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Gatherings Upgrade: Same forum, new look

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VictoriaNorth | Posted in General Discussion on

The Gatherings forum will move to a new and improved platform the week of Nov. 16.

What does this mean for you? The new Gatherings forum will feature:

• A new clean look

• Improved Google search

• Improved member profiles

• Read messages without logging in

• Archive discussions will still be available

• Upgrades to raise the forum to industry standards

As part of a planned site-wide upgrade we’re moving our forums to a new platform called Drupal. The forums are the first area of our Web site that will benefit from this new technology.

We’re sorry we don’t have more details for you at this time, but stay tuned to ThreadsMagazine.com for more information in the coming weeks. I will share more information as soon as it becomes available.

Thank you in advance for your patience during this transition.


Edited 11/4/2009 4:32 pm ET by vicky_north

Replies

  1. gailete | | #1

    Glad to hear about the not logging in part. My visits here are way down now that I have to remember a log in.

  2. Ceeayche | | #2

    Looking forward to it.  Though it's one of the cleanest sites I frequent, so I'm curious about the plans and looking forward to an enhanced Gatherings experience.

  3. Palady | | #3

    It's super of you to post a-headsup on the coming changes. 

    Though I'm a bit hesitant as to how the "new" will be to navigate, I can appreciate the need to upgrade, what to me, is the best ever format.  Threads has hung in there with it far longet than have others.  What was done with those had many discontinuing their visiting.   But maybe that was waht had to be accomplished.

    Nov 16 will be enlightneing to be sure!

    nepa 

     

  4. Ckbklady | | #4

    Hello!

    Maybe I'm not so tech-savvy, but did the site change over? I see a dotted line like a sewn seam through the tan brocade bar up top, but no other differences. I still have to sign in every time, too (not that I mind - it keeps my brain working).

    I've had some issues with Windows 7 where I don't have the same functionality as I do in Firefox or Google Chrome, so I put the lack of change here down to that for a while.

    I must say, if you did revamp the site and it visibly changed this little, kudos to you!

    Thanks,

    Ckbklady

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #5

      We have not had a change over quite yet. We want to be sure that none of your archived material is lost, so we are working to move over that information. I will give you all an update when we have a solid date for the switch. I believe it will be sometime next week.

      1. Ckbklady | | #6

        Thanks for the note back - I was starting to think that I or the computer needed to be rebooted! And I bet there's at least one person out there who was glad that I asked the stupid question so they didn't have to, LOL.

        I'll watch for your update. Thanks!!

        Ckbklady

        1. gailete | | #7

          I thought it was supposed to have been done a week or so ago, but I wasn't sure. I too am having to sign on every other time I come on and hopefully that will be gone when the changeover happens or at least the button that asks if we would like it to remember our info will be working. It would be so much easier if all sites had the same parameters for passwords but they don't, so it means so many variations and different passwords, I had to give up and most of them are written down in a recipe box so I can find them when needed. I doubt many people would want to hack into my account here!

  5. User avater
    VictoriaNorth | | #8

    Hello All, We are now planning for the Gatherings forum upgrade to occur on Monday, November 30th. If this date changes, I will be sure to update you with any new details. On the morning of the 30th, you will be redirected to a "coming soon" page while we do a final backup of archived forum content. We want to be sure that the transition goes smoothly, and that nothing is lost in the move. I will update you with any new details as they become available.Thank you for your patience,Vicky

    1. KharminJ | | #9

      Hey, Vicky! I just now thought of something really important that your last post brought to mind: You said you're carefully saving all the archives - I hope we'll be able to get to those posts from our existing bookmarks!! I know I'm not the only Gatherer with literally hundreds of posts and threads bookmarked for future reference.Thanks for keeping us updated with what's going on with our home-on-the-computer! And have a Happy Turkey Day!Bright Blessings, too ~ Kharmin

      1. User avater
        VictoriaNorth | | #10

        Hello All, It looks like we will be switching over to the new Gatherings forum tomorrow. Around 10:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, December 2nd, the Gatherings forum will be redirected to a placeholder page, while we do a final archive of content from the current Gatherings forum. The entire process should be complete sometime mid-afternoon when the new forum will be up and running. During this transition time, there will be no access to archived forum content and you will not be able to post new content. We appreciate your patience during this time and can't wait to show you the new and improved forums.Kharmin: Unfortunately we can't set up redirects for each post (there would be thousands), but we have included an easy way to look up existing posts using the old message id (found at the end of your bookmarked url). Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will try to answer to the best of my ability. I will post again when the new forums are up with details about the new features. Thanks, Vicky

        1. User avater
          VictoriaNorth | | #11

          Hello All,

          The forum upgrade was a success and we are back up and running. There are a few new features to explore, but you should otherwise find that your profile and posts are preserved.

          You can log in using the same e-mail address and password that you've been using all along. However, you do not need to log in to read forum messages anymore. You are only required to log in if you want to make a new post or leave a comment on an existing post.

          If you had someone listed as a "friend" in the old system, you are now "following" them in the new system. "Following" someone is a lot like bookmarking their profile.

          At the moment, search will not return any results. It will take a few days to completely index the new system. After the index completes, search will be a lot better than before.

