Originally Posted by Chiagirl
While a lot of the past changes mentioned sound great (more mods to help keep on top of things like the event calendar, return of journals, syncing convention specific forums with the event calendar - all of which you are still planning to do, yes?) the part I bolded above (non forum focused site) is what scares me. Is the forum part of the site being scrapped, or kept permanently read only, or something else entirely? One of the main reasons I still use this site over the influx of newer ones like Cosplay Amino, Cospix, and CureWorldCospaly is that the forum focus here makes it a great place to ask questions and advice on how to construct something. If the aim is to be a more profile and photo focused site, I'm kind of curious what the plan is to make this place stand out from the wide variety of other options.
The forum isn't going away, I probably should have been a bit clearer - it's definitely an integral part of the site. But here's how it's being handled:
The current forum is being archived as read-only. There is a new forum taking its place, with around 15 sub-forums for starters covering all of the main topics (Cosplay chat, off-topic, wigs, sewing, photography, etc). Right now we have somewhere around 180 forums and on any given day, maybe 5 of them get posts. So it's best to consolidate things as much as possible.
For events, once the calendar is re-opened each event on the calendar automatically has its own forum. Threads in event forums will also appear in one larger aggregated forum with the specific event as a "tag" that can be filtered, favorited or ignored.
So there's nothing to worry about forum-wise - we will still have an active forum to participate in, just in a more efficient setup.
The difference I outlined above is more from a code-base standpoint. Currently we're running forums software with a bunch of custom code tacked onto it for photos and costumes, while the new site is coded from the ground up to be profile and content-based with the forums as a sub-section.
The end result from a user experience is the same - but from a development standpoint it's liberating and allows for easier expansion. (Example - the photos and costumes right now are built using custom code that integrates into the forum's template system, meaning the forum drives the site. I designed the new site to have a core template system that doesn't care what type of content is being used. A thread/photo/costume/profile is just its own template that displays data.)