Wanting to move from phpbb to bbPress?

Have you found yourself wondering if you could move your forum from phpBB over to bbPress?

While technically I have proven it is possible, it is not optimal. My original thinking for moving my phpBB forum to bbPress was to increase the integration into my WordPress site and to improve the participation of my users. And really, I just wanted to see if I could do it.

So I set out this morning to migrate my forum with 1200+ users and found a plug-in that claimed to help with that, which it did, sort of. The plug-in is called BBconverter and although it did not list phpBB as a compatible forum, I did find an option once installed that allow me to do the migration. The plug-in migrated my users, forums, and posts although it did jumble up a few of the usernames and posts and I did some strange things with my users. There was also no migration of the BBCode. Part of my user problem might have been that I have a Mailchimp synchronization plug-in running. For each of my forum users, the BBconverter tool created a new temporary user for them so Mailchimp tried to subscribe them to my mailchimp list. It then tried to remove the temporary account which then unsubscribed them from Mailchimp and during the process was using a bogus email address so I started getting bounces and about 1,000 messages letting me know that someone left the list.

Once that was under control and the process finished, which took a while, I began to try to lock down the forum. I immediately found posts that were being added no longer than a couple of minutes after my forum had been up and running. These posts were being added by users that had registered on the site longer than a month ago and were obviously sitting there drooling in hopes of me trying to install bbPress some day. I thought I had installed anti-spam plug-ins, created security requirements, and created moderation settings, email notification settings, etc., but all I got were new posts showing up every 20 minutes on my forum from the spammers.

Once I was able to play around with bbPress I soon realized that phpBB was a much more robust solution. Just the simple fact that bbPress doesn’t come with a search tool should be a deal breaker for 99% of the WordPress users out there. My theme happened to have a search widget which I activated but found that I needed a new bbPress search plug-in to allow the WordPress search form to work with bbPress posts.

After getting the search issue was resolved I continued further to try and tighten up my forum and noticed that more posts have been made by spammers. It was starting to get a little bit depressing.

After about four hours of playing with it I really started to miss phpBB so I am now beginning the process of uninstalling bbPress, and I am realizing that it is not as easy to uninstall as I had hoped.

To make a long story short, don’t use bbPress in place of phpBB, it is not a comparable system yet.

Monetizing Open Source Projects (Part 1)

[quote]Monetization: Charging for something that used to be free or making money on goods or services that were previously unprofitable.[/quote]


Open source projects are crazy. I don’t mean crazy in an intellectual way, I just mean that they’re crazy in a business sense. There are many very popular open source projects out there in the world today, and most have absolutely no monetization at all. Why not?

If you don’t have any revenue sources for your open source project you are missing a huge opportunity to capture your traffic. Take a look at your traffic logs and look at how many people are coming to your site: do you have 100 per day, 500, 5000? And what are all of those visitors doing? They’re evaluating your project, downloading your software, looking for support, etc.. If your not even at least gathering information from the user let alone trying to literally monetize from them you are missing a great opportunity. After all, nothing in this world is free, right?

I think part of the reason that open source projects don’t monetize is partly due to pride. The project leaders might think that asking for money or requiring payment for services is somehow not cool or does not fit within the open source concept. Another reason I think that open source projects shy away from monetizing is for fear of backlash from their users. The general feeling is that if they somehow try to make money off of their free, open project that the users will grab pitchforks, light torches and come to break down the castle wall. My experience has shown this to be completely the opposite.

Monetizing your open source project not only improves the resilience of your project but it also shows that you have some business sense. Think about it, do you feel better using an open source project that has a revenue model and resources to help grow the project? Or would you rather invest your time and effort into a project that has no money, no possible revenue sources, no employees, and no resources to draw from to help build the project? I think you know the right answer that question!

So how do you monetize your open source project? Stay tuned for part 2 of our article where we discuss the details behind monetizing your open source project.