Dearest Friends and Visitors of our Little Fountain Pen Nuthouse on the Digital Prairie,
It is time again for some changes to the structure of FPN, and for a few additions too, in order to keep up with the times. We have received many suggestions over the past few years about creating possibly a different way of approaching the forum structure, adding a Chat room, being able to give feedback on traders/sellers, adding possibly a few more regional forums, being able to email other members straight from the board, especially with regard to Classifieds listings, etc.
Despite seeming a bit reluctant, for good reasons (a.o., the work involved ), we do listen, and over the last few weeks the entire Moderator and Admin Team has been looking at a more logical segmentation and grouping of forums, adding a few forums, and making it easier to navigate FPN. BTW, something we started doing a few months ago already, but are finalizing right now in a more frenzied fashion .
There is still some work to be done on this, but we are getting very close to implementing this new structure. You will find some will stay the same, and other parts will change in more dramatic fashion.
1. First Stage, Chat Room
The first stage of implementation will be the Chat Room, as that has undergone plenty, and enough, testing, to implement it here on our live board. It does mean we will be off-line for a while however, as the set-up and configuration interferes with normal operation. An announcement will be made here, prior to us going live. The Chat Room has been skinned for the Library skin as well, so if you prefer the sophisticated, easy-on-the-eyes look of the Library skin, you will have the opportunity to use the chat room in the same style .
Access to the Chat Room will be through the tabs at the top of window, underneath the header area with our logo, IOW, where you can now access e.g. Classifieds, Blogs, etc., there will be a chat room option (tab) as well.
2. Stage 2 or 3, Trader Feedback
We haven't decided yet whether a Trader Feedback system will arrive before the new forum structure, as that depends a bit on the speed with which the skin is updated to reflect this feature as well.
Access to Trader Feedback will be through the profiles.
3. Stage 3 or 2, Forum Structure
The forum structure we may update bit by bit, as this also involves a lot of moving of topics by the entire team here.
The biggest changes will be to Community Centre and News categories (forum groups), and the General forums. The Community Centre and News forums will be merged and be at the top of the Forum list.
Next category will be the Market Place, a name we will restore. I guess it will be obvious which forums you might find there.
The change to the General forums will be that we will now make a more consistent division between the three main parts of concern to fountain pen lovers, namely fountain, dip and other pens, inks, and of course paper and pen paraphernalia. Review forums will be moved into their specific areas, where they really belong. We will also change the name of the First Stop forum, it will be a fountain pen forum, and we will add a forum for all writing instruments which aren't fountain or dip pens. The latter as per one of the requests we have had many times over the past years.
And as mentioned, the regional forums will be extended. First of all, as Conway Stuart no longer exists as a company, we decided to change the forum into a Great Britain brands forum, together, obviously, with all other British pen brands. We will add a few other regional forums as well, lightening the load on some of the other forums .
Past the pen forums, you will be able to find all Ink related forums, with another addition , and below that again the Paper and Pen Paraphernalia ones.
Finally, Creative Expressions of course, minus Ink mixes, which will now be part of the Inks category.
In short, categories and category order will be:
1. FPN related news, and Welcome, plus the Community Centre in a single category (essentially putting all FPN Community related forums together)
2. The Market Place
3. Writing Instruments
4. Brand focus
5. Regional Focus
7. Paper and Pen Paraphernalia
8. Creative Expressions
4. Stage 4, Email
We are busy testing this particular option, it will likely be implemented last.
5. Stage 5, Preparations for the new board software in development
In addition, the new version of the board software, which is currently in Beta, requires some changes to the database. This will require a conversion of our current database to a different database language group. We will start testing this on our test board once we are happy with the testing of the changes of stage 1 to 4, and will implement the database changes only thereafter.
Before the year is out, we hope to have implemented all of the above features, except no. 5. We will keep you posted of our progress, and will keep posting announcements in this regard as well.
To Be Continued ....
Warm regards, Wim
On behalf of the entire Moderator and Admin Team.