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Announcements & Site Technology

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This blog is the place to discuss Announcements and Site Technology.

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Bug Fixes and New Goals Widget

We have posted a new version of Stories on the site.  Things are going well so far. It correct a number of small issues.  We've also added the ability to put up a goal box for feedback items. You'll see it on various points on the site. Be sure to do your part in hitting our goals to give Authors more feedback! 

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External Newsletter Discontinued

After dropping back from 2 years of weekly newsletters to monthly updates in 2019 on our outside email newsletter, we have decided to stop using the outside service altogether after the final newsletter which will be sent on Sunday, July 28th.  Going forward, we'll be sending emails with the news members want and need to know directly from Gay Authors! If you wish to receive the occasional email newsletter from the site, then please go to your Notification Settings and chose one of the two boxes

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Members Make a Difference!

If you receive GA's monthly newsletter, you know we’re looking for feedback from YOU! Now’s the time to share your thoughts on site features and potential future changes. *Let’s be constructive and give ideas on what will help encourage new membership and activity among current members, not just what you don’t like, please!!* Forum Moves and Shake Ups There have been changes to the forums. Some forums were moved or removed with their content moving to new places, some Clubs remov

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Forum Consolidation and Club Clean Up

As part of keeping up with changing times, we have done a consolidation of forums and clubs and have removed stuff that was not getting enough use.  This will hopefully consolidate our active content into less places as well as making the "Fluid View" of the the forums more useful. The changes we've made: Clubs o    Closed Fanfiction Club and moved topics to Writer's Circle - Specialized Fiction Forum o    Closed Sci-Fi Writers Club and moved topics to Writer's Circle -

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Stories Software Update

First thing this morning, I applied a new Stories Archive software update.  This was a minor update that was mostly focused on bugs. Added new feature on forum posts that shows how many Stories you have reviewed and how many story/chapter comments you have made Added "Story Review Guidelines", "Story Comment Guidelines" and "Chapter Comment Guidelines" feature that pops up a box when clicked that can offer general site guidelines for posting comments and reviews.  If you click on

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Editor behavior change

We have changed the way the editor behaves due to the difficulty in maintaining the code for it.  It used to work that when you hit "return" it would go to a new line.  Now when you hit "return" it goes to a new paragraph. Example: This is a new line from Example This is a new paragraph. If you would like a new line, instead of new paragraph, hit shift-return. This was part of what caused the double space error you see in some stories.  Now, some posts will seem oddly space

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Forums 4.4.2 and other changes

Today, we are upgrading the site to the latest version of the forum software.  While there are not going to be a lot of visible changes, there was a ton of things changed under the hood that is geared towards making the site faster loading and to operate better on mobile devices.  It is going to take a few days to sort through the various settings and getting things operating properly. I'm going to post here several times as we go through this process. Some changes that have occurred p

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Server Update, Authors, Delayed Notifications

We had to do a server update earlier today and I had a small configuration issue.  The background task was not processing the last few hours and I've corrected that issue. There was a glut of notifications that were off by several hours.   We also had an odd incident where an Author group expired.  If this happens to you, you can just go back to the store and select author again. (In theory)  If there is an issue, just send us a support request from the help menu.  

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Server Software Updates

I have done some updates on the underlying server software today.  If you were around while I was doing this, the site was going up and down like a yo-yo.   A reboot and a couple of services restart later and I think we are up and running. Everything I tested seems to be working and all the big red warning flags I was getting have cleared.   (for the technically inclined, we went from PHP 7.0 end of life version to PHP7.1.  I had to get the extensions right and update the caching system. bl

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Streamlining Help Menu

As mentioned in previous announcements, we are undergoing clean up and consolidation.  As part of this, some of the temporary links that were on the forums have been removed and placed in the newly streamlined "Help" menu.   Help -FAQ = a list of common questions with links to the answers. Help Topics = a database of common questions and answers Step-by-Step Guide to Authors = How to become an Author on the site. Support = Open a support ticket if you

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Stories Software Patch

We have made a minor bug fixing Stories software patch.  It corrected a number of minor issues.   If you spot any bugs, please provide a link to the area you saw them (Where possible) and explain the issue you encountered.

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Writing Resources Page

We have consolidated and removed two different forums that were dedicated to Writing Resources.  We have instead replaced them with a single Writing Resources page. This page will be a constant work in progress as we update and make better ways to organize it.  There are already a ton of resources linked on the page.  If you're writing and stuck on something, there is probably a resource there for you. https://gayauthors.org/writingresources/  

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Happy New Year and Announcements

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Over the next few weeks, we will be doing a number of things around the site to simplify and streamline things.  We have a very large sprawl of forums at this point that are semi-active or less.  We are working on consolidating those so that only what we need is around.  The Announcement forum is the first thing that is highly visible that is getting removed.  We will post Announcements in the most appropriate blog going forward.  When we do so, we'll use

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Tech Tuesday - New Series and Worlds Feature

