PREPARE TO BE MOVED
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CHANGES HAPPENING VERY SOON.
As some of you may know, I have been developing a new software platform for POTN for years in order to bring this wonderful community to the next level and beyond. It is called "AMASS!!" and now it is ready. It has been a long job, but now it is well tested and ready for you. AMASS software not for sale, it is a proprietary POTN forum and site platform for our community.
What will happen very soon is that this POTN will be upgraded to a multi-brand, modern, fun and beautiful new POTN.
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY FORUMS
After the change happens, you enter the new forums you'll see all kinds of new things there. Taking a few minutes to read the primer before entering will make the transition efforless and smooth. You really do not have to know and learn all new stuff, just keep posting and learn while you go. I have set up a special forum "AMASS Forum Software Talk" just for getting specific "how to" questions answered. That is why I try to keep this announcement extra consise and basic.
I will allow a short public access to upgrade installation soon. Then you can check it out yourself.
Meanwhile, here are few Flash movies that show something of it (they do not work on iPad, sorry). The movies are a bit too fast paced, I know, and the frame rate is only 25 fps (AMASS runs at 60 ftps easily), so the movies are a bit "jerky" sometimes. If you need movies from a specific feature, let me know. I can do tutorials for any subject, in due time.
How to log in (fail once, then pass):
Showing/hiding stickies. Posting to thread. Editor basics shown:
Adding a gear to your gear list. Rating you gear. A notification is seen, viewing it:
A review is a thread with some extras. Also showing how to follow a thread:
Browsing member's images, using a gallery walkthough browser and member info [MORE/REPORT/SHARE] to find new photos from that member:
A short poll vote, then some searching. Making an automated search for the thread:
I'll post more movies soon.
AREAS OF INTEREST REGARDING MIGRATION FROM OLD TO NEW:
POTN is not Canon-only any more.
All Camera brands are welcome, new areas and forums are added to cater for that.
All POTN members are preserved and cared for, so you may log in using your POTN username and pass. Note that password is case-sensitive. You will need to accept a cookie in order to log in, as usual.
FYEO (For Your Eyes Only):
After you log in, you'll see more links of top. Go to "For Your Eyes Only" and there you have among other things a small manual to common tasks.
Very simple: click POST TO THREAD, REPLY or QUOTE, write you masterpiece and then click SUBMIT to send your post.
The post editor is very visual and does not need much explaining. What is good to know is that
The toolboxes can be moved around. With e.g. font-size toolbox there is a twist: if you just click a font-size, the toolbox closes right away. If you move the toolbox, and then give a command, the toolbox stays open.
Attaching is now done with UPLOAD IMAGES tool, simple to use. It resizes images for you with great quality, you do not have to worry about sizes and such.
Embedding images is now easier than ever: paste your (Flickr, 500px etc.) gallery page URL to EMBED IMAGE field, click FETCH and you are soon given a thumbnail. Click the thumbnail and the image is inserted to post with a title etc if available (old Flickr style). Embed tool can handle several image sharing services, click the small [?] next to it for more info.
If you reply using a "QUOTE" button, the post quote is inserted to the post editor. This quote does not include any nested quotes, only the post you replied to.
If you reply with a "REPLY" button, the post is not quoted. If you still want to quote the post, open the Quote toolbox and click "QUOTE ABOVE POST". This command gets the full quoted post, with nested quotes up to 6 levels.
If you make multiquote (MQ) selections before replying (click some MQ buttons), those multiquotes can be added to the post by opening the Quote toolbox and clicking the multiquotes (they are offered to you as buttons).
To remove deeper quote levels in editor, you have REMOVE INNERMOST QUOTE command in Quote tools. Each click removes the deepest level.
To split a quote, place the cursor and use the SPLIT QUOTE command in Quote tools.
YOUR PERSONAL PHOTO GALLERY
Your gallery can be filled only by photos in your own posts. If you have posted it to forums, it can be added to your gallery. Photos are never automatically added to gallery, you need to choose the photo and do the adding process with your own hand (or mouse)
To add a photo to gallery is a simple process:
you browse to the post where the photo is, then
you click [ADD TO YOUR GALLERY / EDIT METADATA] and follow instructions there to fill the form, then
you click "SAVE" and then you have "ADD TO GALLERY" button:
click it and the photo is put into your gallery.
When a photo is in your gallery, the thumbnail is referred in many places around the forums. Clicking the thumbnail gets a member to the post, scrolls to the photo and a gallery walkthough browser is opened, where they can look into your other gallery photos without leaving the page. When a photo is in your gallery, it can be chosen for the Best Of gallery by gallery admins.
