Shop Etsy

Coming soon: Forum section migrations

Jan 20, 2011

by RobWhite

Hi, friends.

In January 2010 Rob Kalin said that we would be migrating the Etsy Forums into Teams. We began this process by moving the CPSIA forum section, with arguably the narrowest field of knowledge among all the Forums sections, and creating a team for it. I know that this worried a lot of you, and you were kind enough to share not only your thoughts but your stories of the friends that you've found by posting here. That you've been able to do so makes me very happy, and for years it has served as a hub for public, non-transaction communications. With that said and with the release of Etsy Teams and Team Forums, we now have better tools in place for people who are looking for specific types of information or communication. This is an important goal for us: you being able to find the conversations that you want to take part in, whether that's to ask questions, to share your advice or simply to share your support. It's what the Forums are all about!

At the end of January, we will continue this process by migrating the Critiques, International, Teams & Events and Techniques & Materials forms will be directed to Teams. Here's how that will work:

International and Techniques & Materials are two incredibly broad topics which we have decided are best served not with umbrella teams created by us, but as a myriad of individual communities in which community members can take part.

While Critiques is a bit narrower, there are still multiple philosophies for critiquing shops and some teams may find that they prefer to specialize in critiquing certain types of shops. We will not have an umbrella team to replace Critiques, but would encourage you to set up critiquing teams and, if you'd like us to let other members know when such services are requested, we'll start a thread with a call for critiquing teams and we'll work with the Seller Education Team to lead members to the ones best suited to them.

Teams and Events has a natural home in the Teams section of Etsy. Instead of having threads in the main Forum that get buried quickly, individual teams can use their own discussion forums that live on their team's page. This way, it will be easier to find a specific team, and quickly browse the history of posts and topics. Team discussion forums are moderated by team captains.

As we go forward, we'll continue to improve the Teams features to, among other things, make the kind of content once available here easy to find in Teams. You'll see the same sort of prompt in each of the Forum sections listed above that we've had for CPSIA, leading you to the Teams section of Etsy. We hope that you'll take part and see everything that the teams in the Etsy community have to offer!

* * * * *

Hello again, friends. I'm sorry to keep you waiting on more information, but for the moment I need to make two important points:

1) I'll be here this evening to post on this matter and discuss with you. We may or may not wind up consolidating a bunch of threads on this topic, but only so that a) people who want to use Site Help et al for issues not relating to this can do so fairly easily, and b) so that my responses aren't scattered among a ton of threads. I'll try to post collections of those responses and answers in this thread over the course of the evening. I'll also be reposting some of what we said yesterday on the matter so that everyone can see it easily.

2) Beyond what we've already said regarding Business Topics, Site Help and Bugs, we can't discuss at this time how the next phase of the Forums migration will proceed. We will as soon as we reasonably can.

* * * * *

As discussions on this upcoming migration continue, there's something that I've seen coming up again and again that I wanted to address.

Rob Kalin and I have had a handful of conversations about community and the way people congregate and interact off and on since I joined Etsy in June of 2007. We both value the Forums, as does everyone else at Etsy. Other admin regularly ask members of my team or myself about feedback on x new feature and really value the stories about how your work using what we've built has brought you success. We treasure what we have here with all of you.

Community fragmentation was my sticking point as we talked this out internally; I knew it bothered you, and it bothered me too. There had to be some other way, some better way to keep and augment what we have now. As Etsy continues to grow, however, the community is outgrowing this monolithic group of topics. Just as it is our job to be your advocates and represent your views, it is also our job to work out what can best support the Etsy community as it sprawls into hundreds and thousands of different interests and reasons to gather. What we have announced was the ultimate result of these deliberations.

Will it be different? Sure. But we feel that introducing spaces for smaller communities for all of these interests will encourage more of the larger community to participate on some level. That's what we want to see: lots of you taking advantage of your own slice of the Etsy community, discussing what suits you with community members who have similar interests.

I appreciate the passion with which you've approached this topic, and I know that it will be a significant departure from the way discussion has worked on Etsy since the beginning. Our hope is that you will join the teams which interest you and hold the discussions that you'd like to take part in. Not only that, but that many more members who had never stepped foot in the Forums previously will be right beside you in these teams to do the same.

* * * * *

This week has been a great example and reminder of how much passion exists in the Etsy community. Thanks to all who have spoken up through the forum, convos, and email to make sure we heard your feedback. We've been slower to respond on this issue than others because we've been evaluating your feedback to make sure we addressed your concerns.

