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Happy Halloween from Drew - and some scary new features
Posted by Drew at 2011-10-31 2:00:53 PM, edited 2011-10-31 2:43:04 PM (512 comments) | Permalink
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9146 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Oct 2011 at 2:02 PM (6 years ago) | | share: more»
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It being Halloween and all, the Fark team and I have decided there's no better day to scare the bejesus out of you - by dropping a bunch of new features on you all at once. So here goes:
Good news everyone! We've completely redesigned the site! It occurred to us that maybe MySpace and Geocities had the right idea after all, so we're launching freeform page construction and auto-run music, so get ready to go back to the future, people! I'm taking the rest of the week off! Enjoy!
No not really. Here's the new stuff:
1) Favoriting/ignoring directly from the comment header - Basically just what it sounds like. A simple star next to the user's name for favoriting, and an ignore icon over on the right (we put it way over there so that you wouldn't accidentally the wrong one).
On ignoring, it's also worth pointing out the "Show header (but not body) of ignored comments, instead of completely removing them" option in the "Preferences" tab of your user profile. That isn't new, but not a lot of people know about; it gives you a better idea of what your ignore list is doing--especially when you have it ignoring comments by unignored users that mention ignored users--and also enables un-ignoring from the comment header.
2) "Last read" redline indicator on headline pages - Many of you already have the red bar separator enabled for comment threads, to know what new comments came in after the last time you checked the thread, but now we're making that an option for the main Fark pages where the headlines are; a handy line to let you know where you were last time you came to Fark so you know when to stop reading. Kind of like how the sky is blue so we know when to stop mowing the lawn (hat tip: Night Court). Note: this isn't a default, to check it out, just go to the "Preferences" tab of your user profile and turn on "Mark first new link w/separator line" to make this work.
3) Gifting TF subscriptions - Anyone who subscribes (or is already subscribed) to TF gets two one-month TF gift passes to hand out to anyone they like. If the person you gifted with TF then later signs up for six months or a year of TF, you get the gift sub back to hand out to whoever you like all over again.
tl;dr regarding Gift subscriptions...why this?
We've had "get more TF signups" on the Fark to-do list for quite awhile now. The problem has been figuring out the best way to do it, because regardless of the method, the real danger was what if it worked? What if we actually did find a super-compelling reason for folks to sign up TF? Mass hordes of new subscribers would disrupt all the cool whatever it is going on behind the curtain, TF would be ruined, my inbox would fill up with dramatically-penned missives pining for the good old days, and people would unsubscribe for at least two weeks or so I figure.
Several months back, I asked TFers at several Fark parties the same two questions: how did you get onto TotalFark, and why did you stay? Everyone had a different reason for staying, but as for how they got onto TotalFark, the vast majority had been invited by someone who bought them a subscription. Aha.
They said that not only did this allow them to check things out, but they had the assistance of someone who was already a TF regular who could tell them, 1) why they liked TF, and 2) why it would be cooler with them as part of it. And explain non-obvious intricacies both social and technical.
Adding gift invites also solved our primary problem - how not to ruin TF via huge subscriber influx. TF has always been a mostly self-selecting population, adding tons of new folks out of the blue seemed like a terrible idea.
So basically what we're doing is taking something that already plays a huge factor in TF membership rates and turning it up a notch. I always tell people that the best way to get something started isn't to build a city in the desert, it's to kick a rolling ball downhill.
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