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A guide to Profile Cover Photos
The Old Man posted a blog entry in TIWWA Staff BlogOne of the great new features with our software is the ability to customise your profile with a cover photo. Cover photos can also be used to great effect in the Calendar when you create or edit an event, and in the Blog section where you can theme your Blog much more easily than before. I've increased the maximum file size of the profile cover images as of today, from 1MB to 2MB to make it easier to find and upload your favourite images. You can really add something to your profile by using a cover photo, it may be a favourite scene from Millennium or another TV series or film, perhaps something personal to you with a meaning that enhances your profile and allows other members to get a better impression of you, or part of a cool wallpaper or other image, your home, town or pets. Some images look better than others, generally wider rather than taller images work best as you get a letter box view of the image. Cover photos/images have replaced the old customisation options in your profile, so your customisations don't break the layout or theme of the site. They're also a lot cooler and fun to upload, especially if you are using a mobile device such as an iPad, because it will let you smoothly slide the image around to where you want it just using your finger (well it turns me on anyway!). This blog entry will cover member profile cover images, but the principle is the same when adding a cover image to a Calendar event or your Blog. Adding a Profile Cover Image Simply go to your profile, you can do this by clicking on your photo/avatar anywhere on the site or from your User Menu (normally top right). If you haven't uploaded a cover image yet, you will just see a blank space where it would normally appear. Look for the Cover Photo options to the right of this space. To upload your new cover photo or image, click on Upload Photo. The uploader appears and you can choose to browse and upload a suitable image or perhaps a wallpaper background image, or you can drag and drop an image however you prefer. Once uploaded the image may show as you would like. You can reposition the image/photo by choosing the Reposition Photo option, which lets you move the image to where you think it looks best. This repositioning step will appear automatically after we upgrade to v4.1 of the site, as its often needed. Once you are happy with your cover image or photo, it will be now displayed whenever you or a member views your profile. You can use the relevant options to overwrite or completely remove your image at any time. Our new software is now fully responsive by design, which means the website and your image will automatically look and work really well on all devices includes mobile/cell phones and tablets, as well as computers without needing a separate skin or theme for mobile devices that have smaller displays and therefore need smaller images. (Member profiles will improve again with the next update to 4.1, so any gallery albums will be displayed better in your profile.) We hope you found this tutorial/guide useful. This is who we are.
New in TIWWA 4.2: Reactions
The Old Man posted a blog entry in TIWWA Staff BlogThis entry is about our TIWWA Community Suite 4.2 release. It is a new feature available to all registered members. TIWWA's Community Suite software has long had a reputation system; first we had a simple up/down number-based system, later updated to introduce a Likes system, tied in with our reputation system. We're pleased to introduce the latest updates to the reputation system, which we think you'll love: Reactions. Quite simply, reactions allow users to offer more fine-grained sentiments towards posted content than a simple 'like'. Reactions are now in common use on many popular social networks, and so users may expect to be able to be more nuanced in their response to something they see here at TIWWA. A little more interesting than simply 'liking' a post, blog entry, gallery image, download review or comment; but of course, 'like' is still an option! Let's see how they work in an example forum post, and then cover the options you'll have available:- At first glance it may look a little confusing but what you see above is a looping animation showing the default Reactions setup, below a post or comment. First it shows the logged-in user clicking on the React feature's 'Like' blue love button (he he - Love is blue - see what I did there?! ). Then it shows the user clicking on it again to see the other available react options in case they want to change from 'Like' to a different one, then selecting 'Confused'. Then it shows the user removing their chosen reaction to the post completely with the X (Remove) button. The gif then loops around to show you again. The software includes 5 reactions by default, but we can add more of our own, tailored to Millennium and our members: Like Thanks Confused Sad Haha Will we still see a total summary for all our posts/comments like the current reputation? A user's total reputation count is still shown alongside their content and in their profile, of course. Can we see who reacted to a post, similar to how we can currently see who 'liked' our posts/comments? As you'd expect, you can click individual reaction counts (or the overall reputation score, if we enable that setting) to view who reacted to the content in a small pop-up window. (On touch devices, on-hover functionality is not suitable, and so for these devices the reactions UI looks slightly different, but works the same). Where can we use Reactions? You'll be able to use reactions anywhere on our site where you can currently like a post, comment or any other price of content. Reactions play well with all areas of the suite, including the new Recommended Replies: ...and see them in activity streams... We hope you're looking forward to this new feature. It's already been a hit on the developer's internal testing site, and we're looking forward to seeing how we can customise it for use on our own community. More to come soon on what we'll be seeing later this summer!
