Happy Birthday vBTruth – One Year Later

Today has gone by so quickly I nearly forgot it was an important moment here at vBTruth. Today marks one year ago when Chronos and I said enough is enough. We’ve had it. We’re tired of being forced fed decisions by Internet Brands’s Management that ultimately compromised our communities and in some cases, have driven our members away.

Looking back at the entries we’ve written in the last year, I have to say I’m sad. Looking back at the entire year, I could cry. One year later, nothing has changed. vBulletin itself is no longer the king of forums. In fact, it is the court jester of forums. The monetary value of a vBulletin license is completely depressed. From an all time high of $285.00 license, people are dumping their licenses for a fraction of the price. I’ve seen licenses as low as $50.00 for a vBulletin 4 Suite. That’s an eighty two percent drop in the price. People aren’t even recovering HALF the money they paid for vBulletin 4. They are simply looking to get rid of it.

Looking at everything a year later:

The CMS is still horrible to use. It’s nothing but stress and headaches to post updates.

The Forum still shows regression in features.

Bugs are being squashed, but it’s still difficult to work

Performance of vBulletin is dreadful.

Competing products like Invision Power Board have made significant leaps in innovation.

We’ve seen xenForo

vBulletin 4 still has attention deficit disorder, with no idea of what it wants to be. Not to mention Internet Brands still thinks WordPress is still their biggest competition.

We’re already seeing talks that vBulletin 5 is coming out in a few months. HELLO $200.00/LICENSE IN RENEWAL FEES AGAIN!

We desired change, but we’ve seen none. No innovation. The v in vBulletin no longer means value or valuable. It now stands for victims. We’ve become victims of the lack of vision, and direction of Internet Brands.

So sadly, Happy Birthday to us. We thought a year is enough for things to change, but evidently time has shown us the truth. There’s no real change on the horizon.

Let’s Think – The Real Reason for Internet Brands v. xenForo

I would like to believe that I am by far one of the most vocal people out there that has ranted, and raved about Internet Brand’s continued mismanagement of vBulletin Solutions, and vBulletin. My phone started vibrating like with extreme madness as I picked up a rash of alerts from colleagues and twitter notices on the morning of the filing. With my travelings these last few months auditing various companies, I’ve been regrettably away from this site and unable to comment or refresh content as frequently as I’d like to.

Now that my latest rounds of audits have been complete, I am able to properly sit down and analyze the highly publicized notice on vBulletin.com. Interesting enough, I have not been able to locate the complaint in any UK Legal Information System or any filings in the UK Court System.
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xenForo goes on sale

For those of you who are sick of Internet Brands’s incompetence, and continued failure at meeting business requirements, xenForo, developed by former vBulletin developers Kier Darby, Mike Sullivan and former vBulletin business manager Ashley Busby, went on sale.

Go buy it. Enough said.

P.S. HURRY UP AND BUY BEFORE THE 100.00/license sale ends!

Internet Brands has no clue – by x626xblack

  1. Mistakes: There is a difference between mistake and bug. In a dynamic environment kinks in the execution and operation will happen and they can be worked out, and we accept those. Mistakes in the planning and decision phase are a sign of inexperience. The transition from Jelsoft to IB seemed simulate a Space Shuttle being handed to a group of 5th graders.
  2. Transparency/ Communication: only became an issue because way too much was broken and no one ever told anyone why or what was going on. If your paycheck comes every pay period and is the amount it is supposed to be, you are happy. It is when it is late or the wrong amount that you want to know who, why, and what is being done to keep it from happening.
  3. Communication: This falls along the lines of transparency. We are not so concerned with the What, why, who when things are running as expected.
  4. Give the customers a promise: At this point promises are empty. Make things right first. Fix ALL of the broken things before you add new things.

Suggestion: Someone needs to learn resource management.

VB.com needs to focus 100% of its resources into making vBulletin run correctly, and efficiently. Stop with EXTERNAL add on like FB Connect. In my opinion when VB added FACEBOOk CONNECT they surrendered Forum superiority to FACEBOOK and that is a tool that relies on FACEBOOK.

vb.org needs to be the place for add ons for external content. vb.org has a wealth of excellent add ons provided by users. There needs to be a section for official VB add ons like Facebook Connect…….. Oh, and tell the person that comes up with the idea for charging for any of these add ons to forget that notion…. Someone will suggest it.

Learn one lesson. if you were NASA you could glamorize, glorify, and take liberties with the truth and facts because only a hand full would know the difference. You are not. You are IB/VB and there are WAY too many End Users that have enough skill and knowledge to step into your job today and do an equal to or better job than you do…… They see right through your BS.

