Evolve till you solve: new features on the Edgeryders platform

Many Edgeryders (thanks!) have reported bugs and usability issues with the Edgeryders platform ever since the beta testing phase in October. We have decided to go with open source software as opposed to nesting our community in large, integrated, closed platforms like Facebook, mainly on accountability reasons. While the open source approach does have its drawbacks, it has a major advantage: you can keep tweaking it deep into the project. The result is something like co-evolution of platform and the community using it. Here’s our latest tweaks, each one responding to an emergent need of the Egderyders project:posed to nesting our community in large, orderly, corporate social networks like Facebook, mainly for accountability reasons. We still stand for that choice, but it is undeniable that customizing and developing open source software is messier than just using closed, well-integrated software that is there.

  • Personal dashboard. It used to be easy to navigate Edgeryders: there were only two or three campaigns, so only about ten missions were possible. Users were still few, and each of us would have played at most two or three, and it was easy to keep track of who was doing that. Now, with six campaigns, 200 mission reports and well over a thousand comments, we need a sort of control room: so we coded a dashboard, that tells you what missions you have played yourself, what missions by other Egderyders you have been commenting, and suggests missions that you have NOT done, but could. For the same reason, we also included a search button on every page.

  • "I want to meet this person" button. Use this button to help us choose people to invite to the Living on the Edge June conference (how does it work?). You find it on personal profiles and on mission reports pages. If you want to increase your chances to get an invitation too, all you need to do is to post great mission reports, which will prompt people to click the button on you.

  • "Go say hello to.." slideshow. This block in the Hangout page is quickly becoming popular with Edgeryders. What you see is pictures of the 15 users that last logged in, excluding admin users like myself and people who have not uploaded a picture in their user profile. It is designed to encourage Edgeryders to meet each other: if people have logged in recently it means their attention is on Edgeryders, and chances are they are at the computer right now, so don't be shy to click on their pictures and leave them a message, or check out their mission reports.
  • "Yes, I want to come to the Living on the Edge conference!" radio button. This is hidden in your user profile: to get to it, go to your profile page and click on the "Edit your Edgeryders profile" button. Clicking on it will tell the team that you would like an invitation to the conference. As I am sure you do, since it will easily be the coolest event of 2012.

More improvements are coming, so keep an eye out…