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Welcome to the new Theme Park Insider Discussion Forum

Robert Niles
Submitted by Robert Niles
Published: January 19, 2014 at 4:06 PM
Edited: February 12, 2014 at 8:59 PM

I'd like to welcome you to Theme Park Insider's new Discussion Forum!

We've completely rewritten our Discussion Forum software, in an effort to make it both more reliable and more useful for everyone in the Theme Park Insider community. Here are some of the features of our new forum:

1) You don't need to wait for new threads to be approved. Once you submit a new thread to the forum, it goes live immediately. No more waiting around for me to approve it. You must be a registered member of the site to submit a thread, and members can submit one new thread every 24 hours. (You must wait 24 hours after registering to submit your first thread.) This should serve the function of keeping people from spamming the board, without having to wait for me to approve new threads.

2) There's no more limit to discussion responses, but threads will stay active for just 30 days. We've removed the 100-response limit on threads, but we will archive forum threads after 30 days, after which responses will be closed. This should help ensure that discussions remain lively, but don't drag on forever. We currently have a seven-day limit on responses to front-page blog posts, and wanted to let forum discussions go on a bit longer than that. But we didn't want to get into a situation where discussions go on for hundreds of responses over several months, as happens on some forums. We hope that a 30-day limit will help to keep discussions focused and fresh. Note that, unlike on the front-page blog, anonymous responses will not be allowed on the Discussion Forum. You must be registered and logged in to respond to a forum discussion.

3) Threads will be sorted by topic on the forum front page. Instead of listing all active discussions in chronological order, as we have before, the new forum will sort active discussion threads by topic. Our topics on the new board will include the major, multi-park theme park resorts around the world (Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Disneyland Paris), as well as the four major theme park regions for which we (eventually) will publish print and eBook guidebooks (Orlando, Southern California, Asia, and Europe). Discussions about anything else will go into the "Other" category for now. Eventually, we likely will create additional topics, but we're waiting to see what kinds of discussions you submit before deciding what they should be.

4) We have the ability to designate "sticky" threads. The new forum allows us to designate specific active threads as "top threads" that will appear at the top of the forum home page. We'll start by using that function for this thread, so we can help ensure that everyone visiting the forum sees it.

5) You can report spam or otherwise inappropriate posts on the forum. Part of what made the old discussion software break down was all the automatic checks I'd installed over the years to try to delete spam or inappropriate posts. Under this new forum, I'm leaving that job to you. All registered members will have the ability to flag any post on the forum as spam, if they consider it such. I'll be notified of all reports, but if enough people flag a post as spam before I have the opportunity to review it, that post will disappear from the forum immediately. Note: Editors will have the ability to override spam reports, and if we see a member abusing this function, we won't hesitate to ban that member. But we'll offer our undying gratitude to members who do flag stuff that shouldn't be on the board. You'll know when you see it. But we hope that you never will.

Finally, the old discussion board is still there, but it is now closed to new discussions and responses. We're making a fresh start on this forum, instead.

We hope that this new Discussion Forum will provide a welcoming home to everyone in our friendly and helpful Theme Park Insider community. We believe that you, our community, are the site's greatest asset, and we're working to provide you with the rewarding Discussion Forum you deserve. So, please, don't hesitate to jump in by asking questions and offering trip reports and suggestions for how to improve our experiences at the parks. Thank you for being part of the Theme Park Insider community and we hope that you enjoy the new forum!

Please take a moment to share this post, and encourage others to reply!

From Duncan Henny on January 21, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Cool

From Robert Niles on January 21, 2014 at 9:52 AM

One change I didn't make, but did consider, is to add "thumbnail" photos of post authors to the Discussion Forum pages, as we do for the front-page blogs. What do you think about that?

Obviously, if a member doesn't want a photo next to his/her posts, simply don't upload one to your profile page. But I wonder if readers would find the inclusion of photos helpful or a distraction. Lemme know.

From TH Creative on January 21, 2014 at 11:17 AM

So have we wiped the slate (old discussion board topics) clean, as it were?

From Andrew Dougherty on January 21, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Well this is interesting.

From Robert Niles on January 21, 2014 at 11:46 AM

All the old discussions remain over at the old URL (www.themeparkinsider.com/news). But they are archived now, and not accepting new entries.

From Tim Hillman on January 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM

I like the changes to the new Discussion Forum as long as we can still get into a good, proper free-for-all every now and then. :)

One request - Can the [Report as Spam] be shifted to the right and be made a smaller font than the discussion postings? It's a little distracting as it is right now.

From Robert Niles on January 21, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Thanks for the feedback, Tim. I'm collecting a to-do list for typography stuff and will add that suggestion. Gimme a day or two to get that implemented. (I want to do a bunch of it at once.)

From James Rao on January 21, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Agree with Tim... the "Report as Spam" link is probably too big. Can you just make it large like that for posts by TH Creative? Maybe even bigger? ;)

Otherwise... the new forum looks great.

Just please, please, please, do not ever get rid of the old forum. There were some classic dogfights back in the day that should be preserved in perpetuity.

From James Trexen on January 21, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Coupla quick questions.

1. Will this new forum tell us when a thread's been updated with new posts like the old one?

2. Will we have to scroll past the previously read posts like on the comments for the home articles?

From Robert Niles on January 21, 2014 at 6:54 PM

James,

I can make those changes, too. Will add to the list. Thanks.

From Robert Niles on January 21, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Spam report links are fixed. Also added thread top photos that will show up for the front-page writers (because I had those in the proper size in the system already.) I'll add the update links and skip-old-comments feature, along with picture uploads for everyone else, tomorrow.

From Robert Niles on January 22, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Okay, made bunch of type changes, and added the update-tag/skip-old-links feature for registered members. Thanks for the suggestions!
This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

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