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!Tweet
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