Posted : 11/14/2013 8:31:00 AM
I hear all your points, JackieG. And, I will do my best to address as many as I can.
Actually, we want people to view social networks as front and back doors to our community. There's no expectation that you HAVE to share, but we do want to encourage people where it makes sense to share threads and content they like. Why? So that we can grow the community and entice new users onto the site who may be using Facebook and are not aware of this community. As to wooing people back, let us try to do that. We know many things have changed since the first dog forum was launched, but we're going to do our best to 'sell' the benefits of this new community.
That said, I want to make very clear that, of course, we respect individual choices not to share or to manage their social profiles however they want.
As to making this site as successful as it once was, we think it can be, but only by pooling a whole range of different experiences under the banner of 'community'. We do live in a post-Facebook era, so you do have to try and take what's best about those kinds of sites otherwise you will lose some of your users and be less appealing to prospective new members.
Calliecritturs, you make loads of great points too. As you may have gathered by our current site, we do want to be more than 'just a forum' and that's why we talk more about community than forum. That said, we know we moved too far away from the core of the site with this design. I'm confident that once you see what we've done for the non-test version, you'll be pleased and hopefully pleasantly surprised.
As for your input, we've loved reading it. The good, the BAD and the - meh. We listen and act on everything we can. I've always been determined that this would be run as a collaborative project where you help to shape and shine up the experience. So let's keep those lines of communication open and of course, we're all looking forward to sharing with you the complete experience in the coming days and weeks.
Best as ever, Jonathan