A few things to note come upgrade time.
as you all know, the upgrade is scheduled to happen on Monday. Other than the downtime, there are a few other things you should expect.
For one, the templates / themes / styles (whatever you really wanna call it) will most likely be broken. Therefore, the very likely possibility is that I will revert to the default software template provided. Over the next few days after that, I will attempt to fix this issue, but it's not gonna be immediate.
As always, the cookies will be an issue. Log out, clear your cache / cookies, then log in again.
Some operations might be disrupted. The upgrade means that I need to get rid of a ton of stuff that I installed. Like the Paypal donate button. Over time, I'll re-introduce them, but like I mentioned earlier, it's not gonna be immediate.
I was also telling Syrah that I intend to remove a few forum categories, and possibly merge some others. This will be our immediate groundwork right after the upgrade. Think of it as a massive clean-up. I wanna make StoriesMania more organised and easier to navigate. Which brings me to my next point.
The new system allows for article publishing on the main page, which means that I'm looking at important posts to be placed there. Any forums that are removed will have its postings go there. Stuff that talks about grammar, better writing etc SHOULD and MUST go there. This also means that StoriesMania will not allow for sub-standard postings on the main page. Anything that goes up there has to be well-written, coherent, and engaging.
I believe that, as serious writers as we are, we have limits as well. Time is always a factor for us. But that's no excuse for mediocrity. Therefore, my opinion here is that, all postings going to the main will undergo even more scrutiny than the submissions we have. This is gonna be as serious as it gets. As writers, we can't just settle for anything less than the best. How else can we engage our readers? This is the new direction that I have for the main page, and I hope you guys can support me as much as you can.
It is with that mindset, that I intend to create a contrast and harmony within StoriesMania. Obviously I don't wanna be serious all the time. Writing should be fun, and nobody has to feel draggy about it when they want to write. Especially on StoriesMania. Our intention to drive traffic has always been there, and I'll be the first to admit, we aren't a class act in that area. Advertising money has been allocated. And with the tools I have, I intend to do research on keywords and decide how best to attract the crowd.
I am certain that the new forum version will help. Facebook log-ins WILL be a norm in the future, and I reckon it deals with the resistance of having to register an account for new visitors.
Going in that direction, I want to do Facebook advertising as well. If any of you have suggestions, please let me or any of the admins know. If technically, you happen to be knowledgeable in that area, give me a shout out. I am also looking for people who are good with programming. I know a couple of you guys who are, and I'll be getting in contact with you soon. But for those whom I've not personally spoken to yet, do revert to me. We can work something out that'll be a win-win situation.
All right, so these are the thoughts I have for now. As always, feel free to say anything you want. I think that, having a healthy discussion is always beneficial for the community, and the truth is, I still keep this site running as a passion project, not so much the money. (Not that that really helped a lot.)
Until then, be excited! We're entering a phase where I wanna shake things up and steer this forward once again. If you're a member now, be prepared for more good things to come. If you're not, don't wait already. Geez. I thought that was obvious.