I almost missed this, but on May 6 2018 we made the switch from vBulletin to Discourse. After an initial period where everyone (including us) had to get used to our new home, I feel that we have seen quite a bit of improvement in the community ‘atmosphere’ here. As a result, we now see almost twice the activity as one year ago! (see the number of page views and user visits below, for example).
Important reasons for this are a more effective Moderator team (who are greatly helped with Discourse’s fantastic community reporting features), as well as our very active ‘Trust Level 3’ users, who help us scout for featured art and give continuous feedback on how things work here. Thanks for your continuous help everyone!
I am also very happy with the amazing support from the Discourse team. Even though we’re not a paying user (we’re self-hosted), they always quickly respond to issues that we have or to feature suggestions. Very similar to Blender development, you really can’t beat the user support from an active open source company! Discourse is also very regularly updated with great features - including ones that make our life as moderators easier. Keep an eye on the regular release notes I post in #site-feedback:site-improvements
All in all I feel lucky and privileged that I got the chance to continue the work of all the previous hosts of Blender Artists: Timothy, Roel and of course Jonathan & Wes. Being able to provide a home for the Blender community is an honor!
On to the next year!