Final Thoughts about Beehive

By Jim Lynch  |  Posted 2005-02-15 Print this article Print

Over the years weve used many different kinds of message board software. Weve seen it all and we think that Beehive is, hands down, the single best piece of forum software weve used. Its designed by people who genuinely love participating and managing online communities, and the feature sets in it come not just from the hard working developers, but also from the people who use the software. The Beehive developers have been quite responsive to suggestions and requests from Beehives community of users. When we first set up our own little message board, we used phpBB, and we got very few people dropping by. At best we got a few posts a month in our forum. Since we switched to Beehive our forum grew organically to have more than 200 registered members, 2663 threads and 62,180 posts. And this in a forum that really isnt about anything in particular! Its basically a small talk forum for whoever decides to drop in. Pretty much everyone who has tried Beehive in our forum has fallen in love with it, and some have even decided to set up their own Beehive based communities. John Fish, one of the ExtremeTech forums most prominent members, has even started a Linux Newbies forum using Beehive and other forum members are considering it as a replacement for their phpBB based forums.
Find out more from our Software and Development section.
Even though Beehive is listed as a .5 release, we think it stacks up well against any other piece of message board software out there right now. In fact, we think its better than any other piece of software weve seen. It even includes a "Beehive Light" version of the forum for those accessing it via small devices that cant display a frames based interface properly. If youre looking for a piece of forum software to build a community for your site, be sure to give Beehive a download. Its well worth a look. After you install you can get assistance at the official Beehive site or at Teh forum, where the Beehive developers hang out. Will you be using Beehive for your forum? Tell me in the ET forum.
Product: Beehive Forum .5
Web site: Project: Beehive Forum
Pros: Excellent interface; superb user management; great tool set.
Cons: Thread options could be tweaked a bit; no official support, just informal community support.
Summary: Beehive has often been overshadowed by other open source forum software such as phpBB and others. But it is second to none when it comes to user management, interface, and admin tools. All in all it is an excellent piece of software for building and managing a message board based online community.
Price: Free

Jim manages the PC Magazine and ExtremeTech forums, and is responsible for building community in the forums on both sites. He started managing PC Mag's forum on ZiffNet on CompuServe many years ago. He then transferred the staff and expertise to the Web. He left ZDNet when it moved to San Francisco and came back to Ziff after the split from ZDNet, right before ExtremeTech launched. You can get more background at his personal site:

His favorite movies include Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Three Musketeers (1973 version), Dune (Sci Fi Channel version), and gobs of others. He can't live without his iPAQ Pocket PC—,he uses it at the gym and everywhere else—,and his DVD collection features more than 200 films. His favorite game is Tribes (PC), which is more than three years old but he still plays it all the time.

Jim likes interacting with the folks in the forum and the content. 'I Love both of 'em,' says Lynch. 'It's what makes the job fun and interesting.'

You're welcome to visit Jim's site for more information about him.


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