Before our journey starts, Meizufans was not even existent. Way before this site, there was another one called "Meizu Me" owned by Carl Pei (OnePlus). He started the page while Meizu was in its early stage. In 2013 though the site went down due to technical issues.
At the time being I was a member of the moderator team. As the site didn't came up after even 3 weeks a debate started under the moderators. We asked ourselves what was up with Carl. As he was too busy or for whatever else reason he didn't react fast enough and so HondaRacer and me started to create our own site. While I always had a technical interest and was capable of managing servers I offered HondaRacer my "technical support", while he was taking care of the "marketing".
On the 16th of September in 2013 we registered the domain. 10 days later our forum went online based upon myBB and a free theme. Things weren't as professional as they are now. HondaRacer was able to get a contact to Meizu HK and so gain a sample of the newly released MX3. The review boosted our site up high, traffic flow started, Meizufans grew. At the same time (December) Carl return with Meizu Me. However, due to our quick growth it was no longer possible for him to keep up with us. Less than 5 months after Meizu Me return back online, it went offline again - forever.
Things went great for us in 2014. Traffic snapped to over 100.000 visitors a month. While we first had financial issues (new server, themes, etc.) I quickly intervened and invested some money into server, while Robin focused on the design. So we launched with a responsive design and gave Meizufans for the first time a professional grade.
As growth continued we started hiring our first moderators. Our growth was unstoppable. From 100.000 visitors a month we moved up to 250.000 visitors within 3 months. It could not have went better, but the site surpassed our expectations even more as Meizu Hong Kong and China officially supported us. Yes, we really became an official forum. HondaRacer got a 6 months internship in Zhuhai, allowing him to dive even deeper into Meizu. Even till this date he is still working at Meizu - known as the Global Brand Manager Robin Eyckmans.
While things seemed great from the outside, problems started inside. HondaRacer and I often had arguments. Whenever I wanted to improve the site and add even more features he always was against it. Its not something necessarily bad as you should "never touch a running system", however if you never take a risk you can never improve.
The climax of this argument was a Skype conversation where HondaRacer came home with "great news". He told me about his plans to "delete this cancer". Harsh words for a site and community which gave him everything. When I asked him about my reward for my time and investment I was offered a MX3 and internship with no guarantee I would ever get something from it. Basically Meizu could just have sent me home after 6 months with nothing in my pockets.
Maybe it was not right from my side to react the way I did, but later on it turn out to be the right decision. Within 5 minutes Meizufans changed its owner. Bye, bye HondaRacer. Sadly it wasn't as easy as I thought. The site was DDoSed and sabotaged by Meizu, which later on got partially confirmed by officials.
It was a time of depression, not only I lost a friend, but also I was there with empty hands. All I had was an old database backup (2 weeks). But I continued, within a single day Meizufans was back online. This time with an entirely new backend and an uncompeted performance. For the first time I realized that Meizufans was more than just a website. I was not alone as I thought. Thanks to the help of the community Meizufans didn't suffer at all from this incident. Instead traffic numbers climbed up high. 100% growth in 6 weeks. Traffic doubled, user registrations and post numbers exploded. There were days where the forum exceeded 200 posts a day easily (average 120-150). However, income was still an issue, which led to a commercialization of Meizufans by the use of Google AdSense and later on Google AdExchange.
Suddenly everything became easy. There was money, there was activity, there was a community supporting me and my decision.
It was and still is a great time. However, due to Meizu losing growth and so its overseas userbase, Meizufans will always remain a part of me. Without Meizufans I would not be the person I am today nor would I have ever met all the interesting people.
While this pages suppose it to give info about Meizufans, it should also be dedicated to thank everyone who was and is a part of this site.