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MMORPG.com Development Blog

Keeping site users abreast of changes here at MMORPG.com

Author: Meddle

Contributor: skywisenight

New Site Layout and Theme

Posted by Meddle Monday January 26 2009 at 10:32PM
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As you've most definitely noticed we've changed the site design and added some new features.  The redesign is more than skin deep.  This was a major change to our codebase that will allow us to make changes to our design and layout much easier in the future. 

A bunch of features have also been added as we went along:

  • You can now add other users on the site as friends.
  • In your profile area you can setup the games you've played, are playing and want to play.  We'll be expanding upon this in the future with better access to the area etc.
  • There's now a forum history feature so you can keep track of the latest threads you've visited.
  • Bloggers now have the opportunity to have their blogs added to the spotlighted blog list.  This will feature their blog on the homepage of the site and blog home area.
  • Blog post ratings are now used to create a new view of the blog entries in the blogs area.  We will be expanding this data onto the homepage in the future.

We have a full list of future items we're going to be working on now that the redesign is out of the way like expanded guild tool features and more.  So keep an eye on the site for more changes!

As always we appreciate and look forward to our users feedback on these changes so please comment here or head into the forums and post in our new theme thread!

Blog System Changes

Posted by Meddle Tuesday September 23 2008 at 3:44PM
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Hello fellow MMORPG.com bloggers.  It's time to spruce up the blogs area a bit and make a few changes.  Thanks to all of the dedicated users on the site the blogs system has been a great success.  Now that it's been in existence for more than a year we're standing back and taking a good look at the functionality of the system to determine what needs changing, fixing and updating.

The first revision made was to allow logged in users to rate blog entries.  This *should* allow the more useful and informative blog posts to bubble up to the top of the heap helping our more dedicated bloggers that spend much time on the creation of unique and original blog entries.  In the coming weeks once a good solid amount of ratings data has been collected we'll start using some of this data to spin some new entry lists and update the home page with a new tab to show popular blog entries in the style of the gamelist traffic tab where a user can list the top blog entries for different timespans.

Next up is a global report tool that will be integrated into not only the blogs but other areas of the site as well so we can take care of issues more quickly and reliably.  Once this is live we'll outline our vision for each area and define a set of rules for what is reportable and what is not.  For example in the blogs system we have no issue with users creating blogs to link to articles on their own blog elsewhere or sites elsewhere in cyberc space.  This is a common practice in the blogosphere and will be maintained here.  One example of what we do not allow is gold selling and power levelling service advertisements, we're against these practices on MMORPG.com in general and the reporting tool will allow us to address these offenders in a quicker manner than was in the past.

One other little modification I snuck into the system a few weeks back is that only one blog entry per blog is listed on the home page.  So if a user creates multiple entries in succession or within the span of the newest blog entries on the homepage only the latest entry for that blog is displayed.  This in a little way has helped your entries stay on the home page a little longer.

I am also looking into having MMORPG.com staff recommended blogs, some of the blogs here on MMORPG.com are outstanding and deserve to be in the spotlight more than they are and this is one thing I'm looking at to help out the dedicated bloggers.  Maybe a blogger of the month spotlight or something else like that.

Anyway as always I'm open to new ideas and suggestions and look forward to all comments on this post.

Member Galleries Live!

Posted by Meddle Thursday November 8 2007 at 8:07PM
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That's right we've uploaded the first version of our MMORPG.com member galleries!  You can now upload your own images to your gallery space then post them in forums across the web!  Plus our forum and blog editors have a new addition that allows you to insert images from your galleries directly into your forum or blog post with a simple interface!

Here are a couple pics from my test gallery:

New Game List Is Here!

Posted by Meddle Tuesday July 31 2007 at 3:19AM
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It's been in the wings for a long time now with other projects and priorities pushing it around but Skywisenight and I finally got around to wrapping this thing up!  It's an exciting change from our old list in that this one is fully customizable.  You can choose how you want to view the data and build your own custom lists.

MMORPG.com members can also save their custom gamelists, up to 5 of them in fact.  So head over to the new gamelist and check it out.  We've added more data fields to it and made it ALOT more useable than the old list ever was.

Let me or Skywise know of any issues that pop up or any other sweet ideas you might have for the gamelist area!

