Hello fellow EcchiDreamers!
We've just completed an update, so our site now uses Invision Power Suite 4.2, which has added a lot of new features and improved already existing features such as the like system. I've also updated quite a number of EcchiDreams Specific Modifications (with some big ones still to come) as well as the applications and plugins we use to provide our service.
Over the next few weeks I hope to have the bugs ironed out, but if you do find any please, let me know! Even if you're not sure, I can let you know and it doesn't bother me in the slightest, because it allows me to help you out. You can contact me via the contact form, EcchiTexts, or if I'm online, over the chatbar. There is no bug tracker anymore, that was referenced in the Halloween Update (2016) because it was a feature only enabled during the Beta of the big update, but the same bounties apply.
To highlight some of the changes made to EcchiDreams:
- Clubs (Coming Soon)
- Complete Your Profile!
- Device Management
- Gallery Improvements
- Leaderboard Enhancements
- Richer Embeds
- "Our Picks"
The clubs application (New in IPS4.2) is a way of supporting sub-communities within our site, it's a kind of social group function. However EcchiDreams being EcchiDreams; this could be used to replace the public roleplaying suite because it's exceptionally powerful at what it does and lets club leaders control what goes on in their clubs or roleplays. But it could also be used for the intended purpose, such as a Tech-Geeks club or Steam Gamers club, or even Pokémon Fan Club or Bible Black Fan Club (You get the point). We're currently not entirely sure how to implement it for our site because there are a load of options and not much in the way of clear answers (So we'd appreciate your feedback!)
There are four types of clubs:
- Public - Anyone can see it, and post in it without even joining the club.
- Open - Anyone can see, and join but they can't post unless they're a member of the club.
- Closed - Clubs that anyone can see in the directory but joining must be approved by a Club Leader or a Club Moderator. Non-Club Members who view the club will only see the member list - not the recent activity or content areas.
- Private - Clubs that do not show in public and users must be invited by a Club Leader or a Club Moderator. (Staff can still see them, obviously)
For closed clubs there is an approval process, that is exceptionally simple and straightforward "Accept" (Tick) or "Reject" (Cross). Leaders (And I think Moderators) get a notification when a Dreamer requests to join and the Dreamer gets a notification if they've been accepted or rejected.
Each club has three levels of user, this is why we think it is exceptionally powerful for the roleplay suites, because it allows the Club Leader to moderate the content, and the roleplays they'd run under this system, as well as appoint a single or a few club moderator(s) to do the same. However I do not believe that you can have more than one leader, the "Club Administrator" if you will.
- Leader - A leader has all of the permissions of a moderator, and can add other moderators. They can also add content areas, which I'll get into shortly. The club owner is automatically the leader of it.
- Moderators - As the name implies, Club Moderators have the ability to moderate content posted within the club. The actual permissions of the moderator is currently not set at this time, and can only be done from a Site Administrator level (Read below).
- Users - Anyone else that joins the clubs.
The Moderator permissions feature would be perfect for large roleplays as this is currently not possible with the current format of doing it on the forums (As the topic starter is required to send an EcchiText to a staff member to deal with problem Dreamers) This why we're going to have to think about how this is implemented because what we set has to be universal across all clubs for (as far as I can tell) Club Administrators and Club Moderators. A follow up announcement will be posted explaining in detail (In the interests of transparency) what the permission sets are for Club Moderation.
The current permission settings are as follows:
None of these permissions are currently active, but this is what we have to work with, so any feedback is appreciated, as a Club Leader cannot pick and choose, as I said it's universal across all clubs. If you'd like more information please ask in the comments below, I will endevour to answer them. I will add my personal recommendations, and explain why I think this way. Club Leaders should be extremely careful about picking Club Moderators, if it's someone you can't trust - they shouldn't be a moderator, at this time there is no way of distinguishing permissions between the two as far as I am aware. The only difference is the Leader can appoint and fire moderators of their club, not the other way around, and a moderator can't do that to other moderators of the same club.
- Pin Content - This makes a topic within the club appear at the top of the topic listings, much like how pinning content works on the Forums. Perfect for rules and such.
- Unpin Content - Self explanatory.
- Edit Content - Ability to edit other people's posts. I wholly recommend that this is left off for obvious reasons.
- Hide Content - Hiding something doesn't mean deleting, it's more of a shadowban of that post. Hidden posts would flag the Community's Senior Staff Member, if asked or required to delete said content.
- Unhide Content - Unhiding hidden content.
