I'll be continuing on the modernization and quality of life improvements here before returning to any RPG elements. Next up is support RSS feeds for both reading in posts to sectors as well as allowing linkFilter to integrate into RSS readers.
The next release will allow sector moderators to subscribe their sector to a number of RSS feeds. Only moderators will be able to see these feeds. They will be able to easily convert one or more items in the feed into posts in the sector. I may also add some auto posting ability, since it's still pretty dead around here.
All sectors and views will support an RSS output. Authenticated views like Home will include a token to make it easy to include your customized feed in a reader.
With this release you can post embedded images and videos. Images can be posted from Flickr, Imgur, Giphy, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or any direct link to an image file. Videos can be posted from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.
Other embed types like audio and podcasts will be added in a future release.
This release of linkFilter introduces bounties, activities that grant extra rewards for completing specific tasks. Bounties typically run for a week or a day and encourage users to explore and interact.
Once acquired you can click the XP bar to track your progress. Be sure to complete your bounties before they expire, and then collect you reward.
Currently only Cando 99-30 in The Archive is offering bounties, but expect to see more soon.
This release introduces The Archive, moving all the posts from before "the collapse" to a separate section of the site. Posts in The Archive are locked: no voting, no editing, no commenting. Posts can be recovered from The Archive by crossposting them to other sectors.
The Archive also introduces linkFilter's first NPC: Cando 99-30. Cando manages The Archive and will soon start offering bounties for activities involving all those old posts.
This release also introduces crossposting. Any post can be crossposted to another sector. The original post creator gets awarded XP as well as the person crossposting. You can crosspost your own posts too, but you won't get double XP.
I wanted to share my thoughts on the next release for linkFilter, because they may be controversial.
I'm going to be moving all posts and sectors except for the very latest ones into a new section of the site titled The Archive. A new heading at the top will allow you to delve into the sectors and visit the heyday of the site. Search will return results from the both areas.
This will allow us to start building a series of sectors that are user moderated and focused on whatever you're interested in. When more of the game mechanics start to come into play there will be reasons to visit The Archive and pull posts into the main area.
Once I've introduced some more game mechanics I'll be doing a user reset, pulling everyone back to level 1 and 0 XP. I want to give everyone a reason to start posting again since most users who were here back in the day have already unlocked everything. There will be new things to unlock and new mechanics to allow active users to progress quickly. All posts and sectors between now and the reset will remain active.
Share them here, in the chat, or on the Discord.
Out today, Markdown editing across the site.
I don't know about you, but I always found the editing on linkFilter lacking. My wonky CR/LF to html break conversion never worked right. It also made the text edit fields terrible to look at.
I've removed support for editing HTML directly, and now we just use markdown. All the old rules for where images are allowed and aren't still apply.
I refactored the posting of links, journals and comments to use as much of the same code as possible. Moving forward this should make making changes easier and more uniform. As with all refactors, you will probably find a bug or two, just let me know.
Now that the first new features for linkFilter have been released in ages, I wanted to share with you some of direction I'd like to take the site.
I want to double down on the gaming aspects of the site. I'll be introducing a parallel alternate universe narrative where the internet is almost entirely a handful of walled gardens. LinkFilter is one of the last refuges of the open internet, and your character comes to share, curate and defend content there.
I'll be introducing character classes, each with its own role on the site. The "mod" class for example, is a curator on the site. They have specialized tools for managing lots of content. All classes will be able to perform all functions, just some functions will be better/easier for your class. I'll also be introducing inventory. Stuff you can add to your characters to enhance their functions even more. Eventually I'd like to introduce NPCs into the mix.
I'm excited to announce some new features to the linkFilter community.
Sectors replace categories and can be created by anyone. Journals and Polls are now posted into sectors as well. Anything posted into your sectors can be moderated by you.
CP becomes glimmer
I've renamed CP into glimmer. The function is exactly the same, except instead of getting reset every night you will get additional glimmer on the first visit of each day. You can accumulate up to 1000. I've also tweaked the amount you get each day slightly.
New level up screen
Now that modern is a bit more stable I've started thinking about where to go from here. I'm on a train and my TvOS project is stuck so I've been doing a lot of thinking about it. Here's a proposal..
First I want to unify links, journals and polls and start adding support for lots of other types. There's no reason we shouldn't be able to share images, videos embeds, music, or anything else that is relevant. That means all the permalinks will change and that elements like ratings will be available on all types. I'd also like to rename journals to blogs or simply text entries.
CP Becomes Currency, XP goes away
The biggest change I'd like to propose is eliminating XP and levels altogether. CP (renamed, ideas?) becomes a true currency that you can bank. Every day you visit the site you get a bit more in the bank. To post you pay the going market value of the place you want to post (more on this later). When people react to your post they pay to do so and that CP goes to you. The net earnings of a post determines its position on the front page. The system levies a small tax on front page posts, which is how they decay off. That tax is then used to pay for the stipend given to visiting the site.
Hey big spender, buy a sub!
Categories go away in favor of reddit style subfilters or subs. Creating one is a big investment, but as the owner of one you'll be entitled to do whatever you want with it. Charge a posting fee, levy your own tax, change the design, mod the posts, whatever. Each sub has its own chat, with chat becoming an increasingly integrated part of the experience.
Conclusions, Your Thoughts?
A couple of updates this morning:
* Added in versioning to the JS/CSS to prevent release wonkiness
* Added back the Top Users view
Also looks like we're having some UTF-8 character issues. It's on the list.
I've been toiling away on a new skin that will bring linkfilter a big step forward toward being a modern website. It's responsive, mobile-friendly, and has features you've come to expect like auto-loading of pages (aka endless scroll). It's also blazingly quick, and I haven't even started optimizing it for caching yet.
As a part of this exercise I'm trying to boil linkfilter down to it's absolute essence. You'll notice that a lot of the gory bits like XP and Points are tucked away behind the scenes. It also doesn't support some of the more esoteric features like ignoring people (discuss). My hope is that most of these changes will be fairly non-controversial as I would eventually like this to become the default and eventually only skin.
One change that I think has the potential to cause some alarm is the unified comments view (discuss). I've noticed that the threading system on linkfilter adds very little to conversations. Most replies are intending to add to the end of a conversation, but depending on which reply button you hit you could end up with a long string of "RE: RE: RE: RE:" and a jumbled mess of indentation. The new system allows for exactly one level of threading, with all replies going to the end of that thread. I think it will make conversations much easier to follow, and more inviting to jump in and participate. Each thread is like a mini chat.
I'm making great progress on the modern skin. I hope you guys will like it. Check out the screenshots below and please let me know your thoughts.
Glad to see folks logging back in and using the site. I've made some pretty significant updates behind the scenes over the last few days. All the source is now on GitHub. Here's a summary of changes..
* Merged with the more modern Otter framework
* Support for proper response codes (404,200,etc)
* Support for memcached caching
* Upgraded passwords to use bcrypt
* Added RSS 2.0 feeds for links and comments (add format=rss)
* Added JSON feeds for links, comments, polls, journals, users (add format=json)
I'm going to take on a modernized skin next and we'll phase out these old janky ones.
There's probably problems, your best bet is to email me or hit me up on Facebook.