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Updates on ongoing site improvements

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Songstuff

Member Hub Pages

We recently introduced the "Member Hub", a place to pull together a whole host of useful stuff for our members. The main hub page itself includes:
 
  • The latest Songstuff Stuff site blog entries.
  • Access to the latest Member Articles (new feature!)
  • The latest topics from our Showcase board
  • The latest images
  • The latest Lyrics critique posts
  • The latest song critique posts
  • Who's online and a selection of community info
  • Latest community blog entries
  • Member Birthdays
 
and that's just on one page!
 
The hub itself gives you access to:
 
  • Member Articles
  • Music Tools (Music theory tools)
  • Rhyming dictionary
  • Music Industry News (Billboard, ASCAP, BMI, Sound Exchange, PPL, SESAC etc)
  • More...
 
We are evolving and improving the member hub to better support your needs.
 
Your feedback is not only welcome, it is an important factor in how we develop the Member Hub and the features it provides access to.
 
Songstuff

Why?

A re-structuring of our Community boards has been long overdue and it has been a fairly major set of changes.

Community members have requested :

  • Simplified Navigation
  • Less Forums and Less Scrolling On the Community Index Page


The new structure simplifies navigation of the boards in a way that new members should more easily find their way around. With the new structure you will also find you don't have to scroll as much as you used to as the number of forums displaying descriptions has been greatly reduced and several boards were merged. We now have sections dedicated to copyright questions and discussions and to Music Marketing and Music Promotion.

Several boards were re-named so that the names themselves better reflected the use and focus of the board.



These are just some of the improvements that we have planned to introduce over the coming months.


New Layout


Introduce Yourself
Post your FIRST POST here to introduce yourself, and afterwards to welcome new members.



Songs, Songwriting and Music Production
All aspects of writing a song including lyrics writing, songwriting collaboration and song, recording and production critique


Songs, Songwriting and Music Production Sub-boards

Instruments and Performance

Instruments and Performance Sub-boards

Musicians Lounge

Discuss developments in the indie music scene, promote your band and your songs, network with other musicians... shameless promotion, put together a band, and general music chat. Post your finished songs hear to promote to members and site visitors!

Recording Industry Technology

Everything related to music and recording technology from recording studio tech to hardware and software, video creation and graphics creation

Recording Industry Technology Sub-boards

Music Industry

All aspects of the business side of music from band management to copyright, music marketing and music promotion

Music Industry Sub-boards

Songstuff

The blog and gallery have been updated with a number of small bug fixes and a list of major improvements:

Blog

User Interface

The user interface has had a complete facelift to bring it up to standard. The new look feels more 'bloggish' and enhances the experience. We have added drop down menus at the top so that you can quickly access common areas and start new entries where you have permission to. The post screen has been overhauled to add functionality. You should find the new version much easier to navigate and easier to use.

Blog This!

This is a brand new feature that adds a "Blog This" button to every post. This allows you to use post content in your blog entry. Furthermore, the relationship is remembered and all linked blog entries appear at the bottom of the topic when viewed.

Per-Entry Rating

You can now rate each blog entry rather than just the entire blog itself. The blog rating is still shown on the homepage as an aggregate of all rated entries.

Report Item and Reputation

You can now report an entire blog entry, or just a single comment. You can now also give someone a reputation increase/decrease in comments.

List View

A common request was the return of a fully sortable and filterable list view for blogs that emulated a forum view. We have added this in. You'll notice you can click the table headers to sort on that column and click again to reverse the sort. There is also a "List Blogs" sidebar block to quickly filter and list the blogs. There's even a little 'preview the latest entry' icon that shows the entry excerpt in a pop-up so you don't have to leave the page to preview it.

Dynamic Sidebar

We have moved some the footer links (Top 10 bloggers, etc) into a dynamic sidebar along with Recent Entries. This makes it easier to locate and saves a bit of space.

RSS Imports

Another long requested feature was to be able to create entries from an RSS feed. This is now a feature. You can control which member groups have access to this as well as limit the number of items imported on each cycle.

Gallery

Friendly URLs

We've integrated gallery into the global FURL system used by IP.Board 3, this will allow gallery to create friendly URLs for categories, albums, and images.

Category/Album Covers

When viewing an image, you will have a new option to set that image as the 'cover' for the category or album that contains the image. When a cover image is specified for a category or album, that image will always be displayed, in place of the last uploaded image thumbnail. Permission dependent.

Sub Albums

Albums now support unlimited sub albums, which work exactly like gallery sub categories.(Permission dependent)

Profile Picture Album

You can now create a new kind of album, a 'Profile Picture' Album. After this album has been created, any images that you upload to it will be displayed on the change picture page in your User CP, making them easy to select as your profile image.

Image notes

Image owners are now able to add notes to sections of their images, positioning and resizing them to suit. Other members will be able to see the notes when hovering over the image. (An example)

Image rotation

Images can now be rotated in 90° increments, to compensate for those photos taken in landscape or portrait, but saved in the wrong orientation.

New slideshow

Completely rewritten slideshow feature! It is now a unified interface, loading images on demand as necessary. Users can play or pause the slideshow at will, or jump to specific photos using the thumbnail bar.

Friends-only albums

When creating an album, users can now choose to restrict viewing to only those users who are on their friends list.

Reputation support in comments

We have added support for IP.Board's reputation feature in comments posted within IP.Gallery.

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