          If you're looking for a post by a specific person, you can click on their profile to access all of their posts.

          To find a bookmarked post from the old system, enter the message id number (found at the end of the url) into the "Search for an Archived Message" box to the right and hit submit.

          Find more information about the new features on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page (http://forums.threadsmagazine.com/faq). If you have any other questions, not found on this page, please do not hesitate to ask. We hope that you will enjoy the new forum features, and that you will continue to share your great sewing ideas and stories with us.

          Thank you again for your patience during this transition.

          Vicky

        2. User avater
          VictoriaNorth | | #19

          There have been a few questions about how to post a new forum thread (add forum topic) and how to reply to a message.

          To post a new forum thread choose “Add forum topic” in the upper left side module. It is the second link under “Home”. You can choose which forum you would like to post into (feedback on threads, gather for a chat, general discussion, etc.) using the dropdown menu, add a subject line, and the body of your text. Hit save when your post is complete.

          To reply to a message use the reply link located at the bottom of each post.

          Please let me know if you have any other questions about posting.

          Thanks.

        3. sewelegant | | #78

          I do not know how to enter a "comment" so I will just press enter.

          That didn't work.

          Preview looks good but thats not what i want'

          how about save?

          1. sewelegant | | #79

            what's wrong with just saying
            what's wrong with just saying "post" (save doesn't make sense to me)

          2. User avater
            VictoriaNorth | | #80

            We are planning to change the language on the buttons. This is high on the list of feature changes and we hope to get this done next week.

  6. stillsuesew | | #12

    For the moment I am lost.

  7. Sancin | | #13

    Oh dear, the print is pretty small. Clean, but small! Will one be able to post a message without having to log in for each message? I had to go searching for my password as previously it was automatically loaded. I guess it is going to take awhile to get used to!

    Will we be notified if there is a response to our message as previously?

    Gulp

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #14

      You will still have to log in to post messages, but you no longer need to log in if you want to read messages. I know changes take a little while to get used to, but it was past time for us to upgrade the technology. We have tried to replicate the old forum as much as possible.

      To get e-mail notifications of replies to your posts and comments, make sure that the Subscribe button is checked when you first make a post. On each reply there is also a check box at the bottom to select if you would like to be notified of comments.

      UPDATE: The subscribe button is not on the post form at this time. You can only request notification of comments on a reply.

      An easy way to navigate the new forum is to try “recent topics” and “recent replies” up in the top left corner.

      Please don’t hesitate to ask anything about the new forum. There are no stupid questions. We are all trying to adjust to the new system together.

      -Vicky

      1. marymary | | #15

        Vicky, I don't have a
        Vicky, I don't have a Subscribe button on my screen. All I have is "Save" and Preview". Am I looking in the wrong place? It is also a bit confusing to have "Save" as the way to Post."

        1. User avater
          VictoriaNorth | | #16

          This is just the first step in launching the new system. We will be updating with new features and some changes soon. I will be sure to request a change for the language on the "save" button to make this clearer.

          You are also correct that the subscribe button has been left of off of the original post form. I have updated the FAQ page to reflect this.

          You can easily subscribe for comment notifications when you write a reply to a post by checking the box at the bottom of the form. Hopefully we can have this added to posts as well, and have this resolved right away.

          1. marymary | | #17

            It would be helpful to have a "Subscribe" button without having to add a reply. Sometimes, I want to read what others have to say without making a reply, particularly when I don't know the answer to a question.

            Thank you, Vicky, for paying attention and responding to the comments from the Gathering Members.

          2. User avater
            VictoriaNorth | | #18

            I completely understand. This will hopefully just be a short term problem, but adding your own reply would be the easiest way to subscribe for notification until this is figured out.

            Thank you for hanging in there with us, while we get all of the bugs worked out.

  8. Jean | | #20

    In the old forum we could upload photos and graphics to our posts. Will this be possible now?

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #21

      Yes, the section below the text box where you can "Attach files to this comment" is where you can add photos and graphics to your post.

      When creating a new post you can "attach images" or "attach files" using the attachment tool located below the body of your text.

      1. Jean | | #22

        Oh, there it is!! Thanks. Testing.

      2. Jean | | #23

        Oh, there it is!! Thanks.

        1. Jean | | #30

          Uh oh, after you post it goes back to the top of the thread--not a good thing. Can that be fixed? And I don't see an edit button either. Sigh.

          ETA There's an edit button. Yeah!

          1. User avater
            VictoriaNorth | | #31

            I was just about to reply and let everyone know the edit button was fixed. I wanted to be sure that it was showing up for everyone before I let you know. Thanks for the update. We are also compiling a list of all the major requests and will try to add features to make the forum better as soon as possible. I agree with many of the suggestions and I promise it will get easier as we make some of the changes.

  9. Meg | | #24

    How to we navigate to other message boards (Cookstalk, for example). We used to be able to slide from one to another, but today the entire message board appears different and there seems to be nowhere to select another Taunton message board.

    I don't do change very well, but this is not even looking like the "same message board" as previously advertised. Or perhaps it was simply an overly large day at work for me...?

