Upcoming Migration of the Car Talk Community


#1

Hi everyone,

Our new community is here - almost. Right now, we anticipate launching it at the beginning of this week. (Yep, that soon!)

Like our Senior Web Lackey, Doug Mayer, announced a few months ago, we’re switching our Car Talk Community forum platform from Vanilla to Discourse.

You might be wondering why, when we’ve been with Vanilla for some years now.

We lackeys of Car Talk Plaza have spent a lot of time looking at the Community, when of course we’re not napping or sipping lattes. We have tracked the use patterns and seen how it’s grown to be a vibrant, engaged community, and as the traffic changes, and the way people use the internet changes, we wanted to find a robust, sturdy, clean platform to support a community like ours. We know that Discourse can do just that: it can support a large-scale, engaged, and active community. (Check, check, and check! Its founder, Jeff Atwood, is a Car Talk fan who helped start Stack Overflow. We’ve looked the other way on his taste in radio shows, because of his deep strength when it comes to online communities.)

Discourse will mean a number of changes for us-- including some features we think are pretty valuable. For example, members are able to shape the forum by mentoring new users and rewarding helpful ones. Low-quality posts are hidden, while the good stuff bubbles to the top. Discourse has built-in immunity from spammers, bots, and trolls. (See ya later, Korean escort spam.) You can read more about the Discourse features here. Victoria and Carolyn will be available to walk through this with you, and we assure you that if you would still rather explain your opinions than click a button, you’re free to do that.

As people participate by reading, posting, and liking valuable posts, they gain trust. As they gain trust, they get more tools to help keep the community healthy, helpful, and fun. But don’t worry – everyone who’s got an existing account with the Community will come in with full trust privileges.

Additionally, we know that online communities are changing as technology changes. You shouldn’t have to wade through an antiquated interface. People want things that work well on their phone as well as their desktop or tablet. Image sharing should be easier than giving birth, so Discourse makes it possible to drag and drop images into a post. You can multi-quote in real time. A digest is available. It’s an open source platform, so we all have the opportunity to make it work the way we want it to work in response to all of our experiences with it. Plus we’re adding some cool features that allow for an improved notification system for posts about your car make/model.

Will there be hiccups? Sure. Much like cars, even the best new ones have break-in periods where we’re all acclimating to it. And just like learning where the knobs and buttons are on your new car, you’ll have to learn a few different things, but the learning curve isn’t steep. Discourse will walk you through the posting process on your first post. (Hey, even us lackeys got the hang of it.)

Ultimately, we want this to be a place where you want to spend time, so we invested in Discourse to help make that happen.

OK, now that we got that out of the way: here’s the timeline. Right now, we’re expecting that on Sunday night the Community will go into read-only mode while we prepare to import all the existing data into Discourse on Monday. By Tuesday, everything should be up and running. Victoria and Carolyn will be on hand to answer questions and help you orient yourselves.

Once we launch, we’ll post further information about where you can get resources to find your way through our new community, and how you can share any issue you note.

Cheers,

Carolyn and Victoria


#2

:cold_sweat:


#3

Hi, @db4690. I could never tell whether this emoji was sweating or crying. Either way - it’s gonna be OK. Victoria and I have one hand on the bat phone to the folks at Discourse, and we will be available.


#4

“launching it at the beginning of this week” ??

could you clarify? To me, the beginning of this week was 6 days ago.


#5

I assure you, @BillRussell, our lousy operation out here isn’t so lousy we announced something after it happened. :wink: Tomorrow night it goes read-only.


#6

I haven’t even learned to do the old stuff yet.


#7

There may be some teething problems but I’m sure they will work themselves out; or get prodded out… :smiley:


#8

keeping my fingers crossed. Many times I have seen an “upgrade” actually be a step backwards, in some cases into total uselessness.

It’s difficult to design web pages that work with the dozens of browsers, many dozens if you include versions.


#9

I don’t care what anyone else says, I’m going to keep an open mind going into this monumental change. If there are any problems, I’ll blame Doug. Carolyn and Victoria are safe.


#10

My mom’s laptop performed an automatic upgrade a few days ago . . .

