Looking around, I recently noticed it's been years since I last posted a 'Site Update' style topic. Sure, I've posted whenever something new has been added or something somewhat significant has been updated, but an over all 'State of the Site' type post has been absent for too long.
Of course, one (as in me) could argue that little happens here, so why bother? But that would be too simple. So in the nearly 3 years since my last post like this, quite lot has happened. For one thing, almost 2 years ago, mid 2016, my family and I moved from one side of the U.S.A. to the other. The aftermath of that move has had quite an impact on me personally, which has effected my work in coding.
In late 2016, I also tried to resurrect Scrub Radio, which failed spectacularly. As a result of the failure, I have decided that I will make no future attempts at bringing Scrub Radio back, nor will I assist in any attempts outside of mental support. I won't rule out starting up something similar from scratch, but I will say that something along those lines are highly doubtful. One of the biggest factors in that failure was the simple fact that I never saw Scrub Radio is 'mine', it was always Scrubs', so I was always hesitant to do anything too drastic or different.
There have also been quite a few brand new sections of the site.
This is probably the most badly implemented feature/section. It's beyond generic, with way too many limitations. I know I could do better, but I just don't see the point. A poll is only useful if you have people voting, which I don't, so I just can't help but think 'why bother?'. Nevertheless, it's a section where you can create a poll with a poll question, 2 to 10 answers, and a description. Visitors can vote for one option and leave a comment, either through the site as a registered member, or by using a Facebook account (god I hate Facebook).
Multiple options were a thought, and could still be implemented, but I would need more reason to work on this.
I put together a simple RSS Feed, which will pull the latest 10 Blogs, Forum Topics and Forum Replies. I wanted this to be tied to your account, and if you view the feed through a web browser where you are logged in, it will. However, any RSS Reader that I have used so far will only view as a Guest, therefore only publicly viewable posts will be displayed. So far I have found no RSS Reader that will allow for a website login. And since some data could be compromised, I have yet to find any solution to this.
Also, most current web browsers do NOT apply any formatting to RSS/Raw XML like they use to, so it all looks like crap. I have yet to find a universally accepted and properly supported answer to this as well. But, I do often keep looking, so if you are reading this and have any thoughts or solutions, please feel free to let me know.
This is the newest feature/section, and it too is beyond generic (though, still better than the Polls section). I only just started this project though, so only time will tell if it gets more advanced than it is at the moment. For now, members can upload a single photo at a time (I am looking into multiple, but that is a long story). They can be added to multiple per-determined categories or a single user created 'Album', though no real support has been put towards user Albums yet. When viewing a Photo, you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it, and the cancel the enlargement by clicking it again (more work needs to be put into this as well). Visitors can also comment exactly as described for the Polls, which is also exactly has it has been done for Blogs.
Finally, all Photos can be deleted by an Admin or the one who uploaded it, and the textual information can be modified by an Admin or the one who uploaded it as well.
For right now, those are the only actual new 'sections' of the site, so let's get into what's been updated over the years.
I've added a very basic, and limited 'Search' function for the forum. It's not great, and needs lots of work. However, with so few posts it's kind of pointless anyway. It's also hard to work on search features when so little data is available for testing purposes.
Topics can also be rated with 1 to 5 stars, which will be averaged and displayed.
I'm also constantly trying to tweak what I can as I see something that is either not working or just doesn't seem right, but with no real feedback, I kind of have to fall back on my own preferences. This also means that even if I do see something off, if I'm the only one noticing or caring, I'll often just ignore it. Were I to get more feedback on anything specific, I may get off my ass and do something more often.
Just like with Forum Topics, Blogs can be rated with 1 to 5 stars. I've also added a field called 'Original URL' when adding/editing a Blog. This is so that if you have posted a Blog already elsewhere, you can repost here with the original URL, so that search engines will understand that it is a reposting with the original post getting credit. The old 'Blog Comments' feature has been ripped out and re-added as a 'Site Comments' feature so that the same table can also be used for any future sections, like Site Polls and the Photo Gallery.
Finally, I have been trying to distance myself as much as possible from Social Media, and Facebook specifically. I HATE Social Media, and no longer want to support it. There IS still support for Facebook Comments, but you have to specifically click a link to load them. So far, not one single person has used this feature...
Unfortunately, the future couldn't be more unclear right now (which I have talked about extensively). I just don't have any goal in mind at the moment and I just don't see that changing anytime soon. If it does, great, but I'm not holding my breath. However, one thing I do know is that unless I get some major insperation or something, I don't think I'll be working on any 'new' features. For right now, IF I decide to do any work, it will simply be tweaking what has already been done.
Thank you for reading, and as always, if you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to let me know!
This site is a work in progress. Keep up to date in my Site Notes