May
29
2018

A better organised Discord, Forum changes and more – Spring Cleaning on Technically Motivated

With Spring in full swing and Summer not long away, many people will be engaging in Spring Cleaning to get their homes and workplaces organised ad tidy. Here a Technically Motivated, we also believe in the value of Spring Cleaning; and I'm pleased to be able to detail some tweaks – both small and large – we have or will be bringing out across the site and our other services over the coming days.

Discord

The first such change, which is already live, is to our Discord. Many of our Discord regulars use our Discord to discuss technology-related topics that we at TM currently do not have articles about, whether just out of personal interest, as a suggestion for a new topic for us to cover, or to help them plan out an article of their own to submit to us. Many of these discussions previously were taking place in our #articles text channel, which is also used to inform Discord users of new postings on the main Technically Motivated website; and this was sometimes causing these announcements and subsequent discussion – the intended point of the channel – to become drowned out.

Following feedback from the Moderators, I have subsequently introduced a brand new text chat channel to our Discord, #suggestions, as a dedicate channel for discussing anything tech-related that isn't yet on our blog, with linking to other sites fully permitted (within reason). As part of this change, #articles is now only to be used or discussion and announcement of articles that DO appear on our site; and the channel no longer permits links of any kind from non-Staff users. We have also introduced categories to the Discord channel list, to neatly organise all our available channels.

Forum and Private Messaging

For the last several months now, we have been actively beta testing a new Forum, to replace our long-standing Forum solution of many years. The aim of this test was to find a replacement that would be more efficient, but still offer a comparatively similar set of features to our existing Forum, due to the software powering that Forum becoming outdated as well as causing performance issues due to significant database load.

During the Beta, the replacement Forum received a number of updates and very quickly matured into a complete solution, even allowing us to cross-post topics from the blog to our Forum; as well as introducing the ability for players to report inappropriate topics. Following testing of the most recent crop of updates, the Technically Motivated Moderators and myself have deemed the new Forum suitable for our purposes.

As a result, on 31 May 2018, the existing Technically Motivated Forum will be closed down and replaced, with existing Forum links now leading to the new Forum and the Beta Test page removed. We hope you will find the replacement easy to use and appropriate for all your future discussions.

As part of the switch to the new Forum, unfortunately all existing Private Messages will be lost. We have been informed by the developers of the new Forum that Private Messaging is not a supported feature and is not planned to be added, as it is not considered essential to the main purpose of a Forum; and there are already other WordPress plugins that offer dedicated Private Messaging functionality. We plan to reintroduce Private Messaging at a future date; and are already beta-testing a potential option to reintroduce the feature, which we hope to roll out very soon. However, we will not be able to import your previous message history. Sorry 🙁

Other News

You may have noticed a slight change to the sharing buttons that appear below each of our posts. As part of our commitment to user privacy, Technically Motivated has ditched AddThis, which had the potential to track our users even if hey weren't logged in to any Social Networks; in favour of a brand-new solution which does no tracking whatsoever. The new sharing buttons are also more efficient, resulting in slightly faster page loads across our site. So now you can read and share our articles both faster and more safely than before. We may tweak the appearance of the buttons in the coming days, but you can use the new buttons right now if there's anything you want to share with your friends, family, colleagues or followers 🙂

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