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Old 15-06-2008, 11:17   #1
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Post Update: New Features Coming

I just wanted to post a quick little update about a software upgrade that will be done in July. I will upgrade all the software running the site and various new features will be added as a result of this upgrade. Here is an overview of some of the features:

Thread Tagging System
- The new forum software will allow us to ad tags to threads. These tags will allow us to organize discussions in a more granular level while not having to break out the forums into smaller sections.

An example where this could be useful is discussions in where a member might be talking about an electronic component in his/her boat that needs repair. Let's say it's an ICOM802 Marine Transceiver came installed in a Lagoon 380 catamaran. The component might have been installed by the factory but the thread is in the Electronics forum because that is what is being discussed. This thread can be tagged for "Marine Transceiver", "ICOM802", "Lagoon 380", "Lagoon", etc.

When a thread is tagged like the example above we will be able to then view threads at a more granular level. If you want to view all the threads about the Lagoon 380, you can do that. If you want to view all the discussions on "Marine Transceiver" then you can see those grouped up which is nice when you are doing research on a new radio to buy. If you want to see the discussions about just the ICOM802 you can do that too.

This system will also allow us to group things such as boat reviews and other similar discussions even though they might be part of a more general forums. It's going to take us some time to dial how we want to use Tags and develop some best practices but I feel confident this will be a great new feature to help organize our discussions while also keeping things simple (not adding a ton of new subforums).

Cruisers Link Directory - We will be adding a links directory for members to add links to other cruisers resources on the web. This way members can share links they think are useful and help build a comprehensive link library together.

Member Blogging System - A new blogging system will be added so you can have a blog to help track your travels, maintenance/repair projects, etc. It's a real simple tool that allows you to make new posts and then other members can post comments just like other blog system. You can include photos, pdf documents, etc. I hope to also develop some mapping tools so you can mark on a map where you are when the blog entry is made in hopes that later we can create some tools so that we can see what's going on where in the Cruisers' world.

Social Groups - this new feature allows members to make new groups where members with similar interest can connect and post about the topic. I can see this being useful for owners of specific boat manufacturers to create a social group and then have a space to talk shop about issues facing their specific manufacture. I could also see geographical groups forming or even groups for yacht clubs where members from those clubs join these groups so they have a little slice of virtual space to hand out.

Expanded Profiles - The new software has a tool that allows members to make connections with each other, kind of like other social networking sites. You can leave profile comments on each others profile and over time we will evolve the profiles so more information about you is located there and make tools so you can customize the profile to show photos from your journeys, your blog entries, etc.

Summary - Some of the tools might be excellent additions here and some we might find are not popular at all. We plan to roll them out in an iterative format where we make the new features available and edit them as needed to fit our needs. If some tools are very popular then we will focus how to make those better and fit our topic (Cruising) as best possible. If others are not popular at all we will look at removing them. Our goal is to make sure things stay simple while at the same time testing the waters to see how the community will adopt and evolve with some of the new features.

The upgrade is currently planned for mid-July and I will post an exact date/time a wekk or so before it will happen.
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Old 15-06-2008, 14:24   #2
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Sounds good, Andy
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Old 16-06-2008, 04:54   #3
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Thanks Andy...
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