- View Hidden Content - This allows the moderator to see content they've hidden. I think this should be turned on, it will allow the Club Leaders and Moderators to view the hidden content inline (As it appears, and it should obvious when it's hidden).
- Set Future Publishing Dates - Content that will remain hidden until a set time/date. I'm not sure at all what this should be set to, because I cannot currently think of a reason why this is needed - at all. Perhaps for special events? Even then I'd assume that the club leader should be responsible for that.
- View Content with a Future Publish Date - Basically it'll be visible to the Club Leader, and Moderator if enabled. If you can do the above, I think you should be able to see it otherwise it'll vanish until the date set, thus not giving you time to re-proofread your content.
- Move Content - To move something from one area of the club to somewhere else within the club. I personally don't think this should be enabled, because it can be quite destructive, but this is why I want to hear your feedback.
- Lock Content - The ability to lock a topic within the Club. I think this should be enabled.
- Unlock Content - The ability to unlock a locked topic. Likewise I think this should be enabled.
- Reply to Locked Content - So you can lock immediately, and worry about adding a reply later. Perfect for situations where it's so heated that there is a new post every second or something. Or to add rules, or something. I wish we could separate the two permissions of Club Leader and Club Moderator, because I think that should be up to the Club Leader but I'd love to hear feedback.
- Delete Content - To make content within the club disappear, forever. I do not believe this should be enabled because in a "Rogue Moderator" scenario they would be able to effectively destroy your club. Hiding content, is in my opinion the best way to go, that and if it's something serious (ToS violating, such as someone posting someone else's dox) then Community Staff need to see that for evidence to take appropriate action, as we do not accept screenshots due to the fact that tech savvy individuals can alter things on a page using a browser console, which can be used to frame someone. We act on hard evidence.
- Split and Merge Content - If someone double posts, or makes a similar topic then it allows one to merge them together. I do not believe this should be enabled because it is destructive if used by a Club Moderator who's gone rogue, this is why I recommended hide content rather than deleting content because I don't think Moderators should have access to potentially destructive tools, Community Moderators don't even have this ability. Hidden content can be made visible again, merged content on the other hand -- not so much.
What is "Club Content" and why do you keep saying it?!
Club Leaders can add a varity of content areas to their club(s). Forums, Calendars and Images (Exactly like the Gallery). They will appear in search results and activity streams*, users can follow them, embed links to them and so on. If a user has permission to see a forum (For example) within a club it will behave exactly like other forums they see, and the same for all kinds of content.
Each content area a leader adds can have a custom title and will appear in the club's navigation menu. This means you can have multiple forums within a club and give each a different name.
* Depending on type of club.
I believe we can indeed do both Social Clubs and Roleplay Clubs, and have them searchable/filterable, and the club owner can select what kind of club it is. For example "General Club" for Social Clubs, "Fan Club" for well, fan clubs and "Roleplay Clubs" for Roleplays. I think this is the best way of doing it, honestly. But I am very interested in hearing ideas, and if you have a different kind of club in mind - then by all means talk to us, lets see what we can do.
Complete Your Profile!
In an effort to make registration quicker and easier, we now offer a stripped down registration form that only asks for required information. You can either sign in with Google+, Facebook or Twitter which is exceptionally quick and should be painless. Or fill out:
- Display Name
- Email Address
- Password (And Confirm Password)
- Birthday (Because you have to be over 18).
Then check a box that says "I'm not a robot", and that you agree to the Terms of Service, then that's it. You're in*. What it will then do is allow you to use EcchiDreams as normal, and you'll be asked to make a signature, upload a profile cover and avatar which you can do whenever you like. Simple! You even get a little progress bar in your Account Settings control panel.
*Email Validation Required. Depending on SpamScore, Administrator Verification may be required. Terms of Service apply.
When you sign in to EcchiDreams for the first time a special "Key", a Cookie (Not the editable kind, sadly), is created to recognise your browser on subsequent logins. Which allows you to say logged into EcchiDreams without having to put in your username and password every single time you come to EcchiDreams (because that would be annoying as fuck). This then stores said information for you to see in your "Recently Used Devices" under your account settings that allows you to do a few things. Firstly you can disable automatic login from the device you're on or - say if you've left your phone somewhere, you can use your computer to sign out. It also allows you to see if your account has been compromised, if strange devices from strange locations start appearing you can sign them out. -> Then change your password, and set up Two-Factor Authorisation, which we provide through Google's Authenticator application.
