feconnect was first launched in 2008 for a relatively small community of data professionals working in further education and training. Since then, the site has grown significantly and we now have over 5000 registered users and almost 11000 unique visitors each month.
We have listened to your feedback about the experience of using feconnect. We know that, for many, feconnect is a vital way to get quick responses to general queries from your peers. The success of feconnect is a result of your willingness to share your expertise to help others.
But we also acknowledge that there are limitations with the existing site. For example, the search function is inadequate which makes it hard for you to find the information you need. Email alerts work intermittently – or not at all – and that means you might miss posts that could be helpful. We also know that pages can be slow to load and that, together, all of these issues make it difficult to use an increasingly popular service.
To improve your access to peer support we will be relaunching feconnect in the next few months. The new forum will offer a more robust and accessible service, alongside an enhanced search feature.
We will be rebranding the service and moving to a new URL. We will also be keeping this site available in read-only mode for at least six months so that you can continue to refer to helpful content.
As more details are confirmed this post will be updated. If you have any questions, please post them below and we will get back to you.
In the meantime, if you would like to try the new site before it goes live, please email firstname.lastname@example.orgAugust 4, 2020 at 5:04 pm #456396
Hurray for keeping an archive!
Also hurray for all the other upgrades, of course! Particularly the search!
August 4, 2020 at 5:09 pm #456400
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by steveh.
Please can you confirm that everything already on FeConnect will be migrated to the new site? The history within the existing FeConnect is crucial when ascertaining what has happened on an issue over time (sometimes years).
CasparAugust 5, 2020 at 11:29 am #456508SFA STAFF
Thank you for your question. We won’t be migrating data over to the new site, but we will be maintaining this version of feconnect for at least six months so that people can refer to older content. We did consider data migration but have taken this approach based on feedback from user research.
However, there is still a degree of flexibility around the issue of exactly how we archive feconnect so happy to take additional feedback on what your preferences would be.
LauraAugust 5, 2020 at 11:51 am #456512
Unfortunately, it is not user researchers who use Feconnect and even if you archive the existing site it is not possible to use the search facility as it is too slow or crashes.
Please reconsider, could you only include posts from the previous or current year?
RegardsAugust 7, 2020 at 11:08 am #456885
Whilst I agree that some migration might be useful, I’m assuming we’ll have a whole new address for the new site, so we’ll still be able to use google site search to search the archived version?August 7, 2020 at 11:50 am #456902SFA STAFF
Thank you for your feedback. Our proposed approach to data migration is based on research we conducted with members of feconnect. However, we will continue to take alternative views into consideration as we begin the archiving and decommissioning process.
LauraAugust 10, 2020 at 7:05 pm #457575
So will you be maintaining a permanent online archive of FeConnect accessible to all? As Steve has said, Google site search can be used with it.
CasparAugust 10, 2020 at 10:35 pm #457591
Very much agree that some level of archive search must be available. The back catalogue of queries and responses on feconnect is of real benefit.
DarrenAugust 13, 2020 at 9:05 am #457931
I agree with the others, some form of archive must be left available. There is a wealth of knowledge available on the current site.August 13, 2020 at 10:07 am #457950SFA STAFF
The new service to replace feconnect is now in public beta.
Feconnect users (except for the 70 or so users who already registered for our private beta) will need to re-register to post or subscribe on the new service.
We expect to dual run for at least a few weeks (we expect that you’ll want this channel to remain open until after R14?)
As requested by several of you in comments above, we will keep a ‘frozen’ version of the feconnect site available for 6 months or more so that you can continue to access the thousands of conversations you have had on here in recent years.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post here or in the new site or email email@example.com
PaulSeptember 25, 2020 at 2:46 pm #465591
I just tried to log into the new site and I get the following message:
Firefox Can’t Open This Page
To protect your security, esfa.zendesk.com will not allow Firefox to display the page if another site has embedded it. To see this page, you need to open it in a new window.
Clicking on the button to open in a new window simply takes me back to the login window and I can loop round this all day without ever getting in.
Can you get this fixed and post back here when it is so, please?
CasparSeptember 25, 2020 at 9:52 pm #465631
Well I’ve found the new site, can see martin and steve’s response but haven’t as yet figured how to submit a query.September 28, 2020 at 7:51 am #466068
You will need to reregister on the new site and then sign in.
HTHSeptember 28, 2020 at 8:17 am #466074
So, I’ve managed to log in but can’t comment on either of the two posts that are currently published.September 28, 2020 at 8:47 am #466076SFA STAFF
Just approving your account, then you’ll be able to post. You should get an email from us in a couple of mins to confirm.
PaulSeptember 28, 2020 at 8:50 am #466079
E-mail received. Not sure I was told during the registration process that this step was required so perhaps a bit of text could be added to cover that? (Unless I’ve missed it)
DarrenSeptember 28, 2020 at 8:55 am #466081SFA STAFF
Thanks Darren. We’ll look to add something to address that.
Caspar – the team are looking in to the registration bug you’ve raised. Will update you on that when we have news.September 28, 2020 at 9:05 am #466085
Thank you for approving me too, I can comment now. It wasn’t clear that accounts would have to be approved before commenting would be allowed.September 28, 2020 at 9:20 am #466088SFA STAFF
Thanks Christina. Hoping to get something done in the next day or to sort that. We’re looking at updating the text in the registration box and maybe showing a banner when users verify their account to say that they will be able to post as soon as the account is approved by the ESFA.September 28, 2020 at 10:09 am #466102
I am not sure if Martin’s post about needing to re-register was aimed at me, but when I tried to re-register, it said that my email address already existed as an account and hence I have ended up in the never-ending loop described. I shall look forward to hearing an update from Paul.
CasparSeptember 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm #466143
I seem to having the same issue as Caspar with a “esfa.zendesk.com refused to connect.” error message.
@PaulESFA, is there a fix/workaround to get registered on the new service?
PaulNovember 11, 2020 at 4:21 pm #473343
Hi Paul (@PGoldthorpe),
Paul from the ESFA resolved my issue by taking the conversation offline and communicating with me direct by email. I ended up having a video conference call with one of the ESFA tech guys and he was very helpful and between us we got it sorted.
I am using Firefox as my preferred browser and we had to alter a specific setting in the end (and I have slept since then, so cannot remember exactly what it was, I just know that it all works for me now).
CasparNovember 17, 2020 at 10:47 am #473537SFA STAFF
Sorry about that. It sounds your browser may be blocking the cookie required to log in to the ESFA community – the cookie is needed to authenticate your account.
To fix this, you will need to enable a cookie from ‘esfa.zendesk.com’ Below are links on how to do this for Google Chrome and Mozilla firefox.
If that doesn’t resolve it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
PaulNovember 19, 2020 at 3:51 pm #473818
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