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  1. #1
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    I've been trawling the net for a decade or more. The older the net gets the more info is available, but unfortunately hidden in more crap!
    The crap curve seems to be steeper than the usefull-information curve.

    As web publishing techniques has become easily available through templates and WYSIWYG editors, more people have been able to vomit their uninteresting brainactivity over the unexpecting public arena, than what was true earlier.
    In the past, you could expect a well laid out web site to belong to someone with some knowledge about layout and computer "language". Just taking the time to learn the neccessary skills, would vouch for an earnest commitment to publicizing well thought through ideas.
    However, since the apperance of opensource BLOG and CMS's, everybody and their grandmother can publish their somewhat mediocre ideas/thoughts in a smooth, well prepared design!

    This means it's getting harder for the rest of us to find the really informative, well administered sites. They all look the same now!

    So then the inevitable question arises;
    If I'm a person that really have something to offer, how do I distinguish myself from the sesspool of dung? How can I get people to see that my site really stands out from the disconfigured mass of look-alikes?

    WDF has managed to achieve that! I don't know how, but filburt the creator, turtle, and with a schizophrenic avtar representation disorder, has managed to make this site stand out from the crowd. He had to start from scratch at some point, and what puzzles me, is that he managed to attract so many users!

    Many of you "posters" here are quite serious guys, and I've noticed that many of you have your own "WDF" boards. But very few of you have more than a handfull of members. This site has close to 4500 active members! That's even more than most of the "you have to pay to be a member" sites have achieved! (That chain of thought might strike you as odd, but many "serious" people think of the payment barrier as a gatekeeper of antispam and quality)

    So how did this happen? I don't know, but I can tell you what attracted me. If anybody else has any views on how they got entrapped here, please tell.

    Primarily, a huge usermass is critical. That means that the likelyhood of somebody having just the knowledge you're after, is greater. However, it won't do you any good if your users post crap for the most part . No more effective way to to loose potensial customers.

    So who am I to get stuck here. I differ from most of the other members. I'm and old fossile compared to most of you (40 years). I am not seeking a professional career in web design, as I'm already tied up in my current profession (pilot) where I've been for the last 21 years. However, I've had computers as a hobby since the first Commodore 64 was introduced to the public. I was introduced to the more complex use of applications during my last years in the airforce when we had to create databases to keep track of our younger pilots currency requirements, and multimedia presentations for high brass and politicians. As we discovered the art of computergraphics, we were able to translate the "a picture tells more than a thousand words" saying, into a concrete presentation/teaching frame. As a consequence of blue screens and hardware crashes, I started getting an interest in "what the heck is happening under the hood".
    That soon turned out to a full fixation, and if you go back a few years, I was somewhat of a hardware guru (ref tomshardsware.com where I was an eager disiple) I think I've buildt at least 50 computers for different purposes throughout the last decade.

    Lately, I've tried to make real an old dream of teaching myself a programming language. As I don't have any application ambitions as for now, I've turned to scripting languages for starters. C# and and maybe Java is next.

    So why did I end up here? The reason is that this is the most curteous, skillfull and interesting forum I've been to. Regardless of what your interest might be, there is always someone here who might have an answer for you. The layout is beautiful. Very easy to navigate, and well ordered forums. Any SPAM is hilariously dealt with(edited) by our excellent MOD's, and likewise gramatical atrocities.
    A lot of you "young folks" might find the SMS-type "How r u all 2 day" modern and dynamic, but it really impoverishes the rich language english really is. Especially for foreigners who might post at this site. I learned to speak english by listening to Beatles albums, so my english might not be the best. But I'm trying to conform to common grammar to make my posts readable.

    So how come the rest of you guys ended up here as active posters? Please tell what made you a part of the statistics saying "this is the ultimate board"!
    S. Rosland

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Fallout's Avatar
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    I like WDF because this board is full of helpful and active users that know what they are talking about. If you have a problem and need help, or need a site review, this is the place to get it.

  4. #3
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rosland
    WDF has managed to achieve that! I don't know how, but filburt the creator, turtle, and with a schizophrenic avtar representation disorder, has managed to make this site stand out from the crowd. He had to start from scratch at some point, and what puzzles me, is that he managed to attract so many users!
    Hehe, yes he is!

    It all has to do with quality. If you don't worry about the quantity, the site should do just fine with word to mouth. Take for instance houseofhelp.com (HoH). It was started about 3 and a half years ago. It is a very high quality site with 16,000 members at the moment. It was started for one simple reason: to help people out. When it first started, it got a mention on hardocp.com, which is a VERY popular tech site. In comparison, they have 32,000 members. HoH gained popularity because of multiple reasons. First was of course the great help you can get there. Also, throught the years we've done one unique thing or another there, sometimes by chance, sometimes planned. Partnering up with other sites for various reasons can help. For instance, for a couple of months HoH contained the forums for a large tech certification site. The forums for both sites merged very well. Currently HoH contains the forums for the Official Corsair Memory Support Forum. It's been going so well in fact that a while ago they offered to host the whole HoH site on their servers. Some other unique things we've done there is start a Lab Rat section, where people basically report on their wacky PC mods, or throw up benchmarks. Back when that section was started, it was a unique idea. Also, one day I happened to start a thread there daring people to try to answer this basic tech question. Gave people a week to solve it before I gave the answer. The site got TONS of hits and multiple mentions on various tech sites because of a simple question. Sure wasn't the reasoning behind the stumping question either. FYI, no one did get it right, and it was simplistic as well. Did a couple of follow ups to it with equal success. They were a whole bunch of fun to do!

