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A Very Brief History of These Discussion Forums


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January 2020 marked the 10th year of this version of the AALBC discussion forums. in January 2010 I had to make two substantial changes to the discussion forums;


  1. I had to implement different software.  The software I was previously using (Discus) made it impossible for me to deal with the spam posts the site was getting.  Spammers could programmatically hit the site with 100 posts and I'd have to find each one manually, and delete them one by one. This software (Invision Community) is infinitely better dealing with spam. Invision is also fee based  while Discus was free.
  2. I had to migrate from ThumersCorner.com to AALBC.com/tc. Google banned the entire thumerscorner.com domain from serving ads. There were posts on the forum that Google said were offensive.  Google refused to provide me with a complete list of the offensive pages, which made it impossible for me to deal with issue.  As a result, Google simply banned the entire domain for serving ads.  At that point Goolge was effectively a monopoly and I lost all advertising revenue of the domain.


Both changes led to a big drop in the number of participants.  The most prominent hold over from the old domain was @Cynique indeed besides myself she was the longest tenured participant, permanently leaving in 2019. Of course 2010 witnessed the rise of social media and I'm sure that had an impact as well.  As of 2020 the forum participation was never as high as it was during the peak pre-2010.


We have more registered users but less participants. I have not figured out why so many people create accounts but never post.


Back in 2002 I implemented Discus' software to address performance issues I had with the original discussion forum software I used which was provided by Microsoft.  Over the years, I used a variety of Microsoft application and software to run this site and they ALL have failed me at some point.  This most substantial problem has been Microsoft's unwillingness to upgrade their software. Microsoft's FrontPage was the worst -- that software killed many sites.  Today I use Microsoft's Bing to power the AALBC search engine, so far so good but we will see how it does over the long haul -- it has been less than two years.


During the Discus Software Era (2002 to 2010), far and away the most prolific poster was a Brother named @Thumper.  His name was synonymous with these forums. in fact the URL of the forums today aalbc.com/tc is in honor of the old Thumpers Corner. During this period Thumper wrote hundreds of book reviews. readers loved reading his reviews.  Authors loved them too, but sometimes they hated them, because Thumper never pulled punches he would trash a review as easily as he would praise one. There are authors will not speak to me to this day because of a review Thumper wrote -- one is (was) very famous.  Don;t ask me what happened to Thumer I do not know. 


The forums were around at least as early as 1999. Unfortunately, I was unable to archive any conversations prior to 2002.  Ths software was simply unuseable (thanks again Microsoft) and those conversations are lost forever.


Of course there have been many other great contributors to this forum, over the years, and those posters are the people who have kept these forums alive. If people did not participate the forums would be completely worthless.  Thanks to all of you!


Facebook's sites completely dominate online discussion today, and as a result there are a faction of Black owned and operated platforms than there were 15 years ago. This is one the many great loses the WWW has suffered over the past two decades. Of course many young people will argue how great Instagram is, but they are unaware of a world before social media and have no clue what was lost and what could have been.






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