By Russ Freeman, 1341576204
I was going to mention the rain but I have decided against it :-)
Firstly, an apology...
For a couple of weeks I thought something was wrong with the casting calls system but couldn't quite put my finger on what it was so I added some more data collection - specifically collecting data for how many email notifications were being sent out for each casting call. It seemed low, on average just 30. So I widened the default distance for the casting filter and the average went up to around 35 - still too low considering how many members we now have.
So on Monday I had a proper look, I went through every aspect of it. After a couple of hours I found a bug and tested some of the previous casting calls against it.
It turns out that a sneaky bug was only sending roughly 10% (it varies a LOT) of the casting call notifications out. So if your casting call went out to around 30 people last week since Monday they would have gone out to around 300 people.
I'm sorry it took so long to find this problem but the first step was knowing there was a problem - hence the time needed to collect the data.
I think this has put a negative light on PP castings, essentially making them MUCH less effective compared to comparable web sites and I think that's a great shame indeed.
It's fixed now though! :-)
As usual we've been busy on stuff. Some quite subtle and hidden, some bugs and tweaks...the usual stuff. Here's an overview and I'll go into detail for a couple of features below:
- You can now set an away notice. More details below.
- You can now request a follow-up reminder for messages. More details below.
- Fixed bug that made it impossible to quote the first post in a group post.
- Added Love to images. Everyone needs more love right? If you see an image you really like click the little heart button near bottom right when viewing an image.
- Added an activity feed entry when someone you follow adds a new reference for someone.
- If you block someone they cannot now collect your images. Also, they can't apply for your casting calls and you can't accidentally apply for theirs either.
- Added ability to add visible search results to an existing list. Just click the Cog menu on the search page.
- Added ability to give an Unlimited subscription as a gift.
- Fixed a massive pile of bugs in competitions.
- Added ability to vote for a competition entry when viewing the full sized image.
- Added a reminder email for when you enter a competition and haven't voted - because if you don't vote you will not win!
- Added a little hover over popup when looking at the "last post" in the recent discussions gadget.
- Added explanatory text to casting call types.
- Made the default logged in page faster and much more efficient. We still have work to do on it to make it quicker still!
- Fixed bug where casting calls for suspended or deactivated accounts were still visible.
- Added an icon for when you have replied or not when viewing your inbox.
- Added a little icon when viewing a portfolio IF you have added a note to that portfolio.
Calendar: Away Notice
We spent some time looking at other sites versions of "Away notice" and whilst the concept was useful they also suffered from the fact that they didn't solve any problems effectively.
When you create an Away Notice on PP it comes in two flavours;
- I'm away and not available to shoot
- I'm away and available to shoot
Both have a duration associated with them saying how long you are away. So, if you say you are away from August 1st for 7 days when the 7 days is up your Away notice will expire. PP will send you an email confirming to you that we've set an away notice for you and it will also send an email when your Away Notice expires. No need to remember to switch it off as PP will do it for you!
I'm away and not available to shoot - This is a simple away notice and it's displayed on your portfolio page but only for members of the site. It includes when you'll be back.
I'm away and available to shoot - This is much more interesting. Let's say you live in Newcastle and are travelling down to Cheltenham to shoot for a few days from September 1st. You'll select Cheltenham as the Away Notice location and tick the box to say you are available. If I, based in Cheltenham, view your portfolio it will say "I'm in your area September 1st to Sepetember 5th and I'm available to shoot"
Also, if you had commented on a group post and I view the group post while you are in my area it will say "I'm in your area and available to shoot".
We have a couple more places to make use of the away notice but we thought it was worth updating it as it is because it's already more useful than any other site's version we saw.
Because you can set start date and durations for Away Notice's you can put them all into the system any time you like. For models who wish to travel around the country this is a fabulous feature!
Follow up reminder
Have you ever had someone say in a message that they can't shoot for a while but maybe in a couple of months message them and ask again? ... and of course you then forget as the message is buried in your inbox!
Now, when viewing a message you can request a follow up reminder. The day before the reminder PP will email you a link to the message on PP so you can resume your conversation about shooting.
We plan to finish the Calendar off in the next week or two but for now head the warning on the calendar page. To find your calendar click your name at the top and then choose Calendar from the Cog menu.
Phew...I think that's it. Thanks for reading and I hope you like the changes :-)
Have a great weekend everyone!