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How to Ensure This Site Fails

TracyK's picture

I don't like the clumsy and confusing way messages and threads display here, and that is my chief complaint. Navigating from folder to folder and thread to thread is confusing and clumsy, and is a deterrent to my coming here at the moment.

However -- the only way to ensure that this forum (and the community that much of us have spent a decade or more building) fails is for all of use to jump ship at the first opportunity.

I've seen it happen before... changes happen on a discussion forum, a band of the faithful strike out for new territory, and the whole thing falls apart within six months, never to be rebuilt again anywhere.

All I'm saying is be VERY CAREFUL when deciding to create alternative forums.

Canuck's picture

Tracy, many people mentioned (post #68086, reply #1 of 59)

Tracy, many people mentioned leaving yesterday and it appears that some have done so. I started a list of emails in case that happens. I believe that all posters who emailed me said they really didn't want to leave but wanted to be sure they could reach friends and acquaintances if they did.
I agree with you that all leaving at once could end this forum; however, many people just don't have the time to keep coming back to see if anything's changed. And if they get used to not checking in as frequently, they will eventually drift off.
Robyn's been very helpful today; I hope Taunton is giving her assistance/assistants to help get the worst issues dealt with.

AnnL's picture

I think people are planning (post #68086, reply #2 of 59)

I think people are planning on checking in over here, to see if the site improves. But, in the meantime, they need a place to come together and chat and do what they've been doing for the last 10 years. It's too difficult, if not impossible, to do that here, at least right now. If it fails, don't blame it on the people who have the rug ripped out from under them. The way the forum is now, it cannot function as it has for us.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

TracyK's picture

I see your point, Ann, but (post #68086, reply #3 of 59)

I see your point, Ann, but the people are what make this forum valuable, not the platform.

Without the people it will not be valuable even if they fix the platform.

Gretchen's picture

I'm not leaving. I am waiting (post #68086, reply #4 of 59)

I'm not leaving. I am waiting somewhat impatiently for some information on what can be done. Communication counts--I'll say it again.

Gretchen
cyalexa's picture

Tracy and Gretchen, I'm with (post #68086, reply #5 of 59)

Tracy and Gretchen,

I'm with you.

Let's see what we can do to be constructive and help improve this new format. Further, let's not kill the messenger. The CT staff that are visible to us during this process were not the decision makers. They were assigned the difficult task of implementation. I plan to be patient and helpful if at all possible. That said, I completely understand that many will not have the time to try to navigate in the new format with all its endless scrolling. If it becomes apparent that is permanent, I will also abandon ship.

Cindy

shywoodlandcreature's picture

I really don't want to leave (post #68086, reply #6 of 59)

I really don't want to leave this forum, and I have been underwhelmed by the alternatives that have been suggested - mostly because I think there's a critical mass needed before you can claim "community". I'm willing to give this format a chance to grow on me, or, preferably, for the Taunton folks to make some of the improvements needed and suggested.

MadMom's picture

I, too, don't want to leave, (post #68086, reply #8 of 59)

I, too, don't want to leave, but I refuse to stay forever in the vain hope that "something" will be done. If Taunton wants people to go, this is the best way. Make a change without any planning, thought, or consultation. Ask for comments, then say you "can't please everybody". Say you are working on changes, but don't say what those changes are. Yes, I'll stick around CT until or unless I decide I'm no longer wanted.

TracyK's picture

Again -- I understand that, (post #68086, reply #9 of 59)

Again -- I understand that, but it hasn't even been a week. I'm just suggesting patience. It may take some time, but as they seem pretty willing to listen and work on changes, IMO it would be a little premature for us all to decamp for parts unknown.

