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.


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