We’ve put a lot of effort into improving the quality of conversations on Affino this year. Most of the drive has come from working with the team at Eric Prydz, but also from the teams Ask My Community, Like Minds, Entrepreneurs World, Talent Direct, and LOL Nail Courses.
There are many ways to have conversations in Affino and in the upcoming release including: forums, message boards, groups, my messages, comments and status updates, and we’ve just added a new one: Group Chat. The visual above highlights how the changes have impacted on the Affino Forums on EricPrydz.tv.
When we started working with the moderation team or the EP.tv forums they had a list of around 100 improvements that they wanted to see. This release sees us ticking off the final two: original poster in quote posts and not highlighting articles they’ve already read during a session. Take a look above at just one of the forum screens to get a feel for just how far the forums have evolved.
Here are some of the other ways we’ve improved conversations this past year:
We rolled out the new Comments and Ratings system earlier this year and have improved it steadily since. The flexibility; integration with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter; threaded conversations and many ratings options make it a great way to interact between bloggers and enthusiasts.
This release sees some great improvements in the Group Wall which allows for improved real-time conversations, rich media and a more vibrant community. There’s also been a lot of fine tuning of the group experience during the year and it will take some big leaps forward in the near future with all the media updates we’ll be doing.
We launched the new My Messages system pretty much a year ago and we smoothed everything out over the past few releases. We’re now getting ready for the next update which will see all our great smart media capabilities rolled into the messages.
Smart Media was a big step forward for rich, interactive pages in Affino. It is no longer necessary to upload images and media in Affino in many instances and we’ll be making that universal over the coming releases. This means users just have to paste a link and anywhere that we can, using oembed, we pull in the best match content from the originating site. This has already seen a breakthrough in how engaging the blogs and forums are.
One of the biggest demands for us this year has been to create more real-time interactions. It was already possible through status updates to have a conversation in Affino, but a much more real-time option is now here with Group Chat which can be used by hundreds of users to have a simultaneous conversation. We’ve also extended many other elements such as Who’s Online to be real-time and are working to extend many more.
A big part of initiating conversations is done through Blogs, and we rolled out a host of Pro-blogging features that make Affino blogs incredibly easy to use, i.e. just paste the link to any media you want included and Affino does the rest. We also upgraded the blog navigation, tagging, comments (see above), sharing (with Facebook), highlights, management, look and feel and much more.
It’s a subtle thing but most of the notifications are now much better looking than they were and particularly the Forum notifications are no much more informative when it comes to rich media.
The great news is that in the coming release all of these will also work well on tablets and mobiles and then following the next release we’ll really start to optimise them for the mobile user.