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Forum Retirement

Hey everyone,

Starting today, we are beginning the process of removing our Forum tool from the site.  As regulars already know, this Forum was essential in the early days of the site before we got our commenting platform worked out.  However, with the new comment section now up and running, the conversation has heavily occured in the article comments and not on the Forum.  While we initially left the Forum as a place for organic, user-created conversations, it just never really developed on its own--folks were more likely to just bring off-topic links and thoughts into the more active article comment sections.  This is all fine--we want everyone to use the site in the way that makes the most sense for the community.  It's been pretty clear for a while now that the unanimous consensus among our posters is that the Forum tool is obsolete.  It's also no secret that the Forum page has been regularly inundated with spam, and I have probably deleted thousands of fake threads, comments, and accounts in the time that it's been active.  While our commenting platform has tools in it that help with moderation to reduce spam and address trolling, the Forum platform is incredibly inefficient in these areas.

For the time being, the Forum will remain up on the site but closed to new threads and comments, which is necessary to keep the spam out.  Please, feel free to bring any off-topic thoughts into the comments of the most recent article on the front page of the site.  The Forum will be here as a backup in case we have some type of issue or outage with our primary commenting tool (although we have yet to experience this in almost a year using this new commenting system).  Eventually, it will be removed with the next site update/redesign (timeline TBD).

I'm always open to thoughts and feedback from users regarding what elements of the site are and aren't useful for them, and what tools for users work and don't work for creating robust community conversations.  Feel free to shoot me an e-mail.


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