Metadata is a finer word for camera settings, or "simple EXIF". You can set metadata for any of your photos without needing to add the photos to gallery. Benefit of this is giving information to other members and making your photo visible to searching of metadata which means more visits to your posts.
I dare to say you have now the most powerful and cool search interface in any forum, ever. It is embedded to every page, and has tons of features like drag/drop of filters, multiple items per filter, automation, history and persistence.
Activity tracker shows all activity on site. It updates every 15 secs and you can filter it to show only certain kind of events, and you may also "rewind" it backwards if you like to see older things.
We have now a vast gear database, you can add items to your own gear list, review and rate them. The member's gear info is integrated to all aspects of the forums. Adding to gear list is totally voluntary, of course.
If you plan to add photos to gallery, it is wise to add all your gear to your gear list in early stages, it makes it easier to pick items up in metadata editor.
BEST OF GALLERY
All photos in "All of Gallery" as subject to being picked to Best of Gallery. The picking is done by selected members and mods, the team will change over time. The comb will be tight, that gallery will present the best photos of POTN.
Reviews are actually threads in review forums, so they can be commented and discussed easily. You have to add the gear into your gear list before a review may be done. Ratings you do to that gear will be shown next to the review. BTW: if you have an existing thread that you'd like to convert to review, send us feedback (bottom of each page) and mods will convert you thread to a review (make sure you have that gear in your gear list first). I know that reviews page needs more work, please be patient.
Found on every post, clicking that command (or the avatar) "replaces" the post with lots of info about the member. It is very useful to peek member's info, gear list, latest posts and such. You can open several of them on same page. To get back to to post, click the command again!
On every page of the forums you have a notification bar, it is attached also to the top of page in thread view. When your own or a followed thread (if thread notifications are ticked on for that thread) gets a new post, you are notified clearly that you have new content there.
SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW "FOLLOWED THREADS"
You can import your old subscribed thread lists into followed threads if you like, they are not imported automatically. To follow a thread, you click a "FOLLOW THREAD" link on top of each thread page. If you reply to post in a thread that is not followed, you are asked if you'd like to follow the thread. Threads are never automatically added to followed threads list, you need to say so yourself.
To list and manage followed threads, open New & Followed page, and choose to show "FOLLOWED AND OWN THREADS". There you have a listing just like "NEW" threads, but only for your own threads and those you follow. You can also click followed thread info link on each thread page to set following off or notifications off/on.
PM is not brought from old POTN to new, for security reasons. You will need to download your PM if you want to keep of copy of them in your home PC. Download link is in old forum's PM page, at bottom. In new forums, PM does not have any limits for now. PM discussions are automatically shown in thread format. You can delete PM's if they are not read yet. There are limitations for sending new PM's for new members.
You might see a small popup on top of your screen if mods edit your thread title, delete your post, move your thread or add your photo to the best of gallery. HU's inform you of many things in the new forums, or just say thanks for being so nice!
Marketplace will be reset. Marketplace will have much stricter access rules. We will require 180 days of membership and 100 posts for even viewing the market forums (excluding Market Watch). Marketplace will have a big functionality update later, after main update has settled and gear database is as complete as possible.
FONTS AND SCALING
You can get the original POTN font for threads by clicking "CHANGE BODY TEXT SIZE FOR ALL THREAD PAGES" in any thread page. You can also change post editor font (see those small commands under the text editor). Overall the new forums are highly scaleable to all tablets and computers. On tablets please note that AMASS is very good in vertical mode, unlike most sites are.
YES, THERE ARE DIFFERENCES
Every feature and smallest user-interface item is thought up from ground up. I have worked hard to make AMASS so that those coming from "the old" POTN feel at home right away. AMASS is definitely not "just another forum software" which imitates all the rest (as they do), but coded and designed from the initial blank page to a powerful engine for our needs. AMASS offers a refreshing and personal user-experience that is more "human" and "soft" than any commercial forum software.
You will find some things that you would like to have in certain way, or do some things differently. That is to be expected. When you sit into a Ferrari after that old Toyota, there will be a cultural shock and some disorientation to be coped with. Please take some time to "get adjusted". Beta testers have been invaluable in minimizing the migration pain, and I believe a smooth transfer is possible even for old timers. Chet can use it and loves it - what's more to say!
GO FOR IT!
I have only scratched surface of AMASS. You'll have plenty of time to see more when it is live.
When you get in, please click everything and explore, post a lot and add posts from your old photos to you gallery. Upload a new cool Avatar (just click your avatar in your home page), and experiment. Remember that you can test and preview all the features of AMASS editor without posting. Have fun!
I would like to thank our members, mods and the beta test crew for giving me a great incentive and motivation to create AMASS!! The development does not stop here, this is only the foundation and lots of great new features are in the to-do list.