ftlog: the free forum network: about

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About ftlog
ftlog is a free community and forum engine provider.

For maximum performance, control, support and automatic updates we host the forums on our own servers. We aim to keep the end cost to the user as low as possible - for many users this should be zero - nothing!

"Our aim is to provide the best forum engine, at the most affordable price, with the fastest performance - all connected as one big network."
Our primary drive is to achieve this goal - not for profit - but for the enhancement and growth of social interaction on the Internet benefitting clubs, groups, webmasters and businesses alike.

One ftlog member account gives you access to all our forums!

Please click here to find out why ftlog really is the business, and what it can do for you!

The history of ftlog can be traced back to 1999 when the founders envisaged a huge network of Internet based communities to replace the out dated Usenet system. Like Usenet, the new system would be free to all, though at the time the logistics of providing this seemed almost impossible without a similar level of support that Usenet attracted from ISP's.

A prototype web-based forum engine mated to a Windows software client reader was released the following year to a small audience. It proved very popular, but it was clear that to be feasible on a large scale considerable reworking would be necessary.

Web-based forums were becoming quite popular by this time, and it was deemed that the new version should provide the accessibility of these types of forum mated with the structured message nature of Usenet. The initial version developed already went a long way to meeting these requirements.

By 2000 / 2001 the dot-com bubble had well and truly burst, and this was being experienced first hand: shortage of funds were a significant problem.

However, the concept was being developed further all the time and though 2002 saw the demise of the original test service the forum was now entering it's 7th version running on several public websites. An alternative interim software client was also tested during this time with mixed results. This provided valuable feedback which would be carried through into later versions.

Whilst money issues were still being sorted in late 2002, bespoke server software was being developed which would provide the ultimate in speed and reliability specifically for the forum software.

A draft specification for the ftlog service had now been arrived at, and had the following targets:
  • network of communities all accessible under a single account
  • remotely hosted free service
  • no banners
  • access by web browser, e-mail or downloadable software client
  • very fast forum
  • support for threaded or flat forums, with various permutations
  • additional community features such as galleries
  • highly customizable appearance, page layout and structure
  • Early 2003 saw the successfull test of two applications running our bespoke server software with brilliant success, these also doubled as the final source of income for the completion of ftlog which begun in earnest during the summer of 2003.

    Alpha and Beta test programmes were scheduled for early 2004, with a full public service becoming operational later in the year.


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