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New Features - Changes and Tutorial


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Ian

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Time to Go Over Some of the New Board Features:

1) Quick New Thread:
There's now a much faster way to post, with the new version of the software now including a window at the top of the forum to quickly post a new thread:
1598896121365.png

As soon as you click into the text window, it expands automatically with essentially the same functionality you would have posting normally:

1598896172056.png

This should make it a little quicker for people to add new threads, especially on mobile.

2) Pinning/Bookmarking Your Own Posts - From time to time we get cool threads that pop up on here that users as the mods to sticky, etc. While we enjoy doing so, the tough part is, the top of the board can become crowded and eventually, those posts actually end up getting lost and don't get the attention they deserve.

As a result, there are a couple of cool features now available, with one being built-in, the other being something I added separately.


BOOKMARKING POSTS:
That icon is found in the upper right hand corner, just to the left of the post number here:

1598892799964.png


After you've bookmarked it, you can view it by clicking on your name in the top right and then clicking "Bookmarks" on the pop up window:
1598893135333.png

PINNING POSTS:

You can also pin up to six posts, which will appear on your sidebar after you've added one for the first time. That selection box is located at the bottom of each post on the lower right hand side, just to the right of the "Reply" button:

1598893369445.png

After you selected it, it will show it's been "Pinned" and will appear on your sidebar on the next page refresh:

1598895398971.png
To remove a pinned item, just hit the "Unpin" button. Remember, you can only pin up to 6. After that, the checkboxes will disappear and prevent you from being able to pin any additional threads until you remove one.
 
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VIEW WHO POSTED IN A THREAD:

Another new feature, which has been requested previously, was popular in the previous version of our software but wasn't included in the current version. As a result, I went ahead and put this together prior to the changeover and here's a quick rundown:

If you were having a conversation with a particular user and want to separate out their posts to be able to find them faster, that feature is now available. All you need to do is find the number of replies for the thread, which is now a clickable link:

1676847656356.png

After you click on it, a slide-out window will open with the list of users and their number of posts:
1676847727660.png
Click on the number next to the person's name and it will bring up snippets of all of their posts in the thread, along with a link you can click on to view that post:

1676847761690.png
 

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NEW FEATURE: Browser Desktop Push Notifications:

At the bottom of the page, you'll see a notification to allow Push notifications. This new feature works primarily in your browser, allowing you to get notified if someone replies, drops a rating, etc.

The way it works is this: If you're in a thread discussing something and open up a tab in another window to read something (leaving the board open in another tab), if someone replies, rates a post, sends you a PM, etc., you'll get a little notification that will pop up to let you know.

It's strictly a board user notification, it's not related to anything else (it's not connected to the normal site content) so obviously, there's no spam, etc. It's also just on your desktop for now, not on mobile at this time:

Notification_Screenshot.jpg

So feel free to try it out. If you don't like it, you can simply disable them, but obviously, feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
 
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NEW FEATURE: Thread Preview (Site Supporter Feature):

There's now a function that allows you to preview a thread and scroll through every post without having to have a limit.

This was initially going to be a mod feature for us to be able to quickly scan a thread, but I decided to pass this on to the people who also support the site.

Here's how it works:

If you've donated and you have an active "Site Supporter Banner" under your name, there's a little binoculars icon next to the title in each post.

You click on that little binoculars icon as shown below:
1676846782377.png
That will then open up a little slide-out block as shown here:

1676846854338.png

You can even flip pages like in the thread itself by moving the little green icon here:
1676847188764.png

So as an example, if the last post you read was on page 2, you could flip to page two and then scroll and it would automatically load all the posts all the way to the end :)
 

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NEW FEATURE: Move Top Bill Board Down to Bottom:

For those who have donated, one other feature you may not have been aware of is the ability to relocate the top billboard down to the bottom, which makes everything load closer to the top and easier to read and gives you an extra bit of customization.

Here's how it works.

So currently, the content billboard is at the top of the screen:

1676848367342.png

Open up the slideout menu by clicking the menu icon at the top left.

Once you do, you'll see an option that says "BILLBOARD ON TOP" as shown here:

1676848459710.png
Uncheck the box, and it should prompt you to reload to see the change:
1676848555473.png

You should now see everything move up to the top as shown here:
1676848599620.png
With the billboard now having been relocated to the bottom:
1676848643567.png
 
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Ian

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NEW FEATURE: PATSFANS.COM LINKSPACE

I put this together probably 5+ years ago and started working on it again over the summer, but we now have a place to share links outside of a thread.

Obviously, on a day-to-day basis, it's nice to share interesting articles, links, videos, funny stuff, etc. Just to break up the mood a bit in here. We don't really have a place like that in here, so I thought it would be nice to have an area like that.

Thanks to all the people who have hopped on and played around with it, I've finally got this pretty much to the point where I'll share it with everyone here.

