This always used to be the “Carers UK Forum”. A title that says what it is. Then the term “Carers Connect” appeared, then “Our forum” and now I’ve spotted another one on the main website. Please can someone tell me who is fiddling around with this without involving the membership??? I’ve previously pointed out that “Carers Connect” is already in use in various other places. “Our Forum” is inappropriate. Meanwhile a month after the new forum was launched it is STILL not open to non members. My heart sank when I learned that it was going to have an upgrade, we’ve had two in the past that never worked properly and were finally abandoned. Is this going to be the third??
Hi BB. I don’t know what the staff are currently planning, but here are a few thoughts from me:
Carers Connect is a good name for a forum, and is only used once you’re in the CUK website, so there’s not really any worry about this. For about 9 years my carers centre had a magazine called United!. We had to drop it on cost grounds a couple of years ago, which caused me a lot of grief. We then looked to produce an online newsletter, and decided on a new name: Connected. It’s kind of a go to title, but as no one has registered it for the purposes of newsletters or forums, it’s ok. It just shows we’re all fairly like-minded and understand that most carers feel disconnected.
The old forum was starting to break down and had no backup. It was designed around Internet Explorer, which itself is no longer supported. It was only a matter of time before we hit major issues - we were already having problems getting rid of some junk posts. I can’t really see a situation where we’d go back to the old forum software. If experience shows that this one is not right, we’ll be needing to find another one. At which point I think Susieq might have a breakdown!
The part about not being open to non-members yet: I know this is being worked on as a priority now, but I’m not sure yet where we are with this. The problem with timetables and new tech is that they never, ever match up. There will always be something that moves the timetable back.
Charles, a lot depends on who is searching for information and how they access the internet.
I’m a touch typist and during the day I use a PC with a decent size keyboard and a 22" screen.
However, in the evening I use a little Hudl tablet in my bedroom.
I bought this second hand to replace an expensive Samsung tablet that was ruined when someone wanting to get their bag out of an overhead locker at the end of a plane journey threw my bag down on the floor. I don’t use it at home, so discovered too late that it had been damaged beyond repair.
The Hudl is old but it only cost me £50, I can access the internet with it, and if it was damaged on holiday, I wouldn’t be too upset. Not everyone has the latest tech.
Using the Hudl to search for Carers UK Forum, it comes up with “Our Forum” and “Carers Connect”.
These names didn’t just appear, someone actively introduced them.
It’s important that our “corporate identity” is respected.
What is wrong with simply calling it the Carers UK Forum? Why was it changed without membership input. (We’ve had these “whose forum is it anyhow” discussions in the past).
Inclusivity should be very important to CUK.
We should be making things as easy as possible for everyone, whatever their technology, first language, or education.
Thanks bowlingbun for providing feedback on our new forum, Carers Connect, and thanks too to Charles for sharing his thoughts.
As Charles has described, throughout 2022 we were experiencing considerable technical problems with our old forum which prevented many of our new members (as well as existing users) from accessing the forum and resulted in the number of members posting gradually decreasing. The type of forum we were using no longer received technical support so we didn’t really have a choice but to move to a new forum. We consulted widely with other charities before deciding which forum ‘platform’ to use and we’ve been really pleased that since we launched it, the new platform (hosted on Discourse) has been much more stable and reliable than the old platform.
In launching the new platform, we aim to build a thriving online community that many more of Carers UK’s 46,000 members will wish to use to seek and give support. Naming our forum Carers Connect succinctly describes what this online community does and will hopefully encourage more members to give it a try. You may have seen that other leading charities often have a name for their forums too (eg Alzheimer’s Society have Talking Point and Mind have Side by Side). When designing Carers Connect, we were very grateful to our moderators and other members for all their feedback and suggestions.
Thanks for bearing with us while we establish a link between our new website and Carers Connect which will enable new Carers UK members to login. Our website developers are treating this as a priority and we hope to share some good news on this with you soon. As Charles says, these technical challenges often take longer than expected.
Wishing you well
It appears that there is a steadfast determination to ignore my comments.