Big week around these parts! Maybe you heard about this?
And as promised, we continue to march on to make ActiveRain even better. This latest round of enhancements has a core focus on allowing our members to more effectively connect with and communicate with each other.
Here is a quick glance at some of the new stuff that was just released in the Rain.
Revised Comment Style Box: In an effort to maximize the comment box itself, we've done a little redesign. Most notably, you can follow another members blog directly from a comment. So if you see someone leave a great comment, and you think 'I'll bet this person has some thought provoking blog posts', you can easily follow them. In addition, we've made your headshot a little larger. You people are so darn good looking, we had to see more of you!
Like a Comment: You can now 'like' a comment.
Did that one Rainer just absolutely nail how you were feeling? Go ahead and 'like' their comment to let them know. You can also sort the comment section by 'most liked comments' in order to see which comments the community feels add the most value.
Tag Member in a Comment: This is the one I'm most excited about. When you leave a comment on ActiveRain, you can now tag another ActiveRain member in that comment. By tagging that member, they will be notified via email that you were talking about them. It won't be a wide open wild west though. In order to tag someone in a comment, you will either need to be following their blog, or they will have needed to take an action on the blog post itself. An example of 'taking an action' would be that the person you are trying to tag has commented on the blog post, or they have liked one of the comments in the blog post. It will work just like it works on Facebook, where using the @ symbol will allow you to type in that users name and then select them to be tagged.
Mini-Profiles: In conjunction with tagging, we are introducing mini-profiles. A mini profile is something that will pop out of the screen whenever someone were to click on a members name when they have been tagged. So if I'm scrolling through the comment section, and I see Kerrie tag 'Craig Daniels' and then talk about how he always creates create tutorials, I can click on his name and easily follow Craig's blog, or maybe find my way back to his profile to check out what he's all about.
Like a Blog Post: This used to say 'suggest' and was how member's could suggest a blog post to be featured. We wanted to make it more intuitive, so we changed it to a simple 'like'. You can now like a blog post and that will let us know you think your fellow Rainer wrote something great. You will also be able to see which other members have 'liked' your blog post.
Comment Sorting: As I mentioned above, you'll be able to sort comments based on 'most first recent', 'oldest first' (which is the default), or 'most popular' (based on which comments have been 'liked' the most).
- Bugs Squashed: Poor bugs......NOT! Poor you guys for having to put up with all of these bugs. But we appreciate your patience as a bunch of these little critters were squashed during the update. There are too many to name here but I assure you that the majority of the big ones have been handled.
Where is This Headed and What's Really Important?
One thing that has ALWAYS kept me up at night is how we surface content on ActiveRain. Right now, the main way we surface content is via featuring posts. In the future, we're really going to be looking for better ways to serve up relevant content to you personally. The first step in doing this, is to try to understand what you 'like'. Allowing our members to 'like' comments and blog posts is a small first step in understanding what you find interesting so that we can start to surface content for you specifically.
The ability to tag other members in a comment is a way to get our active members to engage other folks in the community that may be less active, or that you have always enjoyed hearing from in the past. Rarely a day goes by that I don't see a blog post and think "(such and such) would be a perfect person to weigh in on this'. In the past, I would have had to go find them, pull up their profile, then email them a link to the article and say 'hey, could you comment here. I'd really like to know what you think'. Now, as I leave my own comment, I can ask other member to jump in and share by simply tagging them in the post. In the near future, we'll start to work these notifications into an expanded notification area that keeps you updated on everything going on on ActiveRain that relates to you. It's high time we got smarter at helping you make and develop relationships.
The mini profiles are something we anticipate using around the site more and more. For instance, on the state, county and city pages, along with the Leaderboard, we display your name and picture and a link back to your profile. These may become places we use the mini profile. So I would suggest once the feature is released, everyone take a look at your picture and the fields we use to populate the mini-profile to make sure yours is looking sharp!
What Does This All Look Like?
Get out and check things out on your own. Or, take a look at the screen shots below so you know what to be on the look out for.......
Revised Comment Box Style
Like a Comment:
(You can see in the screen shot below where you can 'like' a comment. It's the little area with the heart and the word like. Once someone has 'liked' a comment, others can see who has liked that comment by clicking on the number, in this case the 11.)
Once you click on the number 11, you will be able to see other people who have liked that same comment.
Tag a Member in a Comment:
(This will be done by typing the @ symbol then the member's name. You will be able to tag anyone that you are following or anyone that has participated on that blog post, including the author, anyone who has liked the blog post, anyone that has commented on the blog post, or anyone that has liked a comment on the blog post)
Once you tag someone in your comment, they will be notified via email that you tagged them and are talking about them in your comment. Their name will also appear as a link, that someone can click on to see that user's mini-profile
(Any time a member's name shows up somewhere, you will be able to click on their name and see their mini-profile, including an easy way to 'follow' their blog. In this screen shot I believe the mini-profile is a little larger than it will actually be in practice.)
Like a Blog Post:
(As I mentioned above, this will change the 'suggest' button to 'like' and will also allow you to see who has actually liked your blog post. From there, you can scroll over the names of the people who like your blog post to see their mini-profile and possibly follow them if you choose)
(You'll be able to sort comments to see the 'most popular' or even the 'most recent'. As always, you'll be able to see the 'oldest comment first' as is the default option when reading through comments)
Go Play and Let Us Know What You Think
Have at it! These features are live! Please let us know in the comment section what you like, what you hate and, as always, please let us know if you come across anything that isn't working exactly as you expect it should.