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Matt

Twenty years of Invision Community

Twenty years ago today, Invision Community was founded and within months the first version of Invision Community was released. Little did we know, this would be the start of a remarkable journey spanning several decades.

Our first version appeared shortly after we founded the company. It might be hard to imagine a time before social media and YouTube, but when we started out, the web looked very different.

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The first version of Invision Community was called Invision Board, reflecting the popular term for forums back in the early 2000s. It was full featured and you may recognise some elements that persist today.

Like today, it even had a separate control panel where you could create new areas of discussion and customise the theme.

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Twenty years is a long time and we've continued to adapt with the ever-changing needs of community managers. We've seen the rise of social media impact how people consume content and found ways to compliment Twitter and Facebook by offering a place for long-form permanent discussion.

Several elements remain from those early days but the concepts behind the theme have change significantly. New workflows, UI elements and views have helped the platform stay fresh and we've certainly innovated a few features that have since become industry standard over that time.

I can't express how proud I am of what we've built together. From those humble beginnings working until 2am to growing a creative and talented team around our passion for community.

I'm still as excited today as I was back in 2002. This year will see us build and release new tools to help guide and inform community managers. Our community platform continues to go from strength to strength.

Of course, the platform is only one part of Invision Community. Over the last twenty years I've been grateful to get to know many of you and watch your lives unfold.

This is as pure as community can get and I'm privileged to be part of it.

We have a few other surprises to celebrate our twentieth anniversary. We can't wait to share them!

I'd love to hear your memories of Invision Community! When did you first use our products and what was your community for? Please let me know in the comments below.

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Great message @Matt, its amazing to see how far things have come, and I'm proud to say I've been along for most of the ride starting in 2003, back when I was part of a gaming clan.  We needed a place to communicate, and the cobbled-together .NET website we had just wasn't cutting it.  Later on, I used it for a local car club which lasted until everyone's lives moved on, and eventually to run a business!  We are coming up on our 10th year in business on March 1st, all the while using a website built exclusively on Nexus/IPCommerce, Downloads, and Pages!

We are very grateful for the love and dedication you put into your products, and look forward to another 20 years!

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I'd love to hear your memories of Invision Community! When did you first use our products and what was your community for? Please let me know in the comments below.

Not so long ago I was googling best Forum scripts, and IP board 3 was on its early versions when I bought it, I had never heard of IP board and I was using phpBB for a gaming clan 😄 

 

 

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@Matt it goes even further back for me as I still count the original Ikonboard days!  It was the failed experiment that lead to the one that actually worked!

In terms of memories… there are too many for me to pick just one:

  • @Charles picking me up from the airport near Appomattox explaining how Virginia was not a state but a commonwealth. 
  • The panicked support tickets to reboot a server and @Lindy saving the day and talking me off the ledge when IPS still sold dedicated servers. 
  • Meeting you and learning about the migration from Perl to PHP. 
  • Working through the upgrade from IPB3 to IPB4 thinking the conversion would NEVER finish… and then when finally turning the board back online and members saying “oh wow!”  
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I have been here since Invision Power Board v1.1 way back around 2002. It is great to see @Matt and company develop and grow over all these years from a small start up to a titan of the forum community, many congratulations!

Glad I decided on choosing the correct option of IPB vs vBulletin all those years ago. Never looked back and been a happy customer ever since.

If there is only one criticism it is the recent change in support, barring that blemish here's to another 20 years of success... 👍

Ted.

Edited by Teddy Rogers
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I was an early adopter back in 2002 when the software was free and in direct competition with phpBB, though I have to say that there was no real competition as Invision Board was streets ahead and a far easier to manage piece of software.  It was the year of Pop Idol and the final was being fought between Will Young and Gareth Gates - Will Young won it and a community sprung up which I joined singing (no pun intended) the praises of Will Young.  It was on phpBB and whether it was the software or the server the site kept going down, much to the frustration of its members, so I offered an alternative using Invision Board.  I can't remember what I called the site, but everyone referred to it as Will's summer house and everyone used to flock to it when the other went down.  It was a fun time and it lit the fire beneath me that keeps me coming back and opening up sites - though none of them garner much interest these days because of DSM (that's dumb social media), but I could care less because I get as much fun out of engineering sites as I do seeing those few who join and use them.

My favourite site is one I dropped a little while ago and I am now feeling the pangs of regret infiltrating my mind to the extent where I may just bring it back and if no one uses it I don't really care, because I will get fun out of breathing life back into it and using it myself lol.

