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Guest Chris

The Grand Plan

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I think that these plans sound great. I can see how people might worry about the rep system working against them instead of for them but I think that Willow and Chris are very intelligent people who know what they're doing and are to be admired for their wonderful ideas.

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Guest Chris

Yeah, it is so sad to see people just talking about police and safety or whatever. That really has nothing to do with this :( Jeez.

 

Well, I am really excited for future plans and I have no worries whatsoever... I trust Willow and Chris completely, not only just as owners of Asperclick but as people/friends anyway. There's no reason not to. 

 

 

I think that these plans sound great. I can see how people might worry about the rep system working against them instead of for them but I think that Willow and Chris are very intelligent people who know what they're doing and are to be admired for their wonderful ideas.

 

Thank you both, we really appreciate your kind words. :)

 

I'll (of course) be working on this new version, and sharing (live) demos with everyone since everybody's feedback is integral to ensuring we build the best community for everyone. :)

 

One thing I forgot to mention is a 'meet-up module', which would allow people to organize their own meet-ups (or of course 'official' Asperclick meet-ups :)) more easily.

 

I can't wait till I have something to show you guys. :D

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Xmas

First, I want to say thank you to Willow and Chris for all their hard work, dedication and vision.

 

At first when I started to read this thread I was a little apprehensive because this is such a lovely little community, I was afraid it might change too much with expansion. But then I realised I was being silly, everything has to grow and nothing ever stays the same, perhaps in a similar way that our parents would wish that we could always be children. But no, everything has to grow up and move on, change is inevitable.

 

Regardless of the fact I am only mildly on the spectrum, this place was here for me when I joined a few months ago and was having problems. So I will be happy to subscribe if Willow and Chris need monthly contributions. I am fortunate enough to have a job  :)  so I am more than willing to contribute and help.

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Scaly Piscine

The security stuff is relevant because people are questioning why it's worthwhile moving to a different server.

 

I think the reputation stuff will need tweaking pretty often to work, but I'm sure they realise this. The other stuff sounds good.

 

With regards to funding, I don't think it would be too difficult to run fundraising events - if it was deemed appropriate. 

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Guest Chris

The security stuff is relevant because people are questioning why it's worthwhile moving to a different server.

 

I think the reputation stuff will need tweaking pretty often to work, but I'm sure they realise this. The other stuff sounds good.

 

With regards to funding, I don't think it would be too difficult to run fundraising events - if it was deemed appropriate. 

 

I thought I'd explained my reasons pretty well for wanting to host the site (eventually) outside of the UK/USA. It may be that we use a CDN for all our static content, but keep the database server elsewhere. We'll see.

 

Whilst developing the reputation algo, I can run it over the data we already have here and see how things are looking - nothing will be put live before its thoroughly tested.

 

:)

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mary

 

Hi everyone,
 
I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about our future plans for Asperclick. We've been going for over 6 months now, with a lovely, friendly core base of users - things are going well. I've been a lot more active in the past couple of weeks and have really been enjoying it. I've made some great friends (and met a couple in real life :P).
 
It's been great to see you posting more and getting to know you.  It was also lovely to meet you and Willow the other day, at the tail end of your birthday travels :)
 
It's also been great to hear what a difference this place has made for some people - that kind of feedback gives us a feeling we really can't describe, though if I had to try it'd be "warm and fuzzy". :) It makes everything worthwhile.
 
I think I'd firstly like to say that I think you guys are really great... you're both so selfless with the amount of time and effort you put into this and all the support this provides for so many people truly is amazing.  You've created a little haven in a world that's rather daunting at times, and I know I, for one, am glad to have found this place :)
 
So, the obvious question seems to us is... how can we help more people - and help those people more? Over the past few weeks, we've been drafting out some ideas on how to develop the site further. I think it only makes sense to share our initial ideas with you, in case anyone has suggestions or things they'd like to request.
 
The Goal
 
I guess this should really be our 'mission statement' - or at least some variation of this:
 
Asperclick aims to be a large, friendly community for anyone with or anyone affected by somebody with Asperger's syndrome, high-functioning autism or similar autistic spectrum disorder. Asperclick also aims to make life easier for those that match the previous description in a number of other ways - in everyday-life, employment, love (should one desire :)) and friendship.
 
We're planning to build a number of additional 'modules' as well as to revamp the existing forum - which will all become what we're calling "Asperclick V2".
 
I am looking forward to seeing what 'Asperclick V2' will bring... it is so great to see the community continuing to grow and go from strength to strength... I'm sure that developments within the site / forum will only go on to strengthen that.
 
