Fresh Off The Block


May
29
2018

A better organised Discord, Forum changes and more – Spring Cleaning on Technically Motivated

With Spring in full swing and Summer not long away, many people will be engaging in Spring Cleaning to get their homes and workplaces organised ad tidy. Here a Technically Motivated, we also believe in the value of Spring Cleaning; and I'm pleased to be able to detail some tweaks – both small and large – we have or will be bringing out across the site and our other services over the coming days.

Discord

The first such change, which is already live, is to our Discord. Many of our Discord regulars use our Discord to discuss technology-related topics that we at TM currently do not have articles about, whether just out of personal interest, as a suggestion for a new topic for us to cover, or to help them plan out an article of their own to submit to us. Many of these discussions previously were taking place in our #articles text channel, which is also used to inform Discord users of new postings on the main Technically Motivated website; and this was sometimes causing these announcements and subsequent discussion – the intended point of the channel – to become drowned out.

Following feedback from the Moderators, I have subsequently introduced a brand new text chat channel to our Discord, #suggestions, as a dedicate channel for discussing anything tech-related that isn't yet on our blog, with linking to other sites fully permitted (within reason). As part of this change, #articles is now only to be used or discussion and announcement of articles that DO appear on our site; and the channel no longer permits links of any kind from non-Staff users. We have also introduced categories to the Discord channel list, to neatly organise all our available channels.

Forum and Private Messaging

For the last several months now, we have been actively beta testing a new Forum, to replace our long-standing Forum solution of many years. The aim of this test was to find a replacement that would be more efficient, but still offer a comparatively similar set of features to our existing Forum, due to the software powering that Forum becoming outdated as well as causing performance issues due to significant database load.

During the Beta, the replacement Forum received a number of updates and very quickly matured into a complete solution, even allowing us to cross-post topics from the blog to our Forum; as well as introducing the ability for players to report inappropriate topics. Following testing of the most recent crop of updates, the Technically Motivated Moderators and myself have deemed the new Forum suitable for our purposes.

As a result, on 31 May 2018, the existing Technically Motivated Forum will be closed down and replaced, with existing Forum links now leading to the new Forum and the Beta Test page removed. We hope you will find the replacement easy to use and appropriate for all your future discussions.

As part of the switch to the new Forum, unfortunately all existing Private Messages will be lost. We have been informed by the developers of the new Forum that Private Messaging is not a supported feature and is not planned to be added, as it is not considered essential to the main purpose of a Forum; and there are already other WordPress plugins that offer dedicated Private Messaging functionality. We plan to reintroduce Private Messaging at a future date; and are already beta-testing a potential option to reintroduce the feature, which we hope to roll out very soon. However, we will not be able to import your previous message history. Sorry 🙁

Other News

You may have noticed a slight change to the sharing buttons that appear below each of our posts. As part of our commitment to user privacy, Technically Motivated has ditched AddThis, which had the potential to track our users even if hey weren't logged in to any Social Networks; in favour of a brand-new solution which does no tracking whatsoever. The new sharing buttons are also more efficient, resulting in slightly faster page loads across our site. So now you can read and share our articles both faster and more safely than before. We may tweak the appearance of the buttons in the coming days, but you can use the new buttons right now if there's anything you want to share with your friends, family, colleagues or followers 🙂

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    Previous Articles


    Jun
    01
    2011

    Google +1 for websites to launch tomorrow

    Website owners will be busy tomorrow, as Danny Sullivan has confirmed that Google will be launching their +1 button for websites tomorrow. No doubt this will be the topic of discussion throughout the cyber world, Google’s ‘Like’ or ‘Tweet This’ button will be a hot implementation as social factors have been shown to impact search result rankings.

    The button had previously been spotted in the national ads Google has been running for Chrome – but when it would be launched was not known until today.

    “Google announced the availability of this button on the Webmaster Central Blog on March 28, fully two days ahead of the +1 launch. Presumably this was to give publishers a chance to get the jump on things, but shortly after Google issued a statement indicating “we’re still working things out and aren’t quite ready for this to be publicly available just yet,” a report by Search Engine Watch claimed earlier.

    You will need to have a Google Account to use these buttons – Google wants to make it search more social and to do this they need to know who you are so your followers can see what you are voting for. Google’s content on the button sounds a lot like the Bing commercial. “Sometimes it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for when someone you know already found it. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results.

    Numerous websites are already making preparations to include the button, but only time will tell how widespread it will become.

    Apr
    18
    2011

    RuneScape finally implements proper Clan support in game

    Clans and Guilds are a very commonly seen concept around multiplayer online games. The idea of having defined groups of people who all work together as a team under one name, work towards common goals and enjoy conducting events together is very much in tune with what multiplayer games are supposed to be all about; and when there are several guilds in the game, competition with each other just adds another level to the fun. It is no surprise, therefore, that many MMO games have over the years added official support for forming clans and guilds into their games, many even adding content specifically tailored to take advantage of them – like group quests, guild-on-guild PvP, minigames and so on.

    RuneScape is one MMO that’s been rather a late addition to the party. Despite being designed from the start to big up the multiplayer aspect of MMOs, the original RuneScape – nowadays referred to as RuneScape Classic – had no clan support at all and lacked any real group-orientated content. The existence of clans in the game was only given minimal acknowledgement through a section on the Forums dedicated to guild threads. RuneScape 2, which soon replaced RuneScape Classic and took its name, improved matters by adding group-orientated quests and multiplayer minigames, but still only went so far. In recent weeks, however, RuneScape has seen a large shift in the game’s development with the “Dungeons of Daemonheim” plot line. As well as improving graphics, shaking up battle dynamics and rewriting how battle statistics are calculated, RuneScape finally has shown an increased commitment to giving guilds and clans a proper role in the game, adding the ability to “register” your clan in-game and then join or create it, after which you will then join a special chat channel only usable by you and other members of your clan.

    Now, today, RuneScape has FINALLY added full and proper support for clans into its game. In a recent update, the developers of JAGeX Read the rest of this entry »

    Apr
    09
    2011

    Google Hotpot fully merged into Places

    Google Hotpot, a rating/reviewing system for Businesses that was until now a separate Google product despite widespread criticism, has now been lumped in with Google Places, to create a full-blown Business Search and Review tool.

    The actual differences between Hotpot and Places were nearly non-existent, especially when dealing with the mobile aspect (which was even worse, since finding and rating restaurants and other venues is typically done on a smartphone, not a desktop). When it came down to it, Hotpot was basically just the rating/reviewing system for Places — so while it probably started off as a separate project, it was destined to be gobbled up by the bigger app from the get go.

    So, now that the merger is over and done with, Places can go on to gain popularity alongside its older sibling, Latitude — and we can definitely expect both of them to get a major boost now that check-in deals have been brought into the mix.