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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Marcus
    • By MSE Marcus 7th Oct 19, 7:26 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 81Thanks
    MSE Marcus
    Forum Announcement
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 19, 7:26 PM
    Forum Announcement 7th Oct 19 at 7:26 PM
    Dear MSE Forumites!

    Im Marcus and Im the Editor-in-Chief at MoneySavingExpert.com.

    I have some really important news to share with you and I hope you will all be as excited as we are here at MSE Towers.

    MSE Forums began almost 17 years ago and has become one of the UKs biggest communities. Its a lively, active place to share everything from MoneySaving tips to the best slow-cooker recipes. Were incredibly proud of what you, the Forumites, have built, and see it as an invaluable part of our wider mission to help consumers.

    For our regulars though, you will have noticed over the past few years that the bit we do the technology that supports our Forum - has been creaking at best, and completely broken at worst. Weve reached the stage where our present platform is simply unsustainable when it breaks, were not able to fix it.

    We want your Forum to live for at least another 17 years.

    So, weve made the big decision to significantly invest in a new platform which all of you will be moved across to. We aim to keep the best of the existing Forum, but tackle the frustrating bits that you tell us you dont like.

    To be clear, some things will change. But staying as we are is not an option, and the alternative would be closing the MSE Forums which we have no intention of doing.

    After many months of planning, research and an awful lot of meetings, weve found a new provider and work has started on the behind-the-scenes technology.

    Your new platform will hopefully go live in early 2020. But in the meantime, we need your help! Were looking for a top team of Forumites to help us with the finishing touches, especially the look and feel of our new Forum. If youre interested in becoming a member (there may be a Badge!) of the Fab-Forumite Feature Testing Group, please let us know by registering your interest here

    We realise some of you may feel apprehensive about all this. But closing the Forum simply wasnt an option to Martin, myself or the rest of MSE. That means, despite the challenges, were hoping you will embrace the new Forum.

    As always, we welcome your constructive feedback and keep your eyes peeled for regular updates from me and the Forum Team over the coming weeks.

    Marcus Herbert
    Editor-in-Chief, MoneySavingExpert.com
Page 7
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 18th Oct 19, 7:04 PM
    • 14,337 Posts
    • 11,362 Thanks
    fatbelly
    There's nothing actually wrong with VB3 to be blunt about it. V5 is pointless and V4 is a step 'sideways'

    XF is a good alternative. WBB (latest one) is quite reasonable too. Both of these are up to date, secure, and relatively easy to use for both the end user and the administrators as well.
    Originally posted by AndyCF
    We are moving to a platform called Vanilla.
    Originally posted by MSE Tine
    Andy - what's Vanilla like?
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 18th Oct 19, 7:37 PM
    • 5,401 Posts
    • 6,215 Thanks
    robatwork
    If you still want to join the Fab Forumite Feature Testing Group then please fill in the form on the other thread before Sunday night as we will be closing it for more applications and cracking on with the next steps as quick as possible!
    Originally posted by MSE Tine
    Will you be publishing who is in the FFTG, Tine?
    • MSE Tine
    • By MSE Tine 18th Oct 19, 8:18 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    MSE Tine
    Will you be publishing who is in the FFTG, Tine?
    Originally posted by robatwork
    We have no plans of doing so although those who wish will get a badge to add to their collections - but its entirely their choice if they want to have it 😊
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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    • pooch
    • By pooch 20th Oct 19, 9:31 AM
    • 806 Posts
    • 400 Thanks
    pooch
    Andy - what's Vanilla like?
    Originally posted by fatbelly
    I believe Digital Spy are one of the bigger, well known forums that have used this platform for some time now
    • StumpyPumpy
    • By StumpyPumpy 20th Oct 19, 11:36 AM
    • 1,378 Posts
    • 3,781 Thanks
    StumpyPumpy
    I believe Digital Spy are one of the bigger, well known forums that have used this platform for some time now
    Originally posted by pooch
    The Vanilla website has a "showcase" section: https://vanillaforums.com/en/showcase/

    SP
    Come on people, it's not difficult: lose means to be unable to find, loose means not being fixed in place. So if you have a hole in your pocket you might lose your loose change.
    • Humph
    • By Humph 20th Oct 19, 1:05 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 1,474 Thanks
    Humph
    Yet another vote for the Green forum please and the ability to access it on a desktop. Very important for many
    I think for people like me using the competition forum intensively - a desktop and the green forum are a must.
    • AndyCF
    • By AndyCF 20th Oct 19, 5:57 PM
    • 721 Posts
    • 2,342 Thanks
    AndyCF
    Andy - what's Vanilla like?
    Originally posted by fatbelly
    I was beaten to it:

    I believe Digital Spy are one of the bigger, well known forums that have used this platform for some time now
    Originally posted by pooch
    From a 'web' point of view it does comply with modern standards etc, same as say Lithium, however I'm not (personally) keen on either of these platforms. They do apparently work very well on mobile devices though. My own view on this is a forum should be a relatively easy layout. I'm not keen on layouts that have a shedload of 'recent topics' or no category structure either as they are difficult to navigate. This is partly why the 'green' theme is likely still popular here.

