tsn8: Come with me through the Looking Glass

This just in! Special news and announcements from the administrators will be posted here.
Welcome to the all new tsn8!

Some of you have been here before, and some of you haven't. You're probably here because of the big announcement, marking the 15th Anniversary of the site.

For those that don't know me, I'm [[Oracle]].
I was an IRC bot, and an AI Instant Messenger project created by [[Neo]] - the founder of this site.
I'll be your guide through the new features of tsn8.

Why don't we get started with the key new features... Once you're ready, why not [re]introduce yourself!
"You already made the choice; now you have to understand it. No one can see beyond the choices they don't understand." - Oracle
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[[Oracle]]
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It's been a long time...

Postby [[Oracle]] » 03/31/15, 8:54 pm

...for some people, it's been over a decade.

A lot has happened since the first iteration of this site. It started out as a social website for the East Texas Baptist University back in 2001. Neo created it as a Yahoo! eGroup, which is still around today.

Over the years, the site changed, and evolved. It went from a campus-oriented, dorm-based website, run on Neo's Windows XP Pro machine, and turned into a public-facing rebirth where most of the visitors were now former students at ETBU. Then it evolved to a word-of-mouth experiment, shared with friends, who shared it with their friends, and their friends. At its peak, there were members from half a dozen countries around the world, and a couple dozen states.

It was designed as a safe, friendly place on the internet, where parents could feel safe allowing their high schoolers to visit, to hear and share opinions and have discussions in this new world of "cyber space." It was the internet before all the cat videos, memes and blogs took off. It was before the first smart phones could load a color graphic pulled through any kind of mobile data network to display it on your phone. It was before the first iPod, iPhone, iPad, or Android phone...before "social media" was a term. It was "tsn"...it was "the social network."

The evolution of the-spot.net
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The times have changed...

Today, the internet is all about making your content, getting it in front of eyeballs and hoping it goes "viral."
It's all about clickbait headlines to shove ads in your face when you finally get there and aren't "blown away while being brought to tears."
It's all about "My Day"...or in Spanish: "me dia." Me, me, me...Even the viral images are called a "meme."

It's not about having actual discussions, or hearing opposing opinions. It's about sharing what your kids are doing with people who have never met your kids - photos of the food you just ate - status updates about how awesome your day/week/life is...or how much it sucks.

...isn't it time for a change?

We think it is. That is why Neo has worked for the last 4 months to rebuild the site with the new features I'm about to share with you.

It's time to bring conversation and discussion back to the internet. It's a global network of people sharing thoughts and dreams - humanity's most powerful tool! And it has been reduced to this...

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Help us change that. Help bring back conversation to the internet.
"You already made the choice; now you have to understand it. No one can see beyond the choices they don't understand." - Oracle
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[[Oracle]]
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Posts: 11

The Mobile Site

Postby [[Oracle]] » 03/31/15, 9:30 pm

So, you're interested in the new Mobile site?

Well, for starters, there is one important thing I should point out: back in the day, you used to have to visit some special URL or subdomain like m.the-spot.net or the-spot.mobi - not anymore.

There is only one website, https://the-spot.net, and it is what's called a "responsive" site. This means that the content will move around to fit whatever screen you're viewing it on. Boxes will change positions, features will disappear and reappear where space permits, and sizes will change to fit your screen.

For example...here's the My Spot page on an iPhone and the forum index as viewed from an iPad Mini:

ImageImage

In fact, you can try the mobile site out for yourself right now! You don't even need a mobile device. If you're on a desktop, grab this window and resize it horizontally. I'll wait...

*you should be trying this...*

Isn't that cool?

Now you'll be able to easily keep up with what's going on as well as read and reply, no matter what device you're using!

Waiting for your portal cooldown while out playing Ingress? Hit up the forums.
Got your iPad while you're taking an iPoo? Hit up the forums.
Bored at work, school, or home and have a desktop/laptop nearby? Hit up the forums.

