TheRoot42.org is an online community for young creative people that I started in 2001. For a long time we used vBulletin an off-the-shelf forum software solution that we had slightly customized. In 2003 however I started conceptualizing a totally custom forum designed and built by our members. Why not? We had the talent to make something better.

By 2004 I had designed out pretty much all of the functionality and basic look and feel of the new forum. That's when member Rob Mason from the United Kingdom stepped up and really started to help me turn these ideas into a usable site. He was only 16 years old at the time. Rob brought a lot of good ideas and techniques to the project and helped make it really special.

Working only in our spare time (which wasn't a lot) It took us 3 years of development to get it done. Some of the features include a full user powered invite system, member customized style sheets, threaded private messages and bookmarks.

It's hard to get a feel of the site from screen captures. There is a strong sense of community and friendship. Most people are on a first name basis and there are regular meetups in cities around the world. If you're interested in an invitation contact me.

The forum

Critique section icons (the first icon set I ever designed)

Members (including me) at the 2006 1st Annual Meetup in Seattle

Rob Mason - Lead Programmer
Peter Lada - CSS Developer
Bretton Lewis - CSS Developer
Ben Barry - Designer

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