IlliniBoard.com Joins TheInsiders.com Network

As some of you have already noticed, I made a tough decision last week to join TheInsiders.com network, one that I had resisted making numerous times over the past two years for reasons that will be explained below. I could come out right now and say to all of you that "nothing will change" and that IlliniBoard will be the exact same it was on November 29, 2003, but that is not true, it won't be.

I could also come out and tell each and every one of you that IlliniBoard.com will be getting better in the future, but for some of you the site will become worse, and for some of you it may become better.


Brumby: Don't worry... (laughs) don't worry. I'm not gonna do... what you all think i'm gonna do, which is just FLIP OUT!! (throws his arms in the air and shakes, sending papers flying)
The only thing I can tell you with 100% certainty is that I made the decision that I felt was best for me and IlliniBoard.com, a site I have worked on and toiled over for going on four years now (six months of pre-development before launch in July of 2000).

Now, since I have followed sports sites on the Internet for a long time, I know what questions inevitably come up when something like this happens. You are right now probably asking yourself a few questions, and I will try to answer them as best as possible here, through e-mail to me (john@illiniboard.com), or on the Message Boards.

DID BRUMBY SELL OUT?
Yes, I 100% sold out, I cannot lie to you and tell you I did not sell out, you can call me the Reel Big Fish of Internet site moderators, because I sold out. I joined TheInsiders.com Network for many reasons, and I can tell you that money was down at the bottom of the list near the amount of belly button lint I had at the time of the decision. Yes, I will now make some money off of IlliniBoard.com, something I have not done since day one, and it will be a change for every poster as well as me. I cannot deny that things will be different, nor promise you that they will be better; I can just ask each of you to trust me like you have for the past three and a half years.

WILL ILLINIBOARD.COM HAVE PREMIUM CONTENT NOW?
Yes, by joining TheInsiders.com network, IlliniBoard.com will provide you premium content and have a members-only message board. I will tell you that all content I ever put out on IlliniBoard will remain free, so you still get the random game recaps and everything else I ever posted on the site. It was not much, but it was something. I could right now list everything that you will gain in terms of free content, but you know what, I know you don't want to hear it, because there will be pay content.

The pay content will be provided by the IlliniBoard.com & Illini Nation writers including Kedric Prince, Michael Bates, Chris Patton (aka The Illini General), and maybe some new names that you will grow to love or hate. There will also be network wide content from recruiting experts in basketball and football. For basketball recruiting, IlliniBoard.com will receive updated content from the best recruiting "guru" out there in Dave Telep. For football recruiting, there will be national coverage from SuperPrep.com.

WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO THE ILLINIBOARD.COM FAN FORUMS AND WILL MY USER NAME REMAIN THE SAME?
The IlliniBoard.com Fan Forums will have a new look, a new look that was coming with or without the move to join TheInsiders.com, so either way you would have had time to complain to me about it if you did not like it. The previous format of the IlliniBoard.com Fan Forums was way too taxing on the server, and it took me way too much time to fix when things went haywire. This is what caused the random and not-so random board crashes that have been bothering you since April. So, this change was inevitable.

Now, I will admit to preferring the format that will be on the new forums (flat view) versus the old format (threaded) for every board, except The Deuce which is a different monster in and of itself and fits perfectly to the conversational style of a threaded view. I know a lot of people love the threaded view for posting, but I have found that the threaded view while nice for a lightly trafficked board, has major flaws for a highly trafficked board, especially one like IlliniBoard. The main problems the threaded model has is the fact that discussions that are filled with pertinent information get tossed down to the bottom when every new post is added, in this new format, these posts will remain at the top when people respond. This will allow for discussions to stay around longer, and also remove some of the German posts for posting same day links (I knew there was a God).

You user name may have to change on the new forums because the system on TheInsiders.com does not allow the use of spaces or other punctuation. Last week, I made a pull of the entire IlliniBoard.com Fan Forum database and have attempted to import each of your e-mails and passwords into TheInsiders.com system. Each of you should have already received an e-mail stating that your account has been imported into the system; now all you will need to do is login with your e-mail address and IlliniBoard.com password. Then, when you login you will be asked to provide a new user name. If you already have a TheInsiders.com account, you can use that one for posting as all accounts work across the entire network.

CAN I CHANGE THE FORMAT TO LOOK LIKE THE OLD ILLINIBOARD?
I know a lot of people loved the old format of IlliniBoard.com because they were used to it, and it flowed so well when people posted on it. It was very conversational in its nature, especially the Deuce. I a, working to keep the Deuce as close to what it was before, but it will not be a true copy of the Deuce, and for that I apologize.

The other boards, I will admit to preferring the flat view for discussion because it keeps discussions that people are in at the top. Yes, some can get very, very long, but this way the same discussion is not started multiple times with people then calling it German or telling people to scroll. That happened on a daily basis on the Hoops and Football Forums, so this should eliminate that.

WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO USE UPLOAD AN IMAGE?
Simple answer: Yes, and you can post the same images you did on IlliniBoard before on IlliniBoard in the future. The same simple rules exist.

WHAT ARE THESE TWO NEW BOARDS?
In an effort to get discussion going about the other sports being played on the Illinois campus, I thought it would be better to create a board known as the Olympic Sports Board. This board will be used to discuss women's basketball so it is not overrun by traffic on the basketball board, tennis, wrestling, baseball, and any other non-revenue sport.

The other thing I have noticed is that often time IlliniBoarders have liked to talk about the Bulls, the Lakers, the Bears, the Pistons, the Knicks, the Packers, the Rams, the Cardinals, and any other team on the face of the earth in professional sports, and there has never really been a home for these type of discussions on IlliniBoard, now there is: the Professional Sports Forum.

WHAT ABOUT THE DAILY NEWS LINKS & RECRUITING DATABASES?
You will need to update your bookmark to the daily news links, but they will remain an integral part of IlliniBoard.com, as it was the one thing I did with regularity. This recruiting database is not the same as the one housed by TheInsiders.com, but it will now have much more information available to it for viewing and I will now have the time to keep it updated at much more regular intervals.

CONCLUSION
I know change is not always good, but I will work my ass off to make this change good. I know many people will not like the change initially, and will be scared off by what I did, but to be honest I think it was about time that something like this happened. I put it off for two and a half years because I easily could and now I can admit that it was not an easy decision to make, but it was also one that I needed to make for various reasons that I can explain in more detail if you would like to know through a personal e-mail.

I am excited to start working with Kedric, Michael Bates, Chris Patton, and the rest of the Illini Nation staff as I think we are going to make a great team that will provide you some of the best in Illini news for the future. Not only will I get to work with other Illini fans in producing a great site, I will be able to work with many other great sites from rival universities, the sites all Illinois fans love to hate and mock like Hawkeye Nation, Phog.net, Inside Carolina, and The Devils Den.

I ask that you give us some time while we clean up our dust. The fan forums may change in look as the days progress, and I know the front page will. Give us time, and we will answer any question you have for us as best we can. If I don't know an answer, I will tell you that and try to find the answer.


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