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New Forum Software coming for RoadBikeReview.com!(22 posts)

New Forum Software coming for RoadBikeReview.com!gregg
Dec 23, 2003 2:54 PM
Hello All,

As may or may not have heard by now, we will be switching to new forum software in the very near future. We are looking at launching the new platform sometime in January. Other sites in the ConsumerREVIEW Network have already migrated to the new system (AudioREVIEW, ComputingREVIEW, VideoGamerREVIEW, etc..)

MTBR.com has already soft launched some new manufacturer specific forums on the new system. You can access the new system for MTBR here:

http://forums.mtbr.com/

At the current time, registrations between MTBR and RoadBikeReview will NOT be tied together (meaning that you will have to log in separately on each site, just as you do now.) So, you may register your "handle" on the MTBR new forums, but be aware that you will most likely have to reregister on the new RoadBikeReview version to launch later.

You may ask why we are switching, and the reasons are many. We have compiled a list or reasons and features below.

Check out the new boards.

Thanks for your continued support of our site.

-gregg kato, Site Manager RoadBikeReview.com and MTBR.com

gkato@roadbikereview.com

(another easier to read version of the info below is here:)
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?threadid=7

****************************

Welcome to the new forum. It's not the old one so it sucks right? Well, change is hard but this one should be good. The system is Vbulletin and some of you are familiar with it I'm sure. For those who aren't, here's an introduction to the system.

The hardest thing to get used to is the non-threaded view. You can' t see every single post on the main page. However, theres a host of advantages and cool features. Here's some of them:

1. User Profiles
It is key to be able to click on a users' name and see what other messages they've posted, how active they are (post count), how long they've been a member of this site, what equipment they own, where they live, and anything else they wish to share with us. People's posts are more meaninful (or less) when you have context about who they are.

2. My Profile (User Options and Preferences)
Everyone likes to browse the forums differently, and you now have the flexibility to choose different settings. Those setting include: Your user profile (the info people see when they click on your name in the forums). You control how you want to browse this message board. For examaple:
- Your signature (a standard footer that can show up beneath each message you post).
- Your avatar (a small image that can show up under your username).
- Buddy lists and Ignore lists (kind of like a phone book for friends and foes).
- Subscriptions (how you ant to be notified about threads you're interested in).
- Other Options - you have a number of options you can set. You can turn on and off certain settings like: Email notification, the ability to be contacted by - other members, the option to view images/smilies/avatars in posts, ability to be alerted when you receive an email, and how you would like to view the forum (threaded display, linear display (standard vBulletin layout) or hybrid (both). You can access your Profile settings here:
?

3. Ability to Contact Other Members Easily
One major feature the old forums lacked was the ability to contact other members via email. Now, you can contact others via email or a feature called Private Messaging (a mini-email box stored here on the site). Up top, you'll see a link titled Private Messages, with a count next to it. Click that link and you'll be taken to your Private Message Inbox to read messages people have sent you. Now, of course, if you do not wish to be contacted, you can set that option in your User Options. You can click on any members' username and find the option to email them or Private Message them.

4. Subscriptions
You can now subscribe to threads that you want to keep up with. This means you are sent an email when someone replies to a thread you are subscribed to. You can manage your subscribtions here:
http://forums.mtbr.com/subscription...iewsubscription

5. Different Viewing Modes
Those who are used to a threaded view may be taken back by the different layout of this new forum system. There is actually a feature which is not exactly the same as before, but is similar. You can choose to view these forums in a few different layouts. Up at the top of each thread, you'll see three icons - Threaded, Linear, and Hybrid. Click on those and see which one you like best. Your settings will be saved.

6. Search Feature
There is a much more powerful search feature available in the forums now:
?
You can search for keywords, usernames, thread titles, date ranges, etc. It should be easier to find old discussions and information.

7. Ability to See Who's Online
On the forums index page:

You'll notice down at the bottom that there is a list of usernames who are browsing the forums. You can also see how many people are browsing each forum, as there is a user count to the right of each forum name.

