Yes, many of you may have experienced a few hours of downtime for the Behance Network (along with downtime on other top websites around the web including some of our favorites like 37Signals and Threadless).
The downtime was caused by a wild sequence of unfortunate events that resulted in an overheating server facility at the usually perfect Rackspace hosting center in Texas. We could hardly believe it ourselves!
Coverage of these events can be found around the web. We want to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused Behance members. The Behance team is considering other systems to ensure 100% live time and greater redundancy.
The good news: We now seem to be up and running.
We offer our apologies to those of you trying to reach Behance sites early this morning. Our server hosting partner had a power failure in the data center (and a flaw with their back-up generator), due to a faulty breaker box. This caused a small amout of downtime. It has been repaired, and we are back up and running. We are taking steps to ensure that this never happens again.
As you know, our team works tirelessly to provide the Creative Professional Community with the best experience possible. Once again, we apologize!
WHAT WE DID TO HELP
BLOCK AND SPAM POP UP
The first new feature is the ability to block users. This was an obvious need. From this pop-up you can block someone, report them as spam, or both. Reporting as spam will notify the staff to look into the person sending the message.
ONE CIRCLE INVITE
You will only be invited to a circle by a user one time. Once you decline, they will not be able to invite you again. This means no unwanted e-mails. Other users of the same circle can invite you though, so you will not get “blacklisted.”
YOUR NETWORK MORE ACCURATE
Your Network was originally made up of the members in your Inner Circle, the circles you own, and circles you are a part of. It is now the people in your Inner Circle only. When composing a message, the “Your Circles” tab allows you to message everyone in any circle you own and your Inner Circle. This cut back most of the spam immediately.
+ Remember if someone is in your Inner Circle, you’re also in theirs.
+ The owner of any circle has the ability to message all users in the circle
+ Being more selective of what circles you join ensures more meaningful messages.
A quick note of three new features and improvements:
(1) WATCHERS: Now regular people (non-members) can sign up as “watchers” to track your latest work. Thousands of people surf the Behance galleries and circles every day. The new “watcher” sign-up option enables enthusiasts, agencies, and anyone else to surf public projects in the network and organize what they find. You can see who is watching your work and communicate with them in your “My Home” tab.
(2) TRANSMISSIONS: Another new feature in your “My Home” tab is an open message system for the network to efficiently spread the word. All creative professionals are invited to “transmit” to the network. Only creative professionals in the Behance Network have access to transmissions.
(3) FEEDBACK: We encourage you to share your feedback and suggestions with us! You are welcome to visit (or join) the Behance Feedback circle. http://www.behance.net/Circles/Behance-Feedback/30079
Due to some requests from users we have made two new RSS feeds. One for Featured Projects and one for Featured Circles on the Behance Network. You can subscribe to them and get the latest updates from a simple dropdown in your browser. If you want to see images in your RSS feed you should subscribe to a reader like Google’s RSS Reader, which is where the screenshot is taken from.
Expose Yourself More
This brings up something that current members of the Network may be unaware of. Under all of your projects you can enter a “Short Description”.
The description here is what people read about your project in the RSS Feed. If you leave it blank people may only see your project cover – or even just your title. So make sure to enter your descriptions to give people a reason to click on your project.
You might be thinking “I have no idea what RSS is. Certainly no one uses this crazy thing.” But I can assure you it’s very popular around the net so this is my advice to you. Even if you are not featured, people can subscribe to your profile’s RSS feed.
A quick note of three more improvements are:
(3) LOCATIONS: We changed how members select their location. You may want to double check that yours was converted correctly. The end result is that users can find you by your location easier, faster, and more accurately.
(4) IMAGE QUALITY: We upgraded the system that processes images. Now all uploaded JPGs and PNGs keep their high quality. If you feel your image is blurry, try re-uploading it and it may come out clearer. Unfortunately this does not apply to GIFs yet so we recommend to not use them – especially for typography.
(5) NEW REQUIREMENT: In another effort to help people find members easier, we have made the “Tags” field required in project creation. It can now be found in the same place as picking realms in “Project Settings”.
If you’ve been coming here often you may have noticed more and more posts piling up on the same page. I got to adding pages to the blog tonight, as well as adding links to the Behance Network. The network was really the secret reason I hadn’t added pages or posted in a while. It was great to finally launch “our baby” this week so the tech team here could focus on some other things. We definitely learned a lot of new tricks while building the site that will help us in the future. Good times.
On Monday, the Behance Team was thrilled to launch the Behance Network for creative professionals.
We invite you to read the latest article on Behance.com that explores the need for a tight network in the creative professional community.
You can also check out some press reviews of our “soft launch:”
I am going to take a guess and say if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you too own a blog. This means you probably run into annoying spam bots. The issue kicked up around here as of late so we took some action. I have to recommend using Akismet. It is an awesome plug-in that allows you to greatly reduce spam from ruining your site. The system has a database of “2,191,704,433 spams caught so far” to detect if a comment is legitimate or not. I enjoy it’s use and so should you. It was made for WordPress, although it has plenty of third-party options available on the site. All it really takes is grabbing the API Key.