The Plan
 
Some 'features' or points that will apply to the entire site:
 
- The new version will be fully-responsive, so you can interact with all Asperclick has to offer in FULL from desktop's, laptops, tablets, phones, etc. Currently the mobile theme we have leaves a lot to be desired and removes quite a lot of functionality and information from the interface. We don't think mobile-users should be lumbered with a sub-par user experience.
 
Brilliant!!  I'm looking forward to being able to view the forum properly on mobiles, as I view it most regularly from there, unless I'm actually posting.
 
The Forum
 
Invision power board (what Asperclick currently runs on) is great forum software, but it's really quite old now - of course it's still in active development and constantly updated, but the format remains the same. I'm not discounting familiarity, but this is 2013 and we can do better. We're planning to build our own platform from scratch that is fully customized to our(your!) needs. I won't go in to too much detail here since I have WAY too many ideas to mention, but to summarize:
 
I think that this is a pretty good forum system, but the idea of you guys being able to build your own and tweak it to your (our) needs is excellent... really looking forward to seeing what you guys can come up with :)
 
- A reputation system. Having some way of showing a user's reputation is a good thing - it gives users (new ones in particular) an idea of somebody's status in the community - if someone has a high reputation, they should be someone you can trust. 
 
Sounds great... it'd be good for newer members to be able to see who has been around the forums and might be able to provide guidance etc.
 
Currently, we have post count and 'reputation' - solely based on how many likes one's posts have accrued. I wouldn't say that was an accurate representation of reputation at all. We plan on having the primary stat next to users BEING 'reputation' (rep), and having an algorithm that takes more factors into account. Things like how much up/downvotes one's posts have had (more on that later), post count, active membership duration, infractions, etc. This is by no means perfect, but we can tweak it. :)
 
So the reputation weights might look something like:
 
  • New Thread +2
  • New Post +1
  • Upvote +2
  • Downvote -5
  • Visited for the day +5
  • Love-Post +10
  • Infract -x (100 default?)
- Up/Downvotes for each post. Currently you can 'like' posts to show your support or agreement with what someone has said. It only makes sense to have the opposite be possible too - each post will have a counter with up/down arrows so you can easily and quickly show your (dis)agreement with a post. Up and downvotes will be anonymous. We were also thinking of letting people 'love' a post. Up/downvoting or 'love'ing someone's post would adjust their reputation by different amounts. Loving a post would award more reputation than an update and wouldn't be anonymous, but users would be limited to 'love'ing 2 (or there abouts) posts per day. The idea is, it would be an indication that the user *really* likes, values, supports or agrees with the post in question.
 
I like the idea of this and the weighting of different things would work well, I think.  Having the opportunity to vote on posts, either positively or negatively is good, because it will provide more feedback than the current where it is just 'like'.  I'd love to see it so that people can't rig the system though if they particularly like someone and 'big them up' or if they, conversely, don't like the person and trawl around giving the negatives.
 
- Anonymous posting. Lots of people might not want to create an account or login with facebook to post in the interests of privacy or hiding their identity. We shouldn't stop those individuals from posting, so we'd like to support anonymous/account-less posting. Obviously these users wouldn't benefit from private messaging or anything like that, and it would be policed quite heavily to keep a handle on spam.
 
I'm not sure how I feel about this one, but I trust you guys to know what you are doing and I'm sure if you saw problems you'd be the first to jump to it and fix the situation.
 
- New content. Currently, to find new content you can few the 'recent topics' list - works great whilst the forum is still small, but when it's busy (multiple threads/minute) you'll miss a lot - you can receive notifications of activity in threads you're subscribed to or manually go into each forum to look for new threads. We'd like to overhaul that, with more of the main UI being used to help you find both new content and content you're active or interested in.
 
Excellent!!
 
- Reputation-based moderation. This is definitely still at the idea stage, but I'd *really* like to have some kind of system in place where members gain moderating priveleges in line with the amount of reputation they have. The idea being, if you're reputation is high enough, you're probably a valued and respected member of the community - enough so to handle reports and so on. I don't like how 'authoriative' other forums can come across - members vs mods - to the extent where I considered changing the Administrator's group here to just be 'Member', so I didn't stand out. I didn't in the end for a few reasons - everybody already knows who I am, it might be confusing, etc. The point stands though.
 
Sounds great if you guys are up for that... I think that any sort of moderation will be in keeping with your original thoughts and plans for the forum, so I trust your ideas on this and know that you'll only implement things if you think that they will work and serve the community well.  One would think that if someone had enough reputation to be in that position they'd hopefully have the sense to know what they're doing in relation to anything relating to moderating rights.
 
Social Network
 
We're going to build a social network. There, I said it. :P
 
A social network built with aspies in mind - extremely configurable privacy-settings, away from the information-overload of facebook, fully integrated with the rest of the site and community.
 
