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Old 12-06-2010, 00:39   #1
Big Giant Head
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Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 26,065
Announcement Thread For Software Changeover -- Start Here

Welcome to our new classified ads area. We have been meaning to implement this system for a long time and I finally got around to it.

The message board software GT uses is an ideal platform for a message board, but it was not ideal for a classified ads system. There were a whole shopping list of features we could not provide with the old system, that are available with this new software.

The system is live as of this moment. At some time tomorrow (12-07-10), after I see that there are no real problems with the new system, I am going to close the current classified ads forums to new traffic. People will be able to view them in read-only mode for the next thirty days. Then they will be moved into an archive category under the 'The Want Ads' forum category. We will leave them available to you there, for your reference, for the foreseeable future.

From this moment on, we would like people to start entering new ads in the new classified ads software. There is a link in the 'The Want Ads' category of the forum index and there will soon be links at the top of every page and in the link box at the top of the right column. For your convenience, here is another link:

It will not be necessary for you to log in to this new software separately. It uses the same member info as your GT account. Your privileges in this new software are based on your user group and different user groups have different levels of access privileges. This doesn't mean much now, but it will become more important later.

At this time, every registered & logged in member can place ads in the new system. We do not want anyone spamming the system, but there are not currently any restrictions to the number of ads someone can post. In the future, there will be a tiered system to the number of ads a member can post. Any member will always be able to post ads for free, but a free membership will be limited to a few ads a month. We haven't settled on any numbers yet. Each tier of classified ads will be allowed progressively more ads posted per month. We will post more info on this after the first of the year.

In addition to ad-posting limits, there are currently three premium features that are only available to paid members. These three options are currently: Highlight Ad, Bold Ad and Italics Ad. We will be adding many other premium features, like gallery listings. We will also be adding options to pay for premium features on a pay-per-use basis. We will post more info on this soon.

There are a number of core features that the software doesn't currently have, but we intend to add. Some of them are:
  • Showing the abbreviation for an ad's state in the category indexes.
  • The ability to sort listings by state.
  • The ability to do radius searches, by zip code. We also intend to further modify this feature to follow state boundaries, as a selectable option. The radius search will probably not launch initially with this feature, but it will be along soon.
Although it is not currently possible to sort searches and indexes by state or zip code, it is possible to include the state in the search field and select to search all fields, in the advanced search area. As of the time I am writing this, the state names in the 'State' dropdown list, when you post an ad, are spelled out, but I intend to replace those with state abbreviations, to make it easier to include them in searches.


So, we have a hell of a lot still to do, to get this system to where we want it, but right out of the box, it is a far better system than the current message-board-driven ad system. Here are some of the new features:
  • A very slick picture upload and display system.
  • The ability to edit or delete your own ad.
  • The ability to set an expiration date to an ad.
  • The ability to view ads by member.
  • An integrated feedback system.
  • A 'Recent Ads' area.
  • And much more.
The feedback system is going to be a popular new feature, I imagine, but it is also one with potential for abuse. I am going to establish some guidelines for its use, in the near future, and I am kicking around the possibility of added a peer-run binding arbitration committee, to deal with complaints. If you have any thoughts/suggestions on this, please PM me.

This is an outstanding system, folks. There will undoubtedly be some growing pains & cliches and some of you will probably not like it just on general principle, but this is a genuine improvement over the current system.

I am going to add a bug report stickied thread in this forum, shortly. I am also going to add a suggestion thread and a To-Do thread, which will let you know what I plan to do with this system and what I am doing now.

I hope you all enjoy this new system. I believe it will become a powerful buying/selling tool for you all. Eric

The new classified ads area can be found here:
You can also click on the: 'The Want Ads' link at the top of every page.
"Do you want gold? Women? Golden women?" ... - Tyrion Lannister
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