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Just another "mild" forum success story!

The year was 2016. I often visited a forum and noticed they didn't have the posted "hours ago" on the post times. This was something I wanted to see on a forum.  To me, it would register quicker on the brain than reading a full date and time.

This was what triggered me to create a forum of my own.  Well, that wasn't the only reason.  I also enjoyed writing scripts/plug-ins for GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) to share with people.

I read that one of the key points to having a successful blog was that you must find something you're passionate about and I was passionate about writing plug-ins for people. I figured I could start a forum and if it's not successful, at least I'll have a place to share/save all the plug-ins that I have written for myself and other people.

So a forum was born in September 2016.  It started out ranking very low (nearly 14 millionth) like any other new site on the net. But I was most happy with the feature that I wanted which was to show post times with "hours ago". 

I then read about how to start out a forum at first, when there are no visitors, you have to create some accounts yourself and have conversations with yourself to attract visitors making it look like there are things going on and not just another dead/unsuccessful forum.  I tried this with one account but I found it was beyond boring.  Luckily, there were some members from the forum that I visited who noticed my forum and decided to the the first ones to join my forum. Thanks to those initial members, they added/shared their GIMP artworks to the forum and conversations started to take place.  Some also requested scripts to be written which gave me a chance to add content (plug-ins) to my forum. Getting the initial members that give you ideas for content is the hardest part I think.

Fast forward, 2 years later (2018), we're ranked under 1 millionth which means in 2 years, surpassed about 13 million sites (That's about 17 thousands sites a day).  It's no big success by any measure but I consider it a "mild" success plus we don't know what the future has in store for us.  Within the past year, there were about 50 thousand downloads from our site.

I started out not knowing anything about running a forum.  After creating the forum, I started going on a rampage with forum extensions to add features.  Then after a short period of time, I learned that many features were unused bells and whistles that just added to the slowness of the site so I removed them.  Now, pretty much every feature on the forum is used/useful.

Along the way, I made quite a few online relationships (with forum members).  They're like my extended family.  They're very supportive of me. Thanks to them for that.  They test my scripts, share results and share ideas on how the script(s) can be improved.

I was always curious to check to see how much my forum is worth. It started out at like under $50, but now it's worth over $7,700.  I wouldn't sell it even if there were buyers.  The forum is a big part of me now.  It's a corner stone of my online experience!   

A short while ago, I thought I would also create a blog which I and/or other authors can write about anything going on at my forum, so this blog was born.

I tried searching for "forum success stories" and found no relevant results.  Personally, I thought I would love to read forum success stories (no matter how "mild").  Just to be able to imagine the steps along the way or to be able to compare numbers of ranking/worth of then versus now would be intriguing.  So hopefully this post satisfies that need to those that are curious.

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