SimplyMaya 2010 - Community Updates
The site just went live an hour ago and we are working like crazy to get all the new features working the way they should. The new forum has been causing quite a few problems already, so please report bugs straight away so we can get them fixed. The main community features we’ve gone live with are:
- New Site Design & Upgraded Forum
This includes new image attachment systems, embedded videos, tons of funny little smileys, quick reply and so on. I haven’t had time to wrap my head around the forum properly yet which is what I’m working on now
The forum will undergo some changes over the next few days as we’ll edit it, a few of the things we’ll be doing is to add new categories and merge some of the old ones that didn’t make sense. I will post again when the forum is fully updated, so I wanted to ask for some patience here because there will be problems occurring and it will take some time to get it running smoothly.
- Forum/Gallery Integration
We’ve added the gallery as an integrated part to the forum and we are also intending to give gallery images front page space on the new site. We also plan to take the best work posted in finished work and add to the Simply Maya Gallery, as well as good challenge entries. We’ll be adding a lot of the things we liked in the old gallery to the new one later throughout the day to put the gallery off to a good start.
- Image Thumbnails for Gallery, WIP & Finished Work
This part of the site is also under construction, we added this feature to make it nicer to browse the forum. Because of the way things have been uploaded or linked in the past it doesn’t look too flattering yet, but once we’ve uploaded the gallery to the new site you’ll get a much better indication of how these forum sections will look in the future.
We are rebuilding this section of the site offline, but we will bring it back up in a new shiny version a few days from now. The resources section is one of the main features of this site and the first thing a lot of people see when they come to Simply Maya, therefore we’ve given it space on the front page to encourage more people to share their work. In a few months we’ll also be putting up a reward system to add to resources, this is still at the initial stages though so lots of work left to do.
- Monthly Challenges
We decided to go with the counter intuitive option of monthly competitions and from now on they’ll run regularly and not as they have a bit at random over the past few years. Gster will host the main challenges so he should announce the December challenge any time, and in January we’ll try for a first lighting challenge and see if there’s any interest in the community for this.
- Facebook/Twitter/RSS Feed
We limited this to the footer of the site so people who like facebook can connect with us there, and people who don't like it get away from these like buttons that occur everywhere online. So it's a semi integration in the end, we'll be posting videos, images, community news and so on there. The SimplyMaya Facebook page is currently empty as we've been too busy with the actual site itself but it should be up some time later today looking a bit better than it does at the moment. I also know that David's made an engadget so that those of you who want can get the forum threads on your google page as well. It should appear over the next few days.
We hope you like the new site design, it’s web2 and a lot of thought went into it. Again, any problems please send me a pm. I know it’s a bit strange with this new forum at first but it is most definitely better than what we had, and a few weeks from now when we’ve got it completely done up it should work and look great.
Also feedback and comments on the new site’s very welcome, whether they’re good or bad ones.