So how's things going here?

First, traffic in general? How has it changed since the switch? Was it headed down when there were the system problems? Was it headed down before that? I recall threads on how to make the board better that involved problems other than timeouts.

Users… how about semi-informed guestimates on how many users made the switch seemlessly. Are there some long-time/prominent users that for whatever reason didn’t.?

Forums… do any seem to be more or less popular than they were before the switch

Any other observations worth noting?

I don’t have individual forum statistics.

Long term, the number of posts had been holding steady from August 2019 through March of 2020, but then showed a serious dip throughout April and May. This is most likely a result of the system problems which were continually getting worse at that time. Total number of posts showed a huge spike right after the move, which was probably a lot of complaints about the new site, people posting about problems and issues, or asking how-to type questions. By the first week of July or so, all of that had settled down. The number of posts increased steadily throughout July, so that’s a good thing.

New Users had a huge spike after the move, which was probably people socking up because they couldn’t get their accounts to work. That also settled out around the first week of July. This number has also been increasing through the last half of July, but it’s still statistically down in the noise relative to new users prior to the move. New Users had been way down from October 2019 through February of 2020, but for some reason was significantly higher from March to April. May and June were both way down.

All of the statistics for May and June were way down prior to the move. Currently, we seem to have recovered to the point of where we were before vBulletin started crapping out completely on us. I don’t know how long it will last, but the statistics are currently trending upwards, so we’re doing well, all things considered.

I don’t have any statistics on how many people successfully made the move and how many did not. If anyone out there hasn’t been able to log in under the new system, if you can read this, send me an email at and we’ll get you sorted out.

One thing that seems a bit promising is that we got absolutely clobbered by web bots during the last half of July, which I assume was sites like Google and Bing re-indexing the new site. Despite our total traffic increasing by a factor of about 5 or 6 or so (which would have brought vBulletin to a screeching halt), we made it through with very few reported issues. The new site can definitely handle a lot more traffic and won’t fall apart like vBulletin did under the load.

I was a new user (had registered just before the switch after lurking/popping in for a year or so prior). I was struggling mightily to learn the ways of the old one (but I have a high pain threshold, I was highly motivated and I persisted). Therefore I didn’t experience learning Discourse as any different-I still had to struggle mightily and be persistent (and to ask for help, which my fellow posters always kindly give). I do remember the old crashes and system errors-I’m glad to get away from those, Discourse has been worth it for me.

FWIW I wish there was a more streamlined way of getting customer support/user instructions kind of help than sorting through About This Message Board. ATMB is laborious and hit or miss. A glossary/acronym resource would be lovely too. Both would feel welcoming to new users.


There is a FAQ at the top of the ATMB forum, and it contains a link to a glossary of terms used on the SDMB.

Unfortunately, I just looked at it, and the formatting of the FAQ was completely borked in the move, and the link to the glossary doesn’t work.


Once I fix those, then we’ll have a glossary for you.

Thank you, that is very appreciated. As is the time and work you volunteer to make this a better board for us all.

I have always tried to help myself first by searching wiki dictionary or urban dictionary, which often works, but the uniquely SD acronyms aren’t captured there. And, lets be honest, the best ones are the SD ones! Sometimes, over time and with context I can figure them out but some still stump me.

Bippity, I’ve seen a lot of your posts and I think you’re a phenomenal addition to the board. I’m glad you found us.

I’ve been here a lot more since the move. On the old board, I’d read one or two threads then get a 504 error. I’d give up and wander off. The only time I could read the board “normally” was in the middle of the night when I had insomnia. I feel like moving to Discourse was a parting gift from Tuba. Who knows where we’d be without her and with a broken board??

Indeed. She is one of those lucky stars I thank. I wouldn’t have been able to make the switch without her gentle hand and kind encouragement.

Early COVID lockdown?

Hear, hear!

I have reformatted and updated the FAQ. I think I fixed all of the links. If you see anything that is incorrect, please let me know.

The glossary of terms is here. The link to this in the FAQ should be working now.


[quote]…how many users made the switch seemlessly. Are there some long-time/prominent users that for whatever reason didn’t.?

Anybody missing anyone in particular?

Maybe “Today’s Question” could be changed on the SD homepage? It’s been the same thing for many weeks now.

Haven’t looked at the FAQ yet, but in the glossary:

  • The “I burning your dog” link doesn’t work.
  • The “FAQ: Rules for Posting” link (under “NSFW”) doesn’t work.
  • The link under “Two-Click Rule” doesn’t work

That’s one way to handle NSFW links…

Eight days later…

TubaDiva used to handle management of the Straight Dope web page, including updating “Today’s Question” (among many other things).

The folks in charge are aware that many of the things that TubaDiva used to do for us are not currently being handled. Unfortunately I do not have any information other than that at this time. We are doing our best to recover as much functionality as possible under the circumstances. We lost a lot with TubaDiva’s passing.

Indeed we did. Thank you.