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Where did it go?

Release Date: 06 Aug 06
Category: Members

There has been some confusion over where old member pages have gone to and how to get to them. Please read this to know how to access old pages.


A few members have emailed in asking where existing pages have gone to. This news article is a quick overview of how to get around with the new navigation.

LOGGING IN

To get to the old pages, you have to log in, just like before. The difference is that where the old login form always took you to the main Writers Welcome page, the new login simply hands you a success cookie and leaves you where you are. Why was it done this way?

  1. To support the new Readers Club level of membership, where people don't have to worry about site business, but can just jump right in and read, comment and and interact with authors.
  2. So visitors could keep doing what they were doing without having to move around. If you want to post a comment on a story, but aren't logged in, do so and remain right on the comment page.
  3. To set up the site for moving information and features out of the "Members Only" bucket and making them more broadly available.

Login forms are located at the top left of every page. Once you log in, the "Logout" button appears in the same space.

MOVING AROUND

In the old site, as mentioned above, once you logged in, you saw a Welcome page with a lot of links to different parts of the Members area. You also had a "Sections" menu with a drop down list to get to the different places - Resources, Polls, Forums, Challenges and so forth.

Since the login form doesn't take you to a central Welcome page, you will have to use the Sections menu to get where you are going. Go ahead, log in right now. You'll come back to this page.

OK, you logged in? Now, click the Sections menu. The top part stays the same as when you are not logged in. After you log in, a new list of links appears. The two you are probably going to most want are "Writers Home" and "My Stuff - Author". Those correspond to the old "Welcome page and old "My Stuff"" page. Go ahead and explore. You can come back to news by clicking "HASA News" in the Sections menu.

MY STUFF

The biggest change is what the My Stuff page does. It will slowly replace the Welcome/Writers Home page entirely.

What is new about My Stuff? It is pod based. There are two sets of pods, one for the main wide column, one for the right-hand narrow column. You pick the poids you want and add them to your My Stuff home page. You can set what order to show them in and how many items show up in each pod. Right now, there is a limited list of pods. I'll be working on more so you can customize your page to your heart's content.

The My Stuff - Author page will also get pods, so you can pick and choose what you want to show there, too. Those will be more specialized pods, focusing on the things an author needs, like stories you are working on, Challenge entries and signup lists for alerts.

POD PEOPLE

Why this emphasis on pods? Well, it's the newest way to give users a way to put what's important to them in one place. Portal customization has been around for a while, but pods are really coming into their own. Yahoo, Google, and Live.com are all based on pods for customization. HASA isn't quite at that level, but we're getting there.

A lot of times, I've had people say "What I'd really like to see on the Welcome page is X," and there's really no way for me to code in X without disrupting the page for the dozens of other users who don't give a fig about X. Now, if there's enough interest, I can probably put a pod together and you can add it if it interests you.

In the long run, I expect to make the overall site home page support pods, too, though it will always have some standard sections. If there are some ColdFusion coders out there who would like to work on creating pods, let me know. If you have an idea for a pod, send that in, too.

HOUSE REARRANGED

The HASA house has been rearranged somewhat, and no doubt you've bruised your shins running into something that wasn't there before, or wandered around trying to find the right door. Believe me, even I've had a few "Huh? Where'd it go?!?" moments, and I coded it, so don't feel dumb if you don't know where stuff has gone to.

Click the Sections menu. That is your best, quickest way to get to where you want to go.

Thanks for your patience. Change is always a bit of a pain, but I think you'll find the benefits outweigh the inconvenience.

Happy reading!

Anglachel
HASA Tech Support

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