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Proud to Present: An interview with Invision Community President Charles Warner


Nearly two decades ago, Invision Community President, @Charles , set out to make a leading online community platform. 

Around that time, Charles also met his now-husband of 18-years and hasn't looked back since. Until now. 

Behind the code, product updates and newsletters are a group of people who share a passion for community building. Considering how volatile and toxic the Internet can be, we want to become more visible, transparent and vulnerable.  To help you familiarize yourself with the masterminds behind Invision Community, starting with Charles, we're kicking off a new series that'll highlight our team.

I interviewed Charles for the first installment. In it, he commented on the state of the Internet: "I do think some times, for or better or for worse, people forget there are real people on the other end," he said.

Mr. Warner also touched on Invision Community's evolution over the years. 

"People don't like change. No one likes change," Charles said, adding "sometimes you say, 'we really need to change something' either in the software, or how you do things, and people push back. It might be we change a feature or maybe internally we change the way we do something. Sometimes you have to move forward. Sometimes it's irritating at first. 'Why did you change that?!' And also you have to recognize that sometimes you're wrong. Sometimes you might change something [and think], 'no, it's not better...' I really find that that's a big thing – to constantly be looking at all those other options and try stuff out. It doesn't harm [anything] to try things."

And in the spirit of Pride Month, Charles opened up about being part of the LGBTQ community and also President of a successful company. He hopes it'll inspire others.
 

Quote

"I am lucky, and it's a privilege. [For one] that the world we're in now is different than the world was five years ago, 20 years ago... but also being an Internet company you have a unique position where people don't know your gender, your age, your race, anything about you online... Particularly 20 years ago when we started even less so... that's the thing that's always kind of been there. I think I'm lucky in that regard. I recognize some people don't have that unique approach to things that I've enjoyed. I would say on that whole it hasn't really been a big thing and I'm lucky that it hasn't."


The full interview is available to watch up top. 

After watching, please drop us a line in the comments and let us know your thoughts! 🌈 

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Great interview and fantastic to actually see a living breathing member of the Invision Community team that brings us what we have today and the memories we have of yesteryear.

In respect of the 'community' aspect I like to view a new community as a book with no pages and the community writes the chapters in their topics, article, images, posts and comments and so fills up the pages of the book to present everyone with something to be proud of.

I had no idea that Charles was part of LGBTQ+ community and props to both of you for just being who you are and just enjoying life.

Loved every moment of this and I hope we will see more interviews with other team members in the near future 🙂

high five k-pop GIF

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15 minutes ago, Davyc said:

Great interview and fantastic to actually see a living breathing member of the Invision Community team that brings us what we have today and the memories we have of yesteryear.

In respect of the 'community' aspect I like to view a new community as a book with no pages and the community writes the chapters in their topics, article, images, posts and comments and so fills up the pages of the book to present everyone with something to be proud of.

I had no idea that Charles was part of LGBTQ+ community and props to both of you for just being who you are and just enjoying life.

Loved every moment of this and I hope we will see more interviews with other team members in the near future 🙂

high five k-pop GIF

Appreciate this comment a lot 🥲 

Exactly the vibe we were going for! And I love your perspective on community. Thanks for the kind words, @Davyc!

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I watched and found out some new things. However, I missed some curiosities, statistics or funny stories, but for the first interview it was fine.

Charles seemed a little shy at first. 🙂 One small note, fewer questions about LGBTQ and more about IPS itself 👍

So who's next? Maybe @Matt

  1. How do you deal with nulled software? what's your opinion on this?
  2. Why is everyone in IPS using a Macbook? :D
  3. How many people work at Invision Power Services?
Edited by SeNioR-
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9 minutes ago, Stuart Silvester said:

Oh no! Linux-Is-Best on a server, not a desktop

No, maybe from like 25 years ago, now days linux can be used as desktop and you will not miss anything 🙂

Edited by abobader
typo
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1 hour ago, abobader said:

No, maybe from like 25 years ago, now days linux can be used as desktop and you will not miss anything 🙂

Exactly.

It has become nearly just as easy as Windows. You can install Linux just as easily and quicker than you install Windows. It is now possible to play games on Steam without knowing how to configure anything. I watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Paramount+, Starz, and YouTube with any web browser. In 2021, LibreOffice now has more options than Microsoft Office and allows me to open, edit, save, and print any document made on Windows, Apple, or Linux. I can work from home using Linux, making video calls, and attending meetings.   I also bank online, trade, invest, sell, and buy things while on Linux. Connect devices using "plug and play," WiFi, or Bluetooth. Install and update nearly any app, including the whole OS; without knowing how to use the terminal, just point and click.