When it rebooted, it was COMPLETELY messed up, including an upside down screen. it took me awhile to find the settings, to enable me to correct it

and some data was lost . . . some upgrade :frowning:

I’m just worried that automatic “filters” might delete some of OUR comments and postings, if they don’t meet the standards. Think yelp reviews

Realistically, though, I’m sure it will be a fairly big improvement :grin:

And as Carolyn said, I am looking forward to NOT seeing the trolls talking about their particular church, internet dating, or other “products” :naughty:


#11

I hope to make the transition. My land-line phone, dial-up modem connection doesn’t take to kindly to fancy, dancy, high-tech stuff.

My rural electric company converted a great web-site to a new-fangled web-site and I can no longer use it for obtaining bills and submitting readings. Now I’m knocked back to the stone-age and must mail a reading or phone it in…

This site works great on my computer connection, but if I don’t make it through the improvemant, you’ll know I was a casualty of too much technology. Carry on…
CSA


#12

I’m of the opinion that some of the regulars . . . for various reasons . . . will not be active after the transition

Call that pessimistic, if you like

I call it a probability

But we’ll probably have some new regulars

As long as they’re not all those types that say all shop and all mechanics are incompetent, crooked, overcharging, etc., it should be okay

I also can’t stand those guys that say “Why should I pay for diagnosis if my $50 code reader tells me what part I need to replace?”

Ignorance is bliss . . . to a point. It can also make for some unpleasant conversations

I certainly hope those guys don’t turn out to be “the new normal” :frowning:

all in all, though, I’m looking forward to the transition and hope to “encounter” the regulars again


#13

In my experience, every time there has been an “upgrade” at any BBS, people worry, panic and then complain that they don’t like the new format. Then time passes and everyone adjusts and things are fine.

I’m looking forward to the change. Change is good. It’s like changing your oil. It’s a required maintenance item… :smile:


#14

“New coke” was good . . . ?!

Change is not ALWAYS good

And I suppose the first-gen Chevy Colorado was good, compared to the S10 . . . that’s up for debate, as far as I’m concerned


#15

My cousin likes her new Colorado. She replaced an older Nissan Frontier with it, and liked the Nissan plenty. I think the first generation Colorado was dark days of GM design.


#16

@Joe Guy
"In my experience, every time there has been an “upgrade” at any BBS, people worry, panic and then complain that they don’t like the new format. Then time passes and everyone adjusts and things are fine."

I hope you’re right, Joe. I just want to make it through the transition so I’m one of those adjusting. :smile:
CSA


#17

@jtsanders

I’m glad your cousin likes her new Colorado. It seems to be far ahead of its predecessor

IMO the first-Gen Colorado had build quality that was no better than the S10, and questionable mechanical reliability

In my opinion, it will also lose value very quickly, compared to a Tacoma. That’s not a judgement of the truck’s actual quality, I should note. I have no opinion on that, as I haven’t yet worked on one


#18

“New coke” was good . . . ?!

Change is not ALWAYS good

And I suppose the first-gen Chevy Colorado was good, compared to the S10 . . . that’s up for debate, as far as I’m concerned "

Hold on a minute!!.. I wasn’t talking about Coke and cars or anything other than the upcoming upgrade here at Cartalk.

I can name millions of changes that were not good. Donald Trump becoming a politician, for example.

The way I look at it, the day I start not wanting anything to change anymore will be when I’ve reached old curmudgeon status. So far, I’ve only reached old…


#19

I am not worried, hoping @“common sense answer” does not have an issue, maybe he can still get texts so if he does have an issue we can figure out a workaround. Missed the sampler for new website email if there was one.


#20

“In my experience, every time there has been an “upgrade” at any BBS, people worry, panic and then complain that they don’t like the new format. Then time passes and everyone adjusts and things are fine. I’m looking forward to the change. Change is good. It’s like changing your oil. It’s a required maintenance item.”

Yup!
Some people can deal with change, and others automatically go into panic mode when anything in their life changes. The veterans of this forum will probably recall a forum member (“Otterhere”) who absolutely hated her new Toyota Yaris, simply because it was different than her aged GEO Metro–which she viewed as being the ultimate in automotive perfection. No, I am not making that up!

Some people have such conservative mindsets that ANY type of change is automatically tantamount to disaster. I hope that I never get to that point when viewing the evolution of technology…or anything else for that matter.