Sketchup Blog - News and Notes from the Sketchup folks

Let’s have a discourse about SketchUp

“My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation...”

Jane Austen

There’s something about SketchUp that activates people. From the early days, online SketchUp communities have grown and thrived. When new platforms for discussion and sharing pop up (such as SketchUcation, Google+, and Facebook), SketchUp users seem to flock to it, wanting helpful, friendly conversation. We’ve often wondered why SketchUp brings architects, artists, educators, and others from all over the world to engage in great discussions about this simple but powerful 3D software. My theory is that SketchUp is a creative tool where the output is as varied as the unique people behind the mouse. People like to share their creations with others, and that sharing tends to evolve the conversation into techniques and solving problems. A shared passion is born.

During SketchUp’s time with Google we went through four forum platforms, each with their own set of benefits and challenges. We want to provide the very best home for the online community, but I don’t think we’ve cracked that nut just yet. That’s why I’m very pleased to announce the latest incarnation of the SketchUp Forums:

After nine years of posting in our forums, I really think we have something special here. The new SketchUp Forum is powered by Discourse, which rethinks the way online communities interact with each other. According to co-founder, Jeff Atwood, “[t]he freedom to easily one-click install and run a discussion community for a topic you love is an essential part of the wild, chaotic, vibrant “let your freak flag fly” formula of the Internet that we've always known and loved.” The philosophy behind this new forum platform is about creating open, honest, and well-mannered discussions about whatever topics come up.

The Google Product Forum for SketchUp which has served us well over the past four years will be put into an “archive” mode soon which means that no new posts or replies could be created. However, the forum will stay open as a read-only resource until mid-October.

There’s a lot more that I can say about the SketchUp Forum, but I think the best way understand what’s new is to see for yourself. You’ll find many familiar faces from the SketchUp team as well as long standing members of the community. Come on over and say “hi.” Be sure to read the Welcome Post for help getting started.

Tommy Acierno, on behalf of the SketchUp team

Ed. note: Want to kick the tires on the new SketchUp Forums? Try cutting and pasting a 3D Warehouse URL into a Forum topic thread you're creating. It's always better to show than tell.

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Jamie Dimmel said...

Couldn't you leave the existing forum up indefinitely, simply in maintenance mode. There is a lot of valuable information there that it would be a shame to just throw away. It seems like there is no consideration for the posts, so it begs the question of why post in the new forum if it is only going to be trashed in a couple of years.

Unknown said...

heavily seconded!

just nuking this valuable knowledge resource (again) mainly created by volunteers doing tech. support for free is a disrespectful behavior towards the SU community.

_please_ let this group stay idle for at least 1 year... especially with no advantage shutting it down soon.


SketchUp Team said...

We agree -- there was a lot of great SketchUp advice on our old forum. And there was a lot of great advice on the forum before that too. For all the great (and free) help that our forums have provided over the years, we've also found that there is a technical cost to maintaining forum platforms. We've tried to change platforms only as much as necessary (as SketchUp has moved through a few acquisitions), but sometimes we have to bite the bullet. In this case our old forums were operated by our former pals at Google. Unfortunately, we don't get to decide what the big G leaves in read-only mode. Thanks for understanding.

Mark (on behalf of the SketchUp team)