New Updates from Active Rain in case you missed it earlier in the week.
We have another round of bug fixes and minor enhancements that released on September 4th. As always, if you know of a bug that you don't see in this list, let us know in the comments and we will give you a status, or thank you for identifying something of which we were unaware.
(the picture is how I envision our developers moving around each other working on the code)
Here is what went out in the most recent release.
Threaded Comments: Now you can directly respond to a comment on a blog post. Comment responses will work in the 'threaded' manner very similar to how you would see on Facebook. If you respond to a comment the author of that comment will be notified of your response. Comment responses will have all of the same capabilities as when you leave a comment, meaning you will be able to include links, images, tag other members, etc.
In order to respond to a comment, hover your cursor over the comment to which you wish to respond and you will see a link that says 'comment'. Click that.
Ability to Report Blog Posts: This is long overdue! Now, at the top of every blog post will be an ability to report a post for a variety of reasons. The three reasons are
1. Non-original content. It's a real member but they aren't creating unique content, or tagging it properly when they do use content they have permission to use but did not author themselves. Once we are made aware of these, and confirm the content is not original, we can quickly remove the points, add no-index tags so that the serach engines don't see the content, thereby hurting our SEO prowess as a group, and notify the offending party of the community guidelines on this issue.
2. Spam: You guys know what this looks like. Anyone need medications? Or maybe looking for a timeshare in Bali? Or maybe you'd like $14.5M from an Iraqi Prince?
3. Violations of our Community Guidelines
Once you click the 'report' button, you will be asked to pick the reason. If the reason is 'non-original content' you will be asked to let us know where else online the content appears. ONCE A BLOG POST HAS BEEN REPORTED ONCE, YOU CAN'T REPORT IT AGAIN. So if the button is lit up and allows you to report it, thank you. If the button is grayed out, when you try to report it, it will tell you that it has already been reported and we just haven't had a chance to respond.
Improvements and Verifications to the Schema.Org settings: Schema.org is a type of markup language that has become universal on websites for telling search engines exactly what is present on a page. We had our team go through and update any out of date Schema.org code as well as confirm that everything we expected to be running was in fact in place.
Posting Directly to a Group: We fixed the ability to post directly to a group, without actually posting to your blog. Now, if you would like to post to a group directly, you can write a blog post in your blog editor as you normally would, then when you select a group, you will see an option of whether you want the post to appear in your blog, or just in the group (without showing on your blog).
Cleaned Up Groups: We eliminated every group that hasn't had anything posted to it in the last year. Next we will walk that down to the last 6 months. Then to the last 3 months. The idea is to clean up the inactive groups and leave us with groups that have activity.
Sessions Expire Much Less Frequently: Over the years, there has been an issue with members being signed out at very inopportune times, like in the middle of writing a blog post. Now, sessions (which means how we keep you logged in on the site) should only expire after 24 hours of inactivity. We hope that this significantly reduces issues people may have with being logged out in the middle of doing something. One thing to remember. If you start a blog post today, and then you leave the page open in a tab on your browser, and then come back more than 24 hours later and finish the post......IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK! You will have been logged out, even though you think you are still logged in when you go to the tab and finish. So try not to walk away from a blog post without saving it (although in theory it should auto save every 3 minutes) and leaving the page. That way you can pick back up the next time you are ready without being fooled into thinking you are logged in.
Expanded Commenting Powers in Q&A: You can now tag someone in comments as well as comment responses in the Q&A section. Bascially anywhere that you can leave a comment on ActiveRain (or a response to a comment) will give you the ability to add a link, an image, tag other members and all the fun stuff you can do in a comment on a blog post now.
Migrate Errbit to Third-Party Service: I'm just seeing if you are paying attention. There are a ton of things like this that got done.....and I have no idea what they mean. It's developer speak for 'make things work better'. This happens to be one of many things they are doing behind the scenes to make things work better. Although I actually know what this one means.......kind of. Basically it's a way that our developers are notified when things break. So in this case, we are going to get better at knowing when things break and alerting someone to jump in and start working on a fix.
Back to Top Button: When you scroll down on a blog post, there is a floating scroll bar that you can use to leave a comment at any time. That floating scroll bar will now have a button allowing you to return to the top of the blog post. This option is available once you hit the very bottom of the comments for a blog post, but sometimes if your post has a ton of comments, you may want to get back to the top without having to scroll all the way down or all the way up.
URLs with Capital Letters Now Work: In the past, if you tried to go to http://activerain.com/ActiveBob you would not be able to access my profile. It would send you to the home page because our URL structure did not recognize caps. Now it does.
Blog Likes Will Show in Notification Area: That little flag at the top of the page, the one that lets you know when something has happened with your blog on ActiveRain (like someone left a comment, or tagged you in a comment, or sent you a message) will now tell you when someone 'likes' your blog post.
Instagram On Your Profile Page: You can now add a link on your profile page to your Instagram account in the 'find me at' portion of your profile page.
Copy and Paste From MS Word: You can now copy and paste directly from a word document and it will hold the formatting from the Word document.
Delete Images from File Manager: You can now delete images from the file manager. BE CAREFUL!! IF YOU DELETE AN IMAGE THAT IS IN A BLOG POST, THE IMAGE WILL DISAPPEAR FROM THE BLOG POST. But many members have told us they have images they'd like to remove because they were mistakenly added so you can now delete images in the file manager.
Referral Network on the Home Page: You can now access the referral network from the home page. I would encourage everyone to check it out and make sure that you have a referral alert set up.
One Email Per Comment: If you are tagged in a comment on your own blog post, or on a blog post where you asked to be notified of comments, you used to get two emails. Now you will get one email notifying you that you were tagged and that a comment was left.
Limited RSS Feeds: RSS feeds are now available only for member blogs. Any member can get an RSS feed from their own blog using http://activerain.com/blogs/(username)/RSS. Where you replace username with your own user name. We no longer allow RSS feeds from other pages on the site, like the home page or the blog home page. The reason for this is because after an audit, we found that the overwhelming majority of feeds taken from those places were being used by blackhat SEO people to try to benefit from ActiveRain member content.
Some Other Random Stuff: I feel like this is getting ridiculously long so let's just say that there are another 15 smaller things that were also fixed or adjusted. If you want to know about something specific, please ask.
Please tell us if anyone is not acting right by leaving a comment below
What's Next? We are doing some interal work for the next sprint mainly focused around billing. I also heard a rumor at the AR office that some of you might be interested in (and some of you who are newer will have no idea what that rumor is talking about). There is a redesign of the home page being drawn out that starting to get our team really excited. Lots of work to be done and we're just glad you guys are here to enjoy it all!