Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Video Interview with Founder of Vanilla, "A WordPress for Forums"

Video Interview with Founder of Vanilla, "A WordPress for Forums"

Longtime forum moderator Mark O'Sullivan's Vanilla, an open-source, standards-compliant, fully extensible discussion forum CMS, is a favorite of many designers and webmasters alike.

One reviewer said it best: "Forget how 'normal' forums are done - Vanilla strips it back to what's important: the conversations. Not the smileys, the bandwidth-hogging signatures, the mailbox, the forum categories. It pushes discussions to the forefront and uses subtle AJAX to make the experience of communicating with others fast and simple." Read and watch on for a discussion of the product itself as well as open-source monetization and forum culture versus the real-time web.


Vanilla was selected for this summer's TechStars program, and the public beta for Vanilla 2 was released this April 27.

O'Sullivan actually wrote a follow-up blog post regarding our brief chat about how the real-time web and its constant firehose of information are affecting forum discussions and culture. "There is an intrinsic value in being able to take part in a discussion on your own time," he wrote. "We can't all be online, let alone awake at the same time, so in these situations the real-time web doesn't work. Forums are always on, and they are expected to operate on a different schedule than real-time."

And while O'Sullivan continues to write that there isn't a competition between real-time and forum discussions, he does state that the quality of forum information can often be much higher than info procured from real-time sources, in his opinion.