking again

All, i see is 56! votes only, 56 new client may be? That is really a strong contender :d sarc // XF total members --> Members:50,957. Sorry but that is the false hype and propaganda I was talking about.

It gets really boring by now that after a year, we still see Xenforo members posting about XF on VB threads that contain complaints or issues and then the topic gets hijacked and changes into an argument between the two. I hardly see any VB members posting on Xenforo saying VB is better because we've seen how the community acts over there.

I've tested Xenforo myself and never liked it, its admin panel is a mess and lacks many features, not to mention that they are there to just be yet another forum software, no innovation or something new to bring to the market and they prefer to use the quickest shortcut like their redactor editor http://imperavi.com/redactor/ instead of http://ckeditor.com/

In any way, this thread is about VB not Xenforo.
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  #14  
Old 04 Mar 2014, 11:57
DirtRider DirtRider is offline
 
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PS I am a VB customer BTW and yes it is a small number of total votes but surprising large number of then come from VB. What will it take for some to actually see that VB is in serious trouble right now. Will it only be the day when VB closes shop or will that also be seen as um well you see it is not really that bad ........

Um also if you did miss it the poll says "What forum software did you use before XF" to me that would imply that I was using x Software now I have changed to XF software or did I miss something here lol
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  #15  
Old 04 Mar 2014, 12:52
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New Joe New Joe is offline
 
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Thanks for the info DR, and don't worry about katie hunter, just a disgruntled xenforo customer, not that many of them around..lol..unlike the 100s of 1000s of disgruntled vB customers..
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