Why did you create a new forum instead of fixing Wattpad's underlying infrastructure issues?


#1

New forums like this, even when they’re just a reskinned product produced by someone else, cost a lot of time and money. Time and money you could have spent:

-Improving the database or moving it to a new version of whatever backend Wattpad uses

-Provisioning more resources to said database servers

-Changing frontend code so it does not send requests that result in randomly pwning the database, bringing the site down for days at a time

-Changing the login form so it doesn’t have form data with sensitive information in plaintext

-Generally fixing all the stupid shit that’s wrong with Wattpad

Seriously, why is this here? I didn’t want a new forum, I wanted a functional website on which to post my works. How the hell does providing a new forum (when the old one was relatively stable and worked just fine, btw) accomplish that?


#2

@uncleL


#3

that’s a really good point. Sometimes my comments still don’t load. It takes at LEAST a day for changes made on my books to show up on the app. A few days ago, the ads they’re forcing on all books didn’t even work, so I had to close the app and reopen it just to fucking read. The site hasn’t crashed as often recently, but that isn’t so much a blessing because I’m constantly wondering when it WILL.

Not to mention my updates don’t always come in on time, especially when it comes to book updates.


#4

@DracoNako @violetsun5 I can try to explain things. All the things you’ve brought up are being worked on, on a constant basis. Whole teams of people work on those things every day they’re at work. There has been very little work on the forums, and probably none for years at a time. This is the first time I’ve seen an active commitment to give the club goers what they want - new forums.

Maybe you’d prefer to leave the clubs the way they are, but I’m pretty happy for the opportunity to help make this change happen.


#5

@KatherineArlene I DO think these new clubs are offering a lot of what people complain is lacking in the old forums. Its hard to know how resources are being allocated, but im in favor or upgrades to the clubs

@violetsun5 There actually ARE a lot of users who complain about the old forums. Just sayin. the other comments… i defer to you. Im not a tech person but you know that hehe


#6

I’m one of the people who believes an update to the clubs is essential to the future of Wattpad. It’s where a lot of community interaction takes place. Mobile responsiveness in 2018 is something that is definitely needed.

I asked @uncleL yesterday why there isn’t just an upgrade to the current software (Vanilla): What we do and don't like...

Like @KatherineArlene said, there are entire teams dedicated to updating what you mentioned. Though, you could always leave a comment on the pinned feedback post on the cafe or submit a ticket through support.

I feel like not every developer would be able to handle every issue. Just because one person knows front end and can make a forum or insert back end plugins, doesn’t mean they know the backend database on Wattpad. Maybe one developer is really good at database, but they aren’t as good with front end. At least that’s my thought process. Like they said, there’s teams.


No! To this new platform!
#7

While this is true, a forum like the one we’re on generally requires both–I suppose it’s possible they purchased a database and this forum is just a frontend, but then why not hire more backend people?

The way in which wattpad chooses to use its funds just makes no sense to me personally.


#8

Our core engineering team is focusing on many of the infrastructure issues you’ve mentioned. We have only one employee (me) working on this project.

For further context, I’m part of Wattpad Labs which is different from Wattpad Core–Core focuses on the platform, app etc. There are dozens (maybe 100?) people who work for Wattpad Core.

As Labs, I work alone on projects to help Wattpad users without taking our main team away from their focus. I do the design, engineering, everything so explorations like these forums come at as low of a cost as possible for Wattpad. You’re right that old Clubs seemed to work just fine but like @Makaylasophia I believe supporting community interaction is essential to Wattpad’s future.

Our current forums are a Frankenstein version of Vanilla and custom (pHp) code which means that we can’t easily upgrade it w/Vanilla’s updates and our hacks to the forums create a lot of issues and tech debt for our platform. You might not realize it, but our current forums aren’t as stable as they seem and there are small fires which occur and take engineers away from their focus fixing and updating core features. Sometimes it’s actually issues on Clubs that cause issues for all users with our platform.

So, I wanted to try out a new version of Clubs to see if it would work for users so that our forums could be maintained more easily and stop monopolizing time and causing platform-wide issues for our engineers.

Plus, this version of forums should be easier and better for Ambassadors to moderate. They’re incredible community members who we value and need to support.