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #25

      I will request that they add links to the other forums back into the header. For the time being, you can bookmark links to CooksTalk (http://forums.taunton.com/tp-cookstalk)and Over the Fence (http://forums.finegardening.com) to get to your other favorite forums.

  10. starzoe | | #26

    I particularly did not want my name (first and last) on my profile. I notice now that it is posted, as is my email address. One of the good things about the old forum was that the email address was blind and no one knew it unless replied to. I've deleted my email address but how do I delete my *real* name?

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #27

      When you edit your profile you can choose the "Personal Information" tab between the "Account" and "Security Question" tabs and update what is showing as your full name.

    2. KharminJ | | #33

      Hi, Starzoe - just wanted to let you know that your real name doesn't show 'out here'. Om *my* profile page, I can see all of my info, but on everybody else's, it only shows what's in the box at the top of the page...

      Still getting used to this....

      Kharmin

      1. starzoe | | #35

        Thanks for telling me. I clicked on my forum name on the list of members and came up with too much information for security and assumed the information was readable by anyone with a computer. I'll check that out again. I too hate having to scroll through dozens of postings before finding the newest one unread by me.

  11. Reconstrukt | | #28

    Like the new look, seems like a more modern forum now. Excited to see what other new features are in store for us!

  12. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #29

    The new forum has a nice clean look, however the print is on the smallish side. I'm getting more used to the new look as I spend more time navigating around.

    I do have one request for an enhancement--when we click on a topic, can we be taken to the unread posts instead of going back to the first post every time? As it is now, I have to scroll down from the top and figure out which ones I've already read. If there is a lot of activity on a topic, this could be really annoying!

    Thank you for giving us a heads-up about the changes to the forum, and for listening to our suggestions and answering our questions. I'm sure all the kinks will get worked out eventually.

    Vickie

  13. User avater
    VictoriaNorth | | #32

    I just want to thank all of you for helping me get through today's launch. I really appreciate everyone trying to have a positive attitude and giving me some productive feedback to relay to the tech team. We really are trying to do our best to give you a place where our community can grow, and unfortunately we had outgrown the older forum and the technology we were using there.

    I know that change is hard. I feel strongly about many websites and blogs, and it is difficult when they transition to a redesign or a new way of doing things.

    We understand how important our forums are to the community and we are doing everything we can to create a place for you to come and share your stories, tips, and suggestions with each other.

    Please continue to ask questions and give us feedback on how we can make the new forum even better. I will try to respond to questions as quickly as possible and will update you as new features are added.

    Thanks again,

    Vicky

    1. cat42 | | #38

      This is a very long thread, so my comment may already have been addressed, and I missed it.

      My comment is that I miss the thread numbers. If I am replying to someone, and want to make reference to an earlier reply, or to a particular reply in a different thread, how do I do that with the thread number?

      1. KharminJ | | #41

        Good point, Cat!

        Vicky - while they're working on adding thread numbers, is there a way to add/restore Post Numbers, too? (Especially useful for detailed instructions, often buried somewhere in the middle of a 50-entry thread!)

        One of the functions that Gatherings has, though I doubt it was originally intended, is as an almost encyclopedic reference for "how to do" and "how to fix" all kinds of projects. As Cat said, this is currently unavailable, since you can't refer to a *particular* post, or even the thread it's in.

        Bright Blessings! Kharmin

      2. User avater
        VictoriaNorth | | #51

        We will be adding a way to add a direct link to each reply. We are hoping to have this up today.

        ETA: Unfortunately, we had a bit of a technical glitch that delayed adding this feature. I will let you know as soon as we an get this up.

    2. starzoe | | #45

      Is there some way to access new postings in a particular thread without scrolling through all the previous conversations? For instance, this morning to access the two new postings on this thread, I had to scroll through 42 previous ones. I liked it when the new postings were on top, more convenient and faster access.

      1. User avater
        VictoriaNorth | | #53

        We are working to resolve this issue and find the best solution without confusing the hierarchy of posts. I will update you as soon as we have a better way of sorting the reply threads.

        1. KharminJ | | #59

          Hi again, Vicky!

          It sounds like, from the many "See ya, Bye!" comments, that the new "threaded" instead of the previous "chronological with posts numbers" system is causing us faithful members an awful lot of confusion.

          New people may have needed some help to find the post number that someone was replying to, but *we* all got it, and they quickly did, too! Truly, we weren't confused about "the hierarchy of posts"!! I believe you were fixing something that wasn't really a problem.

          I'd like to strongly second the suggestion that you seriously consider going back to the old format ... I know that won't be a simple process, either (!), but this one really doesn't function nearly as well as a warm conversation-circle of friends-we-haven't-met-yet. You're having to do an awful lot of "fixes" already, and we're rapidly losing our most valuable members.

          Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

    3. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #48

      Hi Vicky

      I have tried very hard to adjust to the changes. What I had feared most has come to pass. The site is unwieldy, hard to navigate, and TOO COMPLICATED. What we had before was easy to read through both the listings of topics, and to catch up on new posts. The complete list of writers is too long in the new format, and it takes forever to download. I used to pop in and out all the time for a quick look. I cannot do that now.

