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Administrator
Community Manager
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1,009 Posts
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 Although seeing the same format for a long time is comforting, the member experience shouldn’t include dealing with outdated, unsafe, slow software.

The transition to a new platform will never be 100% smooth but the days of dealing with out of date forum software are over.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
Community Manager
Joined
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1,009 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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Premium Member
Joined
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9,843 Posts
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
What a load of CRAP

Smiles have gone AWOL ????
 

·
Administrator
Community Manager
Joined
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1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My Followed Forums

For sections of the community that have special importance to you, go to the forum section and click "Follow Forum".

You will see a list of options open for your preferences. Add a checkmark to your preferred options. Click Follow at the bottom.

Your Followed Forums will display at the top of the full Forum Listing page.
 

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Administrator
Community Manager
Joined
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1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Smiles have gone AWOL ????
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.

- Cricket
 

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Administrator
Community Manager
Joined
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1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How To Find Conversations (Private Messages)

From the navigation, near the upper right-hand corner, click on your avatar to open the drop-down menu and select “conversations”.


- Cricket
 

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Administrator
Community Manager
Joined
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1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This was not necessary....the forum was fine the way it was and think this may just be the nail in the coffin for the forum
We announced back on March 1st why the upgrade was needed.

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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Premium Member
Joined
·
482 Posts
What made you go live with so much stuff broken?

This was not necessary....the forum was fine the way it was and think this may just be the nail in the coffin for the forum
The old forum wasn't fine, they broke the paid membership system when they took over and is the reason they forced the repeat subscription on everybody unless you canceled it.

If you had a paid membership when the site was sold to VS your paid membership would never end...
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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8,781 Posts
I've noticed on my many posts in the photo and video section of the forum that the displayed pictures are no longer full size but are now links from thumbnails, can you explain why this is and is it possible to revert these back to full size.
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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9,843 Posts
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.

- Cricket
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.

- Cricket
UTF-8 smilies WTF, explain in English !
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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994 Posts
Where have the articles, brochures, and tech manuals etc gone ? These were great resources on the site.
 

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Administrator
Community Manager
Joined
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1,009 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Where have the articles, brochures, and tech manuals etc gone ? These were great resources on the site.
I am seeing quite a few near the bottom of the forum. Is that not what you are looking for?


- Cricket
 

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... now with more Bang :)
Joined
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17,750 Posts
Help!!!!

How do you delete a complete photo album?
 

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Registered
When I grow up I want to be a Regional Organiser......
Joined
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141 Posts
We announced back on March 1st why the upgrade was needed.

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
Hi Cricket,

What has happened to the regional organisers. They now look to be just registered users/members. These are key people that provide a singular point of contact for members to attend national shows and regional meets. As we look to be finally coming out of lock down, now is the most important time for these members to be easily recognised on the forum. As you have said it's the members that make the forum, but it's the organisers that make it worthwhile for the members to be part of the MLR.

Please fix.

Wizzzbang
 
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