Originally Posted by j
You've heard us blab and promise on and on for a long time about the "new system", "that is something we are working on for the new system", blah blah blah. Well, I'm happy to announce that the time is near that we will actually be up and running on it. We have been working with our partners at Huddler for almost a year now to figure out what we, and you the users, want from a new system, and we are currently doing some of the final tweaking to the system before we convert the current database over to it. We are still tentative in case of late bugs, but it is seeming pretty solid to launch in July sometime.
About 75 members have been helping us try out the new system, find bugs and suggest improvements. I'd like to thank all of them for all their help, it is truly invaluable to the process. We will soon be inviting another ~100 members to the "sandbox" to help try out the updated version with the improved Buying and Selling system, one of the more advanced ones we've seen, and with improvements slated for the post-launch future.
There are a lot of new features that will enhance, modernize and improve the forum itself, and broaden the scope of what users can do on, and get from, the site.
1. The new Buying and Selling system that will be more attractive and easier to use, for buyers and for sellers. For example, you will be able to list and sort by categories, upload pictures directly from your home computer, view items in a variety of different ways (by newest listings, by most recent comments, etc...) The new system should largely take care of the bumping problem, though of course, we will need to monitor and tweak it for quite a while before we can settle into a totally steady system, and we may need to invent or modify rules as we see how people use the system.
2. Some new user groups, including some members who will have special spam flagging privileges, some who will be able to moderate their own threads in specific subforums - so that there can be some really focused threads without our having to sacrifice the overal freewheeling feel of the forum as a whole, something we think is one of the great strengths of this community.
3. Infrastructure to provide support for members who want to meet IRL (yeah, it does happen) including helping organizers get venues for events, arrange for sponsors to provide food and drinks, etc...
4. A product review system. We will start out with a product feed from a bunch of online retailers (currently those with the best organized feeds), but the system will also allow members to add products to the system so we can create a database of any SF-approved item anyone can think of (or rate down True Religions and KC shoes, if that's how you want to spend your time).
5. Tagging is back, much improved, and integrated through all parts of the forum/site to help find and organize the content you want more efficiently.
6. The PM system is much improved, with threaded conversations more like private forum threads, and larger mailboxes so you can spend less time dealing with your inbox space and more time conversing/gossiping/plotting.
7. Overall faster site - the Mantonian lag monster we have been dealing with seemingly forever will finally be vanquished by more efficient software running on much more powerful hardware.
8. Affiliate mini-site pages, where our affiliates can have a base of operations to maintain contact with customers and maintain a presence on the forum. Affiliate members have always been some of our best resources for product and industry information and this gives them a little more of a home on the forum, integrated with the discussion and reviews, etc.
8. More of what you love from SF, but better. That has been our objective for the entire year-plus we've been working on this.
We'd love to hear any input you have. The system will not be "finished" at launch - or ever, for that matter - just ready for public consumption. There will be room for improvement and some things are already planned and in process for the farther future, so please feel free to suggest any improvements you would like to see. We will answer questions here with the help of the new team members and the Sandbox Gang.
We hope you enjoy the next generation of Styleforum.
J & Fok
I hope it includes a feature for sorting by size something like the one at 'Fit is King'.