The Current Problems With Pligg.com

The Problems With Pligg.comPligg an open source digg clone php web application released v9.9.0 way back in January 2008, since then however the Pligg project has seen a significant downturn in user uptake of the system, support, development and overall traffic. With users support requests being unanswered or simply deleted, developers ripping security patch code from other systems, and general project and staff disarray where and when did it all go wrong for the once promising pligg project?.

Back in January 2008 the future was looking bright for pligg a new release v9.9.0, a thirst for digg clones, active development and an uptake of the system by users all helped the project to grow. These seem to have been the halcyon days for the pligg project and when it hit it’s peak, ever since pligg has seen nothing but controversy, developers misleading the community, a thirst for revenue, bad press, useless and novice looking Pligg Pro store content, and a drastic fall in site traffic and user numbers.

So where did it all go wrong for Pligg and how exactly do you go about managing to all but kill an open source project in a six month period?

Communication Issues
First of there is the subject of communication from the pligg team to it’s community, there simply wasn’t any for around six months. In Feburary 2008 AshDigg pligg’s lead coder decided to leave the project after becoming disillusioned with it’s overall direction and leadership, this was something the pligg team failed to confirm or mention after his departure leaving the entire community in limbo and subsequently no new version of the system being released for eight months.

Nearly every other open source project have really good communication with their user base and press, this is important as users who are kept informed to what is going on stand by and support the project and pligg has neither. What pligg done by not communicating with there community was cause controversy, rumors (That Were Proved To Be True), unrest and confusion to spill out in waves into the community.

For some reason though pligg thought it better to to keep saying “It’s All Right”, “Don’t Worry”, “We are working hard on a new version”, all of which proved to be completely misleading and far from revealing the actual truth of projects state.

Criticism
Pligg have a track record of taking any type of criticism really badly be it constructive or detrimental, it’s worth noting positive comments are more than welcomed by the pligg team so as long as you like what they do you won’t have any problems. Criticize and like the many others before you face your topic being deleted or worse getting yourself banned from the forums altogether.

Open Source projects are always open to criticism good and bad and if you run a project you will need to be able to take both on board and respond accordingly and in a controlled manner. Pligg however cannot seem to respond to criticism or have any constructive discussion on subjects they don’t approve of or find hard to answer. More so ChuckRoast a pligg team member could be considered a loose cannon and one of the reasons forum replies at pligg can seem obnoxious, unhelpful or downright rude at times.

This post is the type that usually disappears within a couple of replies Pligg – Too Many Bugs

Censorship
Each website owner has the definite right to decide what posts or comments remain on their forums, it is there site after all. Pligg over the past few months have banned users and consistently deleted or locked forum threads they cannot answer or just do not like.

This also keeps a lot of the truth from their forums, making the project look a good option for new users.

Some examples of perfectly good discussions that have been closed at Pligg along with reasons from the pligg team why they were closed. Most of the important threads at pligg have been deleted so they can no longer be accessed, it’s a miracle the ones below have survived.

pligg version 9.9.1

No reason given other than the topic wasn’t liked and had raised some questions over the lack of pliggs development. It’s also worth noting in this thread how the pligg again resort to lieing in a weak attempt by YankiDank and Chuck to distract from the truth.

next release? 1.0

Closed By YankiDank – I’m closing this thread because there are too many requests for a timeline and we have repeatedly stated that we have no such thing.

Pligg Development Ceases?

Closed By ChuckRoast – The answer was already given. Pligg development has not stopped. I am not sure why that seems so hard for everyone to understand. This thread is turning into nothing but gross speculation so I will be locking it down.

NOTE: The reason this particular thread above seems to have been locked is because it asked questions the team simply couldn’t answer in the slightest, if they had answered truthfully from what we know now the project would have seemed dead and Dave the original poster would have had his suspicious proved right. Development had indeed ceased completely during the months of Feburary to July.

SocialCMSBuzz gets banned from the pligg forums for revealing PYcURL Security Vulnerability

Costs

Costs and Revenue generation is pligg’s main downfall of seemingly not having any staff with business acumen or project management skills comes to the forefront.

