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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Community Members,

We are excited to announce that we are live on our new forum platform! We’ve worked hard over the last several months with a leading design and product firm to deliver a cleaner, faster and more engaging experience for you. Our goal is to provide modern design and technology to make the site run faster, smoother and more reliably. All of the valuable content within the community is still here, even though the layout may look different.

A Consistent Experience Across All Devices
The site is optimized for all screen sizes, including mobile. All features are available and ready to use on all devices.

Speed and Reliability Are Key
No one should have to wait for information. This site has been built to be much faster and more reliable, period.

New Homepage Experience
Your home page now features the most active forums, trending discussions, featured showcases, and top contributing members. This will help keep you up to date on what’s happening in your community and eventually become a very personalized experience for our members with all the great content you love surfaced effortlessly for you.

Search
We have introduced new search algorithms, powered by an industry-leading AI platform, that will help you find information faster. We plan to roll out new features to continue improving search, and to power many additional areas of the forum.

Due to the volume of content, our search platform may take some time to complete indexing. During this process, you may see a limited number of posts until indexing has been completed. We appreciate your patience.

Easy to Use and Navigate
We have made the design clean and simple to use. Near the upper right-hand corner of the community, you will see navigation icons.

The first icon is for what’s new on the site.

Clicking on it, by default, will take you to new unread posts. On that page, you can click on additional tabs as well, such as Popular, if you prefer to view active topics.

Clicking the list icon next to “NEW” will bring you to the full forum listing.

You can also navigate by clicking the 3 vertical dots.

Clicking on your avatar will give you a drop-down menu for all things related to your account.

Dark Mode
We have introduced Dark Mode. One of our favorite features allows you to access the site with a power-saving, and easier on the eyes dark mode. You can access it in the drop-down menu under the 3 vertical dots.

Save Bookmarks
Now you can save your favorite discussion threads and posts! Bookmarks are a handy way to remember and easily find great content or stuff you want to read later.

We also wanted to make it easier for new users to understand the lingo of forums. We have cleaned up various language to more commonly recognized phrases including:
  • Following - Thread subscriptions, and Watched are now known as Following
  • Conversations – Private Messages or PMs are now conversations and can be accessed from the user avatar drop-down in the main navigation
  • Showcase – Showcase is designed for users to "showcase" items/projects through the use of uploaded images, text descriptions and custom content categories. It’s a way to visually and textually provide detailed information on the content you wish to share. The showcase would be similar to a catalog, whereas the gallery would be like a photo album. It can be accessed from the drop-down menu with the 3 dots.
These are just a few of the great new functions and features to try on the site. Take a tour and look around! If you have any questions, please check out the HELP section for some quick FAQs about the new platform - Help Section

Please let us know what you think about the new experience. Your feedback is important to us.

Thank you all for your support during this amazing journey!
 

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Administrator
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128 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I will be here during your transition to the new platform, to help with any questions, help with navigation or how to do things, and to listen to your feedback so please don't hesitate to holler at me. I want to help.

I do want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Cricket. When I was born, my father told his friends I was the ugliest baby he had ever seen, and that I sounded just like a cricket (I was born with the hiccups.) so yes, I have been Cricket for 58 years now. I live just outside of San Antonio, Texas. I spend most of my time off out in nature and exploring the back roads. During late autumn when it starts to finally cool down, I disappear from the world for a bit for camping trips and hiking.

Please don't be afraid to explore and test out things to see how they work on the site.

Although you can certainly use the "insert image" icon to upload an image to your post, you can also just drag and drop it to the text editor or even copy/paste it into there!
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You can easily share videos just by adding the URL directly into the text editor!


Gif links from sites like giphy.com will display automatically just by adding the gif URL directly in the text editor. Try it!
I am also a huge fan of the dark mode for the community. What is your favorite feature?

We will be seeing weekly updates (approximately) to the site which are largely based on community feedback so we absolutely want to hear your feedback!

