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Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Shaping The Future of GeekOut Media

GeekOut Media is the name we’ve given the collective of GeekOut South-West, GeekOut West-Midlands and our web ventures. We’ve been wanting to bring everything together properly for some time, but it just hasn’t happened as of yet. A massive project to bring it all together is still underway, but until recently, we hit a stumbling point. Now that issue is in the past, it’s time for us to shape our future – and you can help us make it how you’d want it.

Shaping Our Future

Example of our default avatar and banner art

In the past, I’ve touched upon what we’re working on. Joel and I are writing our first ever eBook, which we’re now beginning to actually produce. Chris has some amazing ideas for the RPG gamers out there. Joel’s new venture is drumming up business. It’s all incredibly exciting stuff – But what about the website? Why is this still the same and what can be done to bring everything together?

The goal was to be up and running on a new website last year; which as you can see never happened. Oh sure, we’ve provided daily content, run campaigns for things we’re interested in and much more… But we’re still just here. WordPress.com has been an amazing platform, offering a ton of versatility for a really reasonable price. However, versatility isn’t really the same as having control.

Staff naturally need to have an obscene amount of XP!

I’ve been working on a lot of simple features, including; Making the front page look pretty, so people can navigate easier than they can now; Making a default profile image and banner, so there’s a uniform look to the site, allowing people to overwrite it to make their page their own; Making the forums more user-friendly; Making the level system actually functional (and giving Staff a personal level) and so on. It’s not been an easy venture, but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

As such, today, I just wanted to show you a couple of these features. Throughout this article are small snippets you can look forward to, but ultimately, if you’re interested, here’s what I’ve done since last time:

  • Created a default profile avatar and banner
  • Created the front page buttons
  • Created the whole UK Geek Events Database
    • I am currently still working on setting up permissions based on levels. This is a High Priority!
    • The UK Geek Events Database is run via PHP and MySQL. I’ve worked to ensure it can’t be data injected, so that’s nice.
  • Created a few custom badges
    • There are 10 badges created, another 30 to create before I’m done with implementation of custom badges.
      • Don’t worry, this isn’t as laboursome as it sounds.
        • There are actually a LOT more than 40 badges…
  • Fixed 11 bugs. Oops!
    • Many bugs were found to be a combination of my fault and WordPress.org plugins conflicting.
  • Changed CSS around to make the site look a lot more slick

One of our front page buttons – I had to get the license to use these eyes, so that’s cool… I guess I’ll use them a LOT more.

Whilst this isn’t necessarily a lot of progress I’ve shared, I am working hard to make sure this turns out great. I have no deadlines to work towards, as last time I did this, I found it counter-productive. The deadlines seriously de-motivated me. We look to bring you daily content, you might have to bear with us! We’re hopeful to share with you a bigger update for the new website soon… But hey, at least you’ve seen some snippets of what’s to come!

In the meantime, I have to ask all of you for help. Whether you’re an avid reader, a fan of our Top 10’s, a fan of our South-West and West-Midlands meets or if you’re an occasional reader – What do you think of the snippets above? The scope of the website hasn’t changed; but we’re looking to bring community together. A blog is great, but a website of the magnitude of what we’re trying to achieve is better. I hope you’ll be joining us once we go to the new site. So share your thoughts below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

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