New in TIWWA 4.2: Clubs
The Old Man posted a blog entry in TIWWA Staff BlogWe are happy to introduce the next major feature that will be available at This Is Who We Are - Clubs. Clubs are a brand new way of supporting fun, on or off-topic sub-communities within our site, in other words, providing new improved 'social group' functionality. Let's take a look at the concept with a few demo example screenshots from the software developer's beta test site, and then go over what Clubs are capable of doing! (Above: The Club directory. This is similar to the main forum index page) (Above: A Club homepage, essentially what a specific Club will look like) (Above: Club member listing, showing a particular Club's creators and also the members of this social group.) (Above: Example of content within a club; topics, in this case.) There's a lot to digest there! Let's go over the basic functionality... Club Types Four types of club are available, we may enable some or all here at TIWWA:- Public clubs Clubs that anyone can see and participate in without joining. Open club Clubs that anyone can see and join. Closed club Clubs that anyone can see in the directory, but joining must be approved by a Club Leader or Club Moderator. Non-club-members who view the club will only see the member list - not the recent activity or content areas. Private club Clubs that do not show in public, and users must be invited by a Club Leader or Club Moderator As the site staff, we can of course configure which club types can be created and by whom. We could, for example, enables members to create public and open clubs, but allow a "VIP" group to also create Closed and Private clubs. Obviously we need to give this thought and see how things develop. Club Users Each club has three levels of user: Leader A leader has all of the permissions of a moderator, and can add other moderators. They can also add content areas (see below). The club owner is automatically a leader. Moderators Moderators, as the name implies, have the ability to moderate content posted within the club. We can define which moderator tools can be used. We could, for example, prevent any content being deleted from clubs, but allow it to be hidden. Moderators can also remove members from a club. Users Anyone else that joins the club. TIWWA's staff (Elder administrator and moderator groups), are able to moderate content in any Club regardless of whether they are a member of it. Clubs can be created by any TIWWA user who has permission. As you would expect, this is controlled by our regular member group permission settings, so we may make available Club creation facilities to Patrons, or other specific groups. For closed clubs, there's an approval process. Users can request to join and the request must be approved by the Club's leader. Leaders get a notification when a user requests to join; the user gets a notification when their request is approved or denied. (Above: Approving and declining join requests.) Club Content Club Leaders can add a variety of content areas to their club - forums, calendars, blogs and so on. It's important to note that these content areas are fully functional just as if they existed as a top-level admin created area. They will appear in search results, activity streams, users can follow them, embed links to them, and so on. If a user has permission to see a forum (for example) within a club it will behave exactly like other forums they see - and the same for all other kinds of content. Each content area a leader adds can have a custom title, and will appear in the club navigation. This means, for example, that you can have multiple forums within a club, and give each a different name. (Above: Adding content areas to a Club.) Club Custom Fields Clubs also support custom fields. Custom fields are defined by the site administrator and can be filled in by Club Owners. The values they enter are shown (along with the club description) on the club homepage. (Above: Custom fields in a car-themed club.) On the Club Directory page, users can filter the list of clubs by the custom club fields if they want to. (Above: Filtering clubs.) Club Locations Clubs have built-in support for Google Maps, allowing users to specify an optional physical location for their club. Let's say we run a community for car enthusiasts; each club might be tied to a particular region's meetup. The Club Owner specifies the location when setting up the club, and clubs are then shown on map on the directory page: (Above: Club locations.) And within a club, the location is shown too: Club Display We offer two ways to display club headers within the club - the standard way, shown in the screenshots you've seen up to this point, but we also have a sidebar option. This is something the admin sets globally for the whole TIWWA site, rather than per-club. This is useful if our site design doesn't facilitate another horizontal banner taking up valuable screen real-estate; moving the club banner to the sidebar alleviates this pressure on vertical space. Using Clubs There's a lot of scope for using clubs beyond allowing TIWWA's members to create their own groups. We do not even have to call them "clubs" if that does not suit our case. For example, we could rename Clubs to "Social Groups". This would allow each social group to have its own community, with its own forums, gallery, file sharing and so on, private and separate from other social groups. We could use Clubs for special events or as a home for project teams, like our TIWWA Black Coats community volunteers. The first that occurred to me is that Members will be able to expand on specific aspects of Millennium that interests them, perhaps the bahavioural science and criminology aspects, or Legion, Angels, or perhaps an expanded Mark Snow themed area. Secondly, I can see huge potential for off-topic content, expanding further on some of the existing themes in our off-topic forums... A club for The Donut Hole, a club for Lucy's Pantry, or a TV and Movie Club. You may be inspired to create a club for The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, perhaps a club for the weather, or great 80's TV shows, or a club for horror movies or any other movie genre or sub-genre, cult television series, or for a favourite actor, artist, writer or musician. Like the idea of clubs? Inspired to create one? Let us know... And of course, you don't need to bother with Clubs if you don't want to!