      I have given the new look a chance, but am not willing to fight with getting where I want any more. Sorry to say I probably won't be back. Cathy

      1. User avater
        VictoriaNorth | | #52

        It is possible to switch the order of threads to put the newest first, but we are finding that it isn't very clear what each response is referencing. We are working to find the best solution to this issue.

      2. sewluving | | #58

        Cathy,
        I agree with you
        Cathy,

        I agree with you wholeheartedly. This site is TOO COMPLICATED. I used to find it really easy to navigate but now I find it very frustrating too. Can't find the new posts without scrolling FOREVER and then posts are not in order. The new colours hurt my eyes too. Too bright background or something.

        I'm sad to see this as I was really enjoying this site. I was feeling like there were people here who were cyber-friends

        Now I don't see many responses etc from the people who were on here all the time.

        I am not sure why they changed. Wonder why they couldn't just improve.

        I will check every so often but notice not many people are writing. I think we are all having a hard time getting around here.

        Sorry to see you go. I may follow soon.

        Heather in Calgary

        1. User avater
          VictoriaNorth | | #68

          Unfortunately, we had outgrown the technology we were using on the old forum. There was no way we could use the old system and continue to run this forum free of charge. We know that having a place for the community to share information is important and wanted to continue with Gatherings. I'm sorry you are all having such a hard time getting around. We are trying to resolve these issues, but it can't happen over night. I will update you as often as I can with new features. We are working very hard to figure out the best way to reorganize the posts within the new system to replicate the old way of doing things.

          1. sewluving | | #72

            Thank You Vicky.
            I will be
            Thank You Vicky.

            I will be staying for a while longer but do find it frustrating. I had many messages in my e-mail this evening saying that someone had posted a comment after I wrote what I did this afternoon. Prior to the change I would just click on the link in my e-mail and once I logged into Gatherings it would take me to the response but not tonight. I have had to scroll down through ALL the postings and now I'm figuring out that I need to look for the dates to see who has posted most recently.

            I know getting a new system up and running is difficult. I'm no programmer etc but while working our govt dept went through several (seemed like hundreds) of upgrades each with their own unique problems. Good Luck and please keep us updated.

            Heather in Calgary

  14. KharminJ | | #34

    Hi, Vicki!
    I'm not doing
    Hi, Vicki!

    I'm not doing change too happily these days, either, but I'll try not to be too grouchy about it, before I give the new format a chance. ;)

    I agree that the type is awfully small - but I do have a "zoom text only" option (under View) in my Firefox browser's tool bar and that does help.

    and I agree that it would be more comfortable to go directly to the first post *that I haven't read*, as in the old system. BUT... please don't invert the list! Some lists and forums (forii?) I've seen put the newest post at the top, and that's just dreadful to follow, IMHO.

    Also, the "New Post/Reply" box only shows 6 lines of copy! Considering how long and intricate some of our replies get, this can make the writing very difficult - you have to keep scrolling up and down to read over what you've already typed, and can't see a whole paragraph at once. Much preferred the larger box... Oh, and the Preview button doesn't work yet...

    Chin-up and Cheerio - this is a huge project, I know! Thanks for mentioning that you'd outgrown the previous technology - that makes the changes much easier to accept!

    Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

    1. jjgg | | #36

      Hmmmm, I'm posting to see if
      Hmmmm, I'm posting to see if I get my little hand saying I've replied to this thread, and to see how this new stuff works, I find it much more difficult to immedialty find the messages, there seems to be so much more 'stuff' in there now

      1. starzoe | | #46

        I'm in that confused box with
        I'm in that confused box with you - it seems that the monitor of this site and its changes hasn't answered any questions for a few days............I hate scrolling down 45 messages to get the latest message and they are not in consecutive order either. I did not get an answer to my last query about two days ago. I just cannot make any sense out of the whole change. I think for the time being I will just find another sewing site - I thought Gatherings was exceptional but it has just put itself at the bottom of my list, I don't want to spend the whole day messing with it.

        1. User avater
          VKStitcher | | #47

          You have company in that "confused" box! I've been trying to like the new look, but it's proving to be a difficult chore. Scrolling waaaaay down every time I open a topic is really annoying. And it seems that replies to posts are printed directly under the post that is being replied to, not in chronological order. It makes the conversation hard to follow.

          The "old" Gatherings forum was a lot more active too. I'm afraid a lot of us may drift away...

          Vickie

          1. User avater
            VictoriaNorth | | #54

            I understand how difficult it is to scroll through all of the responses. We are working to find a better way of sorting the conversations that will be less work, and also still make sense. I will let you know when we reach a solution, but we are definitely not ignoring your requests.

          2. woodruff | | #62

            Re scrolling to the newest posts: I don't understand why it should be difficult to find a way of sorting the conversations at least by time. patternreview and artisanssquare have numbered pages after the topic heading. You just click on a higher or lower number in the series to read older or newer entries.

