The One-week October Rodeo

Hello everyone!

It’s been one hell of a week – we added over a thousand new users to the site, and blasted straight through the 80,000 submission mark: all thanks to you!

We’re continuing to make progress on improving Furry Network, and working through the features needed for launch. This was our first real load test, where we got to try the site under real, heavy load – and it was invaluable in tracking down performance bottlenecks. We found several!

We were very happy with how the site performed under load – it slowed down, but did not break – and everything kept working. We’re confident that this robustness will be useful in ensuring that Furry Network stays online when you need it most!

Beta Keys

We had an unbelievable response on Monday night when we announced we’d stop handing out keys – issuing a whopping 514 keys in 6 hours, 21 minutes. Seeing your enthusiasm and passion for Furry Network, as well as all your praise and constructive comments, was absolutely wonderful – you are what drives us, and we thank you!

As Furry Network’s beta has grown to a scale where handing out beta keys by hand to survey respondents and via social media is no longer scalable, we’re switching gears and moving towards a more automated ‘request a key’ system. As of tomorrow morning, you will be able to request a Furry Network key from us from our homepage, where you’ll be entered into a list, and automatically receive a key via email as we push them out to more users.

Screenshot 2015-10-28 21.35.18

To sign up for a key, simply enter your email address into the form on our homepage. We will send you an email with your beta key, on a first-come, first-served basis. We expect to be issuing them in waves of a few hundred at a time – both to avoid overloading the site, and to ensure we can give you great follow-up support with getting started on Furry Network via social media.

Thank you EVERYONE for your interest in our beta – we did not expect this kind of response, particularly for a site which two months ago, had just 40 users. We are as excited as you are for the opportunities the future presents!

We did another update this week – and implemented some much-requested features:

Find your friends on Furry Network!

You can now search for users on Furry Network by name!search_for_users

Tag UI Improvements

Tags are now shown alphabetically, with a vertical toggle. This makes it easier to find what you’re looking for in the tag list.

sort_tags_vertically

Upload improvements

File sizes and supported types are now displayed as upload requirements in submission manager and for banner/avatar uploads.

Screenshot 2015-10-28 20.24.16

Screenshot 2015-10-28 20.25.14

Blacklisting Tags

We’ve had blacklist functionality for some time now, but now it’s got its own section under ‘Content Settings’, in the user settings panel!  This is in preparation for an upcoming ‘default blacklist’ update, where a list of tags ‘hidden by default’ will be shown (and easily shown if you wish).

blacklist_functionality

Site Performance

We made some huge improvements to the amount of CPU the site uses on our servers. This means the site can handle more users at the same time, and will work faster for everyone – and thus will allow us to give out more beta keys!

Screenshot 2015-10-28 19.49.15

Known Issues

  • There is currently no way to delete characters. This is by far the most reported issue, and we’re working on a fix.
  • The site importer is still under heavy load, and it can take some time for your import to go through. Be patient – it queues requests, and it may take several hours during busy times for your job to make it to the front of the line. We’re adding additional capacity to help with this, but please be patient!
  • Story and Multimedia support for GIFs, video and audio content is coming soon!
  • Once you enter in a username into the import tool, it can’t be changed.
  • A more conventional ‘art feed’ page is needed, to see new submissions in a familiar way.
  • There’s currently no way to see who faved or promoted a submission, or how many views it has.

What’re we working on for next week?

  • Collections improvements
  • Multimedia support for GIFs, video and audio content
  • Building pages for the Commissions system
  • Code of Conduct and Acceptable Upload Policy
  • User bans and blocking tools

Full Changelog

Here’s all the changes we made this week:

  • Staff icon displayed on character profiles, comments, PMs for site admin
  • Tags display vertically for single site submissions on toggle
  • All instances of usernames across the site link to character’s profile
  • File sizes and supported types are now displayed as upload requirements in submission manager and for banner/avatar uploads
  • Blacklist tags was moved to content settings in the user settings panel
  • Fuzzy character search was added to Community section
  • Full timestamps now display when hovering comments or submissions
  • Follow counts on profiles are now clickable
  • Default blacklist tags are now automatically added to all user profiles
  • Updated tag search on browse sections to limit number of results (Previously displaying all site tags)

Thank you everyone!

-Varka and the Furry Network team

Advertisements

Want a beta key, but don’t use Twitter? Keys now available via email!

EDIT: We’re currently closed for beta key requests at the moment; keep an eye out for further announcements regarding availability! 

 

Hello all!

