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Evolution of Soakerdom, 2006
Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:20 pm
'The only thing constant is change.'
Perhaps 'tis been said countless times before, yet its accuracy remains all too true. As this year is inching closer to its end and as sites prepare for the new one coming, I like trying to look both in retrospect and towards the future, looking at all we have accomplished as a group and where we can go from here.
Some of the highlights of this year include:
- members starting to look more closely at tactics;
- improvements in the homemade soaker tech; and
- the formation of a new 'open' community, WaterWarfare.com
Of course, there have also been various spam/bot attacks on the different forums as well as various unexpected down-times at various sites.
The question I pose to the membership is where do YOU wish the communities to go from here?
What areas could use more developing? Where has there been too much focus? What seems to work and what could use tweaking?
Of course, some suggestions would take longer to implement than others and some may work better than others. However, we (board Admins and site developers) always welcome feedback and ideas on potential directions to pursue.
While this thread is being duplicated on the major forums, please use each thread for its local forum-specific suggestions and ideas.
Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:38 pm
For this site? Updates.
For updates? Time.
I think we're all feeling a bit pinched for time ATM--at least I am. Fortunately, everything will be settled very shortly, although I had expected all the extracurricular activities to go two weeks ago. Argh. But in one week we have a four-day weekend due to elections--I'll find time to write up some articles amidst the sea of canvassing for Jim Webb and Al Weed.
Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:42 am
Updates here would be great! Definitely know Ben's been busy with lots of things, but the main page at SSCentral hasn't changed for all too long. Then again, Ben has made remarks that a major site overhaul is coming in the future so that's definitely something to look forward to!
Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:56 am
Thanks for reminding me to post more about the overhaul. I suppose I'll post it here because it does mention a lot I feel is inadequate with Super Soaker Central currently.
Here's an outline of the current plan:
- New design. This one will be easier to read than the current one. Features similar colors. Less of a download burden as well. As some have read in my saga, last year my design efforts were trash at best, but this one I really think is good and will last for quite some time. I might never redesign again because I like it so much. Drenchenator has told me it's his favorite Super Soaker Central design.
- New sections and new focuses. These new sections I won't discuss in detail because they're secret stuff. There will be a lot of them though and each one is going to at least be interesting to some people. I'm really trying to innovate here. Some of these sections will take a notable amount of work to complete and I think the larger ones definitely will intrigue some people. And no, just in case anyone is wondering, only one of the new sections has anything to do with water gun technology, but technology is not the main point behind the section. A lot of these sections will be big reading sections.
- New water gun technology features. Lots of new guides. Lots of new links to new guides that are off-site. Lots of new explanations. Lots of new ideas. Very comprehensive repair section, so comprehensive that I would be surprised if we missed a problem. Lots of other stuff I can't remember at the moment either.
- Lots of relevant links all over the website. Links are not limited to the links page. If anyone else does anything good, I'll link to it on the section pages. Even still, I've already compiled what may be the most comprehensive links section around. My original intention was to put every website that at least had something interesting on it in a links section. Every website listed is enjoyable. I think this links page will surprise people with its size because a lot of people assume there are not too many water gun websites around.
- New mailbag items and loads more FAQ items.
- New "Custom water gun" store. Next year we will be selling custom built homemade water guns. I also intend to sell homemade water gun kits with all of the parts needed to make a homemade water gun, as well as homemade water gun parts that might need to be bought in bulk (larger diameter latex rubber tubing mainly). Something for everyone.
- New backend. Not too many people will care about this, but I'll finally get to add the backend that Neo started and I finished back in 2005 onto the website. This is one thing I forgot to mention in my saga. The new backend will put everything in a database without screwing with the URLs at all. It also will help very much with SEO. The most important thing it will do however will be making the process of updating easier.
- Reviews will be revamped eventually. My intention at the moment is to link to the old reviews in the old design and to also link to other websites with reviews.
There's probably more things I didn't remember, but here's the basic gist of the overhaul.
Given the scale of this overhaul, I don't anticipate it being completed until at earliest March 2007.