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Inner Workings of the Web Design

Last posted Dec 31, 2009 at 07:30AM EST. Added Dec 28, 2009 at 01:25PM EST
21 conversations with 11 participants

I’ve noticed that we make a lot of suggestions and requests for all kinds of site functions, from entry organization to forum divitions. Now that I think about it, though, I the same response from the admis. Either, “That’s a good idea” or “We’re already working on that”. So really, our ideas are good, but most of them have already been thought of by the brains behind the scenes (or in front of them, it depends). Do I have a request right now? No. I mean, there are ideas currently floating around in my head, but that’s not what this post is about.

My real question: How is site planning worked out? Do you lean towards lots of little changes, or big updates? Do you look out for small problems as you go, do you plan and organize major updates, or a little of both? What aspects of the site do you prioritize? Do you work in single as-long-as-possible sittings, or do you try to keep work frequent and brief? When you sit down to work, how do you organize your working time?

Okay, I counted. Six question marks. Sue me. Also, maybe this is the kind of stuff that you don’t want to tell us, like it’s super secret. Or not, and no one has asked yet. Why would it be a secret? I have no idea. You never know.

And why do I even bother asking? Well I just like knowledge. Hell, I practically feed on it. Also, I’m interested in web design. That’s not to say that I’m incredibly good at it, but it intrigues me. Besides, knowing how the tech on this site goes down can help others make more awesome suggestions that you’ve already thought of because you can READ OUR MINDS!

Thanks for reading. What happens next? You decide.

Dec 28, 2009 at 01:25PM EST
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It’s not for users. It’s for the admins/tech dudes. They like descpriptive questions (I think? No, I guess? I mean, I hope?) It’s a small read comapred to, I don’t know, One page out of a 4th grade level book?

BTW, that was not an insult. It was a joke, I swear.

Dec 28, 2009 at 01:32PM EST
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Well.

We use sacred runes and tea leaves to predict when the updates will come.

because there is no programming involved.

This site is a living, breathing ceature who resides under Rocketboom HQ.

He decides when the updates come.

We just try to appease him with gifts of crappy entries.

There never was a new user problem, the new users are all just admins.

We make terrible entries to nourish the Know Your Meme beast.

In reality, I have no control over updates.

But I think I’m pretty funny so I posted that story.

I hope that helps.

Dec 28, 2009 at 02:23PM EST
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Double Posting? Blasphemy! I’m so sorry…

Word is, admins like to relax during the holidays. Who knew? Well, I won’t bump, say, every five seconds. I’m not that kind of guy. However, It’s not very often that I think of something productive to say. I shall not let my question die. My battle strategy is too… well, to wait, really. I’ll keep an eye out for the time being.

But, if anyone wants to brave my text at the top, feel free (or obligated) to post so I don’t have to!

And no, I will not be an ass about it. Like I already said, I’m not gonna post here all the time until I hear from an admin or something. I just have this bad feeling that I’m not going to be getting a response anytime soon. You see, I am a lonely person, and a bored lonely person at that.

Then again, board activity isn’t necessarily. This is still in the top ten right now… what am I complaining about? Oh well. For further notice, this thread is my priority. Don’t expect me to post anywhere else for now. I’ll let this sit, and I’ll wait for others.

Double-post/bump mode, DEACTIVATED.

EDIT: WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS POST WHILE I TYPE?

Dec 28, 2009 at 02:33PM EST
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Hey Joe, I’ll try to give you a more well-thought-out reply but right now Jamie, Yatta, and I, are discussing our site improvements in IRC.

Things we’re talking about right now: A FAQ on how to use the site, Forum Rules, and we’re discussing making a user (or maybe a few) into mods.

It’s true that I’ve been on vacation for the last week.

Dec 28, 2009 at 02:51PM EST
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How is site planning worked out? Do you lean towards lots of little changes, or big updates? Do you look out for small problems as you go, do you plan and organize major updates, or a little of both?

Jamie and Greg are our two developers between Rocketboom.com, Knowyourmeme.com, and Mag.ma.

The two of them work on bugfixes and building new features into both KYM and Mag.ma quite often. More often than not, Mag.ma seems to be the more time-consuming of and complicated coding of the two.

The priority of each bugfix or feature varies greatly with the impact it will have. Not all problems are created equal, nor are each opportunity.

Individual job tickets are filed for any issue as it arises, and depending on the nature of the bug or feature it is filed into a major version release or rolled out as soon as the individual feature or fix is ready.

What aspects of the site do you prioritize? Do you work in single as-long-as-possible sittings, or do you try to keep work frequent and brief? When you sit down to work, how do you organize your working time?

