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What's new at Lightstalkers (July 2005)

Hey hey, kids — check it out. We’re adding new features to Lightstalkers at a pretty decent clip, thanks to a lot of great help and input from all of you. So just in case you’re interested, I’m going to plan on posting progress reports, this being the first one. If anything’s unclear or you have any questions, just post a reply, eh?

Aight. So here’s what we did in June:


  • Private Threads
    Here’s how it works: when you start a new thread, you now have the option of making the post "private". You can then select which people you want to admit. Although it’ll behave exactly like a normal post, only the people you designate will see it — the rest of the site won’t even know it’s there. For more, check out my original announcement…

  • Resource Database
    This is a major step forward for us; Lightstalkers is becoming much more than just a message board. Click on Resources in the site header, and you’ll see various pieces of data which other members have deemed useful. It’s open, so you can contribute corrections, updates, and additions.

  • Alerts
    You’ve seen this; it’s right on the home page. We’re waiting to see exactly how this pans out, but basically, if you’ve got a link or a very short news item you want to spread, try this. It’s designed for those "check this out" situations, where all you want is to propagate a link. The plan is that this will reduce clutter in the message board. In any event, don’t be shy; post things you think other people will find useful and interesting. But don’t spam it either… you know?

  • Member Directory
    The Member Directory’s much fancier now; you can filter by profession, country, location, or region. (Eventually we’ll add more, like specialties and hat size.) This is better in general, but this should be particularly useful for photo editors trying to place assignments. Now, with few clicks, you can get a list of photographers in whereever; in fact, if you narrow it down to 50 or less, you get a handy link to notify them of your new post. We do acknowledge some negative feedback on the change, though, and we’ll continue to work on it…

  • Basic support for foreign languages
    This is pretty cool, and comes in two parts. Number one - if you see a post or comment in a foreign language, try the Babelfish hook-up, which is marked "-translate—". This will pop up an approximate translation of the text; it’s not great, but it does kind of work, which is neat. Number two — if you are using Firefox, you can now type in whatever fancy extended characters your language wants. Accents, ligatures, umlauts, you name it. Beat that. (We’re mostly English speakers here, so your feedback on this counts for a lot. Let us know what you think.)

  • Loads of RSS
    Ok, we’ve always had the basic Lightstalkers feed, but now there are three more — you can get a feed of your Contact List, an "Alerts" feed, and an "On the Move" feed. Given the multitude of crazy RSS clients out there, I think this will make for some interesting uses of Lightstalkers data… show us what you’ve got…

  • Smarter filtering
    Now that there are so many of us (the two thousand member mark is around the corner), we’re very concerned about the site’s "signal-to-noise ratio". We want the posts you see to be relevant and interesting to you. In an effort to improve the ratio, we’ve developed a very fancy new filtering system. It’s based on your Contact List, and you can turn it off. It’s simple; the filter hides posts from people who are not on your list or your the lists of your contacts. So if it’s blocking posts you like, just add that person to your list.

  • Email notifications on private messages
    This one’s for you Eugene — new PMs generate a notification to your email address.

Ok, that’s about it for June. There’s a bunch of other stuff which is not quite ready for prime-time; it’ll appear gradually, and I’ll post another wrap-up like this one come August. Until then, be cool, my damies, and always send feedback…

by Shinji Kuwayama at 2005-07-01 20:43:49 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Chicago , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Nice work, keep it up.

by [former member] | 01 Jul 2005 21:07 | new orleans, United States | | Report spam→
the resource section is great- I am spending some time this morning posting info.

You may want to use a pull down menu or something to organize categories, etc….. I posted a few under “Hotel” when I noticed there is another category of “Hotels”…. my bad.

Thanks again, this is good stuff…..

by [former member] | 02 Jul 2005 02:07 | New Delhi, India | | Report spam→
Wicked Sweet Sauces on the resources, putting everything together in one place, nice job.

by [former member] | 03 Jul 2005 13:07 | boston, United States | | Report spam→
Damn, this place is the cats meow. Getting better and better as time goes by, like fine wine.

by Nayan Sthankiya | 03 Jul 2005 18:07 | Seoul, Korea (South) | | Report spam→
The cat’s meow? More like the mutt’s nuts.

by Paul Treacy | 03 Jul 2005 20:07 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Paul, I stand corrected.

by Nayan Sthankiya | 04 Jul 2005 01:07 | Seoul, Korea (South) | | Report spam→

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Participants

Shinji Kuwayama, Software Engineer Shinji Kuwayama
Software Engineer
Chicago , United States ( ORD )
Nayan Sthankiya, Visual Journalist Nayan Sthankiya
Visual Journalist
Saskatoon , Canada
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
Photographer
(Photohumourist)
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )


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