No blue screen of death. No sudden system freezes. No viruses (although you can install an anti-virus if it gives you peace of mind, I still do). No hanging system resources. No sudden reboots. No long waiting load times. It does not matter if you are using the newest computer or a computer 10+ years old; it will run Linux.

And if, by some random chance, you do install a lousy program, it does not take your whole system with it (unlike Windows). That is the big problem with Microsoft Windows. The countless computers I fixed for family and friends often resulted from something small, trivial, and seemingly unimportant, unintentionally interacting with everything else, causing a world of problems in Microsoft Windows. But not in Linux.

Linux is so helpful, powerful, flexible, and adaptable most of The Internet, nearly every website you visit and use today is hosted on Linux, including here, Invision. And if you are reading this on an Android phone, Congratulations, you are already using Linux (Android is a modified Linux distribution).

Lastly, the cost to use and install Linux? $0.00. It is free. No subscription fees. No renewal cost. No activation. It is open-source. Anyone, even YOU (reader, whoever you are), can download and install Linux.

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
clarity
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  • Management
23 hours ago, SeNioR- said:

 

  1. How do you deal with nulled software? what's your opinion on this?
  2. Why is everyone in IPS using a Macbook? :D
  3. How many people work at Invision Power Services?

1. It's an endless cat and mouse game between companies and thieves who try to self-rationalize their entitled behavior. 

2. Because they're superior! 

3. Most of them. 

 

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3 hours ago, Linux-Is-Best said:

Exactly.

It has become nearly just as easy as Windows. You can install Linux just as easily and quicker than you install Windows. It is now possible to play games on Steam without knowing how to configure anything. I watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Paramount+, Starz, and YouTube with any web browser. In 2021, LibreOffice now has more options than Microsoft Office and allows me to open, edit, save, and print any document made on Windows, Apple, or Linux. I can work from home using Linux, making video calls, and attending meetings.   I also bank online, trade, invest, sell, and buy things while on Linux. Connect devices using "plug and play," WiFi, or Bluetooth. Install and update nearly any app, including the whole OS; without knowing how to use the terminal, just point and click.

No blue screen of death. No sudden system freezes. No viruses (although you can install an anti-virus if it gives you peace of mind, I still do). No hanging system resources. No sudden reboots. No long waiting load times. It does not matter if you are using the newest computer or a computer 10+ years old; it will run Linux.

And if, by some random chance, you do install a lousy program, it does not take your whole system with it (unlike Windows). That is the big problem with Microsoft Windows. The countless computers I fixed for family and friends often resulted from something small, trivial, and seemingly unimportant, unintentionally interacting with everything else, causing a world of problems in Microsoft Windows. But not in Linux.

Linux is so helpful, powerful, flexible, and adaptable most of The Internet, nearly every website you visit and use today is hosted on Linux, including here, Invision. And if you are reading this on an Android phone, Congratulations, you are already using Linux (Android is a modified Linux distribution).

Lastly, the cost to use and install Linux? $0.00. It is free. No subscription fees. No renewal cost. No activation. It is open-source. Anyone, even YOU (reader, whoever you are), can download and install Linux.

Loving the Linux passion 👏 

Though I'm still a Mac stan 😎 

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:20 PM, SeNioR- said:

I watched and found out some new things. However, I missed some curiosities, statistics or funny stories, but for the first interview it was fine.

Charles seemed a little shy at first. 🙂 One small note, fewer questions about LGBTQ and more about IPS itself 👍

So who's next? Maybe @Matt

  1. How do you deal with nulled software? what's your opinion on this?
  2. Why is everyone in IPS using a Macbook? :D
  3. How many people work at Invision Power Services?

By fewer questions about LGBTQ you mean zero questions? Because I only counted two plus a follow-up question. And although they were more specific questions, most times he was able to link his personal experiences to IPS. So I really don't see a problem with spending some time on questions like that. You asked for more curiosities after all, right? 😉

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On 6/12/2021 at 2:13 PM, Linux-Is-Best said:

Anyone, even YOU (reader, whoever you are), can download and install Linux.

