Many thanks to Poseidon Simons who worked with us to help solve the forums issue.
We had a spammer create an account on the site, and who had begun to spam the forums with advertisements for a dating site. In an attempt to prevent further and future problems with such accounts, I had put some code changes into place. Unfortunately, that created some problems for non-admin accounts that I didn't not see when logged into my own (admin) account.
With Poseidon's help, we were able to isolate the problem and repair it. The forums are again accessible to those of a non-admin flavor.
Greetings Side 7 Members,
Well, it's been a successful first two and a half weeks since the launch of the site. We've encountered very little in the way of problems with the new site. As such, I'd like to offer my congratulations to the Beta Test team for conducting an excellent effort finding and identifying bugs and problems before the launch. I don't think things would have gone anywhere near as smoothly without them.
The development of version 4.0 of the site took far longer than I had anticipated. As a result, it was decided that a large number of the features that were originally to be included in the new site were to be pushed off to version 4.1, and some even further to version 4.2. What was unforeseen was the fact that schedules dictated that a very tiny number of features would have to be back-burnered to a small incremental update (v4.0.1) that will be coming in the next week or two. This update will include the controls for profile images, as well as enabling the "View Images w/ Comments" and "View Favourited Images" options under the Gallery tab in the Account Management page.
Version 4.1 will be a large update, bringing with it a very large number of new features. Primary amongst those features are the addition of Music and Prose submissions to the site, so all you composers, writers, and musicians will be able to share your works with the public. Additionally, we will be adding in Creative Commons (http://www.creativecommons.org) controls so you can list licensing information with your works. Also, v4.1 will include a comic engine for Serial Art portfolios for those of you who create and publish web comics, doujinshis, and graphic novels.
For those of you with higher-level accounts, we'll be including embedded graphics that act as graphical banner-like links you can put on your web sites, journals, and other web presences. These embedded graphics will be available for individual images, as well as your full gallery. When viewed, they will show not only a thumb of the image (if it's an embed for an image) or the latest 5 thumbs from your gallery, but also your gallery's or image's URL. What better way to help garner attention for your gallery than having an auto-updating embedded image that shows off your latest uploads?
RSS feeds will be coming back to the site. Not only will there be an RSS feed for the Recent Uploads page, but also for the site news. Users with higher-level accounts will have their own custom RSS feeds they can share so others can keep up to date with their uploads.
Version 4.1 will also introduce site skins to the web site. These will allow you to choose how the site appears, not just in terms of colours, but in some cases graphically, as well. When we are closer to Side 7 v4.1 launching, Side 7 will have its first site skin design contest. Five winners will be chosen, and their designs will become part of the Side 7 experience as a user-selectable option. Those five winners will also be awarded one-year 5 Star upgrades. Other prizes may be offered as details are worked out.
There are, of course, many other features being included, far too many to be included in this e-mail. Needless to say, Side 7 v4.1 will be huge.
Thank you for your continued patronage and support for Side 7,
It's up and live. If you find anything wrong, please let me know.
v4.0 Beta Test ends today. So far, everything is looking peachy keen. There were some major issues found and fixed. There were a lot of little minor things found and fixed. And there were a lot of things I realised I had forgotten about, which have been put into place. After today, I'll perform a final checklist walk-through, ensure all the necessary cron jobs are in place, and perform a few tests of the updated migration system (which has had a few extra functions put into place).
Once I'm satisfied with the status of things, v3 will be shut down and backed up. Then, v4.0 will migrate in all the v3 data while it is static, then be moved to a live server filespace, and then turned on. As far as things are looking right now, v4.0 might just be launched before the end of the weekend.
Cross your fingers.
For those of you who are not aware, Side 7 v4.0 went into Beta Test as of Saturday, the 17th of January. The Beta Test will end on Friday, the 23rd of January. At that point, if there are any left-over issues that need fixing from the Beta Test, they will be resolved during the week starting on 24 January.