Pligg had tried to unsuccessfully sell the project in 2007, which months later was brushed off as simply a we wondered how much we would get exercise claiming no intention to sell in the first place..

To try and generate revenue pligg opened the Pligg Pro store which to be honest sells a lot of content that looks to have been coded by a 3 year old. A high percentage of modules available are really simple and crudely constructed efforts with most if not all providing no real use or value to your pligg based site.

With a project thats still in BETA and has lots of bugs trying to sell modules as addons was a business mistake, the system needs to be good enough first and not BETA for people to accept paid additions. One of the larger problems though is the habit pligg have of trying to sell addon modules that really should be included in the system as standard, selling a module that deletes stories titled Trashmaster is one of the more ridiculous ones available for an addition cost of $9.99.

Pligg is all about the money and making a profit from the project, it’s worth noting though that recent donation drives etc have proved failures with the latest one being the developer donation fund raiser. The fund started off looking for $1000, it was then dropped to $500 a few days later and eventually was abandoned after a few weeks when it failed to raise a single $1.

Pligg’s entire business model seems to be based on ripping off their community by selling weak products and additions for a low amount of dollars. This model requires high volume purchases to make any real income, and pligg don’t have high volume traffic anymore. The reason pligg’s product prices are so low is not to attract users, it’s because pligg know the products to be sub standard and charging more would mean absolutely no takers.

Project Development

Pligg’s development has been dead since Feburary, thats a fact. Yes pligg released a new version v9.9.5 to fix some security bugs and add some hastily coded and thought out additions, the eventual revelation revealed by us was that pligg had actually taken all of the fixes and updates from Social Web CMS a competing system built upon the same code base.

Pligg then once again bare faced lied to their community members that they had employed and paid for a 3rd party developer to code the new version, truth was they had simply lifted, stolen the code from another system that had been released a full day earlier. This is the type of behavior that pligg displayed in the vain attempt to keep there project looking active is a regular occurrence, why? well to try and generate more revenue of course they need a working system so members can purchase modules and templates.

Currently pligg development additions are mostly code snippets that have been posted in the pligg forums by users or two buggy templates titled “Lemon Twist” and “MacBlue” by the team, these submitted code snippets are then copied and pasted into the Pligg SVN. This isn’t development more lets add everything we can with no obvious goals or project road map, development is another area where pligg fails badly due to being hugely disorganized also still not having a developer who really knows PHP doesn’t help.

You can keep an eye on pliggs SVN additions from the projects twitter page http://twitter.com/pligg, with pligg’s past track record for secrecy however after this article the SVN updates might be stopped posting to twitter although we hope that isn’t the case.

If your running Version v9.9.5 you are actually using the Social Web CMS System without knowing it.

Here are some related articles on pliggs overall development that if we hadn’t written about would never have come to be public knowledge.

Pligg CMS System Hasn’t Been Developed Since Feburary 12th 2008

Pligg Development Hasn’t Stopped It’s Just Went Private For Now?

Pligg.com What’s Really Going On? – This was the article that really caught the attention of Pligg and also from which Social Web CMS was born.

Pligg Beta 9.9.0 Remote SQL Injection Vulnerability Discovered

Yet More Security Vulnerabilities Found In Pligg V9.9.0

YADC: A Fork Of The Pligg CMS System Launches It’s BETA 1 Release

Pligg Beta v9.9.5 Released Or Should We Call It YADC?

Yet More Proof Of Pligg Ripping Code Straight From Social Web CMS Project’s SVN

As you can see from the articles above pligg is more than an embarrassment to the overall ethos of the open source community.

Pligg Support

System and Forum Support is another area where pligg fails miserably, the pligg forum has 100’s of unanswered support requests and recently unless you provide the Pligg team with your exact setup details you wont receive any help whatsoever other than a repetitive standard reply if your lucky.

