Announcing New V-Features: Community Page and VVallpapers

WE'VE BEEN BUYSSE PREPARING NEW FEATURES

Whenever The Keepers disappear a bit and our postings become sporadic and pointed, you can bet we’re either out riding our bikes or we’ve been busy working away at new features for the site. We have a number of features in various states of completion, and we’ll be rolling them out over the course of the next few weeks and months as they reach maturity and we become convinced they’re working reasonably well.

The beautiful thing about a word like “reasonable” is that it contains within it the perfect amont of vagueness while giving the impression of specificity. After all, there’s no universally agreed-upon reasonable degree of reasonable, meaning that what seems reasonable to me might be completely unreasonable to others. Take, for example, the number of times the word “reasonable” appears in this paragraph. Completely unreasonable.

Back to the point, when I say our new features are working reasonably well, I mean to say that three requirements have been satisfied. First, the vision for the feature is well understood. (The vision does not need to be realized in the release, but it does need to allow for it to become realized at some later stage.) Second, the initial feature set is working sufficiently well that I got tired of testing before I found any major problems. Third, it looks good.

At this time, we’re releasing two new features, both of which represent an initial iteration which we plan to expand on as the features grow and the community adopts them (or not). As we gather feedback on what new features would be helpful, we’ll incorporate it into the subsequent releases (or not).

The VVallpapers

Velominati is founded on the idea of sharing with each other the little things about Cycling that make this sport so amazing. On that premise, providing desktop Wallpapers or, indeed VVallpapers, has been part of the envisioned feature set from the beginning; to select photos from our collective archives within the community that represent Cycling in some way, and provide a specific place to share them with each other. But, like so many other ideas we have kicking around, there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to make everything come to reality.

However, a discussion last week spurred us into action, and we present you with The VVallpapers. We haven’t really found a good home for them yet, but for the time being at least, they can be found through the footer and via The Keepers. The same principle applies as elsewhere; post your suggestions for additional photos for inclusion, and we’ll update the main list with the best ones. Several initial wallpapers have been added already as a start.

The Community

As we know, there is great sense of community on Velominati, and increasingly we’re seeing the desire to know a little bit more about our fellow members. To that end, we’ve put together a Community page which provides a mechanism to share some background information and posting activity. Obviously, we wanted to provide this as an option to people who wish to share information, but still make sure that people who want to stay anonymous can do so. To that end, people who have an account at Velominati may log in and update their profile, sharing whatever information they are comfortable sharing, including a bio, their location, and various social networking coordinates. For those who don’t have a Velominati account or who don’t fill out their profile, only a very basic amount of information is shown along with their posting activity. The fundamental idea is to allow people to choose what they’d like to share; only the handle, photo, and website are shown by default.

To access anyone’s profile, simply click their name in the posting threads. The only downside to that is that in order for you to access a member’s profile, they need to have posted at least once; there are loads of members who have never posted any comments. Unfortunately, this release doesn’t provide a mechanism for viewing their profiles.

To that point, however, is the notion that The Community in particular is viewed by us as an initial iteration; we have a mountain of ideas that we think will help foster a sense of community here, and we’re sure you do as well. With that in mind, have a look, fill out your profile (or don’t), and start using learning about the community. If you have ideas or suggestions, we’d love to hear about them.

Thanks as always to everyone who comes here and makes this all worth while.

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193 Replies to “Announcing New V-Features: Community Page and VVallpapers”

  1. @wiscot
    Great idea! I’m sure I would use that. Just last week Frank and others diagnosed a noise for me. Today I got myself a spoke key and later I’ll sit and tweak for a while with a big grin on my face.