The biggest drawback of Linux is the lack of compatibility with software that many people use - and that can cover quite a bit of ground. Macs and PCs are well catered for and most of the big name softwares are made for these two giants. The vast majority of the software I use will not work on a Linux system, and I find that a little disappointing but understandable.  I'd love to give it a try on my PC but not being able to use the software I use daily is blockade.  Perhaps this will change over time and Linux will be seen as a viable alternative for regular Mac and PC users, but for now the forte for Linux is driving the Internet and it does that superbly well 🙂

 

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1 hour ago, Davyc said:

The biggest drawback of Linux is the lack of compatibility with software that many people use - and that can cover quite a bit of ground. Macs and PCs are well catered for and most of the big name softwares are made for these two giants. The vast majority of the software I use will not work on a Linux system, and I find that a little disappointing but understandable.  I'd love to give it a try on my PC but not being able to use the software I use daily is blockade.  Perhaps this will change over time and Linux will be seen as a viable alternative for regular Mac and PC users, but for now the forte for Linux is driving the Internet and it does that superbly well 🙂

 

Everything from Photoshop to AutoCAD can be made to run on Linux. As @abobader said, 25 years ago, anyone telling you that Linux was a suitable desktop was either 1) very tech-savvy and could overcome all the drawback -or- 2) was blowing smoke. A lot has changed in all that time. There are even ways now to get Apple products to run on Linux, such as iWorks, for example (pushing the ethics aside).

 

I think the biggest hurdle today is folks are never eager to try new things. Instead, they learn what works, get set in their ways, and that's good enough for them until it isn't. Linux came onto the ground floor when Windows took off, and Apple was in its first golden age. When Linux first came through the gates, it looked more like a DOS screen than an acceptable point and click interface.  Now that Linux has caught up, folks are mostly already sold on what they know, and it will be that way for a bit longer until one of the giants continues to rub folks the wrong way.

 

But we are most certainly getting off-topic.  Congratulations to Invision on celebrating 20 years.

 

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
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1 hour ago, Linux-Is-Best said:

Everything from Photoshop to AutoCAD can be made to run on Linux.

Yeah, but Office 365, CorelDraw, CuteFTP and whole load of other apps I use won't.  I also have a lot of standalone effects that won't run either, so that is the drawback and I'm sure there will be many others who will say the same about the apps they use.  If Linux supported everything that runs in a Windows 10 environment I would probably change in a heartbeat 🙂

 

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28 minutes ago, Davyc said:

Yeah, but Office 365, CorelDraw, CuteFTP and whole load of other apps I use won't.  I also have a lot of standalone effects that won't run either, so that is the drawback and I'm sure there will be many others who will say the same about the apps they use.  If Linux supported everything that runs in a Windows 10 environment I would probably change in a heartbeat 🙂

 

Getting Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office 365 to work on Linux is so easy. They literally have guides that say, look how easy this is. 😂 But I do not blame you for not knowing. Unless you got fed up with Windows (and I would not blame you if you did), most folks do not look into how easy things have become. As I said, the biggest hurdle today is folks are never eager to try new things. Instead, they learn what works, get set in their ways, and that's good enough for them until it isn't, which is why I presume you had no idea how easy it is to run Office on Linux. Folks recall how hard it once was and never looked back. And why should they? If things work for them, they tend to take the path of least resistance.

Do people still use CorelDraw? It has been so long since I have known anyone who still uses CorelDraw, but I see they're still around (the latest release was 2 months ago). I'd argue that there are many better alternatives, not just on Linux but also on Windows and Apple.  I'm uncertain about the current state of CorelDraw on Linux (I'm surprised it's still out there).

CuteFTP can run on Linux. I just did it a moment ago. When it comes to small (little) apps such as CuteFTP, they are not an issue.

But again, we're getting off-topic, and I can already imagine poor @Charles and @Jordan Invision wondering why we all keep talking about Linux.  -- The answer is the interview was very thought out, and it didn't leave you with any questions. I did enjoy the video.

 

 

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
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Quote

Everything from Photoshop to AutoCAD can be made to run on Linux.

That’s a rather misleading claim at best. Just because some people manage to get something like a certain version of a certain Adobe app (for example) running on a certain Linux distribution with Wine + third-party scripts and command-line actions, doesn’t mean that this matches in any way what millions of users can rely on with a permanent official support for an app on Windows or Mac OS. And funnily enough, we could have the same discussion about community software. My oldest site once ran with phpBB and MediaWiki, both free and open source. But I still deliberately chose to “upgrade” to a proprietary subscription-based product called Invision Community, because a product being “free, open source and almost as good paid competitors” isn’t necessarily my main concern. I knew what I did when I chose IPS and I know what I did when I chose my desktop operating system. It’s fine that you are happy with Linux, but just because we don’t share your passion doesn’t mean that we are too “set in our ways” or just don’t know enough about Linux. But that’s exactly the picture you are trying to paint here. And I find it somewhat annoying (since you assert false things about our knowledge and motivations) and it might even be counter-productive, when it’s this kind of “preaching” with questionable claims (such as “everything can be installed on Linux”.). 

