Well Saturday was our first day of production updates since the community went live on Monday so this was a big test of the platform. I am happy to report that our updates went in without any downtime and we have a raft of new features that I think will do much to really improve the community experience. We are still looking for many more features and are nowhere near a mature platform state but after today's updates I feel that everyone is going to be very happy about the state of the community.
So what all did we gain today?
Emoticon / Emoji Drop Down Selector. While typing just start a word with a colon and you will see a drop down menu of emoji from which to choose. Start typing a word to see autocomplete show emoji starting with your description. An example is ":dog" but without the quotes, of course.
Text Coloration. Now colors are available %(blue)[while typing]. This formatting is a little odd but easy to do.
Search. This is the big one. The search menu option now appears and does an awesome job searching through the database for topics and posts. Try it out, we are very happy with it.
HTML5 Desktop Notifications. If you accept the "Allow Notifications" question that comes up, MangoLassi can now pop up desktop notifications instead of requiring you to look at the site at all times in order to see if anyone has responded to you or if there is new content on a topic that you are following.
Downvoter Anti "Troll" System This is an experimental feature. A topic's opacity is determined by its downvote status. If the community downvotes a topic too much it will slowly fade away making it harder and harder to get attention should we have people intentionally posting poor content. We will see over time how this impacts real behavior.
Email Handling We know that people are clamoring for email notifications on threads but, at this time, that is not possible. That is coming, I assure you, but at this time we finally have emails working for things like sign up notification and password resets. This is the first step towards email notifications.
Metro Tiles This is the one that everyone will notice straight away, on the main page the previously static tiles are now animated and show some of the content from those topic areas.
New Categories Trying to strike a balance of having ways to organize posts but making it always clear where a posts goes is important. We have expanded the range of posting options by adding some very clear new categories. New categories include "IT Careers - the place to discuss job hunting, resumes, certifications, training, relocation and all other aspects of getting a position and improving your career", "Job Postings - For anyone to post for positions that they want to hire. Could be head hunters, recruiters or just regular IT Pros looking to hire." and "IT Business - the place to discuss the business of IT for people working as Managed Service Providers, Consultants, VARs, etc. Talk about services, pricing, business practices, etc." As always, all technical discussions, the bread and butter of the community, will remain in a single category because there is no means of reliably segregating the discussions in an intuitive and meaningful way.