Just a quick update on things I'm keeping an eye on in terms of web development.
Many times, new features or enhancement begin as simple observations about how the site is being used, and only blossom into announceable features later. The "chewing on an idea" phase isn't of interest to everyone, but for those who wonder what we're looking at on an average day, this might give a bit of a peak into things.
There are also usually larger updates in progress. I can't always let the cat out of the bag in terms of what's coming, but the little things are nice to talk about too.
I'd like to update the Collectors' Journal to accommodate web links, and perhaps the display of images. Currently we don't allow the processing of HTML through the journal in order to prevent people from exploiting the system maliciously, but a controlled set of HTML might be just the thing.
I'm also starting to see a few buy and sell requests through the journal. This may lead eventually to us allowing people to categorize their entries to help others focus in on areas of interest.
I'd like to provide the ability for members to respond publicly to each other's article in addition to using the "contact member" link. There's a fine line between this kind of functionality, though, and what's provided in the "chat boards" area. This needs some design thought to determine where the most benefit is.
I've been watching the Total Registry Ranking page, and we've done some fine tuning to how those point totals are calculated. You may have noticed the recent shuffling of points. These have been calculation changes to Total Points, but have had no effect on set points. We should have some text up on the Ranking page with the next minor release to explain how the points are totaled.
The "Most Viewed Sets - Top 100" listing page is also of interest. The intent of this page is to allow the public in general to "vote" by viewing the sets they find most interesting and thus push them up the list for others to view. Initially I expected to find a bunch of the Best Presented winners (the little blue ribbon) right near the top, but it hasn't fully worked out that way. My expectation is that it will take some time, but that the cream will rise to the top.
It does suggest to me, though, that a more concise place to view all the award winning sets in a list that links to their CURRENT configuration (not just what they looked like when they won) might be in order.
We've added memory to the server that runs the CS, and that's had a nice effect, but I'm still looking at other way to increase performance - both hardware and software.
The PMG Order Form has recently gone up, so I'm waiting for feedback on how that's been working both for customers and for PMG. Assuming all goes well, we'll be putting the same thing in place for NGC and CGC. It's a fairly familiar format, but the code base behind it is new and performs better.
Of course, our recent announcement of changes in our ranking structure to address score-ties provide some insight into our thinking there. There's an interesting thread on the chat boards under the "NGC - NCS - PMG" area in the Certified Registry board discussing the update here:
The coin gallery is a really nice feature, and for those who have discovered it, it's quite popular. There are some really neat way to find members with lots of pictures that people may not be aware of:
1. Go to the Total Registry Point Ranking page
2. Click on the column header "% images" to sort it
3. Find people with high coin counts and high % images.
Those are bound to be interesting Coin Galleries. Just click on the member name to view their home page and jump over to their Coin Gallery using the navigation along the top.
On the Chat Boards, I'm trying to gather feedback on the boards interface. Some have said it's a bit hard to use. You always get some measure of that feedback as every new or unfamiliar system requires some adapting, but I'm trying to get down to specifics on exactly what is hard to use. This will help determine if there are changes we should make or if it's simply the "this isn't like the last place" syndrome. We're also looking into hardware upgrades for the boards.
Well, that's all I've got at the moment. Please forgive the stream of consciousness flow of this article. I wanted this to be a little informal and to share some musings rather than just "ready for prime time" announcements.