Dear Members of SMF, Over the last while we have received numerous requests for options such as: Better handling of pictures Inline video Easier and faster user registration More and better perks for premier members A better way to handle stickies Better forum search engine Ways to list smokers and equipment in profile The wonderful news is that we are getting ready to make all of this possible and then some. The not so wonderful news is that we are going to be changing platforms to make this possible.. I know.. scaryyyyyy!! To be honest, vBulletin is outdated, stale and not very progressive. It has not changed much over the last 10 years and while some of us like things that don't change, change can be a good thing. There is a trade-off for the good things that we are getting out of this deal.. the new platform will require us to do a bit of changing as uncomfortable as that makes us. I am the first one to say that change is not something I always embrace, however, over the course of my life I have observed that change usually brings about better things. This platform change will bring us a lot of wonderful capabilities as well as make it much easier for Brian, Dutch, Jerry and the moderators to do what they do in the background from day to day. We will also be allowing some smoker/grilling/outdoor related companies to do some marketing on the forum. Not only will this help to fund all of the great things that we want to do here at the SMF but, over time we will be able to hopefully convince some mainstream manufacturers of smokers and smoker accessories to become an active part of the forum as well giving you complete access to the think tanks behind the equipment that they manufacture and sell and hopefully get them involved with some of our contests and such.. that could be a sweet thing if you think about it This will also give manufacturers direct access to your valuable feedback on their products. Another very sweet thing. There are a couple of features that we will not have that we are used to having.. one of them being highly customizable signature areas. The new platform area does not allow pictures in the signature area for now. I am certain that this will change over time. One other thing is chat. We will find a way to remedy this but for a bit, chat may be on hold until we find a good work around. The chat program we have been used to using is made for vBulletin and will not work in the new platform. The company we have partnered with is known as Huddler and they are more than just a platform designer, they actually partner with their clients to make sure everything runs smoothly and that your feedback is taken into account when they add and adjust features on the platform. I have been watching this platform progress over the last while and I have come to realize that this is just the ticket for us. I can promise you that most of the good stuff that you like about vBulletin is still going to be available, it just may not be exactly in the same place that you are used to finding it. I am sure there will be a little bit of a learning curve however, I do think you will find it to be pretty intuitive as well. I am asking all of you to give it time and let yourself get used to it.. I think you might just find that you like it.. a lot!! The plan is to take the site down on or around May 24th and have it back up hopefully within just a few hours pending no major problems. Huddler engineers will be doing a lot of this for us so with their experience I feel very confident that this will go off without a hitch. We will be setting up a place for you to give constructive feedback and post any problems/bugs that you see so they can be looked into as soon as possible. I also want to take this time to thank all of you who spend your time at SMF helping to make it the best and friendliest smoking meat forum on the world wide web. This is to be the next chapter in the life of what has become the largest, friendliest, and most informational smoking meat forum on the planet. We have succeeded at what many others have tried and failed and will continue to be the better answer to all of your smoking meat questions. Having said all of this, no matter what platform we use, or what features we add or take away.. just remember that YOU are what makes this forum great and for that I am very very thankful. You guys and gals are THE best!! Here are a couple of mockups to show you what the forum will look like on the new platform. These files are quite large so give it time to load.