  2. @mcsqueak

    Wow, a lot of great ideas from everyone! It’s been fun reading through them all.
    As far as my two cents are concerned, I personally don’t like sites where you can “up vote/down vote” individual comments, and everyone sees it. I don’t know, it just seems to add too much complexity to what at it’s core is a pretty simple and intuitive forum interface that Velominati already has.
    I like the addition of new features and ways to make this site more community focused, I just don’t want to see the dialog between people on here get lost between a bunch of new buttons and whatnot – because all this dialog is what gives the site value and makes it “sticky” in the first place. Look at how many websites have “0”³ comments under news posts or articles, and look at how this site can easily get 200 posts regarding bottle cages or sew-up tires. That is amazing.

    +1 on that. I don’t want to see some Yahooish thing next to comments with a thumbs up or down. People tend to take that kind of stuff personally especially given that we already actually respond to the comments (see Cavendish’s win for example). Me thinks it would detract from the discussion. Clicking a button instead of responding.
    As far as a FB “like” button. Meh.
    A shit ton of other good ideas though.

  3. @scaler911

    Exactly, if you have something to say, say it. After all, that’s what forums are for. If you disagree with something and can just click “down vote” without leaving a comment it takes away from the discussion.

  4. @wiscot
    I’m liking the idea, as long as it doesn’t to devolve onto an RBR style “what saddle is best for me?” morass. I stopped looking at that whole site years ago because the repetition got too tedious.

    That said, those of us who do all our own wrenching are constantly looking for feedback, tips and ideas; in fact I just solved a most annoying and persistent creak in my front wheel last night (HINT: it involved nipple lube, and I’ll just leave it at that).

    @mcsqueak, @scaler911

    Agreed. I like the current format. If you’ve got something to say, say it. And own it. We’re all big boys and girls, and this site has remained remarkably free of Adrian-esque trolling, I think in large part because we all stand behind our comments.

  5. @ChrisO
    My theory: people do this for the same reason that dogs all piss on the same patch of grass.

    @frank
    Late to the +1 convo but I also agree with making the badge a matter of the Keepers’ discretion.

    @mcsqueak
    Spot on.

  6. @sgt
    Sgt, agreed. I’m thinking more technical stuff than “I love this saddle” kinda thing. We have the Reverence articles for product stuff already. There was a discussion the other day as someone was about to take on their first century. He got some good advice on nutrition etc. For example I recently just solved a tricky issue with new derailleur jockey wheels on a Sram derailleur that might prove useful to someone.

  7. @sgt

    @wiscot
    I’m liking the idea, as long as it doesn’t to devolve onto an RBR style “what saddle is best for me?” morass. I stopped looking at that whole site years ago because the repetition got too tedious.
    That said, those of us who do all our own wrenching are constantly looking for feedback, tips and ideas; in fact I just solved a most annoying and persistent creak in my front wheel last night (HINT: it involved nipple lube, and I’ll just leave it at that).
    @mcsqueak, @scaler911
    Agreed. I like the current format. If you’ve got something to say, say it. And own it. We’re all big boys and girls, and this site has remained remarkably free of Adrian-esque trolling, I think in large part because we all stand behind our comments.

    Though I do wonder how many ‘likes’ vs ‘dislikes’ I would have gotten a few weeks back when I mistook the dude for a chick. (Yes, that is still bugging me).

  8. @Cyclops

    I feel like a girl – I’ll be in Seattle in two weeks to meet Frank and do some riding and all I can think about is losing five pounds before I get there.

    OK, so here’s your game plan – on the way to Seattle, stop in Astoria Oregon at the Ft. George Brewery (good beer, BTW). Get their pan-fried oysters like I did last month. Guaranteed you’ll lose 5 lbs in less than 24 hours.

  9. @scaler911
    We’ll all forget about that unfortunate incident if you give us the opportunity to do so, or distract us with stories about scented candles.

  10. @frank

    Comedy gold indeed, a bloody awesome programme and many hours of fun I have had watching these programmes.

  11. @frank

    I saw two minutes too late that you already had all the buttons for the articles to link to social network sites. I didnt mean to add them to the comments, i think that would be a step too far however linking the articles is coolio and you have already done that.