            While I'm here, I'll mention that I am a longtime member, and that now I find myself reluctant to spend time at this site. The new format is not an improvement at all, and here are some of my reasons for saying that:

            1. The font size is teeny, and your readers for the most part are not kids. Mature eyes and small, thin type? Bad combo.

            2. Red type? Bad idea again in terms of readability, unless you make it BOLD red type.

            3. There are no clear delineations between posts as there used to be. The posters' responses should be in distinct and discrete areas on the page, separated either by a box or by stronly different colored spaces (pale pink on white doesn't cut it) or by ruled lines.

            4. The changes that have been made make it appear that someone in administration decided that a change in format was necessary just for the sake of change alone. The alterations that were made are the kinds that computer geeks or the socially handicapped or clueless department heads make: No apparent thought was given to the needs of the subscribers--the people who would actually have to negotiate the site to communicate their thoughts.

            Did anyone at Threads even consider asking subscribers for their thoughts, or maybe running a beta test?

            A curious lack of interest in customer's needs seems to underlie much of the web operations at Threads, and I am not pleased by this.

          3. KharminJ | | #65

            Hi Woodruff ~

            For the record, there was a quite lengthy and well-attended thread, about just this question - "... asking subscribers for their thoughts" - before the format was changed. (Of course, I have no way of finding it now, because the left-links are very different in this new format, and I don't recall the exact title of the topic).

            The problem we're all having with finding the "new" posts is a function of the "threaded" format, as opposed to the previous "chronological order" format. I don't believe there IS a 'fix', short of converting back to chronological, with a "Reply To (fill in the blank)" space. And I don't know if that's even an option with this particular format-template (Hello Vicky??).

            I heartily agree with your first 3 points. Not sure how to react to the 4th, because I agree with parts of some sentences, but not others...

            I do wish that Staff had offered several examples of other sites that currently use the formats they were considering, so we could try them out, and then speak from real-world experience ...

            Bright Blessings, and Patience!

            Kharmin

          4. User avater
            VictoriaNorth | | #69

            Hi Kharmin,

            Thanks for the support. I am trying very hard to get some of the major suggestions taken care of quickly. We are a very small team and we are trying to do the best we can for all involved. We have not forgotten about the community and we do care very much about keeping the forum working and our community happy.

            There may be a way for us to offer choices in how to sort the forum chronologically, but these will need to be tested.

            We did listen to your feedback in the earlier post. Most of the requests were for better search, and less login issues. You now have to log in less, and search will be much better after the initial indexing.

            We have a long list of things to improve in the coming weeks, but you will have to be patient with us. I wish Gatherings was our only project, but our dedicated tech team is working on five forums and seven websites each day. Gatherings is a priority for us and we are trying very hard to make things better for you behind the scenes.

            Please continue to have patience with us while we work out the kinks in this new system.

            Thank You,

            Vicky

          5. Ceeayche | | #71

            Hi Vicky,
            I don't envy your
            Hi Vicky,

            I don't envy your position now. I AM a techie and not adverse to change.

            However, I find the new site less than intuitive. And it's frustrating to not be able to pop in and find out what's new easily. After several visits I just figured out why I couldn't easily find the newest posts (even after clicking on "new") it's because the newest posts are threaded with the old! Aha.

            This memo is not to complain however, I'd like to help. So, I have a couple of recommendations that my company has used when launching it's new email system--

            1. Run the two systems in parallel granting your users in their profiles an option of which format they want to use. Usually tech friendlies are typically the early adopters. We'll all opt for the new one and burn it in for you, and you won't be losing some of your long time users while the kinks are worked out. This would also allow you to slowly introduce each feature as an enhancement over time-- and place it in context of why it's an improvement over the old system-- complete with screen shots to illustrate the change. Like this whole threading thing which could have been positioned as a benefit, but is confusing until you figure it out and then it's not intuitive because visually it's difficult to figure out the old vs the new.

            2. The red ink and the print size are jarring and should be an easy fix to make in the next load.

            3. One of the other issues with some of your long timers (in chatting with one of them off line) is the fact that there are now banner ads. This is creating a major barrier to those who are on dial up, satellite, etc. where the throughput is not adequate to handle the graphics. Is there a way that these members could toggle their profile to receive a cleaner version? If you lose their eyes because they can't download the text, they are of zero benefit to your advertisers, but should still have residual value to Threads, because we are so vocal about reactions to the magazine-- face it some companies PAY for the quality of feedback you're getting for free.

            4. If this is impacting all of the forums at once (what was the project manager thinking);-) maybe you retreat a couple of the forums back to the old system until you can iron out the kinks.

            5. This is a loyal and invested group. Maybe you form a users group to assist in identifying the issues and making suggestions from a USER perspective how they should be addressed.

          6. Meg | | #73

            CHL ~ Thank you for posting your feedback in a fashion which will (I hope) be helpful to those who are charged with working out the bugs.

            This forum has become so cumbersome and unfriendly-feeling that I'm not spending nearly as much time here, and stitching is my passion. And since the change, I find that I'm only coming in to read this thread in hopes of something (news?) which will restore my 'want' to being here. Edited to add: I am grateful that Vicki, who cannot make changes with a magic wand (darn it!), is responding regularly to keep us apprised.

