As regular visitors have experienced firsthand, this forum is aging rapidly and will eventually reach a point where it's unfeasible to continue using it. The company that created the software, Discusware, has been out of business for 8 years now.
We're investigating the options for setting up a new forum and want to make sure we hear from you – the regular posters and lurkers who have sustained this welcoming community over the past 20 years. What features of this forum do you find most useful? What features of other forums do you wish we would adopt here? What features would help encourage growth without damaging the culture we already have (especially once the Wars of Light and Shadows series is DONE and ends up on new readers' To Be Read lists)?
Please share your thoughts in this thread. If you have trouble posting a reply, you can also email me at "brian AT urizone DOT net" and I will post on your behalf (with permission). There is no deadline on this survey – the new forum definitely won't appear overnight!
I'll start! I think…
- A new forum should encourage new visitors to join. It should work on a variety of different browsers (including mobile phones). It should offer (but not require!) single sign-on using a visitor's alternate accounts (Google, Facebook, etc.). It should have a short, simple, understandable set of rules that reflect this community's culture.
- A new forum should encourage visitors to stick around and post. It should be easy to format posts, add links or mentions (@s), or receive email notifications about topics of interest. It should offer some level of customization to visitors (themes, font sizes, avatars, profiles, etc.) without over-cluttering threads.
- A new forum should be easy to administer. It should use modern programming languages and have regular feature / security upgrades available. We should be able to self-host it on paravia.com to avoid the content / data / privacy policies of third-party sites (Facebook, Google, Goodreads, Reddit, etc.). It should be easy to moderate users, posts, and spam.