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Input on the 4/11/20 Forums Upgrade

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  • Input on the 4/11/20 Forums Upgrade

    Hi folks,

    The decision to upgrade our forum software was not an easy one. We've been discussing it for several years, as our old platform was getting dusty and was no longer capable of meeting some of the needs of our community. One of the biggest was its inability to work with smartphones and tablet devices, none of which existed when the software was written. As a result, many of you began using apps that reformatted the content to fit your device. This created an issue for our members, who had to download a third-party app just to interact with our forums. It also created an issue for the site itself, as these apps strip out some of the advertising content. Ads are one of our primary ways to keep the site up and running, and they don’t produce if our readers don’t see them. This is a known issue for sites where the community is accustomed to free content. The solutions to it are complex.

    One of our solutions was to shift some of the burden to our members; the people who consume the content on the site and who use our platform for communicating. We began the Supporting Member program, to give our members the opportunity to participate in supporting the site. We thank you for that, and it has resulted in us shifting to more targeted advertising and less bulk. This has allowed us to create ad products that have greater value to our advertisers.

    Meanwhile, the forum software was becoming a liability, and something needed to be done. We held out as long as possible, but finally were forced into making a significant change when VBulletin discontinued support for our platform.

    We had two choices; move up to the next level with VBulletin or move to another platform. We came close to moving to a completely different platform, but we discovered that the negatives outweighed the positives, especially when it came to the impact on our community. In the end, we opted to continue with upgrading the existing platform.

    As you have seen, the new platform is different in many ways. There is also a lot under the hood that we have yet to unpack. Our plan is to keep it as similar to the old site as we can, while rolling out new features as we can. At the same time, it has a familiar feel, and users should not be too negatively impacted. The upgraded platform is also responsive, which means that it plays well with your phone and your tablet device. That should be a plus for our mobile users.

    All that is to say that we value your experience here, and we are interested in the pros and cons you are seeing as you explore the new interface. Please use this thread to list your issues and concerns of a technical or practical nature, and we will evaluate those as we go along. I can’t promise that we will do everything you request, but this community is very important to all of us. We appreciate every one of you.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts, concerns, and issues.






    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (907) 229-4501

  • #2
    I was upset yesterday when the upgrade took place right in the middle of my browsing through the saltwater fishing forum--all the familiar things were gone, and my screen was filled with giant boxes about the university and upgrade! I couldn't find how to post a new topic, edit my info, etc. I sent a nastygram in--and now, today, after restarting my computer and upgrading my browser, I find that I actually like the upgrade. I don't think I've ever looked at the site with my iPhone or iPad, but other than those "giant boxes" filling the top of my screen it looks pretty good on my 24" computer monitor. Good job!

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    • #3
      Thanks for that! I was also going to mention that some folks have mentioned that they prefer the view that shows all the forums expanded in their categories. I was surprised to hear this, as many members used the "collapse category" arrows in the old forums. The upgrade doesn't have that feature and we are looking at a workaround. Until then, you can get the same effect if you click "Forum" in the breadcrumb trail. Here's a screenshot: Click image for larger version

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      Michael Strahan
      Site Owner
      Alaska Hunt Consultant
      1 (907) 229-4501

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      • #4
        I know I am getting old, but you need a magnifying glass to read anything on here....

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        • #5
          I had a heck of a time logging in yesterday. My password wasn't accepted but was finally able to get it to work. I also prefer the old system of forum listing but have used your workaround and it works for me, just requires an extra click or two. Thanks much for all you do Michael.
          Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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          • #6
            One question I have. "New Topics" is to me NEW THREADS. A new thread is more or less a new topic.

            Thought Jump.

            The old system I always used "New Posts" or "Recent Posts"..........those are both gone, or I can't find them.

            Strangely.....now the "New Topics" kind'a does what "New Posts" or "Recent Posts" did on the old system. It is not exactly the same but kind'a close.

            "New Topics" is not new threads, but new'ish posts.

            This same thing has happened on other forums when they were updated. And we complained......but were told, "Live with it". Which sucks.

            I can live with this new system.......It would be easier with "New Posts" or "Recent Posts"
            "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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            • #7
              I pretty much only use my desktop to get on the site. Didn't try to post anything yesterday, and for the last hour or so I couldn't even find where to post anything, no tab to click on or anything.. Couldn't see any log in area either. I went to profile and it said my username and "logout" so I assumed I was still logged in. Even tried to reset the same password and such and still nothing, no email sent, nothing. I then went to the smartphone to see if there was anything different there than I saw on the desktop. Yes there was, and could see right off where to log in. After that the site worked with the phone. Back to the desktop, and it wasn't until I actually thought I'd try to send you a private message Mike, that is said I wasn't allowed to post, and under that saw that it said you may need to log in etc... So I did, went to a thread, and then was able to see how to post. But up until that time the site wouldn't show me a place to log in.
              Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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              • #8
                Hopefully it will be easier to post photos.
                Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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                • #9
                  I was able to get the font size larger by expanding my page. Lots better. It will take time to adjust for sure but I am getting there on the changes. Old people don't like change..... but we'll get by.

                  Patriot Life Member NRA
                  Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
                  Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AGL4now View Post
                    ...This same thing has happened on other forums when they were updated. And we complained......but were told, "Live with it". Which sucks.

                    I can live with this new system.......It would be easier with "New Posts" or "Recent Posts"
                    We won't do that here. That's why we are asking for feedback. We may not be able to do everything everyone wants, but we value each of you and your participation here. Traffic is up on the site; last year we were up to 1.6 million unique visitors. Yes, people come an go, some move on, and new blood comes in. But this is a community unlike anything I've ever seen. I read a while back that there is a trend away from some of the larger social media sites to targeted specialty groups like this. Sure seems like it's going that way





                    Michael Strahan
                    Site Owner
                    Alaska Hunt Consultant
                    1 (907) 229-4501

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I didn't like it at first but just like everything else with technology, everything changes so I'm getting use to it. Hopefully it will make it easier to post pictures as everyone else has said. I was always frustrated before that any time I wanted to post a picture I had to download it first to another site like vgyme or imgur. The one thing I can recommend, is more pictures and a nice outdoorsy background like before. It's too white and sterile in this new platform. How about some mountains, rivers, and such like before?

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                      • #12

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0003.JPG Views:	2 Size:	16.4 KB ID:	2754194Thought I'd try posting a pic....
                        Edit: That was relatively painless. And it's even right side up!!!.........lol
                        Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                        • #13
                          I concur that I miss the recent post button and larger type.

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                          • #14
                            Yes I agree. A lot easier to post pics. I just uploaded a pic as an attachment in the bear baiting section about 10 minutes ago. A lot easier than uploading to another site. If I could find a thumbs up emoji on this new forum, I'd give 2 thumbs up to Mike!

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                            • #15
                              I see we now have a "Blog" section. Could you talk a little about that......Please. And I especially want to know if "Comments" can be turned off or on at the choosing of the Blogger. I quite like using the blogging option on other forums, but only if I can block comments about what I posted on my blog.
                              "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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