By Russ Freeman, 1335860045
It's May, we're in a drought and it's raining...like it has been it seems for weeks. I assume everyone is getting ready for some Morris Dancing and getting the Maypole ready :-)
As usual we've been very busy updating the site. Here's a summary of what we've done:
- Lots of changes to the activity feed. Mostly bugs fixes and enhancements such as accumulating similar activities into one row, making it slightly quicker and making images that appear on it obey the content filter.
- We've created a system for sending you infrequent emails and updates. These will be informational such as; if you haven't posted in groups we'll send a gentle reminder of how much fun it can be and how rewarding it is :-)
- We gave ourselves the ability to move posts into different groups. We already had it but it was a hassle. Now we can do it officially so to speak.
- We moved the portfolio activity feed onto a separate page accessed from the Cog menu when viewing the portfolio. We also made it available to members only.
- We moved the references to a separate page but left the first three references on the portfolio page. This means you can now easily send someone a link to all of your references. We also restructured the references a little, made it look a bit nicer, added a purple star for "would recommend" references. When you view references you can now see how many references someone has and also how many that recommend. We also made it easier to find how to add a reference.
- We restructured the portfolio page a little to account for the above which has made it a little nicer to look at. It's the start of revamping the portfolio page which we hope to get done in the next couple of months.
- We launched the new account sign up process a few weeks ago. This has resulted in much more well formed new member profiles and hasn't negatively impacted the sign up rate of new members too much.
- We also added the ability when signing up to say who told you about PP. This will have benefits later in the year.
- In addition to the above we added "referrer" to the share tools on the cog menu so when you add the share code to flickr/dA etc. and someone signs up you'll get the same benefits as above (more on this in a couple of months).
- Added the ability to hide images from non-members. Edit an image and you'll see the option.
- Added the ability to add a link to your images to somewhere (redbubble, deviantArt, your web site) where a viewer can buy a print of the image.
- Added an activity feed item when you get tagged in an image so your followers can more easily see your latest work.
- Enhanced image uploading to do better sanity checks (in most browsers) and also to allow you to grab images from either direct image web addresses OR a flickr or deviantArt page. If you use flickr and have used image tags and titles we'll grab those from the flickr page too.
- Fixed bug where you could reply to a message from a banned or deactivated member.
- Recent images had a date added so you can more easily see images per day.
- and quite literally hundreds of tweaks, changes and bug fixes.
It's been quite a slog getting to today. We've changed a LOT of behind the scenes stuff, hundreds of little bug fixes and tweaks, a server upgrade or two, plenty of head scratching and hair pulling (not that that would affect me :-) but it's been worth it.
I knew you were wondering what was planned for the next couple of months :-)
- Shoot diary/calendar. It's mostly done. We have some blocking issues to get over but it is nearly there - maybe a couple of weeks at the outside.
- We plan to finish the search. This basically means a few tweaks to how stuff is displayed as well as allowing search on practically every possible criteria.
- Image navigation needs some love. We're already part way through and have a good design that will hopefully stand up to usability testing. We'll let you have a play with it and give us feedback on it in a test environment before we roll it out to everyone.
- Portfolio revamp. We have a bunch of ideas for how we can make the portfolio page MUCH nicer, more usable, and basically make it the most beautiful portfolio around. It, and image display/navigation, are two of the most important aspects of the site and so they must, in my view, be the best possible.
We hope you enjoy the changes uploaded today and hope you share our enthusiasm for what we have planned for the next couple of months.
Don't forget to tell everyone you work with, or have worked with, about PP!