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Nearing another milestone


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Okay, this is a pretty big occasion, so time for some facts and figures.

The GhostRecon.net forums were first launched in May 2001. At that time they were Ikonboard forums. The guy that headed the development team for Ikonboard split away in favour of a new php forum rather than the cgi based Ikonboard. The new forum software was called Invision Power Board, and that's what we use today, and have done since Jan 5th 2003 when I posted the first welcome message on the new boards.

I can still remember the nightmare of losing an entire forum database of information on the old boards, and trying in vain to bash what data I had locally back into something a reinstall of the software would recognise. I spent hours one night frantically trying to fix it. Actually, I was working a nightshift and spent almost the entire shift trying to fix it :wall: It was all to no avail though, and that's when I bit the bullet and installed the version of forums software we still use today.

In order to avoid a total loss like that again, we have the server backed up regularly, and as a double safety measure I also do a local backup on a regular basis. That means downloading over 450Mb of forum data!

So, it's since Jan 2003 we have amassed 500,000 posts, as of today. Before that, on the old boards we had already seen over 60,000 posts, so all in, we are well over the half million post mark at the site.

This month we also broke a membership benchmark, with over 16,000 members.

Using the interent wayback machine I grabbed several screenshots of what history remains of the forums throughout the years, and made a huge compilation jpeg. If you wait for it to load and check it out, you'll see how the forums have grown. You'll also see that some of the same names appear online way back then that still appear online here every week! Some of those that don't logon so much these days still drop me an e-mail now and again so we can catch up.

The forums themselves have obviously grown to accommodate the new games in the series as they were released, and we also branched out and opened forums for other games that our membership were playing.

Some stats on the board's growth; There were 6 forums when we first opened, that quickly expanded by 100% to 12 forums after things took off like a rocket. A year later we were up to 16 forums, and on the last version of the old forums we had 20 forums. When we switched to Invision forums, we opened with the same 20 forums, which has grown over the last few years to a massive 32 main forums with around 100 sub forums!

For me personally, the forums have been a real roller coaster of a ride. The adminsitration hastles and troublemakers that go hand in hand with busy forums almost had me throwing the towel in a couple of times over the years, but on the flip side, I've "met" countless people who I am glad to call my friends and without whom I would not have managed to maintain the boards. I'm not going to name any of them, firstly for fear of missing someone out, but mostly because they know who they are, and they know how much their hard work and loyalty is appreciated.

We've managed some amazing achievements with these boards like having the developers interact openly with the fans, and see homegrown modders excel themselves and go professional. But most of all we formed a remarkable community; a remarkable community that stuck by a remarkable game.

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