Throwback Thursday: Forums

Hey guys, and welcome back to another Throwback Thursday! Today, I’m going to be talking about forums- you know, message boards? Those things now mostly used to roleplay? If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, you should probably look at some of the ones on my Sites to See page- they’re fun!

You see, I’ve been on a real forum kick lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love my chat servers on discord- but I also really love how relaxed I feel chatting on forums. I love it so much I’ve managed to end up on six or seven forums of various types, and I’ve begun to take an interest in what it takes to run one.

My love of forums is far from new, though. For those of you who were around when I wrote about my nostalgia over the chat server of my youth, .hack//chat, you likely already know this- but I was really big on forums, both for just chatting and for roleplaying, at a pretty young age. For a long time, forums were my life- it was how I made friends I felt I could trust more easily than those offline (though I do adore my offline friends too!). It was where I felt safe to say things I normally couldn’t offline… Basically, it was my safe haven.

I was on all sorts of forums in my teen years- mostly avatar forums, but also just chat forums and roleplay forums. Ah, to be young and oblivious to how hard the people that ran those sites worked to keep things running smoothly.

Recently, the admin of one of my favorite forums has been helping me learn the ropes and try to make a forum of my own- one which I intend to make for writers and artists of all sorts. A few others that know of this project help me out too- they give me advice, they tell me how to work certain things in the admin control panel… And that admin I mentioned? He’s hosting it on a part of his own server for me! I really meant it when I said you can make some amazing friends on forums!

What I forgot about was how dangerous it can be to let me anywhere near an FTP server. It’s gotten easier to add extensions to forums, but not enough for my simple mind to comprehend. I was able to add some different style sheets for my forum as I work on it, but I don’t know how to edit those- and the extensions? I can’t even seem to put them in the right part of the FTP server. They just… don’t show up no matter what I do in the control panel.

And that’s when I remembered the last time I tried to install an extension. This was about… I wanna say ten years ago? I am pretty sure I was still in high school when it happened. I worked on a small site that was going to grow after we were done building it. I was asked to add an extension to the FTP server… It was a lot harder back then, so they also sent me word for word instructions.

I followed the instructions to the letter. Apparently, the instructions were on how to destroy the site completely! The site broke so bad, the admin control panel couldn’t be reached. The site was all bones.

And now, that anxiety has caught up with me. I haven’t blown up my site yet, but I’m certainly not gaining any headway with these extensions… Do they just hate me? I hope to find out soon.

That’s all I have to say for today. That, and try some forums! They’re hard to maintain, but you might meet people you’ll adore for a lifetime!