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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are excited to announce that we are live on our new forum platform!

It’s been a long time coming. Let’s face it. Sometimes older forum technology lags behind other parts of the internet. Although seeing the same format for a long time is comforting, the member experience shouldn’t include dealing with outdated, unsafe, slow software.

The transition to a new platform will never be 100% smooth but the days of dealing with out of date forum software are over. We have teams dedicated to building a world-class community for you. The development has been steady with regular software releases since May 2019. Asking members for feedback and coming up with ideas for improvement is what we want.

Speed and Reliability Are Key
No one should have to wait for information. This site has been built to be much faster and more reliable, period.

New Homepage Experience
Our algorithm will serve a personal customized feed based on your prior engagement with content on the site. If you’ve liked and or commented, or are following certain topics that are of interest to you, similar content will appear at the top of the homepage.

Search
We have introduced new search algorithms, powered by an industry-leading AI platform, to help you find information faster. We plan to roll out new features to continue improving search, and to power many additional areas of the forum.

Due to the volume of content, our search platform may take some time to complete indexing over the first few days after migrating. During this process, you may see a limited number of posts until indexing has been completed. We appreciate your patience.

Finding Your Way Around
We have made the design clean and simple to use. Near the upper right-hand corner of the community, you will see navigation icons.

The first icon is for what’s new on the site.

Clicking on it, by default, will take you to new unread posts. On that page, you can click on additional tabs as well, such as Popular, if you prefer to view active topics.

Clicking the list icon next to “NEW” will bring you to the full forum listing.

Clicking your avatar will give you a drop-down menu for all things related to your account.

You can also navigate more by clicking the 3 vertical dots.

Dark Mode
We have introduced Dark Mode. One of our favorite features allows you to access the site with a power-saving, and easier on the eyes dark mode. You can access it in the drop-down menu under the 3 vertical dots.

Save Bookmarks
Now you can save your favorite discussion threads and posts! Bookmarks are a handy way to remember and easily find great content or stuff you want to read later.

We also wanted to make it easier for new users to understand the lingo of forums. We have cleaned up various language to more commonly recognized phrases including:
  • Following - Thread subscriptions, and Watched are now known as Following
  • Conversations - Private Messages or PMs are now conversations and can be accessed from the user avatar drop-down in the main navigation
  • Showcase - Showcase is designed for users to "showcase" items/projects through the use of uploaded images, text descriptions and custom content categories. It’s a way to visually and textually provide detailed information on the content you wish to share. The showcase would be similar to a catalog, whereas the gallery would be like a photo album. It can be accessed from the drop-down menu with the 3 dots.
Take a tour and look around! Check out the Help section for some quick FAQs about the new platform.

Please keep all feedback, questions, concerns, requests for help, etc. regarding the new platform right here in this Feedback thread. This will help us make sure not to miss a request for help and also let us pass along your thoughts to our Product team. The Admins and I will be here to help along the way taking note of your comments.

- Community Management Team
 

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Administrator
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I will be here during your transition to the new platform, to help with any questions, help with navigation or how to do things, and to listen to your feedback so please don't hesitate to holler at me. I want to help. You can also check out our FAQs.

I do want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Cricket. When I was born, my father told his friends I was the ugliest baby he had ever seen, and that I sounded just like a cricket (I was born with the hiccups.) so yes, I have been Cricket for 59 years now. I live just outside of San Antonio, Texas. I spend most of my free time out in nature and exploring the back roads. During late autumn when it starts to finally cool down, I disappear from the world for a bit for camping trips and hiking.

Please don't be afraid to explore and test out things to see how they work on the site. :)

Although you can certainly use the "insert image" icon to upload an image to your post, you can also just drag and drop it to the text editor or even copy/paste it into there!

You can easily share videos just by adding the URL directly into the text editor!


Gif links from sites like giphy.com will display automatically just by adding the gif URL directly in the text editor. Try it!


I am a huge fan of the dark mode for the community. What is your favorite feature?

The new forum software is still a work in progress.

We will be seeing regular updates which are largely fueled by community feedback. While that doesn't mean we can action every request, it does mean we will be actively listening to the feedback and sharing it with the developers. We do ask that you keep any questions, thoughts or feedback about the new forum software here in the Community Feedback thread to help us keep all the information together so we don't miss anything.

