Interview with Shemo

Hello MyBB fans!

It’s time for our next forum showcase, and this time we have Shemo’s forum, ShaveNook.  A forum concentrated on a very unique and small niche, “Traditional Wet Shaving”, it surprises some when they see the post count at nearly 300,000.

Some screenshots of unique parts of ShaveNook are below.  The community, like brad-t’s previously featured Harajuju, also uses the XThreads plugin, specifically RateU’s Product Review mod.

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How did you first get involved in forums?

I first got involved in forums when I used to game a lot and ran a gaming clan with a few friends. Seeing the need to stay informed about game practices, matches and other clan related information, the best medium to accomplish this was to establish a forum so that threads and posts could be posted whenever, without having to worry about people missing out on any information because they weren’t around when things were being discussed.

How did you find MyBB?

I found mybb through a friend.

When I originally started my gaming clan and then set up the discussion forum, I installed phpbb. After wanting to extend the features of phpbb and realizing how daunting of a task it had become, I was ranting to a friend of mine who worked in IT.

My friend had mentioned that he had used mybb and that it had a much simpler template and plugin system than phpbb, which made it a snap to add a new look and add functionality to the forum. After checking out mybb, I gave him a few bucks and he converted my forum from phpbb to mybb.

The rest is history after that. Every single forum I’ve ever ran and/or had a hand in establishing and setting up has ran mybb.

Well, we’re glad you found us! Moving onto your current forum, how did ShaveNook come about? It’s obviously a very unique niche. (Note: Shemo relayed the question to his team and the following reply is from “bullgoose” on ShaveNook. Teiste is the second admin, and Andrew is Shemo.)

bullgoose: The start of the Shave Nook dates back to Simply Shaving. I was an administrator on Simply Shaving and many of the mods here were also moderators at Simply Shaving. Late last summer, Teiste approached me about updating the software of simply shaving. Unfortunately, we could not facilitate an upgrade on the site. In February, Teiste and I decided to form the Shave Nook and we formally launched the site in late February of this year. I want to say the official opening was February 25th. We wanted to retain the spirit of Simply Shaving while being more up-to-date in terms of forum software. Teiste brought Andrew on board a couple of days after our launch and he has been our IT guy. I am really proud of the team of moderators and administrators that we assembled…they have done a bang-up job!

What is wet shaving even?  What makes it great compared to other forms of shaving, and how is it gaining popularity?

Wet shaving offers the shaver choices that are simply not available to the modern multiblade cartridge razor and canned foam user. The wet shaving choices of razors, blades, shaving soaps and shaving creams are considerably more than that of the modern counterparts mentioned above. For example, using a Gillette Fusion or a Schick Hydro 5 will both feel the same and give the same type of shave. Except for scent, using a canned foam or gel will be pretty much identical across brands.

With more traditional wet shaving, the products used can make a distinct difference in the resulting shave. For example, a double edge (DE) razor may shave differently depending on the DE blade that is inserted into it. Also, different DE razors can offer different types of shaves. One razor might give a mild shave while another a more aggressive shave.

Then, there are the types of razors and the techniques needed to use each. A straight razor (sometimes known as a cut throat) uses a completely different technique than a single edge (SE) razor and a single edge razor can use a different shaving style than a double edge razor. There are no “pivoting heads” on these to do the work for the shaver. The interesting part about the different razors is that some are antiques in excess of one hundred years in age and some are being produced today so the choices are many and varied.

The shaving soaps and creams come in a much wider assortment than the canned foam or gel one typically sees in places like drugstores or supermarkets. Once again, like the razors and blades, different products offer differing characteristics. There are creams which are generally soft and usually very easy to lather, soaps which are hard and take a certain technique to lather, and so called croaps (cream+soap) which are not as soft as creams nor as hard as soaps. Each has its fans and detractors and it is simply personal preference that determines which will be used. Many like all three types and just use whatever one might be in the mood for on any given day.

The choice of scents of the various creams, soaps, and croaps is vastly superior to the supermarket foams and gels. While artificial scents can be and are used, many contain true essential oils so lavender, rose, or other such scented soaps and creams will smell exactly like that with no artificial scents detected. There are also some very intriguing scents produced by artisan soap makers that at first thought may not seem to make sense but work quite nicely.

To go along with these various soaps, creams, and croaps one needs a brush. Once again, the choices are many, from the material of the handle and the hair used in the brush knot to the style of both the handle and the knot. There is no right or wrong brush but simply user preference.

Admittedly, most of these wet shaving accoutrements will have to be purchased on line unless one lives in a large city such as New York or Chicago where bricks and mortar stores can be found that sell many of these supplies. However, if there is not a physical store nearby, internet stores are plentiful and usually offer reasonable shipping costs.

While all of this may sound a bit complicated, a web site dedicated to wet shaving, such as The Shave Nook has members who are always happy to offer advice to those just starting out on this wonderful journey. Free to join, the wealth of information on these sites makes it easy to get started and to learn about new ideas, techniques, and products.

Did you ever think the forum would reach the size that it did?

No. We knew that wet shavers were a dedicated bunch, but to have 300K+ posts in just over a year with less than 3,000 users registered is pretty remarkable. I believe it goes to show that if you listen to your audience and are welcoming, the community will keep coming back and invite friends.

If you could add one thing to MyBB, what would it be?

One thing I’d add to mybb is a mobile theme. In 2013, almost everyone visits websites from some sort of mobile device, whether it be their cell phone or a tablet. Having something that scales down to mobile viewing size and strips away some of its functionality to make it more mobile friendly would be nice.

What do you like about MyBB that puts it above other forum software?

The biggest thing I like about mybb is the fact that it’s free and open source. Something else I like about the product is that it’s easy to install and activate new plugins and themes.

Any advice that you would like to give to anyone aspiring to create a community with MyBB?

If you put in the work that it takes to run, manage and foster a newly built community, it’ll eventually pay off. At The Shave Nook, we try to keep the environment friendly and relaxed. If there happens to be a problem that arises, we try to nip it in the bud to prevent it from growing into a bigger problem.



The MyBB team thanks Shemo for his and his team’s time for this interview!  Stop by ShaveNook and take a peek a very unique and special community!

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