denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_news2009-05-11 11:41 pm

Progress Report: 11 May 2009

Goodness me, it is Monday again, isn't it. I'm distinctly certain that I did not authorize this.

We've got a miscellaney for you this week, so let's jump right in:

1. Development

This week: a bunch of assorted bugfixes, including miscellaneous display issues, problems with the wrong userpic being displayed on your profile, and updates to the crossposter. We resolved a total of 80 bugs, 65 of which were actual fixes and 15 of which were duplicates/invalid reports in some way. This week also saw us passing another development milestone: over 700 resolved items since development began. Congratulations and welcome to [personal profile] rat and [personal profile] wyntarvox, and this week's "holy crap!" award goes to [personal profile] kareila with an amazing 17 committed patches.

A reminder to everyone: if you're interested in following along with our development efforts, you can subscribe to [site community profile] changelog for a commit-by-commit list of what changes we're making, or watch the new and unofficial community [community profile] changelog_digest for a brief summary of what each commit message means.

It's also worth reminding people that just because something's been checked into our code repository doesn't mean that it's live on the site yet -- we maintain a list of code status, which includes a list of what's live on the site and what isn't yet. We generally do code pushes (updating the live code on the site) once a week or so.

2. Importer

If you've been having problems with importing your content from other sites, please try it again now! All of the issues that we know about should now be resolved, including issues with comments not coming over and issues with entries not being able to import if you ever used LiveJournal's (or a LiveJournal system's) mass privacy tool.

If you continue to have problems with importing (other than it taking time -- the queue's very clear right now, but if it gets backed up or if your job is complex, it can take a while for an import to finish; as long as you haven't gotten a failure in your Inbox, the job's still running), you can open a Support request, where our friendly, knowledgeable, and all-around awesome operators volunteers are standing by.

3. Statistics

Until we can get our new-and-improved statistics page committed -- our existing stats page doesn't break things down closely enough -- have some statistics from a week and a half after open beta launch!

We currently have 23,332 personal accounts and 4925 community accounts. (The remaining accounts in the stats page numbers are syndicated feeds and OpenID identities.) If you count all total payments, 16% of personal or community accounts have paid to upgrade their accounts in some way, while if you remove the people who've paid for one month of service at $3 (which we correct for, since we know that it's likely that many of them will not renew), the percent becomes a still-encouraging 10.6%.

(Meanwhile, two things that cracked me up in this week's mail call: a card from one of my mother's friends, congratulating us on our achievement while sheepishly admitting that she had no real clue what, precisely, we'd built, and one of our neighbors from the north sending me a lucky Loonie. We'll be putting up all of your cards, notes, and postcards on the walls of Dreamwidth HQ and taking pictures soon.)

4. Invite Codes

To celebrate our success so far, we're going to be distributing more invite codes, as soon as we debug a few more glitches in our distribution process. Once we do that, you'll find your invites on the Invite Someone page, and be able to go forth and invite!

We're also regularly checking the requests for more invite codes, and the indefatigable [personal profile] sarah has been staying atop those pretty darn well. A reminder, though: if you're in need of more than a few invite codes, such as to move a whole community or a whole RPG, you can come talk to us about the situation by emailing and we're happy to see what we can do for you.

Right now, before our next distribution, there have been around 46,000 invite codes ever generated, of which about 23,000 are unused, meaning that about half the invite codes that we've issued have been used to set up accounts. (If you're looking for something to do with your unused invite codes, may I suggest [site community profile] dw_codesharing?)

We'd also like to remind people that if you're asking for invites because people would like to read your content, without maintaining a journal of their own, it's actually not necessary for your readers to have a Dreamwidth account (and therefore, you don't need an invite code for them), even if your content is protected. Your friend can log in with his or her OpenID URL, and you can then grant access to that OpenID. You only need to give someone an invite code if they'd like to maintain an actual journal on Dreamwidth itself.

4. Policies

We're still in the process of gearing up our Terms of Service enforcement team. From the field of candidates who expressed interest, we selected two people to co-manage the Terms of Service team who have considerable customer service and anti-abuse experience, but who don't come to us from LiveJournal's volunteer teams, to give us the right combination of a fresh set of eyes and a customer service background. With them, and with our experience in what sort of situations are likely to arise, we'll be spending the next few months collecting reports of Terms of Service violations, sorting them into what kind of thing crops up most frequently, and posting regularly about answers to policy questions that crop up.

The reason that we've chosen to avoid specifying our content policies more clearly right up front is because we know that any set of guidelines for enforcement would be colored by our experience elsewhere, and we'd like to avoid being overly prescriptive right out of the gate. Our general overview of content philosophies can be found in this section of our business FAQs.

