This is the preview of the long time coming New GMIC Membership Lapel Pin.
This will be available to all membership levels later this week for purchase. This will be included as part of the subscribing members package for all renewals, further details this week.
The pin itself is a high quality metal and enamel pin, with a butterfly clip to the rear. It measures approx 1" or 25mm in height. Unfortunately the pictures really do not do it justice.
It will be available in limited numbers so get your order in early.
I am currently in the process of reviewing all of the membership levels at GMIC and what each level will offer. This includes subscribing membership as well as the incremental membership based on participation in the community. This will include:
Changes in image uploads (detailed below)
Offering more incentives to subscribing members including an enamel membership badge, and the ability to use images in signatures.
Icons to support membership level
This has been a difficult area to resolve and has caused much angst over the years. Following a recent discussion amongst the moderators over lost images in older topics, where the image has been hosted elsewhere, I have reviewed how we manage uploads.
The simple fact is that images, if not handled correctly can unecessarily take up a lot of server space. Modern digital camera and phones can create image files that are HUGE and if not edited or compressed prior to uploading, a single image can unecessarily take up lots of expensive server space.
I have tried over time to increase the allowance for all membership levels, to make posting images a lot easier to manage. A good image quality on screen can easily be managed well under 200kb. However this method of restriction has always put the onus on the member to edit the image prior to posting. This has ensured that the image fits the criteria for membership and can be uploaded to the GMIC server. I am more than aware of the problems this can cause some members, both in terms of time and lack of IT skills and as an alternative some members find it easier to host their images on their own websites or servers. This is fine in the short term, but over time I have found that links to images are lost and that topics can become almost irrelevant without the image to support it.
I have therefore been looking at other ways to upload images to give incentive to posting on the GMIC server. What I would like to achieve is similar to ebay where a member can upload (within reason) any size file and the software automatically reduces and compresses the image to a more manageable size. This in turn will hopefully induce more members to post images here at GMIC than host them elsewhere.
But this is not as straightforward as it sounds as there are limitations to the software, which I am still working on getting around. After several weeks of trial and error I am nearly there and you may have seen over the last week that images that are uploaded now display at a max of 300 X 300 px thumbnail, click on the image in a post and it will open to its full size. Hopefully this will be resolved by the time I announce the new membership levels next week.
I have upgraded and developed the Members Calendar to allow members to post any forthcoming events which may be of interest to collectors and members. This is to be used for promoting Events such as Collectors Fairs, Shows and Exhibitions. Anything is allowed as long as it is related to Militaria. Can members put as much detail in the event and start the entry with the Country holding the event:
A couple of updates for the forum over the last few weeks:
The first is a New Classified for Sale Section. The old Sale Section is now closed and the new classified section is being tested. The main advertisements have to be listed in GBP Stirling Pounds but there is a section within the advert which allows sellers to advertise the sale in other currencies and specify what currency they prefer for payment. The reason for this is mainly due to software limitations and as this essentially is a British run forum then advertisements are going to be in British Pounds. However this main change in the future as the software is developed.
Secondly, again as a trial run, I will be hosting a German Language section within the German section. This will be for topics relating to Germany (any period) and is to encourage German speaking collectors to the forum. I hope that as a consequence of this there will be some cross over in that forum between English and German collectors and that with encouragement, German speakers who have a lot to offer, but may have some language problems posting in English, may feel more comfortable initially testing the water there.
I have been working with IPB to fix the following issues which have recently come to light:
Signatures not aligning properly within posts with images. I have rebuilt the skin and all is now fixed.
Blog images not showing in blog posts. This is still work in progress.
The following error was appearing if an URL was posted in a post or message relating to the gallery: Fatal error: Call to undefined method skin_gallery_global_23::bbCode() in /home/macmedal/public_html/admin/applications_addon/ips/gallery/extensions/bbcode/gallery.php on line 298
This has now also fixed.
Any further ongoing issues please report them in the software errors and troubleshooting forum.
The Chat room can now be accessed by all members from the Tab marked Chat on the index page. It also can be accessed by the redirect next to the lounge. When people are in the Chat room the tab on the index page will have a red box with a number in it indicating the number of members currently in the Chat Room. Also on the bottom of the index page under members currently online it will show the members who are actually in the Live Chat room so you can see who is chatting and decide if you want to join them.
Many of you may have noticed the Tags box (and in some areas a prefix box) on the posting form which has replaced the sub title area. Sub Titles in topics are no longer supported and I therefore have added a Tags and Prefixes module. At the current time I am starting to test this within certain areas of the forum.
For members information this is work in progress and unless there is a requirement to enter pre configured tags or prefixes then please for the moment ignore the boxes as you can't create or input tags or prefixes unless they are pre configured.
For those of you who use the Imperial German Section you may find that you are required to input a prefix or tags. In the case of prefixes there can only be one choice and you should choose the most relevant prefix for the topic being posted. As for tags you can add multiple tags but a minimum of one is required and again these should be keywords which highlight the topic content.
The purpose of tags and prefixes is to categories topics by the use of keywords which then enables you as members to quickly and easily search for other related material which also has the same tags or prefixes. For example in Imperial German Medals, the Prefixes categories the topic into States or Duchies. In the Imperial Uniforms and Equipment forum the tags categories the content further i.e. uniform, helmet, insignia etc. If you then click on a prefix or tag it should automatically sort and list topics with the same prefix this can then be further sorted by clicking on tags.
There is a way to promote blogs within forum topics so that if there is relevant information in a blog which might benefit that topic it can be linked. I am working on setting it up. I see the blogs as a more detailed and personalised method of publishing information. Forum topics may be a range of members expressing views over a particular item or point of fact. A blog is an individuals personalised account with the only interaction being members who comment on what has been published. The forum is for ongoing debate and conversation, whereas the blog is very much a one sided affair.
I have been working this evening on bringing a new home page to GMIC. Essentially, in the not too distant future the home page of www.gmic.co.uk will change to a portal type page. The portal will have a selection of highlights displaying recent topics, blog pages,articles and links. The forum index page as you know it will still exist, but will be moved to a new URL. That way if you do not like the portal page to launch your daily dose of GMIC, you can still access the old forum index as it looks today.
The new portal will give a fresh overview for the forum and allow new members and guests to quickly see what we are about. It will also be a good way of playing catch up with whats new at a glance.
I am currently working on adding a new modification to support the sales section which should make selling militaria and browsing what is for sale a better experience.
A little while back I tested a modification which had a number of issues around its performance, especially with Microsoft Internet Explorer. (Microsoft Internet Explorer is worthy of a entry on its own, the number of issues that this browser since IE7 has caused me over the years I have lost count with). Since that time the modification has been updated significantly. However one area which need more work on is whether to advertise in a single currency and then in the text of the advert specify prices in different currency and specify what currency is preferred payment. I.e. advertise all sales in GBP but in the text show Euro and or Dollar price and preferred method of payment. Th alternative which I am not sure is feasible yet is to advertise all sales in the preferred choice of payment out of Euro GBP or US Dollar.
As part of the ongoing work to upgrade GMIC and a decision take it to a new level, I have incorporated the ability for members to start their own personal blogs. The theme for a blog must be around medals, militaria or general military history. I will be using my blog to regularly update members on any ongoing issues, upgrades or general forum information. More details to follow....