HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT - BYC SOFTWARE CONVERSION Tuesday 1/10/2012

Discussion in 'BYC Website & Forum Feedback & Announcements' started by Nifty-Chicken, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

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    Short Version:

    On January 10, 2012 (the 5th anniversary of the BYC re-launch) BYC is upgrading to a better, more feature-rich, more stable platform / software system. All of your login info, posts, topics, images, private messages, etc. will all be transferred to the new system.


    Long Version:


    Imagine you’re part of a small family with two kids. In a year, your family doubles in size, and then doubles again. Now imagine that your family doubles in size EIGHT more times over the course of 5 years! You’d probably be looking for a new house with a ton more room, no? Well, that’s what has happened with our family here on BYC! On January 11th, 2007 we re-launched BYC with 100 members. Since then we’ve doubled in size 10 times:

    100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600, 3,200, 6,400, 12,800, 25,600, 51,200… all the way to almost 115,000 members today!

    Yes, that's what it looks like when a family of 100 doubles TEN times!
    [​IMG]

    Imagine that the software and servers we’ve been using to run BYC is our house. Over the past 5 years we’ve slapped on a ton of additions to our BYC home: a few extra bedrooms, some bathrooms, and even a new 2nd story! Well, we’ve run out of space to build, so we’re moving to a new home, but DON’T WORRY, we have the world’s best moving company handling everything! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In geek speak: We’ve outgrown what our current setup can provide. We’re migrating to a much better community software platform on much more robust hardware and we’ve got some amazing engineers and designers that have been and will be helping with all the data transfers / conversion, and all the software & hardware setup.

    We know that change can be hard… even really good change. Just like moving into a new house, there are things that may be different and feel a bit odd at first. “I’m used to a light switch in the kitchen on the left and now it is on the right.” The transition may be challenging for some, but super exciting for others. For those that have a hard time with change, the BYC Staff and tons of other members will be here to answer your questions and hold your hand through anything that you might find tricky or challenging.

    Also, keep in mind that if you had over 100,000 peeps in your family it would be pretty hard to find a house that was exactly perfect for each person. We’ve been working hard for over 5 months to find the perfect house. There will be some slight trade-offs, but overall the hope and expectation is that the new house will have much more room, better features, and provide a better environment in which our family can enjoy one-another’s company.

    On one of the walls of my real-life house my wife and I have a plaque: “Home is where the heart is!” In the same way, BYC’s home is where the community is… the software may change, but the people remain the same. We’re VERY excited for this change that has been many months in the planning and making and look forward to exploring our brand new home with you and settling in!




    Below is a list of many of the benefits that you’ll discover in the new system:


    General:

    • Much better post editor: This means when you bold, it shows bold vs having to use "bbcode". Can do way cooler things with text, videos, images, tables, etc.
    • MOBILE! - Integration with Tapatalk reading, posting, & adding images into the forum threads (not available in sandbox). No Tapatalk mobile PM support yet.
    • New ability to search within individual topics and individual threads
    • Save and bookmark search results
    • Better "mark-as-read" functionality
    • Subscriptions: manage all your email subscriptions to be: "Immediate" "daily" "weekly" or "site only" (meaning no email notifications, but you can still be "subscribed")
    • Mobile - phone browser options with Tapatalk
    • Subscribe to entire categories, forums, sections, etc. For example, you can subscribe to get notifications any time a new topic is posted in the "Raising Baby Chicks" section
    • Members can leave comments on your pages (articles)
    • Subscribe to articles & member pages: Want to know when you friend updates their BYC page? Want to know when someone comments on your page? You can subscribe to it
    • Real-time updated "Activity Feed"
    • Members can set other users to "ignore" status
    • Mouseover on topics. While browsing the forum topic list, hovering over a topic gives a preview of the post without having to click on it.
    • Member Pages / Articles: Can be owned by one or multiple, or all can edit. Revision history so if a mistake is made we can "go back" to a previous version.
    • When sending PMs, searching, etc. there is an auto complete to the username as you start to type the username
    • Sort topics in each forum section by number of replies or number of views
    • Click the number of reviews on a topic (in the topic list) to see how many times different people have posted
    • Built in Spell-Check (to use your browser's spell-check, see here)
    • BYC Member Pages: Now one, multiple, or all members can collaborate on creating pages. There is also a page / article rrevision history, so if you make a mistake you can revert back to a previous version at any time.
    • On the homepage see who posted the most times, the most active threads, etc. for the last day, past 7 days, 30 days, and all time!
    • Multi Quote ability
    • Ability to post Vimeo videos
    • Can "thumbs-up" (similar to "Like") forum posts
    • All members can create "Polls"
    •

    Pictures / Galleries / Albums


    • UNLIMITED storage space for all members!
    • Uploading and inserting pictures is way easier
    • Pictures can be organized into multiple albums and moved between albums
    • Users can upload multiple pictures at once into their albums.
    • Pictures can be uploaded any size without being forced to resize


    Private Messages / PMs:


    • UNLIMITED PM storage space for all members!
    • PM's can be sent to a group of people and the individuals in the group can reply to everyone else.
    • PM's can be sent to a group of people and set as individual - like a blind copy
    • PM conversations are kept in one thread vs. many individual PMs
    • Auto complete when typing recipient.


