As you may have noticed, SETT looks and works a bit different today. Due to a mistake in the way we were merging code, we had to wait a few weeks to push all of the updates at once.
The biggest changes are:
- There's now a sidebar featuring community posts and members. Our biggest goal is to give a bigger voice to community members, so this is a step in that direction. Moving forward we'll be adding other stuff to the sidebar, including the archived posts that everyone keeps asking for.
- Our new editor works in all browsers, including IE, which had problems before. It also has a fullscreen mode which is great for composing long posts or replies.
Our immediate next priorities are making SETT faster, giving it a more consistent UI, and making it functional beyond just reading on mobile devices. We're giving some serious thought to raising money to hire people and make these and other improvements happen faster.
As always... I'm very interested in any feedback, positive or negative, as well as bug reports.
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Any plans on leaving the sidebar intact even when viewing a single post. I don't like using the back button and would like to go back to the list of your posts/community posts with just one click. I find myself never using the "Back" browser buttons anymore.
My ego thanks the 3rd best contributor status. Now how do those stars work? ;)
Yeah, we're looking into solutions for that. I really like the idea of having a full-width blog post, and I don't think that the toggle buttons would be the right way to bring people back, but I agree that there's a problem there. For now, if you click the blog header it will bring you back to community if you're reading a community post, and the front page if you're reading a front page post.
Stars are based on levels of contribution, subject to ranking. So if you've ever left a reply that got a certain amount of upvotes you get one star, if you've made a community post that gets a certain amount of upvotes, you get two stars, and if you get something promoted to the front page, you get three. Moderators get gold stars and voiced users (Brian's the only one right now) get silver stars.
Love the sidebar, makes it much more organized. I would like it on individual post pages as well, not just the front page, to get rid of the surplus of annoying white space. Make it hidable by toggling a little icon or something. That's the only real difference I've seen so far.
How's the process going for you guys? Everything is going according to plan or are you guys lagging behind? Any unforeseen problems? I'd love to hear an insiders point of view on your experience on building it to where it is right now and what's ahead, and not just the new features and functionality. I think it would be cool to read something about the human side behind it.
SETT has now been powering Tynan.com for a month! The transition wasn't completely without hiccups (several of my most popular posts disappeared, for example), but by and large it has been a big success. After all, the blog's still standing, right? I know that by making my own blog the test site for SETT I'm inadvertently making you a guinea pig, so thank you for putting up with the glitches (and bad email formatting) that have come along the way.
For those of you who haven't had a chance to explore the new SETT stuff on the blog, here's a short video highlighting some of the biggest changes:
Within 2-3 weeks, we'll be getting a few of our friends migrated over to SETT, and from there our next goal will be to open it to the public so that anyone will be able to have a SETT blog. You may have noticed that I now reply to pretty much every comment. It's not just because I'm trying promote SETT, it's because the process of replying to people is way easier now, and I know they'll get an email saying there's a reply. I'm really excited about getting more people running SETT and helping to make blogs a more social and interactive experience.
Last Friday night, after two years of really hard work on SETT, we sent invite codes out to the four hundred people on the SETT waiting list, offering fifty spots. Whoever managed to snag a spot could either take a free basic account or buy a premium account and get 50% off for life.
The main point of releasing these spots is to start testing SETT on a wider scale, to get more feedback, and to begin work on some really cool blog to blog features. So if no one actually paid for an account, and everyone just took free ones to mess around with, I would have been satisfied. I figured maybe one or two people might pay, and maybe things would go really well and five people would pay.
As it turns out, thirteen people bought accounts, covering all three price points that we set. More than the actual money, which I've already used to upgrade the servers, I'm personally touched that people are excited enough about SETT to pay for it. I've worked so hard on this and continue to narrowly focus on making it the best blogging platform, that it's moving to have people who share the vision.
I'm also grateful for the people who set up free accounts and have already started using them. Many of the paid and unpaid SETT customers are members of this site who are active in the community section and comments, so I have high expectations for all of their blogs. As they get settled in, import their old blogs, and write new posts, I'll be linking to some of them here. Next Monday I will link to every new SETT blog that has at least one post on it.