One of the items of feedback we’ve gotten over the last few days is that you’d like more ways to request Furry Network keys. We’re happy to announce that you can now request them via email!

Screenshot 2015-10-24 12.02.28

Simply send an email to varka@furrynetwork.com, giving a little information about yourself and what other sites you currently use (either linking us to your account/gallery, or just mentioning your usernames on other sites), and we’ll get you hooked up with a beta key.

Edit: Note that we’re currently closed for beta key requests. Keep an eye out for further announcements regarding availability!

Bonus points if you send us something that makes us laugh!

Once you’ve received your key, simply visit http://beta.furrynetwork.com and click ‘sign up’. It’ll prompt you for your key – and away you go!

Screenshot 2015-10-24 12.39.52

Looking forward to seeing you on Furry Network!

-Varka and the Furry Network team

Edit: Note that we’re currently closed for beta key requests. Keep an eye out for further announcements regarding availability!

Making Commissions Easier

Hello everyone!

Today, we have a little sneak-peek of our upcoming commission management tools, intended to make it easier for both artists and commissioners to safely and easily trade online. These are works-in-progress, so expect a few rough edges – but we were too excited to hold off on showing you what we’ve been working on.

We believe that commissions should be easier, safer and more convenient for everyone involved – and that it can (and should!) be fun to commission an artist, author, craft-maker or fursuit maker online. We want to raise the bar when it comes to communication – and to make it easier to make a living from doing what you love (if you want to!). Of course, commercial transactions are only one part of the site: gift art, trades and other non-financial transactions are important as well, and we are dedicated to preserving and encouraging them!

Making Commissions Easier

Here, you can see an example of what the process of a Commission may look like – starting with an initial inquiry to the artist (who has set themselves as ‘open for commission’). Both artist and commissioner can talk back and forth, upload and share files (including character reference sheets linked automatically from their account), to decide on a ‘scope of work’.

Screenshot 2015-10-22 21.41.40

Think of a ‘scope of work’ as a ‘quote’ (in fact, we’ll probably end up changing the name to that) – it’s you and the creator mutually agreeing to the terms of your transaction, prior to exchanging money. This is a great way of keeping things organized, all in one place, in one clean interface – and for both of you to be confident in what you’re going to get from the transaction!

Once you’ve both agreed on a scope, you’ll be able to complete payment for the commission using a credit or debit card, through our in-house payments system. This money will be held by Furry Network until both parties are happy with the commission – and will be paid out directly to the creator:

Screenshot 2015-10-22 22.59.01

The feedback we’ve received indicates that most content creators within the US would prefer ACH/bank transfers – if you’d prefer a different method, make your voice heard! We are currently investigating payment methods for international customers; if you’re a non-US creator and want to suggest a payment method, please hit us up.

One of the great advantages of having strong existing relationships with credit card processors is our ability to process payments for a whole variety of content, including adult content. This means that you can now buy and sell adult furry commissions directly (and safely) on our site, without having to try and send payments ‘under the radar’ using other online payment systems – and all the inherent risk that exposes you to. We’ll support digital content out of the box, with future plans to allow tangible goods that require shipping – for example, crafted physical items, traditional art and fursuits.

For Artists

If you’re an artist or content creator, you’ve probably experienced ‘Notes Hell’ – where you have to wade through an inbox full of un-threaded messages to try and figure out what work you have due, what you’ve completed, and what new requests you need to respond to. Sometimes you’ll even make a spreadsheet to track your work, and have to keep it up to date; with people contacting you through a multitude of methods, this can become time consuming and a real pain!

We’ve decided to make that all simpler – starting with a fantastic inbox-style commission management tool. All statuses are color coded, filterable and searchable, so you can see only the items you’re interested in, and very quickly get a view of what’s in your work queue.

All commission requests will arrive in threaded conversation format, allowing you to keep everything organized and decide what requests you’d like to accept or reject:

Screenshot 2015-10-22 22.07.13

Obviously this isn’t finished yet – we’re still working on tweaking the terminology, color coding and generally polishing things – but this should give you an idea of the exciting things coming soon that we’re working on!

Getting set up will be simple – upload some content, set up your account (including how you would like to be paid), and mark yourself as open for commissions!

Screenshot 2015-10-22 22.29.42

We will be launching Furry Network with full support for announcements when you open for commissions: these small ads will be automatically published to interested parties, including your followers, so they know you’re available:

Screenshot 2015-10-22 22.32.59

For Commissioners

We want to make it easier and safer to commission your favorite artists (and others you’ve maybe not heard of before), and to feel safe and confident in doing so.

