Welcome to the NorCal Thrills Forums!
An intro to the new forums
The day has finally come to launch NorCal Thrill's own forum! I've been working towards this day for a little over a year now. What takes so long you might ask? Isn't making a forum just paying a license to buy some software and then just taking an afternoon to set it up? It is if you didn't write a bespoke piece of software! That's right, this forum software is hand written to be perfect for our community. Right now, it'll look pretty similar to any other forum software, maybe a little better designed, maybe a little lacking in features but as more sites get added to the Roller Coaster Network of sites, more sites will connect to this same forum software. This means that your one RCN account can be used on any of the sites in the network. No registering for a bunch of different accounts. And more importantly, your RCN login can be used across all RCN applications, not just forums. Imagine a next-gen credit counter that can display your count or your top 10 lists right on your profile for forum viewers to see. Imagine a Halloween or Christmas scavenger hunt on the website that will earn you Internet points on the forums. Writing custom forum software is the start of all of this.
A forum? You might ask. Didn't we move beyond that in 2002? Current events have shown that social media platforms aren't the best place to host discussions on the internet, from privacy concerns to toxic communities. This forum will be different. First, no ads, ever. This site and network is my hobby, I'm willing to pay for and host a community and I think nothing ruins a great site more than ads. Second, an old school culture, minus the snark and friendly for newcomers. Reading through old forums, the thing that stands out to me the most is just how full and fun the Trip Report section is. Tons of people wrote TRs full of pictures and video that still is fun to read. We'll encourage that culture and lead by example. And unlike Twitter or other forums, we will heavily moderate the site to remove snark or hostility. No more "RTFM" or "Your opinion is wrong" for asking a question, instead you'll get a coherent, proper answer. That's not to say that if you make a claim, you won't get a critical response but it will be one that doesn't insult your intelligence. Third, cutting edge features with constant improvement. Gone is the concept of "forum upgrades" being a big, scary thing. Gone is the idea that your suggestions are nice but can't really be acted on because we're using someone else's software. Expect constantly improving software that listens to your suggestions.
So yeah, we're pretty proud of this launch, even if it's not perfect (I already have a list of fixes to go into v1.0.1). You can find the forums at https://norcalthrills.com/forums. To see the software as it changes, go here. To leave your feedback about the forum software go here or here if you want to leave feedback for the main site.
Enjoy and I look forward to seeing you all on the midways again in 2021!