For new users to pligg and php who know nothing of their server setup this is asking a little much, pligg require you full server environment and a very detailed description of your error. Even then having given as much information as possible stopping just short of your social security number the most common reply we have witnessed in recent times is “We haven’t been able to recreate your error” on our setup. This normally leaves the user with no solution to there problem and usually no further help is offered by the pligg team.

Copyright and Licensing Issues

Pligg are usually very quick to demand that the Pligg.com link and license text remains in the footer of your install or templates, in the same breath though they sell modules and templates that break the original GPL license they were released under. Pligg seem to have invented their own moral stance rather than following licensing requirements of other open source projects.

The lemon twist template for example only had a link ot the original authour added after a comment on their forums pointed out they were breaking the templates GPL Licence? if that comment had not been made pligg be under no illusions they would have broken the GPL license the template was originally released under as a wordrpess theme and done it intentionally. Pligg are alleged developers and we use the term “developers loosely” “so they will have know that leaving that link out of the footer was breaking the license.

In the past pligg has also previously stolen one of our free templates titled CoolWater with ChuckRoast making some amateur edits and it was then placed on sale in the Pligg Pro store for $19.99. After complaint and some considerable amount of hassle the template was removed from their store. Also the fact we created an identical template DarkWater to the one they were selling and gave it away for free helped us to get it removed from their store. This is just another example of pliggs underhand and unmoral conduct in their hunt for cash income.

This post we made at the time explains exactly what pligg tried to pass of as there own work. Pligg Trying To Sell CoolWater After Editing.

Experienced Members and Contributors

Unfortunately for pligg it would seem that most of the experienced members and contributors have now left the building as to speak. Back in January there were lots of members contributing code, templates and feature improvements to the pligg forums. It would seem ChuckRoast and YankiDank are now being forced to provide most of the content on site thats not one of the many criticism or bug related posts.

Needless to say that most of the content on pligg nowadays is either out of date, not working or buried in amongst the many other posts and is just too hard too find. New members to the site will have a real problem finding the information they are looking from and could waste days online sifting through all the redundant threads.

Conclusion

Pligg has lied, cheated and intentionally mislead their community which in turn has ultimately had a detrimental effect on the project over the past few months. The main killer for pligg however was the complete lack of development of the project until their hand was finally forced by the Social Web CMS system being released. Only with the release of Social Web CMS that prompted a panicked reaction from the pligg team along with a flurry of PR disasters since, Pligg now seem to have an “Everybody Has It In For Me, We Need To Do Anything We Can To Survive Attitude”. This attitude would go a long way to explaining why pligg then needed to continually steal code from a competing system in order to release v9.9.5 of pligg, it would also explain the sudden increase in user bans, thread deletion and locking of threads in their forums.

The sad fact of the pligg situation is that a lot of users who adopted the pligg system are now looking to alternatives like Drigg for drupal. Some pligg site owners are actually serious about there project which is something pligg blatantly fail to recognize or support, pligg is not a professional grade CMS system in anyway and should be used only by hobbyists for small sites. If you speak with any experienced owner of a pligg site who knows what they are doing and actually have an active, trafficked web site their response is not one of warmth. Most have had major problems, crashes, bugs, spam attacks that have all effected the overall success of their project, this eventually leads to owners becoming tired of the system.

Tony Mobily wrote a great article recently titled “How do Drigg and Pligg compare?” it’s something you should try and read as Tony makes some really good points. Tony is the co-founder of Drigg and is also an ex-pligg user himself, Tony’s personal experience with using pligg and witnessing the conduct and actions of the pligg team lead him to spending many hours of his life developing an entire new system from the ground up, i think that about says it all?.

We are sure many of you reading this will have personal views on pligg so please leave any comments you width good or bad they wont be deleted ;). Why did we write this article? simply because we are tired of watching pligg trying to squeeze every penny they can from their users, whilst continuing to pass off the project as being activley developed when in reality it’s dead in the water unless they can find a good developer and actually have a plan.

