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Community Feedback: New Forum Software Is Live!

61211 Views 1592 Replies 155 Participants Last post by  BobHall
We are excited to announce that we are live on our new forum platform!

It’s been a long time coming. Let’s face it. Sometimes older forum technology lags behind other parts of the internet. Although seeing the same format for a long time is comforting, the member experience shouldn’t include dealing with outdated, unsafe, slow software.

The transition to a new platform will never be 100% smooth but the days of dealing with out of date forum software are over. We have teams dedicated to building a world-class community for you. The development has been steady with regular software releases since May 2019. Asking members for feedback and coming up with ideas for improvement is what we want.

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
Our algorithm will serve a personal customized feed based on your prior engagement with content on the site. If you’ve liked and or commented, or are following certain topics that are of interest to you, similar content will appear at the top of the homepage.

We have introduced new search algorithms, powered by an industry-leading AI platform, to 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 over the first few days after migrating. During this process, you may see a limited number of posts until indexing has been completed. We appreciate your patience.

Finding Your Way Around
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.

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

You can also navigate more by clicking the 3 vertical dots.

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.
Take a tour and look around! Check out the Help section for some quick FAQs about the new platform.

Please keep all feedback, questions, concerns, requests for help, etc. regarding the new platform right here in this Feedback thread. This will help us make sure not to miss a request for help and also let us pass along your thoughts to our Product team. The Admins and I will be here to help along the way taking note of your comments.

- Community Management Team
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@Cricket Congratulations on site release! ?

Now the hardest part starts......keeping the beasts under control. :p
Good Luck!

1) What is purpose of Gallery section?
2) Why does the Gallery section suddenly show that I am not logged into forum, and does not register that I selected dark mode?
3) What is the intended plan for premium memberships? Stated another way: What content does VerticalScope plan to make available to only paid premium members?

Initial comment: classic Fora software dislikes for me.
Too much wasted space, blank paragraph indents need to be smaller, and less vertical space at beginning and ending of each topic highlight block. Default fonts too large for 1920x1080 display. Have to set browser at 80-90% size or spend way too much time scrolling down pages of posts/topics. Oh well... ?‍♂

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...but is there a "workshop" section or is it coming?
Workshop posts appear as category under the Showcase.
It is a quirky place to stash them, IMHO.
Would be better to have them as a tab under each member, similar to old forum location.
Absolutely hate the layout. Is there not going to be a top 3... or a page with all the new photos projects? Or is this just turned into every other woodworking forum? Because that is what is looks like now... no longer special.
Have poked, prodded, posted into old threads, posted into new gallery, and used the search features; wanting to try out new site format to weigh good and bad before posting my comments list:

Time to buckle up your seat belt:

1) 100% agree: LumberJocks is NO LONGER SPECIAL, Just another wood working forum.

2) Hate the layout is to strong for me. But will agree the Home Page STINKS :poop: :poop: :poop:
It does absolutely nothing to increase my desire to click inside the forums.
Repeatedly returned to LJ instead of other WW forums for QUICK 15 SECOND GLANCE of:
  • Pictures of latest projects sorted by popularity
  • Pictures of latest product reviews
  • Summary of 3 newest blog posts listing Authors I have enjoyed reading in past.
  • Five most popular threads.
Wham Bam Thank you Sam, those key items help me decide to keep reading, surf over to another website, or go do something else.

I do not come to LumberJocks to stare at poorly named threads and words posted in random forums, as they current home page "Recommended for You" section seems to assume. The programming for recommendations seems silly right now with very little new content. It shows me only threads I am following. And if I look close, the bold text shows me which ones have new posts, with rest being a total waste of home page space as I HAVE ALREADY READ THEM.

Only when I have time to dig into WW forums, do I looked at LJ sections that interest me, or sections where I have a lot of experience and attempt to help others by sharing. Then this site works like all rest, I.E. Slow monotonous reading, instead of previous quick and easy picture surfing.

3) The "NEW" page is obtuse, and PITA to use. I find the need to constantly change the filter settings, as once i read a post it is no longer new; and only way to find it again is change filter, or surf to the forum section (assuming I remember which one). The poplar page has same issues; I don't need to see 25 most popular threads, as there are never that many with new posts. Both of these could easily be combined into ONE page showing on top 5-10 of each one, ignoring the read/unread flag filter by using same bold text to show unread on home page.

4) Showcase search engine is BORKED. If you select workshops, and search for a members name; search returns every post in Showcase by that member - not the members workshop post(s). Same is true if select projects and search. Search returns all posts in the showcase regardless of section tag. This has to be driving folks with lots of original content o_O 🥜❓

5) Blog posts in current format are not blogs, and are impractical. Might as well remove the term blog entirely from the forum until it is changed/fixed.
Transitioned blogs are simply categorized threads, just like every other post. Until there is a method to link each new author post (and comments) into a chain of pages like reading a book, LJ does not have a functioning blog method. If someone wants to make a blog now, they have to manually edit the old post with name of the new thread.

