Key Features of

Hey everyone, we are looking into different possible softwares that are viable to make’s forums easier to support and potentially access from a new user stand point.

When you joined the community what were some parts of the site you

  • Had to learn to use
  • Found inventive and useful
  • feel you could do without
  • absolutely would hate to use

Please post your answers if you have them here and it will help us as we look into the future of the site.


Community Management

Before people start responding, maybe provide us with your thinking on why you are considering changing the software. The Golden Rule should be if ain’t broken, don’t fix it. What’s "broken "?

There is always room for improvement as forum software constantly evolves.

If websites were never updated they would all still look and function like this:

Just looking for some input on what is important to the community.


You are the ones that operate tons of forums. Seems odd to be asking this group for forum feedback. I would also imagine you have a preselected set of options for software and that this site wouldn’t get anything really unique.

Just asking for feedback, let us know how you use


It would be nice for there to be a more clear distinction between a private message thread and a publicly facing thread. More than once I’ve been worried that I am sending a private message to a public thread! There’s just something about the UI that isn’t quite intuitive there. I guess in the private message area there could be a side panel with all your private conversations, and then the conversation content of the currently selected one is in the content pane next to it? And it would more clearly say “Message Center” or something as a header, instead of just the message title with an envelope icon.



Perfect, this is the type of stuff we are looking for.

Keep it coming all.


Bumping this for more feedback.


When I first started like everyone does in forms such as this you start searching and reading old threads on topics you have questions on. No one wants to be that annoying person asking a question that has been asked and answered 1000 times.

I found the advanced search area a little confusing, but once I figured it out it does all the things I needed.


I think the search results would be better if brought up in most recent post order as the default, instead of the way it is now. Right now you get very old posts first, you can manually change it once shown but many people don’t. So we get a lot of newcomers posting to very old threads.

The paddling locations with the trip reports, etc. is a feature I really like. However, there have been multiple reports of updates, pictures, etc. not posting. It would be wonderful if those issues could be addressed. For something that is intended to be crowdsourced if it does not work, the crowd will quit updating it, then it loses its allure.


Yes, I usually find posts from 2005 or so when I’m searching, although they can still be quite relevant. If it’s about what boat to buy, it can be way out of date for sure!

Perhaps even better, a particular cocktail of relevance and recency IMO. I have tried sorting manually by recent order and sometimes the posts aren’t relevant enough.

This ask is pretty algorithmically intense though. Maybe it’s possible to piggyback on google to help (or maybe it already does?).

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Great stuff, keep the feedback coming so we can share it with the software migration team.

Are there any sections or features that you do not use and what are the core features or sections that you all do use?


Took me a long time to find the way to navigate to where I can change my avatar from a colored dot to a photo.


Maybe the answer is already obvious to others but I have yet to find it.

There are some categories that I set to “Muted” and threads in an active category that I have muted.
I know how to change those back to another activity mode should I choose. There have been times when I have muted an individual member for whatever reason and I would like to see if there is an available record of who might be on that list.

Can anyone help?

I’m an admin on another non-related forum. I have always found that if the people running a forum or anything for that matter are deeply engaged in the actual subject of concern it makes for a very nice smooth flowing process.

As an example I like to go to a bike shop where the owner of the shop is a real biking enthusiast. I like to go to a hardware store where the owner is a hands on guy that can do the things he sells. I like a restaurant where the owner is the chef.

The next best thing is to do what you are doing and asking for advice. The tough part is understanding the advice and acting on it correctly.


I used to be the admin/moderator for the defunct NESurfKayers forum. It was a “thankless” and relentless job. (Evidently, BoaterTalk was thankless too, as it too flowed down a Class V hole and disappeared.)

Thanks to the PNet forum administrator(s) for keeping this place going.



Old internet was Dope. It was about things instead of people (bragging or arguing). If I could go back to the day before myspace I would. Just sayin

Overall I think the site works pretty well


Thanks for the feedback all, this will help us understand the key features that are important to you.

Are there any sections/features that you could do without or any that are must-haves?


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“Great stuff, keep the feedback coming so we can share it with the software migration team.”

Seems you’ve already decided to do an upgrade, otherwise there wouldn’t be a “software migration team” in place.

“Are there any sections or features that you do not use and what are the core features or sections that you all do use?”

Your current platform & servers should have data on what features are used and which aren’t. If not, that MAY be a reason to upgrade, but without overwhelming evidence of the benefits to users, it’s really just a waste of time & money.

What specifically are you trying to accomplish? Why, and what’s the objective measurement of success that determines if it was worth the time & money? Is it about the users or the Admin?

A few points to ponder:
Change can be good, but new & improved isn’t always better.
KISS is a great principle.
Users need to to learn the new interface, what’s the cost/benefit? Do you think it will attract new users? How do you know?
What happens to all the old posts and replies? Are they lost or migrated? What’s the cost for that?

Sometimes, the best thing is to do nothing.