New QB Site: Sumerkoala QB

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New QB Site: Sumerkoala QB

Post by QB News » Sun Jul 25, 2004 10:05 pm

<p align="right"><b><font size=3>July 25, 2004</font></b></p>

<p><font size=3><b>New QB Site: <i>Sumerkoala QB</i></b></font></p>
<p><font size=3>Startup QB community site looking for members.</font></p>
<p>I think it's a testament to the amazing advances in message forum design these days that an entire site can now be based out of an Invision or phpBB forum. In fact, sites based entirely on a forum, with all content submitted by users, have become quite popular in recent years, perhaps because they're self-moderating and so easy to set up. Many QB sites have also taken up this format; QuickBasic community sites like <b>QBasic News</b> and <b>QBasic.tk</b> are run almost entirely from message boards, and <b>QB45.com</b> has been replaced with a board while it undergoes a massive reconstruction project. Instead of relying on a webmaster to stay current, these sites resemble autonomous collectives or anarcho-syndicalist communes (heh, I've always wanted to use those terms) -- they're run by the users, for the users. It's proven to be a very successful format.
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<br>So it comes as no surprise that when Semerkoala decided to start a QB site, he chose the forum approach. Semerkoala's new self-titled site takes full advantage of the Invision Forum that hosts it. Everything, from Tutorials to Program Downloads to Links all have their own forum categories. Every entry, whether it's a link or a program to download, is added as its own post, enabeling users to add comments, search or add their own content. It's a unique way to set up a site and such a dynamic and democratic format has its benefits; in a sense it puts the visitors are "in charge" of the site.
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<br>Right now, Semerkoala's begun the process of populating his site with a collection of QB tutorials, programs and links. Also available here is information about two upcoming projects: an RPG called <i>Killer Koala</i> and <i>Semerkoala Herp Tracker v1.0</i>, which helps users keep track of their herptiles collection. (What are herptiles, you ask? They're reptiles and amphibians. So now you'll finally have a utility to help you manage your gigantic collection of turtles, newts and lizards.) There are other empty forums too, with places for Reviews, Challenges and more.
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<br>But right now, Semerkoala's site is a one-man operation. In order for this site to succeed, it will need a healthy supply of active forum members. If you're interested in helping to start a new QB community, I encourage you to go join Semerkoala QB.
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<br>You can find Semerkoala QB right here: <a href="http://semerkoalaqb.ne1.net/">http://se ... e1.net/</a>

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<p align="right"><font size="3"><b>Submitted by

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Post by Pete » Mon Jul 26, 2004 9:54 pm

Consider this as an addition to the news article you see above:

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The guys on the QBasic News board aren't too receptive of the new Semerkoala site /message board. (The following quotes are from QBasic News.)
Barok said: "we have enough qb forums! This one is good enough. I refuse to even look at it."

and then "The only good reason i see to start up a new qb site is to archive your work and show it off."


Fling-Master said "... if you're going to make a site... unless you have a REALLY original and absolutely genius idea for the forum... make a SITE to back the forum up with EXISTING and UNIQUE content."
I really disagree with Barok's claim that there's no reason to start a new QB site... that leads to a lack of innovation and a less active community. The QB Community needs fresh blood, and no matter what somebody says, every site has SOMETHING to offer. The more unique they are, the better. But even if merely mirrors some of the content found on the "bigger" sites, it still performs a valuable function and promotes QB as a programming language.

Yeah, I think there are too many QB forums these days and it splits up the QB community into factions. But Semerkoala's not just making a random forum, he's trying to make a site out of a forum. He's using the forum as a content-managing application. Only some sections are meant for discussion; the rest are meant for offering downloadable content.

