A while ago I finally got fed up with a hosting service I was using for a particular product's web registration service, so I moved everything to a new host and decided to make some needed changes. One change in particular was the message board. I was using phpbb and was spending too much time battling spammers. I originally had it to where anyone could post, because most people with legit questions prefer not to have to create accounts. This of course was fine until the spammers found it, so I turned on the all the validation stuff and people just stopped using the board entirely (and emailing me questions). With the new host I was in need of a new message board, so I decided to make one myself using Flex (and PHP5). This is the current board: http://www.vdrillpro.net/flexboard/
My concept is to allow people to post semi-anonymously by allowing users to use any name they want, and all they have to do it leave a valid email address that no one can see (but admins). Users then have to enter a validation code, and are then sent an email in which they have to click on the provided link to move their message out of the queue and on to the board to be seen by others. I am hoping that the anonymous posting will encourage more legit posters, and that with the email validation it will slow down the spam but not be too much of a pain. I also built in the ability to ban email addresses by regular expression, which allows me to use keywords and do stuff like ban all .info, .biz, .cn, and .ru addresses.
The layout is also different, displaying topics and comments in grid form to give it more of a desktop application feel:
Topic view allows the user to see the full content of the post, and all of the replies in grid form:
Replies also allow rich text with links:
An validation code must also be entered before a post is queued:
An email is then sent to the address that was entered containing a link. When the user clicks on that link the post is out of the queue and can then be seen on the message board.