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Website updates and restructure

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First of all, thanks all for being patient as we worked through a major website update during last week. While there would still be issues and niggles, we are told that most major issues have been dealt with, and site is back in usable state.

Some features have been dropped or changed either due to technical limitations, or due to low usage. Here is a list:

  • City as group - no longer the case. Till last month, each city was a "group" that members could subscribe to. Most members on this site were subscribed to "Bangalore". In the new site design, we don't treat city as a "group". As a result, if you were banking on "bangalore" group subscriptions to keep in touch, you will have to either visit the site, or use RSS feeds (See below)
  • "My Praja" (aka "My Site") feature was not being used that much. We have dropped support for it. Instead, we will provide a well organized set of RSS feeds, so that you can create customized Praja pages in your favorite portal/RSS reader (my yahoo, igoogle etc)

Some important features, that will take a bit longer to restore are:

  • All RSS feeds have not yet been restored. One main feed for all cities, and one feed per city would be available real soon, hopeful in a week.
  • "Praja points" system is still being upgraded, and reworked a bit. Members will not lose on any points during this time though as the points system is perfectly capable of doing retroactive calculations.
  • "If you liked this, you may also like" feature is not ready yet. We have a replacement ("Similar Items") which is not as good as the previous system which recommended really similar posts. But do note the new "Similar Items"  feature relies heavily on the tags you use for your posts. So if you try to use uncommon and new words as tags, you post is very unlikely to show up as "Similar Item" on some other member's post.

Important new upcoming features that will be rolled out during July/august

  • Image upload support. Members with certain minimum praja points will be able to upload images directly on the site, no need to use flickr unless your image is really huge, or if you prefer storing images there. We are providing this feature for better usability - putting images in flickr and linking them here is a tedious operation for most members.
  • Better support for "projects". Each project will get a page of its own, members would be able to "join" projects, there will be a clear and automated lsit of "members" for every project, and more. So far, project posts have been getting mixed up, lost and not getting their due attention on the website.
  • New sub-sites for National and state level posts. Notice that when you make a post (blog, forum etc), in the "Where" box, you now get to choose India, Karnataka/more states, or the precise cities. So, if you really have a geeky thing or analysis to share, but its not really local, post it under the state (as in Karnataka, or India). Moderation standards still apply - so pre rants and pure opinionated ideological posts may be subject to moderation.

Some features under consideration, but without concrete plans or dates as of now

  • Praja "light" and Praja "heavy" kind of separation to create space for stuff that gets moderated. There have been suggestions that instead of removing ideological rants etc, they could be placed in a "light" section.
  • Mobile version of the site. Many readers want a mobile phone friendly version of the site. This is certainly on the road map.

cheers,

Praja Techs

Comments

kbsyed61's picture

Admin, Excellent job!

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79 users have liked.

Praja Admin,

Excellent job on upgrading it to Drupal 6 version. Except for few formatting and subscription issue, so far the site is working perfectly and in excellent condition for posting, discussion and blogging. Not seen any speed issues so far.

Will keep sending emails with problems and issues.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Great Yaar

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75 users have liked.

Praja.in has sure matured with all the glory.  I am waiting to upload my collection of digital photos.  I understand uploading is being made easy shortly by Tech team.  Life can be beautiful, without conditions attached like uploading through Flickr etc.

Similarly, in the Forum, Sections relating to Health, Ecology, Energy, Environment, are not finding places to be posted under relevant headings.  At present it is 'everything else'.

How about improving the list to make selection easy and posts relevant under proper headings?

- Vasanthkumar Mysoremath

tech's picture

Noted

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Forum revamp is long due. There is some risk of data loss there (some tags will get lost, but not posts) so we have been postponing. But perhaps we are better off taking the plunge now. Will do soon.

But image upload costs money - consumes storage. That is the reason we have not enabled it for all (only admins, techs and moderators). If we find people uploading mercilessly :), we will either have to put image size restrictions, restrict the feature to smaller set of members.

We will see.

Thanks Syed for help with pointing out all the problems, great job.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Prescribe '.jpg with less than... kbs' & No video at present

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Tech Sir,

Those uploading must reduce the size of the photo-files. Firewall can block anything is loaded over and above the prescribed file size and also with parameters about the contents of photos. It should not be free for all - Praja may end up having a number of sizzling photos???

Even Facebook and others have not been able to prevent such things and I have a number of such connects in my Facebook account who want to be 'my friends' with their ...photos?!.

- am I right? 

Vasanth Mysoremath

 

kbsyed61's picture

Own Exclusive shells for special campaigns, projects!

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Admin,

Our experiment of Election Discussions during past Lok Sabha election was not a good experience from the point of presentation and keeping it in its exclusive shell. Comments to election posts used to get mixed up with regular Praja posts, thus defeating the whole purpose.

Note: One positive note though on our election survey and discussions. Many political parties used our survey for their election campaigns and speeches.

In the light of that experience, May I suggest that, we enable or powered the site with capabilities to have the exclusive areas for special projects, campaigns, even for posts with national and state level importance.

1. It is not be displayed or presented on the front page, instead FP should just display a link or box with short message to those areas.

2. All posts, comments are displayed only in this exclusive area like we have for 'Gyan Section'.

3. Allow users to post new posts/blogs related to that topic

4. Certainly need areas for national and state level subjects ASAP.

5. FP is left alone for current Praja supported local posts, blogs and discussions.

tech's picture

india.praja.in

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Bowing to the 'demand', there is now an entry point for "national level" posts, see http://india.praja.in

To go with this new entry point, when you create a new post, there is a new "india" option to select  under the "where" set of items.

Moderation guidelines apply as always, national level posts need not be all ideology and no analysis.

Project management system (long pending) is up next

And then the Forum changes.

Image upload feaure will take a bit longer.

Praja Techs

srkulhalli's picture

Some more suggestions for praja

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There are just too many blogs, and I think one of the reasons for the totally off-track comments (like Gay sex & bride burning being put up on the BMTC ticketless travel post) is probably they dont have an active blog related to what they want to say, or it is too much trouble to find one. People just end up putting what is uppermost in their mind, irrespective of the post topic.

The way out is for the blogger to select a category and a subcategory of his blog (will work better than tag, as this gives the primary intent of the blog).  The categories could be general, like Traffic and transport, water management, governance,  etc. Subcategories under traffic and transport could be roads, METRO/Mono,  Bus service etc. These blogs move into what appears like posts on discussion forums, under each of these categories. That way, even if I wanted to add something to monrail, and it is not big enough for a blog, I can quickly scroll down the posts and figure out where to add it.

The other advanatge is people who want to be focussed on one area, know where to keep track. That category could also be showing the latest comments/posts.

PS> If you want to better understand what I am trying to say, call me up :)

 

Suhas

shas3n's picture

Categories

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Suhas,

thanks for those suggestions. Your suggstions do make a lot of sense and we agree that it is hard to post or find articles in appropriate categories.

We are currently working on a way to allow everyone to write a blog and do away with forums. The Blogs will have suitable categories for the users to choose as you have indicated.

We are currently also working out ways to allow users to upload images etc so we are ironing a few bugs out.

Keep watching this space!

Meanwhile, keep the suggestions coming. We at tech team are not too good at seing the site from user's point of view and any feedback does count a lot!

Shastri

-Shastri

Praja.in comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!



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