Wear your hardhat! Communities Updates Phase 1 and a change to Public Chat

Hey Everyone! You know we’ve been growing and working hard on Empire Avenue, so we figured we’d best give you another update and a heads up on some upcoming developments.

Empire Avenue continues to grow at a rapid pace, and we have to keep up! One of the the areas of the site that has languished as we have grown is our Empire Avenue Communities. So tomorrow (June 22, 2011) we are going to start improving Communities! Yes, I know a lot of you have been asking for it! Tomorrow, we will shut down Empire Avenue Communities for a short time and reconfigure how they work.

From end of day June 22, 2011 onwards, it will no longer cost you eaves to join Communities. Any monies you have spent on community upgrades will be refunded to you, going back to the very first day we launched them! We will allow you to join up to 100 communities, leave at will and re-join if you wish. This means you can join any Community of interest, and meet new people who like talking about the same things as you!

We will also go back to basics on the user interface, and Empire Avenue Communities will match the rest of the site. You may notice a few unused pages missing or some features lacking. We have decided to release each feature and upgrade as they’re ready. This means Communities are about to undergo daily/weekly changes as we improve their functionality.

Some of the things that are coming:

  • Thumbing up of posts
  • Favouriting of posts
  • Searching posts in a Community
  • Subscribing to individual Communities for notifications
  • New notification levels
  • Integration of Communities with Indexes!

Chat up a storm — or two!
One of the neat features of our Communities is that you can run your own Public Chats inside a community. As of June 22, 2011, we will be disabling Public Chat on the rest of the site. We’re doing this for a number of reasons, the main reason being that as Empire Avenue grows, we cannot continue to support site-wide public chats (imagine doing this with millions of users!). The upside of this is that more focused Community Chats ensure that you’re getting more value out of chat – it’s not just about talking to random people, but rather to connect with like-minded individuals!

It’s been really fun having the chats and we see the incredible potential in them for helping new users. Therefore, Empire Avenue will continue to run scheduled “Help” and special event chats on the site.
Remember you will be able to continue to socialize and chat with the same people you do now by setting up a group private chat, or jumping into a Community! When you create your chat, you have full control and you can moderate it to your heart’s content.

18 Comments

  1. This changes will be useful! In fact, Empire Avenue should be a exchange plate form wher each of user can interact with all other. Now it’s very complicate to follow all the various media like Facebook, Facebook fan page, LinkedIn, blogs and further. I am looking forward to test the new community! Thank you for your great job!

  2. Awesome update news! Communities could rock with these new features and users will benefit if their thumbs up and favoriting actions count. The chat in communities should create more focus and real-time interaction for those that prefer it, however, would it be counted in EA score?

    Is there a way that Empire Avenue sanctioned chats can be publicized prior to the event date? I don;t recall seeing anything about the first one unless you are referring to [X]pendapalooza.

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  4. Guys & Gals,

    Sounds G-g-g-g-r-r-reat and I look forward to it! I am relatively new — just over a month — and have only used the public chats (as they were) once or twice. I think another factor in that world-wide format was the time zones; I did notice though that nighttime for Central time seemed to be a “quiet time” worldwide. I know that 9pm for me is 9am for someone somewhere; I didn’t worry about it too much…

    On another note: the link for my blog on my page:

    http://saberamuslim.com

    …sends folks to a Yahoo 404 error page. One of the top persons here on EA, Dr. Ron Capps, advised me to send a message to your help department. The good Doctor did say it may take a while before your IT department would get to it. I was wondering if my message had been received at all.

    Thanks!
    Saber

  5. Just want to make absolutely clear everyone knows what to expect, tomorrow we’re going to put up Phase 1 which is the current feature set cleaned up — need to clean and remove all the extra baggage before we add anything more, cleaning and removing has taken a long time! Many of the features pointed out in this blog post will come in over the next few weeks – still the changes tomorrow are pretty substantial! 😉

    Dups

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  7. Cool stuff guys movin on and upwards.We will be discussing communities on #EAv chat on Twitter next Tuesday 7pm Eastern. Dups would you like to guest and take questions or maybe get someone from your team too?
    Seriously there is a War index? Something for everyone for sure 🙂

  8. I love the recent changes, but I’m still looking for an easier way to link individual discussion threads. You can do it if you’re received notification of a reply to that post, but that’s the only way.

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