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Thrik

What's the plan for MapCore this year?

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As I'm sure you remember there was a donation drive recently which has helped a lot, and also some things have been figured out regarding the site's server that were holding back progression. So you're probably wondering what's going to be happening in 2012 with the Core, right?! I figured I'd quickly jot down the basics (most of this has been loosely mentioned in various threads and on IRC but not in one place). Also, I have been paying attention to the LinkedIn suggestions if you were wondering. :D

Moving to a dedicated server in Europe (imminent)

The forums have been hosted on a shared server in the US for quite some time, which has been an increasing struggle considering the traffic and size of the forum; this has caused downtime and performance issues, and made upgrading the forum unfeasible. It's now moving to a dedicated cloud node, and will be hosted in Europe as the majority of MapCore's users are based there. Despite this, performance should still be better for those in the US because it's one seriously tuned server.

Switching to new forum software (within a couple of months)

While phpBB is a lovely free option, it's fiddly in numerous ways and customisation is a pain. It also lacks a lot of features that make integrating additional features troublesome to put it lightly, and don't even get me started on the bots. As such, we're moving to commercial forum software which has many more features and is basically a better user experience in every way — even something as basic as embedding videos and pictures is far easier. This'll include a new design, and the debut of the new logo. As this new software has extensive provisions for other types of content this also opens the door for...

The return of original content and features

For a long time the forums have been little more than a forum. Properly bringing back challenges and the spotlight has been on the agenda for some time, and they're going to return better than ever. In addition, MapCore isn't going to become a news site but there is going to be much more in the way of original content such as opinion pieces, tutorials, making-of articles, and basically anything that the community wishes to contribute. This will be open to all members as well as including outside guests when possible, albeit with a certain degree of editorial control. :cool:

Other things I'm looking into are focusing more on the recruitment board, such as being more proactive about attracting recruiters and getting them posting here; having a community feed where members can add their personal sites' RSS feeds and have their latest updates show up in the sidebar; and of course putting together a small group of people primarily responsible for contributing and moderating articles. But this'll all be discussed later! :derp:

It's going to be an exciting year for MapCore, and while nothing will be done to compromise the awesome community that's been here for many years, it's going to be expanded in scope and there's going to be more here for people to get their teeth into — as well as to attract new members and make MapCore something that's less a hidden gem and more something people have great respect for far and wide due to the abundance of talent and great personalities that gather here.

I don't want to get into the things I've described much more than I have already because I'm still figuring details out, but if anyone has other things they've been itching to see on MapCore feel free to leave your thoughts below.

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I like this.

One question though; Does changing forum software and server mean that everything on here (users, threads... our history) will be gone in the transfer?

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No, nothing will be lost. It'll be a job for me to make sure of that (GBs of forum data), but nothing for you guys to worry about. :derp:

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