Today I have pushed an update to the server which I have been working on for the past two months. A lot of the changes will not be visible but they streamline the way the server runs and should also cut down on our bandwidth cost.
You will notice some visual changes on the front page. Most notably the subforum icons are now round: they're balls! Pinballs! You will also notice a new type of "new topic" icon: the hollow star. A hollow star indicates a newly started topic (in the last 24 hours that is).
Scroll down the forum front page. Keep scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling! Today adds auto-loading topic pages. A huge improvement from the old "paged" navigation. This setting is adjustable in your settings but default to auto-loading. Hope you like that.
Now, click on the activity tab. You will get a new screen with "views". There's your posts, your topics, topics you viewed, topics you fav'ed. Etc. All of them auto-loading. I think it's pretty powerful stuff.
I have done away with the !! icon above each post, it has been replaced with the word "report" and clicking it will open a little form that will help you report a Pinside rules violation to the moderator team. The team have access to a dashboard that lists all reported violations and the times a post was reported. They can quickly jump to the post in question and, when they see it actually breaks our community rules, they can act on it.
Ban votes have been retired for now. I have replaced this with a new system called "Pinside rules violation notices". A mouthful but it should help the moderators with their work and aid them in making consistent calls. Rules violation notices are basically warning messages from the moderators when you break one of our community rules. These messages will clearly inform you which post of yours has broken which rule. It may include a remark from the moderator and will tell you the consequences of the violation.
Thread ejects are one of the consequences for breaking Pinside rules. E.g. when you start back and forth bickering with another member. Or when you pull a topic off-topic. Or when you troll a topic with a comment that adds little value to the thread. So basically they are a "light" punishment for common offenses on Pinside. A thread eject can be for 2 hours, 24 hours or forever. That's up to the moderators. But it's a less heavy tool than the ban votes used to be (but should hopefully prove to be more effective in keeping topics on track).
Another tool we really needed was a way to contact the moderator team. As you probably know by now, publicly criticizing the moderators is not allowed. You are welcome to discuss issues in private and that used to mean PM'ing the moderator in question, or another moderator or even PM'ing me. Today we add the Moderator feedback sub-forum which allows you to discuss matters in private. Anything posted in this sub-forum is only visible to the topic starter (you) and to the moderators and me (robin).
You've got mail! One of the most requested features returns: the bouncing envelope! If you have new PinsideMail messages since the last time you checked that page, then you will get a nice bouncy notification in the top right of the screen.
And lots and lots of bugfixes...