New in 4.2: Letter Profile Photos
The Old Man posted a blog entry in TIWWA Staff BlogThis entry is about our TIWWA Community Suite 4.2 release. It is a new feature available to all registered members. Our Community Suite comes with a default profile photo which is used when members have not set a profile photo for their account. While this model has served the software well for years, our software developers IPS felt it was time for an update to the software to keep pace with current internet trends. This has led to one of the latest changes you can expect to see with version 4.2: letter profile photos. The colors are not set for each letter. You will notice in the screenshot that each "A" letter photo has a different color. They are chosen randomly when generated. More TIWWA 4.2 feature details coming soon. 4.2 will be available this summer.
New in 4.2: Recommended Replies
The Old Man posted a blog entry in TIWWA Staff BlogThis entry is about our TIWWA Community Suite 4.2 release. It is a new feature available for staff, designed to benefit all users. Screenshots are from a test developer's version. Sometimes TIWWA staff may find situations where you want to highlight one or more replies to a content item to bring attention to a really great response. This is especially true on busier topics where you might have dozens or even hundreds of replies in a single discussion. In 4.2, there is now an ability for a moderator to Recommend a reply (or multiple replies)... (Above image: Showing new Recommend Moderator Permission) ... and even leave an optional note explaining why they think you should view that post... ... When a reply is Recommended you will see a snippet at the top of the content item along with the optional moderator note and a link to jump right to that reply.... (Above image: A topic with a Recommended reply.) Staff can Recommend more than one reply and this feature works through the Community Suite in forum topic, blog entries, gallery images, and so on. Staff can set this permission along with other moderator permissions in the AdminCP. Our software developers IPS really think this will allow moderators to bring attention to some of the best replies, and guide users to the best content our community has to offer.
New in 4.2: Content Message
The Old Man posted a blog entry in TIWWA Staff BlogThis entry is about our TIWWA Community Suite 4.2 release. It is another new feature available to staff, designed to benefit all users. Following on from our previous entry about the new Recommended Replies feature, we also have one more small feature change that will be very useful. Content Message is a small feature that will be available in all content areas (forums, blogs, gallery, etc.) and allows a moderator to put a message at the top of any item. (Above image: Example topic with a moderator message) This is useful if we have a special use for the area people are posting in, need to encourage conversation to stay on topic, or perhaps the conversation is becoming heated and moderators need to remind people to behave (never happens here!). Sometimes the smallest features can prove the most useful. I am sure staff will find it useful to have the ability to add custom notes to any area of the TIWWA software suite.
New in 4.2: Calendar Event Reminders
The Old Man posted a blog entry in TIWWA Staff BlogThis entry is about our TIWWA Community Suite 4.2 release. It is a new feature available to all registered members. There are many Calendar related improvements in 4.2 designed to make adding and engaging with events easier than ever before. First of these is Event Reminders. Reminders are easy to create. Simply use the Set Reminder button shown on all future events and specify when you would like your reminder... (Above image: Choose when you would like to be reminded.) Changed your mind? Simply adjust the reminder or remove it altogether... (Above image: Easily adjust existing reminders.) When the time comes a notification will be sent via the member's chosen email or inline method. (Above image: Receive inline or email reminders using the standard notification settings.) Our software developers say that event reminders are a simple but often requested feature and we're excited to be introducing it with 4.2. More to come soon!