6) The software conversion of old posts with pictures to new format was flawed. It makes reading old posts with attached images a PITA, due lots of extra scrolling. Every time someone quoted an old post with pictures, the conversion copied links to the original pictures in quoted post. Know these are just linked references into post, but the extra download time, display time, and scrolling time is annoying.

7) When I visit my profile, and select reviews; I have none. But this is not true. On old site, had several product reviews. When I select Articles, I find my product reviews. Is this a naming problem or I am lost in new software?

8) The above is all negative, because problems are easier to see when you have been using the same old clunky forum software for over 8 years and it changes.
Good stuff? Sure:
The forums are faster (except for showcase). The picture editing capability is a welcome change. The change to allow comment posts to be edited forever, can help folks to correct mistakes, without posting corrections later that might not be seen. Addition of gallery adds a method for users to group images about a project into a collection; and then reuse them via linking into posts without adding another image to forum database storage. Gallery will take some time for users to learn how to use, but i can made complex project posting simpler. Dark Mode is nice; But without Dark mode, I would never log into site again as blank white pages went of out style in 90's. :rolleyes:

Last but not least:
Cricket and Crew should be commended. They have worked hard to configure a new forum software package for LJ site. They have also written conversion scripts to reformat the old database into new format to maintain the old content that was the 😍 of LumberJocks content. For that alone they deserve thanks.
As Cricket has already posted, they want our feedback, and will attempt to make changes were possible. They now have my list!

My fundamental hope and desire is they spend lots of time to fix the home page to make LJ special again.
The rest of forum mostly works, it is/was the home page that brought the community together to a special place, and kept me coming back to the site.

Cheers and Warmest Regards from your (least?) favorite Klutz.
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I select based primarily on respect, attitude, and kindness.
I used to be a nice guy, that is until I was forum admin and moderator for well over a decade in past. 😫😫😫
Eventually, even the nice, kind, and gentle moderators crack wide open, and enter into "flame all the idiots" mode. 🤯
As my wife reminds me:
Font Electric blue Book Brand Graphics

I also learned to keep two accounts when I was moderator/admin.
One female account for admin warnings/idiot modifications, and another to make my hobby posts on site.
Never wanted folks to know that the occasionally evil witch enforcing rules with no gray areas, could secretly be a nice person participating in the hobby. :rolleyes:
Plus angry men being punished are nicer to female admin/mod's for some reason? o_O

If I ever attempt to be forum admin/mod again, Cricket will be my screen name .... @Cricket is my Hero.👏
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@Cricket - Question on ignore list:

On old site I had blocked users posting spam, that I also reported. On new software these user names were transferred to my ignore list, BUT the accounts no longer exist.

If the accounts are gone, why are they on my ignore list?

There is also no unignore button for these missing accounts, and I can't remove them to clean up the 'new' ignore list.

Does anyone know where my buddies are located in the new and improved site?
It hides under your profile, click on "Following" in left hand menu.
Here is direct link:
I clicked on following under the word profile and it sent me to conversations I’m following. Am I clicked on the wrong following?
Sorry, you have to click on profile, which opens your profile page, and there is different "Following" selection. That is how you edit folks that you follow.
Had an "all unread" issue with conversations after conversion too.
When you select all, how many does it show are selected?
What i found was could only select the conversations shown on the page, which was 35 for me. Was PITA to change one page at a time.
But I found I was able to visit each page, select all and keep going; then "mark all as read" on last page, to make them all read.
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+1 Losing my favorite project and forum post bookmarks is becoming more disappointing the longer I use the new site.

+1 Need grid view for projects, as well as summaries for TOP projects.
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Something may not be right with the Joys of Rust Hunting thread below. On page 198, it jumps from 2014 to a post after conversion.
Another piece to the conversion mystery of that thread: I posted in that thread a few weeks ago, I rarely post in that thread, so details stuck in my brain.
The posting date is now listed as Jun 14 2014; which is wrong as my pictures are dated Sept 13, 2022. Remember posting on same day as I took pictures, during a break unloading the tools.
And yes, It was a blog before.
@bandit571 Click on the magic 3 dots in every post - and select report when the window pops open. ;)

Electric blue Pattern Font Circle Midnight
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sorry if this is repeating someone else's input but, I was just trying to move from page 1 to page 2, etc. in the workshops forum and it seems to go to projects at that point.
Had something similar. Don't know if this was fixed already?
There was something BORKED using ANY of the SHOWCASE categories going to next page. When you attempt to move to page 2 on SEARCH results for projects/workshop, it dumps back to SHOWCASE page 2, out of the the section you were looking at.
Have to agree to disagree with the OP.

