MuseLive Future

As you will know Tom, Lewis and I met up yesterday to have an informal chat about the future of MuseLive and what the next steps should be. We'd like to thank you all for your suggestions we have taken each and every one into consideration, unfortunately we can't please everyone but we've done our best. The proposed changes will gradually happen over the next few months. We all have coursework and exams through April and May, this must take priority. Though small changes may be made in that time the more major changes will have to wait until June.

Key changes include:

    A new skin
    Forum archiving
    User control panel
    SYS updates
    PM system updates
    Moderation system improvements
    Various attempts at improving efficiency and speed


For the full list of detailed plans view the rest of this article by clicking the link below.

If you have anymore suggestions keep sending them our way!

The MuseLive Team
[more]
Skin
Finally we have decided it's time to start work on a new skin, this is of the highest priority. Work should start in June and be finished by July. This is a huge job as you can imagine.

Name changes
In order to be more newbie friendly admin has been changed to Tom and Invixus has been changed to Lewis. Any private messages will need to be sent to new usernames. Subscribers will be given the more appropriate title of Donators.

Archiving
Recently the site has been lagging slightly; we need to make database queries more efficient. We have never been great fans of deleting information so are planning to achieve this by the archiving of old and locked forum topics in some way.

User control panel
You will have undoubtedly noticed the decline in core features around the site such as last 10 posts and some recent items. These will finally be brought back with the option of being turned on and off, with decreased numbers of people using them it shouldn't make such a difference to the speed of the site. Other options will include PM/E-mail notifications for forum topics, comments on user pictures and anything else we can think of.

Share Your Stuff
File listings will have the option of inputting more information such as quality and there will be a new rating system. We might look into reading and setting ID3 tags. Media downloads will be merged with SYS into a new system and the current system will be completely removed. Download limits may be raised dependant on bandwidth usage over the next couple of months.

Forums restructuring
Some have suggested removing sections and others have suggested adding sections. We certainly won't be adding anymore main sections as forums are already far too cluttered, however sub forums are a long-term possibility. We may also merge Random Penguins with Outweirding. The elite area levels of entry will remain the same although we may make the levels harder to obtain.

Radio
We are going to completely remove the current radio system as nobody uses it. We may consider setting up shoutcast again on our server like we've done in the past for short bursts bandwidth permitting, however this is only a possibility.

Floating shoutbox
The idea of a floating shoutbox on each page was suggested so we discussed the idea and we are not sure that people would actually use it and it might get in the way. We are not ruling it out all together but it won't be implemented for now at least. Anonymous shouters will not be prevented from posting at this time; spam levels are relatively low at the moment.

Fix PayPal subscriptions
This is now complete for new subscribers; however old subscribers may experience difficulties. This is a problem at PayPals end. Contact Lewis for further information if this directly affects you.

Search
We constantly shout at people for not searching forums but the search function isn't that great so we are building a completely new one with loads of advanced options.

Moderation system
Some of the reasons for moderation requests are never used and some are frequently requested but not in the list so there are now some new options. If we've missed any contact me (Andrew). A note for moderators - Lewis will be going over the whole system new with some features to make moderation faster and easier.

Smilies
We won't be adding anymore individual smilies but if we (or any of you) find a good complete set we may introduce them.

News & Validation
All validation queues are to be rebuilt, work has already started. This should mean we are quicker to validate news, pages, etc. We are considering scrolling headlines across the top of all pages containing any breaking news.

Groups & Weblogs
Groups have been removed, we are not a social networking site and there is no benefit to MuseLive or users. Whilst on the topic of not being a social networking site we also don't feel the need for anymore profile fields. The use of weblogs is falling so these could disappear soon; the link from the top of the page will be gone in the next couple of days.

Private Message functions
Multiple delete functions, backup and download functions are on there way. We will be deleting old private messages out of the system when we have made it possible for you to download your messages in one batch. Auto pruning will also be brought in to keep the database efficient.

Login troubles
There are issues staying logged in with internet explorer 6, we still don't know why it happens, we will try to fix it but can't guarantee anything. We advise using FireFox or if you must use Internet Explorer use version 7. We can however fix the problem with being returned to the homepage after logging in rather than your previous location, this will be done on the spare of a moment when I get some free time.