Online Communities in the Post-Facebook Era

Matt Mecham‘s code has powered far too many online communities to count. Developing popular online community software since 2001, he worked on YaBB and founded Ikonboard, before co-founding Invision Power Services, the company behind Invision Community.

Given his long view of the industry, Matt sees the timeline of online community as progressing through a few eras: The early years, when he began developing software. The middle years, where platforms became more cognizant of UI considerations and SEO. The recent years, Facebook opening to the public and the resulting impact. And now, which he refers to as the “post-Facebook era.” Where will online communities go in that era? Plus:

  • The community software business shift from licensing to SaaS (software as a service)
  • New features vs. bloat
  • Why he turned down a job offer from vBulletin

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Big Quotes

“Running a good community is transcendent of the software you use.” –@mattmecham

“Facebook is very much about now, what’s happening now. You try and find, even in a group, even a moderately busy group, trying to find something from last week is chaos. It’s crazy. It’s really really hard to do, so I think people that have had success with Facebook Groups are now looking at the next step. What’s the next step that they’ve got to take? They understand that they can’t keep a Facebook group because it’s too chaotic, once you get to 5,000, 10,000 people posting.” –@mattmecham

About Matt Mecham

Matt Mecham is a print designer turned Perl developer turned PHP developer. He has been creating community software since 2001. Matt founded Ikonboard and then started Invision Power Services with Charles Warner in 2002. 15 years later, their product, Invision Community, powers countless communities. Matt leads development and social media marketing. He still codes and, even though he’s been doing it forever, really enjoys it.

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