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  • Kris-MSConnection

    Dear Community,

    It is with bittersweet emotions that we announce the closing of the MSConnection.org website as of September 30, 2020, because the platform the website is built on will no longer be supported by the vendor.

    Sometimes companies stop making products that we use and love. That is what is happening in this situation. The vendor has decided that creating/supporting community websites is not a part of their business plan moving forward. The technology that makes the community possible (posting discussions, replying, joining groups, etc.) will no longer be supported which means the vendor won’t fix issues when they break or do upgrades for security or functionality, etc.

    For years, it has been incredible to see the MS community come together here on MSconnection.org. The site has been a safe space for those affected by MS to share their experiences, ask questions and provide and receive support from others who understand what it’s like to live with this disease. 
     
    We want to thank all our community members – those living with the disease to those who have someone they love with MS – for being a part of this experience. We also want to thank the group leaders, peer volunteers and bloggers who contributed so much over the years.

    While the website will be completely taken down on September 30, there will be a phased approach to shutting down functionality. Below is a timeline of the phased shutdown process:

    Phase I – Effective Immediately (Tuesday, June 9)
    The following functionality will be eliminated:
        •    Ability to create new accounts
        •    Ability to post blog comments

    Phase II – Ongoing through Summer 2020 (Exact dates will be updated here)
    The following functionality will be eliminated:
        •    Edit profile
        •    Create status updates, discussions or groups
        •    Appreciate or reply to discussions or updates
        •    Add connections, including Peer Support
        •    Join or interact with groups
        •    Send or receive messages
        •    Blog transitioning to existing website
        •    September 30, 2020: MSConnection.org taken offline

    If you are interested in saving any content before September 30, please:  
        •    Go to the page you want to save
        •    Select ‘Print’ from your browser
        •    Select ‘Save as a PDF’

    Since MSconnection.org was last redesigned, a lot has changed in how people connect online. But, one thing hasn’t changed — the need for community. In fact, it is now more important than ever. We are researching, and excited about, new ways for the MS community to continue connecting. Stay tuned!

    In the meantime, you can still connect with us and each other in the following places:
        •    National MS Society Community Facebook Group
        •    FacebookInstagramTwitter
        •    Find Support page

    If you have questions, comments or feedback, you can email us at community@nmss.org.

    Thank you again for being a part of this amazing community. You helped the newly diagnosed, those experiencing a relapse, care partners, families and so many others know that they are not alone. Well done, community, well done!

    Sincerely,
    The National MS Society MSconnection.org Team

  • jasonprestovfd
    I hate to see this go away.
    it has been my only real connection with others with MS.....
    farewell my friends I will miss you all.
    sinsearly, 
    Jason
  • maria1
    Even with all the hacking this has been a safe space with no advertising and clutter. I am connected with a lot of people here and will keep everyone in my thoughts.

    If there is somewhere we could access the discussions it would be nice even if we cant respond, or put them in a booklet or all this valuable info will be lost.
     
  • maria1
    Thank you Navigators for all your assistance and kindness you have helped keep us sane.
  • maria1
    Nothing lasts forever, I am grateful to the society for giving me the opportunity to connect with others who have ms, and for the ability to continue to grow even with ms. I have made both friends and enemies as I have stumbled through a life with ms and without this site I would never have had any progress in expanding my horizons and knowledge. Even though I have been living with ms for a very long time, nothing would have  been available to me except the cows and I dont speak their language. A great site will be surely missed and are all friends. maria
  • Avatar
    Will you please delete my account in its' entirety from this site before it shuts down.  If there is no one to benefit from what I had to say, I would like any identifying information to be deleted off of the world wide web.  Please delete my account.  Thank you!
  • Kris-MSConnection

    ______,

    There was absolutely benefit to what you had to say.  The sharing of life experience with others let them know they are not alone. Even though new accounts can no longer be created, new people can still come to the site and read past discussions and learn. 

    With that said, I can delete your account. Would you like me to do it now or wait closer to the end of September?  If you prefer, you can email me at community@nmss.org

    Thank you.

    Kris

  • maria1
    I wish to go on record to protest the dissolution of this site, even with all its quirks it is better than a for profit site, if you agree please vote by appreciating these sentiments, and voice your opinion, even if it does no good go on the record for what you believe makes our lives better, maria.
     
  • Kris-MSConnection
    maria1 --

    We hear you and are taking all feedback into consideration around what happens next.  But, unfortunately, keeping msconnection.org online past September 30 is not an option. 

    The technology that makes the Community possible (posting discussions, replying, joining groups, etc) will no longer be supported by the vendor. That means the vendor won’t fix issues when they break or do any upgrades for security or functionality.

