Big changes are coming for TuDiabetes!

Last summer we surveyed members of TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes online communities, and gained some GREAT insights! We learned that our members are happy with the information and support they receive on TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes, that they feel welcome, comfortable and safe.

We also heard three criticisms, loud and clear: 1. TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes are visually overwhelming sites, 2. the search function does not work well, and 3. the mobile applications for the two communities are not user-friendly.

So guess what… WE’RE FIXING THAT!!! These three weaknesses are related to the platform our communities are built on. That platform is being upgraded, but our research indicates that that upgrade will not adequately address the changes we need to make, so we’re moving. You read it right: WE’RE MOVING!

Last August we hired a consultancy to help us assess other possible platforms for our online communities, and from that process we have decided to move the two communities to a host platform called Discourse. Discourse has a wide variety of features and capabilities not currently available on our current platform, including a strong search function and good mobile integration. We’re super excited about this!!

Moving to a new platform is a really big deal. Discourse does not offer every feature available through our current platform, so some things are going to have to change, and a few features will be lost completely. We’ll be working hard to ensure that the necessary changes ultimately make the communities stronger, simpler, and easier to navigate, and we will need our members to stay open-minded about those changes.

We will begin preparing for the platform migration behind the scenes in January, for a launch of the new site in March, 2015, and we promise to keep you updated every step of the way! During this process there will be lots of decisions to make and opportunities for improvement and creativity, and feedback from our communities will be crucial to ensure we end up with the best new sites possible.

Thanks for joining us in this new adventure!! There will undoubtedly be some bumps on this road, but we at DHF are confident that our communities will come out even stronger and better at the end. Stay tuned for updates and weekly explanations of great new features the new sites will have, coming soon!

P.S. Our holiday fundraising campaign begins soon, and we’ll be inviting our members and friends to support this exciting leap forward by making a donation to Diabetes Hands Foundation. Keep your eyes peeled!

Wow exiting news! Looking forward to a better search function and cleaner interface. In today's world a better mobile interface will be a big plus.

I am real excited about this change. I can tell you from behind the scenes, we really have outgrown our current platform. And there are many things that just don't work well (such as the totally bogus search that BadMoon mentions) and there are many features that we just don't have that are present in more advanced social media platforms. This is also an opportunity for our community to take an active role in helping to make the new TuDiabetes even better. I urge everyone to consider helping even in a small way as we go through this transition. We will need lots of help figuring out how to transition content, adding or changing features and testing to make sure things work. And most of all, we need our community to help each other. There will be changes in the new TuDiabetes and we need to help each other learn how to do things. I look forward to working with everyone on this. We get to help make a brand new TuDiabetes!

Sounds very exciting!! Working in IT I know this change will have its fair share of challenges. Good Luck.

Thanks, Emily. I think that "moving" will eventually catch on and the membership should grow more rapidly than before. My favorite parts of TuD are the groups and the chats that you create. I hope those features will remain intact.

Going to be alot of hassle moving over from Ning..

But well worth it, especially on the mobile side :)

Good work guys.

Exciting! All three of these changes sound great. I'm willing to help in any way I can - how would I volunteer to help?

Looking forward to a better search feature. Now for us tech-impaired---Is a platform what Ning is? So it's replacing Ning?

This sounds promising! I will look forward to better mobile access. I don't bother bringing laptops on vacation and sometimes feel like it's not worth the hassle to try to participate in things via my phone on the current platform. I hope that the networks of friends and groups can be maintained through the transition however I suppose we can work to build new ones if they don't!

I hope the "My Page" or whatever its equivalent will be on the new site will have more options for a personal profile. It would be really helpful to be able to sum oneself up, sort of like an online dating profile, this would be very helpful for getting to know others in the community and putting their comments in context. In my case, I'd love to be able to share when I was diagnosed, what the nuances of my condition are, the fact that I'm an avid runner and cyclist and outdoors-person, that I'm a bit of a foodie, etc. You get the idea. In keeping with the dating profile theme, perhaps there could be a standard set of questions which people might answer about themselves, with options for customization based on individual preferences.

Thanks so much, Jen! I'll let you know as opportunities arise, but one thing that would be great is for you to spread your enthusiasm when ever you find an opportunity!

Thanks Jim! May I keep you in mind as someone who might be able to help a bit with IT-related questions, if we have them?

Thanks for your support, Richard! The chats will definitely continue. The groups feature will be different on the new site and we're still figuring out exactly how it will work. I'll explain it in detail in one of my upcoming posts about the new site :)

Yes Judith! Instead of Ning there will be a platform called Discourse, which is quite different from Ning :)

niccolo, all of that is possible with our current platform! The registration questions are that basic set you refer to, and answers to them are visible on your profile page. You can add any info you like this way:

1. go to "settings" toward the top-right of any page (when you're logged in)

2. scroll down the page to the text box with the title "tell us more about you"

3. enter any info you like!

4. click "save" at the very bottom of the page

Yay! Yipee and Yahoo! Upgrades like this are usually a cross between bull riding and calf roping. BUT, I have every confidence that it will make a great rodeo in the end. Tu is awsome and getting even better. Can't wait for the show.

I love your enthusiasm, Randy!! Indeed, we're getting better and better :)

Excited! The Ning platform has grown a bit long in the tooth.

Thanks for your enthusiasm, Khurt! Once the migration happens you are one of the folks I'll be asking for tech-related feedback!!

I, too am very excited about that change, sounds like this is gonna be awesome!
/doing the happy dance :D