If someone does log into your account with an unknown device (or in an unknown location) then you'll get an be notified via Email - immediately. Please note: "Disable Automatic Login" does not disable the device from using the account, it merely means you have to log back in when you're logged out.
The gallery has had some major improvements that should make using it much clearer to understand, such as picking an already existing album of yours to add images to. As is adding information to the images rather than copy and pasting information to every image, in a specific batch. To quote IPS directly,
Applying the same details to all of the images you are submitting has been made much simpler. When you begin entering the details for the first image, you can specify a template to use for the caption name leveraging a special replacement "%n". A small help icon next to the caption field label explains how to use this capability. When you are done supplying the details, you can click "Copy details to all images" and your submission will start instantly, using all of the details supplied for the image you are editing. You can quickly set tags, an image description and a caption name template (for instance "Aquarium %n") to all images using this new capability, useful when submitting 50+ images at once. Of course, you can still supply the details for each individual image as well, if you wish.
In addition to this a number of features have been added to the actual albums rather than per image, such as:
- Featuring (Mod feature)
- Hiding (Mod feature)
- Locking (Mod feature)
Also - if someone uploads (for example) 50+ images to the same album rather than getting 50+ different entries in the Activity Feed they'll all be grouped into one entry, reducing the clutter.
Our Leaderboard just got a lot more powerful, it's well worth checking out. There are daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and even all time leaderboards, and for different sections. Getting on this leaderboard gives you a trophy in your profile that all logged in Dreamers can see. Yep we're competitive now, deal with it. 😄
You can easily search through the different categories and such within the system to see who's the top Dreamer.
I'll just show with some examples, because it's amazing! Time for some shilling. (Might not show if you're not logged in):
A Gallery Image:
A Gallery Album:
A specific post:
YouTube (Not me, just a random video):
And you get the point, although at the time of posting this, I do not know why there are black boxes around it. That's a bug and it'll be fixed, if you don't see that then it's been fixed already. Moving on:
This is another useful and new feature with IPS4 that can be found in the menu under "Explore", Our Picks. It is content we've hand picked by the Community Administrators. It allows us to promote content, which is consistent, an advantage that community platforms like EcchiDreams have over social media platforms. The content on our community is generally speaking, going to always be here where as a social network is all about the right here and right now, if you blink you miss it and miss out. This will mean content put in Our Picks is posted on our Facebook Fanpage and Twitter as well (I will be testing it with this article).
Gone are the days of simply "Liking" posts, now you can react to them, we've always had requests such as "I wish I could love this" (I got that earlier before the update actually), and with this system you'll be able to do that. We hope to expand it but keep it manageable (IE: Not a million different reactions). It is also touch friendly (For our Mobile Dreamers). There are currently five reactions that play a part in reputation scores, they are:
- Standard Like - Adds 1 point to the receiver's reputation.
- Thanks - Adds 1 point to the receiver's reputation.
- Haha - Adds 1 point to the receiver's reputation.
- Confused - Doesn't add reputation.
- Sad - Doesn't add reputation.
I am thinking about changing the standard like to a thumbs up, and making the like icon to "Love" which will add 2 points to the receiver's reputation. There is some talk amongst @Neptune and I about adding negative reputation but we've not used this since 2010/2011 when it was abused to bully other Dreamers by a particularly nasty piece of work that racked up hundreds of fake accounts, as well as mass down-rep'ing a lot of people's posts using bot/scripts, and pretty much successfully managed to give nearly everyone that ever posted negative reputation for no reason. So I'd love to hear your feedback on that especially.
And that's it, there are many fixes and tweaks all over the place, and probably many new bugs (Because this update went way too smoothly) so be sure to check them out and let us know what you think in the comments below. I do read all of them and if it warrants it I will reply or at least leave a reaction, to show I've read it.
Article Image Artist: qbspdl (Yes, really)
I chose this image because it's an artist we've never covered before and they have some very good art. You should, if you like this picture, check out their other work on the above Pixiv link. It's got great attention to detail and makes a good use of the colours, with it being quite vivid and bright, and yet it's not over saturated. It also has a very 'picture' look, as if someone was taking a picture with a camera, as it's nicely framed by the foliage of the trees and flowers. Despite some details looking simplistic (such as the birds) it's still quite nicely done, and the use of multi-toned colours for the ocean is, in my opinion perfect for this picture.
Thank you for reading. We're EcchiDreams, wishing you a very Ecchi Summer.