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Community Feedback: New Forum Software Is Live!

19249 Views 252 Replies 58 Participants Last post by  vs-Admin
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 Although seeing the same format for a long time is comforting, the member experience shouldn’t include dealing with outdated, unsafe, slow software.

The transition to a new platform will never be 100% smooth but the days of dealing with out of date forum software are over.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.

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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My gallery is empty, any idea when the pictures from the old one will be transferred to the new one?
At the moment, all the pictures inserted from my gallery into posts over the years have disappeared completely.
All those inserted directly are now thumbnails.
As Tamar has indicated, the history is one of the main reasons for staying on this forum, it is important to resolve the issue.

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Many of the clubs run open races, and there are other events such as exhibitions and swap meets. It is very useful to be able to see what is coming up to know, e.g. whether I should enter an event or that there is a conflicting swap meet which I want to go to. And for event organisers, it is very helpful to be able to check whether their proposed event would clash with another similar or geographically close activity. So the Calendar was a very valuable asset for the slot racing community, and there is no obvious alternative. Its permanent loss would prove to be a significant diminution of the SF resource.

Calendar? It seems we can have a calendar, just needs to be set up.

Notice how that version of Xenforo looks similar to the previous incarnation of Slot Forum, really not sure why the decision was taken to remove the tabs at the top of the page.
Perhaps VS Media should consider that as a first change (keep the familiar look and feel for the users??), just a thought.

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At the moment, I am only concerned about the restoration of the pictures, but I must agree, the design is cr*p, really not intuitive.
Removal of the calendar, poor design, poor data migration (removal of all the pictures linked from the old gallery), all this doesn't point to a well organised deployment.
A couple of questions for Gerrit:
Were the moderators consulted prior to the changes?
Did they get the opportunity to do acceptance testing and sign off the deployment?
Do we have an ETA for the picture fix?

Good morning Cricket
Beside the images with http, all the images linked from the former galleries have disappeared, my new gallery is empty and there is no link in the original post (which contained the pictures), as in this post missing pictures
To resume, there are 3 issues connected to images:
-Allow/restore linking to images with http URLs
-Restore images to their owners new gallery
-Rebuild links from the original posts to the newly restored images/galleries.

Gerrit did say that work on a fix was in progress, is that on all the image related defects? Do we have an ETA?

Cricket, at the moment we are using this thread to report a mix of issues/defects, missing functionality/business requirements, together with training request.
As things are, it is a bit difficult to follow what has been reported, whether or not there is a fix, what that fix is and when it will be deployed.

Could we have a "points raised list", with date raised by whom, issue type, proposed solution/owner and fix date/ETA?
For example someone further up the thread mentioned the lack of a calendar (important to keep track of race meetings and swapmeets) I also noticed that the blogs are missing, we need to keep track of all these things.

Don't hold your breath. The galleries started playing up in 2018, and the fix never happened, the contents have now been deleted completely.

Great! That way we can all spend time rebuilding the image links that have been deleted in the change.

Don, this has been a problem from the off, all the pictures I had in my gallery that were linked to posts have disappeared, everything I posted from 2004 to 2018? is gone.
Let's be honest, VS media isn't interested in fixing any of the problems we have highlighted (otherwise they would have made some progress already).
I am not interested in putting them back manually, if I am to undertake that amount of work, it will not be here, there is a very good alternative.
Time to face the reality of the situation, this place is no longer our community, VS media was expecting a drop in traffic, let's make their dream come true.
Bail out guys.

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