Historia de la comunidad de foros de Messenger Plus!
Este largo mensaje fue escrito por Chrono, uno de los administradores del foro, el año 2003. El mensaje entrega una buena mirada a la "primera mitad" de la historia de la comunidad.
Originalmente pensado como un easter egg de la página web de Messenger Plus! 3, muestra la etapa temprana de la comunidad, cómo trabajaban y todos los buenos y malos momentos del foro y el Plus! hasta entonces. Cuánta gente estaba asustada de que el Plus! no continuara después de la versión 1.42b, cómo nació la categoría de "élites" del foro, los cambios en los foros y una mirada al backstage del desarrollo del programa. Nota personal de Chrono: Disculpen el inglés, en ese entonces no lo hablaba muy bien aún. Soy demasiado vago como para actualizarlo o traducirlo al español.
I still remember the first time I logged onto the board on February 2002.
A friend of mine had been using the "Quick Messages" to flood me. When I asked how he did it so fast, he said: "I've installed the Messenger Plus! Extension". I searched for it on the Net and downloaded it. It was a very cool program with useful features, without spyware or advertisements... No doubt, it was the best Messenger add-on I had ever seen.
While I was using it I thought on some suggestions and I wanted to contact the developer of Plus!, Patchou, so I logged onto and registered on the messenger Plus! Forums. Then I made my first post, my first thread with many suggestions on it. While I was waiting for replies, I read a lot of threads on the board, and I started to like the idea of become a regular member. So I started to post, to post a lot. I made 69 posts on 2 days and the members ( *cough* Muss *cough* ) started to complain about it. They said I was spamming a lot, and of course I wasn't. They almost made me leave the forums... It was a PM sent by Topeka_KS that made me stay (and I don't regret)
At that time we were on Xsorbits (Very crappy board by the way. I slowly started to know more about the members: WDZ, Johnny_Mac, Muss, Jae, Patchou, Ginge, Undertaker, Ericanutter, Bumble_B, Octavio, and the others... Good old days.
Some day, when I logged onto the board I realized that every post on the forums had been deleted. WDZ and Jae (only admins with Patchou back then) told us that all our posts had been lost (again, crappy XSO). So we had to start again... But the admins were planning a move... Surfichris had been contacting them... he offered us a new-free software (DevBB) and he and his team would host us in their server. So we did the big move, on march-april, 2002.
* begin the surfichris story*
When I saw the current state of the XSO Messenger Plus! Forums, and how all of the posts, and threads had suddenly been lost (Can’t trust a free remotely hosted board!), I felt sorry for what was a thriving community, and one of the largest Messenger communities of the time. The forums were a good example of members helping others, as well as having a good time.
I read a thread about the forums moving or closing down. I quickly got in contact with Jae in regards to providing a new place for the forums to live (sponsored by ZeonHost). Jae accepted, and there was a poll which quickly went up in the announcements forum if they should move or not. As predicted, everyone wanted to move because they were sick of the troubles they had been having with XSO.
From there it began. I setup a copy of the latest release of DevBB, and whilst doing so that sneaky Wj snuck in and registered the first account (which automatically makes you an Administrator). Wj was also involved with the DevBB project. We were the ones who moved it all over and worked on it with the others. Wj quickly made me an Administrator, and we madly begun work on the board. We overhauled a lot of things. Template edits, code modifications, new images. It was all there. We then invited Jae and WDZ to take a look around. We had a “Development Forum” which existed up until about 2 years ago now. They would post in the forum, we would answer their questions, make modifications to the software and got ready to finalise everything for the big launch. We were kind of in a hurry, to get moved as quick as possible.
And then it launched…
*end surfichris story*
The new board was very cool in comparison with XSO. There were a lot of new options and a lot of new stuff. There were a lot of forums too, so it was easier to spam.