I have worked with VerticalScope for 5 years but I have worked with forum communities for closer to two decades. I won't always know the answers to your questions, but I can find someone who does, as needed. ;)

- Cricket
 

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Premium Member
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660 Posts
Cricket - I love your nickname and reading how you got it. Thank you for tackling this huge project. :cool:

I am in the over 65 crowd that is not very techie so please be patient with me.
My questions:
Where are all the amazing FUN SM emojis?? This site is not the same without them. PLEASE tell me how to access them. (These smilies are ok for texts but not for SM posts)!

I don't see the font size and color any longer???

How do I insert this URL that you talk about - love the idea of inserting GIFs (not sure what a URL is)?
 

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128 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Cricket - I love your nickname and reading how you got it. Thank you for tackling this huge project. :cool:

I am in the over 65 crowd that is not very techie so please be patient with me.
My questions:
Where are all the amazing FUN SM emojis?? This site is not the same without them. PLEASE tell me how to access them. (These smilies are ok for texts but not for SM posts)!

I don't see the font size and color any longer???

How do I insert this URL that you talk about - love the idea of inserting GIFs (not sure what a URL is)?
It is a pleasure to meet you! :)

Unfortunately, the old style of smilies can cause issues with the speed of the site. We currently use standard UTF-8 smilies. This helps greatly in keeping things fast loading and standardized across device types. We no longer run custom GIF files for every single smile which is terrible for web performance, and fast-loading websites.

The developers started with a very basic text editor that does not currently include font sizes or colors. One of the challenges with color is that it doesn't always work for both the light and dark mode.

For animated GIFs, I use the GIPHY site.

First I do a search at the top to find what I am looking for and then click on the actual GIF.

Next will be to click on "Copy link."
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That will open up a new window. On that new window, I copy the GIF Link Option.
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Then I can simply add that URL here in the forum.


Let me know if that helps.

- Cricket
 

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Premium Member
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660 Posts
"Unfortunately, the old style of smilies can cause issues with the speed of the site. We currently use standard UTF-8 smilies. This helps greatly in keeping things fast loading and standardized across device types."

I'm thinking FAST is not always the answer...........Lets see what others are thinking but Im thinking we NEED the very special. "Welcome to SM" and other cute just for SM add ons that make this site so very special ...........these generic smilies are way to ordinary for SM!!!! It feels so cold without them.😠
 

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I don't think I like this. Looks too complicated and I like to come on here and already know what I'm doing, not have to figure things out from scratch. Maybe I just need to give it time but sometimes "you can't teach an old dog new tricks".
My signature picture is gone too.
 

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Administrator
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm thinking FAST is not always the answer...........Lets see what others are thinking but Im thinking we NEED the very special. "Welcome to SM" and other cute just for SM add ons that make this site so very special ...........these generic smilies are way to ordinary for SM!!!! It feels so cold without them.😠
I can certainly pass this on to the developers but at this time, this is not something I am expecting to change.

- Cricket
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't think I like this. Looks too complicated and I like to come on here and already know what I'm doing, not have to figure things out from scratch. Maybe I just need to give it time but sometimes "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"
Like most of us, I am a creature of habit, so it takes me a bit to get used to changes. (I was more than a little grumpy about it all at first.) I was lucky enough to get the chance to play with the new platform before they went live with it so I am already getting used to it. I have to admit that I am crazy about it now. It feels so much faster and is easy to use after a brief learning curve. Give it a few days and let me know if you start liking it too. :)

I will be here to help y'all. :)

- Cricket
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How To Find Subscribed Threads

Click on your avatar near the upper right-hand corner of the site and select “following” from the drop-down menu.

This will bring you to a page where you can choose to view followed discussions, forums, your discussions, and participated discussions.

- Cricket
 

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Premium Member
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17,218 Posts
Like most of us, I am a creature of habit, so it takes me a bit to get used to changes. (I was more than a little grumpy about it all at first.) I was lucky enough to get the chance to play with the new platform before they went live with it so I am already getting used to it. I have to admit that I am crazy about it now. It feels so much faster and is easy to use after a brief learning curve. Give it a few days and let me know if you start liking it too. :)

I will be here to help y'all. :)

- Cricket
SM has lots a huge majority of faithfuls over the last year or so---now w/these changes that will certainly make us lose more. I find this all a bit sad. I am fairly certain I can stay in touch w/most of you on FB but I know some of you are not there. If you are there look me up & tell me who you are w/a friend request. My name there is Sandi Dogget.
 

