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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome lab rats!

First off, welcome to the lab! This is our little spot where we can share stuff with you guys, without having entire communities blow up on us. We have become very passionate about what forums can become... after they have been so stagnant for years and years. I mean, lets be honest - when was vBulletin 3 released? LOL

The idea of sharing things here is that we want to be able to show you in a real working form (or sometimes just screenshots and mockups) the latest ideas we have to make forums better. But, we are keenly aware that forum users don't always react well to change... and new experiences can very quickly become "you guys are the biggest idiots in the world" ... so, we want to get your feedback first. And please, don't hold back! This is the place where we want you to be honest, uncensored, and give us the real goods. The good/bad and ugly!

What we ask of you... is that you don't share items posted here. Keep it between us. Some of the stuff may be highly experimental, some of it may never make it to the light of day, and a lot of it is going to be us testing reaction. We want your reactions.... but we don't want 10 million + people screaming at us (yet).

So with that in mind.... this is also a place where you can give us YOUR ideas. Our product people, designers, devs, and so many more (including me) will be reading, engaging, sharing, and hopefully doing lots of experimentation here.

Hope you enjoy it, and can be a part of making forums way better than they were in 2004 (when VB3 was first released!)

Rob
 

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First off I'm an OLD computer guy. Ok only 60 but I've been around since the network was invented. I come from a background of Digital Equipment Corp which partnered with Xerox and built Ethernet V1 with "Thick wire". I was originally trained on our version of it called DecNet which was prior to actual ethernet also. And we had collaboration groups called "VaxNotes". This was the first version of Notes as we formed groups to allow people with similar interests at DEC to communicate the needs of the products we offered. One of those groups I participated in was "Snowmobiling" The archive from that group is still floating around in the WWW and I looked through some of my old posts from years ago a month or so ago and was surprised to see them still. But, as we've moved way past all of that now I will say that these groups we have now are very similar to that original idea and software that was developed on our DECnet networking of Vax computers. The format is similar and actually as you've added the features recently for searches and mod panel changes (I don't have access but just read through all the mentioned training) you've actually gotten very close to the original idea and software that was used back in that time period. See, I come from another time period of groups when it was called "Usenet". We had an original group called alt.snowmobiles and that turned into rec.sport.snowmobiles also. Those Usenet groups were the Unix connections to old VaxNotes groups that I had previously used. But, again with the changes lately you've gone far beyond the original idea and implementation (we were compute, memory and software limited on Dec VaxNotes). As for changes I'd like to see yet,

1. I'd like to see a wider participation involved and included in the groups. Meaning this. What has happened is that people become limited in their surroundings as they just "don't" know about the groups that are available. This was also a limitation of the original VaxNotes and Usenet groups. I believe that this could be solved on a large scale with A. Good Marketing B. Publicity (think Tv commercials or direct marketing) In the case of the AVSforum group I'm familiar with, why not partner with Panasonic, Sony etc to get the word out that there are forums which can be used to benefit the consumers more. In the case of our little snowmobiling group, it could be through dealers that sell them or through the manufacturers association like the ISMA (Independent Snowmobile Manufacturers Association) These groups are also looking to put their name out there more so some marketing and advertising sales wouldn't hurt either.

2. I'd like to see a better portable user interface. Look how popular Iphone has made independent software acceptable. Previously in the DEC time period you didn't have many third party applications at all. And mostly they were not compatible. We had OpenVMS for VAX come along just because software packages were difficult and expensive to program. And didn't fit the needs of everyone out there. Hence third party. Apple took it all to another higher and more profitable level. IMO they deserve the money in the bank for doing it. So why not VS too ? Why can't you guys do something and it would be the same "bang" and maybe that would translate into a bank account upgrade too lol. Think Apple simple here as well. Do not make it complicated and hard to use.

3. Personally, after visiting a couple times now with the VS staff and meeting the guy in charge (who happens to like the Pittsburgh Steelers lol) I really came to appreciate the level of effort that goes into keeping the groups running. IMO and i used to suggest this to our Printer Engineering guys at DEC, was that you should include people who are REALLY REALLY interested in your organization and products the opportunity to invite them up to VS headquarters. Sit down with them and have some person to person discussions about the groups and other stuff that interests them and VS staff and help us to help you all become "partners" on the next level of VS software and product iteration. Meaning there are tons of us out here who already have seen a lot of it all. Include us and I can guarantee that everyone at VS will benefit too. In my case, I was 1st level support in Pittsburgh for Printers. I talked directly to the head of Support Engineering at DEC for printer follow on development. We had a good rapport for understanding what was needed to make sure the products were successful in the field right up till the end of impact printing and 1st level Laser printing at DEC and Compaq. These personal interactions went a long way towards providing direct feedback for engineering changes to the products that were needed to ensure customer acceptance and fixes to the field for common problems. Yes, VS has come up with the Alpha Labs that really takes this to a new level and i am thankful that they were interested enough to listen. This type of thing makes a difference.

Well, I've typed enough for now.
Thanks,
Steve Matscherz Resume' attached lol
 

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I’m here because I am a Mustang addict and this place is helpful for my passion (addiction) for managing FordGT500.com. It’s nice to be part of this “focus group.”

Tim
 

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this is also a place where you can give us YOUR ideas. Our product people, designers, devs, and so many more (including me) will be reading, engaging, sharing, and hopefully doing lots of experimentation here.

Hope you enjoy it, and can be a part of making forums way better than they were in 2004 (when VB3 was first released!)

Rob
Having been a member here for a couple of months I can only say how much I have enjoyed being a part of this team and, looking back over the 8 months my forum has on the new XF, how far we have come. Thanks for listening guys.
Ross
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Having been a member here for a couple of months I can only say how much I have enjoyed being a part of this team and, looking back over the 8 months my forum has on the new XF, how far we have come. Thanks for listening guys.
Ross
Hopefully we can keep delivering in 2020! We've changed a lot... but most importantly, we've tried to become better listeners. We still make mistakes, but I know the people working on the features really do care deeply. Where we need to get better, is just understanding the underlying REASONS we are doing something (I call it the "business reason") ... when we provide that context to the designers & developers, we end up with higher quality products, with fewer bugs.
 

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Having been a member here for a couple of months I can only say how much I have enjoyed being a part of this team and, looking back over the 8 months my forum has on the new XF, how far we have come. Thanks for listening guys.
Ross
Glad to have you here, we knew you would be a great resource to have on aboard Labs.

Jeff M
 

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Bumping this for newer members of Alpha Labs.

More great stuff to come in Q2 of 2020.

Jeff M
 

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Happy Friday,

I signed up after someone left a flyer on my car...

Hoping to have a healthy discussion or four on what is upcoming and how things are progressing for items already in place.

C.
 

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Can I hope that Community is still in position to test new stuff that might be able to see daylight? Meaning since from Alfa Labs this change to OneFora was this initial idea still on the table?
I find it is good idea, and would not like to loose the possivility ...
 

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Can I hope that Community is still in position to test new stuff that might be able to see daylight? Meaning since from Alfa Labs this change to OneFora was this initial idea still on the table?
I find it is good idea, and would not like to loose the possivility ...
Yup, we are still testing out new features on communities and will give ya all heads up in the Announcements section.
 
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