    Here is a screenshot of what the new BYC Homepage will look like:

    (Click for larger)
    [​IMG]


    Here is a screenshot of what a forum thread / topic will look like:

    (Click for larger)
    [​IMG]

    Check out this screenshot for all kinds of navigation goodness:

    [​IMG]


    We're VERY excited (and a little nervous) about this huge change. We ask for your help in being patient with us as we work out any bugs and kinks in the new system. Again, we know change isn't easy, but our staff and other members will be right here to help you if you have any questions or problems at all!

    We'll be posting more information, video tutorials, FAQs, etc. to help make the process as smooth as possible.

    Thanks to everybody for your support! [​IMG]







    Ok, here is a tour of the new BYC to whet your appetite!

    You can watch it at youtube in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlEodju54GQ

    ...or
    a bit smaller below:
     
  2. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    A few other details:

    About a month and a half ago we started with our staff testing the new system in something we call the "sandbox" which is basically a copy of the live site, but on the new system.

    A little over 3 weeks ago we got the OK from the engineers to let a few more members into the system to help us do more testing to find and fix bugs.

    Yesterday we got the OK from the engineers to let all the GFM's and PPM's into the system to start kicking the tires.

    Over the next 4 days all these members will continue to work together to find any problems so we can have them fixed before Tuesday, but more importantly they are learning how to use the system so we'll have lots of people that can help us all learn and adjust to the new system.

    VERY IMPORTANT NOTES:

    1) All the site information (posts, topics, pictures, PM's, etc.) will be transferred over. The ONLY think not being transferred is the "Buddy List" info. If you have a buddy list, please copy the information and save it to your computer (all users of Buddy Lists received an email about this a week ago).

    2) One of the tradeoffs with the new system (and there are a few things we had to give up in exchange for all the great things above) is a change in our auctions system. We won't have the automated proxy bidding like we have now, but we're working on some workarounds. Members will be able to place "bids", but they will be done as replies to a topic vs. as proxy bids as they are now. We hope to be able to bring back proxy bidding as an option in the future.

    3) All current Buy Sell Auction listings that expire on, or after 1/10/2012 will unfortunately need to be restarted AFTER the site is re-launched. We were hoping to keep these live after the conversion, but the new Buy Sell Trade / classified system. You can either end your listing on Monday and/or contact the bidders directly before an/dor after the conversion so they can re-bid once the new system is live.

    4) There will be some considerable downtime on Tuesday. As you can imagine, moving 113,860 people, 596,418 topics, 7,733,640 posts, and over 400,000 pictures is no quick and easy task! Fortunately we've tested this process 4 times and we know it is a SOLID process.

    While the site is down we'll have a page that will provide details as well as links to our sister sites and our facebook page!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yummy!
     
  4. That is great news. The site is very nice but I have noticed some weaknesses. It wonderful to see that every thing I have ever noticed as being a bit dated is on the "change" list. Congrats on such a well thought out change.
    Ps you did not mention anything about downtime. Surely this is not going to be seamless ?
     
  5. OwlLover

    OwlLover Alaskan Wanderer

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    Just a question; how long is it going to be down?
     
  6. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Great question about downtime! I edited my post above as you two were asking. [​IMG]


    Here is a taste of some of the cool navigation options on the new system:


    From within a forum section like Random Ramblings
    [​IMG]


    View from within a forum topic / thread, for example:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. OwlLover

    OwlLover Alaskan Wanderer

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    BTW, Hot2Pot said that she can't bid on any auctions now.
     
  8. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    NOTE: We disabled the ability to create new BSA listings, but peeps should still be able to bid.

    This is to make the transition to the new system as easy as possible.
     
  9. OwlLover

    OwlLover Alaskan Wanderer

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    Quote:Ah wait; I thought she was trying to BID! Sorry bout that [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  10. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Australia
    There won't be much of an advantage for PPM's and GFM's...
    Looks good otherwise!
    ETA: Wow! Video tutorials! That's cool!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012

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