Originally Posted by 1der
I find the new format to be less user friendly. I REALLY miss the OLD "Recent Threads" feature. I could look back through a weeks worth of Threads and find what I was looking for very easily. Now, I use "Today's Posts" but stuff falls off after 24 hrs. If I use "New Posts", it is incomplete because it only lists threads with posts I have not read yet. So a two day old thread I read without any new posts is not listed and I have to search for it again. The current "Recent Threads" box is kind of useless, imho. I have not experienced this shortcoming on any other forum.
Only way to keep the threads view-able in Today's Posts is "bumping", which is a bit obnoxious. If I use Subscribed Threads, again, it is only showing items I have posted to since I have "auto subscribe" but not any I have just read.
Add me too as one more in agreement with 1der here.
It seems this is one of the biggest sources of frustration with the new SMB Forum design/layout/function.
Q: How hard would it conceivably be for the current (new) site admins to simply "add in" that same "Recent Threads" feature, and have it operate the way it used to?
It seem if enough SMB Forum members voiced their concerns strongly and convincingly (and respectfully) to the new site owner, this would be a pretty easy thing for even a junior-level website designer to add.
Great thread you've started here, btw!
To your original question....I was a relatively-new SMB owner when the site design change happened, but I had been reading the site avidly for a long time before I bought an SMB. The site "switch-over/re-design" occurred perhaps a year-and-a-half after I had bought my Sportsmobile, so I had a good solid period of using the "old SMB Forum website design" as both a 1) reader and 2) contributor/participant. So this (old) website absolutely helped lure me in to SMB's.
What shouldn't be overlooked is that this website serves as a "gateway" to many, MANY people who are interested in SMB's, but haven't "jumped in" yet
....so the experience that people have on this page isn't important just to those people that *already are members*, but also to those that might join the SMB tribe in the future. I absolutely can attest that the positive vibes and "buzz" that I felt radiating from the old SMB website were a huge contributor to my own decision to take the plunge. It was clear from all the animated conversations, the fantastic trip reports, (and even the upbeat conversations and jokes about fixing the inevitable things that broke) --- that you guys were all sending the signal "come on in, the water's fine!"
And my personal feeling, now that the website has changed hands/been redesigned? That's easy, and it echoes many here --- I definitely liked the previous website design better. Visually and functionally. It was simpler. It had more of a "down-home" feel (that's a good thing).....
.....and, perhaps most importantly to those that view this as a proper community (which it most certainly and wonderfully IS!!!).
The old website design felt like there was more "human activity" on it at any given moment.
And this was due to a couple things:
1) The list of "active members online at this moment" was RIGHT UP ON TOP.
Now, it's buried at the bottom, looking like the fine print that nobody reads on a website for medical devices.
2) Same for the "welcome our newest SMB Forum member, "____________" script, this was alway prominent, right up there on the top as well.
I always thought *this in particular* was great.
When it held and displayed my name for perhaps the better part of an afternoon, and said "welcome newest member MountainBikeRoamer," I was so stoked. Seriously seriously stoked. Like...at last....after wanting "in" for so long, I finally was part of something truly great, a fantastic community of people doing this all *not just for the vans,* but equally for the opportunity to share in an activity that they knew other like-minded passionate people were part of.
3) And then there was aforementioned "Recent Threads" list --- THIS was the true SMB Forum human element, focused.
It was basically "The Party That Everyone Is At" --- if you wanted to jump in and see what people where talking about, sling a hello at people, or join the banter and enthused discussion, you could hop *right in there* and not miss a beat.
And, as others have pointed out repeatedly in this thread already, it contained *the whole party,* not just the top sixteen most recent yowlings of people in random discussions.
So you could stay current, you could maintain continuity, you could stay engaged in the discussions.
Again, it seems these could all *very easily* be added back to the current forum design, and not skip a beat.
I must say however --- that despite all these missed elements from the old website design, I am on here *more than ever,* due to the fact that I'm still a relatively-new SMB owner (it will be two years now in July) ....and my addiction to SMB's only continues to grow
To round out all of my admittedly lengthy musings --- I would propose that perhaps the most important function an online forum should serve is to truly feel like an active human community to those involved with it
(and perhaps even more importantly to those who aren't yet involved!)
In that respect, this new forum truly feels to fall short of the measure of the old one. But it seems like it could be easily fixed.