I also believe in the social features of Wattpad. PMs, forums, etc are important to me as a writer and lover of Wattpad. I want to continue focusing on them because (probably like you) my friendships on Wattpad are important to me. By updating our social tools, we can join in the conversations here on any device, anywhere, with no down time which gives us more opportunities to connect, find answers, advice, and friends.


Ask me things about the new fourms.
eevee's guide to the beta forums
What we do and don't like...
#9

Also, we REALLY need forums mobile optimized. That’s what started this whole thang. Users want it, we want it, everyone wants it. But like I said about all custom code + Vanilla–it isn’t going to be a simple implementation to do it on current Clubs.

Last, remember this is only a test. If everyone hates this – I’ll drop it and work on something else.


#10

My Husband was a coder before his disability. The larger a site grows, the more new features it implements, the more there is to break. This is especially true when you’re grafting new things on your core. One misplaced letter or mark can cause chaos.

Look at Windows. There’s issues there still, and it’s got all of Microsoft’s thousands of coders and millions of dollars behind it. And you have to pay around 100 USD for using it. Then there’s Skype, which, although ‘free’ is an absolute monster that’s only gotten worse since Microsoft took it over.

One of the things that has always impressed me is how well Wattpad does at keeping the site live and functioning 24/7. Sure, there’s bumps and messes, but that’s part of the growing process. For a handful of people (relatively speaking) on a site that’s as used as this one, they’re pretty amazing.

I’ve seen folks yelling for a new forum ever since I joined the site. I think it’s great that there’s finally something on the table.


#11

I didn’t know you were working on this effort alone! cheers on This is a really great initiative.


#12

I bow before you @uncleL for taking on this project alone. That is wildly impressive and mad props to that!

Add me in on the ones who say the forums are in need of an overhaul. While they are functional, there could be so much more to them.

For the most part, I like this new software. It’s not perfect, but with the right tweaks it could get there. I already said all my suggestions so I won’t rehash them unless I need to :rofl: I am really digging the quote feature. Already it has made me trying to help people with blurbs so much easier. :laughing:

Now that I’ve done all my random playing, I’ll try to use them more the way I’d use the current clubs. That’ll give me a real idea of how I might like it and if I have any additional feedback for potential improvements.


#13

Thank you! Excited to make it better for you! And you too, @Makaylasophia–just keep giving me your feedback and I’ll keep adding it to my TO DO list :diamond:


#14

Late reply but seriously all the props to you for tackling this beast and hanging around here to listen to feedback<3


#15

Also on the wattpad app you can’t go to the foruoms unless on mobile web or the website on desktop here I think it’ll be good for anyone using the wattpad app to go on Improve Your Writing and if they add the others on here too. But it is a test after all so ee will see where it goes


#16

I would honestly not call these forums reskinned, these look so so much better and I’m obsessed with them. I love @uncleL s work. And it’s probably just me who thought that obviously working on another project wouldn’t affect the other projects & teams?


#17

I just want to commend you for all of the hard work you’re doing. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and patience to make something like this, and to openly encourage people to provide feedback/critique.

I do like the old forums because I think they’re a little easier to navigate, but like you, I really would love there to be a mobile app available. I think I’d participate on the boards a lot more then and get to know the community better.

I love the ability we have to format our text on this forum. There are so many more features. I think the responding interface is very user friendly. I think it’s more of the organization of the posts that causes some confusion. On some of the old boards I used to be on, they’d have a named section,…ie, Fantasy for example. Then that would be divided up into several different pieces. A subhead for introductions. A subhead for book discussion. A subhead for literary advice. That way it was easier to see where people were posting and it was a lot easier to go under the right section that you needed.

I know the old boards have the Improve Your Writing section, but I feel like each of the Clubs should have that, because improving your writing can very much depend on what genre you’re working on.

Sorry, I’m just tossing out some ideas. I’m really excited to see where this goes. Again, kudos to you!


#18

These are all great points! Thank you for sharing :slight_smile:


#19

I kinda feel like you may want to pin this message on every new club for the beta testers to see. I see a lot of people on the current clubs asking why the current software can’t just be tweaked to get an update. Might help people understand why you need to update the forum software from where it’s currently at.


#20

Holy cow, batman! You work alone??? Sir, I don’t know what you look like but I want to shake your hand or clap.