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We're in Beta, now what?!

As most of you have noticed, a new WoKJ main site has been released as a public beta.  I'm writing today to detail this process from a development standpoint, let you know what you can expect to see going forward, and more specifically what we'll be working on.

The WoKJ staff has been meeting behind closed doors over the past two weeks to determine the direction the beta will take.  We discussed feedback we recieved in the Alpha test, how the site is being used so far in the Beta test, and what we want to accomplish durring this process.  I am now sharing the results with you in hopes that you will continue to offer your feedback, opinions, and advice.


What We'll Be Working On

Simply put, our goal is to finish the site.  As you may have noticed, various links don't work, some elements aren't consistent with the rest of the site, and various features or sections we planned simply haven't been developed.  We came up with 17 primary items that will be addressed during the beta.  Some items are very specific in what they will accomplish, other items are just concepts or sections.  Drumroll please ...

Beta Development List: 

  • Add an "Award" secondary type which writers can choose as an article classification.
  • Create the Search page
  • Create the Profile page for a user
  • Create the Followers page which shows all followers a user has
  • Create the Following page which shows all the people a user is following
  • Make the comment icon clickable
  • Make a "spotlighted" article's image on the home page clickable
  • Change the filters on the home page to use the same design element (checkmark) as other sections of the site
  • Change the word "Score" on an article's page to be the score icon, add number of comments to that same section
  • Add ability to delete and edit a babble
  • Add ability to delete and edit a comment
  • Add comments on articles from people a user is following to their 'My Page' feed
  • Add notifications when there is unread / unseen content in a users 'My Page' feed
  • Allow users to sync their WoKJ accounts with Facebook and/or Twitter so that they can choose to send babbles / articles to them.
  • Add a new section to a users 'My Page' called Pre-Production.  This section will allow users to store rough drafts of articles that are not public which they can publish at a later date.
  • Continue refining the user ranking algorithm
  • Continue refining the article score algorithm

That's it!  There is always the chance items will be removed, added, bumped up in the develpment order or down, but as it stands now, the above list of features is what we aim to accomplish in the scope of this beta.  When the list above is complete, the site will move out of beta, shed it's beta tag, and release itself upon the unsuspecting world.


What Can I Do To Help?

There are a few ways you can get involved in this process:

  1. Use the site!  Visit the main site before you descend into the forums.  Read your fellow writer's work, rate it, comment on it, follow the people you like, etc.  
  2. Give us your feedback!  Let us know what you really like, and what you don't like.  Have opinions on where we should go in the future?  Let us know!  Have questions?  Ask!  
  3. Follow the development.  We have set up a public development forum.  This forum will mainly be used by the development team as we work to implement the features listed above, but we encourage anyone interested to get involved.  We will be tracking what feature we're working on, where development stands, any issues encountered, and much more.  There is also a development version of the site, fully functional, where we will test these new features and where you can do a little testing of your own.

You can leave any feedback as a comment on this article, in the WoKJ beta forum, or in our new development forum.


In Closing ...

As we move through this process, we really crave your participation and feedback.  This site was created to give each of you a voice, and we hope you'll share that voice with us.  As each new feature is finished and implemented we will let you know through an article like this or a forum posting.  Look out for any updates, visit / use the site when you can, and keep the feedback coming, we appreciate it more than you know.



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Total Comments: 1
Patrick Ferrara
Patrick Ferrara    Feb 3 2011 5:33am
Thanks for the updates Karl