We have been pretty quiet here lately, I have been so consumed with pushing other areas of thirty bees forward I haven’t had time to update the blog in a bit. I just wanted to let everyone know things are actually starting to come together and go pretty well with thirty bees. We are planning on making some big changes around our infrastructure pretty soon, as a way to push different parts of our plan in to the future.
The forum is going to change very soon. The last month or so a couple of us have been working on getting a new forum ready to launch, with all of the current post and user information migrated over to the new platform. Right now we are shooting for a weekend launch, so you might find our forum unreachable over the weekend while we are syncing data. Our new forum will allow us to better serve users while being more manageable as well. The main reason we are leaving the current nodebb forum is we have to maintain too much of it. So much of the infrastructure and plugins were half finished and needed to be completed or fixed to be made working. This adds a lot of worry an uncertainty with the forum and keeping it secure. Another issue is that the forum is built on a totally different stack than everything else we use. It requires node, mongo, redis, and solr. Having just a simple lamp or lemp stack will help with maintaining the underlying system of the forum.
Those alone are not the only reasons we wanted to migrate, we also are expanding the functionality of the forum. One of the things that has always bothered me about forums is how content gets lost. Posts like this, https://forum.thirtybees.com/topic/1289/how-to-show-tags-on-products-page They are very helpful, but they get buried as other people post other tips and tricks. In most forums there is no way to organize topics like these where they do not get buried. That is why with our new forum users will have a blog feed. They will be able to post articles, tips, or how to’s to their blog where they can always stay organized and be promoted around the site. This helps with the free flow of information, helping users create better, more successful shops.
Another weakness of forums is knowing exactly how someone fits into the forum. One way I wanted to solve this is by adding a product feed to members profiles. Like this user, https://forum.thirtybees.com/user/mediacom87 He has 13 modules in our marketplace. I feel it would be helpful to him, us, and the community if when you went to his profile it showed a feed of his modules. This not only gives seller incentives to list more modules and themes in our marketplace, it also gives them more incentive to post and help users in our forum, by creating more exposure for their products.
There are other features we will be working on for the forum as well, the idea is to create a deeper integration between the systems to make everything more seamless and make people want to participate more.
Another thing we have been working on is the Patreon “situation”. Several patrons contacted us over the last couple of months that their accounts were banned. We have also had users contact us about wanting to donate, but not with that platform. So we have taken the steps to bring the whole system in house. We are putting the finishing touches on it right now, but the system should be ready to launch in about a week.
The major benefits of bringing it in house are the reduction of fees, while also being able to offer more payment options, and to be able to integrate deeper with our systems. These out weight the time it took to build the integration out. One system we would like to integrate deeper with is the forum. We want to be able to assign flair to our patrons, so everyone knows that you all are the ones that help support thirty bees.
Over the last couple months Markus (@traumflug) has made a lot of progress with the Git Updater. Earlier this week he posted a preview version of the module to the forum, https://forum.thirtybees.com/topic/2441/gitupdater-preview This sparked some great discussion on how we need to handle certain things during the updates and rollbacks. The module is taking some time, but when it is done, it will be a system that no other platform has in terms of flexibility, stability, and reliability. Then we can focus full steam ahead on pushing thirty bees into the future. If you haven’t already checked the module out, give it a look, give some feedback. This will be the updater that powers updates after the next couple versions. So any feedback on the interface or abilities would be a great help to all of us.