  12. @frank

    hehe I have to agree there, lets face it if you have to spend so much time testing your apps then you must have written them pretty shitely in the first place. Sure testing has its place in organisations that like to waste copious amounts of time and money just like HR departments, Health and saftey and speed limits on bombastic mountainside decents. If i am going down, flying off the edge of the mountain at 80 miles an hour is fine by me…as long as i got a parachute that is.

  13. @Buck Rogers

    awesome comment mate, I cant get that out of my head now thinking about those helicopter pilots. Along the same lines it reminds me of some the stories about people who won VC’s(uk highest military medal and extremely difficult to get) and those guys would just not take no for an answer. One tiny little gurkha held his position on his own for hours and hours even though he had been severely wounded. When re-enforcements finally got there there was a pile of bodies about 30 high directly on his position.

  14. Grrrr..I just had to update my browser. I really hate computers..and “smart” phones. I’m pretty sure I will never get Di 2. Ok..can someone please tell me how I update my profile with an avatar because I can’t see on my profile page how to do it. It’s not that I’m stupid it’s just that I’m living 30 years out of my time..( and I don’t care for it tbh) I still use a filofax. Nice smelling leather bound and a Cross pen to boot.

    Rant over..carry on.

  15. After all, we are an order of disciples devoted to adherence to the rules not some sort of fucking democracy.

    As a confirmed luddite who looks with adoring eyes on the master as he doles out the gruel to myself and the other minions and underlings, I say keep the enforced interaction; don’t water down the V too much, basically because I don’t want Marcus and Jipm scurrying off and hiding somewhere on here I have no interest in going. As a true living – under – the – house type if you take that interaction away I’ve got nutthin.
    Also I have a cycling computer that I basically use as a watch. If I want to look at squiggly lines that show someone rode a bike I’ll look at Hincapie’s legs.

    While it’s nice to have new toys lets make sure we don’t stray too far from what made this place great.
    Grown men arguing like schoolgirls over what length shorts to wear. Like buttons aren’t going to change that. It’d be good to encourage responses that are considered and thought out, rather than giving trolls a metric to go for. (I know, the ironing, right)

  16. Obviously I’m new ’round here, but in light of the discussion about democracy, the risk of trolls and the number of lurkers, what has kept the site from having an invite system? Or opening registration only periodically? It might make a system of +1’ing more effective or appealing and eliminate the risk of abuse… Are inactive members ever purged?

    I have no opinion rly, just curious.

  17. @sgt said, “nipple lube”. Heh, heh, heh. That’s fun to say. Nipple lube. Nipple lube. Nipple lube. Nipple lube.

  18. @Cyclops

    I feel like a girl – I’ll be in Seattle in two weeks to meet Frank and do some riding and all I can think about is losing five pounds before I get there.

    You shouldn’t sweat it bud – we have all seen you in your underpants (still the most disturbing image in Velominati history).

    Frank knows what he is in for.

  19. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Settle down, Beavis…

    But since you asked, I’ve been running down this fucking noise for weeks, including swapping out wheels, skewers, replacing bearings, talking to the mfr (Rolf Prima), buttonholing them at Interbike, etc., etc. Finally at my wits’ end, I sprayed a little silicone lube into each spoke hole, let it sit for 20 minutes, then went for a ride. Silence! Blessed Silence!

    Now, if I had inquired of my fellows here, I probably could’ve saved a lot of time and aggravation, nonetheless; wrenching my own bikes is one of my favorite pastimes, and something I take pride in. I’ve personally tightened every bolt, nut, bearing cup and headset on all my bikes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  20. @sgt

    See, I wish I was more mechanically inclined, or had two nice bikes to ride around, because I’ve certainly messed things up trying to work on my bike that I’ve then had to pay my LBS to fix, after shlepping the bike down there in the back of my car. Putting your own bike out of commission when trying to fix something is a very humbling experience.

    On the other hand, I lucked out with my most recent clicking noise – it turned out to be my brand-new chain. After a few hundred kms it calmed down and doesn’t make the noise any more.

