October 02, 2006

Scuzzstuff Forum Explaination

     So for a while now, I have had a forum running on scuzzstuff. Why? Well I always wanted a community for scuzzstuff. It doesn't really seem much cooler to me than having a bunch of devoted fans, and nothing creates a fanbase like having interactivity. I mean, having a website with lots of awesome games is one thing. Having a website where you can put any games you want up, anytime? That's something oh-so-much-more awesome. Websites like Youtube and Ytmnd have flourished under this idea, and I thought that maybe I could do something similar. Well I was horribly, horribly mistaken. Originally I thought I could just go ahead and make a forum. Well it turned out to be more complicated then that:
     First, I had a friend who was running a forum, website, and wiki on a series of free servers, and had been hopping from one to the next as they collapsed. Almost all of them collapsed within three months, but that was about as much as he needed to get good use out of it. When I heard about his forum, I thought that I may as well make one myself. When I informed him of this, he was pretty distressed. The members he had were "very devoted" and willing to put up money to buy him a domain name. Not really understanding how many members he had, and not really motivated enough to figure out how to install phpbb, I decided it may be a good idea to start off with a devoted fanbase and just assimilate his forum. This would eliminate the need for me to do much to kickstart it, and it wouldn't devastate my friend, who feared that I would take away all his members.
     Well, it turned out that "all his members" were less then ten in count. I was a rather active member of the forums in the start, and made big plans that had to do with a new system of avatars that people would be able to put on their website. It was way too complicated, and I ended up running out of time between going to Japan and school. I eventually stopped really visiting the forums. I didn't really have time to participate, let alone read the dozens of posts by a few members that went up every night. They were all siginificantly younger than me (not to discriminate ages), and didn't often have a lot to say that I hadn't heard elsewhere. If anything it was somewhere that I spent a lot fo time proving points to people who didn't really care. It just drained any ability I had to write my blog anyway.
     So I stopped. I made something like three posts in the last year. While I was there we'd worked furiously to find some sort of focus that the forum could have, that would drive conversation rather than having a sprawl that lead to hundreds of dead threads (conversations to those of you who don't use forums). We added a games modification, and several themes to make the site more appealing, but it was all for naught. Very few extra members joined, and the friend who was administrating it eventually stopped visiting as well, and the forum became dilapidated. Fake users generated by spam bots became rampant, there was only something like five active members, and no one outside of that group really participated.
     Finally, about a month ago, a hack was started which was dectected by my hosting company, and stopped. They shut down my server, and no damage was done. I spent about a week trying to work out exactly what had happened, and powweb didn't really seem to know either. Their new logging system seems more capable, but I was running on the old system then. But I knew it had happened as a result of the forums, I just couldn't explain why. I managed to get Felipe (aforementioned friend/forum admin) into action, and he did a full upgrade. Strange errors from the forum still persisted, but not especially worrying ones. Felipe did a full re-install of the phpbb forum and all the extensions we had, and then there was a real problem. The forum was hacked again. This time though, it did some damage. The front page was replaced with what you see here.
     Though fortunately this time, it was well logged and we knew what to watch for. It was an unpatched vulnerablity in the activity mod. An extension which had been fully upgraded, but for whatever reason, the fix was left out, and the author refused to put it in, instead favoring to put a post on his forum (which, like mine, is rather unpopular) which required you to alter the code by hand. I decided against it. In all honesty I don't see any point in keeping the forum. It's in need of a lot of work (which I'm not willing to put into it), it has very few, if any, real members, and I don't really participate either. It's not going to spontaneously become a smash hit, and it wasn't very good to begin with. the only review I've ever read was "not even I'm that lonely," which says something. I think it's time to let the forum die.

R.I.P. Scuzzforum 2004-2006

Posted by Kickmyassman at October 2, 2006 10:38 PM

Well, it had a good run. Thanks for everyone who helped out with the forum and my other little projects, especially Kit - providing hosting and general support :-D
Yeah, I realized it would never go anywhere, but hey, it was a nice project and I did learn a lot.
Again, thanks for everyone, and well, R.I.P Scuzz Forums.
(man, my English is starting to get bad..... :-P)

Posted by: Cavalkaf at October 3, 2006 02:21 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?