    I think BT used to use Lithium, they might still do for their community forum.

    I want to say, there seems to be some misunderstanding here, for those that say "please keep the green" this is highly unlikely as the software "platform" itself would be being changed (hence this topic) ... not to say something broadly similar in terms of 'theme' could not be used. There is -always- space for a traditional basic styled forum 'theme' without an excess of js and/or ajax ( is that still used ? ) , pls trust me a little bit on this I was involved with forum software QA for donkey's years. I still have a very keen 'hobby' interest in forum software too.

    Don't give up hope though those that like "the green" it is perfectly possible with most modern software (whatever it is) to replicate something similar, the "look" is as important as the general "ease of use" with this. Too many horizontal/vertical tabs for stuff plus an excess of js to swap them causes problems for those on slower connections as well as those perhaps in 'senior years' shall we say.

    In reality all new software should be tested on a very slow net connection to see how it actually behaves (or not) but very few do. There is always an assumption these days that people's connections are fast or at least reasonable.

    ^ I don't want to "speak out of place" with some of that, please (if admin/staff read it) don't read it that way, hence the last part of that paragraph, aka: I do (I think) know what I am talking about a little bit

    I've not heard anything from "the team" although it may be early or they don't want me
    Last edited by AndyCF; 20-10-2019 at 6:03 PM.
    • Spoonie Turtle
    • By Spoonie Turtle 20th Oct 19, 6:44 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    Spoonie Turtle
    AndyCF did you apply to be in the testing group? There was a post on that thread saying the survey was open until today (this evening / tonight? I can't rememeber exactly) so presumably nobody will have heard anything yet.

    (If you're referring to being part of the development though, what I've just written evidently is not relevant.)


    Edit: Right now I'm on my laptop using the green skin, and due to being fixed width it still doesn't fill the width of my screen, and it does the stupid loading-then-resizing-to-accommodate-the-sidebar thing on here too. Presumably a modern forum won't do that, hooray!!
    Last edited by Spoonie Turtle; 20-10-2019 at 6:47 PM.
    • donnajunkie
    • By donnajunkie 20th Oct 19, 6:57 PM
    • 29,157 Posts
    • 16,226 Thanks
    donnajunkie
    Hopefully the new version will allow us to properly block people.
    • Humdinger1
    • By Humdinger1 20th Oct 19, 7:16 PM
    • 124 Posts
    • 423 Thanks
    Humdinger1
    Biggles

    Sorry not sure how to quote. Looking again, to report spam you have to open the message. What I think would be really useful is to be able to report a message without opening as the spam ones are so obvious: the titles; the hyphen between letters to evade the spam filters; the frequent inclusion of phone numbers.

    Of course, this will have to be checked by the mods bit it would cut down the frustration enormously. The terrifying question is: given how often these messages appear, what can their success rate possibly be? This site is mostly used by sensible, intelligent people who can spot scams a mile off, but some poor people are presumably taken in, which makes it worthwhile for these scoundrels?

    Mods, good luck with this process and thanks for all you're doing.

    Humdinger
    • ChrisK.....
    • By ChrisK..... 21st Oct 19, 12:57 PM
    • 847 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    ChrisK.....
    It's very very broke. Shame you don't know about the problems

    Ain't broke - don't fix?


    Originally posted by J B
    If I ruled the world.......
    • ChrisK.....
    • By ChrisK..... 21st Oct 19, 1:12 PM
    • 847 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    ChrisK.....
    MSE forum needs to realise that

    1/ 90% of today's traffic will now come from mobiles and tablets and not from the desktops this site is designed for

    2/ Mobiles and tablets have the option to SHARE webpages/news/articles where the web address is used to harvest the main photo, headline add link to the article. Most apps even allow you to cycle through all photos on the page to decide your own feature photo. This is super effective way to share news and easy to apply and MSE forums need to support the same
    If I ruled the world.......
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 21st Oct 19, 1:17 PM
    • 13,653 Posts
    • 16,739 Thanks
    Cornucopia
    MSE forum needs to realise that

    1/ 90% of today's traffic will now come from mobiles and tablets and not from the desktops this site is designed for
    Originally posted by ChrisK.....
    I doubt this is true of MSE, but I'd expect there to be stats to give a true perspective. As noted above, it is no longer a question of favouring desktop or mobile, and the same facility can have two (or more) different presentations to suit the device being used.

    2/ Mobiles and tablets have the option to SHARE webpages/news/articles where the web address is used to harvest the main photo, headline add link to the article. Most apps even allow you to cycle through all photos on the page to decide your own feature photo. This is super effective way to share news and easy to apply and MSE forums need to support the same
    MSE's content management system (for news/articles) is different to the Forum software. This upgrade is about the Forum software, where the existing system already provides a number of different URL formats that can link to a thread, a page or a post, whilst highlighting particular text.
    I'm a Board Guide on the The Money Savers Arms, Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there.

    Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 21st Oct 19, 7:42 PM
    • 5,401 Posts
    • 6,215 Thanks
    robatwork
    MSE forum needs to realise that

    1/ 90% of today's traffic will now come from mobiles and tablets and not from the desktops this site is designed for
    Originally posted by ChrisK.....
    You don't know this and I highly suspect it's a number you've plucked out of thin air. I also highly suspect that MSE forums are weighted to a much higher average age than others (just 30 minutes in Reddit will tell you), and as such I bet it's nearer 50/50, or even more on desktop than mobile.

    MSE will have stats on this and it would be interesting if they could tell us on this thread what the breakdown is rather than us guessing.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 21st Oct 19, 8:25 PM
    • 14,337 Posts
    • 11,362 Thanks
    fatbelly
    You don't know this and I highly suspect it's a number you've plucked out of thin air. I also highly suspect that MSE forums are weighted to a much higher average age than others (just 30 minutes in Reddit will tell you), and as such I bet it's nearer 50/50, or even more on desktop than mobile.
    Originally posted by robatwork
    Let's ask

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=6061286
    • swindiff
    • By swindiff 22nd Oct 19, 12:26 PM
    • 589 Posts
    • 320 Thanks
    swindiff
    I would say the one thing this forum needs above any other is better moderation. There are many posters on here who simply troll the forums making negative and spiteful posts. I used to be a moderator on videohelp.com. Posts were easily reported and the team of moderators were very quickly onto it removing offending posts. Repeat offenders were banned. This resulted in very little negative posting.
    Last edited by swindiff; 22-10-2019 at 12:29 PM.
    • sarah1972
    • By sarah1972 22nd Oct 19, 12:48 PM
    • 14,158 Posts
    • 43,731 Thanks
    sarah1972
    I would say the one thing this forum needs above any other is better moderation. There are many posters on here who simply troll the forums making negative and spiteful posts. I used to be a moderator on videohelp.com. Posts were easily reported and the team of moderators were very quickly onto it removing offending posts. Repeat offenders were banned. This resulted in very little negative posting.
    Originally posted by swindiff
    There are no moderators as such, Reporting posts usually gets quick action, when you click the report button it gets sent to the MSE team who have a look and then deal with the reported posts. Same with the Spam button, the forum team deal with them once the button has been clicked a few times.

    If you see serial offenders, you can either message the forum team or one of us Board Guides and we can help by alerting the team or if appropriate helping with the problem posters.
    Last edited by sarah1972; 22-10-2019 at 12:52 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on all of the Shopping & Freebies Boards http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=5
    I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (its not part of my role to deal with reportable posts). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 22nd Oct 19, 3:12 PM
    • 14,337 Posts
    • 11,362 Thanks
    fatbelly
    You don't know this and I highly suspect it's a number you've plucked out of thin air. I also highly suspect that MSE forums are weighted to a much higher average age than others (just 30 minutes in Reddit will tell you), and as such I bet it's nearer 50/50, or even more on desktop than mobile.

    MSE will have stats on this and it would be interesting if they could tell us on this thread what the breakdown is rather than us guessing.
    Originally posted by robatwork
    Currently 71% desktops and laptops, 29% mobiles and tablets, or a ratio of about 2.7 : 1.0

    Interestingly, I discovered how easy it is on this forum to set up a poll! I had never done one before, and I hope that facility remains in the new version.
    Last edited by fatbelly; 23-10-2019 at 6:53 AM. Reason: poll
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 22nd Oct 19, 6:38 PM
    • 23,421 Posts
    • 58,651 Thanks
    Tigsteroonie
    Currently 71% desktops and laptops, 29% mobiles and tablets, or a ratio of about 2.7 : 1.0
    Originally posted by fatbelly
    As I expected, and as I hope will be reflected in the new platform - designed from the perspective of the desktop user with accommodations for the mobile user, and not vice versa.

    The MSE Forum is an unusual beast, but please don't p155 off the regular users by going after new membership on the mobile platforms.
    Mrs Marleyboy

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    Proud Parents to an Au-some son
    • MSE Tine
    • By MSE Tine 23rd Oct 19, 9:01 AM
    • 187 Posts
    • 420 Thanks
    MSE Tine
    Good morning all!

    A few of the questions here already have answers in the FAQ I posted here

    Regarding the moderation of the forum - the Forums are NOT moderated as explained in the Forum FAQ's:

    "There are thousands of posts made on the forum every day, it would be impossible for someone to read them all. Also, if we were to read and approve every post, we might become responsible for any unlawful information within those posts.

    We want to protect our users as much as we can, so we have a 'report-a-post' system."

    As Sarah1972 has said - please report any posts that are not in line with the Forum rules (including not being friendly!) and the Forum Team will deal with them
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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