VCI Classifieds
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  • History

    The VCI Classifieds began in 1997 as the "Vision Message Board", or VMB, as an extra service for our dialup customers. At the time, only VCI dialup customers were allowed to use it. Shown below are a few notable screenshots of previous versions of the VCI Classifieds.


    This was probably one of the very first versions of the Classifieds. The software was written in Perl and the ads were stored in files, not in a database like they are now. The system was called the "Vision Message Board".

    As a "message board" system, replies were displayed on the site as a thread.

    This version saw the ads split into categories. It did have "Chat" category that was used as a personals section but it wasn't used much.

    The "List All" section would eventually lead to the "New Ads" category.

    As web development changed so did the Classifieds. After the Y2K bug came and went the "Vision Message Board" was renamed the "VMB 2000". It featured a design change that incorporated new technology.

    Note the number of ads in each category.

    This design implemented a side menu. A menu was created on the left as well as more options across the top.You can see the number of categories had been increased tremendously as well as the number of ads in each category.

    Notice the "Scam Notice" in yellow at the top-center.

    This design used a slightly different side menu. Designs similar to this were used up until the end of 2011.

    Notice the black camera icon displayed in the list of ads. The camera icon signified that the ad included images.

    As you can see the previous design was changed slightly. Between 2005 and 2011 this design received new technological improvements as they became available.

    Notice the "Yard Sale" category displayed at the top of the category list... always a popular item during the spring and summer... and even fall.

    A lot of changes were made in December 2007. This year we began requiring customers to register to use the system. We previously relied on customers to enter their email address without being verified.

    Notice the addition of the magnifying glass next to each ad. This feature allows you to preview the ad.

    With this design we started placing more banners on the homepage along with a list of categories. Although we primarily placed VCI banners on the homepage we would occasionally allow customers to use the space.

    Notice the statistics on the left. The total user count was at 4,559.

    This design had a lot more options added to the left menu along with text banners.

    Notice the statistics on the left. The total user count was at 8,528.

    This year also saw some major changes. In the past we didn't accept signups from customers with free email addresses (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.). In April 2010, we began allowing everyone to signup from the 5 state area if they paid a small signup fee. We also began limiting the number of ads each person could have each month. In August 2010 we began offering Pro accounts to customers who needed more ads.

    This year also saw the integration of Facebook into the Classifieds.

    This year a lot of customizable options were added. Customers could display or hide menu options on the left. The menu was more colorful than in previous years.

    Notice the thumbnails. This was probably the biggest improvement.

    A mobile device version of the Classifieds was also introduced.

    The site received some long overdue changes this year. The menu was moved to the top and site width was changed. The homepage was changed to reduce the dependency on the "Recent Ads" section. The search feature was improved to allow much more flexibility and a "News" section was introduced to notify visitors of site upgrades.

    This year the homepage didn't change much but some new features were added. Of particular interest was the ability to save searches. This feature would allow users to save search settings and receive notifications when a new ad was placed that matched the search. This feature helps buyers get an advantage over other buyers and helps sellers sell items faster.

    This year more features were added and the login/account details were moved to the top-right. The biggest behind the scenes changes was the sale of VCI to e-Tel.

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