How does everyone like the new CM Crossroads website?

Bob Aiello's picture
Bob Aiello asked on January 11, 2013 - 2:41pm | Replies (40).

How does everyone like the new CM Crossroads website?

Bob Aiello
Editor in Chief


Sorry to pile on Bob, but holy cow...!!! The removal of the forums and the CMC-facilitated webcasts is an unmitigated disaster. And what happened to the jobs section where people could post open positions and resumes? I sent our HR person here to post an opening but he was unable to do so. I didnt believe him so i had to check for myself. That was embarrassing. i know you had problems with spam, but just turn off all email notifications until a better solution can be found. What happened to the KISS principle? Instead of a fix, you reengineered the CM out of CM Crossroads.

Sorry Bob but this site used to be a great source of reference on the various tools we all use in this business. Now I am pressed to find any use outside of the great white papers that are presented here!

Sorry...but I call them a I see them...NG!


40 Answers

Roger Howard's picture

I personally think it is horrible.  For the most part, the Q&A section is useless.  I don't appreciate the changes that require me to enter information that you may or may not need to know, in order to set up my "new" account or change my password.  Most likely, I will only use the site as a last resort to finding information.

David Honey's picture

I'm sad to say Bob, that's it is awful and almost unfit for this site's original purpose. I've been with this site through its previous form and the one before that, going back more than 10 years. I think that the site's popularity was driven from a number of principles:

1) Experts in a particular subject matter such as a specific tool could easily monitor questions that they mihght be able to answer or provide help with.

2) Users new to a tool could go to a forum and search for answers for that tool, or post new ones in the expectation that experts from (1) might be able to help.

3) Discussions were threaded. Often the dialog in which follow up questions and discussion occurred was as illumunating, if not more so, than the first question and final response. The journey is part of the benefit in addition to the start and the destination.

4) The discussions were open to all and largely vendor independent.

The first 3 principles have been completely lost. See my earlier question "Where have all the forums gone?".

I had already replied privately to Heather that if this site is not going to provided threaded discussion forums according to the principles above, then I shall probably stop visiting it to help other users.

Might I suggest that before such drastic changes are made, that you need to establish what the primary needs of its users are, what they value, and what they think needs improving. Had that consultation taken place, my bet is that the principles of subject-matter-specific forums would have been preserved.

Best regards,


Tim Betzler's picture


Honestly and respectfully, I have lost all use for this site with the new design.

David is absolutely correct, and I can't stress enough how the core concept and usage of this site has been lost.

CMCrossroads was the end-all-be-all resource for both myself and various colleagues when it came to doing research and asking questions.

With the Q & A "concept", I have no idea how to research anything. I can no longer browse and learn, I have to know what I am looking for already.

I came here today to research a topic that came out about a year ago. I can't find it, even with Q&A AND knowing what I am looking for.

What are the chances forums will come back, if at least in Archive mode?



Bob Aiello's picture
Bob Aiello replied on January 16, 2013 - 8:02am.

This is great feedback and I am counting on everyone to continue to engage with us as we evolve. Remember we need to take our own medicine by understanding our requirements and iteratively developing the site to meet the needs of our community. I have been involved with CM Crossroads from the very beginning and things are certainly changing. We are part of a much larger community now. I am going to circle back with the SQE Editor in Chief with this feedback. I will come back with a gameplan to work with each one of you to improve our features!

Don't forget to contact me directly to contribute articles too!

Bob Aiello
Editor in Chief
[email protected]

Drew Benson's picture

I agree with the comments so far: Removing the Forum type categorisation is a very bad move.

So far, as far as I can tell, you have got 100% negative feedback! 


I look forward to your response to the 100% negative view.



Sue Retzer's picture
Sue Retzer replied on January 24, 2013 - 1:44pm.

I agree with those who have spoken up so far. It's dreadful!! Not only have I lost everything that I had in there before (and had to "prove" that I had a membership before to get access) but now there seems to be less information available than there was before. It's absolutely useless.

Sandy Frazier's picture

As simple as it may seem I am not able to update my pw.  When I am in "My Page" there is the option to do it but no way to truly access the option.  I could just be missing something simple but seems like the website is missing a component.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous replied on February 7, 2013 - 8:59am.

Hey Sandy,

You can update your password via the "Update Your Profile" button on your "My Page" or by hovering over your name in the Top right and clicking "Manage Profile". Once there you will need to open the "Account Info and Change Password" drawer, by clicking on it.

Heather Buckman's picture

Wanted to let everyone know that we've been reading the feedback and are hard at work making some improvements to Q&A. Look for changes in the next 4-6 weeks!

Frederic MARIE-JOSEPH's picture

Well for my part, I ackknowledge the fact that I find this website a bit less fun than the old one. But also A bit faster and, from a certain point of view, more simply organized. There's one thing which miss me a lot: The media center. The part of the website where I could found video interview of CM expert, or watch CM symposiums?

I am sure CMC will finally be back more powerfull than ever.


Demi Goldberg's picture

Where are the tools forms !?!

that was very useful !

Bob Aiello's picture
Bob Aiello replied on February 18, 2013 - 9:16pm.

Demi - we are all of the opinion that we need the forums back so we are working on providing this functionality as soon as possible. Please try out the new Q&A in the meantime and I will keep everyone updated on our ability to provide a forums like functionality within our new platform!!

Bob Aiello

Deborah Katz's picture

Like Sandy, I'm having trouble updating my password. There is no link associated with the "Account Info and Change Password" text on the "Edit My Profile" page. Should I contact TechWell through their Site Feedback? Thanks

Wayne Middleton's picture

Hi everyone on this thread,

Heather Buckman, who heads up our Communications group, asked me to join in the conversation.

Everyone here at SQE/TechWell has been working very hard for the past nine months to get the new CMCrossroads website developed and “out the door.” Unfortunately, due to serious issues with the old site, we were forced to go live sooner than we had wanted to.

Finally, now we are stable enough to start adding new functions and tweaking others. I hope that sometime soon the new website will be able meet your needs and expectations.

Q&A is one focus area where we want to improve the functionality and usability. The next release, which is planned to go live next week, will add commenting back for questions, improve the answering page, and make the Recently Asked Questions display much easier to digest. We are operating in 2–3 week sprints and should be able to make more updates over the next several months.

I’d like your input on where to go from here?

In the next sprint, we want to tackle Topics and Sub-Topics for Q&A. Our idea is to have one topic area dedicated to Tools and a second for General and Process discussions. Do we need any other “major” topics?

Within the fixed topic areas, the thinking is to include a limited (but expandable) set of sub-topics. We'll propose an initial list of these sub-topics based on the questions that were migrated from the old forums and ask for your input. 

I had a talk with Bob Aiello yesterday about how we can work together to reengage the CMCrossroads community. We’d appreciate getting your ideas, too.

Some good news for the website—our new platform supports multiple communities. So, we can spread the development costs and the content to multiple websites—now to both and and soon to Later, this year we may launch another community site for software leaders and project managers.

I know it has been a rough couple of years for CMCrossroads. With your help 2013 will be a much better year.

Wayne Middleton

Chief cook and bottle washer


David Day's picture
David Day replied on March 8, 2013 - 9:47am.

For everybody's benefit and to make this site truely usable , like it once was but is no more, bring back the forums. It was an easy way to post a question and answer a question in an area(s) that you were familiar with and interested in. The Q&A section lacks all of that. I want to subscribe to certain forums that I am interested in and have email notifications when new posts are entered. 


The majority of users want that back. I don't understand the rationale to remove the most popular feature of a website. New and improved couldn't be farther from the truth.


Come on guys. Give us back out site. :)


Gerard Pinzone's picture

What the heck happened here? I'm guessing some genius decided, "We gotta be more like Linked In! Web 2.0! And so on and so forth..."  If I wanted Linked In, I'd just go to Linked In. Dropping the forums was silly. I don't believe you guys when you say that you had to "rush" out the site before it was finished. I'm betting you whole-heartldly expected the Q&A section to replace the forums. Some of the most successful sites for tech are forums. The signal to noise ratio on Linked In is horrible. Don't emulate them.

Bob Aiello's picture

so as has been explained a few times here - we got hit with some pretty bad spam which was getting reflected in our google ratings. Please hang in there with us and we will get back on track very soon!

You will note that the performance of the new site is much improved and we will be getting the features back online as soon as possible. Glad to discuss desired features and include everyone as we evolve.


As always, feel free to contact me directly


Bob Aiello
Editor in Chief
[email protected]

Jen Jones's picture
Jen Jones replied on March 8, 2013 - 4:43pm.

I am very sorry but as a long time member of the original CMCROSSROADS site I must say that your new site may look nicer but it serves no useful purpose to me at the moment.   Where are the user forums?  I want to connect with my peers to ask/answer actual questions etc. for Serena, JIRA, SVN, FishEye, Crucible, GrassHopper, etc.... Why did you disable our ability to access particular communities of inerest? For the moment some of the information (articles)are nice but the Q&A is now completely irrelevant. Please reconsider this design it's a fail.

Jen Jones's picture
Jen Jones replied on March 8, 2013 - 4:43pm.

I am very sorry but as a long time member of the original CMCROSSROADS site I must say that your new site may look nicer but it serves no useful purpose to me at the moment.   Where are the user forums?  I want to connect with my peers to ask/answer actual questions etc. for Serena, JIRA, SVN, FishEye, Crucible, GrassHopper, etc.... Why did you disable our ability to access particular communities of inerest? For the moment some of the information (articles)are nice but the Q&A is now completely irrelevant. Please reconsider this design it's a fail.

Bob Aiello's picture

Hey Jen,


we got that message - loud and clear. Please hang in there with us. We are addressing this issue and I have a meeting next week in regards. I will keep everyone updated as we get ourselves back on track!


Bob Aiello
Editor in Chief

Terence Tan's picture

Hi Bob,

Personally, I like the look and feel of the site.  Makes things "brighter" and "cleaner".  It certainly captures users' first impression and rids them of the resistance to use the site.

However, functionality-wise, I do agree with all here that the Forum-style discussion was indeed very helpful as it is organised by topics.  Q&A-style has a totally different purpose, as it is good as a KB perhaps for a helpdesk to search via keywords.  But as users who need info, or even as experts who want to help others, it is difficult.

Bob Aiello's picture

Hi Terence,

the look and feel is definitely cleaner and the speed is super fast. We also got rid of all that pesky spam that was starting to make me blush :-)

We are working hard to get the forums functionality back online and tonight I just announced a new effort to get the CM Wiki back up and running with a great new design !
(Hint we are looking for volunteers to help with this effort!)

Bob Aiello
Editor in Chief

Garry Short's picture

Hi Bob,

I won't mention the missing forums, since you've got those in hand already ;-) Would be nice if they could be properly threaded though. Also as a long-term member, the old site didn't handle code snippets very well - it would be nice if the forums could handle displaying source code and keep it properly indented etc.

Another comment is that there seems like there's a lot of "dead space". Take this thread, for example .. I'm currently using a 15" laptop (1280x800); there's a completely empty border down each side of the screen, about 1.5" wide; then down the right-hand side you've got your ads, Q&A box, Recently Asked Questions, etc. The actual thread counts for maybe 40% of the page! The other 60% is stuff I may not be interested in at all, or have already seen on other pages, etc.

Personally for Q&A / Forums at least, I think the thread should account for more (the majority at least!) of the page width.


Paula Stepp's picture

it's a good start and it was time for an updated ui and mobile app platform.  You will get there! Iterative development, soon to be Agile  :-)

I really enjoy this site on my iPad.  Although the profile update page didn't render very well (on iPad) so I gave up and will use my laptop  and see if it is any better.. Great start!

Drew Benson's picture

From Bob (seemingly ages ago but probably only..... No it was ages)

" Please hang in there with us and we will get back on track very soon!"


Could I just ask - How is it going.... I still can't see any of the product forums........

Bob Aiello's picture

hey James,

we are working on resolving these issues. The new site is on a much better platform (much faster) and I am looking for volunteers to help revive the CM wiki and other features. If you contact me directly then I can get you access to the old forums in our development environment.

We are also inviting folks like yourself to contribute articles (hint :-)

Most of all we are part of a much bigger community now and that does have its benefits.
Rest assured that your comments are being read by the folks who make the decisions and you are certainly not alone in your opinion.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Bob Aiello
[email protected]
Technical Editor, CM Crossroads

Stephen Pindar's picture

Hi Bob,

Having not used CM Crossroads for a while I returned to look at the PTC Integrity forum. Not to be found! Having used CM Crossroads for when I used Serena Dimensions I was hoping to find people's opions on Integrity, as I am now using Integrity in my current position.

Not good! Forums and direct questions to current users is much better than application websites and asking local administrators questions to which they give their answers and not the ture answers.




Drew Benson's picture

C'mon Bob....

You have said since you first started this thread (to paraphrase):

  1. Yep dropping forums was a mistake.
  2. We'll get it fixed - soon!
  3. Yeah OK OK I know you all hate the lack of Forums but we are working on it.....
  4. No we really are listening....
  5. Watch this space....

As far as I can see - We still don't have "our" Forums back......

Are we actually going to see some response and get Forums back (or at least some basic functionality)?

You could set up vBulletin in about an hour but we are almost at 6months worth of 2 week sprints.... and still nadda!!!!!

I really hope its not too late, I know an awful lot of EX-users who won't be back until there is some basic functionality available. 





Drew Benson's picture

<Tumble weed>


David Day's picture
David Day replied on July 5, 2013 - 12:54pm.

It's July now. Any update? Topics in Q&A? Forums back? Anythign?


Drew Benson's picture

I have come back in the hope things would have moved on and I would be able to get some insights from people that use SVN and CruiseControl plus possibly explore other options for automation (Builds and Deployments).................

Oooooops TILT!!!!!!!!!!!

Still no Forums

Still either useless or unusable



Ken Wood's picture
Ken Wood replied on July 26, 2013 - 2:29pm.

This is my first visit in a long time. I agree with all the other posts, losing the forum is a disaster. I used to browse specific sections, for example, clearcase or subversion, to see what was happening. Now, with no categories, the Q&A section is a waste of space and time.

Wayne Middleton's picture

Drew, Ken, and other who have commented about the loss of the old CMCrossroads forums -

Because of repeated malware attacks on the old, Jooomla-based site, in early Janyury 2013 we retired that site prematurely before all of the features and content on the old site had been migrated to the new Drupal-based framework.  

Since then we have looked at the possiblility of migrating all of the old forum posts or converting to a more secure Joomla-based system. 

Due to the risks and costs of either alternative, we have decided to go forward with and continue to improve the new Q&A forums and provide access to the old forums for those needing to look back.

The restored Joomla forums are on our staging server. Because of the continuing security and malware concerns, this site is hidden from web crawlers and threats with a pop-up login window. If you want to access the historical forums, plese let me (wmidd @ or Bob Aiello know. We'll send you the username and password to get to this website

Drew Benson's picture

Hi Wayne

While access to the old site/forums would be useful (please send me access detail via the EMail associated with this site) for background searches.

The main issue (for me) is not access to old data it is much more about having a dynamic, useful ongoing dialog with my peers (and my betters ;-) )

The forum format provided this very well (and continues to provide it in thousands upon thousands of forums worldwide).

If I had a query on say Serena Dimensions - I go straight to the relevant forum and browse the posts contained....

If I had (per example) no interest in Perforce - I didn't bother even looking in the forum..... but when I did gain an interest (due to a new role or whatever) I could scan through Perforce specific posts quickly and easily...

If I came back to the site periodically I could checkout forums of interest and do a catch up....

In the "good old days" I probably visited a couple of times a day and there were always updates within some of the popular Tool sections plus in the "CM General" - this led to me (and others) contributing to running threads.  

In the "good old days" CM Crossroads was THE place to go with queries above and beyond just tool techie questions (as well as a decent place for the techie questions.)

I used to come to CM Crossroads BEFORE I went to Vendor/Supplier sites/forums.

With the Q&A all this is lost. I can't browse the site "just for interest" (and add my 2p worth when something catches my eye).

I can't "eavesdrop" on an ongoing discussion between gurus (they often occured in the General Forum) 

And tbh I really don't give a fig about spam and or any other "reason" for jumping off of the old ship......... That has absolutely nothing to do with the format.....

You were bombarded with spam "Whooopy Dooo" all forums get bombarded with spam (unfortunately) how does removing categorisation/forumas help that??

We were told that things would be sorted out/looked at etc back in February (you apparently do 2 week sprints) - as far as I can see not one thing has changed!!!

Can you point me at ANY site where this Q&A type format "works"??

Because - If I pick any topic (CM tool, Hobby, Interest, etc) and type it into a search engine (with or without "Help", "Discussion", "Forum" or "Q&A") my results list will include several hits with a Forum in a very similar format to the "Old CM Crossroads" ie Sections/Headings and posts/threads categorised in some way.

I really cannot understand what the difficulty is!!

This Q&A format SUCKS...........







Drew Benson's picture

OFFS - I just did a search for Drupal!!!!

Guess what was near the top of the results -

2nd Guess - Is this a Q&A format or a Categorised Forum???



David Day's picture
David Day replied on July 31, 2013 - 2:04pm.

Still looking for the return of forum topics. 

Wayne Middleton's picture

Yes, we could have implemented Drupal forums on the new CMCrossroads. Forums would have been much easier to do, except for the data migration part which would have been the same.

But that does not mean that people would participate in forums on the new CMCrossroads. 

Here is the data we saw on the Joomla forums before deciding to change to a Q&A format:


YearDaily Average Posts
Early 20123

By the time the new site went live, the daily average was about 2 posts and replies. It appeared to us that our members had already moved to other sources for their tool-related questions information.

Q&A is something that we had seen working elsewhere—LinkedIn, IT Toolbox, and severhal non-IT sites. Those more process and people-related discussion we saw on those sites are the types of discussions that we migrated from the old forums.

Drew, I'll send you the information to acces the old forums via email.


David Day's picture
David Day replied on November 8, 2013 - 1:36pm.

I found those numbers hard to believe. But even if the posts were low, you could find help by something that was already posted a lot of times. 

Suppose someone has a specific issue with a plug-in for Visual Studio for Harvest. Someone posts the question and someone who's "been there done that" answers it with a solution. That's 2 posts, but 30 others with the same problem may benefit without a post. 

We want the forums back. Everyone is in agreement but the people that make the decisions. Sounds kind off like government , doesn't it?

It's been the whole year that this thread has been going on... come on, guys?


Does someone want to host a forum type site instead?


Wayne Middleton's picture

David - 

I saw and chedked the numbers on the old CMC forums personally.

If you or anyone else would like access to the old forums, please let me or Bob Aiello know and we'll send access information to you. Because they were and are eaten up with spam, we can not make them public.

If we were to start up a brand new forum on CMCrossroads, could we get 2-3 people to volunteer to set up the forum and moderate postings? 

Wayne MIddleton

Mark Owens's picture
Mark Owens replied on November 19, 2013 - 2:10pm.

I've been coming here since 2006 or so and 99.9% of the time it was for the forums.  Now, without them, I don't see much point.

I discovered this when I started to transition someone into the CM role. I pointed them at this site as a great place for info, and couldn't find the forums.  The direct connections to other CM professionals was essentially the entire reason I had for coming here. I can read some good articles and whitepapers, but that's not really enough.

Mark Owens

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