Jul
3
2012

Interview with Ryan Owner of Postloop.com

We did a interview with Ryan who is the owner/founder over at Postloop.com which is a very popular forum posting and blog comment network. They help hundreds (if not thousands) of forum owners and blog owners continue to keep a active blog & forum! We hope you enjoy the interview!

1. Where did your inspiration come from to create Postloop?

My inspiration for Postloop came primarily from two places. The first is simply my experience as a forum owner. I’ve run many forums in the past, dating back to 2002. Like most other forum owners, I struggled to generate activity for my forums at times. If I had to pick the most common thing that forum owners struggle with, it would probably be generating activity. There are a number of different ways to address this. Some work, some do not, and some only work if executed properly. Post exchanging falls into the third category. It works, but getting it to work effectively can require a good bit of trial and error. Postloop helps forum owners to exchange posts while guiding them through the process, decreasing their odds of doing it incorrectly.

My second source of inspiration for Postloop actually came from a similar system that I created in the past, called PostFusion. PostFusion at its core was very similar to Postloop. It was an automated system for exchanging posts. Instead of being a standalone platform, it was more of a subset of a larger “Forum for Forum Owners” that I ran called AdminFusion. I was always restricted in what I could do with PostFusion because of its tight integration with AdminFusion, and I also sold AdminFusion and PostFusion together back in 2005. I could see that the concept behind PostFusion was always a very powerful one, but the new owners never did embrace it. Years later, I knew there was still some demand for such a
system, so I decided to reinvent it via Postloop.

2. Where do you see Postloop being a year from now? Do you believe that the market for post exchange is growing or decreasing?

Postloop continues to grow, and I hope it will continue to do so not just next year, but for many years to come. It’s hard for me to determine whether or not the market for post exchanging is growing or decreasing. I was out of touch with the forum industry for a while after selling AdminFusion, and even today, it’s not easy for me to gauge overall activity in the forum industry outside of Postloop itself. Postloop has grown, but that does not necessarily mean that the demand for such a system has grown. When you figure out a way to measure the market for post exchanges, let me know 

3. Do you do all the behind the scenes work for Postloop as far as the development and maintenance?

I do all of the development and most of the maintenance. I have one other staff member, Mikey from Mikeylicious, who helps to provide support and review new writers. As you may or may not know, all new writers at
Postloop must submit an “application” with 10 posts to prove that they can meet our quality expectations. Mikey helps to process these applications, and he also provides support in our official support forums. Everything else, I do.

4. As you are the owner of a post exchange website we must ask you, are you currently a member on any forums? If so, what is your favorite niche?

I’ve probably built up 50+ forum accounts over the years but only visit a handful daily. Rarely do I actually have time to POST in any of them, but I do browse. I primarily browse webmaster forums, forums for my local area,
college football forums, and gaming forums. From time to time I find myself browsing fish aquarium forums, grilling forums, and home beer making forums. I don’t have as much time as I’d like to actually participate in these forums, unfortunately.

5. What made you decide to start up Postloop? Also, why did you choose the name Postloop?

See question #1 for why I started Postloop. As for the name, I wanted something that looked good written down, was meaningful, and also easy to remember. I tossed around many ideas and finally settled on Postloop.

I liked the way that “postloop” looks in a logo. The lowercase ‘p’ at the beginning with two tall ‘tl’ letters in the middle and a second lowercase ‘p’ at the end provides almost perfect symmetry. I still use a capital P when discussing Postloop in type to make it stand out.

Postloop is, at its core, a “post exchange”. I wanted the name to encompass this meaning. The name can be broken down into two parts, “Post” and
“Loop”. “Loop” could be used as another way to describe an “exchange”, and so the term “Post Loop” to describe a “Post Exchange” only seemed natural.

Lastly, I wanted something that was easy to remember. This means something that sounds good coming off the tongue and also something that few people and cultures are going to disagree with on the spelling or meaning. “Post” is a universal word, widely used among forum owners, and its meaning in the forum industry cannot be disputed. There is only one way to spell “Loop”. It’s also a very common word and has few meanings. It’s extremely easy to spell and is very Web 2.0, whether good or bad, it is.

As an interesting aside, I originally blueprinted an automated post exchange system a couple years ago (before the release of Postloop). Myself and another developer were planning this system but it never came to be. We tentatively came to the agreement to use the name “ForumJuice”. When I started planning what is now Postloop, I did a search for forumjuice.comand immediately saw that it was no longer available. That is when I started searching for different names. I’m glad that it happened, because I like the name Postloop far more than ForumJuice for the reasons above. Furthermore, Postloop is more generic than ForumJuice and can allow me to branch out into other worlds, not just forums…such as, Blogs! Postloop is actually compatible with WordPress blogs as well, to exchange blog comments. This was not originally planned when creating Postloop, but it did come to be, and trying to integrate blog commenting under the name”ForumJuice” certainly would not seem right.