Edited by opentype
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21 minutes ago, opentype said:

That’s a rather misleading claim at best. Just because some people manage to get something like a certain version of a certain Adobe app (for example) running on a certain Linux distribution with Wine + third-party scripts and command-line actions, doesn’t mean that this matches in any way what millions of users can rely on with a permanent official support for an app on Windows or Mac OS. And funnily enough, we could have the same discussion about community software. My oldest site once ran with phpBB and MediaWiki, both free and open source. But I still deliberately chose to “upgrade” to a proprietary subscription-based product called Invision Community, because a product being “free, open source and almost as good paid competitors” isn’t necessarily my main concern. I knew what I did when I chose IPS and I know what I did when I chose my desktop operating system. It’s fine that you are happy with Linux, but just because we don’t share your passion doesn’t mean that we are too “set in our ways” or just don’t know enough about Linux. But that’s exactly the picture you are trying to paint here. And I find it somewhat annoying (since you assert false things about our knowledge and motivations) and it might even be counter-productive, when it’s this kind of “preaching” with questionable claims (such as “everything can be installed on Linux”.). 

Does it work? Yes. Can I do everything you do on Windows with it? Yes. Is it officially supported? No. And I guess it really comes down to how you value something. Beyond software updates and security patches, I don't expect support from Microsoft or Adobe. Never have. Even when I was using Microsoft Windows, I never expected support. Perhaps when I was a naive kid and didn't know what I was doing, I'd shoot an e-mail and inquire, but I often learned that technical support for programs was often lacking (generally speaking, from any company). Most of my inquires were easier resolved using a search engine. In 2021, that has only grown more truthful.

 

I cannot presume to speak for everyone any more than you can. Still, for most people I know (including professionals), it comes down to those first two questions. Does it work, and am I limited in my compacity to use the product? Provided the answer is favorite, I don't care what the official stance is. It works, and I'm not limited. 

 

That said, I do apologize if you felt my viewpoint offended you. I was only sharing an expressed opinion and not trying to target anyone or insult anyone. It was a mix of random abstract thinking in the form of thought (off-topic, for sure). My original reply was even only meant to be a little dry humor (playing off the whole, everyone uses Mac comment). The topic was never meant to be serious, and I'm still not taking it seriously, beyond wishing to apologize if you felt it was offensive. 

Edited by Linux-Is-Best
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On 6/12/2021 at 11:13 PM, Linux-Is-Best said:

Exactly.

It has become nearly just as easy as Windows. You can install Linux just as easily and quicker than you install Windows. It is now possible to play games on Steam without knowing how to configure anything. I watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Paramount+, Starz, and YouTube with any web browser. In 2021, LibreOffice now has more options than Microsoft Office and allows me to open, edit, save, and print any document made on Windows, Apple, or Linux. I can work from home using Linux, making video calls, and attending meetings.   I also bank online, trade, invest, sell, and buy things while on Linux. Connect devices using "plug and play," WiFi, or Bluetooth. Install and update nearly any app, including the whole OS; without knowing how to use the terminal, just point and click.

No blue screen of death. No sudden system freezes. No viruses (although you can install an anti-virus if it gives you peace of mind, I still do). No hanging system resources. No sudden reboots. No long waiting load times. It does not matter if you are using the newest computer or a computer 10+ years old; it will run Linux.

And if, by some random chance, you do install a lousy program, it does not take your whole system with it (unlike Windows). That is the big problem with Microsoft Windows. The countless computers I fixed for family and friends often resulted from something small, trivial, and seemingly unimportant, unintentionally interacting with everything else, causing a world of problems in Microsoft Windows. But not in Linux.

Linux is so helpful, powerful, flexible, and adaptable most of The Internet, nearly every website you visit and use today is hosted on Linux, including here, Invision. And if you are reading this on an Android phone, Congratulations, you are already using Linux (Android is a modified Linux distribution).

Lastly, the cost to use and install Linux? $0.00. It is free. No subscription fees. No renewal cost. No activation. It is open-source. Anyone, even YOU (reader, whoever you are), can download and install Linux.

I literally do not know what you're talking about.  Now don't get me wrong - I'm no particular defender of Windows (I only use it really because let's face it - it's the serious industry standard), but I've never had to configure jack faeces (this last word was edited by Invision) on Windows when playing Steam games.  And I do not believe for a MINUTE that LO offers more options than Office.  You're ignoring all of the significant compatibility issues with LibreOffice opening Office docs (one of them being the misalignment of footnotes, which is one of the reasons why I left LO in the first place - they were too slow to fix the issue).  You'd need to provide a LOT more evidence that LO is somehow outpacing Microsoft.  And quite honestly I haven't had a BSOD or freeze issue in years since using Windows 10.  You're creating a series of straw men which I will say simply do not fit my experience of Windows (although I'm no defender of Microsoft).

Edited by liquidfractal
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