Some of you will have questions about the new Community Site. We have tried to anticipate and address as many of these as possible below. We will update this page as we receive new questions, so if you have need to know anything else please ask in a comment below.
- Why are we doing this?
The new community site has been talked about for many years, and is intended to bring all of our different communities together (Force9, Free-Online, Metronet, PlusNet etc) in a single, faster and more functional community environment. The new site not only contains forums but has staff blogs and a newsfeed. The community site has a roadmap which will bring more functionality in the months following the launch. This will be published in the next few weeks.
The community site means that the knowledge of our community can be shared more easily, and staff will be able to contribute to the discussions more often and without the repetition that currently occurs across 5 different forums.
Another big advantage of the new community is that contributors identities are not tied to their account username: The username you sign up with on the community site does not need to match your vISP username. This is something which was frequently requested by users of the old forums.
We've chosen SMF for the new forum software because it offers more forum features then the previous version of phpBB we are using.
- What is happening to the existing Portal Discussion Forums?
For the next week the old forums will continue as they are. However, on the 1st August we plan to be make the old forums read only, which will mean no new posts will be accepted and people wishing to post will be directed to the community site.
- What is happening to existing posts and post counts?
We won't be deleting anything! For the time being all existing posts will be left where they can be referenced. We are planning to transfer all of the old posts over to the community site, but this presents some interesting technical challenges. There is currently no estimated time for this to be completed, but we hope it will be done by the end of August. Some people have large post counts, and we understand they will wish to keep these, along with their associateforum ranks. We intend to address this in due course, but if you are concerned about losing your post count please contact a member of the Comms team.
How do I register for the community site? To register for the community site, you must first visit the appropriate portal registration page. This allows us to authenticate that you are a customer before creating your new community site account.
Here, you must enter your chosen username and password for the community site. These details will be displayed publically when you post or make a comment. Once logged into the Community Site you will be able to change your Nickname should you wish to. Once you have registered you do not need to return to this page.
If you had already registered on the commuity site, don't worry, yourusername is safe and you won't need to change it. We will be in touch soon to tell you how we intend to make sure your accounts have been setup in exactly the same way as those who registered via the portal.
It will no longer be possible to register directly on the community site once it is live.
- Does the community site store my personal details?
Registrations on the community site are stored separately from your PlusNet account details and we don't store anything that would allow someone with access to information on the community site any access to your account. This is a deliberate security measure, although we have no reason to believe the community site will be insecure.
Your real username and other personal information is never used by or stored on the Community Site servers. However, when you register your current contact email address will be used by the community site for your new account. This address is used for notifications, and can be changed once you have logged into the community site for the first time.
- Where can I change the details, such as email address, that the community site stores for me?
Once logged in, here.
- What happens if I cancel my account?
When you cancel your account with PlusNet, your details will be removed from the community site and your posting rights will be removed as a result. Only customers with an active account can contribute to the community site currently, although there may be occasional exceptions made in certain circumstances.
- What is the Moderation Policy on the community site?
Our existing moderators have kindly agreed to continue moderating the forums, using the same policies as applied on the Portal Forums. You can find these rules posted in the forums. The moderation policies may change over time, but as with any decisions like this it will be left to the moderators to decide how the forums are moderated. PlusNet goes to great pains not to interfere with the day to day of the forums and it's important to us that the community site is run by the community even though it is provided by PlusNet.
- Are the same forums going to exist?
The only difference in available forums that users should notice is that some of the forum names may be slightly different. Other than that the same forums will exist but with the added functionality of the SMF software.
- Am I going to be able to change the look of the forum?
At the moment we do not have any separate themes. We are however planning to add these at a later date.
- Will I know which ISP another user is from?
We will not be showing this information initially, but if there is demand we could add this as a future roadmap item. We expect most of the posts on the community site to posted generally applies to other visps.