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Radical changes coming

Thread title: Radical changes coming
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06-09-2017, 04:06 PM
#11
Lucas is offline Lucas
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Have you already decided into which platform to make the change? I like the idea of trying something like Discourse. It does change a little bit though, another nice option which I don't know how effective will be is also XenForo 2, which they are trying to make more social (still in alpha).

Whichever way you go, wish you the best! Hopefully we can come and discuss/share knowledge with other people. Specially now that everyone is running their own business.

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06-09-2017, 08:36 PM
#12
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Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
Have you already decided into which platform to make the change? I like the idea of trying something like Discourse. It does change a little bit though, another nice option which I don't know how effective will be is also XenForo 2, which they are trying to make more social (still in alpha).

Whichever way you go, wish you the best! Hopefully we can come and discuss/share knowledge with other people. Specially now that everyone is running their own business.
Love what they are doing with XenForo 2.0, which is a software of choice for HostingDiscussion.com sister-community. However, members there are more structured and less open to drastic changes. The crowd here has always been a lot more creative and unique, and members always appreciated new exciting apps and tools, which makes Discourse that much more interesting technology-wise. Our developer is in the process of studying the software and evaluating the steps necessary to take us there.

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06-15-2017, 12:08 PM
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Hi Guys, long time no post.

In his initial post, repeated in later ones, Artashes noted that many of even the most popular discussions have entered a decline. I know this is true in the ones I follow most closely, about business managing and writing/editing.

I propose closing out and archiving all those large, unwieldy discussions. While many of them contain useful information, reading through thousands, or even mere hundreds, of posts takes time and energy, and so cuts into what should be the principal occupation of anyone reading them: a flourishing freelance practice of [you name it.].

Those of us who are historically minded might like access to these older discussions but, in many cases, information and standards have changed enough that I don't recommend relying on either business management or writing/editing information from even 3 years ago.

A new platform deserves new discussions.

(In addition, I've always found a lot of misinformation, or highly-localized information, floating around the discussions I monitor. This is not helpful.)

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06-15-2017, 03:56 PM
#14
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Originally Posted by Lowengard View Post
I propose closing out and archiving all those large, unwieldy discussions. While many of them contain useful information, reading through thousands, or even mere hundreds, of posts takes time and energy, and so cuts into what should be the principal occupation of anyone reading them: a flourishing freelance practice of [you name it.].

Those of us who are historically minded might like access to these older discussions but, in many cases, information and standards have changed enough that I don't recommend relying on either business management or writing/editing information from even 3 years ago.
Thank you. I would like to support this decision in closing very old discussions. I will have to go forum-to-forum eventually to make sure some very old subjects cannot be brought back to life. The beauty of the new platform is that it is based on new/recent posts being displayed first, in a continuous flow of discussions and questions that members then can segregate further by subject. This will naturally help eliminate older subjects and promote new ones.

As for the new software, Discourse isn't as simple as I thought initially. Requires Ruby on Rails, so that means getting a brand new server that will support it. Vanilla doesn't have that problem. We will still try to port TF into Discourse (things are being done in a test-server environment) and in the meantime there is still space to talk about the pros and cons and see what people gravitate towards.

My least favorite part of Discourse is the thread information pane that is located below the original post of every discussion (attached). To me it seems like a less useful piece of information. Vanilla doesn't have it, but then the way you work with the thread is more traditional. Overall, Discourse does look like a more interesting framework.

Attached Images
File Type: png discourse thread info.png (108.1 KB, 8 views)

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06-16-2017, 06:39 PM
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i've been doing a bunch of marketing work lately, so i admit my POV comes through that lens; but is the status bit really that obtrusive?

it doesn't get in the way of anything important; and from a brand/marketing perspective it could be used to prove TF is the exact opposite of what it's been - legit - new thread, new discussions, from real users; and not a bunch of spam.