There is still some work going on behind the scene so you may notice some changes as we work.
  • It can take 24-48 hours for the site to finish indexing so it may take a bit for search results to return proper results, including showing all your threads/posts under your profile.
  • We will continue to clean up the order of the sections on the full forum listings page so you might see some stuff move around.
  • We are reviewing permissions and special permission sections so let us know if you notice any issues so we can look into them.
I have worked with our community support team for 6 years. I have worked with forums for closer to two decades. I won't always know the answers to your questions, but I can find someone who does, as needed. ;)

- Cricket
 

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Looks Great! Thanks for the work on getting this over to the new software! I know the headaches of databases and the such can have transitioning between platforms but it appears everything went well!

Here is to the admins and a great 2021 spooky year!
 

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Wow looks amazing. I'll try and report back after I have time to explore around a bit. I only have a couple thoughts for right now...

- How is it that the 'default' color scheme is NOT 'Dark Mode'?? The banner art work is amazing, but it needs a dark / creepy page below to complete the theme!

- Would be nice to see some similar theme and colors carried out through more of the page and forums!

Though, still - initial impressions....Grand Slam Home Run!! Keep up the good work!
 

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Administrator
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow looks amazing. I'll try and report back after I have time to explore around a bit. I only have a couple thoughts for right now...

- How is it that the 'default' color scheme is NOT 'Dark Mode'?? The banner art work is amazing, but it needs a dark / creepy page below to complete the theme!

- Would be nice to see some similar theme and colors carried out through more of the page and forums!

Though, still - initial impressions....Grand Slam Home Run!! Keep up the good work!
It is a bit more intensive to make the dark mode the default but it is offered as a choice for all members.

How To Switch Between Dark Mode & Light Mode

From the navigation, near the upper right-hand corner, click the 3 vertical dots to open the drop-down menu and then click on “dark mode” or “light mode”.


- Cricket
 

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I don't know what to say. Such a shock! Difficult to navigate and basic features are gone. This is now a commercial site? Even my icon saved on bookmarks is gone. Skull replaced with yellow lines. So awful! I guess I didn't realize when the site was sold you were going to change everything. Makes me want to cry.
 

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Administrator
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Navigating The Site

Near the upper right-hand corner of the community, you will see navigation icons.

The first icon is for what’s new on the site.

Clicking on it, by default, will take you to new unread posts. On that page, you can click on additional tabs as well, such as Popular, if you prefer to view active topics.

Clicking the list icon next to “NEW” will bring you to the full forum listing.

You can also navigate by clicking the 3 vertical dots.

Clicking on your avatar will give you a drop-down menu for all things related to your account.

 

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Administrator
Joined
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105 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know what to say. Such a shock! Difficult to navigate and basic features are gone. This is now a commercial site? Even my icon saved on bookmarks is gone. Skull replaced with yellow lines. So awful! I guess I didn't realize when the site was sold you were going to change everything. Makes me want to cry.
In my humble opinion, a successful forum community has never been about the platform. It is about the amazing members who come together to share a common interest and along the way true friendships are developed.

I have been helping sites transition to the new forum software since May of 2019. In that time I have noticed that during the first 30 days or so, traffic tends to slow down a bit while folks adjust to the new navigation and features. Somewhere between 60 - 90 days the activity increases and the community begins to grow. Give it some time. We will get there.:)

We will be seeing regular updates that are largely fueled by community feedback. While that doesn't mean we can action every request, it does mean we are actively listening to the feedback and sharing it with the developers.

- Cricket
 

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I may be missing it but I always liked to see who was on when I am??
I also liked to see how long since I was last on
 

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I may be missing it but I always liked to see who was on when I am??
I also liked to see how long since I was last on
Click on the 3 dots on the top right corner, then click on members, then on the left side go down to online members click that to see who is online.
A long way to see who is on but like you I also liked knowing myself.
 

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Thanks ^ , sure seems like a lot of steps when it used to just be there
 

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Now that both HalloweenForum.com, and this one are running the same software can we finally get some pumpkin emojis on both sites?
 

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Administrator
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Now that both HalloweenForum.com, and this one are running the same software can we finally get some pumpkin emojis on both sites?
We currently use standard UTF-8 smilies. This helps greatly in keeping things fast loading and standardized across device types. We no longer run custom GIF files for every single smile which is terrible for web performance, and fast-loading websites.

giphy.com has some great stuff we can use in threads if we want though.

- Cricket
 
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