Quit lying. You are not good at it. I would rather see a post from a TEAM member saying, we broke this and it is being fixed than…… Some 1/2 azzed explanation about why it is supposed to be that way. when you KNOW it is not.

Lastly and most importantly……… Your team needs to meet with management and decide if VB is going to be about profit or customer satisfaction, yes you can be about both … BUT there needs to be one or the other that is TOP PRIORITY. If you polled End Users right now you would find our opinion is that your top priority is money. And while that is the prime goal for most all commercial products, you are in a somewhat unique situation where you have taken over from a group that was focused on Customer Satisfaction…. Which makes a bumpy road when quality and satisfaction take a back seat to profit.

We are trying and want to be loyal VB customers. You are not giving us much to work with. There is a difference between effort and result. Telling us you are working “so hard” to fix things is canned, and we could care less. We paid for results, not slaving hard work with a broken end product.

I Moved to Invision Power Board – by JaimieinNH

Sadly i joined the ranks of those that bought into the hype and found it less that desirable so I have moved to IPB.

Is it perfect? No.
Do they listen to their customers? Yes.
Will they make mistakes? Yes.
Is their product better than vB? Depends on what you’re really looking for/at.

For me, I came to vB because it was known to be the best.. using that name I bought into the vB 4.0 being bigger and better…. then came the day the site went down and their main site changed to that wonderful splash page and I was excited… and then the forums opened… sad is what I was feeling. The design, the 1st impressions was horrible.

It doesn’t take much to see that the customers here aren’t listened to unless there are a number of people screaming.. Support is lacking because of the path they (IB) have chosen and it shows.. People that have been running forums forever are having troubles with this new script and in the end I just couldn’t wait for a stable release. (stable meaning everything works and everything they said I would get was there)

So I chose to move to IPB. So far it’s been great, just looking at the pre-sales forum you will see the amount of time they spend with the community, listening, helping and communicating.. Take some time and compare pre-sales here and pre-sales there to see the difference.

For vB for become the leader again they will have to learn that the customer is always right and we have been telling you where you are going wrong for months now… it started with the leak slides and you had a chance to stop, listen and do the right thing, instead you moved forward as fast as you could and look where that’s gotten you.

Time will tell the grand affect… as we all have bought the vB 4.0 license which grants us use through the next version… it will be interesting to see what your sales are when vB 5.0 comes out.

79 Days, 14 Hours, 30 Minutes Since vBulletin 4

At the time of my writing this post, it has been 79 days, 14 hours, 30 minutes since vBulletin 4 came out. It’s also been the same amount of time I’ve been using vBulletin 4 internally on my local server. It’s also been 79 days of hell.

Throughout these last 79 days, I’ve been fighting bugs, fighting with the lack of features, and last but not least, fighting the lack of functionality.

I was a skeptic to be honest when Internet Brands acquired Jelsoft. At first it seems like a great move, however I now have adequate proof Internet Brands is not the godsend they claimed to be. Looking at our 79th day since vBulletin 4 has been released, we’ve regressed.

vBulletin 4 is worse than IPB.
vBulletin 4 is worse than phpBB.
vBulletin 4 is worse than SMF.

To be blunt, vBulletin 4 just plain sucks. It does not deserve to be called the leader in community solutions. It’s lost it shine.  No longer is it “instant community”, but more to the point, instant hell and disaster.

Support is lackluster at best. Attempting to run vBulletin 4 in production mode is beyond unbearable. It’s torture. Not even tolerable.

The bugs are so bad that I would equate it with an infestation.

Note: I have the utmost respect for the current vBulletin Developers, and Project Leaders. Given the mess Joe and Bob has made, it’s a wonder itself that vBulletin 4 functions even at all.

vBulletin 4x – We Want More – ASAP!?

vBulletin 4x – We Want More – ASAP!? Or do we?

Let’s take a look back and do a quick review.

First we get the release of vBulletin 4.0 Gold. This build of vB 4.0.0 is plagued with bugs and known issues, yet it’s still released. Then we get vB 4.0.0 PL1, which is a release patch to fix a newly discovered exploit. This takes us to vB 4.0.1, which is a “maintenance release” that fixed 200+ bugs.
Finally, this brings us to 4.0.2, which was supposed to have been released February 4th, 2010 (now delayed).

The mentality used by IB is amusing, but not at all surprising. Instead of focusing on releasing a solid, stable build, they are merely pumping out versions as quickly as they can, and releasing them prematurely, even when they are clearly not ready to be deployed due to known bugs.

Only now with the delay of the 4.0.2 release have they actually held off releasing it to provide a more “quality” build. Maybe they finally learned their lesson that quality > quantity? We’ll soon find out.

