Eliot York   Apr 10, 2017
CH*NGES
Hello again! As you've likely noticed, I've introduced some changes to the website. There are, of course, bugs to work out and it's nowhere near as fast as I'd like-- I'm working on these things. Thanks for all the wonderful humour you've used to express everything from hesitant celebration to pure outrage. As always, I love to hear your feedback, especially in the form of poetry, though if you have something specific that needs attention, send me a message so I can be sure to see it.

Along with the new design, there are a number of new (and long requested) features like delete (or "archive") messages, revive deleted poems, hide public poems, "community" poems visible only to members, a home page with options to see poems+reposts (a "Stream") or just the poems by those you follow, the ability to see your poems listed out A-Z unexpanded, a nicer "live" search bar at the top left, more accessible notifications, the ability to customise your profile a bit more (bigger cover photo, bio details and COLOUR!) and a better (and still improving) inbox. I'm pretty sure there are some others too that I'm forgetting...

I'm also excited about a few things that aren't as obvious. The entire codebase, which is now just over eight years old was essentially rebuilt. It's a unavoidable fact of using a live website, like living in a home or driving a car; things get used and out of date and then something has to be replaced or cleaned up to keep it working. And this cleanup, going through code, notes and ideas from eight years was almost like going through an old journal, bringing me back to where I was and the things I was doing eight years ago; it was cathartic.

Of the new changes I made during the rebuild, the most significant is the ability to flag poetry as it is the start of a reputation system to create moderators that will help build trust within the community, encourage "good" (and/or entertaining) behaviour and share both the power and responsibility of the increasing number of decisions necessary to moderate issues in the community.

Flagging a poem won't remove it, but if enough people flag one it'll be put "Under Review" and considered by the moderators. Even more, moderators are currently able to approve incoming invite requests for new accounts. Finally, no more long wait times for me to review the submissions. For many of you it was unacceptably long and I'm sorry for that.

That's all they can do for now, but there are number of things coming that'll give them more opportunity to help with the community in the future. I'd like to invite a number of you to help out with moderation in the coming weeks. If you're interested, please tell me a bit about how and why in a message.

This new update also puts in place what I needed to get development on a mobile app started. I'd like to do a fundraiser (similar to a Kickstarter/Indiegogo) in the next month or two to raise the funds to get that off the ground. It's a lot of work to build an app, but it's also 2017 and embarrassing that we don't have one. I do hope the mobile web app experience has been slick enough to partly make up for it though...

The final thing isn't necessarily visible yet, but helps HePo recommend poems, and there's a bit more to it than just "if you like this poem, you might also like...". This'll continue to improve what poems you see around the site, especially on the trending and daily selections. It's not totally done yet though, so I'll save details until later.

Thanks again for your humour and creativity in responding to this change. Keep it coming.

Eliot