denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Hello, Dreamwidth! Goodness, this past week has been unexpectedly exciting, hasn't it? A warm Dreamwidth welcome to everyone who's just joining us: we're glad you're here, and we hope you're liking the new digs.

Before we get into all the things I have to cover, though: Given the reasons most people are citing for not wanting to agree to LiveJournal's new ToS, I'd like to take a moment and ask: if you're able to (and only if you're able!), please consider donating to the Russian LGBT Network/Российская ЛГБТ-сеть. They not only do excellent work across the Russian Federation, but are currently mobilizing to help evacuate LGBT people in Chechnya who are in danger of detention or death. (EDIT: If you're outside Russia, you can donate through All Out; the Russian LGBT Network website won't accept donations from outside Russia.)

To our friends in Russia who are LGBT and those who are against the mistreatment of anyone because of their sexual orientation: We stand with you. Please stay safe above all else, but if it would be safe for you to post that link, the LGBT Network is asking that as many people as possible publicly share the information that the LGBT Network is ready to help. (They also ask that you do not contact people in Chechnya directly to let them know, as there are reports the authorities are searching people's phones and computers for evidence of sexual orientation.)

The rest of this post is primarily to give y'all new folks a brief orientation (or as brief as I am ever capable of; no one has ever called me concise) to help you settle in, although I hope at least some of it will be useful (or at least interesting!) to those of you who have been with us for a while. Come with me as we discuss Dreamwidth's history, a bit of what (we think) makes us special, the answers to a few common questions about how we roll, and a few useful tips that may help you with the transition.


Dreamwidth 101! )

Whew! That was a lot to throw at y'all at once, I know. (Yes, I always am this longwinded. And I always use this many parentheses.) Everybody who's been here for a while: thank you for your patience as I got our new arrivals up to speed! We'll be back in a few weeks with a code push and a bunch of new features and fixes, so the next news post should be more broadly applicable.

In the meantime, let's have a welcome party in the comments:

* If you're looking for new people to subscribe to you, leave a comment with some basic info about your journal and what you tend to write about! Then everybody can browse around and meet each other. (There's also [community profile] 2017revival and [community profile] addme, both of which are unofficial but bustling lately; holler if you know of any more.)

* If you've been here for a while and have a favorite community that's active, drop a link and a brief description!

* If you're new or you've been here for a while, and you're looking for an active community on a particular topic, leave a comment with what you're looking for and people can recommend you some options. (We've done this a few times before, as "the great community rec-o-matic", and it's never a bad time for another round.)

* If you know of any scripts, resources, extensions, tools, or toys that will help someone make the move, get settled in, or customize their DW experience once they're here, drop a link and a description in the comments. (We can't be responsible for unofficial tools, scripts, extensions, etc, so use at your own risk, but I know there are a bunch of them floating around!)

Finally, a quick note on the importer queue: it's still going, I swear. The jobs finishing now are the ones that were scheduled around 48 hours ago, though, so we really appreciate how patient y'all are being!

As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check [site community profile] dw_maintenance and the Twitter status account. (We can't do support through Twitter, though! Open a support request instead. Me trying to fit into 140 characters is not a pretty sight.)

Comment notifications may be delayed for an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 5:30AM EDT (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Hello, Dreamwidth! And thank you to everyone who wished me and my wife a happy vacation -- it was an excellent one. (Rumors that it was to help distract me from a significant birthday starting with 4 and ending with 0 are totally unfounded. Really.) It was also awesome to come back and see all of the new activity going on! I hope that everyone who's joined us in the last month or two has been settling in nicely.

Behind the cut, a tour of some of the new stuff we've done in the last few months, plus a look at some older changes that could use more love:

* Image Hosting Frontend
* HTTPS Beta
* Create Entries Beta: progress report
* Selective comment screening
* Other alphabets in site search: fixed!
* Icon file size limit increased
* Dreamwidth: Did You Know?
* Team Dreamwidth

DW News, 15 Feb 2017 )

*

That's it from us for another update! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page.

