After months of planning, we’re going to be launching the first significant upgrade of the site later this morning. While the overall look at feel won’t change too much, there will be a few noticeable differences: 1) readers will be able to create user profiles that track their comments, forum posts and responses to forum posts; 2) registered users will also be able to upload photos to the forum; 3) all the renovation blogs will stream into a centralized reno blog so you don’t have to (though you still can) check each one individually. In addition, we’ve tried to make searching the site’s archives by topic and neighborhood a little easier. Oh yeah, the site should load faster too.
While we encourage everyone to sign up for a profile and use it as the primary way to interact with the site, it will still be possible to make anonymous comments. That said, anonymous comments will appear in a lighter font than comments from logged-in users. The hope is that regular commenters can establish credibility (and not have their identities stolen) while purposefully disruptive anonymous comments can be easily spotted and discounted.
This first step into a web 2.0 world will lay the groundwork for a bunch of other new functionalities in the upcoming months, including the ability for anyone to start a renovation blog and the creation of a map-based archive of the 2,000 or so property-related posts we’ve written over the past two and a half years.
The site upgrade will start around 10:30 this morning. Access to the site should not be interupted, but any comments or forum posts made between that time and when we tell you it’s complete (hopefully only a couple of hours) will be lost.
Look forward to hearing everyone’s feedback.