#90 PhpBB Communities a large fan site focused around phpbb, new owner Grumpy interviewed (featured)

Written on:April 23, 2011
Last modified on: July 5, 2011 @ 2:26 PM
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The new owner of PhpBB Communities Grumpy has agreed to do a interview. His real name is Tommy he is 21 years old and lives in the UK. He was lead packager before becoming the new owner.
It isn’t the first time this site gets interviewed. The previous interview can be found here.

1/• Were you willing being the new owner when you signed up for this project? (As in would you have said yes to being the new owner when you signed up on this project, was that part of what you were willing to do when that would happen.)
Grumpy: Hey, first of all would like to say thanks for interviewing me and hope all of your members enjoy reading through my answers to your questions. Firstly, when I signed up to become staff on phpBB Communities, I could’ve never dreamed to own the site and for it to be this successful. I never discussed with Richard about what would happen if he had to close the site for some reason etc, so I’m glad I made the offer to buy the site really.

2/• How did you get involved with the site “The Hazey”, and what made you interested in joining the team on it as packager? What has the package job been like in general? (Both from the past on The Hazey as before you got owner on this site.)
Grumpy: I was one of the first members on The Hazey, and at first, I was just a regular member and got into posting a lot on the site and within about 2 months I had about 1,500 posts. When one of Rich’s packagers let him down, he knew I enjoyed posting and asked me if I would accept the role, I gladly accepted and was excited to be a part of such a great site. I loved the job at The Hazey and wouldn’t have traded it for any other site at the time.

3/• When Rich told you about his new project, this site… What were your first thoughts about it? Did the idea ever came to mind it might end as The Hazey? Did you ever think it would be more successful then its predecessor?
Grumpy: If I’m being honest, I was a little sceptical at first. Because of the sudden way The Hazey ended, I guess I was a bit worried that the same thing might happen to that site. But after receiving some reassurances from Richazey, I agreed to become a part of the site and was hoping for it to succeed more than The Hazey, as of now it has done just that.




4/• From what site (The Hazey or this one) did you learn the most regarding: the package job, phpbb forum software, gain new exp. in things you didn’t know or got better in, etc…
Grumpy: 90% of what I know now about phpBB I learnt through The Hazey and phpBB Communities. Honestly, if I hadn’t joined The Hazey, I don’t think I would be involved with forums at all at the moment. The packager role was something I knew nothing about before The Hazey, I didn’t even know that these types of roles exist and people did them. :P

5/• Were staff informed before the users about Rich his decision to resign as owner and give the site to you? How did it effect you when you first heard from Rich he was thinking or going to sell the site, give it to someone else?
Grumpy: Yes all staff were told about it, one or two didn’t have time to read the topic before the changeover so were a little bit confused when things changed over, but most of the staff read about it prior to it happening. When I found out Rich’s plans, my first move was to make an offer for the site. I didn’t think twice. I would do anything to keep the community running, and I honestly think that if I hadn’t bought the site it may have closed down in a few days. Not questioning Richazey’s dedication, but he really had had enough with the site and the issues it caused, and I for one know he didn’t want to hand the site over to anyone he didn’t personally know.

6/• Why do you think he choose you as the guy being the new owner? 
Grumpy: As above, he knows me and has known me for about a year now, we have really connected and we talk to each other daily, also I offered him the reassurance that nothing major on the site would change and things would be kept as they are.

7/• How has the job been like so far?
Grumpy: I have enjoy it a lot, but it’s early days yet, I’ve only been in charge for a little over 48 hours (as I write this) and activity has dropped a little bit since then so we are working on that mainly.

8/• What were you most worried about when you became the new owner to do with this site and the members? (Example: how they would react.)
Grumpy: I was most worried about how some members and staff would take it… A lot of the staff and members are dedicated to Richazey and so a couple of staff followed him when he left, unfortunately for us. That was what I was most worried about, but everything went a lot smoother than I could’ve hoped for so I am happy!

9/• Do you have such a deep passion for phpBB as Rich? What did you learn about phpbb from this site? 
Grumpy: Yes I love phpBB and even though I’m not as advanced as Richard is with it, I still love it and love managing it, I learnt a lot about phpBB from phpBB Communities and I can only hope that everything I’ve learnt will allow me to manage the forum in a better way.

10/• When Rich was owner there would be each month a interview posted with a phpbb staff here, what will happen with that? Will it continue or stop for the moment?
Grumpy: I have plans to do my best to continue that and am currently trying to secure a phpBB staff member to offer to do an interview with us, so keep your eyes peeled everyone!

