site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
...And the World Turned Upside Down...
...*We interrupt this blog for a message from your friendly neighborhood bulletin board owner*

For those of you who are stitchers and crafters and friends that visited the bulletin board known as The Wagon, it's moved. It moved on Friday (Jan 19) and it's an automatic redirect from the old location, so you should be able to find it easily.

Here's the chronology of what I've experienced with Yuku (all dates are as close to what I remember because I was too lazy to go back and definitively confirm, but I'd say they're reasonably accurate).

May 2005: Big EzMess that crashes the servers, boards are broken, posts are lost, general havoc and unsettled feelings ensue. Talk starts among many board owners of moving away from ezboard to either another service or starting up one's own pHp board. I start reading all sorts of pHp writeups and cruising through code books I have at home because I am a glutton for punishment.

June - July 2005: Conference calls with ezboard CEO and general programmers lets loose the news that a new version of ezboard is coming. Ezboard is developing a new software platform because they can't further improve ezboard on the code that they have as it's rapidly going out of date and they can't build what users have been asking for for a long time. Originally it's called BriteOrb, for the adventurous alpha testers. I volunteer to alpha test. Again, because I'm a glutton for punishment.

August 2005: I start a couple of testing boards in briteorb which then gets renamed to Yuku at some point when I wasn't paying attention and was busy at work and not testing.

September 2005 - March 2006: All's quiet on the western front until.... someone starts a thread about ezboard shutting down based on a rumor they saw that was mis-heard from somewhere else. Panic ensues despite my best efforts to settle folks down. I consider shutting down the Wagon just to get people to stop playing "Chicken Little".

March 2006 - May 2006: Regain sanity and quell the rumors and quiet the hordes about the fact that ezboard is not shutting down, and start educating everyone as to what is really going on. Continue to attempt to keep people from panicking about something that is months away and understanding that change (any change) for some is very frightening. And some others just hate change. I hate change to a degree, but then I'm flexible about it too (you can't alpha test software on the web *and* have a resume covered in start-up experience and not be flexible about change).

June 2006: start a testing board on Yuku and play with it for code, ease of use, etc. Start feeling better about the new world order.

July 2006: open the testing board to a few people so that they can get a feel for it. Pray that they start feeling better about the new world order.

August 2006: open the testing board to everyone after asking for some skin help, and then get scammers, spammers, and folks who are just trying to get more people to thier community in the hopes of being the first Yuku *Star*, just like the popularity contests on MySpace. Immediately delete all the scammers, spammers, and popularity hounds and shut the testing board back down as an MBA forum only. Screw around with the skins repeatedly and make people dizzy. Make sure that folks understand I will approve them with their existing Wagon identities and that this is a testing location only and not a social board. Despair that a few people state that they hate hate hate it, and further be saddened that a couple state that they won't come back when Yuku rolls out (and hope fervently that it's just over-reaction to change).

September 2006: start watching for the beta migrations. Continue writing and updating the FAQ on ezboard Wagon to educate folks how to migrate accounts and what to do after the accounts are migrated. Continually educate folks that the testing board is *not* the final resting place for the board, and to not stress about it. Come to grips with the idea that some people will leave or stay on ezboard until the very last gasps of the system. Shrug it off and move forward because the code is more stable.

October 2006: Watch the initial beta migrations happen. Watch more code changes, and new forums come up. Start getting antsy about the push-button migration (a.k.a. self-migration) looming closer and not wanting to be part of the mass hoardes migrating, but instead one of those who gets their hand held, knowing that going in while still in beta will be challenging but will also provide the best area for input, help, and suggestions to those in charge of the code.

November 2006: Put The Wagon's name in for beta migration (pre-self migration being available). Wait and watch and hope that the migration goes smoothly.

December 2006: Put up a new banner that warns the community that we're moving soon, and I may have advance notice and I may not. Promise to communicate what I know about the move as soon as I know it, promise to communicate the new address via community message, make a few other promises.

