Would you please expand on your statement above? I hope that LL doesn't plan to allow members' data to be used by any other interests and that LL's use of it will not intrude in any way with our privacy.
BTW, the "delete account" capability of this s/w is a good feature. I hope that if a member chooses to use it that it will expunge all that member's data, 100%.
Rest assured, no member's data will be visible by or used by this site or anyone else without that person's expressed permission and involvement.
Here's a hint at what's coming up, and why the database is important......
If a member wishes they can provide information about themselves. This information can be visible to others, or not. As one wishes.
Let's assume that you are a portrait photographer who lives in Boston and who shoots Nikon, and have underwater photography as a hobby. You also currently print with Epson printers.
If you provide the site with this information, then whenever there is a new article publish on the site, or a new discussion thread that mentions portrait photography, or Nikon camera or lens reviews, or Epson printers, or photography events in Boston, the system will be able to great you when you visit the site with an advisory that either new content or discussions on the topics that you are interested in has become available.
This can optionally be sent to you in the form of an RRS feed, or not. If you like you can make this information (or subsets of it) visible to others, or not. Always your choice.
You will also have our guarantee of complete confidentially with regard to your information, and also complete control over its use by the system.
If people want to take advantage of this new capability it will greatly enhance the site's usefulness. We are adding a great deal more in terms of new authors, topic experts, feature sections, discussion areas and more. Being a registered member (free, of course) will open the door to these features, but its optional, and anyone and everyone will still be able to read all content without the automation and community tools.
I've now probably disclosed more than I should (I'll punish myself at the next staff meeting), but I wanted people to know that the new database structure is intrinsic to what we've had in development for the past 12 months, and this particular brand of forum software was the only way to actualize it in a timely and cost effective manner.
So – I ask that everyone just settle down and become familiar with the new Forum software, because there's no going back now. Yes, it has some failings, but overall it will be the engine that will make LuLa a much more dynamic environment for those that love photography.
Ps: As for colours and other cosmetics, we'll continue to experiment, and value everyone's feedback. But I've also learned that you can't please all of the people all of the time.