Starting this week, we'll be posting a weekly summary of our Terms of Service inquiries, for those people who are interested in the administrivia of what sort of issues crop up. While still respecting individuals' privacy, we'll summarize major issues and publicly clarify the policy questions people have asked us. We're still not entirely sure what community is the best destination for those weekly reports, but [site community profile] dw_biz is looking like the most likely candidate.

Right now, we're seeing so few reports of Terms of Service violations that the team doesn't need additional members, but when they do, we'll let everyone know.

5. Newsletter

And speaking of the proliferation of DW official communities, for those of you who don't feel like waiting for the weekly-roundup [site community profile] dw_news post, we're pleased to welcome the unofficial, but still very useful, [community profile] the_dw_herald. [personal profile] all_official_dreamwidth, that mysterious shadowy figure, has settled in and started cataloging official announcements and other useful bits of information. If you're starting to feel overwhelmed at all of the possible sources of information, [community profile] the_dw_herald has your back.

With the advent of open beta, meanwhile, we're going to be shortly discontinuing our mailing lists in favor of our official communities. If you're looking to provide us feedback, you can do it privately by opening a support request in the Feedback category, or publicly by commenting to a [site community profile] dw_news post; suggestions can go in comments to [site community profile] dw_suggestions until we get a better suggestions process in place.

6. Known Issues

We've been trying to keep the Known Issues box on the Support page a decent balance between listing user-facing issues and not overwhelming people with so many items that your eyes will just glaze over entirely. If you're curious, we're keeping a more in-depth list of Known Issues on our Wiki, which links to all user-facing Bugzilla items (both actual bugs and things we think could stand some improvement). [personal profile] piranha deserves massive kudos for keeping that list up-to-date.

If you've noticed something that seems to be busted, though, please do report it to Support. We have a number of awesome people who will dig into the problem, try to reproduce it, and file bugs for it if necessary. And if you're interested in doing some of the investigation and bug-filing yourself, Support is standing by to welcome you with open arms. Check out [site community profile] dw_support_training for information and getting-started tips.

(Did I mention that our support volunteers are kicking ass and taking names? A special "thank you, y'all rock" to [personal profile] chemicallace, [personal profile] domtheknight, and [personal profile] zarhooie, who've really charged in and organized the heck out of things.)

7. Antispam

We're already seeing that our use of invite codes is doing a lot to prevent prevalent logged-in spam journals created solely to boost search engine page rank, which is awesome. We're also seeing an uptick in anonymous comment spam, which is less awesome.

Until we can put in more resources to identifying and blocking anonymous spam comments on the server end (which is something we're working on), there are steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of getting spam comments. If you wind up getting hit anyway, delete the comment individually and select the "mark as spam" checkbox when you do, and it will wind up in the capable hands of the [site community profile] dw_antispam team.

Remember, spam is unsolicited commercial advertising, which often manifests in nonsense phrases linked to dummy web pages (in an attempt to drive traffic and increase search engine prominence). Harassing or personal comments don't qualify as spam, and the antispam team can't do anything to help you there. If you're getting unwanted harassing comments, there are steps you can take, including blocking anonymous commenting (or requiring anonymous users to complete a human test while commenting), restricting your comments only to people you've granted access to, and making sure that comment IP logging is on.

8. Styles

This week saw a bunch of backend fixes and further refinements to our styles backend in prep for a major push to get additional layouts and themes added. Part of this was us renaming the style formerly known as "Core2 Testing" to "Tabula Rasa", our blank-slate option that people can fully customize using custom CSS and the customization wizard.

To select Tabula Rasa as a style and begin working to create layouts for it, go to the Select Journal Style page and change the display from "Featured" to "All". Once you've applied the Tabula Rasa theme, you can use the Customize Journal Style page to play with it.

We've designed Tabula Rasa to be fully controllable via CSS, so out-of-the-box, it's completely unstyled. You probably won't want to use this layout unless you're ready to start digging into design. But if you do, and if you come up with something really awesome that you want to share, stay tuned to [site community profile] dw_styles for information on how to submit your stylesheet to us. (There's also the unofficial [community profile] dreamwidthlayouts, which can be a massively useful resource.)

While there still might be a few changes to the backend, we're mostly down to tweaks and refinements from here on out. We know that people are anxiously awaiting more layout options, and we're down to the last pieces of work that need to be done before we can turn our attention from backend cleanup and infrastructure work to building out tons of styles and themes that people can choose from.

9. Seed Accounts

Assuming that [staff profile] mark doesn't get totally eaten by being in the rotation for a week-long 24/7 on-call shift for his day job, our "makeup" Seed (permanent) account sale will be this Thursday, after we're able to finish up the last bits of changes to our payment system to allow people to pay via credit card without having an associated PayPal account.