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Article Details

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Author: on August 31st, 2008

Category: Pligg

Tags: , , ,

  1. nocy2 says:

    Your not from the US no?
    http://www.ip-adress.com/whois/67.159.44.138

    You are a complete anonymous fool, go and spam somewhere else with your pligg Fanboi propaganda, Yankis new wife is gonna be so jealous to find out your actually the one f***ing him and giving oral pleasure when that should be her job.

    You are no more than a spammer as has been proved here in the past from what i can see from your previous comments, and images above. You add no real value to the conversation and seem only interested in praising pligg.

    FYI pligg is one if not thee worst Open Source system available code and management team wise, we used pligg also for two days until it was pointed out over at sitepoint.com after we advertised for some custom work that the code from pligg was utter garbage, which it is. You also seem to be the only fool defending the project i wonder why?

    Lincoln says that pligg should only be used for small hobby sites and he is 100% correct, this system could never be used at corporate level mostly due to it’s horrendous support and management team. Go and ask yourself over at sitepoint or a professional development community for an evaluation of the pligg system, then come back and post the answer you got. it wont take long and will probably be a one word reply like Garbage, Crap etc.

    Personally i see Drigg is the way forward.

  2. Geoserv says:

    @nocy2, I couldn’t have put it better.

    The code is crap, the script works but thats about it. Great for a startup, but once the site starts getting bigger, you will need to UPGRADE to something better.

    Any reliable coder will tell exactly what Lincoln, nocy2 and myself have already stated, that the coding is a mess in Pligg.

    Even when the evidence is right in your face that they stole the code and released it as their own, you still can’t admit that they did it, you don’t even know that you are in the U.S., you must be affiliated with Pligg.

    Go back to the forums at Pligg where you belong, you will be one of a handful that use that garbage forum still.

    Dumbass.

  3. F_Chuck says:

    http://forums.pligg.com/bug-report/14756-too-many-bugs.html
    08-30-2008, 11:21 PM
    Most of the people at sitepoint wouldn’t know good code if it was sitting on their face.
    http://forums.pligg.com/members/list/
    look to see when last online
    http://forums.pligg.com/showgroups.php
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showgroups.php

    How can chuck be such a dumb ass talking down sitepoint when pligg admins are the coders and moderators
    “total of about three” some have not logged in for a long time other have not helped in anyway

    I don’t understand never update the download so a new member does not spend all day tiring to find a fix only to get a RUDE comment from chuck telling the member to search the forums, if a member is new he is not going to understand what it is he needs to search for

    Its only a matter of time before chuck get his change to say its been posted before
    mr chuck you enjoys being a dick every change he gets as long as he believes he can justify it

    or im new and chuck says I need to no more info what pligg version are you using, what hosting ? “CHUCK” if he is NEW just signed up don’t you think he is using the newest pligg ?

    Day after day after day same old shit

    for god’s sakes update your download, get more “moderators” and “admins” or leave chuck don’t bring down a site

    its fucking open source not some ego trip

    you can never compare to sitepoints traffic or offer to the pligg community what sitepoint does, chuck your just stupid if you think otherwise

    its funning how a one man band want to do a solo

    Yanki I hope you read this if nothing changes on your end your site is doomed to fail your own stats prove it
    if you continue to give chuck admin privileges I suspect someone takes it in the ass

  4. D Cotton says:

    I’ll probably move over to Social Web CMS sometime this week although I’m entirely confident about the future of that project

  5. Geoserv says:

    Even if Yankidank reads this and he will, hes such a pussy, he still won’t realize how he and Chuckroast have killed Pligg.

  6. davemackey says:

    The tone of the conversation here reflects badly not only upon those directly involved but also upon Pligg and SWCMS as a larger community. Whatever our disagreements with Pligg may be I would encourage tamer words.
    The vitriol spewed yields no positive effect. What can be gained from words of anger or hate? Lets focus on making things better – not wasting time on useless arguments and harangues.

  7. Nice post!
    im not going to get into the argument but THEY NEED TO STOP DELETING POSTS!

    Theirs a trackback here that i wanted to read… but its now deleted =[

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