Please look around, make yourselves comfortable.
Play around on the site. Check out the Image Gallery, the Library and other things and let me know how they work for you. There are three things I'm mainly concerned about, in decreasing order of importance:
Does it work? My biggest concern is finding anything on the site that just doesn't work. Broken links, error messages, things just not displaying properly.
Do you like it? Are there things are confusing or could be done better?
What's missing? Are there things you could do on the old site that you can't do now that you consider to be important?
There are a bunch of new features that I'd particularly like to get feedback on.
You can now comment directly on most content types. In the previous site you could comment on pictures and news items, and that was pretty much it. Now you can add comments to pictures, stories, links, etc.
Ratings and Content Recommendations
This part is the trickiest to test, since I don't know if I'll have enough users for it to generate any useful data. But here's how it's supposed to work:
- You can give stories, pictures, and web links a rating from 1 to 5 stars using either the "Rate This" block in the right sidebar, or the "Your Rating" widget near the bottom of a page. You can change your vote at any time.
- Don't feel obligated to be objective when rating something. The only factor you should consider when rating something is "Do I want to see more stuff like this?"
- The site doesn't display any item's average rating, so don't worry about hurting an artist's feelings by rating something low. You're the only person who can see your ratings.
- The Recommendation System (RS) looks at how you've rated content and compares it to how other people have rated the same content. It then generates a list of things that those people have rated highly, but you haven't rated at all. It will then recommend things based on these votes.
- A horribly simplified example: Anna, Bob, and Charlie have all given high ratings to The Pageant, The Brush, and Virtuality. Anna and Bob have also give high ratings to The Brush. The RS will recommend The Brush to Charlie.
- Once the RS has enough data for a given user, the "Recommended" block will appear in the right sidebar. It will display up to ten links to things that the RS thinks you might like. It only displays content that's of the same type you're viewing. So if you're reading a story, the RS will recommend other stories, when viewing images it will recommend images, etc.
- The RS will never recommend something that you've already rated. If you want to remove something from the list of recommendations, give it a rating.
- The RS recalculates its ratings once per hour.
- The more things you rate, the better the RS' recommendations will be.
Now it's possible to tag any item with keywords to help classify its content. This is still a work in progress; I've tagged a bunch of things, but not everything. Unlike ratings, everyone will see any tags you add, so you should try to be objective. When adding tags, your main criterion should be "What would I search for if I was trying to find this?" Subjective judgments and criticisms should be limited to ratings and comments.
The story archive has received a fairly massive upgrade. Some of the new features:
- More stories. The Library currently has over 700 stories in it. I recommend sorting by date and checking out some of the older stories. There are a bunch that, as far as I know, haven't been available anywhere online in years.
- You can filter by author, inflation type, and popping. It's pretty basic and not nearly as sophisticated as the Search function, but it covers some of the more common use cases.
- The Popping field in the story header is grayed out and the tag is hidden unless you mouse over it. Note: This doesn't work in browsers with crappy CSS support. Like all versions of Internet Explorer before IE9. Firefox, Chrome, and IE9 work fine.
- The Image Gallery now supports sub-folders. This comes in really handy when you have to organize 4000+ images.
- The gallery now contains some nudity, but these pictures are only visible to registered users.
- All Artists' Galleries are only visible to registered users.
The Search function now indexes everything on the site. Pictures, stories, articles, everything. You can also filter by a number of criteria. If you want a list of stories written by Luther Kane that feature breast inflation but no popping, you can do that. Honestly, this is one of my favorite features on the new site. While it was under construction, I'd use this to answer various "I'm looking for a story" requests in the forum.
There's a tab in the lower righthand corner of every page titled Feedback. Please use it to report any pages that are in need of correction.
So have at it. I look forward to hearing from you all. If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the Site Issues Forum