SSMB UPDATE: Important Announcement Regarding Move

OK then, I’d like EVERYONE to take notice of this Announcement. I don’t want anybody left clueless or left behind on the whole ‘leaving ezBoard’ thing. I notice a few of you (be they newbie or regulars) that haven’t a clue what is going on. This topic is to inform you exactly what is going on. For people who already know about it, this topic is simply to re-instate the fact that I am serious about leaving the ezBoard.

This post is mostly about the history of this place, but PLEASE read through it – that way you will understand WHY we need to move to a better and new Message Board program, and why I am so eager for you to move to a new board as of next week.

When I was first set about the idea of creating my own Message Board, I was trying to think of a place to base it at. After much consideration, I chose ezBoard. The reasons for this was that it was very popular (like it is now), there was minimal effort for me to do to make it happen (in the sense that I had to download it, find a server etc…), and it was convenient of all things.

EzBoard was good back in the day. Not really any adverts to notice about, no plaguing of the “BUY ezSUPPORTER! BUY GOLD COMMUNITY! BUY ezBOARD BRANDED APPLES! BUY BUY BUY!” malarkey that seems to be taking place now. And it was quick. A good two years down the line, and this MB has a lot of history. Not all good though.

When I first made the MB right in this spot, it was called something like “The Sonic Stadium Message Board”. Of course at the time, the ‘Stadium was just starting out, and no-one saw any relevance in the name of the MB… no-one started going, and the few who did stopped for only a short while.

I re-jigged this place into what I then called “Dreadknux’s Forum”. Maybe a bit too big-headed for some people’s tastes… still no-one arrived. Blah, I thought, and the third transition made here was an MB titled “The Dead Sonic Message Board” – somewhat of an ironic backlash for the failure of my ‘beloved’ MB.

After a while, I thought I’d try one more time. This is when it all started to turn out good for once. I titled it ‘The Sega Sonic Message Board’… hoping that no-one had the name before me of course ^_^. It was a spin-off name from my ‘Sega Sonic’ naming craze – at the same time I had a Radio Station called Sega Sonic Radio.

That was… god, when was it now? It must have been Spring last year when I changed the ezBoard name to the Sega Sonic Message Board. I don’t know what the hell it was, but people suddenly seemed interested. More visitors clocked into The Sonic Stadium, and the two seemed to go hand in hand as both got increasingly popular.

Yep, it’s amazing how much this place has changed since 2000 to last year – and it’s even more amazing how much of a success this place has become since I changed it to the Sega Sonic MB. Before I knew it, members started calling it the SSMB, which sounded like a cult thing to me. I wondered why I never actually thought of abbreviating the MB name to that myself…

But now, one year on from the surge of popularity this place has had, lies greater prospects. The Sonic Stadium has now grown so huge, tons of little Free Webspace accounts can’t hope to fit all our stuff. A new friend of ours is now giving us unlimited webspace and bandwidth, which will increase our popularity (and lessens confusion for me too).

Unfortunately, the future is not bright for everything. As time went on, ezBoard has gotten worse and worse and worse at being competent enough for a decent, free Message Board. Needless-sounding yet essential features like ‘Sticky’ Posts and Special Customisation of the board could only be done if you donated about $30 to ezBoard, and even then it lasted only 3-6 months.

Adverts, as you can see, are now infesting the Message Board – it’s hard to breathe without being attacked by “Super Mini Digital Camera-zilla” in your face… and at the most times, some ezBoard posts won’t even register!

Indeed, ezBoard has been good to us in some respects… up until recently that is. I would not say that ezBoard is bad at all (I’d call the adverts infuriating)… I would say it was adequate for what I needed from a Message Board, two years ago. But why torture ourselves through masses of needless adverts and glitches, when we can have it all laid out on a silver platter for us all.

FAQ

For those that are still clueless after that long-winded old folks tale, here’s some quick and easy-to-digest info, in the form of FAQ-style questions, that will explain why I have chosen for us to move:

*What the hell are we doing?*
We are moving away from ezBoard.

*Moving? Huh? What does this mean?*
It means that soon enough, you will not be coming to this Message Board to post about how your day was etc etc.

*WHAT? So there’ll be no more Sega Sonic Message Board?*
Hm? No, you wasn’t listening, we’ll be _moving_ to another Message Board, so that you can do all that stuff there from then on.

*Where the hell are we moving to?*
A new Message Board program called phpBB.

*Is this like ezBoard, where the MB is all made for you?*
No. This MB program you have to download, and then upload to your own webspace.

*Cool, does that mean I can do that with my free account?*
Not really. To host many Message Boards (not ALL downloadable MBs, just some, like phpBB), your host will need to allow you access to both PHP and MySQL.

*OK… I dun have a clue what PHP and MySQL are…*
It’s alright, you don’t have to. All that is relevant to you are the benefits of phpBB over ezBoard – PHP and MySQL are only the requirements needed to run the software.

*Right. So what do I have to download then?*
You don’t download anything. All the uploading business is made by me. You, as a member of this MB, only have to worry about what the URL of the new Message Board will be at, so you can be there with everyone else like Sonic Guy, VG and Ryu, when we move there, and not feel left out.

*What is the URL then?*
Calm down there, tiger! I’ll let you know as soon as the servers become active.

*Whe..? You make no SENSE, man!*
OK, right then. The new SSMB will be hosted on the new servers that will be offered to us by Zifei, new friend of ours and founder of Sonic HQ. In order for us to have the new Message Board working, we need the servers to be ready. As it stands right now, the servers are not ready for us to upload stuff yet, which is why we are still stuck on the ezBoard until then.