This week I'd like to talk about two of the new features coming to the site soon.  I've shared this a bit with the authors, but I wanted to share them a little wider.  This is a more focused view for readers. We currently have one way for authors to group their stories: Series links.  They work, but I've wanted them to be more obvious.  So, with the new version, we're giving a bit more depth to our Series. Series now has a description.  We can also add a series banner and special

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Tech Tuesday - Premium Subscription System

For those of you that don't know, Gay Authors stays open and improving through the combination of Premium Membership subscribers and advertising.  This pays the bills and allows to maintain and improve the site.  In the last version of the forum software, they introduced a simplified Subscription Management tool.  The most important thing it does is fixes that stupid error "You have already purchased... etc".  The catch, of course, is that any time the software changes like this, there are hiccu

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Stories 2.3.2 Is now Live

We have just posted a new version of Stories.  In theory, this finally corrects the notification bugs.  If you Follow a Story, you should now get your notifications every time.  If you Follow an Author (on the author page) you should be alerted when they post a new story.   A "Part of Series" toggle has been added to filters:   The quick search links now properly activate existing filters and you should be able to change them or remove them with the minus sign. Exa

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Tech Tuesday - New Search Filters

For those of you that have not yet watched the video on how the new search filters work, please watch it now:     Back?  Good...  Now to add a few things.  Since the new search system uses the URL to add filters, you can now bookmark your search. Or copy it for others.  For example, this is all the Sci-Fi stories by dkstories: https://www.gayauthors.org/stories/?filter_genres=9&filter_authors=212     Or maybe your thing is complete Long

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Tech Tuesday - Following Blogs

Today we are going to talk about how Follow works.  In the forum software, Follow works by notifying you to new content in the item you wish to follow. So, if you follow a blog, you get notified of new blog posts.  If you follow a blog post, you get notified of comments to that blog post.  If you follow a Forum, you are notified of new topics to the forum.  If you follow a topic, you're notified of new replies to the topic.     When you click the follow button, you get these

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Tech Tuesday - Story Archive Next Version

So I shared a sneak peek of this post in our Writer's Circle.  I encourage authors to join the club if you haven't yet because there are a ton of great posts in there, and sometimes early information about upcoming features for authors.   So, we've got the new Stories user interface worked out, and we're fixing the bugs.  Here's a sneak peek at it:      The quick Title search will now be on every page.  The previously empty search field now has "Search stories..." to g

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Tech Tuesday: Clubs

I thought I would swing around to Clubs again for this Tech Tuesday.  Clubs are semi-private groups here on Gay Authors.  We have a few different clubs available currently, and you can find them under the Club Link on the main red menu.   I strongly encourage our authors to join the Writer's Circle.  There are a lot of ongoing discussions in there, and our friend @BHopper2 has been nice enough to start his own ongoing topic discussions each Tuesday which have brought forth some g

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Tech Tuesday - Social Media Redux

Since we live in the age of social media and Google ranks websites on those sorts of things, I'd like to remind everyone from time to time that we have other channels of social media where you can follow the happenings on GA.  There are links to everything but the newsletter on the bottom of every page.  It looks like this: Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/gayauthors.stories/ Twitter:  https://twitter.com/gayauthors Google+: https://plus.google.com/+GayAuthorsOrg

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Tech Tuesday - When Tech Breaks

I've just enjoyed, and I use the term loosely, an Internet free weekend.  This was not my desire in the least.  The several-year-old network interface board for Verizon FiOS decided to die Friday afternoon.  The tech was able to replace it fairly quickly, thankfully.  Unfortunately, it wasn't until Monday morning that they got around to getting here to do it.  The only internet access I had over the weekend was through my phone.  That means that time I would normally have for taking care of stuf

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Tech Tuesday: Forum Update 4.3.3

As we roll ever closer to Armeggedon... er.. the go date for GDPR, Invision, the software company for the forum software is releasing another update to specifically address the ongoing concerns of pretty much anyone running anything on the Internet.   We will be rolling the update ASAP.  It is set to release Tuesday (Today).  Some features in it: Downloading personal data.  One of the requirements of GDPR is to be able to provide what personal data is tracked.  They've added a featur

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Tech Tuesday - Reading Away in 2018

A few weeks back, our tech guru extraordinaire, A.J., compiled the reading stats to date for me.  I poked them around to see what I could see and I made a little pie chart for everyone.   Now, any math person will tell you that you need context to understand what that means.  So here are the relevant details: Data is compiled based on "reads" from Jan-April 2018.  This is about one quarter of the year. The data shown here represents 2.89 million views, which comprom

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Tech Tuesday - Privacy and Site Terms

There has been a lot of news lately about Privacy and information breaches all over the place.  Combine that with the new EU law, GDPR, going into effect on May 26th, and every internet company on Earth has been bombarding you with alerts, messages, and requests for re-agreements.  The amount of regulation that you have to deal with as a small business is frankly crushing.  As the laws were written by technical half-wits (and I'm being generous), the law is written in such a way as that everyone

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