Simon, have you found anything new about this forum? Can it be modified to make it more convenient to use?
There are some settings we can adjust in the Administration, and it will just take some time to understand and validate them. The Freshdesk forums (which integrates with support tickets, knowledge base, and chat) have fewer features than vBulletin, but we had some technical and business-related issues with vBulletin - something else was required.
A key setting that will require some experimentation is the moderation if links/attachments are in posts. Since this isn't the formal production forums, it doesn't yet have the team reviewing and approving such posts - it just has me for now. I'll be primarily participating in the Suggestions area for the products.
There's a point where controlling spam gets in the way of everyday legitimate members. I'd rather live with some spam and have a robust forum system. Check out the service TalkBass.com uses. It's the best forum I've ever used.
Having support as part of the forum is not important to me, especially if FreshDesk has too many forum limitations. Going to the Canvas GFX site for support isn't a problem for me at all.
Mike, I have to disagree. If this is going to be not just the forums but also the bug ticketing and support system, then you want to keep it as squeaky clean as you possibly can; "some" spam would quickly become untenable because some people will want to push the boundary of what "some" means. And in their own eyes, nobody posts "spam.' I can see why the protections are necessary—you do not want unfiltered internet in your ticketing system.
The fact that it's lousy as a forum because it relies on moderator control is an unfortunate consequence that I'm sure they're working on.
Kohanmike: Testing a reply with formatting.
This is a test.
David Wood said: ...also the bug ticketing and support system, then you want to keep it as squeaky clean as you possibly can... you do not want unfiltered internet in your ticketing system.
That's why I would prefer a separate site for support, so the forum is not cumbersome and limited. I keep a bookmark that takes me directly to the support ticket page, eazy-peezy.
I never said to eliminate filtering, but I don't want so much filtering that the forum isn't useful. I don't mind the verification photos when first creating a thread or when first signing on as a new user, but not letting us edit to prevent someone from changing their post to spam, which in itself would be controlled by the initial verification process, limits the use of the forum. (As an example, I did a reply, but wanted to make a couple of changes, the only way to do that is to copy the post, delete it, a new one, past, make the changes, I also added background to your quote, cumbersome.)
I also find the design of the forum to be awkward. Every page starts with the original post that looks exactly same as the rest of the posts. It needs to look completely different, like the background color and font. There's no quote choice (which I created manually above). Also, the sort order is always oldest first, if you want it newest first, you have to manually choose that. There needs to be preferences for basic view settings.
I know this will be a little harsh, but it seems to me that Canvas GFX didn't think through all the ramifications of combining forum and support, and the choice of FreshDesk as the engine since it looks like it can't provide the tools to make a forum useful.