Unique software lets us do unique things.
- Embed your forum anywhere
- Experience speeds never before possible
- 99% of automated spam is prevented
- Join multiple forums with only one account
Anyone looking for free forum hosting has a lot of services to choose from. Most services will say anything they think you want to hear to get you to sign up. We look at this process differently. We only want people who actively want to use our services. Otherwise, no one wins. We are hosting inactive forums and you waited for an invitation for nothing. The text below outlines our weaknesses in order to help you make the best decision.
1) We are what we are - We chose Adobe Flex to be the core of our software because we believe it is the best, most efficient way to deliver free forum services. However, some might not want to leave their traditional PHP-based systems, for whatever reason. We will not be offering any PHP-based forum systems because they are simply incapable of living up to our expectations.
2) Entrance barrier - Our system is currently in a limited BETA - meaning you must request an invitation in order to use our services. We do our best to expose as many people as possible to our system but we also have the responsibility of making sure current users always have a surplus of resources. Invitation acceptance can also be delayed when we conduct usability tests as our attention is focused on the feedback of the users involved in the tests and evaluating and implementing their requested changes.
3) Remotely hosted only - Locally hosted forum solutions often impose many hidden costs and unexpected issues. These include bandwidth limitations, complicated server and software implementation, scalability issues, increased overhead, maintenance costs, and limited redundancy. With all forums remotely hosted on our optimized servers, we can ensure the highest possible quality for anyone bouncing around forums within the sparkBB network. If a user were to switch to a sparkBB forum that wasn't hosted by us and experienced inaccessible pages, slow load times, etc., they may get the wrong idea and assume the system itself was to blame.
4) Proprietary source - Keeping our source secure increases the security of our services and keeps us competitive so we can continue to dedicate all of our time to benefit sparkBB. We will make every effort to allow as much control as possible through a flexible API; however our source will remain proprietary.
5) Lack of specific features - If you need a widget on your forum for counting nail clippings, then we probably won't have it. By maintaining a simple application, the potential for issues is minimized, and our focus on critical priorities is maximized. This is not to say we won't be adding increased functionality on a regular basis (we will). However, this functionality will be more generalized and benefit members as a whole, not just those with special needs. See software bloat (a.k.a. Bulkware).