    2. User avater
      RDA | | #39

      Hi KharminJ,
      I'm actually a
      Hi KharminJ,

      I'm actually a Web producer over at CooksTalk, but I'm lurking over here and saw your comment about the New Post/Reply box showing only 6 lines of copy. No worries. You can actually see as many lines of copy as you want. The box is expandable. Next time you reply, notice the three light gray bars just outside the border of the box. A little black arrow will appear when you hover near them. Click and expand. Move up or down; the box will get bigger or smaller. You can also expand the box by clicking and dragging the right hand bottom corner.

      I'll check back on Monday, or write to me if you need more help or a screen shot of what I'm describing.

      Take care,

      Robyn Aitken

      http://www.FineCooking.com

      1. jjgg | | #40

        Yes, I find this much more difficult to use, perhaps it's just that I was so used to the old gatherings site. I don't like this at all

        Goody by all

      2. KharminJ | | #42

        Thanks Robyn! I'm delighted
        Thanks Robyn! I'm delighted to see you guys are working together so you won't have to completely reinvent the wheel on each of your forums!

        I was just about to write:

        AHA! I just found the little gray expanding-bars on the bottom of the Reply Box!! Cool!

        (Though, 'it would be nice' if I didn't have to move it every time I go to post - if it would come up at the size I left it last time...) (The fewer steps needed, the more user-friendly, yaknow? ;) )

      3. KharminJ | | #60

        Hi again, Robyn!
        It's
        Hi again, Robyn!

        It's Thursday following, and I just replied to another post in this thread - the "expand the reply box" marks are gone! We're back to seeing only 6 lines, like it or not... meh??

        Have another good weekend, though! Kharmin

  15. Ckbklady | | #37

    I like the new forum fine and know I'll adjust ok to the changes. Thank you, Vicky North, for keeping us apprised.

    Ckbklady

  16. KharminJ | | #43

    Hi Vicky and Crew! Happy Monday to you!

    Just noticed another small 'glitch' ~ People's 'signatures' seem to be printing twice at the bottom of their posts. Not a huge problem, just 'is'.

    Kharmin

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #49

      New posts should not have double signatures. The problem was with the information brought over from the old system.

  17. KharminJ | | #44

    Re: "Search" function -
    Seems
    Re: "Search" function -

    Seems that you cannot alter your search terms, except from the first page:

    If you get 6 pages of results, and decide that they aren't what you're looking for, you have go "Back" to the original page to change your entry...

    I'm also positive there's really more than 61 entries for "Magazine Extras", how to you get to the other information?

    Specifically looking for the tutorial on reweaving that I saw a couple weeks ago - not sure of the date though, or where it's located. It would be helpful if there was a more 'global' search available, that didn't have to be specific to "Tips and Tricks" or "Extras" or some category...

    Thanks again for all your hard work on this - all the fiddly bits of forum-change-over must be akin to making a tailored jacket!

    Bright Blessings! Kharmin

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #50

      Hi Kharmin,

      The search function on the homepage and article pages is a global search. You do not have to use the category listings, but can use any search term. The categories are just a different way of browsing the content.

      1. PASDENOM | | #55

        The colors and small font are very unpleasant and there doesn't seem to be a way to choose to whom you are replying. The white background is too harsh and glaring, the red is distracting and the black is too weak.

        1. KharminJ | | #61

          You choose "who" you're
          You choose "who" you're replying to, by hitting Reply in the *particular post* you're responding to. Your new post then shows up immediately after it, not at the bottom, as previously. This system is "threaded", the previous one was "chronological". The difference is why it's proving difficult-to-impossible to open immediately to the new/unread posts - they're scattered all through each topic's list.

          I agree, somehow the page is very glaring, compared to the old one, and the type is too small for easy reading...

          Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

      2. gailete | | #75

        Vivky, you folks may be having a bigger problem than you think. For the last several days I've been trying to get to this forum and as I didn't have it bookmarked (don't ask me why) I've been attempting to get to the Threads Home page and find it from there. For at least the last two days whether I Google Threads or click on links via the camcorder/visa card contest, the Threads home page refuses to load! I don't know how long this has been going on, but there is a problem there. I can get to anywhere else I want to go on the internet, just not to Threads. You may want to let the techs know to check it out.

        So far this is only the second thread I've read in the new format and I am less than impressed. Switching colors to indicate a new message, plus the scrolling, scrolling, scrolling isn't working for me at all. Please remember as others mentioned most of us are older and with any vision difficulty these posts are difficult to read.

  18. sewfar | | #56

    Add me to the growing list of disappointed. I can see by the dwindling number of recent posts and replies that I am not the only one. You had an easy to use site and an active community. Now you have neither. Rather than devoting your energy to fixing the problems with the new format, consider returning to the old format which you knew was a success because unlike this it was vibrant. Why the change anyway ? Was it a financial concern or wanting to make a new statement? I think you may find that there are many that agree with me, that new and improved is not necessarily so and you have lost many more readers to include myself than you will ever gain with changes to your new format. You were really the best.

    1. starzoe | | #57

      I am with you. We had an excellent community, this change was definitely not for the better. I cannot find what postings are new to me, this having to read through all previous postings before getting to the final one is the pits and I like you am not likely to stay here. I'll check in now and then to see if things have changed.