That said, here's the plan moving forward:

These five sections will remain on our forums page: Announcements, Site Help, Business Topics, Ideas and Bugs. They will all technically be Teams but, other than the Announcements section, members won't be required to join the team to be able to post comments to the forum discussions nor to follow along with them.

As I posted previously, International, Critiques, Techniques & Materials, and Teams & Events will be moving into various teams that will live on Promotions and Etc. will also be moving into various teams living on

The sections we're moving to we believe will be more valuable in concentrated communities and conversations. And while it's not technically hard to join a team, we understand that members don't want to have to join a team to contribute to certain conversations.

We're truly sorry for the concern and headaches these changes have created for you all and we hope to continue having an open dialogue about future changes on the site.

* * * * *

Here are some questions that we thought might pop up in response to this announcement, and that have been asked in other recent threads:

Q: Will I be able to search Team forum threads?A: Yes, we recognize that this is a necessity for those of you who sign up for several teams and this is something that we're working on.

Q: Where will the old threads go?A: Threads in Announcements, Site Help, Business Topics, Ideas and Bugs will remain in their current state and in their current sections. Threads in any of the removed sections will be closed, but will remain accessible via Forums search and their old URLs. Thus, any bookmarks you have to old Forum threads should still work as intended.

Q: Where can I find teams?A: At the following link:

Q: Will members who have had their Forum privileges suspended be able to post in Teams forums?A: Yes, though this has not yet been implemented. Any member who has had their Forum privileges suspended will not, however, be able to post in the remaining Forum sections on forums_main.

Q: Who will run the teams on the main forums page?A: Etsy admin will captain and lead each team, and the forum moderators will continue to moderate these spaces.

Q: What will you do with promotional or offtopic threads in the remaining sections?A: If we view a thread as promotional or offtopic, we may close the thread with a suggestion to move the discussion to an appropriate team. Persistent violations of Forum policy may result in a suspension of Forum privileges.

Q: When is all of this happening?A: Though we have made changes to our original plan based on your feedback, we are still aiming to have these changes made by the end of the month.

If we see more questions popping up frequently on threads about this announcement, we may add more updates to this informal FAQ.

* * * * *

Hey there, friends. I wanted to offer a quick update from our end. Since we made adjustments to our original plan (based on your input!), this has pushed back when the changes we'll be made. We're still not sure of an exact date, but it looks like things won't be ready on our end until later this week or sometime next week.

* * * * *

Hi All,

I wanted to give everyone a heads up that we'll be starting the last phase of the forum migration tonight. Because of some technical limitations we need to do this in smaller steps so it may take some time. While the forums page will end up looking very familiar, expect to see things moving around over the next few hours.

One thing that we were hoping to get done for today but had to push back is a new forum search. The new forum search will let you search all public threads (including threads in sections of the forum that will be closing today and all public team threads). We're also adding the ability to search for posts or threads within a specific team. We *should* be able to launch this tomorrow.

These forum sections will be closing on the main forum and moving to various teams: International, Critiques, Techniques & Materials, Teams & Events, Promotions, Etc.

These forum sections will remain: Announcements, Site Help, Business Topics, Bugs, Ideas

If you're online tonight, we apologize in advance for the rapid changes that will be happening. We also thank you for being with us to say goodbye to an era of the Etsy forums and welcome another.



* * * * *

You probably noticed that we didn't get through all the changes last night. Everything we did change went smoothly. Things just took longer than we expected. We'll be finishing the rest of the migration this morning and into this afternoon.

Thanks to all for the suggestion for improvements on the new system especially with regards to navigation between teams and the main forums page. We'll be finishing the changes we had planned today and starting to collect ideas for follow up changes so keep the feedback coming.

* * * * *

Thanks to your feedback we made changes to the navigation so that on all teams pages, you can access the forums main page, the teams home page and the my threads page. Check it out!

* * * * *

We're now moving International, Critiques, Techniques & Materials, Teams & Events, Promotions and Etc. off of forums_main and will soon finish the migration process. Thanks for all the discussion that you've shared here in these Forum sections!

* * * * *

Forum search just went live in the main search bar on forum and team discussion search pages. Here are the changes:

* The search on the forum home page now includes posts and threads from the five remaining forum sections, all archived legacy forum sections and any public team forum threads. The search results also include a new column distinguishing what forum the post or thread appears in.

* You can now search posts and threads within a specific team discussion from the team discussion page.

Thanks for your patience in getting this change out. It proved a bit more tricky than planned but it should be working well now.