@IB, you disappoint me, yet again. Dare I say, we told you so?
I would highly suggest you take a page out of the old vB team and focus on building a quality product. The old Jelsoft actually valued and knew the importance of releasing a solid build instead of just releasing as many, and bug filled versions as they could.

vBulletin 4 – Revolutionary or Disturbingly Flawed?

Twas the day before Christmas
and all through the net
vBulletin admins banging their heads
Installation’s has started for vBulletin 4
In hopes that it will succeed, once and for all

Once installed, the admins sighed in relief
and begins to tinker, then much to his disbelief
not one, but hundreds of bugs did appear
and it’s wrecked their Christmas cheer.

Then with a fury he curses at once
he runs for support just to fix the matter
To his surprise he’s not alone
that this bug was found long, long ago.

The poem’s a bit overly dramatic, but it’s rather fitting based on the struggles Chronos and I have seen this week. It’s been four days since vBulletin 4 came out, and it appears it has been a miserable four days. Bugs galor, customers crying foul, requirements not met (which is the biggest concern as any excellent systems developer would know you must achieve a good percentage of them). And the there’s the occasional cheer, and celebration saying vBulletin 4 is rather golden.

vBulletin is a marvelous product. vBulletin 4, however, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. There are far too many mis-use cases that were not accounted for, thus breaking the entire information system.

I will be the first to say that we as customers should have held Internet Brands accountable. Clearly Internet Brands dropped the ball, and now we’re dealing with an incomplete, half-baked, second rate, forum and CMS.

I’m going to pose the question to everyone out there: What do you think of vBulletin 4? The blunt, brutal hard truth. Is it worth the price, time, and energy in buying, installing, and/or upgrading to? What would you tell to future investors? Or what would you tell to future customers?

Comment away.

Internet Brand’s Investment Nightmare: vBulletin

Internet Brands operates communities for anyone to speak. But more importantly, are they truly listening to their customers and what they are saying?
When dealing with any investment, there is risk. Does Internet Brands understand how much risk they've undertaken? Is Internet Brands those managing risks well?

I’ve often wondered why some the senior development team for vBulletin suddenly left without any advance warning. In one short month, Kier Darby, Mike Sullivan, and Scott Macvicar all left Internet Brands. In that one month, it represented a significant loss of talent, senior management, and senior development of vBulletin. These three represent the brains of vBulletin. They represent the integrity of vBulletin. They represent the key development and leadership of a industry icon. They understood customer’s requirements. They understood the customer. Last but not least, this trio understood vBulletin.

These questions have been racing in my mind. Why did they leave? What possible reasons could they have left? Was it because Internet Brands (Nasdaq: INET) acquired them? Was it because of management? Was it because they no longer liked working at Jelsoft and Internet Brands? Was it because they became merely a cog in this giant machine? Or maybe rather than job enlargement and enrichment, they experienced job reduction and dissatisfaction?

Finally, that silence has been broken. It appears what we’ve suspected all along happened. I hoped this wasn’t the case, however, my own nightmare, suspicions, and fears have been confirmed.

Internet Brands meddled where they should not have. They’ve roasted, and killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. It is the classic management case study in which employees leave because of management, not because of the company.

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Ray Morgan Resigns!

Breaking News! Ray Morgan resigns as vBulletin General Manager.

Sincere thanks to the vBulletin community!

Greetings all,

As some of you know, my wife and I own property in Central America and have worked for the last few years toward building a home there. We are now in a position where we can begin construction, and that will require a lot of time on site and a great deal of travel.

Since my role in vBulletin can’t reasonably be filled from 3,000 miles away, the time has come for me to transition various responsibilities to my teammates. I will be with Team vB through this Friday, December 11.

These changes will not directly affect vBulletin customers. The rest of the team remains intact, and the most important things are not changing:

Kevin Sours will continue to run vBulletin’s large Engineering group, with backup from Joe Rosenblum, Internet Brands’s CTO.

Don Kuramura will continue to be responsible for Product Management, strategy, and business development.

Steve Machol will continue managing the Support team, with backup from Jennifer Rundell, Internet Brands’s VP of Content.

The path to building 4.0 out the door has been incredibly exciting, and all the more so to have done it alongside such a smart and dedicated team. (Each of them has a standing invitation to visit Lake Arenal!)

vBulletin is in very capable hands. The imminent release of 4.0 is just the beginning of some very exciting things ahead. The Internet evolves quickly, so in addition to new things like the Content Publishing Suite, Team vB are working on even bigger expansions, like products and services for big-board customers, vB for mobile, and more.

Again, a heartfelt thank you to the vBulletin community for all of your support.


Our thoughts to come later.