BlenderNation is stepping up + Discourse Migration Campaign


(Jonathan Williamson) #1

Hi everyone!

I’ve been pretty silent on the forums for a while now, but now I’m happy to make two big announcements!

First of all, long in the planning, (three years now!) we are finally making the move a new forum platform: Discourse.

Secondly, BlenderNation is stepping up to run Blender Artists! We are transferring ownership from CG Cookie to Blender Nation.

From day one we have tried to be good stewards of the community but in the last few years we’ve been unable to dedicate the time that Blender Artists deserves and needs. Thankfully, Bart has graciously agreed to step up and take ownership through BlenderNation. Bart is one of the original Not a Number crew and was responsible for many of the original Blender tutorials that many of us (myself included) first learned from. Blender Artists could not be in better hands.

As a part of this ownership change, Bart is coordinating a crowd-funding campaign to fund a full migration of Blender Artists from vBulletin to Discourse.

Read the full details on the Kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1072051946/blenderartists-20-were-moving-to-discourse

The aim is to fund the migration in the next fourteen days, completing the migration and transfer of ownership shortly after that time.

Cheers and thanks for any and all contributions to make this happen!


([email protected]) #2

Thanks Jonathan! It’ll be my honour to be the new host here :slight_smile:


(Ace Dragon) #3

So what will happen to BlenderNation and its accounts?

Will the news site become part of BA and accounts there moved over (or people who comment there will now just post with their BA account)?

Also, I would politely ask that the square avatar shapes be kept (or if you really want them to look updated, round the edges a little). There’s been an unfortunate trend on other forums where the administrators ignore the users and keep the round shape anyway. It might be good to poll users on what updates they would like to see (maybe you can limit it to Kickstarter backers at first as a reward).


([email protected]) #4

They’ll remain separate sites for the time being. I might add BlenderArtists commenting to BlenderNation if people think that’s useful.

Also, I would politely ask that the square avatar shapes be kept (or if you really want them to look updated, round the edges a little). There’s been an unfortunate trend on other forums where the administrators ignore the users and keep the round shape anyway. It might be good to poll users on what updates they would like to see (maybe you can limit it to Kickstarter backers at first as a reward).

I’m open to that, although for now I have other things to consider than the shape of avatars :slight_smile:


(masterxeon1001) #5

congrats bart. Your admin hand was essential in my development.


(Julian-Patrick) #6

we are finally making the move (to)a new forum platform:

-typo

greets patrick
:ba:


([email protected]) #7

Awww thanks man! :slight_smile:


(joahua) #8

I have over the years collected a fair amount of links to good/interesting BA post’s. So here is a quick question :

If the crowd-funding campaign succeeds, and a a full migration of Blender Artists from vBulletin to Discourse follows. Will links for old BA post’s still work ? (aka. not be broken).


Old links to individual posts don't resolve
([email protected]) #9

Yes absolutely.


Known issues with the new site
Known issues with the new site
(joahua) #10

Super… :slight_smile:


(SynaGl0w) #11

The test forum looks nice, but it seems like a step backwards in terms of efficient use of space. The page block is wider than it is here, yet the content block for individual posts is narrower. There is a lot of free space between the post content and that vertical timeline scrollbar thingamahdingus. Also a lot of free space on the other side of the thingamahdingus as well.

I guess what I am saying is that actual post content is only 62% of the page container width. That is, until I shrink my browser window enough that the thingamahdingus scoots in and eventually goes away, but by that point the browser window is less than half my screen width.

On the plus side, the avatar column takes up less space.


(Razorblade) #12

What if the kickstartergoal is not met ?


([email protected]) #13

Yes, by default Discourse is much more spacious than the current Blender Artists version. They did spend a lot of time on UX research though and I personally believe it really benefits readability. We can always make layout adjustments down the road it needed, of course.

That’s mentioned on the Kickstarter page:

> If we can’t raise the $2000, then we’ll only migrate the user database and create an empty forum to ‘reboot’ BlenderArtists on Discourse. I’ll fund this myself, if needed.

We’re already pretty close to the first target though, so I wouldn’t worry about that scenario anymore.


(SynaGl0w) #14

An alternative to using the space, you could move the timeline control in near the posts, and use the space between the timeline and page edge to place any ads or promotions (no video/audio ads please :yes:). You could even have other types of “featured” posts, or competitions, etc.

Speaking of ads: top, bottom, or sides. I really hate ads between posts in a thread. The ad-vantage (hur hur) of sides is they can scroll with the page, thus be always visible without breaking up the main content, and they don’t increase the amount of scrolling.


(Ace Dragon) #15

There was talk on the test board suggesting that perhaps the only content needed to port over would be the stuff from the past year.

I think porting over the threads that have been active since a year ago (ie. before the auto-lock kicks in) may speed up the transition and make it easier to handle. That would still include all of the longtime threads with continued relevance (the Cycles mega-thread, various development threads, active sketchbooks, ect…) and leave out many threads that no longer have useful information (due to broken links and outdated content).


(Joey Blendhead) #16

>.>
I’m all for a new UI and all, but isn’t the new one overdoing it a bit? Eh, I’m sure I’ll get used to it. But will we have to create all new accounts, or will we be able to sign in with our current ones? I think that’s what the kickstarter is for, but… idk. Also, glad to see it reached it’s goal so quickly. I was gonna contribute, but paypal isn’t accepted on Kickstarter. So RIP


([email protected]) #17

All the accounts will be migrated yes, as well as the existing content.


(RobertT) #18

It’s a good thing I read all the way down the Kickstarter page.

The actual goal for full migration is higher than the preliminary goal, so still a ways to go.

I just submitted my pledge (gold level, of course!) for this wonderful worthy cause.

Best of luck to [email protected] for taking on this project and helping to keep this vital and creative forum alive.

And thank you to all those who have kept this place positive and productive for so many years.

Your efforts, and the countless creations you directly and indirectly helped nurture and bring forth into this world through this endeavor, have made a tremendous positive difference in many people’s lives.

You have so much to be proud of, and we, as a community, have so much to be grateful for.

BlenderArtists forever!

RobertT


(RobertT) #19

Something else I noticed which I think might be worth pointing out:

On the Kickstarter page, in the paragraph beginning with “The data migration is complex and involves hiring a professional,” it is said
“For a full migration of the entire site we need $4500

USD

but, elsewhere on the page, the 4500 is indicated in Euros, which is an entirely different number when converted to USD, as in this example:

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&q=4500+eur+to+usd


(Ace Dragon) #20

Another thing to consider, a feature that the Unity boards at least already has, is adding the concept of thread bans.

What it is basically is that it would allow a moderator to ban members from posting in an individual thread (without banning them from the entire forum). The reason for that is because there are many threads where there might be one or two users who are not interested in constructive discussion (usually in threads pertaining to Blender development or in feedback threads).

What that would allow is for a more aggressive approach in keeping threads on track without having to get the banhammer out (and reduce the chance of the thread needing a lock).