Fodor's New Forums: A Quick Tour

Posted by Katie Hamlin on February 18, 2009 at 12:01:40 PM EST | Post a Comment

We're extremely excited to introduce our new forums today. Below is a short summary of the community's new features and functionality. As you click around and browse the new offerings, you can leave us your comments by clicking the feedback form link featured in the top left-hand corner of the page. You are also welcome to email me at forums@fodors.com.

Thank you for your support and enthusiasm for this unique community over the last 13 years!

Member Profiles

All members have their own profiles in the new design. Your profile shows the topics that you've posted and commented on and any reviews you've written in our online destination guides. Profiles also include an optional place to share a bit about your travel style, including favorite destinations and those you hope to visit one day. You also have the option of uploading a photo of yourself or a favorite snapshot from a trip. Profiles are linked to member names and can be viewed by simply clicking a name (your own or another member's).

There is a sign-in box at the top of every page on Fodors.com. Your member name will appear in this box on every page once you've signed in.

Try it: Click on your member name at the top of this page (you may need to sign in first). Once on your profile, click "edit your profile" to further personalize your page.

Trip Reports

We know many of you love writing and reading trip reports. We think they're great too and enjoy including your observations in our guides as a part of our "Word of Mouth" feature. With this in mind, we've added a "trip report" tag so it's easier than ever to view and sort trip reports. For instance, by tagging your topic "California" and "trip report," it will appear on the California page with a trip-report icon so it's easy to spot. Additionally, when other posters click on your name to view your profile they will see your report in a special section.

Try it: Browse recent trip reports in the Africa & Middle East Forum; view trip reports tagged Tanzania

Of course many of you have already written very helpful (and amusing) reports. We can tag your past reports in our system; simply email the url(s) of the report(s) to tripreports@fodors.com. Please do not repost old reports.

Forums Navigation

Each forum has its own home page in the new design. For instance, the Europe forum's main page features its most recent activity in the left-hand column (just like in the old design) along with a selection of new topics, topics with the most replies, trip reports, and links to related Fodor's online guides. The new design makes it easy to view topics by their tags (France or Italy).

A New Search

With almost 1 million topics, our forums are chock full of tips, advice, and trip reports, but it hasn't always been easy to find what you're looking for. We're excited to now offer a streamlined search and an advanced search with this redesign.

Starting a New Topic

The "Start a new topic" page includes helpful posting hints for new and veteran posters alike. We have increased the size of the main entry field by almost 40% so it is easier to view your post as you enter it. This page does not include a preview function at this time. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause; we do plan on offering the function in the future. You can request the removal of one of your topics (or replies) by sending an email to forums@fodors.com.

Say Good-bye to Those Messy URLs

All topics now have a clean and easy url. It is now easier to link to an individual topic; you do not need to click on the title of the topic to find its url. If you've bookmarked old topics using your browser, they will redirect to the new address.

Share with a Friend

Our new "Share with a Friend" widget makes it easy to e-mail topics to friends and to post a topic of interest to your blog or favorite social-networking site.

RSS Feeds

Subscribe to our new RSS feeds to be alerted when new topics are added within a particular forum or with a particular tag. You can subscribe to your favorite forum with whatever reader you prefer, such as Google Reader, Newsgator, or Bloglines.

Report a Post

We have added a "report this topic" icon. It's an easy way to report a topic (or replies to a topic) that you feel the moderators should look at.

Destination Guide Links

Each forum features links to relevant Fodor's online guides, which include reviews from members and Fodor's editors. These links are handy for folks just starting to plan a trip, and they are also reminders that your opinions and reviews are welcome. (Keep in mind that the more focused you can make any questions you post, the more helpful the responses are likely to be.)

Feedback Form

You can share your feedback, report any problems, or make suggestions by using our feedback form. A link to this form appears in the top left-hand corner of every page within the forums. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts!

Improvements to Come

We're looking forward to your feedback. We know you have great ideas for making the forums and the larger community even better. Some items on our to-do list did not make the first wave of the upgrade, but we expect to introduce more in the future. This is just the beginning.

Have an idea? Send it to us at forums@fodors.com.

Posted in New at Fodor's

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