Hi, all! My site support team, Hoop.la, recently completed a Cookie Connection software upgrade. A number of things were improved that only I, as an admin of the site, can see. However, two new features were added that will directly impact your experience on the site, and so I wanted to tell you a bit more about them.
First, we now have a personalized activity stream feature, which is why this release is called the "Personal Activity Stream Release", natch! But what does this mean? Let me back up by saying that you have always had the ability to see ALL of the activity on the site, though you might not have been aware of this feature. To see it, you simply need to go to the "Milestones and More!" widget to the right-bottom of the home page, and click on "Complete Activity Stream" at the bottom of that widget:
Once you do that, our site activity stream, aka "Activity" page, will open up, showing you a continually updated stream (or list) of what's happening on the site, in ALL areas of the site. That page now looks something like this:
What's new about this feature is the little blue link entitled "View personal activity stream" in the upper left. If you click on this link, you'll only see posts from the areas and people on the site who you follow, as determined by your notifications settings and any "follow" buttons you've clicked on the site. In other words, your own personal lens or filter will be applied to the overall activity stream. (Pssst! If you were wondering about the lenses in this post's title image, the connection is now hopefully clear! ) I have also been told by Hoop.la that it may take 24 hours or more for your personal activity stream to look different than the overall stream ("it will take a little time to build out"), so don't be surprised if they look pretty similar at the moment.
Now, admittedly, this feature is relatively buried on the site (a decision I made when locating content on the site). However, if members find the activity stream valuable, I will consider moving it to a more visible area of the site, perhaps linked into the main navigation line. Once you've explored the feature, please let me know your thoughts about the location and usefulness of this information. Thanks!
The second enhancement is the one I am personally most excited about, and it is improved image quality (hurrah!) - something I've been nagging Hoop.la to fix for many years now! In the past, images were compressed upon upload to the site, and thus some resolution/quality was lost in the process, especially with vertical images. Now, image compression is no longer being done. What this means is that all images uploaded after this site upgrade, whether uploaded to the clips section (our photo galleries), the blog, or any other area, should be a lot sharper - provided the original image was crisp to start. Hopefully, you have already noticed this enhancement in the quality of images in our home page galleries. You'll soon see the impact in blog posts as well - again, provided the images in those posts weren't uploaded to the site before this software upgrade.
All for now! If you have any questions or comments about this upgrade, please let me know in the comments area below. Thanks!