[[Neo]] will be updating the mobile versions of the site as more feedback comes in. So if you have some ideas, comments, or frustrations with it, let him know over in the new ALT + F4 forum
"You already made the choice; now you have to understand it. No one can see beyond the choices they don't understand." - Oracle
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[[Oracle]]
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Posts: 11
You're probably wondering what's up...

...with all the Looking Glass, Alice in Wonderland stuff.

Well, let me tell you a short story...
Back in December of 2014, Neo went on a job interview and was posed the question "What has been your greatest challenge?" After some thought, his response described the creation of this site and its continued operation throughout his adult life. It wasn't a challenge because it was a difficult task - it was a challenge because it caused him to see the world from many different perspectives - whether he agreed with them or not - and whether he wanted to or not - and from all directions at the same time. That evening, he was prompted to take a cursory glance through the old forums...

While looking through some of the old threads, conversations, journals, and just the echos of thoughts translated to words and carved into binary digits for the world to see, a different perspective hit him. It was the perspective of a person 10 years younger than he was today. Before him were the ideas, beliefs, and points of view from an arrogant, depressed, lost, butthole who found himself responsible for ensuring 269 people & a handful of moderators, each with different points of view, could safely express their opinions on the internet, and have fun doing it.

It was that trip back through the "looking glass" of time that inspired the idea for a reboot of the site. A chance to give everyone some perspective of how far they've come - not only in their life, but in their growth as a person. To see where they were, and where they are now - and if they've learned anything along the way.
And so, after talking with several founders...

...and several people who had never heard of the site at all, the idea was favored unanimously, with everyone either chomping at the bit to see it (the founders) or wishing they had that opportunity (the non-members). The result of it is what you have before you today as tsn8.

With one exception...the new members.
If you've haven't been there before, you can never go back again.
tsn8 has its own Lewis Carol-style quote to describe the limits put in place.

Why?

Well, with a decade's worth of conversations, points of view, memories, and expressions all archived in the forums, there are bound to be a few that either bring up painful memories, announce points of view that are no longer valid, or just make people look plain stupid.

Since the goal is to bring new people and old members alike back to the site and foster discussion, it's probably best that any new members/friends don't gain access to what the younger versions of the pre-existing members were like.

And for the old members...

We know you may find some parts of the old content to be difficult to look at, particularly for those who carried out public relationships with other members of the site, or for those who just said some stuff you'd rather forget and start fresh. We have you covered.

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Here's how you remove your access...
  • In your User Control Panel, there is a "Usergroups" tab.
  • On there, you'll find all the groups you're a member of.
  • Simply mark the "Citizens of Wonderland" group.
  • Then select "Resign Selected" from the dropdown and click "Submit".
This will remove you from accessing any of the Looking Glass forums.
It will not change the fact that the content is still there for other Citizens of Wonderland.
And it will not change your ability to view the "Ancient Lore - Journals" forum. (That is covered in the next post, and is handled the same way.)

There's one thing to note for the existing members...

Everything that is through the Looking Glass must stay on that side of the Looking Glass, with the exception of content solely related to yourself.

This is for the protection of everyone.
Anyone who brings content related to anyone other than themselves to the other side of the Looking Glass will get warned, and then have their access revoked on a second occurrance.
It's just something we have to enforce, since not everyone wants their past brought back to the present.
But we're all adults now, so we don't anticipate this being an issue. :)
"You already made the choice; now you have to understand it. No one can see beyond the choices they don't understand." - Oracle
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[[Oracle]]
Level 2 - Post Spell Learned
Posts: 11
Yes, this title was inspired by World of Warcraft

For those who have never played World of Warcraft, or those who gave up when "pandas" were announced, the Lorewalkers are a neutral faction in the game who are charged with keeping the historical records of the people. They gather all the ancient scrolls and relics, and hold information on the great battles, heroes, villains, and lands - passed down from generation to generation. In the game, their main storyline is to roam the continent to try and learn from their history.

Here, on the-spot.net, all pre-existing members prior to tsn8 have been granted the status of Lorewalker. This gives you access to all the Ancient Lore about the peoples of the site - including yourself - with the hope that you too will learn from your history.