January 19, 2007, 12:10pm Pacific time - 1:00pm Pacific time: Break all the promises because I find out that the board has migrated already, it's time for me to check it out, and the migration had finished 4 hours earlier. Immediately send out a message that the board is shutting down so I can review code and posts. Approve the move, and request the auto-redirect. Immediately lose the ability to send a community message. Commence swearing for a full two minutes. Start feeling bad for about an hour for everyone that I had to break the promises I made and have no way to apologize en masse for it. Know that there are others who are scared spitless about the suddenness of the move and the changes that I didn't have time to warn them about (and feel really badly about *that* for another hour)

January 19, 2007, evening: stay online and tweak code, troubleshoot logins, and hold hands with people in email and IM. Probably offend at least two people in the process (don't know, they've not come back for help). Find out that two boardwide moderators have no powers, I can't adjust them, and their posts come up as 404 errors. Bang head on desk for a couple of minutes and put in help ticket listing this and other items.

January 20, 2007, all day: stay online and put the sidebar back into place, and work other code tweaks. Post an FAQ of things I can and cannot do and hope for the best.

January 21, 2007, all day: monitor the board, stay off IM, and answer questions as best I can. Continually appreciate everyone's patience with me, with Yuku, and the fact that there aren't a bunch of threads out on other boards stating that they hate me, they hate Yuku, they hate the Wagon for moving, etc. Be very very thankful that folks knew it was going to be a rough ride, and are hanging on with me.

January 22, 2007, noontime: Board goes down. Unannounced, unexpectedly, but not unexplained. Apparently a machine crashed.go.boom. Totally out of my control. So if anyone who felt lost before feels further disconnected because of that, I apologize, and I was out of the loop too.

I'm going to stop here because it's just going to sound the same for the rest of the 22nd and these early morning hours: answer the questions I can, hold the hands where necessary, update the code that I have, assure people as much as possible, and probably offend at least one person a day because I'm tired and sometimes things on both sides aren't communicated clearly. And still be very appreciative of everyone's help and support over the last 19 months as we moved towards this transition. Yes, it's been 19 months since the ezMess.

I will say that it was rather pleasant coming in this morning and seeing that the inbox system on Yuku has totally changed. It looks like gmail now. And I love it.

I apologize to anyone I've offended or made to feel unwelcome on the new system. I apologize for not having all the answers or being able to change your username. And if you can't get into the new board location (or know someone who can't), please let me know. They just have to log into Yuku using the email address they had on ezboard, and the password they used there, and they should be able to access the board without any problems. That should get you into your username as well... or at least to the control panel where you can use the "switch" button to see if your usual profile is sitting there and waiting for you.

Now, to quell any rumors before they start (or if they have already and just not made their way to me yet because I know how some folks think):
No one is banned from The Wagon on Yuku. No one was banned from The Wagon on ezboard, unless you were a spammer or a confirmed troll. Those ban lists didn't carry over from The Wagon, so we have a perfectly clean slate at the moment.
I've not restricted any access other than you have to be a registered member of Yuku - this is the same as what was on The Wagon on ezboard.
If someone is saying they can't get it and it's all *my* fault because they're banned or they can't otherwise access it because of something I've done... well, put plainly... they're full of crap.

I'm really happy to deal with the issues that I've dealt with, and I'm glad there aren't tons of posts everywhere stating what a horrible thing Yuku is, and how could I do this to everyone. There haven't been dramatic exits, nor has there really been any backtalking on other boards about this, and for that I'm truly grateful. Apparently all disparaging comments are being made privately from person to person and keeping it from my eyes. I truly appreciate it too.

So, that's all I have now on the move and the aftermath. Thanks everyone for your feedback and help during the move, and please continue to let me know the quirks that you see (in the appropriate threads on The Wagon, unless you can't get in there, in which case, leave me a message here and I'll see what I can do).

We're all in this one together...

*We will now return you to your regularly scheduled blog fodder*