By Russ Freeman, 1342696903
We've been busy working on PP as usual. Of course if the sun had been shining we'd more likely to have had some BBQs on the beach. Sadly not yet...
Let's look at the bugs and small improvements first and then I'll detail the calendar:
- Fixed the funny character issue on post titles and various other places. It's possible we missed one or two so let us know if we did. Older posts/castings may not be affected by this fix. Only new ones.
- Changed number of daily messages a free account can have from 2 to 4. This is until we have the ability to perform more automated reference checks.
- Added a little trash bin icon to the inbox to make it neater.
- On the Email Notification Central page we added a button to switch off all of your casting notifications. It's only there if you have some though!
- When blocking someone you won't see their casting calls nor will you be notified about them.
- Fixed annoying bug when using the delete images popup when adding images where if one image was NSFW then they all pretended to be.
- Fixed bug on followers and following lists where the count was wrong.
- Added option to hide the calendar from view and/or hide the calender events from your portfolio.
- Competition results gallery now obeys the content filter.
- The site now displays better on iDevices - maybe other mobiles too. Lots to do here still. We'll get there!
- When messaging someone who is away you see it clearly displayed.
- Fixed bug where NSFW group posts were still showing when viewing recent group posts and the content filter was set to hide them.
- Updated the comparison page because a couple of things on other sites had been updated. Actually we reimplemented it too so now it will clearly show the differences between Free/Unlimited and it also shows which PP features are unique when compared against the competitors listed.
- Fixed crash bug where you could go back and enter the competition again. It didn't allow multiple entries but it did crash. Fixed now.
- Improved the continuous scrolling and when it does stop it gives a link to load more. Refactored the code so improving again means only one place will be changed!
- Fixed bug in IE7/8 where continuous scrolling didn't work correctly.
- Changed Settings to "Manage account". It used to be "Edit profile" but that didn't work well. It then changed to Settings and that wasn't working well either. It's Manage account now so let's see how well that works!
- ...And lots of other tweaks and improvements too minor to waffle about but important enough that they needed our attention :-)
Calendar is now live and fully functional
We've spent most of our time finishing off the Calendar so now version 1.0 is complete. Well, honestly, we do have a couple of other small things to add to it but it is functionally complete and wonderfully usable :-)
Where is it?
On the main page when logged in it's a little icon next to the "recent members" button near the top. Also, when viewing your own portfolio you can get to yours by clicking the Cog and selecting it from there. In fact unless someone has hidden their calendar that's how you can view theirs too.
Setting your availability
The first thing to do is set your availability. View your calendar and click the "My availability" button near top right. Be honest about it. Don't just blast everything in there. There are some handy links for setting/clearing bulk sections of it but you can individually click the hours of each day to set/clear them.
Your general availability is then shown when someone views your calendar. It will become more important when we revisit the calendar in a couple of months as it will be used in a few features we'll add.
Hiding your calendar or events from your portfolio
View your calendar and click the Cog. Untick the things you don't want.
Now you have set your general availability if you are not available to shoot go ahead and set those dates too by clicking on a day and going from there. Being unavailable is not the same as being "away". If you're marked as away then if someone messages you they are told you may not be able to reply. If you're unavailable it's assumed you are still able to reply to messages but you just can't shoot that day.
Settings Away Notices
Away notices function quite differently here than you're probably used to on another site. I wrote a post about it here a few days ago.
Away notices automatically activate and deactivate so you don't need to remember to do it.
If you set an away notice and mark it as available to shoot you will be promoted for a location. This has a very nice side effect because anyone viewing your portfolio who is around the location will see it quite prominently when viewing your portfolio and a few other places. It will also appear, to them, when they view your group post replies as what is traditionally seen as a "forum signature".
If you are a model that likes to tour then setting your away notices ahead of time can greatly influence your ability to get booked in that area as anyone viewing your portfolio in that location will see them.
PP Away Notices are much more powerful than you're used to elsewhere. Go ahead and add your travel plans, put your vacations or time off in there. Click a day and go from there!
Click a day and add a shoot. You can arrange shoots with people that are not on PP. Use the notes to record links to who you are shooting with on another site, use it for telephone numbers, real names, addresses or anything you like.
If you arrange a shoot with someone on PP then PP will send them an email asking them to confirm it. If they don't confirm then the shoot is deleted and PP will let you know. If they do confirm it then it shows in your calendar as confirmed. Anyone you have arranged a shoot with on PP can see your shoot notes.
While not specifically a calendar related tool it is part of the Calendar family. When reading a message and someone says "get back to me in a month" you can now request a follow-up reminder. It's very simple but incredibly handy.
Once you have set a follow-up reminder you can go ahead and delete the message from your inbox. When the time comes to remind you PP will include a link to the email and regardless of whether it is deleted or not you can still reply.
If you do all of the above then your portfolio will, by default, display your booked events, unavailability and away notices. If you have an away notice set to a location, and someone near that location views your portfolio, then your away notice (even if it's in the future) will be prominently displayed.
The away notice is especially important here because someone you may not get the chance to work with could see you are travelling to their area and book you for a shoot.
Calendar related emails...
PP will send you emails related to calendar events when:
- You create an away notice just so you know for sure.
- When an away notice is activated.
- When an away notice is deactivated.
- When someone books a shoot with you.
- When someone rejects a shoot you have tried to book with them.
- The day before a shoot it will send both parties involved with the shoot an email reminder.
- Follow-up reminder email with a link to the email.
Phew, I think that's it!
As you can imagine we have put a lot of effort into the Calendar and whilst we have tested it as much as we can there are sure to be some bugs or annoyances with it. If you find something wrong please do create a new post in Bugs, Errors and Suggestions (or PM me) rather than replying here as it's too easy for a bug/suggestion to be lost in amongst replies.
We didn't just duplicate what we saw elsewhere either. We liked some of the functionality seen elsewhere but we wanted a better integrated system which offer more flexibility and none of the pain. We think we have achieved that. It's a powerful system as-is and it's only going to get better :-)
We have a lot of ideas for future development of the Calendar, more integration with the rest of the site, and generally making it sexier and easier to use. We're going to be working on something else for the next month or two but will fix any annoyances and add a couple more integration features for the Calendar as we get time.
We hope you like it...well, looking at the hundreds of shoots, away notices etc. already in the system it's clearly working already :-)
Lastly, can whoever has been rain dancing please stop!