What this means is, at some time between the 24th and the 31st of January, Side 7 v4.0 will go live, and everyone will have access to the new site.
Please, spread the word. Let everyone know. I would love for the new site to have a good send-off.
... is 1-2 weeks from Beta Test. From there, it's 5 days of testing. Then launch.
That is all.
Hello, everybody! Xmas is fast approaching - less than a month away, yikes! - and that means it's time once again for the Side 7 Secret Santa picture exchange! This is where participants draw a picture for their recipient, and get one in return, without the recipient knowing who's drawing their picture. That's what makes it a secret Santa, and a lot of fun.
If you'd like to participate, simply reply to this message or e-mail me with the following information:
Name (alias is fine)
Character(s) you'd prefer to have drawn (optional, can include links to reference images if you'd like)
As it's a little late in the season already, I'm going to close registration next Saturday, December 6th, so be sure to sign up early!
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you all!
Between the increased busyness at work, the impending holiday, long commutes, pregnancy and the boy's school activities, I've been a bit more burned out than I've been able to consistently overcome.
As a result, I'm about a week behind my being a week behind. I still have a significant list of to-do items before we can open Beta. I'm working as fast as I can on it, without sacrificing code quality. I refuse to resort to shortcuts. I will, however, choose that certain niceties and polishing of features can afford to be pushed to a later update.
We're now looking at early December for launch. *sigh* I'm not terribly happy about it, and I desperately need a day of do-absolutely-nothing-necessary-and-be-obligated-to-nothing. I will be taking one of those days over this holiday weekend. However, my laptop will be with me all weekend, so when the mood strikes, code will be forged, regardless of if it's a do-nothing day or not.
Beta Testers: right now I only have Janna and Arshes listed as available. Are there any I'm missing?
This will likely be the last major update I post before we launch v4.0! Woohoo! I'm hoping this will be a smooth launch, and the feature updates will be fast-coming and smooth.
First things, first, though. It's looking like the actual site launch will not be performed by Thanksgiving. It'll likely be the week after Thanksgiving. However, beta testing will be starting the week of Thanksgiving. Everyone who has expressed interest in beta testing Side 7, please contact me at badkarma (at) side7 (dot) com to confirm you're still interested and available. Don't fret, I'm not expecting you to work on the holiday, itself. That's a day for you and your families.
So, where are we? Well, there's still a lot of work to accomplish before Beta. The forums have been completely updated; that was one hell of a task. It clocked 76 hours of work, alone. Basically all of October. There is a lot of account management stuff to complete, and the uploading system as well. None of this is particularly difficult (well, the uploading system is complex and a PITA, but that's expected), but it is time consuming.
So, what can you expect from the launch? Well, you can expect all of the features that you're used to on Side 7, plus a bunch of extras. Additionally, you can expect a faster system, easier tools, image and member search, and a fresh new referral system.
So, with that segue, on to our major announcement: Our new referral system! This is a system of which you *want* to take advantage! For every person who signs up listing you as a referral*, you get an Account Credit bonus!! Additionally, every time one of you your referrals upgrades to or extends an upper-level account subscription, you get one free month of the same level! Every time, for each referrer. Just think about that. :)
Start early, and help make the Side 7 launch that much larger!!
* New account sign-ups only. Existing accounts cannot retro-actively name a referrer.
Progress continues, and so far, it looks like we're right on track for launching around Thanksgiving time.
I've been doing a lot of thinking (I've been out of work for two days, ill, so I've had time) about how to promote the new site. I'm definitely thinking of a referral system. Not just "point your friends at the site", but something that pays you back for helping to rebuild Side 7's community. For example, an Account Credit bonus for someone signing up from your referral. Then, perhaps an automatic, one-month 3 Star Account Upgrade if the person you referred upgrades to a 3 Star Account (and potentially, every time that person upgrades or extends an upgrade). Same thing for 5 Star Upgrades.
Would that be something that would interest you? Do you think that would be beneficial to the site in the long run?