8. Report This Post to a Moderator
Now you can quickly point out posts that are clearly against our Terms of Use guidelines and hurt the spirit of our community. Posts which are offensive, insulting, or profane should be reported so that we can remove them if necessary. Now everyone has an easy way to help out.

9. Moderators
Yes, we will finally be able to appoint moderators to help keep the spirit of our forums intact. In the past, the forums have been a place of lawlessness and flame wars. No more. We will be turning things around and will begin appointing members who are willing to help keep things clean and restore AudioReview to its past glory.

10. Form and Function
I know that some of you have not used vBulletin-style forums, but ever since I began using them on other sites a few years ago, I've loved them. It's so easy to get to know people, easy to find information, and easy to get involved with the community. It's such a flexible and intuitive system, that I really don't enjoy using any other type of forums system anymore. Now, I know not everyone will share my opinion, but I'd bet that a good portion of you will after a little while of using this system. This is the best forums software available on the market and it's going to open a lot of doors for our users. Have fun guys!

11. Security, Security!! - The old software did not require registration and there was no effective way to ban users and assign moderators. Trolls beware... you'll get kicked out pronto...

12 .Ability for anybody to post quick polls. This could be fun. I haven't tried it yet but I'll try right now. A discussion thread will be attached to each poll which kind of makes sense.

13. Forum traffic counts. Fairly easy to see which forums are driving the traffic!!

14. Edit posts after the fact, as I'm doing now!
****************************
old forum posts will be archived indefinitely...gregg
Dec 23, 2003 2:59 PM
The current plan is to have the old (meaning the current system here) forum archives accessable indefinitely. But if you have a bunch of Photo Reports on the current system, it might not be a bad idea to save a copy of your own personal threads to your hard drive.

-g
old forum posts will be archived indefinitely...RadicalRonPruitt
Dec 23, 2003 3:01 PM
That's cool, because I know a lot of people go back and do searches for Radical Ron Pruitt. I am a legend on this board, and my cycling history speaks for itself. I will look forward to participating in the new look forums next year.
re: New Forum Software coming for RoadBikeReview.com!RadicalRonPruitt
Dec 23, 2003 3:00 PM
i like the fact that I will have the ability to contact other members easily. i think that is a big plus when people are flaming you.
"read" marks fixed?kenyee
Dec 23, 2003 3:46 PM
One of the annoying things about your first .Net version of the forum is that the unread marks (previously read hyperlinks in the browser) are displayed properly when looking at the entire forum, but when you go into a message, the thread history doesn't show you which replies you've read.

I'm using the latest Mozilla if it matters (doubt it does though).

Also, I'm not sure what's causing the rendering slowness (might be the ads), but it takes a while for the message to display in Mozilla...ditto w/ IE...the ad up top displays, then the message eventually pops up below it...

Thanks for the changes. And please any things you learned about .Net in the V2 version of the forum for us technogeeks ;-)
I've been using similar software over at Serotta's new forum....Len J
Dec 23, 2003 4:57 PM
and, frankly I find this forum to be much easier to navigate and interact with other users. I hope the way you are implementing works better as I would hate to lose what we have here.

Good Luck. I hope it goes well.

Len
But it's so simple, easy and user friendly now....Cory
Dec 23, 2003 5:29 PM
OK, no complaining until we get to see it. But, man, it works SO well now....
actually, it doesn't work that great....gregg
Dec 24, 2003 11:29 AM
...but most of the things that don't work so well, are not obvious from the outside.

The new forums make it easier to get rid of trolls. It also makes it easier to deputize moderators, and I fully plan on having moderators for each board.

The two big concerns are the non-threaded view, and the sort-by latest thread (not reply). I agree 100 percent with people about preferring the threaded view. I've grown very used to it here, and prefer the way the conversation flows with threaded viewing.

But ultimately, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. There will be bumps in the road, during the transition, but we feel that it will be much stronger than our current boards.

