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Hey hey, Klov forums got an upgrade

Over the last couple of weeks it felt like it was actually going to happen and today the Klov forums finally got an upgrade bringing their forum technology out of 1999 into modern day functionality. This is a pretty significant change, and I applaud Mark M. for what was a tremendous amount of work. Are the forums better though, here’s what I think.

The Klov forums ARE improving

This was a first good step in the right direction. Mark made a smart decision and ditched hobbling functionality of the UBBthreads forum software and chose one, arguably, of the top 4-5 forum packages available – VBulletin. The look is pretty different, and a little more generic and I am sure will take some getting used to for members;

New Klov Forums Screenshot

I have no doubt that Mark spent as much as 60-100 hours upgrading the forum. He took tens of thousands of old posts out of one forum software and very successfully imported them into something completely different. Maybe VBulletin has an import script for UBB, but for any moderator that has done this before, it is never just a simple as ‘push a button, import, and go’. There are always a good amount of issues, and Mark did a good job upgrading. He also for the first time got online and actually told people what he was doing and getting involved in the community.

Additionally, the new forum has better functionality. There are aspects of social networking, that when packaged in the stereotypical ‘social network’ format users will reject, but integrate the features individually and so they don’t smack of MySpace and members will accept the features and benefit from it in the long run. More advanced member list, photo galleries, and groups are just some of the new features. It is still leagues behind the ease of use and richness of functionality at Coinopspace, but there is potential for the Klov forums to keep progressively getting better.

Also, Mark was smart to break off the Lymphoma forums which was long overdue and transferred the site to a true arcade based domain name, also a huge piece. Whether VBulletin will be better for the abysmal search engine results of the Klov content remains to be seen, it doesn’t appear as if VBulletin by default leverages a mod rewrite on the forum titles, but maybe this is a feature that can be turned on. Right now, the variable based URL of the threads certainly won’t benefit the SEO. But hey, the fact that all old bookmarks still work is a huge deal. But at the same time, it’s not a redirect, but yet two simultaneous sites which will look like duplicate content to Google and hurt search engine rankings. There’s always some give and take.

It is interesting to me though that ads have been incorporated into the site, and for good cause. A site with that traffic is so costly to host, and someone has to pay for it. I chose to distribute those costs with the ultimate arcade forum community at Coinopspace.com and with that initially came unobtrusive ads on the right side. I got negative pushback about the site containing ads, a free site and here we now have the same situation and I wonder if those same resistant individuals will accept this change or not. My guess is that in general, they will.

The site still lacks in RSS from what I can tell, and I seem to be in the minority, but this is a feature that VBulletin has and needs to be turned on. The next generation of gamers that blog and share content will want this type of portability. And the old problems still exist due largely in part to the lack of moderation and rules but to each their own, some individuals don’t worry about the perception of the legacy they are leaving online.

A step in the right direction

Now Mark needs to start to expand on the other services that are tied to the Klov brand. Integrate other gaming systems and consoles that are collected like the superior GGDB has done, expand the user base, expand the mutual interest which can feed off one another. Oh, and seriously, bring VAPS into the modern day, why are we still entering game numbers copied from a URL variable to have to manually register our games?

Keep pushing Mark, and hopefully your placement will be better when the recession resides, advertising dollars return and you have expanded and positioned yourself in such a way that Klov can pay for itself and more, maybe even pay yourself for regular periodic updates.

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Comments
User Gravatar

it may have been a techinacal upgrade from what is was
but the simplictiy was part of its charm-IMO

Sorry just not diggin it and the search engine still isnt any better : (

I dont have time to get use to a format change
I think Ill stay over at COSP : )

User Gravatar

No problem. I think I’ve gotten this strange rap…

Simplicity can be good for sure. Evaluation is really up to the masses, I am always for progress forward…

I know those that want to will learn the new format without issue. I had one good search when I tested it, but it didn’t like my ‘Jr. Pac-man’ search…don’t know if it was the “.” or the dash or what….the public opinion will be formed again on whether the search actually works or not.

User Gravatar

Hello

I’m new…Nice forum !

My name is Eric, 22 years old (French).

Nice to meet you !

User Gravatar

@Terrebenthx: Eric – this is a blog, not a forum, but welcome. Check out Coinopspace.com to hang out in an arcade game forum.

User Gravatar

How are you doing? Find a right here in the direction of me?

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