Thank you...and some reflections on the last 2 days

I apologize in advance, but this is going to be a long post.

First of all, I want to talk about some of the reasons that we have for bringing these forums online.

  • Lines Chat was nearly impossible to moderate and there was no history to it. If someone asked me about a thread that was deleted, and I wasn’t the one who deleted it, I had no answer. The best I could do was ask around. And moderating via email (yes, I am one of the two faceless people behind chat@touringplans.com - the other is @weasus, whose patience puts mine to shame) was a bad way to attempt to do things.
  • Because of the unstructured nature of Lines Chat, questions that fell
    off the first few pages of Chat would go unanswered. Between putting
    out fires here today, I’ve been very happy to be able to answer
    actual content questions and hopefully help people get more out of
    this site.
  • Lines Chat was not scalable as written. Half of our Amazon server
    space (a cost that affects your subscription price) was going to a
    feature than less than 1% of our users hit on a regular basis. It
    didn’t even make the 80/20 rule that I would have been OK with. There
    was no fix for this.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - we want non-users to be able to
    find the great info on here and hopefully join the community. Google
    can index this forum. it could not index Lines Chat.
  • Searchability - We have had spectacular success with the search bar
    on the main site (so much so that I just had to write another check
    to Google to pay for more bandwidth for it). We wanted people to be
    able to search the forums as well.
  • Badges, sparkles, photos - I love being able to do stuff like this
    inline.

Now some things we’re working on:

  • The mobile experience and bandwidth

  • La Cava del Chat (Lounge) and the Subscriber area

  • these will change for a couple of reasons, but first I’ll tell you why we
    added them. I’d like to have a “less moderated, enter at your own
    risk” area for adults who wish to speak freely (without insulting
    each other) on non-Disney or Universal topics. We started by bring
    over Liners with a certain post count, but not only did that upset
    people, but it turns out the hack we made for it (and BIG THANKS to
    @daybreaker for tying this forum into our existing log in system)
    isn’t going to work - it will reset every night. We wanted a
    subscriber area as a perk to our paying users. We’re still talking
    amongst ourselves about the best way to accomplish these 2 things.

Those will most likely go offline today while we work things out.

Finally, I’ll post what I wrote in another thread earlier today:

Not be defensive or beat a dead horse, but there’s only so many times we can say “we’re testing stuff out.” This means both the software and the policies. Nothing is written in stone. But on the other hand, not everything is negotiable.

Some things we do because they make sense for TouringPlans as a business that has employees who depend on us for income. And some of those things we’re not going to share with the community. That is the way it is.

If people are getting upset over things, I suggest taking a walk or visiting another site to cool off and get some perspective. I appreciate the passion, but there’s only so many individual fires we can put out and there will still be some people who are unhappy. There were plenty unhappy in Chat; I know this because I get the emails on it to the support alias.

For the people who want to stick around while we work things out - thank you for your participation and your constructive criticism. We are truly grateful.

I mean that. I am in awe of you fabulous people who use our site and love it enough to get a little whacky over it sometimes.

If you have any feedback please post it here, PM me (another thing I love about the forum), or email me at laurel@touringplans.com.

Laurel

PS - I love that I can write a novel-length post :slight_smile:

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I appreciate the fact that you guys are trying to work out the issues! I think an adults only, off-topic board is a great idea, and I am sure that a solution can be found that doesn’t make people feel unwelcome. I’ll be patient while it is. I’m sure managing something like this is a challenge in ways most of us don’t even realize.

Thank you @LaurelStewart :clap:

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Thank you!

Great level headed post!

Well said…

Thank you @LaurelStewart @Lentesta @daybreaker and all the other people behind the scenes. I’m the first one to admit I was a little miffed at the roll out, but you guys have really stepped up to the plate.

And kudos to all the Liners who have been bravely heading over here, telling about your technical issues and persisting with getting here, and tossing out your ideas instead of just throwing your hands up and giving in.

That kind of teamwork and cooperation is what’s going to make this entire site AMAZING (forum, website and chat all together).

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Thank YOU, Laurel, for your thoughtful msg – it is really awesome of you guys to be open and sharing with us, esp when we get whacky!! And thank you again for caring about it, and thank you for this site we all love!! Signed, a confirmed lines whack-a-doo.
PS: my 2cents is in favor of one lounge, for all subscribers, no matter what the chat count. We can self-select from there! And KEEP the name La Cava!! :slight_smile:

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Happy with the changes thus far, and excited to see where it goes!

Y’all are doing a bang-up job, imo. I know Touring Plans us your baby and that you guys genuinely value the opinions of your users. I couldn’t imagine what it was like for you, having to watch the near apocalypse on Sunday. I have complete faith that you are taking everyone’s suggestions seriously and working hard to make this as smooth a transition as possible. < takes lips of @LaurelStewart 's butt and wonders where I left my beer >

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Very well said Laurel. Keep up the fantastic work.

But I didn’t even know I was pregnant! ACK! Len’s going to super surprised.

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Thank you Laurel for the update. I think it shows many that you guys are truly listening!

Thanks @LaurelStewart. You know the Disney community as a whole can get a bit crazy. :smile: I wasn’t thrilled with the change to the forum but I am enjoying the more that I use it. Keep up the good work!

Thank you @LaurelStewart! Very clear and thoughtful. You and @Lentesta should take a nice vacation when this is all running smoothly. Maybe to One of the overseas Disney parks? Tokyo? Paris? Hong Kong? :airplane:

WDW in 11 days??? 12??? 13???

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Thank you!

Thanks Laurel for this msg. I am going to spend a little time learning the new forum over the next few days. Liners - someone let me know once the subscribers and/or lounge area is in full swing in case I miss it!

@LaurelStewart you need to push for a cruise!