  19. kelker | | #63

    I find the new look confusing ---

    1. please put the latest comments at the top --- shouldn't have to scroll, scroll, scroll to read the latest comments;

    2. it seems to take longer to move between topics -- we have to wait for the screens to change.

    1. KharminJ | | #67

      Hi kelker ~

      I think what you are missing is the "unread post" function in chronological order - they still read from top-to-bottom, but you saw the ones posted since your last visit at the top of the screen, and could still scroll back to previous posts *above*.

      As Josefly said, New Posts At The Top is a total nightmare - then you have to scroll *up* between every one!

      Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

  20. Josefly | | #64

    I'm sure a lot of time and
    I'm sure a lot of time and thought has been put into this new system. You are so right: Gatherings has been a popular forum, and any change is bound to shake us loyal members up. Thanks so much for considering our problems with the new system.

    I suppose there's some advantage to "threading" the messages - now, when scrolling through, it's easy to find all the replies to a particular post. That wasn't so easy before. But the option to read only "Unread Messages" was a bigger time-saver, I think.

    If you decide to keep the "threading" system, can you do something to make the lead post more easily identifiable - that is, to differentiate it from the answers? Different background color maybe? Or indent the answers more significantly, so that it's visually possible to identify the order, without actually reading the posts?

    Please, please, don't put the newer messages at the top; that would mean reading backward through earlier posts. In the old system, the most recently updated or added topics did show at the top in each category of topics, but not the messages - the newer messages appeared at the bottom.

    Good luck with the further transition and adjustments to the system.

    1. KharminJ | | #66

      Hi Josefly!

      Glad to see you haven't given up yet, either!

      I think I wouldn't like any *more* indentation (the lines already get pretty short if there are many responses), but a thin rule or extra line-space between 'chunks' might make the separation clearer.

      I agree that the "Unread Messages" and a "Reply To (blank)" was quite workable, and really saved time and confusion. If you really wanted to read the previous referred-to post, you just went up to the last time that person posted in the thread. I miss the post-numbers, too, because they gave you a target, if you wanted to refer to something said earlier, in any topic.

      "Threading" completely eliminates the charming wandering nature of some topics. Mostly, we stayed pretty much on topic, though, and personally, I didn't even consider this possible result ...

      Bright Blessings!

      Kharmin

      1. Josefly | | #87

        Thanks, Kharmin. No, I'm not
        Thanks, Kharmin. No, I'm not giving up - this forum is much too useful to me. I am having a hard time "seeing" buttons, though - you know how it is? When you go to an unfamiliar web site and your eyes are scanning all over the place looking for a way to get around? I'm currently looking for the Search function. I can't see it here, within Gatherings, for the life of me, so I've been scrolling and re-reading all the posts in this topic, to see if anyone else has figured it out. That's when I noticed your response to me - I hadn't received e-mail notification.

        The FAQ page tells to use the Search Function, but not how to find it. I know there's a search back on the Threads Home Page, or in the Articles Section. Ah, well. I'll find it eventually, and then slap my forehead - Duh! It's amazing, isn't it, how accustomed we get to seeing buttons - their color, shape, location on the page. Move one of them or change the color of the print, and it might as well disappear.

        I agree with you about the format - it's feels like a loss not to have the old system. I think this one will be useful, once we get used to it. However, I really feel for those who don't have fast internet access - with the graphics (ads) it will make it way too time-consuming to navigate through the site. Lot's of folks don't have fast access because it's just not available where they live. I guess that's how they (Taunton) keep it free, though.

        1. User avater
          VictoriaNorth | | #88

          Search is in the header where the usual search for the website is usually located. Using the search box in Gatherings will search the forum. The index for a much improved search should be completed soon which will make items even easier to find.

          We are trying to improve usability as quickly as possible and any questions or suggestions are appreciated as we try to make things better.

          1. Josefly | | #89

            No, Search does not appear in the header of the pages while I'm within Gatherings. I've looked for it there several times, doubting my own eyes. I went out of Gatherings to Threads Home Page to find it, but there's no capability of searching the forum from there.

            Edited: I'm sorry, it appears that my preferred browser, Safari, doesn't function properly with the new system. (KharminJ notified me that she sees the button clearly, so I decided to check another browser.) The Search button does appear at the top of the page when I use Foxfire. I don't understand why it would disappear with Safari, but it does.

            When I use Foxfire, though, the Comment box I'm typing into now will not expand in size - the little symbol that should be in the corner allowing me to expand the box has disappeared.

            It seems that each browser has its own problems. How complicated.

          2. KharminJ | | #90

            Gahhh! Yup, I saw (and happily used) the "expand" marks for about 48 hours last week, too, in Firefox, now they've gone away again.

            The multiplicity of browsers available certainly makes life complicated AND complex for everyone, doesn't it???

            Thanks for updating your post - good to keep up with the fixes as they happen! ~K

  21. Cityoflostsouls | | #70

    I've just spent a wasted half
    I've just spent a wasted half hour trying to send a reply to someone (I've forgotten who) after trying to log in and remember my password since every password has to be different on every site-ran in to "nodes" what's that and my time-decipher that-and now I'm finally here here so how do I send this? I have loved this site but I doubt I will go thru logging in for every answer since I know what I will go through. I found nothing wrong with it before and it was simple and easy to navigate. I spent way too much time here because I truly liked it. I've gone on low speed and the navigation needed is wearing me out.