More promotion for our blog users

Posted by Meddle Tuesday July 10 2007 at 9:27PM
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Just a heads up to all bloggers I've setup pings to the major blog aggregator sites to alert them when new entries are created on your blog!  The sites I currently have setup to receive pings are:

  1. Technorati.com
  2. Weblogs.com
  3. Icerocket.com
  4. Google.com

As I come across more aggregators I'll add them to the ping code.  This should help get our blogs more exposure around the internet which is always a good thing!  Another small item I updated was injecting each blogs RSS link into the browser so it can be picked up by the users browser and added to a users subscribed RSS feeds easier than before.  This new feature goes hand in hand with the RSS feed link already present on each blog.

Invite your friends to contribute!

Posted by Meddle Monday July 9 2007 at 11:24PM
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Just a heads up to all of the bloggers that this afternoon the contributor functionality went live!  What does this mean?  Well you can now invite up to 5 MMORPG.com registered users to join you in having access to posting in your blog!

 

To access this new functionality go to your blog and click on the "Manage" link to the right of the "Owner" text in the left menu of your blog.  You'll then be whisked away to a page where you can add / delete contributors to your blog.

 

We really hope to see some cool blogs result from this.  So what's next on the plate of todo's for the blogging system?  Well I'm currently working on a ping functionality to hit the major blog aggregators out there(technorati,weblogs etc) when a blog is updated so it can be indexed and be seen by a much larger audience then just the traffic surfing through MMORPG.com

 

As always I look forward to suggestions / comments about the blogs and am always looking for new cool features to implement!

Comments and editor upgrade!

Posted by Meddle Tuesday June 26 2007 at 9:21PM
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Well you requested fuller functionality for blog comments and now you've got it!  We trimmed down our text editor and stuck it in place of the old text area.  This is nice because it gives the users some formatting options such as bold, italic text, ordered, unordered lists and text colors!

 

We've also implemented spell check into the editors not only for blogs but for the forums as well!  So now there's no excuse for any mispellings AT ALL lol...

 

Anyway enjoy and keep the suggestions flowing!

New blogs homepage and complete blog list!

Posted by Meddle Wednesday June 20 2007 at 11:33PM
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Today we updated the blogs home page to be more organized.  The old blogs page was a little busy with all of the blog stats listed on it.  So we broke it out into 3 areas:

 

  • Newest.  The first page you see when you enter the blogs area which contains the newest blog posts and blogs created here on MMORPG.com
  • Popular.  When you click on the "View by Popular" link you'll see the most popular blog posts and blogs.
  • All.  This is a new addition where you can see all of the blogs users have created listed alphabetically.

 

Anyway we hope you find the new blogs page to be of better use than the last one and as always I welcome any comments or suggestions!

Database server blues...

Posted by Meddle Saturday June 16 2007 at 6:10PM
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As I'm sure some of you may have noticed MMORPG.com was down for a few hours today.  For the 5th time in just over a year since we've been running it our quad processor database server crashed and lost the site data.  This means we had to restore from backups created at 3am early this morning forcing us to lose about 10 hours of data.  We lost a few blog posts, lots of forums posts and user signups not to mention game ratings and game hypes and other miscellaneous data entered here by users.

 

Well 5 times is 5 times too many and we've decided to look for some new hardware to run MMORPG.com's database on.  For now the database is running on a temporary server until we get the new hardware installed and running.  So there might be some site slowness over the next week while we get it sorted out.

 

We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our users and especially the ones that take the time to express themselves in the forums and here in the blogs.  We're dedicated to fixing this issue for good and preventing these losses of data from occurring again.

RSS Feeds Are Here!

Posted by Meddle Saturday June 9 2007 at 5:29PM
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That's right, RSS feeds are here!  Each individual's blog has an RSS feed available and there is also a global feed that stays up to date with the 30 latests blog entries created at MMORPG.com.

 

This is really going to help blog users gain more and more exposure for the effort they put into blogging here at the site.  Again if there are any comments or suggestions about this new feature I'd love to hear them.

 

So what's up next?  Well currently there is no way to view or search all of the blogs here at MMORPG.com.  So the next feature will be a page listing all of the blogs here for users to browse through.  Any thoughts on this feature are appreciated too!