A Seed Account is a premium paid account that will never expire. They cost $200 USD, and are intended to finance our first year of operations. You can read our reasoning for why seed accounts will not regularly be on sale, if you're curious; this sale is to reflect the fact that we had some issues during our first sale period (on the night of April 30) that prevented people from being able to purchase Seed Accounts.

100 Seed Accounts will go on sale at 9PM EDT Thursday May 14 (1AM GMT Friday May 15), and 100 will go on sale at 9AM EDT Friday May 15 (1PM GMT Friday May 15). The option will be available in the Dreamwidth Shop until all of the available accounts are sold.

That's about it on the big stuff for us this week! We'll be back next Monday with another roundup of weekly news. In the meantime, everyone think good thoughts for [staff profile] mark, who not only has the on-call pager this week and has to keep Dreamwidth running, but is getting married (to the fabulous [personal profile] janinedog) in less than two weeks. I think that's the definition of stress.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2009-05-12 03:54 am (UTC)(link)
In conclusion, cheesecake. :D

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skiba: (Default)

[personal profile] skiba 2009-05-12 03:56 am (UTC)(link)
At first I brought a paid account because I didn't want to feel left out~ and I was pretty skeptical, having seen similar projects go nowhere. But I become increasingly hopeful and just generally jazzed about this whole thing with every update. Keep up the good work guys!
griffen: (Default)

[personal profile] griffen 2009-05-12 03:57 am (UTC)(link)
*applause* Yay! :)

(I didn't authorize Monday either. We should find who did, don't you think?)

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teaplease: (Default)

[personal profile] teaplease 2009-05-12 03:58 am (UTC)(link)
Awesome! I've been needing some more invite codes. :)
allegory: (Default)

[personal profile] allegory 2009-05-12 04:06 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for all the hard work this week, as well. ♥
kriski: munch's madonna (einst hatten wir die welt)

[personal profile] kriski 2009-05-12 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
a newsletter with very good news, yay!

thanks for pointing out [site community profile] dw_codesharing. i'll see if i can put my spare invites to good use there, would be a shame to let them go to waste.
frodo: (Default)

[personal profile] frodo 2009-05-12 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
Whoo, I am so happy for you guys and all the success you're having!
ruin: (tw;; jack no bondage)

[personal profile] ruin 2009-05-12 04:14 am (UTC)(link)
&heart; ♥ You guys are amazing. :3
baggyeyes: Princess Leia (Default)


[personal profile] baggyeyes 2009-05-12 04:18 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations and try not to stress yourselves out tooo much to [staff profile] mark and [personal profile] janinedog.
scarecrow: (• [WTF] • [Neely] • HI-5)

[personal profile] scarecrow 2009-05-12 04:20 am (UTC)(link)
first of all, thank you again!

secondly, I have kind of a non-sequitur question for you!

Would you guys ever consider having a 'ranking' system regarding moderators for communities? Such as, a sole administrator(or as many as designated) and then another tier of 'maintainers'? those with the ability to clean up but they don't have the ability to remove administrators or mess with the layout or whatever else might be an 'administrator only' thing?

Curious, because I remember hearing this was in effect at LJ once and it sounds interesting but I'm not sure how practical it is.
scarecrow: (• [MISC] • [Emote] • ♥)

[personal profile] scarecrow 2009-05-12 04:21 am (UTC)(link)
ALSO, congratulations and good luck to [staff profile] mark and [personal profile] janinedog!! :D

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zarhooie: Girl on a blueberry bramble looking happy. Text: Kat (spr0t sheep)

[personal profile] zarhooie 2009-05-12 04:21 am (UTC)(link)
Hee! That's my name up there! *stars in eyes*

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[personal profile] rogerpittman 2009-05-12 04:31 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on Dreamwidth's success thus far - you folks have really come up with something great here, and it's appreciated. Keep up the fantastic work!
j00j: rainbow over east berlin plattenbau apartments (Default)

[personal profile] j00j 2009-05-12 04:41 am (UTC)(link)
Yay! Also, I would just like to say that my import went awesomely, and the crossposter has been great so far.
frannyglass: (4)

[personal profile] frannyglass 2009-05-12 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
Congrats to all you Dreamwidth people. It is mind-blowing to be here.
maraich: (I'm peeking at you)

[personal profile] maraich 2009-05-12 04:51 am (UTC)(link)
I was surprised to see RPGs mentioned!

I've actually been in the process of creating a new RP along with a few other people, and I've been thinking about suggesting that we put it on DW instead of LJ. However, the biggest issue would be icons. Roleplayers usually like to have tons of icons and most people probably wouldn't want to pay for both LJ and DW, unless there was a really good price.

