It's hard to believe it, but it was only 2 months ago that we were scrambling for a home as our long-time Kinja home was being shuttered with little notice.
Late Friday night the 6th as we'd had a couple days to ponder our own demise life rafts were popping up everywhere and rats were fleeing the burning ship. None of the homes quite spoke to me as none of them felt like Oppo to me.
I was particularly vulnerable to this loss as I was 2,100 miles away from my wife at the time, alone in a studio hotel room in San Jose starting a new job and looking for a house. This left me with a lot of spare time, and frankly I'd been drinking too that Friday night.
After seeing many comments from other folks felling the loss as hard as I was and also afraid that this would mean the death of Oppo I resolved to put my energy into something productive. I'd build a forum!
I knew the old standby PHPBB wouldn't work for most of the youths on Oppo, they all thought Forums were old and stodgy and wouldn't be swayed. Thus my research started - there had to be an option, something open source I could spin up that had a more modern feel to it. Wordpress didn't do it, ultimately very customizable but not designed for hundreds of authors! Especially in the short term I needed something that would allow users to flock to it en-masse.
After hours of drinking, chatting with folks on discord, eating pizza and researching I thought I found something. NodeBB. It was a fairly modern platform written in NodeJS that looked good, was open source and kept reasonably up to date by the devs.
Now it was time to log into my AWS account and spin up an instance to play with and buy a domain name to point at it. Opposite-lock.com was available so I bought it intending it as a temporary home for testing (we may still move to the non-hyphenated domain, still TBD).
After many hours alternating between putty, the admin panel here and drinking (plus some more pizza) I had something vaguely usable. This was now the waning hours hours of the 6th but had made a basic and useful shell. The first post on the Hyphen was fittingly about motorcycles. No actual content, just a picture to test upload and basic content.
More tinkering was done and then I made a brief intro post about the Forum and tossed a link in Discord for folks to check it out.
My intent was to get some feedback from folks, improve and see how it went. Feedback was fast and excellent. Folks both encouraging me and pointing out things that needed fixed. It quickly started to gain far more traction than I was expecting as folks were posting about it on Kinja Oppo and such.
Folks like @RallyDarkstrike @MM54 @nickhasanexocet and @Jb-boin came on early providing feedback, fixes and in-depth testing. I also want to thank @Curators they all came on early and expressed a desire to help in one way or another and thus the group was formed. This thing has grown far past what I had dreamed, it seems to be the home of Oppo right now.
The last two months have been incredible, the outpouring of support from everyone has just blown me away. Folks volunteering their time, love, content, talent and money. The was we've pulled together has blown me away.
We've consistently grown even past where I thought we'd be stuck for a while. As of today we have 623 users and are registering over 1.1 million page views a month!
Here's a snapshot of traffic since the beginning.
That huge spike was the actual death of Oppo. Nearly crashed the server...
Thanks for reading this, I wanted to put this all down as a post both the celebrate us making it 2 months and to make a sort of record of it's beginnings instead of it just existing in comments on dead Oppo and in discord history.
As always - thanks for being a part of Oppo and if you have any questions, concerns or thoughts about things feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org