I’m not sure how Jamie and Greg do it.

I don’t do any of the coding on any of the sites. But I generally wake up between 6:00-7:00 and depending on the day I might be evaluating meme entries all day, researching a meme entry, collaborating with the rest of the team on a KYM episode or Rocketboom News episode, tracking and researching other trending topics, communicating site needs to the developers, responding to email from viewers of the shows, banning kids who feel like spamming their angst everywhere, reading angry posts and figuring out if it’s something that needs any intervention or if the users can be mature enough to govern themselves.
That’s not everything, but depending on the day and the time of year the requirements have varied a lot.

Dec 29, 2009 at 01:11PM EST
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Neat! I keep forgetting about RocketBoom, and I just recently learned about Mag.ma, which is actually pretty cool. It’s like every site with videos ever put together. I know a handfull of people who would like that. I see why it would be time-consuming to code.

I’m personally really picky about fixing my own things, so when I make something, I’m constantly making little improvements all around, unless there are conflicting problems, where I would have to think up a plan. Over time, I stop making big makeovers, because I tend to turn the entire matter of “updating” things into one big polishing process.

Maybe it’s because I just find working with code and programming things interesting or, ahem, fun, but at a first glance, it appears that being a manager of the meme entries themselves would be more strenuous. Again, I don’t actually know, but I’m not the most able scour-the-wastes-of-the-internet-for-cultural-origins person, if you know what I mean. I normally consider myself modest, but I dare say I am a good writer. However, research is not my strongest feature.

For example, I’ve never made a meme entry. It’s not because I’m not competent enough to write; I can dish out a mean “essay” when I put my mind to it. It’s just that when it comes to the subjest of a specific meme, my prowess withers. I know the ability to research is important; it’s just specific culture that is not my forté. But in general concepts, I am more inclined.

It’s really because that’s how I think. I like to look at large chunks of informatin as a whole, even though I still like to pay attention to detail. You could say, I look at the big picture, but in high-resolution. This way, I can properly develop an uderstanding of a given concept or subject, without being clueless about the subject at hand.

I guess what I mean is, I’ve figured that it’s easy to be able know everything about something, and it’s easy to know how to be able to utilize what you do know, but to combine knowledge and ability results in a powerful understanding.

…woah, I zoned out. What happened? (Looks up at text, reads)

Well, shit. That was long.

Thanks for all that neat info, by the way. Maybe if I use my telephotographic powers, I can send Greg and Jamie images into their minds so they can fill me with insight.

…no really, did I need to type all that?

Dec 29, 2009 at 01:46PM EST
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Everything Chris mentioned is spot on. We’re hoping to hire more people come January which will allow us to dedicate more time to improving MemeDB.

How do we prioritize? Approximately:

(Number of forum mentions * expected usefulness) / (difficulty)

I’m looking to set up something like GetSatisfaction so that you guys can propose and vote on features & bugs to help give us more feedback. It’s always very much appreciated.

Dec 29, 2009 at 03:29PM EST
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a) big picture, b) how new feature or design will benefit, c) focusing on how this feature will be designed/developed, and d) taking ownership of it from start to finish.

but, serious (OMG-SITE-IS-DOWN) bugs will always take priority over anything else.

Dec 30, 2009 at 09:09PM EST
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From IRC:
[21:09] all quiet, but i’m just about to release some upgrades :)
[21:09] finally
[21:10] haha
[21:10] oh, only im here
[21:10] and u guys
[21:10] of course
[21:10] butt which upgrades are you releasing?
[21:13] multiple boards, subscriptions, karma, and tons of bugfixes
[21:13] bigger favorite buttons. cleaned up profile & dashboard… lots of stuff
[21:14] ooh
[21:14] …right now?
[21:14] lots more mod tools too -- thread sticky, closing, burying
[21:14] alright
[21:14] i’m going to start in a few minutes. the site will be down for about 5 minutes
[21:14] GJ
[21:14] I give you big props jamie
[21:14] haha thanks
[21:14] and the rest of the site staff
[21:15] just hope we don’t wake up and it’s totally broken :)

Dec 31, 2009 at 12:30AM EST
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Awesome! Can’t wait ’til these features are up and running. By tomorrow then?

Dec 31, 2009 at 12:50AM EST
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Jamie’s fixing some bugs he missed. When thats done he’ll put it up.

Dec 31, 2009 at 12:54AM EST
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This is out now.
http://knowyourmeme.com/forums/general/topics/2998-memedb-17-released
http://knowyourmeme.com/changelog.txt

Dec 31, 2009 at 07:30AM EST
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Skeletor-sm

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