Things to come....

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I thought I would take the time to let you all know what is happening with the site. Over the weekend I have been working on the new online chat module. Most of the scripting has been done and I just have to start on the interface so it fits in with the rest of the site. As I have mentioned in the forums, hopefully this will all be up and running within the week. The update will also bring an update in the forum version to 1.1FINAL - nothing really new here, just helps with Administering and will hopefully speed things up a little.

I'm looking forward to the online chat section, it doesn't require any plugins and the login database has been linked with the forum database, so once logged in to the forums, you can click on the chat section and you are logged into the chat with your forum username. I will have to monitor usage/server issues initially to see how things go, but hopefully it will all be smooth.

Other sections that will be in the works is a Beer Rating section where people can rate, comment, and add their brews to the database, more info can be found in Docs thread here. If there are any PHP Guru's out there or you know of a readily avaliable script that we can modify and incorporate into the site let me know and I will look into modifying it. This would make things a lot easier (and quicker) if we can base it from an existing script and modify it for our needs.

Doc also mentioned an idea, where we could organise, Brew Swaps. Members could organise to swap certain brews with other members and then comment on them. This would certainly be interesting.

I have also suggested adding a Labels Gallery where people can upload, download, print, rate, comment on others labels. I think it would be great to see what designs people are using for their own homebrews.

When I get some more time, I will update the Retail Section and start working on some FAQ's. If anyone wants to help out there please show your intrest in this thread.

Finally, I want to look at ways to increase the member base, while we are starting to get a nice little community here of regulars, I would like to see more new members sign up. I am looking at ways to try to get a better listing on GOOGLE and the likes (my first step will involve removing the splash page) so that more people can find us. If you have any ideas that may attract new members please let me know. As most of you will know, we have cracked the 1000 post mark (we are now closer to the 1100 mark), however, I want to see things grow more.

I think the site has a number of things going for it; easy to use, powerful search function, a number of regular members with a vast knowledge of brewing, no ads/popus/etc, specific sections where questions/answers can be directed, other features such as Private Messaging, emailing, etc. I know there are a number of other Aussie Based brewing communities (websites, newsgroups, yahoo groups, custom forums) however, I feel that the features of this board really bring everything together. I often browse other communities, as I'm sure many of you do, but I'm sure you will all agree it is easier to search/ask/post here. :D

Thats about it (for the moment), I hope you are all enjoying the community and I am looking forward to implementing some of the changes mentioned in this update.

Any feedback should be directed to this thread (replys, suggestions, comments are to be posted by clicking on the View Comments below and posting).
After an update this big, I think its time to go and sniff the Ginger Beer airlock and after that sit down to have a cleansing ale! :chug:

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