    Basically, get mentioned and get good reviews by the top site in your field can help out a lot. But will help out the most is quality. Personally, I only go to and in some cases moderate sites that I truly believe in. For instance, a new up and coming site that I know will do well is htpcnews.com. It's a site about Home Theater PCs. It's cleanly designed with a good staff and great posters behind it. Within a month or so of that site starting, the review products were coming in to them at what IMHO I feel is a dramatic speec. Why? Because of the quality and honesty of their site.

    Same goes for WDF. I found it through the vB site of the month listing. That's a big thumbs up in terms of the design of the site. While this wasn't the only web design forum I found when I was initially looking for some help last April, I quickly made this my only stop for help because of the help and quality of posts that I found here. Of course, it didn't hurt that I became a moderator within a month of being here, eheh.

    In terms of designing a future site and wanting to design it from the ground up for success, it's all about the heart of the site. I'm desigining an information site that hopefully will debt pretty soon. It's not even up yet, but already has some corporate interest in it because of the uniqueness of the site, and the quality of the work and posts that have been done by myself and the guys that I've got with me as admins (1 is the founder of the house of help, another is a moderator there). In this case, it also doesn't hurt that it's going to fill a huge void in the geek scene. Nope, can't go into more detail than that

    For once, a kid's card game cartoon got it right in saying, "It's in the heart of the cards", or in this case, it's in the heart of the idea behind the site.

    FYI, besides this site and the ones in my .sig, some sites that I consider being high quality and successful are hardocp.com for being brutally honest and going right to the horse's mouth when needed, htpcnews.com for filling in a nice computer geek niche and pulling it off oh so well, and of course my site, but it isn't up yet, eheh.

    FYI, through a site like this, the little guy CAN make a difference. Anyone happen to remember the Pentium !!! 1.13 Ghz that got recalled REALLY quickly? It was because of the findings of hardocp and another site. IIRC, they found out that compiling a certain Linux kernel with said chip revealed a very serious flaw in the chip. They have a couple of other geek ku's under their belt as well.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    Interesting Wired!

    I'll certainly check up on sites you've reccomended.
    S. Rosland

  6. #5
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    No problemo! I cannot believe I quoted Yu-Gi-Oh...
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  7. #6
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    No problemo! I cannot believe I quoted Yu-Gi-Oh...
    That's cryptic to me!

    If problemo, please PM me, as I'm totally in the dark here!
    S. Rosland

  8. #7
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    I like to think the site's success is also due to the lack of ads, which also means that opinions posted are effectively guaranteed to be neutral and not bias in any way. Everybody is frustrated by the obscene amount of advertising on virtually every site nowadays, and WDF can be a refreshing change.

    Also the very strong strictness of the rules helps a lot. Sure, it prevents many registrations, but then again, those registrations would likely result in advertising, meaningless and junk posts, etc. The majority of WDF's population is believed to be over 18. The majority of donations made are in one hundred dollar increments, thanks to the fact that the users make a professional income and realize the benefits that WDF gives them. One donor stated that if it weren't for WDF, he would not have his job anymore.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
    Site of the Month contest: submit your site or vote for the winner!

  9. #8
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    LOL. Yu-Gi-Oh is a kid's cartoon show that has this huge following, and it's about a trading card game.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Brak's Avatar
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    I think getting a successful site going has to do with one thing: find a specific reason for the site, stick to it. So many people start off making a site about music/games/computers/travel/sports and wonder why they don't have 1M hits a day. It goes back to when I was writing research reports... the first task was to narrow down a topic to be very specific. That's what filburt did. As it's grown he's been able to expand the forums... but you still don't see a hardware section (no need) and things like that. On top of that filburt has put amazing effort into the forums. So many sites the admins just abandon them just when it gets popular (can anyone say musicianforums.com?) I first went to that site and thought it was a amazing. A few months later I found out the admin barely even visited the board once a month, and at that made 4 posts in the time I had made nearly 3000. That combined with about 4 popups a page, slow server, errorings server made me leave. filburt hasn't pissed anyone off yet.. that's real key. it seems common sense, but it's the number one reason people stop visiting sites.

    I found this site because I wanted to become better at designing sites. I stayed because of the excellent help and quality of content.
    Kyle Neath: Rockstar extraordinare
    The blog | The poetry site | The Spore site

  11. #10
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rosland
    So how come the rest of you guys ended up here as active posters? Please tell what made you a part of the statistics saying "this is the ultimate board"!
    I am a member of about 100 forums. Most I have posted to no more than one or two times. I only post frequently to a few of them:
    1. Philosophy Forums - to challenge and/or broaden my epistemological, political, and theological pursuits
    2. EliseTalk, LotusCarsForum, and S2Ki - To update me on information pertaining to the automobiles I love and to discuss mechanical and driving experiences with others who have the same hobby.
    3. WDF - To discuss (a portion of) my professional life and provide assistance to those who need it. Possibly to fulfill my philanthropic needs (which are likely selfishly motivated by the need to feel needed).

    Each of the aforementioned forums has "reached" me in a different way and fulfilled a social need of mine.

    That's why I'm here !!!

    As for why I believe WDF is so successful... well, it's #1 in searches for "Web Design Forums". That certainly hasn't hurt. But filburt's persistence and perseverance, the decision to disallow and disavow advertisements and advertisers alike, and the acquisition of helpful, friendly members have all played their part in said success.

    In short, WDF is great because of people like you. So pat yourself on the back!


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