The Wayback Machine: Infopop and OpenTopic

We've come a long way together, baby.


Last week, we migrated the last remaining sites using OpenTopic over to Eve Community.  Thinking about OpenTopic, which was our first scalable, Enterprise-level hosted platform, made me very nostalgic.


I thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane a bit and share some old screen captures from the early years of OpenTopic.


Back in 1999, we released the UBB (Ultimate Bulletin Board), a Perl-based message board software that was super easy to install and run, even with no geek credentials.  It was also the first message board software to have a graphic control panel for the admin, first to use a table-formatted interface, and first to incorporate many of the features we all take for granted now, like automatic smilies and sticky topics.


That was exciting!


We then had lots of larger customers who wanted an "Enterprise" version of UBB. We set to work building it, and along the way we became Infopop.  This was our first logo. I think my instruction to our designer was "make it look like the original King Kong-era Empire State Building."  The lightbulb icon actually took us all the way into 2005, although the logo changed a few times along the way.


Screen Shot 2012-04-07 at 9.10.01 AM


OpenTopic was XML-based, hosted, with an Oracle database back-end, and introduced a whole new world of flexibility to community admins, with full templating, language, and graphic customization at the ready.  


I always referred to this site (below) as the "cheerleader" site.  It was our first professionally designed website, and it took us forever to create it.  


Screen Shot 2012-04-07 at 9.11.55 AM


The next OpenTopic website introduced rounded corners (very "in" at the time).  Notice Infopop still has the lightbulb, and our tagline was "adding life to your site," something that's been constant since our start.  Also in this screenshot, our news box announces Scripps and Discovery as new customers...we're proud to be supporting both of those communities today.


Screen Shot 2012-04-07 at 9.12.51 AM



And now, is leading the charge for online community, helping to bring social conversation back home to your website.  I'm so excited about where things are heading!


Oh, and did I mention that we can import your UBB, UBB.threads, vBulletin, or phpBB community into  


If you're ready to come home, just put in a request on our support site: ---we'll put out the welcome mat.


Photos (3)


I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.

Add Comment

Comments (1)

Newest · Oldest · Popular