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Goodbye, Huddler (Everywhere)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by mattCR, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    As you may have noticed from several other websites, Huddler has officially informed their client base they are getting out of this kind of forum business. Huddler may still offer their software out, but they aren't going to be doing any host level services, and they won't be providing management for it either.This means every website that took Huddler up on their agreement just got pooched. I noticed recently when AVS switched, but now several sites have posted their reason.. Huddler's purchase by Wikia ends their hosted platforum.I just wanted to note this here because I have to say: Thank you, those at HTF for listening to us users long before hand, because leaving huddler than turned out to be a damn smart move.
     
    Craig S, Cameron Yee and DavidJ like this.
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Huddler made a lot of promises that they never fulfilled. It's a good thing they're out of the forum business.
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I have to offer a personal apology...

    Back in 2009, the owners at HTF were given a personal presentation by
    Huddler that made us believe that they would have this forum's best interests
    at heart and would be able to promote and grow us in ways that we never would
    have been able to do on our own.

    What we did not anticipate at the time was that being only the second site to
    come onboard their new platform, that their software was not yet completely realized.
    Members of this forum immediately accused Huddler of using us as guinea pigs as they
    took an additional year or more to get their software up-to-speed where the HTF
    experience actually seemed "seamless."

    I am not surprised that Huddler ceased being platform hosts. We didn't leave as
    quickly as we should, but we were smart enough to leave when we had a hint that
    HTF was no longer going to benefit under their control.

    I am going to abstain from saying too much more other than that, in whole, it was a
    bad experience all around. Certainly the worst years for me, running HTF.

    Thinking back on the time Parker and I were approached by Huddler, and knowing
    where our site was heading, I think it was very easy for the both of us to be swayed
    into teaming with a company that was promising us a successful future.

    By the time the members realized how considerably bad things got around here,
    we were already ingrained with our new partners. We just had to ride things out and
    hope they got better.

    I want to apologize to all of you for the decisions we had made. We were offered
    a tempting opportunity. We really had no way to predict what our future with Huddler
    would hold We took the risks, suffered some huge setbacks, but ultimately took control
    back of our forum.
     
  4. Colin Davidson

    Colin Davidson Premium
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    Sorry Ron but apology NOT accepted...and here is why I say that.

    You and Parker have ALWAYS had HTF and the members at the forefront of all the decisions you have made.
    From my point of view the decisions made have always been to benefit and improve this great place and never
    at the expense of the members.

    I have been around HTF for a lot of years and you and Parker and the rest of the HTF staff are the reasons why I
    am still here and will continue to be here for as long as you will let me.

    You have nothing to apologize for and every reason to be proud of this great house you and Parker have built.
    Will you "stumble" again from time to time? You bet but that is a part of growing, evolving and making things even better
    for the members.

    Thank you!
     
  5. Jason_V

    Jason_V Well-Known Member

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    No need for an apology, Ron. Nobody (and no venture) succeeds 100% of the time.

    Or, to say it less eloquently that Colin did, stuff happens. We've all moved on from that experience, a little more educated than we were before.
     
    Neil Middlemiss likes this.
  6. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, there really is nothing to apologize for. There were a lot of things that Huddler kept promoting, and if I were in Ron/Parkers shoes I would have done the same thing. I'm sure the presentation they saw looked as though everything would work and it would be fantastic.
    Some of the ideas Huddler had were great.. it was just actually making those ideas work.

    I have no problem (at all) with the fact HTF had it. I'm just glad that we had forum owners that listened directly to the people who come here and made the choice when we had to.

    Stuff happens. I just feel -really- bad for the sites that had just switched to Huddler in the last year or so and are now being forced to switch off of it. Ouch.
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Damn straight!

    I've been working in the software industry for a long time. . .selling big ideas before they're implemented in the hope that you'll be able to back them up when the rubber hits the road is SOP for too many companies.
     
    Craig S, mattCR and Jason_V like this.
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    SOP being short for Sucking Operational Promises?


    Cees
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Agree with everything being said here.

    It (Huddler's promises) all sounded great...didn't live up to the buzz...and, fortunately, we had ownership here who listened to its members (over and over and over and over again) complain about things and then act and take the smart way out.
     
  10. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    So what is AVS using now?
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Well-Known Member

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    In rugby it's called a "scrum".
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Well-Known Member

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    I just went and looked. They are back on VBulletin as of 11 June 2014.
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Good times!
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The transition to Huddlet was terrible. But by then end, it was working well. The notification system --something that never worked well in bulletin--was the best if seen in a forum. But I noticed Huddlers performance cratered the past year at AVS. It became almost unusable on my iPad and iPhone.So goodbye and good riddance to a company that had too much sales pitch and too little execution.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Speaking as just myself here, I had no input on HTFs history with Huddler other than as a user. I visit a dozen or more web boards a week, I love the communities I am a part of and this Huddler experiment affected many of them, even if they chose not to go in that direction...My issue with Huddler was never focused on the user experience (which was arguably terrible for a very long time and sent many users away) but in the whole philosophy with hosted platforms for web boards. Even today I believe this to be a long term virus on boards. The temptation to have someone handle all the back end stuff is very compelling. Even more so when they will handle all the advertising, which we know is both the lifeblood of the internet and also it's most crippling addiction. This is very different from web page hosting or blogs or whatever which have successfully used hosted web platforms for a decade or more. Web boards are different beasts and have different needs, one of which is customizability and new features. Being stuck on a vanilla hosted platform is a trap, you are forever stuck with their cookie cutter set up and not in control of your own look and feel, let alone your own destiny.I do believe that the right company could come along and make highly customizable, high performance, owner and user focused hosted web boards a joy to use. Huddler was not that company and I strongly encourage any board that considers moving to a site that claims to be to give it wide berth and not be the guinea pig.
     
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  16. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Well-Known Member

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    Change that to ALL B2B sales and then you are even more correct. I haven't met a company yet selling B2B that didn't lie about the features in the product. There are only 3 features in a product. The one that is currently being implemented but doesn't work as stated, the one some developer mentioned to a sales weasel that we could do in the future and the one the sales weasel made up on the spot to get the sale. If a sales person is talking, they are lying.
     
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  17. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Well-Known Member

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    According to Douglas Adams, sales persons should be loaded up onto the #2 space ship, along with the telephone sanitizers..
     
  18. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I know of one android/ Apple app out there that runs flawless.Mainly cause the app developers all went to MIT and Rose-Hulman. That would be FL. Those that know what FL is...know the app works great. Whether the hosters would take a second one...not got a clue.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Those MIT guys are pretty sharp, as you'd expect from having gone to school at the East Coast's version of Rose Hulman ;)(RHIT '93 :D)
     
  20. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Owner
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    Moving off Huddler was a very difficult experience. It's one of the things I came on board as an owner to help with, but it was definitely the right thing to do. While there's a whole lot of stuff we prefer not to talk about, I'll just say that they were some of the most difficult people to work with I've encountered in the IT industry. Thank you to all our amazing members who were patient while HTF was unavailable and continue to support us as we try to make HTF the best forum experience possible.
     

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