Word Count: 1872
Takes: 5 minutes, 15 seconds to read.
I asked the owner of a large paranormal, science and technology forum for an interview. Theboss is the owner of Parascientifica a forum in which you can discuss all types of tech, space, alien, technology, etc subjects. Its quite a old forum and has around 80 000 posts!
/1./ Max Pen: Your forum is called “parascientifica” Quite a special name. Its a combination of the genres your forum is about right? What are the main genres? Didn’t some people ever mention the name is hard to remember?
Theboss: Well the name is, like you said a combination of the two main subjects that get covered by the site. And I never heard anyone saying that it is hard to remember, just hard to spell. Besides that our old domain was parascientifica.com I do think that it is a big step forward.
/2./ Max Pen: You have a frontpage for this site, did this page come before the forums? Theboss: Yes, the frontpage came out almost five years ago, and the forums are about three. So two years til we had the forums.
/3./ Max Pen:Is your site; and forums the biggest of its genre on the net?
Theboss: No, to my knowledge there is one forum which is larger. It’s called Unexplained-Mysteries.com and they have a few million posts. I’m not sure what other sites there are, but I’m quite sure that we are in the top ten.
/4./ Max Pen: How long and what resources did you consult to build up the rich info of content on the forums?
Theboss: Most new topics are gathered news from different news sites, magazines and sometimes TV. I also read quite a lot of books, which sometimes have interesting subjects. I then do some research on the subject and post a (short) summary.
/5./ Max Pen:You have an “Encyclopedia”. What made you start it?
Theboss: The encyclopedia is something that I started somewhere in 08-09, as I started to lose track of all the forum posts and topics. So I started building up the encyclopedia to index the useful articles/subjects. I did write most of it, but I also got some help a few times, but it is all our content.
/6./ Max Pen:The frontpage shows alot of information, did you code everything your self or use a phpbb mod ?
Theboss: The frontpage is a hundred percent handwritten and apart from the theme hundred percent by me. I tried phpbb mods at one time, but they never had all the options that I wanted them to have. So I just made it myself.
/7./ Max Pen: What got you into foruming? Did you own a other website before you started with parascientifica ?
Theboss: Before this site I had a small StarWars fansite but no forums, I was however active on a few forums which eventually led me to the idea to set one up myself. The two main forums that I visited were swgb.heavengames.com and area51centra.com (down).
/8./ Max Pen: How old is this site now, and are you happy with the results you got so far from it?
Theboss: The site will turn five in February and I have to say that I am quite happy with how it looks right now. I would like to have some more time for it to expand it a bit faster though.
/9./ Max Pen: What made it possible for this site to still be here? (example: members great support)
Theboss: I owe most of it to the dedication of the old and new members, who keep active and supportive. I don’t mind the work, but I do not know if I would have kept it up so long without any visible activity.
/10./ Max Pen: When was the site most active with users online and posting?
Theboss: As most of the members are students, the activity usually spikes during holidays and nearly dies around test periods. There always are some posts, but the amount can strongly vary.
/11./ Max Pen: What caused the site to be less active than usual? Normally when I got on some months ago it had 17 to 20 users online last 24 hours.
Theboss: Well this is one of those dreaded test periods. Heck with my double major in Physics and Astronomy even I hardly have time lately. But I’m sure that in the Christmas break it will spike up again.
/12./ Max Pen: What is your favorite section of the site?
Theboss: I have to say that I mostly like the science and technology section, as it covers the subjects that I really love learning about and hope to contribute too in the future. But I also like mostly everything on the main page, as it has a lot of my time in it.
/13./ Max Pen: Do you believe in aliens have visited Earth?
Theboss: I believe that if they wanted too that they would, but I don’t really see why they would. As I do believe in advanced alien civilizations, but I doubt that if they had the technology to travel here that we would even spark their interest. You can compare us to ants, they build great structures and have a whole civilization, but yet we don’t try to enlighten them with our knowledge and technology.
/14./ Max Pen:Your favorite 5 random facts show up on the index. Where did you come up with that idea?
Theboss: I have had facts like that in my signature since the start of the forums, then on a certain day I came across a phpbb mod that shows them. I immediately knew that this was a mod that I had to have, as the members do enjoy them.
