Articles - Community Interview: Snarfblatt, creator of AOFroobs.comThis week we've managed to interview Snarfblatt. He's the Project leader of AOFroobs (http://aofroobs.com). AOFroobs is a popular forums based website, focused on the players without paid expansions in Anarchy Online (a.k.a. Froobs).
Hello Snarfblatt, could you give us some background info about your AO life?
I began playing AO back in December of 2004 when the Free to play program just launched. A friend of mine, Jiistme, wanted me to try out this MMORPG. At the time I had never played this type of game before and have to admit at first I wasn’t much into it. I played for a week then quit for about a month. Then Jiistme got me back in around January 2005, there was no turning back.
I played as a froob with just a group of my friends, we had our own org (Jiistus) and only played in our little group for a while. Then Jiistme, who got me into the game, stopped playing and his wife asked us to join her org, The Knights of Ka. This was my first experience with a real org. I was still a froob, but the Knights treated me like I was no different, it was like a family.
I continued my journey through Rubi-ka for a few more years, working my way up to General in the org and finally taking over as President in 2007. I retired as president in December of 2010.
Back in October of 2005 you created AOFroobs.com, what inspired you to make it?
I was at work one day, looking up information about the game and noticed a lot of the AO fansites were stagnant, the information was old and there was no way for me to post on the official forums to try to find out fresh information. So after talking about it with Pnunu (my friend and business partner) we decided to throw together a forum and called it AO Froobs. The forum for froobs to have a voice. I never really expected it to take off like it did. I submitted it to Funcom as a fansite and was excited when it got listed. Our membership started growing and our community was growing strong.
Were you surprised at the amount of positive feedback and support you gained from the community with AOFroobs?
I was completely surprised by the amount of feedback and input I got from the members. This was my first experience with running a forum and the amount of support I got from the members was exciting. At first I was worried about populating the site with information, but I ended up not having to do much, because the community itself did most of the work for me.
Does AOFroobs have a team or are you running it on your own?
I have a few moderators on the site, but the maintenance and upkeep of the site has generally been done only by me and Pnunu.
How is the site funded, is there a sponsor or is it based on donations?
I have a very (very) small web hosting company I run on the side, so the web server is “free”. I do have ads, running on the site, but those actually don’t pay much of anything anymore. In fact I’ve been considering just taking them off.
If there was a feature you could add to the site, what would it be?
I would love for it to have automatic updates. I use phpbb as the forum software and there are constantly security updates and it always makes me nervous installing those.
There also seems to be an AOFroobs twitter, is it used often?
I set that twitter account up a while ago, mainly to hold the name. I’ve never really used it for much.
Has there ever been a problem moderating the forums?
Forum moderation hasn’t been too bad. I’ve always had some fantastic moderators. We’ve only had to ban a few people in the 6 years. The biggest issue is combating spam accounts. We’ve instituted a first post queue, meaning all new members have to have their first post approved by a moderator to then get to post freely. This has helped with spam accounts quite a bit.
With the current change in some AO fansites who are starting to cross promote through banners, will AOFroobs be doing something similar?
I’m always up to cross promotion. Anything that would help out this fantastic AO community. I haven’t been actively seeking this out though.
Where do you see the site a year from now?
I’ve always told the members of AOFroobs, as long as there is AO to play, we will be around. Even though I’m not playing AO nearly as much as I have in the past, I still love this game and community.
Thank you for your time Snarfblatt, is there anything else you wish to add in closing?
I would like to thank the AOU team for giving me this opportunity. I remember when AOU was first coming to life, it was right around the time AOFroobs was starting up. Its exciting to see how much it has grown and how helpful it has been to AO.
Article written by Windguaerd
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