Hi everyone!

I am Morgan Matthew the founder of Think Atheist. I am here today to give you an update on whats in store for the community in the up coming months.

It's going to be a three phase transition.

Everything should be seamless and zero down time when these updates come out.

Let's get started.

First up is Groups.

  • Mini-networks: Each group now includes almost all of the features of Think Atheist — Blogs, Forums, Photos, custom Pages and Group Broadcast Messages.
  • Customization: Choose a page layout, add a Group cover photo, customize menu items, specify what Group members are called, and modify the Group URL.
  • Move Content: Move blogs, discussions and photos from one Group to another or to the main Forum, Blog or Photos feature. (if your an admin of both groups)
  • Automation: New ability to put members into Groups automatically based on how they answer profile questions when they join.
  • Sponsorship: Add header and footer ad boxes to each Group. Control the ad code yourself or give Group administrators the ability to run their own advertising. (This will need to be approved by the TA team before your ad goes up in your group.)

Messaging 

The messaging feature will allow you to send and receive messages through the network. In short a better interface.

Threaded Comments

We will be adding a nine-level threaded commenting system.

Chat

The Chat feature encourages for real-time conversation on your network. It's a fun and easy way for members to participate in the community.

Search

Search your discussions and blog posts by title, keyword or content. Search members by name or profile questions. (right now searching is an embarrassing mess)

Blog

A completely redesigned Blog feature.

Design Customization

A simpler, yet more powerful Design Studio with 1400 background images, balanced color palettes and translucent options.

User Experience A clean, contemporary look and simpler UI for all features.

Responsive Design – Content and navigation automatically adjust to smartphones and tablets.

Social Channel Integration A new simple way to pull in YouTube and Vimeo channels. More details on how this works on a later date.

Music

Is not a supported feature in the new version of Think Atheist and will not be imported as part of the upgrade process. You may choose to copy playlists and recreate them using a third-party service provider like SoundCloud or Spotify, then embed the widget in a blog, HTML module, forum discussion, or your own profile page. (bandwidth is one of the main factors.)

For now that's whats on deck. I'll keep you guys updated with screen shots on what I have planned so far.

Any suggestions, please leave them here.

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Tard Quiz

No really, I request this. Something simple will do.

Or you could do it in a more subtle fashion. Most websites have a captcha, and some have little security fields you have to fill out during registration, like "Enter 'yes' if you're human."

You could use that to give any registering theists a small hint about what to expect, and have them google some basic shit before stumbling into the forums like village idiots.

Some examples, feel free to implement them right away.

"What is the first word in 'Circular Logic' ?"

"What is the last word in the Wikipedia article on the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy?"

"Can God create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it?"

"Which body parts may a Muslim man target while beating his wife?"

"How old was Muhammad's youngest wife?"

"If Mary had aborted Jesus, would she have been pregnant again 3 days later?"

We have that in place already. I'll use one of yours that you have provided to update it :] Thanks!

If Mary had aborted Jesus, would she have been pregnant again 3 days later?

This one wins the internet!

This all sounds great, Morgan. Thanks for everything you do around here.

Thanks guys. I am here for the long haul :]

With the Threaded Comments levels - while in some ways it is nice, it makes it frustrating to find new additions to the thread. Will there be a way to find just the new comments? Like maybe being able to collapse all the read comments? (I realize that would potentially involve cookies.)

Will the content expand in width to fill the computer screen if we maximize the browser window? (It does not currently. Unless there is a way to change this, which I have not found.) I find the very narrow deeper level thread comments to be a bit annoying.

Will the What's New Today be adjusted so it is just the new content rather than having necro-ed threads too? While they can be interesting, I'd rather see a separate "Maybe This Will Interest You" list of 1-3 necro-ed threads/blogs. (While I have adopted the terminology, I don't have an aversion to resurrecting older content.)

And an option to see only Status updates. They get buried in the what's new and sometimes can only be found on the member's page.

Ironically, I want the exact opposite thing...  there's a lot of clutter from things like status updates and you can't use that page to find new content on threads.

The collapsable thread idea is great. It makes reading so much more organized.

This will be looked into.

I know exactly where you and Ward are coming from re the threaded comments; when five or so pages of a thread is active, it's hard to find the new stuff, and you always have the nagging suspicion someone might have replied on some other page.

In some ways I prefer the non-threaded comments from blog posts, but they require more discipline from participants; you have to put @nameoftheuserbeingrespondedto and/or quote what you are responding to or it's going to be confusing to the readers.

What's worse is the occasional individual who DOESN'T respond directly below your comment in a nested thread, instead making a new post at the end AND doesn't tag it with @user or quote it either.

One suggestion: implement a more advanced text editor if possible.

Editing the HTML is an option, but this is more time-consuming and some tags are disabled.

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