Since we launched the Circle last spring using the Ning network, we’ve been listening to your suggestions on how to make our community better. And what most of you said is this: The Ning network we use is OK, but not great. Because Facebook is the primary online hotspot, the reasons for visiting The Circle have changed. Not in a bad way, but they’ve just changed because that’s what things do.
We dug a bit deeper and found that you were right. The focus of the Circle was changing. Instead of being a true social network, it was becoming a place for people to connect about stories of all kinds–Ted’s books, music and movies, and big ideas worth wrestling with. All of the “extra’s” that came with the Ning network just weren’t that exciting or useful anymore.
So we set out to explore what it might look like to do what you were asking us to do, which was to make the community more about the people and the discussions that were happening there. It didn’t take us long to land on the solution: we had to go back in time. We know, it’s the obvious choice, right? So that’s what we did. We had to go back to a time when life was simpler, more pure.
We made a few phone calls and found a guy who’d stored the original Ted Dekker message board from back in the day (remember the all black website?) and was able to secure its release from a dusty corner of Area 51. That would be the base upon which we would re-model the Circle to give our community what it wants without all the fluff.
Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one and we think that’s true with the Circle. Now, after several weeks of work, we’re nearly done scrubbing and prepping it for the June 1 re-launch. It’s a clean, focused approach to the Circle forum that you old message boarders will recognize with a tinge of deja vu and newcomers will enjoy for its simplicity. But regardless of how long you’ve been around, we think you’ll love it.
Change can be tough, but it’s easier to swallow when it goes down sweet and smooth. We know there might be some FAQ’s, so we put together a quick and dirty guide for you below. You’ll see more communications from us in the coming weeks as we open the new Circle and transition this current one to a close. Dive deep.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why are you changing the Circle?
So we can simplify and focus it to match what we use it for, which is primarily discussions. We learned through our community that all of the bells and whistles we currently have don’t matter to the majority of you, so the solution is to change that.
When are you making the change?
The new message board will go live on Tuesday, June 1st.
When will the current Circle network (on Ning) be closed?
The current Circle network will close at 12:00p CT on July 1st. Until then you will be able to access your Ning profile by going to www.teddekker.ning.com. We recommend that you download any content you want to save during this 1 month buffer time.
Where can I find the new Circle forum?
Beginning June 1st, you will be able to access the new Circle forum by clicking CIRCLE on the main navigation bar at www.teddekker.com or by going to www.thecircle.teddekker.com.
How is the new Circle forum different?
The biggest difference is it will be simpler to use. The new Circle forum will essentially be a message board divided into three topics: Novels, Other Works, and Other Topics. Each of those topics will host a large number of conversations on just about anything you can imagine. We will also be getting rid of the current social network functions we launched last spring: personal blogs, photo and video galleries, and live chat.
Will I need to create a new user name and password?
If you were a user on the first generation message board (the one that closed in 2009), your user name is stored in the system. If you have forgotten your password to the old forum, click on the Forgotten Password link to receive a new one.
If you joined the Circle after January 2009 you will need to set up a new user name and password to access the message board. But it’s simple, we promise.
Will I have my own personal blog on the new Circle forum?
No. The re-model Circle will be a message board/forum format. There will be no blog, photo, or video portfolio capabilities.
Will you archive any of the photos, videos, or blog posts from the current network for us?
No, we will not. Any content you have uploaded to your profile will be deleted on July 1st.