Sadly, a lot of the old member’s disappeared with the move... Undertaker, one of the top posters at the old board just posted twice here. Bumble_B and Ericanutter made their own cult and created the "Bow to the bumble B" Board... The only members that "survived" the move were WDZ, Johnny_Mac, Muss, Ginge and me, Chrono.
So we started the whole community again. I remember that WDZ started to make statistics for everything, and we started to suggest him more and more of new stats pages to create... There were stats for the top 10 posters and the top poster of the day, for the top 10 nationalities picked by the users, for the top 10 most active users (the hours that they spent on the board)... even for the times that an emoticon had been posted on the forums.
Some day, Jae posted that he couldn't be on the board as much as he would like, and he said that he wouldn't be an admin anymore. So WDZ made Johnny_Mac a Super mod (Very good decision, as Johnny was the most active member at the time... about 8 hours a day).
So the life at the board was easy, with a few members and not many new threads to post in.
I still remember when Muss and me started to "ask" WDZ to change our titles to "MsgPlus! Online support" (It was Johnny's and Muss's idea I think) and after a lot of shit he changed Muss's title... So of course I complained and got my beloved "Spanish
MsgPlus! Online support title" (bolds included), as I was the only member who spoke spanish back then (I'm from Santiago, Chile btw).
I asked WDZ to add some new emoticons too, the great Chronoticons. One of the most used emoticons on the board is one of them, the Chronoticon.
Slowly, there were new members registering, as Shine, Gisteren, Bugz, Reisyboy... How would I forget Karma and her posts with the emoticon everywhere... Muss always had "disagreements" with her so they always finished up fighting, and she finally left the board (Thanks Muss j/k).
So slowly there were more questions to answer, more posts to reply...
One Sunday on July 2002, when I woke up, My eyes hurt... 2 or 3 days after that, I was getting "blind"... I had Optical neuritis, so I was going to be almost blind for many weeks/months... I could see just about 10-20% compared with other people... So I posted a thread called "I'll be away for a while" (which u can still find in General Chit Chat)... I told the members that I wouldn't be on the board for some weeks cause of my "illness"...
When I read the whole thread when I was getting better, I was amazed. There were a lot of replies, a lot of "I hope U get well" posts... I had a lot of emails too, I even received a WAV file where Alvarezp (Octavio) wished me good luck and told me to be brave... Thanks guys for all your support.
I was getting better and better and started to post again (very quick recovery btw). At that time we all were asking were the hell was Patchou, as he disappeared for months... People were leaving and there were less people registering... we didn't knew what would happen with Plus!, even if there would be a version 2 of it... The board was dying... I remember a thread where Shine posted that if Patchou wasn’t going to log onto the board, it would be dead very soon... I remember WDZ posting in reply: "When there's just me, Muss, Johnny and Chrono posting shit on the board, I'll close it".
Some days after that it would happen what we were waiting for. Patchou logged on and posted a thread telling us that he was alive and that he was working on Messenger Plus! 2. We were all happy. We finally heard from Patchou and there would be a version 2 of Plus!.
The same day that Patchou posted that thread, Sholin, one of the 2 very first alpha testers of Plus! 2 (he and Jae), posted a pic of it... Then Ginge would discover that it was a fake and then Patchou would confirm it... It was a very good joke, as the pic looked very real.
We would need to wait a few days to have the first real images of Plus. Sholin uploaded a teaser showing us the features included in the very first alpha (with a cool Ramstein's song in the background). All these events attracted people again, and more people started to register. The board was still alive and we would be alive for years.
Some day on November 2002 I would get "blind" again. I posted again and received a lot of support... again. While I was blind, we moved to Mybb, new beta software from the developers of Devbb, on a new server. [surfichris: Ah yes, that would be the day where I spent hours and hours creating a converter for these forums! Fun day!]
When I came back to post I realized about the new looking board and... Well, I was still blind and I didn't know how to use the most commonly used options, as the PMs, so I couldn't try the new features until I could read better. I made WDZ to change my title to "Spanish
MsgPlus! Online support|the blind one
", dunno why, I just wanted to have it.