TIWWA Software Upgrade - Sunday Nov 15th
The Old Man posted a blog entry in TIWWA Staff BlogI've just upgraded the TIWWA software suite. As with any big update, if you are visiting soon after the upgrade, I strongly recommend that you do a hard refresh to make sure your browser loads the updated versions of the files and isn't using a mix of new and cached old ones which can cause odd things to happen to your experience of our site(!). To do this in Windows, simply hold down the CTRL key and then just press F5 then let go, and it will force your browser to reload all files on the page. There, you are seeing everything as it should be. There are some minor maintenance fixes expected over the next few weeks, which will address any new bugs etc with this latest major update and may add some new features along the way. What's New?! The developers have added dozens of new features, enhancements to existing features, fixed the majority of 4.0 bugs, and made large performance gains. Firstly New Content (some still call it View New Content) is now called Unread Content. There is also a handy link to it as shown below... This will take you to one of the new Activity Streams, which is like a time-line of new content. If you don't like the way a particular Stream looks, (eg. say you want a more condensed view without the content of the posts showing), you can toggle the display between the Expanded (normal) and Condensed Views. The new Menu Bar The new Menu Bar represents how most people use the software suite, by browsing through the existing content to spot or view items of interest or sections of the site such as the Forums, Gallery, etc, much like the old menu system, but it also now provides an easy way to see and catch up with new activity using the Activity menu tab. We can also customise the menu, so we'll soon add useful links to the main website, such as the Episode Guide, Music Guide etc. The image below shows the new Activity tab where you can use the default Activity Streams, or Create or Edit your own streams.... Browser Notifications If you choose to allow Browser Notifications, you will get a small pop up and sound effect to alert you when someone has say, replied to a topic you are following or created a new topic. Smarter Pasting When you paste content from say another website or page, if the editor detects it it is styled content (different font, size, contains HTML or images etc), you can choose to quickly paste it as plain text. Selective Quoting I've a feeling many will like this new feature. You can now hightlight part of a post, and selectively quote it using the pop-up option that appears. When ready, only the part of the post you highlighted will be quoted, which saves time and is much neater. It makes it easier to quote part of someone's post without quoting the whole things, especially if its from a long post when it will save lots of scrolling. A list of changes and new features... Some of the main changes and new features include (I've highlighted the main ones, and removed a lot of the internal stuff from this list): New menu structure and drag-and-drop menu manager Ability to have two menu levels Option to create both custom-link menu items and embed preconfigured menus Preview before publishing All menu items support group permissions Discovery system, a very powerful new feature that allows for both admin and user created Activity Streams Admin-defined Streams always visible to users. Users can edit and save admin streams to create their own, custom copy if they would like to tweak them to suit themselves. The main show-all stream automatically tells you when there is new activity Users can now create their own custom streams User streams can be shared but viewer will only see content based on their permissions Filter options include: All content or specific apps. Some apps support further refinement into categories or content-type. Unread content Ownership Content I posted in Content I started Content by specific members (user can create a list) Content I follow Areas I follow Specific content I follow Posted by members I follow Time Period Any time Since my last visit Specified number of days Specific date range Activity Streams that reference features not available to Guests such as unread tracking and follow system will auto-hide Selective quoting to highlight a bit of a post and quote just that Gallery application enhancements New upload image process Images and movies are submitted to the same upload field Image reviews Editor updates Uses div-mode which is much faster and more reliable. Clicking into the editor is now pretty much instant. Auto-linking and member mentions to use new APIs for better reliability Quotes, code boxes, and spoilers can be dragged and moved and there is no more "red line" When cmd/ctrl right-clicking: options to remove or break-out of quotes, edit links and edit image properties Pasting asks if you want to convert to plain text Editor is responsive, and ability to have small editor show in areas with less space Member @mentions in posts can now be selected by tab key Design and interface enhancements Improve typography for titles Better contrast for user-entered text (posts/comments/etc) Brighten background colors Pre-select text in when share popup is opened Make positive/negative colors consistent across all uses Better hover highlighting of 'blended' links Better styling of mentions in posts (both the username, and the menu to select a user) Better contrast for certain areas Flatten the default photo image Improve popular/selected post styles Change popular post icon to heart for consistency with likes Make date a permalink for sharing Improve sidebar contrast and block styles Improve attachments dialog Add X to close mobile nav menu Select messages for multiple deleting in messenger Make leaving a conversation clearer Improved warning panel in user profiles Move content status icons (pinned, hidden etc.) to start of row Improve cover photo so it automatically puts it into position mode after uploading Android title bar inherits theme header color Added date uploaded to Downloads version dropdown Browser notifications for completed actions (such as large file uploads) Search The main search box defaults to the app you are currently browsing unless you are on home page where it searches all New default interface Results now highlight and skip to search term in preview Retina emoticons for Ipad/iPhone etc (where available) Instant Notifications Receive notifications via your Browser Notifications of new Personal Messages and anything in the notifications menu Intelligent auto-polling that only polls when needed to reduce server traffic Browser local storage used, to allow for cross-communication if you have multiple tabs open to further reduce resource use