     

    Because it’s a custom community module, it cannot be moved to another website.  The new/existing website wouldn’t understand the code that makes the community website work.

    I hope that helps explain the reason for the site closing a little more clearly.  Please keep the suggestions and feedback coming.  We are listening.

    Thanks.

    Kris

  • echobird
    A Maria they have a web page through Facebook now. They started that awhile back when they knew this was going to happen. At first I thought that they where just getting with the time's but they started it because they knew that they where losing their vender.
  • Avatar
    Thank you for your response to me.  I am glad that others will be able to read past discussions and learn.  But, for me, I guess I would like to have my account deleted.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Maria.  We benefit greatly from the ability to reach out to help others and to learn for oursevles.  This is not a good move from my perspective.  I wish you could find another way.  I really do.

    Thank you for your response.
  • Kris-MSConnection
    Thank you so much for the feedback. We are listening and will use the feedback as we continue to research other options.

    Unfortunately, sometimes companies stop making products that we use and love. That is what is happening in this situation. The company has decided that creating/supporting community websites is not a part of their business plan moving forward.

    The technology that makes the Community possible (posting discussions, replying, joining groups, etc) will no longer be supported by the vendor. That means the vendor won’t fix issues when they break or do any upgrades for security or functionality.


    Because it’s a custom community module, it cannot be moved to another website.  The new/existing website wouldn’t understand the code that makes the community website work. I hope that helps explain what is happening a little better.  

    As you can see, your account has been deleted and your screen name is no longer associated with comments. Since your account has been deleted you can no longer comment.  Please feel free to email me at community@nmss.org.

    Thank you.

    Kris
  • maria1
    Thank you Kris, Now I understand better what is going on, duh! 
  • Kris-MSConnection
    Sorry, we didn't explain it as well as we could have. I'll make adjustments to the letter above so it's more clear.  See, your feedback is SO helpful!

    Thank you.
  • golgotha
    In the meantime, you can still connect with us and each other in the following places:
        •   National MS Society Community Facebook Group 
        •   Facebook, Instagram, Twitter


    I, like millions of other people, refuse to use Facebook or Twitter.

    The idea that those commercial services exist to collect my data and sell my private data to an unknown number of companies without my permission or knowledge disgusts me. I don't want them selling my health and MS-related info.

    Ignoring the purely commercial aspect of those services or their abuse and surveillance of their users, or those for-profit corporations' disgusting record of political lobbying actions and positions, I valued the ability for individuals to connect on MS Connection. I had some confidence that the US Nat'l MS Society was not abusing me or selling the information I put on MS Connection.

    Thus, I'll be able to be found on non-profit, community-oriented sites like the MS World forums and other similar sites.

    I'm personally saddened that the Nat'l MS Society is losing a non-commercial online forum for individuals with MS.
  • maria1
    thank you golgotha for saying what I am not able to verbalize, it is appreciated
     
  • Kris-MSConnection
    golgotha --

    Thank you for the insights. We do understand that many do not use social media, we respect those decisions and are taking them into account as we research future options. Let us know if you find a community you really like and why.

    Thanks again.
    Kris
  • jasonprestovfd
    I agree with you completely. 
    I feel the same...
  • golgotha
    Sometimes companies stop making products that we use and love. That is what is happening in this situation. The vendor has decided that creating/supporting community websites is not a part of their business plan moving forward. The technology that makes the community possible (posting discussions, replying, joining groups, etc.) will no longer be supported which means the vendor won’t fix issues when they break or do upgrades for security or functionality, etc.


    I've wondered about this in the past few years.

    Given my own background in software and computer science, and specifically in community online forums and communication that dates back to the very early 1980s, I found the MS Connection forum software to be, shall I say, "quirky."

    Many times I wondered why a standard "forum" software package was not used for the community.

    I figured that there was some back-end reasons that made the software desirable for the MS Society. However, that appears not to have been the case.

    Aside from using the main US Nat'l MS Society's web site for occasional MS "research" and information, MS Connection was my primary interface and point of interaction with the US Nat'l MS Society.

    Like people, all things end. I'm saddened to see MS Connection go.

    Thanks much for your efforts Kris.
     
  • Kris-MSConnection

    You are most welcome, golgotha.  

    The 'quirky' description is a endearing. I may borrow that in the future.

    The decision to pick this platform predates me so I cannot speak to that. I do know that we made some customizations to the out of the box software which may have contributed to the quirk. ;-) 

    We are sad, too. Change — and there's been a lot of it lately — can be hard.

    Kris