As I couldn't read very well yet, I couldn't read every new thread posted on the board... So I lost the chance to be an alpha tester, as I didn't read that thread... I contacted Patchou by MSN and told him my situation... he knew about my "illness" so he sent me the alpha version with no problem, and I became an alpha tester (that's how I got Patchou in my contact list btw, i asked Reisiboy to ask him if he could add me). The alpha was great, a lot of new features. Very cool.
WDZ was planning to add a new forum just for alpha testers, were we could post bugs and stuff... He even created it, but then he deleted it (i think i have a screenshot of it somewhere).
At the meantime, The Multi-languages idea was becoming true... They were asking for people to translate Plus! to whatever language they would like... I became the Spanish Latin translator's team leader btw. So for the final version we would have a very cool new program with many cool features and in every language you would like.
At these days Patchou was talking about his new website and was asking for designers... many new members registered and showed us their sites and stuff... one of them was gfd, who quickly joined the designers team, now composed by him and a Spanish guy (where the hell are the others ? Who knows...). He made the whole designs for Plus!, he created the new logo for it and he made almost the whole MsgPlus! website. I didn't know that he spoke Spanish until he PMd me. He told me that he was from Argentina and I added him to my contact list. Since then we are very good friends (aren't we ?... ). He stayed on the board and became the top
poster of it. Everyone complained (as ever) but he didn't care.
The board was getting full of new members and new threads cause of the beta version announced to be released on December 31st 2002. As there was a lot of Spam everywhere, we decided that we would need new moderators so we created a thread to talk about it. The obvious member with the most chances to become a mod was Muss, and indeed he became one some days after that thread was created.
The first public beta version (2.00.14) wasn't released until January 7th 2003, that made the board very popular and many new members registered asking for support, reporting bugs and suggesting new features (just check the stats page!). I became a mod then. They asked Ginge to be a mod too, but he didn't had the time...
So we had a lot of members and guests browsing the forums at the same time and we started to get the server load limit error very often. Some of the new members would stay as sock, Moria, [white]shark, wabz, KoalaBlue, Mnjul, DaneSmith and Raddie, the youngest top poster on the board at the time. sock made a MsgPlus IRC channel, and it supposedly would help the server load too.
Patchou released many updates to fix some bugs and add some little new "features"... the update 2.00.17 included the first Easter egg, and the update 2.00.23 (released on February 17th ) included some new ones, the sound commands, so people started to ask what were the commands and we had a lot of threads about it until Johnny made a page explaining how to use them and what were the commands.
I still can remember when Dane started to talk about his coming-soon Messenger Plus! Zone website. He was planning to create some kind of support site, and he needed helpers. He stole our ideas and copied every single forum in this board. then he created his Zone support forums, which where quiet crappy.
We had lots of arguments with him until he finally closed down his site (no one went there anyway). I remember him starting some rumours about "Plus Zone" coming back online, and a member revealing his plans. Dane was all mad at him and then he said that these rumours were just lies... the funniest thing was that he by himself started these rumours.
I remember me posting a thread about his silly signature (an ugly msn butterfly drawn on paint)(he changed it after i posted it though) and how we were all arguing with him.... aaahh that thread was quiet funny, i even saved it and now its in a cd somewhere with my backups.
Anyway, he left the forums for a long time and now he is back... I just hope that he stops being a jerk and stops acting as if he knows everything.. Then everything will be alright.
Some day on March, Fraisie (Patchou's Girlfriend) asked WDZ if she could be a Mod. WDZ made her a Super Mod and of course we complained (and congratulated her too of course). After that, WDZ made Muss and me Super Mods too. At least we had a good forum team so we could handle the Spam that some of our members (*cough* GFD *cough*) posted daily.
As we didn't need any new suggestions (Patchou would release the final version very soon), WDZ deleted the Suggestion forum and added a new one called "MsgPlus General talk"...