This software has come a long way since those heady days when opening a site saw hundreds of people joining up in a matter of days, the software has evolved greatly whilst the audience capacity has devolved, but there's a trend that often sees things go around in a circle and what once fell from grace becomes fashionable again and I can see this happening with forums when DSM is reigned in and the companies responsible for them are brought to task; that's starting to happen now, so who knows, we may see forum audiences flocking back to us in the near future (he says whilst not holding his breath lol).

Congratulations to the team for their persistence and endurance and bringing us to this momentous milestone 🙂

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2009 I was looking for a software that offers everything out of the box. My largest project had been a knotted thing from:

  • phpBB for forums
  • CMS Made Simple for editorial content and custom modules
  • Coppermine Photo Gallery
  • AJAX chat
  • OpenX
  • Life... (I cannot even remember the name of software for users' blogs)

I have connected all logins myself, customized all themes to get them looking similar. And... it was a nightmare to maintain

Wake Up Nightmare GIF by SYFY

It took us almost half a year to convert the whole thing to IPS. And after relaunch... well, my vacation feeling had started:

cool cat GIF

I am happy I have decided for Invision Community. The other option I had was dolphin community. 😄 

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My first board was a phpBB board back in 2000/2001 ( the first phpBB boards) , then in 2005 I started using vBulletin.....

From 2012 I purchased my first License and I have never looked back and always been an IPS customer - even if I do have a moan about stuff, your the best by far....

 

979167355_Screenshot2022-02-13at18_39_39.thumb.png.8199fbd0305719e536ad2f75493ef9f6.png

 

Edited by Muddy Boots
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On 2/12/2022 at 1:38 PM, Sonya* said:

2009 I was looking for a software that offers everything out of the box. My largest project had been a knotted thing from:

  • phpBB for forums
  • CMS Made Simple for editorial content and custom modules
  • Coppermine Photo Gallery
  • AJAX chat
  • OpenX
  • Life... (I cannot even remember the name of software for users' blogs)

I have connected all logins myself, customized all themes to get them looking similar. And... it was a nightmare to maintain

One of my sites was similar… was using phpfox, vbulletin, Wordpress, and some other scripts. Too much to maintain and align, moved to IPS and converted what I could. 

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4 hours ago, Muddy Boots said:

From 2012 I purchased my first License and I have never looked back and always been an IPS customer - even if I do have a moan about stuff, your the best by far....

I second this...even though there have been one or two occasions where I've complained about things, there's a reason I've been here since 2009, when LiquidFractal was little more than a quirky community site where the odd colleague would pop in and rant about professors, Hegel, Wordsworth, [insert thinker here] or the state of academia in general (which is terrible and getting worse).  My site has since evolved from this (well, sublated its past state...never mind this little bit of nerd-dom 🤓) to become an open learning hybrid organisation.  I'm grateful that Invision has been with me along the way.  Here's to 20 more years! 🎉

 

Edited by LiquidFractal
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  • Management
16 hours ago, Miss_B said:

What were the events that lead to the developement of Ipb 20 years ago @Matt? Who are the original persons that started the journey of Ipb from the current team btw? Just curious. 

The short version is that I built another platform called Ikonboard, got overwhelmed, sold it to someone who made promises and then broke those promises. This someone had also bought something Charles built. Charles and I decided it was time to move on so started "IBForums/Invision Power Services" together. From that time, I think only Rikki was involved in Ikonboard although most of the team have been with is for 10-15+ years.

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39 minutes ago, Matt said:

The short version is that I built another platform called Ikonboard, got overwhelmed, sold it to someone who made promises and then broke those promises. This someone had also bought something Charles built. Charles and I decided it was time to move on so started "IBForums/Invision Power Services" together. From that time, I think only Rikki was involved in Ikonboard although most of the team have been with is for 10-15+ years.

Its Been A Long Time Reaction GIF

I was so young back then...  now... I'm just old.  

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2 hours ago, Matt said:

The short version is that I built another platform called Ikonboard, got overwhelmed, sold it to someone who made promises and then broke those promises. This someone had also bought something Charles built. Charles and I decided it was time to move on so started "IBForums/Invision Power Services" together. From that time, I think only Rikki was involved in Ikonboard although most of the team have been with is for 10-15+ years.

That must have been quite a journey. Thank you for your reply. 

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