-g
the thing that really bugs me about the new Serotta forum...ramboorider
Dec 24, 2003 1:35 PM
is the inability to reply to a specific post. You can reply to the entire topic, but not to specific messages. Since people can't reply directly to each other, the posts just seem to turn into everyone saying what they know about the original topic, but no real discussion is possible. If this new forum has the same limitation, that will be a real drag. For example, I couldn't reply to Gregg's post that discusses the threaded view, as I'm doing now.

-Ray
More bsSpoiler
Jan 12, 2004 8:13 AM
Just say the new forums make life easier for you, and not us. The advantages for YOU outweigh the advantages for the forum users like us.
Why can't Gregg listen to US?Spoiler
Jan 12, 2004 8:10 AM
It seems to me that we told Gregg we're happy with this forum. If he can show me stats indicating forum viewers demand more intricate member profile features, like this is some online dating service, I'd be happy to see them.
We're the one who use it right? But he can't hear us. All we get back is his patronizing answers telling us we're not smart enough to know what we like. We've also told him we DON'T want any more popup ads. He laughs this off too. Good administrators know how to listen to his customers. Show me one example of how Gregg is listening to us now?
I'm sure he wouldDougSloan
Jan 12, 2004 8:28 AM
Assuming Consumer Review is a stock corporation, I'm sure he'd listen to you if you buy sufficient shares in the company.

There are business reasons behind these decisions in any company. Besides, I'm sure these changes would never dissuade the loyal, interesting, reasonable people from participating. No one can always please all the malcontents.

Doug (speaking solely for myself)
I am listening...gregg
Jan 14, 2004 12:05 PM
...and I'm sorry you feel the way you do.

I think I've said several times, that I hate popups just as much as the next guy, but the fact is, we need the money from the advertisers. I hear that the google toolbar works well for blocking popups, but I understand that it may not be an option for everyone.

For the forums change, I may have oversimplified the reasons for the change. But rest assured, that our main reason for switching is NOT just because it makes life easier for us. There are several reasons for the change, I'm sorry that you seemed to focus on that one.

-gregg

gkato@roadbikereview.com
My fav feature...Asiago
Dec 23, 2003 7:59 PM
My favorite feature of the current forums is the ability to view entire threads at one click or just individual replies at one click. And to see quickly not just how many replies there are to a post, but who made the posts. Allows me to easily follow the posts of great posters and while also easily ignore posts that will not interest me.

I just hope the new software can will be able to do this.

Thanks for a great site! Whatever you implement, I ain't leaving! Well, unless I get banned...

Asiago
different ways of viewing threads...SmogRider
Dec 23, 2003 11:45 PM
you'll have a few options for the way YOU want to view the threads.

here's one:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?mode=hybrid&threadid=81
it is threaded WITHIN a thread, but not from the main board...gregg
Dec 24, 2003 11:31 AM
...unfortunately.

There is no current solution to this issue.

-g
that's ok (nm)SmogRider
Dec 24, 2003 11:39 AM
re: New Forum Software coming for RoadBikeReview.com!spankdoggie
Dec 23, 2003 11:35 PM
Oh joy of joys!!!

Tears, tickles, hugs and kisses, and piggyback rides!!!

The new software has been the most wonderful thing at golfreview.com. It has revived our dear board, and it will revive this board, as well.

I really love the private messaging! If someone tries to be unkind, you can send them a private message to stop it.

Thank you Francis!!!

Thank you!!!
can we leave the competetive cyclist ads here when we move? (nm)Frith
Dec 24, 2003 7:12 AM
I like those ads!gregg
Dec 24, 2003 11:32 AM
Beats the heck out of anti-smoking ads, or classmates!
Doesn't seem to address my only problem with this board...TFerguson
Dec 26, 2003 9:26 AM
and that is the inability to see the the thread layout (who is answering who) from within the 'view all'/'linear' mode.

TF
two parts to answer this...gregg
Dec 29, 2003 10:57 AM
...there is a threaded view that remains at the top in its own window, even as you read the individual replies. So you can see who is answering who. But, this is not a "view all" threaded view.

There IS a "view all" mode, but it has the problem you refer to (not being able to tell who is replying to who). Which is why the new system defaults to include quotes, when replying to someone (so you know who the person is replying to.)

-gregg