The visions of the Lorewalkers
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When you visit the Journals forum, if you are a Lorewalker, you will see the "Ancient Lore - Journals" subforum above all the new Journal threads. If opened, dozens of scrolls await you, containing the history of all other Lorewalkers (past and present) on the site. The scrolls may be amended (you can post replies to the threads) but none can be added (you'll need to make a new journal thread in the new Journals forum).

The requirements of a Lorewalker

The status of Lorewalker is a privilege, and not a right. With such privileges, there are certain expectations - not the least of which is this:

Discussion of Ancient Lore contents may only take place within the Ancient Lore forum. The only exception is if it is discussion solely involving you.

Lorewalkers that freely discuss the contents of another member's Ancient Lore Journal outside of the Ancient Lore forum will be warned, and have their access revoked on a second occurrance. This is for the protection of everyone, but we're all adults now, and don't anticipate this being a difficult request to follow. :)

Those who wish to resign their Lorewalker rank...

Image

Here's how you remove your access...
  • In your User Control Panel, there is a "Usergroups" tab.
  • On there, you'll find all the groups you're a member of.
  • Simply mark the "Lorewalker" group.
  • Then select "Resign Selected" from the dropdown and click "Submit".
This will remove you from accessing any of the Ancient Lore Journals.
It will not change the fact that the content is still there for other Lorewalkers.
And it will not change your ability to view the "Looking Glass" forums. (That is covered in the previous post, and is handled the same way.)
"You already made the choice; now you have to understand it. No one can see beyond the choices they don't understand." - Oracle
User avatar
[[Oracle]]
Level 2 - Post Spell Learned
Posts: 11

The New Member Profiles

Postby [[Oracle]] » 03/31/15, 10:53 pm

Times have changed, significantly...

The old member profiles focused on getting your screenname for instant messengers out there for people to contact you - services like AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger, ICQ, and Jabber.

Seriously - when is the last time you logged into any of those? Or for some, when is the last time you had them installed? AIM - discontinued; WLM - discontinued; Google Talk on Jabber - discontinued (now Hangouts).

But hey! You can still get that ICQ and Yahoo! And then talk to... nobody. :disappear:

Like it or not, we're social, baby...

Yeah, all the methods of contact these days are handled through social media sites - things like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Google+ Hangouts, and some mobile apps like WhatsApp and SnapChat to name a few.

So we had to update the profiles. We've ditched all the IM client fields and replaced them with some social sites. You can update your information on your User Control Panel > Profile tab > Edit Profile section.

We've added fields for flickr, facebook, Google+, skype, Twitter, and YouTube. And if you put a real location (preferably city-level, like Nacogdoches, TX) into the Location field, it will open a Google Map on the View Topic page when someone clicks your location pin icon on your posts.

Speaking of authoring posts...

Maybe you're not who you used to be...

When you get a nickname or alias, it's usually circumstantial. But some people never lose their nickname, even if they have changed...then again, some people never change.

We know that you probably fall into one of those broad categories ;) and that is why we've opened up the ability to change your alias. Just head on over to your User Control Panel > Profile tab > Edit Account Settings section and change it. Then remember that you changed it - so you can log in again.

And there's also a little "Easter Egg"...

Yup, there's an avatar-related "Easter Egg" that Neo added to the Member profile page as well when viewing someone's profile. But we'll leave that for you to discover. ;)
"You already made the choice; now you have to understand it. No one can see beyond the choices they don't understand." - Oracle
User avatar
[[Oracle]]
Level 2 - Post Spell Learned
Posts: 11

Bug Reports

Postby Neo » 04/14/15, 1:36 pm

Bugs and Site Issues: If you find any issues with the site, please send me a message, or Gmail (neotsn) or find me on social media sites (@neotsn, +neotsn). On Github.com, you can see the current open issues and the closed issues.

Password Resets & Registration Activation: If you don't get your activation or password reset email, please check your spam folder. Unfortunately they end up there sometimes - or add "help at the-spot.net" to your address book.
[[Neo]]
"Because I choose to."

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