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The Future of the MiceChat Forums


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  • The Future of the MiceChat Forums


    A little more than a year ago, there was frequent discussion about moving the forums from their current location to another host and software application. Although I don't think that site was ever shared, quite a bit of work was done. The project was eventually abandoned due to an unforeseen issue with no easy workaround.

    Prior to the opening of Galaxy's Edge, the MiceChat staff needed to communicate extensively regarding our coverage. Our primary method of communication was Facebook and Facebook Messenger. That worked OK, but it had limitations. I decided to spin up a new server running the new forum software and try it out. It actually worked exactly as expected, and it proved we could migrate the forums to the new software if we wanted to.

    For those that are interested, the forum software is called Discourse. I want to use it because it's fast and open source. This means we can start with the out-of-box version of software and then fork it to our own custom version at some point in the future. It's also very mobile-friendly.

    Last week I decommissioned the server running the Galaxy's Edge forum and then spun up a new one running what could be the next version of the forums. It is actually live right now, but it's (somewhat) hidden, and there is no way to register without an invitation. Many things need to be done before we start inviting members to test it out, so I am not going to make the mistake of giving a timeline. I can only say that the future of the forums is not with our current solution. That is a fact.

    I frequently get PM's and flagged posts that express concern about the excessive, incessant, and needless negativity that infests the MiceChat forums. I hear you, and I agree.

    MiceAge was founded by Al Lutz, and Al was usually critical of Disney, but his criticism was not consistently hostile, abusive, excessive, nor was it needless. He expected Disney to operate with high standards, and his column reflected that expectation. Here on the forums, Al is frequently mentioned as a reason that excessive criticism is warranted. That is not true, and it needs to stop. The only way to make this stop is to establish a clear set of rules and community standards, and then enforce them consistently. I can't give an exact date that this will happen, but I can say it will.

    In simplest terms, some people come here to complain about everything Disney does and to criticize those that don't agree with them. Others come here to see what's happening at the resorts and to discuss rumors and other news. Then, a few others come here to get advice on trip planning. I can say with 100 percent certainty that the people in the first group often ruin the experience for the people in the other two groups. After careful consideration of and with respect to MiceChat's history, the MiceChat staff has decided that the forum's future will not include excessive complaining and criticism. It is absolutely reasonable to expect Disney to operate with high standards. It is absolutely unreasonable to use the forums to bash other people's opinions. It is unreasonable to spend so much time on a forum expressing disdain at everything a company does. It is going to stop.

    This is all I have for now. I will provide more information when I have it.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    I very much enjoyed reading Al Lutz, and while he was certainly critical, I never found him to be negative. Thanks, PhotoMatt!


    • #3
      Thank you PhotoMatt! The time and effort you put forth is greatly appreciated!


      • #4
        Wonderful News! I have mostly steered clear of the forums due to the negativity and attacks that tend to be the modus operandi of a small group who operate with a pack mentality. That small group makes a poster such as myself feel as if my opinion doesn't matter on this site because I'm not part of their club, a club by which unspoken membership is determined by total number of past posts and if you join them in their "Lord of the Flies" like attacks on individuals who do not agree with them.


        • #5
          Great news all around!


          • #6
            Thank you for for keeping us posted!


            • #7
              Love it!


              • #8
                I think Micechat needs to be balanced, and all viewpoints should be welcomed and encouraged.

                I agree, it can become a bit tiresome to read the same viewpoints repeatedly, either pro or con. But I'm not sure I would support banning individuals unless they were abusive or intimidating towards others, or they repeatedly hijack threads and drown out alternative information or viewpoints. After all, one is not affected by posts that one is not interested in reading, unless they make it impossible to find anything of interest...
                Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.


                • #9
                  Thank you PhotoMatt. Agreed.


                  • #10
                    Well said Matt ...
                    I so appreciate the forum, and while constructive criticism is good, open conflict is not.
                    Disneyland is a mostly positive place (except when you can't see the pavement on crowded days), and the discussions should be too.


                    • #11
                      Great post look forward to seeing the future of this site. Been coming here for years mostly to get the latest news and rumors on Disney. Forums used to be covered with post about future attraction, 3rd gate, and general fun stuff that people would speculate on. Now all I see is “Disney is ruined” and “if they change blank i am done with Disney.” These attitudes needs to stop!
                      Disney is amazing, no I don’t like everything Disney is doing, but for the most part Disney is a fun escape from our lives and everyone on these forms has one thing in common, we all love Disney. Let’s stop the pointless hate and negativity post and have fun with Disney again.


                      • #12
                        Sometimes because we are so passionate in our love for Disney/Disneyland, we say if they do “this”, I will do “that”. We mean it at the time, but after we cool down, we do not follow through on our threat. I do not look at these statements as being hateful. I understand how some outrageous statements can be made when our tempers flare. I have done the very same thing myself.


                        • #13
                          Welcome change.


                          • #14
                            Thank you!


                            • #15
                              Thank you for this and I look forward to a 'kinder, gentler' MiceChat.

                              I think, if I may suggest, that our first 'new' rule be (as Thumper's mom says) "If you can't say sumthin' nice, don't say nothin' at all".
                              "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"


                              • #16
                                All great news! The forums that I've frequented that used Discourse have been really pleasant,UI-wise, so I think that will be a great change.

                                I find it very odd that our most frequent, wordy posters, who show up to every thread with armfuls of "proof" that their opinion is unassailable, haven't said a peep. Wonder why. 😉


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MickeyPal View Post
                                  All great news! The forums that I've frequented that used Discourse have been really pleasant,UI-wise, so I think that will be a great change.

                                  I find it very odd that our most frequent, wordy posters, who show up to every thread with armfuls of "proof" that their opinion is unassailable, haven't said a peep. Wonder why. 😉
                                  It’s pretty clear that their opinions aren’t wanted. I’d prefer to just allow people to post their opinions. But that’s just me.
                                  Jim in Merced CA - former cast member at Walt Disney World, Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland.


                                  • #18
                                    This sounds great! I would love a better forum experience and I would LOVE all the senseless negativity to be squashed. It's gotten to the point where I can easily predict how a thread is going to go based on the title alone. You can't please everyone and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but man, it's exhausting now.

                                    Cheers to what's next. Can't wait!


                                    • #19
                                      Thank you PhotoMatt. This is a great news. I look forward to the days of not having to sort through all the negativity to find valuable information on the future MiceChat.


                                      • #20
                                        This is awesome news, thanks for sharing. As you can see from my join date and number of posts, I've been registered for a while, but never became an active poster. The main reason why is the obnoxious and incessant negativity you reference that comes from a small handful of individuals.

                                        Even though I'm not here often, I know the names to lookout for. When I do visit, I've frequently found myself reading through a thread, enjoying the discussion, only to come across one of those few names. I brace myself for the torrent of predictable negativity that comes in a few well-worn variations. It just gets old and exhausting. For a long time I thought folks had just kinda given up on it ever changing, but I'm really glad to see that's not the case. I'm hopeful that this forum can find new life as a place for meaningful and thoughtful dialog without serving as a small public square for a few curb-side doomsday preachers to drown out anything and everyone else.


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