I've noticed that the Interest Tags system is not really clicking as well as it should here on IndieBound.org. A lot of users don't seem to understand what it's for, or how to use it. Bottom line: I don't blame anyone but me. If this isn't working, it's because it's not clear what it's for, or because it's not organized well enough. Back to the drawing board...
It's just awesome how many stores people have added--and how everyone is networking with everyone else. I guess there's something to this "social networking" thing. More and more, I'm getting the feeling that IndieBound really *is* tapping into something people need, something already there that was just looking for an outlet and a voice. Of course, that's why we started IndieBound in the first place, but reality > plans, right?
We're planning to open our little community up to the world at large next Tuesday, 9/9. Thanks so much to everyone who's joined so far for all of your suggestions and bug reports—and for just generally making yourselves at home here. I've been working on a number of things since the Beta launch. Here's a preview of what's coming with the public launch next week:
* A new look — including a login block on every page, so you don't have to go back to indiebound.org/user to log in all the time!
Genuine, red-blooded American User Search is finally done and available from the menu at top. It's labelled "User Search." It searches almost everything on a user's profile page--city/state, interest tags, text, even user notes. The only thing it doesn't search is which stores a user is a fan of. I could probably lump that in, too--any interest in that?
The Kids Indie Next List debuts today, no thanks to a bizarre Safari quirk that held things up a bit. Anyway, the Kids' List is one of my favorite things we put out here, so I'm excited to see it making its IndieBound debut. It's a great shopping resource for the young'uns in your life, or (if you're like me & Paige) just a great way to keep up with what's going on in the world of children's publishing.
* New Map Icons - Our new map icons are here, and while the Indie Store Finder still needs a few more tweaks, you can now see different markers on the map for each business type listed on our site. We hope to add more markers as we add more business categories!
* Add a store, become a fan - Now you can (optionally) become a fan of a store automatically when you add it. This option is checked on by default, but you can check it off if you like. You'll find it at the bottom of the Add a Store page.
Now you can receive email notifications whenever someone leaves a note on your profile or replies to a comment you've posted. All existing community members have been grandfathered in. If you don't want to receive these email notifications, you can now change your notification settings under "Account Settings" on your profile page. You'll find three new options under "Contact Settings":
IndieBound.org is made of Drupal, an open-source web framework based on PHP. It is database-agnostic, which does NOT mean that it doesn't believe in databases—oh no, Drupal believes in databases, some would say too strongly—but it can interface with (potentially) any database through a key innovation called a database abstraction layer.
I thought it would be a good idea to keep a blog about how the IndieBound.org community—and the website in general—are developing. If this is a subject that interests you, then, buddy, have I got a blog for you.