I don't have much more to say on this at the moment, just that I'd definitely like it to happen - and so would everyone else I've mentioned it to. 
 
 
Anything that helps people on the spectrum socialise is a good thing, in my opinion.  The way facebook works I feel it is quite open to abuse, so to have something that has been built by people that not only know what it's like to have ASD, but live with it everyday, is only going to be beneficial for those of us wanting to access such things.  Given that everyone would be on the spectrum, or know someone on the spectrum, that should help with the pressures some might feel on facebook etc.
 
Personal Dashboard
 
The idea behind this section is to provide as many software-tools to aid aspies as possible. So for example, at the moment we have plans for; a calendar for aspie's to add appointments to (which they could be reminded about by email and/or SMS), a day-trip planner, budget-planner and other things of that nature. Another idea was an 'obsession-tracker', which pulls obsession-related articles from Google alerts or other sources, straight to your dashboard. Open to suggestions.
 
I don't know how much use I'd have for something like this, but I think for lots of others this could be rather invaluable.  I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what you plan for the dashboard though!!
 
Jobs Board
 
This is a really important module, in our opinion.
 
A jobs board with jobs that make special accomodation(s) for employees with ASD's. A lot of the unemployed members here aren't in their situation through choice - they just can't find a suitable working environment. We'd actively search for employers that make these accomodations to post their job openings. It's a win/win situation - unemployed aspies might find a job they're comfortable in and employers benefit from the intelligence, attention to detail and focus that (most :P) aspies bring to the table.
 
Now this, this is awesome!!  I think that it's a brilliant idea and can only imagine how helpful it would be for people if there were employers out there who were keen to get those on the spectrum into their employment / workforce.  I think that it's hard enough for people as it is to get jobs and to hold onto them, so to see employers coming and advertising their posts and showing they have an understanding would be amazing... it would only go on to enhance the self esteem of those who were able to gain from this.  Brilliant and I really, really hope this takes off!
 
Dating
 
A lot of aspies struggle with (romantic) relationships. I've thought a dating site for aspies would be a good idea for a while - I know Wrongplanet built one, which looks kind of dead/90's. The main problem with dating sites is trust - it's too easy to fake your identity or lie. If a site get's a reputation for that kind of thing, it won't work.
 
We were thinking that REQUIRING x reputation on Asperclick to use the dating site might help 'validate' users to be trustworthy to some extend, before they can contact others. Beyond that, it'd be similar to many other dating sites, matching people on their interests, personality traits, etc, etc. Open to suggestions.
 
Hello Cilla!?!?  Given that lots of people on the spectrum communicate better online than in person, this might well be a good idea that some will embrace, and perhaps find friends or gf / bf!  I like the idea of there being requirements to being able to sign up, to increase safety and such for those involved in this part of the site / forum.
 
Money
 
There was a lot there, so I'll just post my comment on this bit...
 
I think you guys are already very open with your costs and such for Asperclick and I hope that I'll find myself in a situation where I can chip in every now and again to help you guys with your costs.
 
If things take off, I think it'd be brilliant if you could start to earn enough to make this your sole focus, if that's what you wish for... and I don't think there's any shame in that.  If you are putting ALL or most of your time into this, and you don't have enough time for work because of it, you should be getting a wage from it.  I also like the idea of some of the money going into WillowHope Foundation, as that too, is going to prove to be invaluable for those on or affected by being on the spectrum.
 
Parting Thoughts
 
I just have one last part to add - that is that we PROMISE to you that we will be extremely cautious with any changes we make to Asperclick. For example, when V2 is finished (after extensive testing and beta period), all data will be migrated seamlessly - nothing will be lost. The forum we build will be extremely intuitive so as not to alienate anyone.
 
Also, we really have no idea how long this will take yet. A long time. I'd be most comfortable saying 1-2 years. We refuse to rush and will make sure we get this right.
 
That was a long post.
 
So. Thoughts?

 

My thoughts... well I think I've shared lots of them thus far!  I trust you guys... you have only ever had our best interests at heart, and I am absolutely positive that this will continue long into the future.  I think you guys do an amazing job, esp considering you're both on the spectrum and have your own things to be dealing with, not least forgetting jobs and work, keeping a home etc. 

 

Long live Asperclick and everything related to it!! :)

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Sofi

Long live Asperclick and everything related to it!! :)

 

Woo-hoo! Long live Asperclick! I really love Asperclick. The most important thing for me is that I, now, have understanding friends. 

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Peridot

You could also have a "hate this post" button. You'd get a notification saying "So and so hated a post you made in that one thread". :P

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Ben

You could also have a "hate this post" button. You'd get a notification saying "So and so hated a post you made in that one thread". :P     

 

                                                                                       

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Ben hates this.

 

 

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Edited by Ben

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