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This change might be ok for new people just joining but for us "oldies" it just doesn't feel like "home" anymore. This makes me sad.:cry:
 

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I have to agree since it is taking me a bit of time to get used to the "new" way and hope that we won't lose too many why have been so faithful in posting. Also, the font is so very small that I am rather uncomfortable and hope that there is a way to make the font bigger??
 

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I just made a post about Pipper jumping a few minutes ago and now I dont even see it. I have no idea how to find stuff.
 

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660 Posts
I just made a post about Pipper jumping a few minutes ago and now I dont even see it. I have no idea how to find stuff.
In the "New Posts" section there is a "Filters" button. Click on the drop down arrow.
Uncheck any boxes that are checked.
This should have the site show most recent posts just like before upgrade.

I wish I knew how to make that setting as the default so I don't have to do that each time.
*
I know each system upgrade has a learning curve - I went through lots of them with my 30+ years in the corporate world. But All those system upgrades added many more features they didn't take away features. I'm telling myself "Take a deep breath and give it at least a week"!!! 😁
 

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Discussion Starter #15
SM has lots a huge majority of faithfuls over the last year or so---now w/these changes that will certainly make us lose more. I find this all a bit sad. I am fairly certain I can stay in touch w/most of you on FB but I know some of you are not there.
Change is always hard. I have been helping folks with moving to the new platform for about 10 months now. What I have seen is for the first 30 days or so, there is an adjustment period while members adjust to the changes, but somewhere between 60 - 90 days we begin to see the activity level grow higher than it was previously.

This change might be ok for new people just joining but for us "oldies" it just doesn't feel like "home" anymore. This makes me sad.:cry:
A strong forum community has never been about the platform or the features. It's about the wonderful members who come together to discuss those things they are most passionate about and along the way true friendships are built. What makes this place "home" is all y'all. Just my 2 cents...

I have to agree since it is taking me a bit of time to get used to the "new" way and hope that we won't lose too many why have been so faithful in posting. Also, the font is so very small that I am rather uncomfortable and hope that there is a way to make the font bigger??
The font is a default. Have you tried seeing if there are options to increase it within your computer or the browser you use? I may be able to help you with this if you let me know what you are using to access the site.

I just made a post about Pipper jumping a few minutes ago and now I dont even see it. I have no idea how to find stuff.
The listing you see when you click NEW in the upper right-hand corner of the site, by default, is for all new UNREAD posts. If you click on Popular on that page it will give you all active topics.

Near the upper right-hand corner of the community, you will see navigation icons.

The first icon is for what’s new on the site.


Clicking on it, by default, will take you to new unread posts.

On that page, you can click on additional tabs as well, such as Popular, if you prefer to view active topics. You can also mark all as read.

I am here to help. Let me know what things I can help you find.

I wish I knew how to make that setting as the default so I don't have to do that each time.
After you have set your choices, click save as default at the bottom.
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- Cricket
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How do we add our name to our profile and the name & age of our Maltese?
They are working on getting it added for us. I hope to see it very soon. In the meantime, maybe add the information to your signature?

How To Create A Signature

Your signature can include up to 4 lines, a maximum of 1000 characters and one link. An image counts as a line. Anytime you hit "enter" on your keyboard, it will automatically go to a new line. Images will automatically be resized to 300 x 200 pixels. You can see more options in your settings to collapse signatures, always view full signature, or to not see signatures at all. The choice is yours.

Both guests and members can view signatures.

If a user has their preferences set to the default they will see collapsed signatures as in the example below for them. (They can click to see more.)

If a user has their preferences set to always show expanded signatures it will look like the example below for them. Your image can be clicked to view full size.

If you want to adjust your preferences for signatures you can click on your avatar near the upper right-hand corner of the site and select account settings.

In the left side navigation, you will see an option for preferences. Click it.

Scroll down to content options and select your signature preferences.

- Cricket
 
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