  21. Not to sound too curmudgeonly, but I, same as @minion, am a card carrying Luddite. I ride my bike. I use a V-meter. I wear Yellow Princesses. My Velominati decals and name badge are neatly and professionally displayed on my Bike #1. I like pacelines, rotating echelons, grey days, the smell of embrocations, and all things LOOK. I, same as The Keepers, am a cycling aesthete. Lennard Zinn steered me to The Rules. I clicked on the Welly White Boys and I knew I’d found a home. I love having to clean my laptop everytime another Velominatus makes me laugh and spew espresso out of my nose. I can’t wait to receive my Sacred Garments and the other talismans of the Velominati. And I expect them to have the faint scent of lavender or vanilla from Fronk’s delightful collection of candles. I look forward to meeting other Velominati at Cogals sometime in the near future. Having said that, I don’t tweet, facebook, like or dislike, blog, log, or map. I just ride my bike. Changes are cool, but I don’t want to lose the absurd posts and the genuine camaraderie that I find here. I like the simplicity. I’m comfy as is. A-Merckx.

  22. I’m against anything that inspires a no thought, meaningless response/reaction to stimulus. This is just continuing on with the no edit theme of the place, where you have to think about what you want to say, write it correctly, and post knowing it’s there for good. I like the fact I’d never, ever, everevereverever ever “plus one” here.

  23. @Nate

    @metalface Hang around until a troll shows up. You will find the community’s response effective and highly entertaining.

    I like trolls. They’re crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Taste like chicken.

  24. @Cyclops
    I wouldn’t get to nerved up because you will put on 5 lbs from the drink and find yourself in some alternative universe where everything you thought might happen did but with a weird Dutch twist?? Been there a year ago and I’d tell more but this is too public… Have fun!

  25. And lets not forget Scaler’s loverboy, Fronk’s candles, Ron taking the Velomidoggie for velomi – walkies, Adrian, Bentluvr, Dropbears, I know all the contradictions involved. But fuck it they’re funny, and somehow they’ve earned their place.

  26. @all
    I was just about to go into a big long thing about how much post traffic we have here and while I would never – NEVER – consider a “dislike” button (criticize if you want, in fact, bring it on – I’ll get the popcorn – but stand behind what you’re saying) but a +1 button would be for those moments when you’ve turned your back for an afternoon and come back for 45 minutes of reading a cleaning espresso of the computer screen as a consequence, but having missed the boat an not wanting to bring the conversation back there, you could +1 it as a sign of appreciation and move on.

    And then JiPM said:

    Nipple lube. Nipple lube. Nipple lube. Nipple lube. Nipple lube.

    That’s infinitely better than a +1. Situation resolved.

  27. But the first fucker that replies first to an article with only the word “first” is getting water boarded with an extra large bidon and a dirty chamois stuffed in their pie hole.

  28. @Marko

    But the first fucker that replies first to an article with only the word “first” is getting water boarded with an extra large bidon and a dirty chamois stuffed in their pie hole.

    Fuck yeah. Gotta +1 on that!

  29. @frank @Marko
    The funny thing is I was so surprised to stumble across “Le Jour Sans”””with no comments yet, without 45 minutes of reading to do to get caught up. And I almost screamed “First!” But, like a newly discovered road that winds upward, it seemed more appropriate to just dig in and enjoy the silence of the ride…

  30. I’m also a luddite, and so couldn’t give a flying watoozee about like buttons and big ups buttons and friend buttons and whatever the hell else it is you crazy switched on kids do in your virtual worlds. But if there was some way to recall how to find those outstanding moments without tearing at the fabric of the culture or putting the Keepers to more work I’d vote for it. If there was a vote button. Which I could find.

  31. @Steampunk

    I feel the same way. I come on here the day of a post and I’m reading for like an hour until I post. In the mean time there have been another 15 minutes worth of posts. At times its mine boggling!

    P.S. The desktop has been sa caobra’d and profile updated. Great work guys!

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