I added what is next a couple of minutes ago so its now up-to-date
At the time, i was going to the uni, so i couldn’t get online very often, so i cant remember very well how things went on.. I remember many users registering, as _girl (wack_girl, now nicknamed wacky (UPDATED: Now nicknamed Jellybean (blah u better stop changing nicknames))), Messenger_Plus!, KnightieBoy, BooGhost... hmm he would become the top poster for quiet a few months btw.. I used to "hate" him as the way he spammed was quite annoying... Anyway, lots of new - regular members registered since then and of course i cant say them all.
I remember being beta testing and receiving an email from Patchou, who told us that he was going to add a sponsor program to Messenger Plus!. After he released the version, we received lots of complaints about it, people who installed it accidentally and people calling it Spyware (which is NOT). Lots of moderating had to be done cause of the arguments that were posted. Hopefully, Patchou would modify the sponsor agreement window some months after that and now we almost receive no complaints about it.
There were members who spent all day on the board.. Yeah I’m talking about KoalaBlue, who was a great helper in the board, but she was always complaining about minimal stuff, so she had lots of admirers as she had lots of detractors... Anyway, she was online all day, so she could help whoever needed help in no time, in the board and on the IRC channel. Quiet a good member and a good friend as long as u agreed with her ideals.
I cant remember if it was wabz or KoalaBlue (or KB as i used to call her and then everyone did too) suggesting the idea to have a special title for special members, we talked a lot about it and wdz finally did it. He created a new group, the Elite Members, and he added a few members...
On July 2003, gfd (now known as Guido btw) created the Messenger Plus! tab, which u could use to read the news on msgplus.net.
August 2003 saw the creation of a plugins package by Patchou, which would contain many plugins. The plugins database was growing too quickly and users could not decide on which plugins to be included in the package. This led in to the idea of creating an online plugins database (hosted by surfi) at http://plugins.mybboard.com
and is now the home of many plugins, and managed by Fraisie.
Also in august 2003, we would receive great news: we could have our own @msgplus.net email addresses! there was a limited quantity of email addresses, so we had to hurry. I remember that there were lots of problems regarding these addresses, people saying that they didn’t work and stuff.. Indeed the addresses weren’t working for a lot of time. hopefully, now everyone can get an @msgplus.net account with *almost* no problems. And for free!
i remember KnightieBoy posting some stuff about a mafia in the forums. he gave some names of some members and a description of what was his job. I told him that if he could "create" 20 members of the mafia, I would stick his thread in TT. And he did. We had lots of fun in the thread, the last time it was updated there were like 40 members of the "carboni family".
We’ve also had our fair share of sad events among the community. October 2003, sadly, saw the passing of one of our long standing and respected members, Immy. I didn’t really know her much so I’m not posting anything else about it, but it was really shocking to know that someone whom you spoke to like yesterday had passed away. R.I.P Immy.
At some point, WDZ fixed the "report post" thingy, so we started to receive lots of reports... I remember receiving tons of reports from KoalaBlue and Mnjul, so I was quiet sure they would become mods in no time... Once again, I was right. SurfiChris (now knows as Chris Boulton) made them super mods and me and Muss (now known as Jehuty(UPDATED: now known as Muss again) complained, mostly because he didnt made a thread asking us, the forum team (he asked wdz anyway).
So we had some problems, KoalaBlue and Kasper, one of the admins and one of the server owners, left the forums. We had some discussions in the private forums and everything is solved now. All this happened on November 2003.
After kb and kasper left, there was a weird feeling in the forums. At the time I felt that everyone was angry for some reason. i thought many times in leaving too. It was annoying, it wasn’t fun at all, and if it wasn’t fun then what was the purpose of being there? Slowly, things started to get better. We started to have fun again. We stopped the arguments with Chris. We were a nice community again.
i cant remember if it was November or December 2003 when Patchou started to talk about some code sharing. He was planning to release Plus! version 1's source code so programmers could know how Messenger Plus! hooks to Messenger and stuff. We had lots of problems with some people from the Messenger Fanatics community, as they started a thread there and started to insult Patchou and his little piece of art. Due to this, Patchou cancelled the "project".