Comment notifications may be delayed for an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 5:35AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
[staff profile] mark
Well, we made it to 2017. Congratulations.

The holiday promotion has ended. Thank you to everybody who bought points or a paid account or something, you're really helping to keep Dreamwidth going. We wouldn't be here without your support. (Quite literally -- we don't serve advertisements and we don't sell recommendations or anything, every single dollar we use to host the site comes from ya'll.)

The main reason I wanted to post today was to acknowledge and welcome the large influx of people we've been seeing in the past 10 days or so. We've seen a huge increase in new accounts -- over 100,000! This has translated into a raw increase in Dreamwidth usage of about 25% (i.e., our traffic is up 25% compared to two weeks ago). This is pretty exciting. I love to see people using Dreamwidth and settling in, making themselves comfortable, etc. I hope that you will find yourself feeling at home here!

So, business #1:

With any large influx of traffic, there will be occasional bits of site slowness. It takes a little time for us to provision hardware to adjust to changes in load, but don't worry: we're nowhere near the limits. In other words, even if the site gets slow for a little while it won't be a long term thing. Most of the particular issues we've run up against have been fixed already and the team will continue to investigate and fix any other issues that arise.

If you're worried about Dreamwidth falling over or crashing because of the traffic, it's okay. We are quite far from any limitations on Dreamwidth's ability to scale. But, even still, I'm sorry for the spots of slowness we've had. We've had to make a few tweaks but things look like they're doing pretty well now and we'll keep an eye on things.

(Note: whenever there are issues, we will update our Twitter feed: [twitter.com profile] dreamwidth, so please follow us there if you use that service!)

Financially, we're doing fine. We did just get new hardware and that incurred a pretty big line-item expense, but we've still got a buffer of cash in the bank -- particularly since we just finished the holiday sale. Of course, we've had to provision extra hardware with the recent arrivals but it will take a few months to see how the budget shakes out. (So, we're not asking for money right now! Just the normal business is sustaining the site fine and if that changes we'll let you know.)

Business #2:

Welcome to Dreamwidth, all newcomers, we're happy to have you! Many of you are joining us from Russia and Ukraine, so: Привет, добро пожаловать! Привіт і ласкаво просимо!

Unfortunately, nobody presently on Dreamwidth staff or volunteer speaks these languages and Google Translate leaves a lot to be desired. We've had at least one support request come in which is not in English and we'd love to be able to help out. If anybody who speaks these languages has spare time and is interested in becoming part of our volunteer group to help out from time to time, can you please comment here and let us know? Thank you!

Edit: I've started [community profile] dw_translate which [personal profile] kaberett will be administrating. We'll use that community to post to when we have something we need help with! Please feel free to join if you want to make yourself available.

Business #3:

I want to personally say that Dreamwidth is committed to openness and protecting the privacy of our users and their data. While we must of course follow United States law, we take a very strong position on the protection of your data. We'll do everything we can to be the best we can in this area. In other words, see the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Who Has Your Back? 2015 report. While Dreamwidth is too small to be evaluated by the EFF, I am committing us to earning all 5 stars. Stay tuned for more on this from us in 2017.

I think that particularly in the current political climate of the United States (and the world) it is very important for people to take a stand for what they believe in. So: I believe that real, honest privacy and using an online service should not be incompatible goals -- and as much as it is within our power, Dreamwidth will be a place you can have real, honest privacy.

That's all I've got for now. Thanks for reading and I hope your New Year's Eve went as well as mine -- we had a pajama party with some good friends and some champagne at midnight. It was pretty relaxing ... until the Roomba woke us up at an unreasonable time to begin its morning rounds.

