Four months ago, CBS acquired Scout, TheOBR.com’s network partner. Since then, the CBS team completed a thorough review of Scout's platform and technology and has been working feverishly to prepare the site for a comprehensive overhaul.
The preparations are nearing completion and the overhaul will be implemented next month. OBR publisher Barry McBride has been working behind-the-scenes to help enable the transition. Twenty forum members and moderators are currently at work testing the new forums to understand which differences will impact our community most. These are some things to keep in mind as the transition nears:
What does this overhaul entail?
By the end of July, Scout, and therefore the OBR, will be moving to a new platform for all aspects of the site. That includes the forums, front page, articles, database and video. User accounts, articles, media and forums posts will be migrated to the new site. And yes, things like post counts and avatars will automatically be transferred, as well.
Why do an overhaul?
The biggest reason is stability. This new site is being built off the existing CBS platform, whereas the Scout infrastructure is unstable and a major burden to maintain. The CBS platform offers much greater stability immediately, and also scaleability, which creates some exciting potential for adding site features and improving coverage. It's important to highlight that while this is a new platform to us, it's not new to CBS, as they've been using it for years now, so this is existing, functional technology that has been tested in a live setting.
Changes of this magnitude cannot be implemented in-season, and the objective is to convert before Training Camp and the NFL season starts. Not only is our staff preoccupied with coverage responsibilities, but readers don't want to be distracted with a brand new interface and any potential accompanying bugs during that time. And the prospect of staying on an unstable platform until next April is a risk not worth taking.
What to expect?
A faster and more stable site. Specifically with regard to the forums, there will be some features and characteristics that our users have been requesting for years. For example, you will be able to jump to new posts within a thread, you'll be able to upload images directly to your posts, and there will be an unlimited posting archive moving forward. Current forum archives for more than a year will be migrated over, too. There will, however, be some temporary feature voids as they are re-developed, such as the Scout iOS app, Quick Reply, and search tools.
This is going to be the same OBR — same staff, same weirdness, same content, same community. It's just going to be on a new platform. We understand change is inconvenient, but we've made efforts to make the new look as familiar as possible and are confident this is both a necessary and beneficial move for the present and future of the OBR. As we've noted in the past, Scout has been through many changes through the years. But the OBR staff and community will continue as we have for the last 20 years.
The product that debuts next month should be viewed as a starting point. As we've done in the past, we'll request and compile reader feedback and develop a priority list based off this feedback to submit changes, bug fixes and feature requests, which CBS says it will prioritize in the coming months.
— The OBR Staff