Anyway, I'm very skeptical that Semerkoala's site is going to succeed, because Barok is partially right. There are too many QB forums, and there aren't enough QB programmers to fill them all. That's why there are so many empty forums and message boards that get no traffic whatsoever. Maybe I shouldn't have even added a message board for this site. And what am I doing reporting QB news? There are already a dozen QB sites that specialize in covering news? Why do we need another one? I don't know, but I'm hoping that my site can provide a unique spin and original commentary on news that you'll find elsewhere. Perhaps that's what Semerkoala's site could do.

It takes something UNIQUE (as Fling-Master said) to attract users to a message board, and Semerkoala doesn't have that yet. His site doesn't have anything original that will get people to join and keep on coming. The only content you couldn't find somewhere else is Semerkoala's own projects section. If his site is going to succeed, it's going to need its own to take an original slant or do something differently. Otherwise, I think it will join the hundreds of QB forums and sites that die from lack of interest.

Semerkoala, I wish you good luck...but the QBasic News people are right. You need to find your own unique niche. Then you'll get your members and your site can really thrive.

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Post by Pete » Tue Jul 27, 2004 10:30 am

I justed posted this on the QBasic News board, which repeats a lot of the stuff I said before, but it has some new stuff. Man, I've spent too much time writing about Semerkoala!

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I support anyone who decides to make their own QB site / forum / etc.... we need growth in the QB community, innovation, new blood. I'm glad that Semerkoala's trying his hand at creating a new site, even if it is based on a forum. If he works on it diligently for long enough, it will undoubtedly become something great.

Now I'd like to point out something about Semerkoala's forum that you might not have noticed if you didn't look closely: it's not just an empty forum meant for discussion. Semerkoala's using it more as an automatic content-management script, instead of creating a site based on HTML pages. Each "item" that he adds to his site is its own post, whether it's a tutorial, a program, a link, etc. This strategy also opens up the site to some unique possibilities, like automatic user commenting, searching, and sorting items based on various criteria. This format has proven successful at other QB sites like QBasic.tk (which is a great site, I may add).

Now I have to agree with you all that right now, Semerkoala's site has nothing original to offer, and is hardly in need of a forum. But I don't think of this so much as a discussion forum, but as a standard QB site that's based on a forum.

Tek of NeoZones once posted on the last version of NeoZones before it disappeared: "Back in the day, a good recipe for [a QBasic site] was rather simple. A laundry list of downloadable files, links, tutorials, questions and answers, the infamous discussion forum, and some other goodies. Stir a user system in to the mix, sprinkle with the ever pervasive link to the top-sites list, and decorate with a couple webrings. You've got yourself a formula for success. And don't forget about your RPG that's in the works, either."

If you look at Semerkoala's site, it's following the "laundry list" recipe for a QB site...it's just based entirely on a forum. So cut him some slack.

All beginning QB sites start with almost no visitors... for the first month of Pete's QBasic Site, I think I got less than 100 hits. Pigeon's GBGames site took a few months of daily updates to pass 200 hits (I was checking the site out on Archive.org the other day). But it was regular updates and devotion that made my site and GBGames thrive. The same is true for V Planet!, which took a long time with regular updates before it became popular.

Think of this site as a standard HTML site, and think of Semerkoala as the webmaster rather than the admin. If he keeps working on his site and adds content regularly, (expecially UNIQUE content), it can become a worthwhile site and a valuable resource. Who knows, Semerkoala QB could evolve into the next Qbasic.tk.

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Post by oracle » Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:18 pm

Heh, it's funny nobody complained when qbasic.tk was set up not so long ago... :P

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Post by Pete » Wed Jul 28, 2004 11:24 am

Yeah, and it's a really awesome site now. Even if it's just a forum.

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Post by Nodtveidt » Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:10 am

oracle wrote:Heh, it's funny nobody complained when qbasic.tk was set up not so long ago... :P
That's because the number of prominent, active QB-related sites was relatively low at the time. Now, the QB scene is going strong again, and everyone's trying to feed off of the success of qbasicnews.com. People are getting sick of seeing forum after forum with little new software being produced.

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