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Everything old is new again

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Yesterday, I cleaned up the entire site and upgraded us to the latest version of the community software we use. Let's go through some of what changed, how, and why.

Old posts have been pruned

There were a lot of threads on the site from the beginning of its creation. This is really cool in some ways, but in others it makes things a little cluttered and doesn't really reflect the evolution of the community over time. Not only does this give us a fresh chance to bring up some old topics of conversation to discuss them in a new light, but it makes room for new members to not feel overwhelmed by the fear of necro-bumping an old topic because they want to share their input. Plus, your post count still reflects all the posts you've made thus far.

Categories and forums have been condensed

This was a long time coming. While the interests of our members have always been diverse and varied, it usually wasn't quite enough to justify having separate sections for everything. Going forward, we encourage the use of more and longer threads within the appropriate sections in place of a few threads over many categories. For example, movies and the like can now be discussed in Chatting. No need for a separate forum; if there is enough activity, we'll make one, but this makes it easier to keep everything in the same place and keeps things moving more quickly.

The site is cleaner, faster, and more responsive

The update to the latest version of our community software brings with it a large number of new and improved features. Not only should you be able to load pages faster generally, it's also easier to navigate the different areas of the site and access notifications about content that interests you. In particular, you can create activity streams to monitor what you care the most about, and set up notifications either on-site or by email for things that are really important.

Everything is shiny

What you probably noticed first, and I'll discuss last, is the new skin. It improves usability, has a sharper and more modern look, and works great on any browser - even mobile devices. My favorite feature, though, is the background switcher. We can set six custom backgrounds, and you can choose your favorite one to use on the site, switching to another at any time. I've picked a few from my wallpapers folder as placeholders. Going forward, users will be able to vote on which backgrounds they'd like to have available, and we can update them as often or as little as we please. It's just one more thing to help make your Summa Crossroads experience exactly how you like it.

Closing thoughts

I hope you're all as excited about this update as I am. There's a lot left to do, so let's get to work!

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