Just an update on new features: Yes, as the team continues to work on some exciting projects in the pipeline, we are also adding new features requested by Network participants. Here is a quick update…
(1) A small display of each member’s work at the bottom of each project view. The purpose was to help drive visitors to your portfolio, especially those that visited your project from a link on a blog or somewhere else in the ether of the internet…
(2) /Frame View: For those that don’t already know it, you now have a special “framed” version of your portfolio that you can send to prospective clients and others… It is free, clean, easy, and early testers suggest that it is very helpful. Simply add “/frame” to your profile address (ie: http://www.behance.net/trochut/frame)
(3) Circles are a key part of the Behance Network. Hundreds of circles have been created to gather people around certain interests… To keep you posted on the discussion thread activity, you can now “subscribe” to certain threads
. This feature will send you an email whenever a new post is written.
(4) Remember that circles can now be used to gather a select group of projects by members. When creating/editing the circle, you can “limit by tag” which will display ONLY projects with specified tags.
Two small changes we made were that your personal RSS feed (http://www.behance.net/username.xml) has images when using a reader. We also made another small behind-the-scenes change to help search engines find you.
In the project editor, you can now center captions. For those of you that have images that go across the foreground, this will be very beneficial. Centering them will keep the first word off the “edge.”
The bigger change is that you can now filter your Inner Circle by Realm when composing a message. This makes it helpful to message all your Photography friends about something you’d find relevant to them only.
Okay this is a short post about an improvement made. If you go to edit your profile now it will let you know that there are two fields used for “META” and “META Description”. You can click on either, which will pop up the relevant descriptions:
The first is really the META Keywords:
“This is text that search engines do NOT display, but use for relevance. We recommend using text that is most relevant to who you are so people are more likely to find you in places like Google or Yahoo.”
The second is the META Description:
“This is the text that search engines use for the blurb below links…”
Try typing your name into your favorite search engine and see where you come up. If you’re not on the front page yet, these changes will help.
We recently improved search by adding the “Advanced Search” feature. You can access it by going up to the search bar and hovering over the arrow next to “SEARCH.”
The new feature allows you to limit the search to Member Names or Tags Only. This helps find people you are looking for much faster. The tags searched are from what Creative Professionals enter under their profile and projects. You can now also search by location, one of the most commonly requested features for the search.
Circle Discussion Subscriptions
It is now easy to subscribe to different discussions. As the site says:
“If you subscribe, you will receive an e-mail if someone posts in this topic. You will only receive ONE e-mail, regardless of how many posts there are, until you check this thread again.”
You can do this from the Circle page, the Discussion Page for the circle, and the thread itself. The screenshot below shows all three places.
The major benefit of this change is to stay informed about new posts, without having to check all the circles you’re in. We recommend going back and checking some discussions you have been on before and subscribing to stay updated. Hopefully this change will foster more discussions all around the site.
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”.