Over twelve and a half years ago, I had the honor of making the first post on a brand new message board called “NikeTalk.”
So much has changed since then, but, as of last week, you’d never know it to look at our website. Often, people tell me they’ve grown up on NT. They started out in middle school and they’re now in college or they started out as teenagers and now have children of their own. Yet, in all this time, NikeTalk has always looked and felt essentially the same. If that's your experience, too, then I’m sure that our new look came as quite a shock.
To date, change on NikeTalk has advanced with all the speed of soil erosion... or Eric Dampier. Until today, we’d been with the same host, and on the same basic software platform, for the entire history of our community. This redesign has been a long time coming, and while I’m eager to share everything that makes this new site so exciting, it’s arguably more important to emphasize what hasn’t changed.
In this era of free agency, it’s tempting to portray change of teams (a team of service providers, in this case) as a change in allegiance. We don’t see it that way. This isn't a change in our mission; it's a means of better aligning our website with our mission.
Where NikeTalk is concerned, our first loyalty is always to you, our fellow members. After all, you are the ones who make our community worth visiting day in and day out. We built NikeTalk for sneaker fans like you because we are sneaker fans like you. What makes NikeTalk special isn’t just that we’re all in this together – it’s that we’re all in this together for the same reasons. Our inspiration was simple: we just wanted a friendly place to meet up with likeminded people and share information online.
To practice loyalty to someone – or something – with no genuine loyalty to you is to allow yourself to be used. We know who our friends are and we know who truly has driven NikeTalk’s success as a community. We never want to let you down or betray the trust and faith you’ve placed in us, as that’s the foundation for everything we do here.
You can imagine, then, how much it has pained me, and all of us on the staff, to see you struggle with the failed page loads, extended downtime, nagging glitches, and technical stagnation that characterized and, ultimately, tarnished our old site. All of these problems frustrated me as one of NikeTalk’s users, but they tormented me as one of NikeTalk’s founders. You simply deserve better. And so, we’ve taken the rather extraordinary step of uprooting our community from its home of over twelve and a half years and transplanting it in a new and, I believe, better environment.
Quite simply, this new site makes it easier for you to interact with each other, find what you’re looking for, and benefit from the collective knowledge of perhaps the world’s most passionate and experienced sneaker fans.
Though I can’t possibly list all of our new features in this welcome message, here are a few of my favorites:
- In addition to presenting the latest news and top content from around the site, our new front page includes a customizable activity feed that updates in real time. It can automatically tell you when people have replied to your posts, to topics you’re following, or when new topics about subjects of interest have been created. You can even follow your favorite users.
- Our new Articles section includes wiki areas, where top collectors from around the world will work together to create the most comprehensive resource available for sneaker fans. It’s easily the most ambitious project our community has ever undertaken – and I’ll hope you’ll join us and share your knowledge with the world.
- The search function actually works.
- Finding information about a specific pair of shoes has never been easier thanks to the Gear / Reviews tab. Each product page allows you to see every user reviews as well as links to related discussion topics and buy/sell listings, all in one place. In some cases, product pages can even tell you if a shoe you’re looking for is in stock and ready to buy.
- You can use product pages to make customized lists. Keep track of your collection, list shoes you’re looking for, or just share your favorites. You can even add these lists to your profile and forum signature.
- Our buy/sell forums now include a built in feedback feature, to help keep you safer and more informed.
- The site doesn't crash every time the wind blows or a mouse sneezes.
I hope you’re excited about these new improvements, but please bear in mind that this is only the beginning.
The site you see before you represents the culmination of literally hundreds – if not thousands – of person-hours’ worth of work. It is not, however, a finished product.
Like any software platform (save, perhaps, the one we just left), we fully expect Huddler to evolve steadily over time. An optimized mobile version, for example, is currently in development, and you can look forward to a steady influx of new features and improvements in the months ahead.
Unfortunately, given the state of the old site we couldn’t make perfect the enemy of good. As much as we’d like to present you with a flawlessly polished product, we felt it best to deliver these concrete improvements NOW rather than forcing you to spend another day on our old site.
We know there are still some glitches, some missing posts, and some rough edges. I hope you’ll bear with us. Moving from a proprietary platform presents enormous challenges, and it required no minor feat of ingenuity for our new technology partners at Huddler to integrate your old posts with our current system. It may not be perfect, but they’ve given us a solid – and stable – foundation for the future of our community.
We listened carefully to all of your feedback – even the harshest complaints – in building this new experience. I hope you’ll find that we’ve addressed many of your top concerns.
Please continue the conversation here in the Feedback Forum. We want to know what you think of the new site and how we can make it even better.
IF YOU WERE A NIKETALK MEMBER ON YUKU:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you transfer to the new site. Please include your username in the subject heading.
On behalf of everyone here on the NikeTalk team, I’d like to thank you for visiting today, for being a part of our community, and for continuing to enable and inspire us to continually improve the service we provide both to you, our fellow members, as well as to the greater global community through our regular donations, charity drives, and outreach efforts.
If you like what you see, please join me in thanking everyone at Huddler for their tremendous efforts. This launch has been preceded by countless late, sleepless nights and working weekends for their team as well as ours. (Special thanks, to shawea, who was up until the wee hours trying to get everything just right for today’s launch.)
For more on our new features, visit our FAQ Section or stay tuned to this forum. We'll be discussing key features in greater depth in the days to come.