Link:
Patriots Links - PatsFans.com's LinkSpace

PatsFans.com LinkSpace

I've put together a new section that's similar to a couple of other social sites, with the idea to allow us to be able to share links that don't necessarily warrant their own threads. Whether it's a funny video on YouTube, an interesting article, a Tik Tok, an Instagram Photo, etc. I just wanted us to have an area to be able to break the monotony of the day-to-day and pass along anything here that people might find interesting.

Links posted in the forum are imported in here every few minutes, and attached to your account. Again, I actually initially put this together quite a few years ago, so you'll find that if you've already shared links on the board in the past, they're already in here. If you also used the previous iteration of this and you previously saved any links, they should also still be there.

Sharing Links:
If you look at the top, you'll see the tab where it says "Add Link." Click on that, and it will open up the area where you can paste in a link:

1675293332495.png


Paste in the URL, and then select the appropriate category to attach it to, and then hit the submit button.

If it's a video, a Tweet, a social media link, etc, it should embed into the block. If it's an article, it will add a link along with a thumbnail and list the source:

1675293357720.png



If you want to make any changes you can hit the three dots in the top right, which will open a pop up menu:
1675293830627.png


1) The pencil will allow you to edit the title, and then hit save to update the changes.

2) The crossed-out eye icon will allow you to hide a link you don't want to see in your feed.

3) The flag (it's a Jets flag) will allow you to report a link for review.

GIVING FEEDBACK:
You can hit either of these icons to give feedback:
1675723806961-png.49791

The "Dumpster Fire" one will have no value, but they'll be tracked for mod review in the event someone hits those but not the report. I've found more people would rather hit a funny icon than the report button, so that's what we're going with here.

MEDIA EMBEDS:
Adding videos, gifs, etc. from various sources will also embed it to be viewed automatically:
1676849431187.png
You can also comment or reply to a previous comment, and that person will receive a notification, as will you if anyone replies to yours :)
1676849517392.png
After you hit "POST REPLY", your reply will appear below and you can click "EDIT" to make any changes if you need to:
1676849558939.png

SAVING A LINK:
If you hit the "Save" button, that will allow you to save it to your account for future reading.

In the menu that will pop up, you can add notes about the link, add tags, select a category for you to categorize it for your own records, or even create a "quick find" phrase for it in the search block.

If you click the "SAVED" link next to your avatar at the top left, the links you've saved show up in there. You can also mark them as "Read" by hitting the book icon, which allows you an easy view of anything you haven't read.

POSTING IMAGES:
A while ago, I added a media gallery to the forum, which is tied into this.

You can add an image here at the top of the navbar via this icon (this is only in the forum):

1675293906781.png


After you've added the image to your account (and it needs to be set for "public" viewing), you click on this tab to toggle the image link:

1675293946379.png



You can find your image using the dropdown menu. Just look for the title you set for your photo, and it will appear there.

Lastly, these icons in the bottom left allow you to copy the URLs either for the link itself (left) or the BB code to post it in a thread (right.
1675293966858.png


The only thing a little wonky still seem to be Facebook embeds, so I'll continue working on that. But otherwise, it's a great way to share links, videos, etc. in a cleaner feed, while also giving you the ability to save links, videos, Tweets, mark them as read, etc.

You can quickly access this area here:
1676849146350.png
 

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Ian

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USER MEDIA GALLERY:
You'll see the icon located here for the new media gallery:
1676849101215.png
Which will open this menu:

1676849213934.png

You can view all the public images by clicking "Media Gallery," or add your own media by clicking "Add Media," as well as manage your existing content, etc. It's a great place to share photos, fun moments at the stadium, pictures of your pets, whatever the case might be.

The menu is also available in the slideout menu under the "Forums" tab:

1676849336110.png
 

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NEW FEATURE: Expanded Emojis:

We now have several pages of emojis available, with a new set recently add it.

To access all three pages, it just requires hitting the green arrow buttons to cycle through them.

Here's how you do it:

Hit the first green arrow to go to the next set:
1675965573775-png.49848

Hit the green arrow on the right to scroll to the next set:
1675965622688-png.49850

And then you'll see the next group:
1675965699446-png.49851

To go back, just hit the last green button, and it will send you back to the previous set :)
 

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FLASHING ALERTS? HERE'S HOW TO FIX THAT:

Occasionally, especially if you've been part of a very busy thread with dozens or even hundreds of responses, your alerts may be going a little crazy and you could potentially still be seeing a number appear even though you've tried to clear them out.

The first step is to mouseover your alerts and look for one highlighted faintly in blue that has a dark blue dot in the lower right. Click on the dot, and it's marked as "read" and it won't flash the alert number anymore:

1603237551742.png


If you're still seeing a number and you can't find an unread alert, there's now a button that's been added since the last update for that.

Click on the alert icon to take you to the page with all your alerts, and then click the "Mark Read" button, which will mark them all as "read" and you'll be all up to date.

1676851260902.png
 

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GIPHY IMAGE SUPPORT NOW AVAILABLE: One addition to the software that you may not be aware of - and has been around for quite a while - is GIPHY support, which makes for an easier way to add GIFs to your posts.