6. How selective are you when you are choosing members to represent Postloop and become posters for your service?

Quite selective. Some days it seems like I go through 20 applications and only approve 1 of them. Sometimes that is probably the case, although we do also get some large batches of great writers. I just ran a quick calculation and see that since we started the review process for new writers, we’ve approved, on average, 50% of those who apply.

7. Do you have any new features or updates coming up in the near future that you would like to give our readers a “sneak peak” on?

I’m currently tweaking our tracking script to better support software types and conversions from one forum software to another, but that is all behind the scenes for the most part. There are not currently any large front end changes planned. If you are reading this and have any ideas or desires for Postloop, please let me know! It’s feature-packed, and it’s getting quite difficult to generate new ideas.

8. Are you planning on expanding Postloop any further in the future to offer further services or are you satisfied with the current services you provide?

No plans at this time, no. Right now it facilitates forum post exchanging and blog comment exchanging. I’ve yet to see a need elsewhere for a similar system.

9. As this is a much debated topic we would like to ask you as well, do you feel that forum activity is decreasing overall? Do you feel that social networks such as Twitter, Facebook etc are taking over?

As with question #2, this one is a bit hard to measure for me because of my Postloop tunnel vision. Common sense would say that with the rise of social networks, the activity in forums could go no other direction but down. If I had to guess, that is indeed probably the case. Do I believe that social networking will ultimately kill forums? No, I do not. Social networks as they are today are not able to replace what forums offer. Forums cater towards special interests better than any social network I have ever seen. After all, where can you go on Facebook to talk to thousands of people about repairing garage doors or farming poultry? These are a couple of forum topics that I have seen participate at Postloop. There is no social network that can feasibly bring together hundreds or thousands of people to discuss poultry farming. If and when social networks are able to address this issue, forums may be at the risk of falling, but until that happens, I don’t think there is any need for concern.

One of the reasons that social networks receive so much attention over forums is because there are so few social networks, but the bigger ones that do exist are HUGE. In comparison, there is a huge number of forums out there, but the average activity at each is quite small. The total activity across all of these forums would be staggering. I’ve never seen those numbers myself, but the total traffic across all social networks vs the total traffic across all forums is probably not as far apart as most people would believe.

In short, have social networks caused a decline in forum activity? Yes. Are they the end of forum activity? No, and in my opinion, that will continue to be the case for years to come.

10. How would you say Postloop stands as far as the post exchange service goes overall?

It’s the best! Seriously, if you own a forum and have not tried it out, you need to give it a shot. Even if you have had bad experiences with post exchanges in the past, try Postloop. It is not a traditional post exchange and you will be surprised at how much better it works than a traditional post exchange.

 

We hope you enjoyed our interview with Ryan!

7 Comments + Add Comment

  • This is a great interview! I have never really thought about this before, but the site does seem to be very useful. I am glad to see they care about their customers so much they scan through each of the potential writers before approving them! Without this I am sure the sites would fail.

  • Interesting to see where he got his inspiration from. It was definitely a great idea on his part. I am sure a lot of forum and blog owners really appreciate everything that PostLoop does for them. It really is a great and easy way to drive traffic to your website. I definitely think I would consider signing up for PostLoop if I ever started a blog or forum. It would really help increase the number of views if you were attempting to use the blog/forum as a source of income.

  • Of course his idea is very original, because postloop is a site like no other, which not only lets your website get known better but also brings real readers.PostLoop would be the perfect solution to gain an increase of views in your site.

  • Postloop is the first genuine site of it’s kind. The application process with 10 posts seems like a great way to receive quality posters as well as giving the posters an idea of what is expected of them. If I were a forum owner I would certainly appreciate the high quality posts that the site and it’s users provide. I would go so far as to say if I were to start a forum from the ground up, I would NEED a site like Postloop.

  • In the past I have been a “post for pay” writer and it seems like Ryan has addressed all the negative aspects of the run of the mill post for pay sites. I may have to check out what he has to offer from the writer’s side.

  • I have use postloop and its either hit or miss. Some times you get a outstanding poster and other times you get subpar posters. But in Ryans defence you can rate the bad posters down and revoke them and they will be unable to post after so many bad ratings.

    Greg

  • Another successful entrepreneur story. I think its time for me to get off my bum and start brain storming and coming up with some awesome web ideas.

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