The New Sound Forums

David Karol

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2011
2,078
20
38
San Francisco, CA
www.davidkarol.com
#1
tldr: New site. Hope you enjoy.

@Bennett Prescott and I created Sound Forums with a mission "to provide and preserve a home for audio professionals around the world." We were a new site intended to foster the community that has grown out of many of the other forums. At Sound Forums, we cherish the content created by the community, and intend to keep a searchable archive of it for as long as possible.

We kicked off with FUDforum, running on a small shared hosting service used for our personal websites. I'm pretty sure @Evan Kirkendall named us. Sound Forums outgrew both of these almost immediately, and migrated to a virtual private server and vBulletin. At the time, vBulletin was the best forum platform available. We incorporated to help handle liability and taxes, and moved services over to a top tier hosting provider, Linode. The server backend that @Jeffrey Knorr and @Phil Graham helped put together there scaled incredibly well for our peaks in traffic, including the X32 launch.

vBulletin's development has slowed down significantly over the past two years. 3rd party support by platforms such as Tapatalk is dwindling. The roadmap of vBulletin 5, particularly in regards to responsive design, did not live up to our expectations. With the Sound Forums experience becoming not-so-great™, and the future of vBulletin in question, we decided to transition to a new platform.

The New Sound Forums
To keep a great experience for both forums and news, we've migrated to a mix of Wordpress and Xenforo. We've been working on this in our free time over the past few months, and we finally got to a state where we could flip the switch.
  • All content from the forums has been migrated over to Xenforo 2.
  • All news and other articles have moved to Wordpress.
  • Blogs have been split between the two.
Everything should appear and function incredibly well across any device. Tapatalk will require a new login, but runs much smoother with Xenforo. (I am not advocating Tapatalk, it causes a lot of problems for us, but we'll continue to support this for the 50 or so users that login daily from the app. Please avoid attachments / images on there, at they're then hosted by Tapatalk, and we may lose access to them at a future point in time.)

Moderators
@Bennett Prescott and I have taken care of the majority of moderation since we started up, with @Jeff Babcock taking on the DIY Audio area. Neither Bennett or I were working full time at that point, and had plenty of spare time for the forums. Users (mostly @Tim McCulloch) flag posts requiring moderation regularly, and we deal with them as time allows. But this sometimes takes us a few days.

If any users who have been around a while are interested in helping out with moderation on the forums, please reach out to me. It'd be great to have more people removing posts by 'clickthewebsiteformynewpill' and 'buymyrecordingsoftware'.

Advertising
Through early generosity from user donations and manufacturers' advertisements, we'd been able to keep the lights on for the past 6 years. At present, we could sustain operations for the next 5 with our savings in the bank. With the improved mobile experience, we plan to sell ad space again. Please reach out if interested-- our ad performance is the best in the industry.

Ongoing Cleanup
  • We'll be manually cleaning up some of the 'feature' articles, as in-line attachments did not transition well. We don't plan to make any changes to the older news articles though.
  • The CMS and Forums are run separately. Whether or not we merge user databases between the two platforms in the future is unclear-- at this point we're focusing on simplicity and ease of management.
  • Content from both areas will begin to fill the sidebars as it's all indexed and categorized.
  • Speed seems on par with vBulletin, but caches will be regularly flushed over the next few days, impacting performance.
As always, reach out to me if you run into any problems. Xenforo 2 is new, but the development team has been a huge help in making our vBulletin content transition here smoothly.
 
Last edited:
Aug 21, 2012
122
4
18
Aberdeen, Scotland
#2
Hi David,
Couple of thoughts.

Firstly, Thanks so much for all the effort you, Bennett and the others put in, it is a great resource & I wouldn't want to see it go away.

Second, New posts in existing threads: will the new software have any option to flag up new posts in threads we've already read part of, and maybe link straight to first new post on a thread by thread basis at any point please? That was always my preferred method of reading fora and just about every other forum I read has this.

Third, Moderation; I appreciate you guys really are busy, but there's a user who I reported for an invalid username several times as far back as December, and I can't see any action being taken - was there a problem with the reporting function again - I remember it being glitchy a few times in the past?

Those minor things apart, thanks again for working to keep moving the site forward!

Regards,
David.
 

David Karol

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2011
2,078
20
38
San Francisco, CA
www.davidkarol.com
#3
Second, New posts in existing threads: will the new software have any option to flag up new posts in threads we've already read part of, and maybe link straight to first new post on a thread by thread basis at any point please? That was always my preferred method of reading fora and just about every other forum I read has this.
On the thread listings pages, there are two links. One is the thread title. If you have an unread post in this thread, you'll be directed to that. If all posts have been read, you'll be directed to the top of the thread. There is also another to the latest post (date of last post).

Xenforo also brings back 'What's New' and 'New Posts' pages.

Third, Moderation; I appreciate you guys really are busy, but there's a user who I reported for an invalid username several times as far back as December, and I can't see any action being taken - was there a problem with the reporting function again - I remember it being glitchy a few times in the past?
We've generally been sending the users a private message / email and closing the threads to avoid spamming the forums.

3rd party apps that access the forum began bypassing our normal registration process. This led to users registering with no knowledge of our 'real name policy'. We've removed this functionality on the new forums-- registration makes the policy extremely clear now.

Thanks,
David
 
Last edited:
Likes: Chuck Fry
Aug 21, 2012
122
4
18
Aberdeen, Scotland
#4
On the thread listings pages, there are two links. One is the thread title. If you have an unread post in this thread, you'll be directed to that. If all posts have been read, you'll be directed to the top of the thread. There is also another to the latest post (date of last post).

Xenforo also brings back 'What's New' and 'New Posts' pages. 'New Posts' seems to do what is intended, but 'What's New' does now.
Brilliant, hadn't noticed that behaviour yet but that's exactly what I was after, thanks!

Cheers,
David.