December was an interesting month around iVillage -- change of leadership, re-focusing of goals, re-prioritizing projects. The most important thing we have to do with message boards right now is improve their performance (and by that, I'm talking about the slow page load times, and the way we're found in Google) relative to all of ivillage.com.
As you know, the amount of data we imported from Lithium was staggering. This huge database is slowing everything down -- not just the boards, but the whole site, at times. So the call has been made to lighten the load. We'll be removing older and inactive THREADS from the boards, starting (probably) next week.
Here's the list of what we're KEEPING:
· All threads created since the move to Drupal last October
· All of the Food channel (we already did a big purge there last year)
· Any thread with a reply on or after 1-1-2011 (So if a thread was created in 2003, if it had a reply in 2011, it stays.)
· About 1000 other threads that don't fall into any of the above 3 categories, but we've identified them as having value in Google (most are in Love and Sex)
Again, this only impacts threads.
Right now, the team is doing a test run on the data in QA. If that goes smoothly, we'll get to work on the live site. I'll post an update here when that starts. It will take about 2-3 weeks, moving threads in batches, to get through them all. Our long-term plan is to have old threads available in a read-only archive, but that's a huge project in and of itself, and unfortunately I don't even have a time estimate for that.
After this database project is finished, I can get back to requesting fixes to the features of the boards. ;)
I think they needed a change of leadership for a few months now so that's good news. Maybe things will move a bit faster now.