Dear Car Talk Community friends,
I thought it was time for another occasional update regarding functionality upgrades to the Car Talk Community.
First, I wanted to thank everyone for bearing with us through several rounds of important infrastructure changes over the last six months. The entire Car Talk site, including the community, is now powered by a Drupal content management system, which brings us very much up-to-date in terms of the architecture under the entire web site. Single sign-on, which allows registered users to move between the community and the rest of cartalk.com, is working and the handful of glitches have been debugged-- that’s another big step forward, and integrates tens of thousands of legacy users from our old community.
We recently added the ability to upload audio and video files. We encourage you to try this out, use it, and let us know how it works. We hope you’ll use it to share photos, videos and sounds-- whether of a bad wheel bearing, leaky brake caliper, or something more fun. (Just be sure you have the rights to share what you’re posting. And, of course, keep it to within our Terms of Service!)
Coming up next week, we’re about to launch another round of updates to community. Here’s a quick highlight of what’s included:
For those of you who remember, we’ll be bringing back some fun Car Talk style categories for users-- now called “badges”-- based on the numbers of posts you’ve each provided to the community. We’ve divided users into four (in our humble opinion) fun categories. (Oh, back by popular demand? Long Lost Magliozzi Brother!)
We’ll be making sharing via social networks much easier. So, if you spot a discussion you like, or create one and want to share it with your Facebook pals, you can now do so very easily. For those of you who could care less about such things, please just avert your eyes. For those of you who are active in these other venues, you can immediately understand how nice it is to be able to bring in friends from your other worlds, and share great items with them.
We’ll be adding, a “Who’s Online?” indicator. Think of it as a way to look around as you walk into your neighborhood cafe.
Let’s give these changes some time, to see what we think, and how they impact the usability and web visibility of the Car Talk Community. I like to think that we’re flexible enough to change course, if need be. But, I also want to give these updates time to settle in with all of us-- meaning, have patience for some months, while we get used to the changes. The process is a slow, steady and iterative one.
Our overall goal is pretty simple: to make available to this community the best possible tools to create and share your content, whether comments, advice-- or a fun car noise.
Your feedback is always welcome. Please just remember the usual caveats… there are literally just a few of us here, and we do everything from polish the server to change the oil in Tom’s MG. We have a huge list of things we’d like to do across the Car Talk web site, but changes are steadily being made as time and resources allow.
Senior Web Lackey