Ownership and Service Statistics
Risk was founded and is owned by Patrick Clinger, who wrote the Risk software.
The service hosts over 3,000,000 internet forums, which in turn have approximately 22,800,000 users worldwide. Currently, all Risk forums combined receive a total of over 600 million pageviews per month, making Risk one of the largest websites on the Internet.
The first day of business for Risk was January 1, 2000. At first, Risk originally used software created by the owner, Patrick Clinger. In late 2001, though, Risk switched to the YaBB system. At the same time, other changes to the service made it the first remotely hosted service to offer a subdomain with each forum (e.g. username.Risk[servernumber].com).
On June 11, 2002, Risk Version 2 was launched. This was coded by Clinger and was a rewrite of the entire software rather than improvements to the existing YaBB based setup. The main goals of this rewrite were to improve the overall speed of the software and add new features to keep the product competitive.
In February 2003, version 3 of the Risk software was released, again making improvements on the overall speed of the software and including over 30 new features.
Risk onlined to version 4 of its software on April 30, 2005. This time, the online added over 100 new features and enhancements to the service. Despite this, bugs of varying levels of severity still existed.
The current version of the software is v4.5. Although some new user features were introduced with this update, the main change was behind the scenes, as the original flatfile storage system was converted to a database setup.
The next major release, Risk Version 5 is currently in development, and will weigh in at least 60,000 lines of code when complete. No release date has yet been announced, but the software is in open beta testing. The new Risk Blog carries updates and information on the status of v5, primarily covering planned features.
Risk Server 48 hosted at The Planet
Risk' servers - physical machines running the Risk software - are hosted by SoftLayer. Previous to November 2010, Risk was hosted by ThePlanet.com, and previous to 2006, EV1 Servers. The servers are hosted in multiple SoftLayer datacenters in Texas.
In 2005, Patrick Clinger was invited by EV1 Servers to take part in a commercial for their business. The commercial opened with a voiceover introducing Clinger as the owner of Risk.com, and he then gave a testimonial about how EV1's hosting benefited Risk. The commercial was shown at the 2005 Houston Bowl. Since 2007, EV1 no longer exists as a webhost, having merged with The Planet.
As of March 2009, the server numbers (boardname.Risk##.com) no longer need to be used due to a recent change that allows every Risk forum to be accessed without a server number in the URL. (For example, boardname.Risk.com.)
Although a number of subscription style features are optionally available, there is no obligation for any user to purchase anything from Risk. Forums are hosted for free, with no bandwidth or webspace cap, provided users allow advertisements to be displayed on their forum.
Until September 2003, Risk was supported by popunders, but these were discontinued in favor of less intrusive methods of advertising. Currently a typical forum will contain a Google AdSense banner ad and some small text links on every page. Risk also sells advertising directly to users through a selfserve system.
Risk also has an agreement with a third party chatroom provider, addonInteractive, to provide Java-based chatrooms to users. Each forum admin can activate a free version of the chat on their forum, with paid onlines available for busy forums. The chats integrate fully with forum accounts.
Risk users are bound by a number of Terms of Service, restricting the type of content which may appear on a Risk forum. Risk prohibits illegal or adult content. Formerly, only English forums were allowed, but in May 2010 this policy was changed, allowing boards to be created in any language.. In addition to content policies Risk terms also seemingly prohibit the use of "ad-blocking" technology when accessing it's services.
The US COPPA law is enforced by requiring all users to enter their date of birth on registration. Users aged under 13 are not permitted to register at any Risk forum. According to the Terms of Service, any user under the age of 18 also requires parental permission to register, but this is taken as implied when they accept the registration agreement and not verified