My favorite facts are the ones about physics, biology or astronomy:
- Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell.
- Sneeze travels out of your mouth at over 100 miles (161 km) an hour.
- Every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced.
- The star “Lucy” in constellation Centaurus is actually a huge cosmic diamond of 10 billion trillion trillion carats.
- The largest known star Canis Majoris which is nearly 2000 times larger than our sun.
/15./ Max Pen: What is the strangest story you have ever heard?
Theboss: I’ve heard a lot of strange stories since the forum opened, most of them can be found in the world of bizarre section. I don’t think that I can really pick one, as a stranger one always seems to pop up. A current example is an Australian man marrying a dog.
/16./ Max Pen: What makes you quite interested in Free Masons? Do you belief they been part behind major events during the world history? (Like making sure this happens or that, etc.)
Theboss: Actually I am not at all that interested in the Free Masons. They do have an fascinating history and a lot of conspiracies about them do exist, but I never really engrossed in them.
/17./ Max Pen:Name one thing you would like to see changed on your forum?
Theboss: I’d mainly like to get our SA (Site article) team off the ground, it would be great to have a monthly/weekly research story published. That would make us more of a magazine then a news site, which we are now.
/18./ Max Pen: You also got a Software tap on the frontpage. /software.php There you got 2 programs. Did you make them your self?
Theboss: I did make the online ambigram generator, with help of Sphynx. The offline generator is made by Jasper and AIUREA is by Devah. I am planning to make some more soon, but again time is a constricting factor.
/19./ Max Pen: Have you played both much? AIUREA is quite nice. I got when typing: “So I am testing this tool out now. I am from Belgium, a nice place, yes ?” As result: “? Could I a newer?.place, something now. . or place, ? Could now. this am this ? Could we something I yes. yes So out this yes.try newer? Could we try something new, or newer?” Quite funny!
Theboss: I use the ambigram generator once in a while, as it gives good tips for making ambigrams. I hardly use AIUREA though. I’m glad that you like them though, that’s what they are there for.
/20./ Max Pen: You have quite a fantastic and interesting site that offers alot of stuff to people who like the genre’s it offers. But still your site is in a inactive state. Why do you think that is ?
Theboss: Well I think that there are two big problems. One of them is that the site SEO is not great, people simply don’t know that it’s out there so they don’t come. Also a lot of the people who do come choose to just read and not to participate in the forum community. We try to make the forum more appealing but not everyone is a forum type.
/21./ Max Pen: What skills or exp. did you gain with managing www.parascientifica.com?
Theboss: More than you would expect actually. I have acquired most of my programming/webmaster skills because of the site. It also really did boost my English and keeps me up to date with current events.So certainly worth it if you ask me!
/22./ Max Pen: Do you believe in the city of Atlantis? What type of civilization do you think it was?
Theboss: I believe that there could have been an ancient Greek city called Atlantis, but I doubt that it was very different from all other Greek cities of that time. Nevertheless it would be a great leap in archeology if we found it, as it would probably be preserved in a similar way as the Roman town of Pompeii.
/23./ Max Pen: Stories or rumors you know that made or make you scared when reading them?
Theboss: It takes a lot to scare me, so I am left unaffected by most conspiracies and such. I do however get frightened by some of the incidents that happen around the world. Most of them involving brutal murders without any apparent reason, or wikileak war crimes.
/24./ Max Pen: Why ’Theboss’? Is there any story behind it?
Theboss: When I setup my first forum my account was named admin, I wanted to change it but still have an authoritarian name. So I came up with Theboss. It isn’t very common and I never really found a better username, so I stick with it.
/25./ Max Pen: From this vid: watch?v=NCedJK23lVg Do you believe in time travel? Theboss: I do, but only in the ones that are physically possible. And these time machines can only go into the future or between the present and the moment that they were created. So unless we had one in the far past I doubt that it is possible. One exception would be using a black/worm hole to get there, but this would require great energies and very advanced technology. So I doubt that a man from such future would hold a phone, as that would be ancient technology by then.
Thanks a lot Theboss, for your time on this. This is truely a quality interview, I hope people learn something new they didn’t know yet thanks to this interview. And I hope your forums have many more years of success to come. -Max Pen