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Retaining Vanilla...

edited October 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
Ok, recently we converted a userbase of 2,500 people from SMF to Vanilla, as part 'one' of our site upgrade. It meant we lost LOADS of unwanted bloat and things are much nicer now. However, a fair percentage of the community seem unwilling, or lazy in wanting to learn Vanilla, and although some of this, is OUR fault, I am trying to find ways to make it better for these people. Speaking to other members of the team, they DO love Vanilla themselves, but are looking to possibly maybe revert back to something CRAPPY, probably phpbb2. Now, I totally despise this idea, and am looking at more ways to make our forum more friendly to members more akin to SMF/PhpBB2 etc etc. We have included some 'lightweight' image signatures (500x100px), emoticons, but I am looking at other ways to make it a little more welcoming for these, err... idiots! Ok, so one major stumbling block, I think is people like to be welcomed with categories; WHY, i have no idea. Is there an easy way to offer this as a default view, as opposed to recent discussions? Furthermore, would anyone be interested in making an add-on, possibly a per user preference as to whether this or 'Recent discussions' is the default view? I think many more Vanilla users after me, might find this useful in pleasing and aiding the transition between Vanilla and the more popular forums out there. One gripe, with categories, which isn't one I share (because I don't use categories really) is that Vanilla's categories are fairly basic, in that they give no feedback on the state of updates for discussions within them. Is there any easy way to maybe apply similar formatting to categories, that is done per post in 'recent discussions' to categories, too? If somehow, I could get these two things working, I am fairly sure I could cling onto Vanilla, I would greatly appreciate each and all feedback, as I clutch desperately onto Vanilla, whilst hearing echos' of 'phpbb2 is coming'. Save me, kind folk, save me!!! Thanks for reading, Steve


  • re: first stumbling block - one thing vanilla does have which is kind of cool is a search feature =)

    re: second one... it could easily be done; i don't know if anyone's done it yet.
  • Itchy, We have Saved Searches on too, and people just seem incredibly ignorant in wanting to try new things. Some of the users obviously have taken a little time to try things out, but we've seen a fair hit in traffic, since the switch. It leaves me wondering, is Vanilla for only the more 'tech savvy' among us? I mean, i loved saved searches, especially coupled with it's own RSS feeds. The irony in all this, to me is that Vanilla is actually alot easier on, it's just getting people out of the grain as it were... Reminds me of Mac OS vs Windows...
  • i meant for you to try that link...
  • "It leaves me wondering, is Vanilla for only the more 'tech savvy' among us?" I am as about tech unsavvy as they come, and I love vanilla. This looks way better than the others I had tried and seems to work better/easier. But then, while I had visited other forums, I had never really settled in to anything. So I guess that doesn't help you much. But I am sure it is not just for tech-heads. I hope you can win them over!
  • edited October 2006
    People just don't like changes. If you take a look at Windows.. most people switched back to the default Windows 95 looks, although XP looks much nicer. Why? I do not know. I took me a few days before I got used to Vanilla, but I'll never switch to any other forum software.

    Maybe my Discussion Overview extension might help some of your users :P
  • The good thing with Vanilla is that puts all attention on "discussions" - and that's the most awesome thing! Most other forum software concentrates on other functionality - webmasters try to make "flagship forums". I consider Vanilla a web tool for make people actually discuss things out - I love this new way to show discussions on the frontpage not categories! -- I really had to learn this lecture over the years with trying a lot of systems. Really, less is more! @neyo: I hope you can convice your users! -- I've learned it in one of my other forums, sometimes it's better to lose some "idiots" and have some useful discussions so just go your way! ~Dave from Germany.
  • You actually like the XP look Jazzman? I think it looks, eck, and I don't need it eating extra resources for it, thats why I use the "classic" look.

    But it took me a few days to get used to Vanilla also. The first time I came here I was here for maybe a day or two. Went away for a week, then came back. Now you can't get rid of me.

    Maybe try posting a tutorial of sorts on how to do things in Vanilla, point out some of the cool stuff. Most people just see it and want their old forum back. Perhaps something to hold their hand through the Vanilla process?
  • ToivoToivo New
    edited October 2006
    "most people switched back to the default Windows 95 looks, although XP looks much nicer. Why? I do not know." 'cause most of the people don't have up-to-the-date PCs with lots of RAM. they have crappy machines?
  • Most people stick to what they like and are used. Mostly what they are used to. Which is why (some) people use the classic windows look, and that is why it is hard to get new users to switch to Vanilla.
  • People only tend to change to something new when it offers new and/or better features (black/white television --> color TV)
This discussion has been closed.