Saturday, 08 April 2017
If you are a frequent visitor of the NOD website, you may have noticed that we've been dealing with some issues and changes in the past few weeks. Most of these issues have been resolved, and some improvements have been introduced. Nonetheless, we would like to inform you about some important upcoming changes. Especially important is the changes we've made to the Activity Wall, so make sure to read this email carefully.
Current changes and updates
We are glad to announce that we have purchased an SSL-certificate for the main NOD website, allowing the website to load with a https-protocol. This means that the connection between your computer and the website is now much more secure. Even though we have not encountered any actual security issues in the past 10 years, we wanted to comply with what is rapidly becoming the current internet standard for trustworthy websites. This https-protocol applies to the main website at www.druidcircle.org as well as the Online Druid College.
In the past few weeks, we have been performing some important software updates. These updates not only provide enhanced security, but also some new features and layout-changes. This is most prominent in the look & feel of member profiles on the website - all your profile information is still on there, but the profile layout itself has had a bit of an overhaul. It is also possible to create your own new discussion groups, which offer a great deal of functionality (see below).
These updates did not come without software issues. Among these issues were login-problems for newly registered members, as well as inoperational profiles and groups. Most of these issues have been resolved, although there are still a few that we are working on. It is, at this time, not possible to upload images to your profile Gallery (linking to external URL's, however, does work), and the Friends Map is currently not operational. We are working on finding a fix for these issues as well.
Switching from the old to the new Activity Wall
In 2013, we introduced an "Activity Wall", which provides some Facebook-like social networking functionality and allows NOD members to easily connect and interact with each other. As part of the aforementioned updates, however, we have switched to a different software for this part of the website. The new "Wall", which is already operational on the website right now, is much more user-friendly, faster, more stable and better integrated than the previous version. However, it is important to know that the change of software does not allow old Wall posts, groups and image galleries to be automatically transferred over.
You need to keep the following in mind:
- If you have Activity Wall posts that you want to keep, you will need to re-post them on the new Wall.
- If you have uploaded images to the gallery associated with the old Activity Wall, they will be removed. Make sure to have copies of all your own pictures. You will be able to repost them by uploading them to the Gallery in your profile. However, the profile Gallery is currently not operational yet and uploads will fail. We will let you know when this issue is resolved.
- Discussion Groups you have created will be removed. You are able to create a new group though, to where you can copy all your previous information, links, etc... You will find that the functionality of the new group system is much improved.
If you have any of the above data, posts or images that you want to keep, make sure to make a copy of them before April 25, 2017! After that date, the old Activity Wall with its groups and galleries will be permanently removed from the website!
IMPORTANT: the "My Wall" menu link will send you to the new Wall. To find the old Activity Wall with its galleries and groups, go to "Old Wall" in the submenu "My Wall".
We will be sending another reminder five days before the Old Wall will be permanently removed.
Future changes and updates
The current changes on the website are part of the preparation for a larger software update. This software update will take place when the website is moved to a new, enhanced server. This will probably take place around the beginning of May. When these improvements take place, the website will probably be offline for a few days. We will inform you about this before these changes will take place.
Another important change will come for the Online Druid College. We are planning to change to a different software that allows for an easier and more user-friendly environment for both students and mentors. These changes are at the current time not yet implemented and will probably take place sometime in May. Until then, you can of course continue to use the current college to work on your course(s). We will keep you updated on this as well.
That's it for now. We can't promise you that the website is currently bug-free as there will surely still be some issues popping up that need to be addressed. However, we are making good progress and hopefully everything will be completed in about a month from now. Make sure to pay the website a visit one of these days!