Catching Up and A Preview of Crochet Me 3.2

I'm about to head off to Colorado to prep the fall issue of Interweave Crochet to go to press. I missed spring press, so this is my first foray into the frenzy, and I'm excited. I learned so much from this issue, and it makes me even more excited about issues to come. And so enough about that.

Rockin Grrl BloggerI was stoked to discover yesterday that I've been tagged; I'm never tagged. Indefatigable Shannon tagged me as a Rockin' Grrl Blogger (I swiped her doctored image). This rockin' blogger thing has been going around for a while, so I'm going to tag with abandon and hope that if I duplicate a rockin' proclamation the blogger will be flattered instead of stymied by how I didn't know they'd already been tagged.

And there you have it. I heart these women, and am totally inspired by them.

Before I get to the really juicy stuff, a note: I've been playing with Feedburner of late, and have added a box to the sidebar of this blog to give you, dear blog readers, the option to have blog posts delivered to you by email, thus eliminating the need for you to subscribe to the RSS feed. Not that I think the feed is anything less than fabulous. But, you know, not everyone is like me.

And now, for the first public preview of Crochet Me 3.2. I wouldn't blame you if, up to now, you had begun to suspect that 3.2 is my Snuffleupagus. My constant, benevolent, imaginary companion. But alas, she is real.

Emma Jane (the aforementioned) is working on some image magic (read: the last major bit functionality without which the site will be no good), and when she's done I'll invite a few dozen more beta testers onto the site to flush out the lasting bugs. Then, depending on the state of things in the next couple of weeks, I'll launch the new site either in public beta (which means everyone will be able to register but we won't be able to guarantee that everything will work perfectly on all browsers), or not in beta (which means we will have solved all the known problems with the site—this is unlikely. Insert disgusted rant about Internet Explorer here. Also, I don't have access to Windows Vista or IE7, so I'll especially need help from those brave early adopters who use those systems—with the understanding that I believe in the depths of my being that they'd be better off switching to Firefox, stat).

Ok. Here she is (with some more rounded corners to come), the fruit of my coding of Cynthia's delicious design. This shot is of the (as yet un-beautified) main patterns page, from which you can browse all patterns.

Crochet Me 3.2 screenshot

A bit of a walk-through: Notice the big Log In! button in the top right. Like the current site, all content will be available to all visitors, but unlike the current site, in order to post any content at all (even comments), you'll need to register and be logged in. It's still free, of course, and registering will be easy. Registering will also give you access to some super nifty features:

  • Notice the alert that I have “one new private message.” Oh, yes. Private messages rock, and they allow users to communicate without having to share their email addresses publicly.
  • See the “My Crochet Me” box in the right-hand sidebar? That's command-central. You can manage your account (including your public profile), your buddies (the Buddy List is both a way for you to collect Crochet Me friends, and also a way to easily keep track of what they're up to), your private messages, your subscriptions (oh, yes: with the click of a button you can sign up to receive email notification when new comments are posted to certain pages, or when new patterns or tips or forum topics are posted), and then the piece de resistance:
  • You can post your own original patterns and tips. Patterns are, duh, the Crochet Me way of pushing the boundaries of our craft. And Tips are our way of encouraging crocheters to share their boundless knowledge. When you post a pattern or tip, it will link back to your profile, and a bit about you will also be shown on the pattern or tip page. So the exposure designers have gotten from publishing on the current site is still a huge part of the new site. And people can favorite your patterns and show them off on their profile. People can also rate patterns, which will allow other users to find the most excellent patterns more quickly. And, in the interest of finding new patterns, people can also tag all the content on the site (like Flickr).
  • Speaking of patterns, check out that screenshot again. That's the main Patterns index. Notice how you can browse patterns by type (yup, no obnoxious and confusing drop-downs like on the current site). Also, you can see the most popular patterns, the most recently posted patterns, a featured pattern, most highly rated patterns (not shown here), and also a list of crocheters who have posted the most patterns (also not shown here).

And thus ends the first preview of Crochet Me 3.2. I hope it made sense, and that you're as stoked as I am to dive into it. I'll post more previews leading up to the public launch!

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