So, VE.com is 3 years old now! It's birthday celebrations have been marked by a heap of software upgrades - almost every component has been updated in some way recently.
For the technically minded, you may know that this site runs on a PHP based Content Management System called Joomla. On this platform, numerous extensions are added (like the forums, galleries, blogs etc), which are all developed by independent parties. A lot of "backstage" work for this site goes into keeping these various bits of code updated. You may have noticed the Facebook/Twitter posts on various things that have been updated lately. Behind such an update is some testwork on our demo site to check that the new code works properly and doesn't mess up anything else (which happens from time to time). Sometimes we modify the functionality and looks to suite the site better. When we are happy with that, the update gets implemented on the live site.
Even if there are no visible changes for the user to see, a lot of updates provide security updates, and minor bug fixes and improvements. This all goes towards keeping things running smoothly and making sure this site keeps accumulating birthdays!
One of the more noticable changes coming up is that we will be merging the blog and article sections (this is likely to be the last post in this section). Our annual license for the current blog software is up and we would rather consolidate the features of the site, particularly where the distinction between blogs and articles is not always that clear. Our article section will become the new blog and we'll add some more functionality to bring it more into line with current blogging trends. You may have noticed one new feature already: the author's profile link.
While all members can read the blogs and make comments, access to post a new blog will not be automatic (for the time being). If you wish to write an article or a blog, simply contact me and you'll be granted access to submit your material (if the relevant links already appear in your user menu, then this access has already been granted to you). This has to do with the current functionality and with quality control - but all members are encouraged to contribute material, so please let me know if you would like to publish anything on the site!
We're also very mindful of internet trends which are shifting from information towards social interaction. We're continually considering how to maintain the informative aspect of this site, while at the same time enhancing it's social features. One aspect I'm currently investigating is jumping onto the Facebook Connect bandwagon. The most basic feature would be to allow linking of your VE profile to your Facebook profile, and to allow new users to login using their Facebook credentials - but trends and functionality have already progressed beyond that! More on this later, if it gets that far.
So, here's to many more years of swopping stories, info and pics of our beloved mountains! Thanks to everyone for your participation and for enriching my own experience of the Berg.