Maybe I'm just gun-shy, but I've seen what happens when people leave an "objective" (in quotes because nothing is truly objective, LOL) third-party-run forum site for one set up by a member, and it has never been pretty. Starts out fine, then personal politics comes in and it goes real ugly real quick.

ashleyd's picture

Absolutely right Tracy, I (post #68086, reply #12 of 59)

Absolutely right Tracy, I think we've all had our say, pretty much saying the same thing and now the best thing to do would be to wait at least a few days to give "them" a chance to start responding. In the meantime a return to normal business would be nice, although I agree with most of the posts and posters a little breather would be in order.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Jean's picture

He!!s Bells! It will take one (post #68086, reply #20 of 59)

He!!s Bells! It will take one person full time just to keep up with reading all the rants going on here, much less fix anything. I'm beginning to sympathize with our kidnappers. :)

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
AnnL's picture

Uh-oh, Jean has Stockholm (post #68086, reply #21 of 59)

Uh-oh, Jean has Stockholm Syndrome! ;-)

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Jean's picture

LOL (post #68086, reply #22 of 59)

LOL

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Marcia's picture

(No subject) (post #68086, reply #29 of 59)

Marcia's picture

(No subject) (post #68086, reply #30 of 59)

cyalexa's picture

In response to MadMom: I want (post #68086, reply #13 of 59)

In response to MadMom: I want you. Other CTers want you.

Quilter's picture

I agree with Tracy, Gretchen (post #68086, reply #7 of 59)

I agree with Tracy, Gretchen and Cyalexa that we need to give them a chance to improve the functionality of this platform. This is a great community, and it would be really unfortunate if it failed. I don't post very often but I read the threads regularly and have learned so very much from the excellent cooks here. We just need to be patient - I'm sure they want to make this work just as badly as we do.

Geoffchef's picture

Wow! First time I've been (post #68086, reply #56 of 59)

Wow! First time I've been here in a while - when did they trash the site? And why?

 

ADAM'S APPLE, n.
A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

 

kathymcmo's picture

It converted a little more (post #68086, reply #57 of 59)

It converted a little more than a week ago, and it's not been well received, at CT or at Breaktime, Gatherings and Over the Fence. They are meeting next week at Taunton to see what changes they can make to improve the site. The new software is open source and can be customized to some degree but we're waiting to hear what the means specifically for CT and how long it might take. In the meantime, while we await the improvements, we've gathered over at CT Classic: http://forums.delphiforums.com/cooks1/messages/?msg=1.1

Geoffchef's picture

The first things I noticed (post #68086, reply #58 of 59)

The first things I noticed were the lack of order to the posts and the absence of addressees. These both seem to me stunningly obvious neccessities.
Is this change somehow saving Taunton money? Is there some logical motivation?

 

ADAM'S APPLE, n.
A protuberance in the throat of man, thoughtfully provided by Nature to keep the rope in place.
Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

 

ashleyd's picture

These have been mentioned (post #68086, reply #59 of 59)

These have been mentioned once or twice, Taunton are looking at it. I believe there are commercial reasons for changing platform, but the new platform was not sufficiently developed before being thrust upon us.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

cyalexa's picture

Edited I decided to delete (post #68086, reply #11 of 59)

Edited

I decided to delete everything I originally wrote and repost after the last new post so it will be somewhat in chronologic order.

MEANCHEF's picture

I would prefer not to go to a (post #68086, reply #10 of 59)

I would prefer not to go to a new forum either, but the way this whole format change was done shows total lack of respect for the users. We are totally removed from the people at Taunton who could change things. They do not and likely will not talk to us.
If they cared at all they would have asked in the first place.

My first choice is th fix this forum, but so far I see absolutely no sign that anyone cares what we think

TracyK's picture

Have you missed the (post #68086, reply #14 of 59)

Have you missed the (admittedly slight) improvements that have already been made? Or the many comments from Robyn telling us she's noting our suggestions and that they'll be working on further improvements?

This stuff doesn't happen instantaneously just because it's on the web. It takes time to make these kinds of changes.

I agree that the whole switch was handled pretty poorly, but at this point it's shutting the barn door after the cows have gone to rant and roar about it. It's done.

What happens next depends a lot on the users who stick around.

MEANCHEF's picture

I'm most frustrated because (post #68086, reply #15 of 59)

I'm most frustrated because there was never an attempt to communicate with users prior to this fiasco. Much could have been avoided. They didn't even test this puppy.