11/• The foundation has been laid by Rich, he now has given the whole site with everything on it to you. What do you plan to add or change in the coming weeks to months?
Grumpy: I don’t plan to change anything big at all. I have already made a few minor changes, such as adding a couple of new medals to the Medals MOD, and editing some shop items to lower the prices. Other than that, I have not changed a lot and don’t plan to anytime soon, either.

12/• You promised Rich no major changes would happen. Do you keep your word because you believe its very important not to make any major changes on a site like this? And also because you promised him? Why do you think its important no major changes are made? (Don’t fix what ain’t broke?)
Grumpy: No major changes will happen to the site for a long time. I will keep my word because I feel it’s in the best interests of the site for things to stay as normal as possible. While it’s inevitable that there will be some small things changed, nothing big will be changed for a long time and that is final, nothing will change my mind. However, we do have one or two things already planned in the future to add to the site which will still go ahead.

13/• Favorite forum section, service, feature (mod or core file feature), staff rank, style, bbcode here?
Grumpy: Quite hard for me to decide. My favourite section is the phpBB Articles & Tutorials section as I can find out a lot of information that that I didn’t know in the past, also I think that a lot of phpBB users can learn a lot just by searching through that section, so it’s definitely worth it. Favourite service is probably the Posting Service since I’ve worked on it for so long. Feature is probably the KB MOD, I love it… It provides an excellent database for all of our articles. Staff rank, the bolded Admin one since it’s mine.   Style, our old one called proskyblue is fantastic and I love it, the grey one is good also but personally, the blue one is for me. BBCode would have to be our notice one we use for services, it’s fantastic.

14/• What makes this site stand out alot from other phpbb support sites?
Grumpy: Well, we have a lot of things. What other phpBB sites incorporate over 65 modifications into their software, have their own custom MODs too, offer phpBB services as well as other services admin/promotion forums offer? While we are not a promotion forum, we certainly like to help users with that aspect of things.

15/• How do you plan on contributing to the knowledge that is here of phpbb like Rich did?
Grumpy: Well we have a Writers Team that do that for us. I am currently working on developing a custom modification for the site that will be released to the public for use by us in a few months, also our Technician team have a modification in development too. Also we will have daily articles as usual with new BBCodes, styles, articles and general forum administration tips so keep looking out!

16/• If you ever had or would sell this site… Do you think there is a chance that can ever happen? When that time comes do you know already what you will expect of him or her? (make sure you trust the person, he or she will manage the site like you did,etc…)
Grumpy: I would never sell this site. That is for sure. This site means too much to me. I would never give it away either. If for personal reasons I felt the site would suffer, I would hand over temporary adminship to one of the closest people I trust, and that would either be Richazey or Robi. Hopefully the need for that will never arise though.

17/• If you had to categorize the memberbase, are most members here coming for what this site offers for phpbb users or are most members coming for the look and other things it offers? Like a great community full of nice people…
Grumpy: I would say 90% of our current came for what the site offers, look at the services we offer and also look at all of the great discussions we have going, why wouldn’t you want to join up to the site? The other 10% probably signed up because of the way the site looks, and I can’t exactly blame them for that, Richard and Green CoW (Peter) done a great job on both of our styles.

18/• Is PhpBB Communities its future clear and bright? Do you believe to have saved this site the same faith as The Hazey if you would not have accepted to buy it from Rich?
Grumpy: The future is definitely bright and clear. So long as the users are here, I am too. I love the site and would not give it up for the world, all current staff as well as Richazey and Robi know my views and know how strongly I feel for the site, and they support me all the way to try and make it succeed in the way which Richard made it succeed. Rich maybe would have closed the site if I had not bought it, I can’t comment for him but I know he wouldn’t of sold it to somebody he don’t know, he would’ve preferred to close it than do that.



19/• Are you the owner or is the other admin and you both the owner of this site?
Grumpy: We both are co-owners of the site, although I will be taking the more “boss” type of role if you would like to put it that way, while Lacey will be handling the financial side of things and won’t really be on the site too often… We could call her a pretty face in the corner. :P Lol, she is a lovely girl and everyone will love her once you get to know her. (And she’s really pretty!  )

Thanks a lot for deciding to interview me IY, it’s really appreciated and glad you wanted me to help out and be interviewed by you. Thanks.

I felt it would be really great to do so, and I turned out to be right. I hope everyone of PhpBB Communities or most of you have a good read on this and some questions got answered or you got to know a bit more about Grumpy his role there. -Max Pen

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