(PS, as with all news posts, this may cause a delay in comment notifications for an hour or two after this is posted. I am posting this at 12:30PM PST, convert to your timezone.)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Hello, Dreamwidth! I know: it's been ages since the last news post. There are many reasons, all of them tedious and boring and basically boiling down to being so ready to see the backside of 2016. (Seriously, at this point I think we may need to drive a stake through this year's heart and bury it in a silver coffin at the crossroads by the light of the full moon.) I'd been hoping to write you one of our usual chatty updates to let you know what we've been up to (we have been doing stuff! it's very interesting stuff!) but various and sundry tedious boring things have meant I didn't have the time before departing tomorrow on the extended vacation my wife and I are taking to ritually cleanse 2016 from our lives...

I do have some news that I wanted to share before departure, though! Many of you have already noticed it, but for those of you who haven't or who are new here: the December holiday points bonus has been active since the beginning of December. All orders of paid time or points made in the Dreamwidth Shop during the month of December will receive a 10% points bonus to spend or save for the future. For instance, if you buy a 12-month paid account (350 points), you'll get another 35 points once the order is complete for you to use on a future order. This bonus only applies to orders of paid time or points -- bonus icons and rename tokens don't receive points bonuses. If you buy paid time or points for a friend, the bonus points will go to you, not to them.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: When we say "the month of December", that goes by server time, which is in UTC. It's not midnight your local time zone! (For people in Pacific time, for instance, the promotion ends at 4PM on 31 December.) Every year a few people get bitten by this, so if you're planning on buying paid time during December, it's best to do it on 30 December or before.

We do this promotion every December as a way to say "thank you" to everyone who supports us. We're a tiny company with no outside investors, no venture capitalist money, and no advertising (anywhere): your payments are what lets us keep offering the site to everyone. Since our income comes entirely from you, you know that the decisions we make are always and only for you, not for advertisers, marketers, or the people who hold the purse strings. You're what lets us keep this place running, and we love you for it.

I hate to post and run, but I'll be leaving you all in the eminently capable hands of [staff profile] mark, [staff profile] karzilla, and [personal profile] alierak for the next few weeks while Sarah and I investigate ways to exorcise the fetid corpse of this bloody year. Happy holidays, whichever of them you're celebrating, and I'll be back in 2017 with a run-through of what we've been up to lately.

(Comment notifications may be delayed for up to an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 3:35AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Hello, Dreamwidth!

It's December, and those of you who have been around for a while know what that means: the December Holiday Points Bonus!

All Dreamwidth Shop orders of paid time or points made (by a logged-in account) between now and midnight UTC on December 31 will get a 10% points bonus for you to save or spend in the future. For instance, if you buy a 12-month paid account (350 points), you'll get another 35 points once the order is complete for you to use on a future order.

This bonus only applies to orders of paid time or points -- bonus icons and rename tokens don't receive points bonuses. If you buy paid time or points for a friend, the bonus points will go to you, not to them.

The holiday points bonus is our way of saying "thank you" for continuing to support Dreamwidth. Our income comes entirely from you -- we have no advertising, no outside investors, and no venture capital, so you know that the decisions we make are always 100% in your best interest. Thank you to everyone who's bought paid time, extra services, or points this year. You make it possible for us to keep the site running for everyone, and we love you for it.

As 2015 draws to a close -- it's hard to believe we're finishing up our sixth year of Dreamwidth! -- we'd like to wish a very happy set of holidays to you, no matter what December holidays you celebrate. Here's to an awesome 2016.

(EDIT: Also, there was a brief problem with the promotion not properly adding the bonus points to your account -- that's been fixed, and I'm manually applying the bonus points for the accounts/orders that were affected.)

While I have you here, I'd also like to highlight some of the changes we've made over the last few code pushes in case you've missed them:

An incomplete list of the improvements we've made )

We've also had a request for another round of the Great Community Rec-O-Matic! For those who weren't around last time we did this: it's a great way to get recommendations for communities to participate in that you might enjoy.

Here's how it works:

* If you're looking for new communities to join, comment here with a list of some of your interests, and the kind of community you enjoy reading and participating in.

* Or, read through the other comments and see what things other people are listing. If you see someone you think would be a perfect match for a community you admin or participate in, comment back to them and point them at the community!


(Comment notifications may be delayed for up to an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 3:45AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.)
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