  22. Tycho | | #74

    I agree with the other users'
    I agree with the other users' comments about difficulty finding posts, general navigation, and all the rest. The user interface seems clunky, and an awful lot of scrolling is required to get to where I want to go. It's not really worth the effort. I'm sure going back to the original is impossible for some reason, but it was SO much better. Thanks for letting me vent.

    1. Sancin | | #76

      Add me to the list of those who don't come to the forum daily any more. There are too many buttons to push to get to unread messages and less people seem to be using the forum for all the reason's listed but especially not finding unread messages and topics I want to go to. I think some of the last posted message dates are also wrong. I see something I posted when this format started is noted as a year ago!! Frankly, to find a topic that I find helpful is not easy.

      Many of the topics as listed should be in archives. Topics are great for those visiting, but not for frequent users

  23. sewelegant | | #77

    The older one gets the less one likes change, esp. changes to supposedly get us into the modern age. I can't stand them messing with my internet access constantly (AOL)and I do not like what is happening here. Everything is usually all about "money" so I expect this is no different and somewhere along the way it will become evident. I tried to post a picture of myself, but it kept being rejected as too large and my knowledge of how to make it smaller and smaller didn't work. I wanted to just look at the latest magazine issue and couldn't see it, just the ad to subscribe. I didn't care for the latest issue after browsing through it, but then it appealed to a different mind set than mine and I know future issues will be there for me again... maybe, unless that too feels it needs to go through a big CHANGE.

  24. byf | | #81

    Even though I would like to, I no longer get my daily "fix" on the Gatherings site; navigating the new one is just too cumbersome and a waste of time.

    1. Ralphetta | | #82

      You can add me to that list of people who find this too time consuming and no fun. It looks pretty, but it appears to just be change for the sake of change. The old one was easy to figure out and use. I thought this was a place to discuss sewing. It's been said over and over that younger people aren't into sewing...so why design a site that limits access for older, less computer-savy people?

  25. Josefly | | #83

    Vicky, I have a request I hope you'll consider in fine-tuning the new forum system. The list of discussion topics now scrolls with the messages, instead of remaining stable, or scrolling independently of the messages, as it did before. If you read down the topic list to find a topic you want to read, once finished with that topic, it's more difficult to find and return to the place on the list where you left off. I don't see any advantage to this. Is that something that can be changed? Thanks for your consideration.

    Edit: Oops. On noodling around a little more I see that the topic list does change when I click to read a message thread - it shows my most recently read topic in black print as opposed to red. That does help, but the disorientation is still there - I still have to scroll up or down to find where I was on the list.

    Thanks also for providing the links to Cooks Talk and Over the Fence. I also enjoyed using the links to CraftStylish and the others which were listed on the Taunton page to which we were carried when logging out. Where might I find those links now?

    I read that we've been unkind in our remarks about the new system. I know a lot of work has gone into this, and it must be disappointing to get the negative reactions. I do hope, though, that some of the suggestions and criticisms will be carefully considered, to make the new system less frustrating and puzzling. This is a forum that has been wonderful for me - I've received so much help from other participants here, quickly and generously. I'm grateful for Threads's/Taunton's support of it.

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #84

      I can certainly link to the Taunton homepage with links to CraftStylish and the others. I will add that right away. We are also taking your feedback and suggestions into account for other aspects of the forum and are working hard to make changes which will help increase usability. Please feel free to share any suggestions that you might have for making the forum better.

      1. Josefly | | #85

        Oh, I appreciate that so much. I noticed today that when I clicked on the "1 new" button next to this topic in the discussions list, it took me directly to your message at the end of several pages of posts - simple, quick, wonderful! Yay, no more scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Has that ability been there all along, or just added? I'm feeling a little stupid for not discovering it earlier. I will use that Taunton Press link a lot. Wow - thanks again.

      2. Josefly | | #86

        Vicky, I've discovered a
        Vicky, I've discovered a problem in posting new topics if an old topic title was inadvertently used. Please see my post "Use care selecting title" under General Discussion.

  26. Meg | | #91

    Vicki, I asked for (and received) a link from Gatherings to Cooks Talk; thank you. Two things: if a member signs in to the Cooks Talk site I don't see a link to jump over here to Gatherings. And I'm noticing that even when I do log in, my name doesn't appear on the member list. Now, I'm not looking for my name in lights, but this is odd, isn't it? Or is the list offered to show only the other members who are signed in at the moment? Thank you.

    1. User avater
      VictoriaNorth | | #92

      I will mention to Robyn about adding the links to Cooks Talk. Unfortunately, all changes need to be made to each forum separately. The members listed are those signed in recently. You won't see your own name on the list, but everyone else should still see it there.

  27. User avater
    VictoriaNorth | | #93

    Here is an updated list of fixed bugs and things we are still working on. I will add some tutorials on posting next week after the holidays as well.

    http://forums.threadsmagazine.com/gatherings/general-discussion/forum-transfer-status-update

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