Just hit the "GIF" icon in the bar and then select and post it into your post (see instructions below):

kehLgWujzQ2puqsHL48T5MrB_OE5If6Pfh8F40rq6dMsaR7qGbkvV815rVKn6vPYADNZY_LL08QkmKzsAqGnkaFTGT1HWRDme4MC_c-cCOO2bfT-LHhDgKzNEzG3wALDZozVq7TyohI



LpkJ_lZ4gZes26lV0hyAQiEiWytocs8mXfb3oO0wefl78UfayXc5eklTTjIwPLZXYagAaUTH11836Z86NF3EhKbT4hnTIlk0hDWgGjl4SMXfdE8jC6xy0ZUWAESwCGUdrs1V-JUpewU



1602432374894.png
 

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THREAD IGNORE - HOW IT WORKS:

Here's a quick rundown on how this works:

The ignore button is located in the upper right, or in the center on the mobile layout:
1601734065302.png



Hitting that button places the thread into the ignore category. If you've placed any of the threads in the top discussion bar on ignore (ie: you've hidden them), those are also in your ignore list so if you visit those forums, those threads won't appear.

To remove them, open up the Menu by hitting the button in the top left:
1601734494486.png




Open up the "Forums" tab and scroll down until you see "My Ignored Threads":
1601734755837.png



You'll see the slide-out window open on the right, and your threads will be listed:
1601734951512.png


If you want to Unignore the thread, just uncheck the box on whichever thread you no longer wish to ignore.
 

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HIDING THREADS FROM THE TOP DISCUSSION BAR:

For most people here, the Discussion bar I added appears to have been a useful feature in helping people find other threads in the additional forums outside of the football board, which hopefully has been helpful to everyone.

1676851847485.png

As you click on each one, you'll notice it goes dark and will light back up the next time the thread receives a new post that you haven't seen.

But one of the things that's sort of made things tough has been having topics get buried by threads that we may or may not necessarily want to participate in or keep an eye on.

As a result, you can filter out threads you don't want to have continue showing up there as they receive replies.

At the bottom right of each block, you hit the little menu icon a the bottom of any of the updated thread blocks, or at least the one you might not be interested in, you'd like to hide from the list here:
upload_2020-1-26_15-18-12.png


That will open up a window where you can add that thread to an ignore list where it will be omitted in the list of recent forum posts outside of the football board.

You can also click a link when you open that window that takes you to a list of all the posts you've chosen not to follow. If you've accidentally hidden a thread you'd like to follow, you can remove it from your ignore list there. This list is separate from your normal ignore list:

https://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/discussions/

However, you cannot ignore entire forums. The reason here is there may be times where there's a post you might be interested in, even if you generally don't read posts from that forum. Plus, the goal of having the additional forums is to make discussions outside the main board a little easier to follow and participate in.
 

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NEW FEATURE: Thread Mute Expanded - Hide interactions between specific users, more

The mute functionality is now expanded, but it's now done with just one click of the original button.

Now, when you click the "Mute" button, you'll see the following where you can select a few options:
1677686917198-png.50227


Here is how this works:

1) This post by (username) - Self-explanatory. You can hide a particular single post if you don't wish to see it.



2) Hide the entire interaction and future interactions between these two users in this thread.

So let's pretend you have an exchange like this below:
1677685825751-png.50224


You can select this option and it would mute those two users for the remainder of the thread:
1677685893902-png.50225

One quick note, when you hit the button, the single block you click will vanish but when you refresh the screen - they'll all be gone. As will any future interaction between the two within the thread.



3) (Username) in this thread - works like the previous iteration, where posts by that user will be hidden throughout the thread. One change is that it now also hides any posts containing replies to that user, making them completely invisible throughout the thread.

Just a quick FYI - this option supersedes any of the other two options, so it will override any other selections this user has been selected in.



These are controlled at the top just like previously, where you can select/deselect them:
1677686283928-png.50226


I've tested it locally as well as on here in some complicated situations in various long threads and everything appears to be good, but let me know if any of you spot issues. In the meantime, this should solve a lot of problems and definitely gives a much better level of control to everyone moving forward :cool:
 

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(Added on 12/21/23):

As many of you know, I disabled the censor filter for logged in users, since there wasn't much point in having the filter active as most people circumvented it anyway and made it relatively pointless.

However, at the same time, I've gotten a few messages on this, as it did bother some people. As a result, after doing some digging into the code a bit further, I just added the ability for people to toggle whether or not you wish to have those words censored or not as you browse the board.

Some people don't care, but I also realize it bothers some people and that's certainly cool. Thank you to those who did reach out as I can't fix things around here without your suggestions, and these are obviously things I need to be aware of. ;)

If you open up the slideout menu, at the top (if you're logged in) this option now appears:

1703185828413.png

Just toggle it on if you want those words censored (it's off by default, so you'll need to turn it on). The change will go into effect as soon as you refresh your browser.

Not a big deal, but it was a suggestion several people requested and after figuring it out, it's now active for anyone who wants to utilize it. :)
 
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