*Any idea WHEN these servers will be ready?*
Yup. Next week in fact. Mark the 5th September on your calendar… well, that’ll be when the servers are ready anyway.

*So, the 5th September is when the new SSMB will be ready then?*
Not necessarily – although the servers will be ready on that date, I still have to upload all the files for the new MB. I don’t think I’ll be on the computer on the 5th, so save a day or two just in case I don’t get round to it.

*What if we forget the date and such? Are you going to leave without me?*
OF COURSE NOT! As soon as the new SSMB is ready, I will personally inform each and every member that has visited this ezBoard about the new MB, the URL of the new MB, and new features to expect. On top of that, I’ll announce it right here on this ezBoard, in case you forget your emails and such. If I catch you on AIM or MSN too, I’ll tell you about it there as well. I’ll do all I can to not allow you to be left behind!

*So, 5th September is when you can upload the new MB. When you finish, you’ll both email me and announce it on this Message Board before we officially go?*
Nailed it in one.

*Even the URL?*
Well, it’d all be pointless if I didn’t give you the new URL. =P

*OK Hot Shot, I’m all clear on what to do when we officially ‘move’. Can you now tell me WHY we’re moving?*
Because ezBoard is no longer adequate enough to be the MB program for our community.

*Oooooh, that sounds stuck up, Dread…*
Yeah, well. ^_^

*Well, I don’t actually mind it here. What are the cons of ezBoard?*

  1. Popups. Terrible, Terrible Pop up ads.
  2. The fact that this place only seems to care about money nowadays.
  3. All the decent stuff (Sticky Topics, Anonymous on the ‘Who’s Online’ list etc…) needs to be paid an extremely large amount for an extremely short time period.
  4. Unreliability. Sometimes you post, and it never appears because ezBread ‘forgot’. Sometimes you hit ‘Post’ once, and it never loads, then you hit ‘Post’ again, and the same message comes up twice.
  5. Sllllllloooooowwwwwwww.

*Hmm.. I guess you have a point. Is phpBB any better though?*
Oh yes. It has all the features that paid-for ezBoard MB’s get for free for a start. It’s more reliable (depending on whether you have reliable servers that is), it’s fast (again, depends on where you shove your board…) and NO ADVERTISEMENTS!

*That’s not it though, is it?*
Not all of it. It’s a blast for me too, because it’s infinitely customisable! And, you can get extra additions for the MB called ‘Hacks’. EzBread never has those….

*So, what’s the drawbacks of phpBB?*
Well, at the moment, the only things I can see is the fact that (well, this actually was apparent at someone else’s phpBB and not mine, but it may still be applicable to me) you can only have one username per email… and you can’t have Custom Titles.

*I’m sensing a ‘But’ here…*
BUT! I’ve got a hack which makes members add and change their own Custom Titles… and I’m hunting down a Hack so that more than one username can be for each email account.

*Yeah, but maybe the one Username per email is useful. Remember the spammers? If you ban one User, they won’t be able to come back, unless they use another email*
… You do have a point.

*OK, so phpBB sounds all good, then*
Sure does. You’ll like it when you see it?

*Is there a way we can see it? I hear you been tinkering away at a style for the phpBB similar to this ezBoard’s, even though your servers aren’t ready yet.*
You’re right in hearing that, well done. I did indeed put a phpBB on Tripod for test purposes (so that when the servers become ready, I can just upload, with no worries of making the style afterwards). No-one can post in the forums of that test MB except for me, so there’s no point in registering there.

*Why?*
Because Tripod isn’t where the permanent new SSMB is, it’s being hosted on Zifei’s…. *sigh* never mind….

*Nonetheless, could I see your finished style, just to prep for what’s in store next week?*
Sure you can! Go to this URL to see a sneak preview: members.lycos.co.uk/segasonicmb2 Enjoy… erm, viewing!

*I think I understand it all now. Why we’re moving, what we have to do when the time comes… why phpBB is so much better than ezBoard…*
OK, you don’t have to make it look like you’re trying to drill this into everyone else’s mind, this isn’t a supermarket training video.

*I guess not. So, once more, from the top…*
-Sigh- Did you even listen?

*Erm, no. ^_^*
Right, once more in a digestible bunch…

  • We are leaving ezBoard and going to phpBB!
  • We start moving to the new Message Board next week sometime!
  • When that time comes, Dreadknux will:
    1) Email you [if your email is not hidden on your ezBoard profile] 2) Post a major announcement on this ezBoard
    3) Notify you on AIM/MSN if you find him or he finds you.
  • We are moving to phpBB to
    1) Get away from the adverts
    2) Actually have a professional Message Board
    3) Have a reliable place to chat and ‘hang’, ya dig?
    4) All the trimmings ezBoard has a price for – for free at the phpBB new SSMB

Understand that, y’all!

*What if someone has a question STILL!?*
Then they should go away! I spent a bloody half-hour making this ‘Moving MB’s for Dummies’ and……. whoop, I mean…

I mean, any questions should be directed IN THIS TOPIC, NOT IN A NEW TOPIC, NOT IN ANY OTHER TOPIC OTHER THAN THIS ONE! I don’t have time to go hunting for your questions if you can’t be organised.

*Are we done now?*
Yeah, we’re done.

*You know, talking to yourself is the first sign of mad…*
Shut your sass-hole, boy!

Online Comments: SSMB ezBoard

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Dreadknux

Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.