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06-17-2017, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by derek lapp View Post
i've been doing a bunch of marketing work lately, so i admit my POV comes through that lens; but is the status bit really that obtrusive?

it doesn't get in the way of anything important; and from a brand/marketing perspective it could be used to prove TF is the exact opposite of what it's been - legit - new thread, new discussions, from real users; and not a bunch of spam.
Thank you, Derek. I made a decision yesterday to fly with Discourse and already purchased a server where things are going to be tested and ported.

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06-20-2017, 11:34 AM
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Artashes, you have to have faith that old and worthwhile information in discussions, or entire discussions, for that matter, will re-emerge organically in the new platform, whichever one you choose.

I say this based on my more-than-a-decade experience teaching business management in online programs. I learned that there is no need to seed discussions before the course opens, as someone will always ask those critical questions. In addition I believe there is some value to redefining those critical questions by asking them anew, and some advantage to having them answered by someone likely to be monitoring the discussion (and so available for follow-up questions).

This wouldn't solve the issues around such questions as "help! the taxman is auditing me! what should I do?" but IMO that's an issue of how to ask a question, and not how to provide a useful answer.


Is there a way you could simply archive all of the current platform?

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06-20-2017, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Lowengard View Post
I learned that there is no need to seed discussions before the course opens, as someone will always ask those critical questions. In addition I believe there is some value to redefining those critical questions by asking them anew, and some advantage to having them answered by someone likely to be monitoring the discussion (and so available for follow-up questions).

Is there a way you could simply archive all of the current platform?
In regard to archiving, I have to discuss what's possible with the developer.

However, if your proposal is to completely leave all content behind and starting with a blank sheet, I am worried about that move for a few reasons. Apart from a ton of great early content that will help us get some organic traffic and ranking in the engines, we still have hundreds of old members, some of whom might give the community a chance if they see real changes taking place. These are the members who at some point have given up on TF, but they are also the ones who built the community. If we were to strip them of their status by removing/archiving content, this might lead to them being upset.

Between the two (removing content and archiving), I of course pick archiving. The simplest way to achieve that would be to lock old discussions so they do not get bumped if someone where to decide to reply to them. That way we'll have members generating new discussions, even if those critical questions are the same. Times have changed, solutions have changed, so on that I agree with you.

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06-22-2017, 12:00 AM
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To me it seems like traditional forums like this one (vbulletin, phpbb, ipb) are just past their time. Lots of forums I used to go to are dead or gone. Some traditional forums seem to still be going but have gotten pretty slow. Just seems to be the current state of the internet with social media, youtube, reddit etc.

Hopefully some radical changes can do something.

It almost might be a better idea to just wipe the slate and start fresh. You could take this vbulletin install and keep it in it's current location, but make it read only/archive (if vbulletin even has this feature, might have to just disable all permissions edit/post/reply/register/etc). Transfer all the user data to the new platform. Have a big banner saying this forum is archived here is a link to the new community if someone comes from an old link.

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06-23-2017, 01:03 AM
#20
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Originally Posted by mikeroq View Post
To me it seems like traditional forums like this one (vbulletin, phpbb, ipb) are just past their time.
[...]
Hopefully some radical changes can do something.
[...]
It almost might be a better idea to just wipe the slate and start fresh. You could take this vbulletin install and keep it in it's current location, but make it read only/archive
Hey @mikeroq! I am glad to hear some concrete suggestions. I am not sure if you had the chance to read through this thread where I explained what we've already done and what needs to still be done, but we are basically going along these lines.

Discourse has been a bit of a pain in the butt (we had to attract an expert in the software to help with certain things), but we are going forward. We have a test server with Digital Ocean running. I find Discourse to be an excellent new platform we can confidently work with.

We have also removed nearly 10,000 accounts (and still removing) and plan on repositioning TalkFreelance to certain markets only. We are likely to launch with no Marketplace.

Finally, there is a solution to archive all existing forums to prevent them from spilling back into conversation. Since Discourse flows differently than a traditional forum, old conversations will serve as nothing more than seeding ground for search engines and organic traffic, while only fresh new content will be served first.

I can't tell you exactly when the new forum will kick into action, but I know we aren't that far from it either.

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