Would there be any method for only paying for extra icons? Right now I think this is the biggest problem I'd have with making an RPG on DW, because many of us are already in established RPs and that would mean paying for two accounts.

Otherwise I'm pretty enthused about what I'm seeing and it would be nice to try a new journal site with less clutter. A lot of people I know have been keeping an eye on its development.

[personal profile] theintersect 2009-05-12 05:05 am (UTC)(link)
Has the PayPal issue been resolved yet? I'd love to buy a paid account (premium, even), but I really don't want to go through PayPal.

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rodo: chuck on a roof in winter (Default)

[personal profile] rodo 2009-05-12 05:09 am (UTC)(link)
More invites, yay!

Also: I think [site community profile] dw_codesharing would be easier to navigate if the fulfilled requests would be deleted. The way it is now, it's likely some people get lost under all these comments.
animone: Black★Rock Shooter (Default)

[personal profile] animone 2009-05-12 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
I've been really impressed by the pace of development on DW in the past week(s). The time from support ticket to patch commit seems to have been a mere matter of hours in many cases. I'm happy to see what's going on aren't just bugfixes, but improvements. Did I mention DW is way cleaner and faster than LJ ever was?

One of the things that attracted me here was that it's still a small (and very friendly!) community, and has an appropriately vague ToS. I'm certainly not here to push it, but I'm glad to see the intention of policy growing with the needs of the users. For that matter, you guys actually listen to your users, which is indeed truly amazing.

This seems like a good place to share some various comments I've had showing people this site, whether trying to get them to migrate from LJ or linking my journal:
* "Wow! The usernames have no underscores or numbers! It looks so neat and clean that way."
A nice advantage of a "new" site, but honestly, I'd love to see a sane-names only restriction implemented.

* "I keep inviting users who register and never update/use their journal. I wish there was a way to revoke the invite."
* "Only 6 usericons, or I have to pay? Eww!"
* "Maybe they could implement some sort of referral system?"
From what I've seen, the quality of core users here so far has been extremely high, and I fully support the continuation of the invite system, whatever form it is in. There's a much longer discussion of my thoughts about these things here.

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second: Kristoph smiling (Phoenix Wright - Kristoph - <3)

[personal profile] second 2009-05-12 06:20 am (UTC)(link)
I just gotta say, I've been using lj for three years, and this place is a welcome change.

Three cheers for the dreamwidth team!
rainbow: photo of my late cat Mousebait on the cat tree (mousebait)

[personal profile] rainbow 2009-05-12 06:32 am (UTC)(link)
EEEEEeee, the stats don't ignore "rather not say"!!!

Your Mom's friend makes me smile :)

Wwoo hoo for chemicallace, domtheknight, and zarhooie!

Lots of good thoughts for Mark and you, too!
ardhra: Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes, with a feather fascinator in her hair and a colourful drape (Default)

Re: #9

[personal profile] ardhra 2009-05-12 08:11 am (UTC)(link)
Does this mean there's now a payment system which doesn't require a PayPal account?
sorchasilver: (Gen: Map 1)

Re: #9

[personal profile] sorchasilver 2009-05-12 08:28 am (UTC)(link)
Not just yet, but (hopefully) soon: see [staff profile] denise's answer here.

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runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)

[personal profile] runpunkrun 2009-05-12 08:56 am (UTC)(link)
Have you been able to convince Earthlink that Dreamwidth emails aren't spam? I don't see it on the known issues list anymore, but I can't tell if I'm getting all my mail or not.

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ieune: drawing of the capital letter H (Default)

[personal profile] ieune 2009-05-12 09:02 am (UTC)(link)
All the very best to [staff profile] mark and [personal profile] janinedog on the upcoming nuptuals! Picspam please! ;)

I was on LJ for 5 years, and have accounts in other places b/c I wanted to get away but found the other sites confuzzled me immensely, consequently, I am dead chuffed to be here. DW gets better every day!

Lol on the card from your mum's friend. :)
eunhyuk: (ueto)

[personal profile] eunhyuk 2009-05-12 09:15 am (UTC)(link)
It's sad to see that some people say DW isn't good at all just because they can't trade there invite for an lj username anymore.

Keep up the good work
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)

[personal profile] triadruid 2009-05-15 02:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Huh? I actually have no idea what that complaint is even trying to say...
carisma_sensei: (Default)

[personal profile] carisma_sensei 2009-05-12 09:20 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the hard work~ ♥
I, too, think the invite system is awesome (and sweet). Also, just wanted to comment that the staff is really fast and friendly when it comes to support requests, and that's awesome!! <3

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