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Club-Oracle Upgrade and New Features

Discussion in 'Site Announcements and Feedback' started by Sadik, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Sadik

    Sadik Community Moderator Forum Guru

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    Hello All

    I would like to announce that a new upgrade for Club-Oracle has been commissioned. What this means is that I feel that the site has now reached a level whereby it's necessary to tweak some of the existing features, remove unnecessary features and introduce new ones.

    Club-Oracle started as a small Oracle Discussion forum based on my own desire to have an unofficial Club where Oracle Professionals could hang out. That was way back in August 2008. I had never imagined or considered that one day, there would be 5000 people from all over the world visiting the site daily. We have now reached a stage where it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain the number of people we receive everyday without adopting some of the industry best practices for hosting large sites. So here are the new features which I have commissioned to be progressively delivered which would hopefully make this place even better and busier!

    1. Improved Server for faster browsing:

    The hardware of the server that this site runs on will be upgraded. Along with that static content like images etc. will be moved to a separate content delivery network. What this means is that there should be considerable improvement to the speed of browsing. (Lightning fast is more of what I am hoping! :) )

    2. Improved User Interface and Design

    Let's face it, the site looks cluttered. At least so in my opinion. The idea is to bring in a light user interface that removes unnecessary clutter and highlights the important areas and features of the site. I will post a few screenshots of the new design once i have something from the designer.

    3. Likes Feature and Awards

    Currently we have a Points system in place which functions quite well. However for all the valuable members of the site who help out fellow members, there is no instant feedback from those seeking help. We do have a button which can be clicked to mark a post as "helpful", but for reasons unknown very few people actually click on it.

    On the other hand, a "Like" button, pioneered by facebook seems to have received universal acceptance. Everyone knows what the blue "Like" link is for. We will be introducing a minimal like system and integrating it with the Points system, which will I hope, provide instant feedback as to whether a post helped out someone or not. Additionally we will have "Awards" for regular members. These will be symbolic and non-financial in nature, but I hope they will provide some motivation to people to help others.

    4. LinkedIN integration

    This is the BIG one! We are planning on providing a feature whereby member's accounts here can be integrated with their LinkedIN accounts. Club-Oracle's primary member base are developers and consultants accessing the site from their offices. LinkedIN has emerged as the business network of choice for all professionals. I hope that by providing an integration option with LinkedIN, we will see more active participation from the community.

    However this requires quite a bit of development effort and this may be rolled out at a later date.

    5. Supporter Group

    The Advertisements we run on the site cover the costs of running and maintaining the site. We remove ads for members once they cross a threshold no. of points. However the continuous maintenance and improvement of the site costs a lot of finance. We will be introducing a "Supporter Usergroup", where members can contribute a fixed amount yearly of their choice, for continuous improvement of Club-Oracle. This will be entirely voluntary and only if members choose to do so. The supporter users will receive the additional perks such as "Supporter Badge" on their Profile, Zero Ads, Unlimited Download limit in the Documents section and higher starting points!

    Again this maybe deployed at a later date in Phase II.

    I hope to be able to deploy all the changes except LinkedIN integration and Supporter Usergroups by the end of this month. LinkedIN and Supporter features should be rolled out sometime in March, hopefully earlier.

    Let me know what you guys think. If there is something you want to suggest, this would be the right time and place for it... :) Please subscribe to this thread if you would like to remain updated on the progress.

    Thank you all...
     
    rajavu and tyro like this.
  2. tyro

    tyro Forum Genius

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    Sounds like great things ahead! Sorry haven't been around much since moving to US. Will try and make it here though to see what changes come up

    Thumbs Up!
     
  3. rajavu

    rajavu Forum Guru

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    Greeeaat. .. [​IMG]

    I am looking forward for new features.

    But I am not quite sure whether "LIKE" system will help the point system better than the current "HELPFULL" system. i would like to suggest to change the position of the current "Mark as Helpfull" button / new "LIKE" button

    1. To the middle of 'tool bar' after each post or
    2. To the left side of "Edit Post" button in the same 'tool bar'.
     
    Sadik likes this.
  4. Sadik

    Sadik Community Moderator Forum Guru

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    Thanks for your encouragement and suggestions!

    Actually the Like Button is planned to be beside the Edit/Reply button. That should make it pretty visible! :)
     
  5. Sadik

    Sadik Community Moderator Forum Guru

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    We should be ready to roll out the first phase of the planned upgrade this weekend. That means the new and improved look should be implemented then (hopefully!)

    Here's a screenshot...

    club-oracle-forums.jpg
     
  6. rajavu

    rajavu Forum Guru

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    For me, it looks cool and more elegant with simple and bright background colours.

    Can we have some more screenshots probably form the first page of the post/thread ?
     
  7. Sadik

    Sadik Community Moderator Forum Guru

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    Yes, we will... but things are in work in progress... Thread page won't change too much though. Some screenshots will come hopefully tomorrow! :)
     
  8. rajavu

    rajavu Forum Guru

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    Thanks for the updates.. :)
     
  9. Sadik

    Sadik Community Moderator Forum Guru

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    Unfortunately due to unavoidable circumstances, the upgrade can't be rolled out this weekend. The developer has reported lost of work pending so the upgrade will happen next week. In the meantime here are a few more screenshots.
     

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  10. Sadik

    Sadik Community Moderator Forum Guru

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    The site is scheduled to be upgraded on Sunday 6th of March 2011, from 6:30 AM to 1:30 AM GMT. The site will remain closed for approximately 4 hours.

    Hope this doesn't cause any inconvenience.