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NWFA will be migrating to a different forum platform, input appreciated!

Discussion in 'Questions, Problems, & Feedback' started by Joe Link, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Those of you who have been around here a few years likely remember our transition from vBulletin 3 to vBulletin 4. This 'revolutionary update' which was promised to add increased functionality and continued support turned out to be the cause of many, many headaches. That was a very long year for us, as we waited for the developers of the software to fix the instability issues and many bugs found in the early versions of vB4. We finally got to a point where we've had a stable site for the past couple years, but the end result, in my opinion, has always been just so-so. While internet savvy folks can generally figure things out by trial and error, many of our other brothers in arms have difficulty with registration, navigation, posting photos, and using the site in general. When I created this community I did so to bring us together and strengthen the community. I believe in order to do that we need a reliable, easy to use site so people will want to come back as often as possible. Internet Brands, who developed vBulletin 4 and now vBulletin 5, has been on a downward slide ever since the release of vB4. While it's unlikely they'll be out of business anytime soon, we've seen the writing on the wall for far too long now.

    This new platform is developed by the same team who developed the much-loved vBulletin 3 platform before the company was purchased by Internet Brands. For those who don't know, vBulletin 3 is the version used on The High Road, Glock Talk, 1911forum, and many other firearm forums since around 2001. Internet Brands prioritized profit over product quality, which didn't sit well with these developers, so they set out to create the platform Internet Brands deemed too costly to develop. After waiting a year for the non-compete to expire they released their first version in October 2010. We've been evaluating this software ever since, and now believe it's ready for the NorthwestFirearms.com community.

    One of the biggest mistakes we made during the transition from vBulletin 3 to vBulletin 4 was the lack of input we solicited from our members. I remember it clearly, and told myself I wouldn't make that mistake twice. It's because of this that I'm making this announcement; we'd like you to give it a test run and give us your opinions. It's also because of this that we haven't set a migration date yet. It could be two months, it could be a six. We know we can't please everyone, but we'll know it's time once members are as excited about us to make the switch.

    Most of you don't know I've been developing a sister site for NWFA for the residents of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, called Southwest Firearms. I've been working on it on and off for a couple years now, but never really had the time to devote to spreading the word. NWFA has been an overwhelming success, and I think it'd be great if we could apply this same formula down there. The reason I mention this is because SouthwestFirearms.com has also served as our test environment for this new platform. If any of you have friends or family down there, be sure to mention it!

    Those of you who wish to provide feedback on the future NWFA platform are encouraged to create an account over there. Play with the buttons, tweak the settings, take it for a test drive, and report back to us. The more feedback we get from NWFA members the better we can plan this migration and make sure we're making a positive move.

    http://www.southwestfirearms.com
     
  2. PinkhamR

    PinkhamR Altus, Oklahoma MSgt, USAF (Retired)-FFL Lifetime Supporter

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    Thanx for the info and Post Joe. I am looking forward to checking it out!
     
  3. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I checked out and signed up for SWFA. Looks to be on the ground floor still. Give it time, it will grow just like NWFA has!
     
  4. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks guys, looking forward to hearing the feedback!

    Yes, it's very small right now. I've done nearly zero marketing, until now.

    A couple side notes:

    - Everything is enabled for all users (avatars, image uploads, etc.) so try them out.
    - The colors, fonts, and layout will be very similar to how NWFA is now.
     
  5. Jr1982

    Jr1982 Wilson creek Active Member

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    What!?! No southwestfirearms.com for the republic of Kalifornia? Man that's cold....:D
     
  6. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    If I said that wasn't deliberate, I'd be lying :peace:
     
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  7. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    I was going to say I thought it included CA when you first announced it. Kudos for excluding it. I avoid the state.
     
  8. techieguy

    techieguy Well-Known Member

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    I thought California was absorbed by Mexico in the 70-80's and is now New North Mexico.
     
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  9. pdxjohann

    pdxjohann Portland near Tigard Member

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    thanks for your hard work. Your site has been of service to your neighbors here.
     
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  10. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    Just went an logged on there. Very nice interface. Easy navigation.
    Had to come back here, those discussions about CA laws are tooo depressing.
    Had to return before I said something I shouldn't have.
     
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  11. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I like the way it handles.
    Even has a gun chick, Anna.
    She knows a lot about us know-it-alls!
    I think SWFA works real nice. the automatic file upload is a pleasant surprise.
    I would look forward to NWFA moving to that platform
     
  12. chase

    chase Wilsonville, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When the platform get moved over, will we still have our same support banners, feedback, and post counts? Or will that be reset? I checked out SWFA, it looks good.
     
  13. telero

    telero Salem area, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Where do you want feedback posted? This site/thread? The other site? PM?
     
  14. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmmmm, I think I've seen this somewhere before......

    Looks nice Joe and seemed to work for, you know where.
     
  15. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Just got back...

    Easy to navigate, colors make some screens a little hard to view. Pics upload easily, as do vids from youtube. :thumbup:

    Needs more smilies... :bluelaugh:
     
  16. CHLChris

    CHLChris Portland Metro East Love me some guns! Bronze Supporter

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    I like the softness of the graphics. The interface is usable, though of course I didn't try to start a thread, edit it, and close it, which would really be the proof in the pudding. I remember being very frustrated when we moved to this version, having rather liked vB3. I'm glad you're giving a heads-up!

    Pinkhamr is very active on that site...good for you!

    I'm glad you also did not include New Mexico. That state is looking to be going down the same path as Colorado. Utah recently had a firearms classifieds site that decided to close up shop. There is a site that opened up for just Utah sales, but I truly believe that this format could be just as successful there as here.

    Thanks, Joe, for always wanting to better this most awesome forum!!!
     
  17. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    That will all be transferred.

    This thread here would be best.

    Hah yeah, that's ANOTHER project I need to resume work on :)
     
  18. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    If you get a chance, definitely try playing with some of the controls. I think that's where the other software really shines (in the actual use of it).

    Thanks for the feedback so far :)
     
  19. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    I'll go play with it today, but in the meantime I have a question: does the new platform interface well with Tapatalk or any other forum apps?
     
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  20. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    It does have Tapatalk support. In fact, I'll install it over there now.