When we launched the Oliver + S discussion forums several years ago, we never thought that it would turn into what it has. We intended it to be a resource for people looking for information on sewing with our patterns. It has become that, but what’s interesting is how it’s become much more. It’s been incredibly gratifying for us to see how so many of you have connected with other Oliver + S sewists there. The forums have become the town square of a little virtual community with members spread around the globe.
Last week we released the first major upgrade to the forums in quite some time. With this project we wanted to add new features and functionality that would facilitate connections between participants and grow the sense of community that has developed there. To that end, we’ve focused on allowing users to build out profiles that represent themselves so others can get to know them, and we built more tools to increase communication between users and to push the information out to you that you want to see.
There are many new things waiting for you to discover, but here are some of the highlights:
- You can now create a profile that describes yourself and your interests. You can provide links to your presence on other social media platforms, and you can add an avatar to identify yourself across the site. Here’s my public profile.
- It’s now easier for you to receive notifications when responses come in to questions you post in the forums. You can configure your profile to have the site send you email notices of various occurrences.
- You can connect with friends via friendship requests. This provides you with a separate stream made up of just your friends’ activity–making it easier to follow what’s going on with people you care about.
- You are able to send and receive public and private messages right on the site.
- Forum posts now support @mentions, making it easy for you to call someone’s attention to something you have said about them. It also makes it easy for you to see where people have mentioned you.
- You now have the ability to upload images into your forum posts.
- Additionally, we’ve tried to make the user experience of the forums an overall better and more visual one.
As I mentioned, these are just some highlights of what’s new. And we’re not done. We have some additional behind-the-scenes enhancements and another piece of functionality that we will be rolling out in coming weeks. We think you will really like it!
All registered users keep their existing usernames and passwords to log into the new forums. Once you sign in, you will be able to start creating your profile, and your status will automatically be upgraded to Member.
We hope you’ll find these new features useful and enjoyable. We also hope that, if you haven’t already, you’ll sign up and join the community.