After a couple of weeks he started a new thread to talk about it, and even though no one said anything bad to him, he never released the source. I fully support him on that one, it's a good decision.
Somewhere near this time, Patchou posted some pics of Fraisie's sister and everyone was somehow shocked at her cuteness. She was pretty! Then Patchou had the great idea to dedicate a section of his site to her, the so called "Plus! babe". There were funny pics of Patchou too. Basically the idea was to have the Plus! babe with Plus! merchandise, shirts, cups and stuff. Very funny.
After the New Year’s Eve, people started to complain about the spam. A thread was started about it and lots of discussion went on. People said that we needed new mods, but the staff didn’t agree. The solution was simple: enforce the rules. And we did. The spam went down a lot, and now is under control (somehow odgy).
On February 2004, Patchou told us that his HD was dead. Hopefully, the Plus! source code was backed up, so no real harm to our favourite program. He firstly said that we could lose lots of stuff, his work for the last few months, but after a couple of days he would tell us that he recovered almost everything.
In the meantime, on February 15th 2004, some l337 h4ck0r attacked us (I’m not giving names). I remember that I was at the chatroom and some dodgy bastard was stealing passwords. After that event, i remember being on the main page of the board and noticed a new admin called "test1". i thought it was dodgy cause neither wdz nor surfi were online. I asked Jellybean through MSN if she had seen wdz or surfi online in the past hours and she said no. When i came back to the forums the attack was noticeable. Technically the h4ck0r could have done a lot of damage but, if I’m not mistaken, he only messed up with the forum's configuration. I remember wj coming )as surfi was relaxing at school and WDZ was being lazy as usual) online and taking the forums down. Then I was made an admin to help him out. Johnny was also made an admin. After a couple of hours WDZ came online and finished the job (making us mods again).
On March 2004, Patchou announced that Plus! 3 was being beta tested. After a lot of hard work beta testing and translating, Messenger Plus! 3 was released on May 23rd 2004. 5 months of hard work redesigning the complete software. The preferences panel changed completely, it was way easier to find the option you were searching for and it included a beautiful interface. A pretty cool release!
And it created a lot of expectation, as well as Plus! 2 did when it was going to be released. People at the forums were waiting for the clock to reach the time when it was going to be released, refreshing the page like people without a life and without anything better to do. Anyway, a great update and with lots of new features, even though that wasn’t the original intention (Patchou mainly wanted to redesign the preferences, but slowly started to add new options to it).
A bit before Plus!' 3 release, some members had a cool idea: People having somewhere in their profiles some kind of notice so people could know they were beta testers/translators. So WDZ added some kind of "stickers" as someone called them, above member's avatars and in the profiles. Pretty cool.
We have had lots of new members during this period, like CookieRevised as an example, who quickly became an Elite Member. He is like a machine when its about searching something in the forums. He is a great helper due to these super powers. Other member whom I want to mention is Tochjo, cause he was previously (when he joined) a spammer. I remember how pissed i was deleting his posts one night, along with Jackass-wanabe's posts (now called Stigmata). Tochjo is a great example of how a member can change from being a spammer to be a good helper, as He helps a lot now.
Other members who joined lately are marissa (who firstly joined as memarissa and was banned), Toddy and RebelSean. These 3 members have lots of arguments and have been banned many times. Marissa hopefully changed and now is very helpful. Sadly, toddy hadn’t learnt his lesson (don’t argue so much!) and is now banned for 2 weeks. Rebelsean (now known as Sean) has the big record: he has been banned +-9 times!! I dunno how many times tbh, but he has the record lol. Hopefully he changed too and isn’t arguing with toddy at least.