Forgive the brevity of this report; I've crawled up out of the code mines to give you a weekly progress report before diving back in!
Here are some of the major landmarks that have been hit in this last week of work:
- We buttoned up many e-commerce features, including automatic payments each month for subscribers. This is crucial to ensure the site is able to thrive going forward, and get the attention that it needs from programmers, moderators and content creators.
- Completed work on the system that will handle creating your backer reward codes, and applying those codes to your accounts.
- A method to allow students to apply for big ol' student discounts on membership was created. Also completed was a bunch of policies and systems to ensure that photos of student IDs are handled super securely, and then completely purged from our records as soon as review has been completed to protect member's personal information.
- A little account setup wizard was created for new account registrations, to help new members to immediately apply their backer reward code (if they have one,) set up their practice goals, and put some basic info into their user profiles (if they want to!)
We're hoping that this streamlines getting used to some of the new features and lets backers take advantage of their rewards right away, especially if they've never previously had a forum account here. Don't worry if you already have an account you want to apply your backer rewards to, we've got you covered as well. :)
- A direct message system was created, to allow members to have one-on-one conversations if necessary.
We're especially excited about this from a site moderation perspective, but we have plans to eventually expand this system to allow for study groups/classes, perhaps even led by your own art professors.
- A big pile of policy and disclosure information was completed. It's the boring but oh-so-important stuff that's required of any site that wants to be above-board and treat its users in fair, ethical and transparent ways. Which, well, of course we do!
Despite huge progress this week, there's still more work to do in the policy and disclosures department, and indeed, it's the sort of thing that will be continually updated for the lifetime of Line of Action. Basically, any time a new feature is implemented this stuff has to be updated, and as you may have noticed we have lots of those arriving. ;)
- One of those policy items was finalizing how new photography will be submitted to the site going forward, and a profit-sharing plan to attract more photographers to contribute. The code has a little ways to go to catch up to these plans, but finalizing all the decisions about what the program would look like had to happen first. I am especially excited about this, as we hope it will mean a steady stream of new photos to practice with.
Don’t go looking for these new features yet! What you’re seeing is still the old version of the site. We still have work to do on all the new features before the site can relaunch with all these goodies!
It's looking more and more likely that we may be able to move the scheduled release date from the end of September to early September, possibly even as soon as the 7th. This is a very ambitious goal and will require a lot of hard work and a certain amount of luck.
With that said, I'm heading back into the code mines to try and make that ambitious release date as likely as possible. Thanks for your patience and support!