Cricket cares. 😇
It is apparent with non-stop help posts as well requests to developers to make changes based on feedback provided.

Do I like the new format? Hell No.
Have already posted my opinion in the proper forum, can't say more without breaking rules. :p

Go have a couple adult beverages and you will not care either...... 🍻
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The more time passes, the more flabbergasted I become by the loss of my saved favorites for projects.
For years I have been saving possible future projects, or project ideas I didn't want to lose. Now they are gone. 🤬

The lack of importance for projects has reduced usefulness of LumberJock site significantly for me.
The fact that today's new projects are not featured on home page is a CRIME.
SEEING new projects everyday was the ONE feature that pulled me into Lumberjocks compared to other wood working sites.
Am so disgusted with how projects are handled in transition to new software, that I haven't looked at projects since right after transition.

IMHO - If Lumberjock's administration does not care to display and highlight projects prominently; then no one should waste time sharing them.
Furthermore; Will likely never waste my time posting another project to this site; until project dominance returns.
I didn't join this site for words. I joined and stayed here for pictures and descriptions of cool projects!
Lumberjock's lost it's heart and soul in the software transition. 😥
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Basically you can use this link: and replace ????? with your user name on the old forum....
This does not work for me? Way back machine claims access to the favorites was forbidden and nothing was saved. 😥
Try to go to the Wayback Machine start page

And enter the search string: Notable members but replace '????' with your user name.
Mine was saved only once - March 6, 2021.
The page 2: LumberJocks Woodworking Forum and others were not saved for me.
Have used wayback machine many times, and regardless of how I search, it returns nothing:
Font Handwriting Rectangle Circle Brand

Even searching for my base profile, it does not return any Favorite links. All i get are blog posts, and couple projects.
If I attempt to click on favorites link in my profile, I get:
This page is not available on the web because access is forbidden
I am🔩'd
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@Admin @Cricket A Question:

My profile lists many ignored users that no longer have accounts on new LJ server software. I can not un-ignore these users to remove them from the list.
All of these ignored users were spam accounts, that I ignored upon seeing multiple spam messages; and I wanted to prevent them sending spam PM after reaching the required min post count.
Shouldn't these no longer existing user accounts be removed from my profile ignore list, as part of the database conversion?

Should only require a basic script to purge all ignore list entries with no account in system, since the interface/database is smart enough to not show the ignore/un-ignore buttons?

Thanks in advance for your attention to this problem.

Best regards from another forum admin.
Did this new program delete the ability to send a "private" message to another member that no one else can view....including admins? If not how does it work?
+1 conversations.
It has been determined that conversations and PM use the same editor, with the same list of "banned" forum words.

When you hit preview on conversation, everything looks normal, even banned text. But any attempt to post/send a word on the black list will be automatically replaced with asterisks, or post could be queued waiting for Admin moderation/approval. The robo text filtering was first uncovered by someone posting the noun for "A person born to parents not married to each other". Several other "bad" words, names, and websites have been documented as filter triggers.

LumberJocks TOS quoted below can provide some additional insight on possible filtered text:
You may not:
  • Restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Web Site.
  • Use the Web Site to impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
  • Interfere with or disrupt any servers or networks used to provide the Web Site or its features, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of the networks we use to provide the Web Site.
  • Use the Web Site to instigate or encourage others to commit illegal activities or cause injury or property damage or interfere with business interests or contractual relations of any person.
  • Gain unauthorized access to the Web Site, or any account, computer system, or network connected to this Web Site, by means such as hacking, password mining or other illicit means.
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not intentionally made available through this Web Site.
  • Use the Web Site to post or transmit any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, libelous, flaming, hateful, offensive (whether in relation to sex, race, religion or otherwise), defamatory, obscene, vulgar, harassing, pornographic, profane or indecent information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, provincial, national or international law.
  • Use the Web Site to post or transmit any information, software or other material that violates or infringes upon the rights of others, including material that is an invasion of privacy or publicity rights or that is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary right, or derivative works with respect thereto, without first obtaining permission from the owner or rights holder.
  • Use the Web Site to post or transmit any information, software or other material that contains a virus or other harmful component.
  • Use the Web Site to post, transmit or in any way exploit any information, software or other material for commercial purposes, or that contains advertising.
  • Use the Web Site to advertise or solicit to anyone to buy or sell products or services, to cease using the Web Site, to visit another competing Web Site, or to make donations of any kind, without our express written approval
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