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TP Announcement

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Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
There are some significant changes coming to Talking Point in a couple of weeks - plus some necessary associated downtime.

I will post this in all the main forums and close the announcements so they cannot be replied to.

The one I post in Tea Room http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkingpoint/discuss/showthread.php?t=8430 will remain open so members can reply should they wish to communicate on the changes.

Brucie said:
TP Announcement

There are going to be some changes to the way that Talking Point looks in a short while.

For some time there have been discussions about ways we can make the forum easier for all its users to navigate, and on 13th November a new format will be introduced.

There is quite a lot of work involved in the changes so TP will not be available on 13th and 14th November.

Functionally, the forum itself will be the same for members – we didn’t wish to make registered members have to learn new ways of doing things!

Organisationally, it will be just a little simpler.

The changes fall into these divisions:

- The look of the existing forum
- The hosting of the forum
- Simplification of use – documentation for users

The look of the forum

You will have seen already the change in colour scheme – Talking Point has been the first part of the entire Alzheimer’s Society web site to change to match the new branding that is about to be introduced in November.

The main change will be the first page that you see as Talking Point starts up. At present there is a long list of 17 different sub forums – from Support for people with dementia…. to Fundraiser’s forum.

I have attached a screen shot of the new front page.

In future, there will be two areas immediately visible to guests [i.e. people who are not members]:

• Support for people with dementia
• Information and resources.

Most of the existing sub forums have been relocated within these.

For members there will be three areas – those above plus

• The Lounge [which includes Tea room]

All existing threads and posts will still be available, although the stickies and announcement threads will be cleaned up.

We will also move to the newest proven version of the forum software.

Forum +

The forum will sit in its own area on the Alzheimer’s Society web site – the TP microsite.

This means we can link to all sorts of things in a better way – documentation and news – which should make it easier in use.

This also means that there can be more links more easily from the main web pages into Talking Point.

The result is that you will see an extra menu bar on the Talking Point screens so you can navigate easily into the TP microsite from there.

The hosting of the forum

Sometimes in the past we have all noticed that Talking Point may run a little slowly. The changed forum will be located on a new, faster server that has far more capacity.

Making Talking Point simpler to use

This forum was started way back in 2003 and since then it has grown dramatically, and the growth has been organic rather than planned.

In 2007, it is quite a complex site to comprehend, especially for new members.
Hopefully, the simplification of the look will help in part.

Over time we have already started to provide basic documentation on how to add pictures, etc., and this has been expanded to cover most of the things a member might want to do.

The documentation will be available additionally in the form of Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs], and the documentation topics will be expanded as the need arises.

Alzheimer’s Society and Talking Point

The team at the Alzheimer’s Society has been working extremely hard to make the changes a possibility. The team is an excellent one! Thanks, Said, Phil, Tash, Tom and others.

Together with the changes to Talking Point itself, the responsibility for the forum has moved within the Alzheimer’s Society to the Services area. This reflects a move from being something ‘that just happened and needed some support’ to being a formally supported part of Society activities. It is no accident that the same people who have responsibility for the Help Line now include Talking Point in their portfolio of responsibilities.

This change is hugely welcome because the growth of the forum has put some strain on what were essentially ad hoc support arrangements.

The existing moderator team is delighted to welcome a member of the Services group, Katherine Watt, who has asked to be given moderator status. This has been done and enables her to contribute to the smooth running of the forum, from the inside, as it were.

Please welcome Katherine who works for the Alzheimer's Society and has recently taken responsibility for this forum as it has moved within the organisation to the Services area.

Katherine has been registered as a moderator as this enables her to use the moderator-only parts of the forum.

Katherine has a large amount of experience of helping with dementia-related advice through her involvement with the Help Line.

Thanks for bearing with us while these changes take place. We hope you will continue to benefit from using Talking Point and enjoy using the new forums.
 

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