I agree that we are at where we are at, but moving forward to me would require letting us communicate with someone who knows the system, knows what can and cannot be changed, knows what we are talking about. Otherwise the process will be more torture.

TracyK's picture

I agree -- though they told (post #68086, reply #16 of 59)

I agree -- though they told us there would be a change to a new platform, they didn't really indicate how significant a change it would be. That's unfortunate.

It may be more difficult than it should be to get to the kind of expert you'd like to have access to. From the very little I know of Drupal, it's a free open source content management system, meaning they write code and distribute it, and various users can customize and change things willy-nilly.

Which is nice on the one hand, because it IS customizable, but annoying on the other hand, because it literally can "take a village" to figure out how to implement the kind of customization we are asking for... and I don't know whether Taunton is committed to having the same parameters for all their forum sites, and whether or not the gardeners or the woodworker folks are asking for the same changes we are.

Perhaps Robyn is that person, I don't know if she works for Taunton full time or if she's a consultant hired to work on the transition. I also don't know if she's more of a content person or a tech person.

It would be good to have more communication from the folks in charge, but I think it's important to note that they ARE communicating, even if it's not as swift or as comprehensive as we would like it to be.

RDA's picture

First off Tracy, you're (post #68086, reply #23 of 59)

First off Tracy, you're amazing. Please never leave this forum!

I see an opportunity in your reply and I'm going to take it: We all knew the forum would look and behave differently, but I for one didn't fully appreciate how much differently until we launched. Logistically speaking, there was more opportunity for us to explore other existing Drupal forums than to play around on this one. I don't blame the developers for that--they worked round the clock to get as as ready as possible as much in advance as they could. We're a small team.

We came to Drupal, not only for the $ savings, but also because it's open-source, because we needed more updated technology than Prospero/Mzinga. Your points about the pros and cons of Drupal are spot on. Thank you for your observation.

Other communities are asking for the same changes for their new forums. That's why we've made only tweaks so far. Next week, we'll all get in a room together, pull out our feedback, and get at it. I won't be able to bring Mzinga's forum layout back. I know that. But, I may be able to bring back some features. Part of our regroup will be to discuss what exactly is possible and what we'll need to work around. I'm very optimistic.

I'm a full-timer who cut some editorial teeth in Taunton's book division and cut even sharper teeth a few years ago at www.FineHomebuilding.com as a Web editor. I'm a content person obsessed with the Web, which isn't the same as being a techie, but I do think technology will solve the world's problems. It'll solve mine, anyway. ; )

I'm more ears than mouth at the moment, that's true. That isn't because, as MEANCHEF believes, we don't care about the community; it's because I'm smart enough to know that if I'm going to come out here and address this community, I better know my stuff. I'm figuring this all out right along with everybody else. I know it's not ideal, I know we all want change and we want it now, I know the type is orange. But, before I promise change with a capital C, I have to work with my team to figure out what's possible, when, then how.

In the meantime, I sure do appreciate you. Not only you, but the many others who are filling my inbox with reminders of how important CT is to them.

Syrah's picture

Robyn, I really appreciate (post #68086, reply #24 of 59)

Robyn, I really appreciate you taking the time to say all that.

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be obtained." -Marie Curie

AnnL's picture

Yes, thank you Robyn. I (post #68086, reply #25 of 59)

Yes, thank you Robyn. I appreciate knowing that next week will be the get down to work week. As Ashley pointed out, communication of that sort is important. Otherwise, we think you're not even concerned with all the uproar.

And, we know the other forums are having the same complaints. We all used the forums and enjoyed the same things. The features that we lost are the very features that made it feel like conversations, with little side chats here and there. It was very easy to follow what was being discussed, to see all the new posts and to reply.

I know you can't go back to the old format, but the sites that Tracy posted, on quick glance, seem to go a long way towards meeting those needs.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Pati's picture

Thanks for the timeline. I (post #68086, reply #26 of 59)

Thanks for the timeline. I think things will calm down now.

StevenHB's picture

Good luck Robyn - and, (post #68086, reply #27 of 59)

Good luck Robyn - and, please, keep the communications coming even if it's just to continue saying, "We're working on it."

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible