Google just moved the Google Places forum. NEW location, NEW name, NEW platform. Until Thursday both the old and new forum will run in parallel to give users a chance to wrap up current threads in the old forum.

IMPORTANT for you to know that the old forum will be COMPLETELY removed on Thursday. There will be no archive saved. So if you have any current threads you are involved in, you need to save them. Also if there are important posts you refer to with tips about how to deal with dupes or whatever, you need to save them because they will be gone.

UPDATE: Mike Blumenthal saved the forum literally! See top of this post.

Here’s a link to the new Google and Your Business forum. It looks totally different and the features are much different. There are some features that are missing I really need, but there are new features that make it better as well. For one thing search works better in this forum, so yea!

One BIG feature that’s missing is the “My Discussions” link so you can track any followup replies to your posts. That’s critical if you post on the forum a lot. Also you may often want to check someone else’s previous posts. (Like when you want to see Vanessa’s latest comments.) So here are important search and navigation tips you’ll need that aren’t documented anywhere on the forum.

Google and Your Business Forum TIPS & TRICKS

.:. FIND YOUR OWN POSTS – Forum search “author:me” (Hint: bookmark link to easily find updates to your posts)

.:. FIND USER POSTS – Forum search “authorname:YourForumName” or “authorname:TheirForumName”

.:. FIND USER’s OTHER POSTS – When viewing a user’s post – Down arrow next to “Post Reply” click “Show Activity” link

.:. TRACK A DISCUSSION – Star threads you are interested in. Then view “Starred” from the options in the left side of the screen.

.:. EMAIL NOTIFICATION – Note when I signed up default was email me each new post. That will flood your inbox. Pick whatever other option and be sure to select subscribe me to posts I’ve commented on.

.:. HELP DOCS Get started with Google Product Forums Note: none of the tips above are in the help docs I don’t think.

Saying good bye to the old forum and ALL THAT IMPORTANT CONTENT is really going to be hard for me as a Google Top Contributor, because to do my job on the forum I am constantly having to find old posts for research or to link to because they have the answer a user needs. Also sometimes a user’s problem today is related to a convoluted mess they had 2 months ago and it’s helpful to read the old problem thread to see the previous history of this case. Plus I have hours and hours and hours of great advice I’ve written that will just be gone! All of Mike’s sage advice, Vanessa’s, all the other TCs and great regular posters, it will all just disappear! But the decision has been made, so I’m letting you know you need to save any info you value.

TIP: One thing I just realized is I have copies of any posts I’ve been involved in via email. So I searched, found them all and archived in a special folder. So at least that way I can find answers I’ve previously given, or go back if I need info about a specific case I’ve been working on. So if you’ve been active in the forum and have it set to notify you of new comments, then you have some of that content saved in emails as well.

Farewell old forum, we’ll miss you! BUT I’m excited about the new forum and am having fun trying to figure out all the new features.

Happy posting… See you on the boards! 😉