We’ve all heard horror stories of commissioning artists, and we know how frustrating it can be chasing up a long-overdue piece. By offering a dispute resolution mechanism where you can get your money back if the artist doesn’t hold up their side of the deal, we hope to make problems like this a thing of the past!

commissioning_artists

Buy & Sell with Confidence

One great benefit to building our own payments system is that we can provide excellent dispute resolution and claim tools, as well as full buyer and seller protection, to increase safety and to make you feel more confident in trading on the Furry Network. At any time, if you’re unhappy with a creator’s performance (or are dealing with a difficult client), you can dispute your commission, and a member of our dispute resolution team will review the transaction and work with you to resolve it. If things go really wrong, we’ll make sure that you’re never out of pocket. (Full details to follow, once we finish up the policies and procedures for this area!).

In conclusion, I hope you’re as excited as we are about the possibilities that really good commission management tools bring to the fandom. We welcome your feedback and questions via our Twitter account! For longer requests, you can send us a direct message (even if we’re not following you).

Thanks!

Varka and the Furry Network team

Collections/Folders, slideshow and user finder live!

Collections / Folders

After several weeks of work, we are happy to report that Collections (which work similarly to Folders on other sites), are live! You can now organize your art any way you please:

view_artwork_in_collections

To add items to a collection, use the ‘Manage Artwork’ tool to create a new collection (on the left), then add images to that collection in a similar way to tagging them:

add_artwork_to_collection

You can apply an image to as many collections as you like; you could choose to have one for sketches, one for commissions, another for that comic you made… It’s intended to make it so you can exhibit your work the way YOU want, and to help make it easier for other users to find your work.

There are a couple of known bugs with collections; the first is that automatically creating new collections isn’t working yet; you have to create one on the left of the screen before you add it on the right. This will be fixed in our next weekly update. If you see other bugs, please report them using the ‘feedback’ button as normal!

Slideshows

Slideshows are a new feature intended to make it easier to browse through an artist’s gallery without any other distracting elements on the page. With hotkeys for common actions, it’s now faster than ever to browse through content that interests you!

To use the Slideshow, simply click on an image to enlarge it, and use the arrows on the sides of the screen, or your keyboard’s arrow keys to move back and forth. (Other hotkeys are available – see the ‘show hotkeys’ section at the bottom of the image while in slideshow mode). It’ll automatically use the most sensible source of images (eg, the index page you were last looking at) for the source of images.

slideshow

Forward and back arrows are also present on mobille for easy navigation through results; if you’re interested in us extending this slideshow functionality to mobile use, please let us know via the feedback form!

2015-10-18 16.11.34

Community Tab / User Finder

By popular request, we’ve also added a tool that lets you see ALL users on the site, as well as those who follow you, or you follow. The ability to search for users by username is coming soon – and we hope to extend the Community functionality in line with the requests of you – the community!!

browse users

What will be done by launch?

We have finalized the scope of features we’ll be implementing for the site’s official launch, and are in the home stretch!
Some of the features that have made the final cut for our anticipated launch include:
  • Commissioning functionality, including commissions management, ability to request a commission, on-site messaging, attachments, on-site payments (including for adult content), and robust buyer & seller protection.
  • Multimedia support, including native mp4 video, FLV’s, and other content types
  • Easier blacklisting support, with sample categories of content to exclude upon signup
  • Story support!

Full Changelog

  • Submissions can now be categorized into Collections
  • Profiles have been updated to accommodate Collections on the Artwork/Photos tabs and include several updates to profile settings where banners and avatars can now be managed
  • More admin tools have been added
  • Importer fixes and updates
  • Community section is now live with an ability to browse popular and fresh artists
  • Updates to editing of bio section so there’s only one save button and no information gets lost
  • Custom cropper language has been updated with more information on what the tool does
  • Improvements to adult content visibility and access throughout the site
  • Began building out backend support for collections
  • Began reworking character profiles for collections support
Thanks everyone!
-Varka and the Furry Network team

Broader Availability of Closed Beta Keys

Hello all!

Today we’re happy to announce that we’re broadening the availability of keys to our closed Beta – which means if you (or your friends) have been eagerly awaiting the chance to participate, there’s a greater chance than ever to get in!

Edit: Note that we’re currently closed for beta key requests. Keep an eye out for further announcements regarding availability!

If you’re an existing Furry Network beta tester, then simply drop a direct message to @FurryNetwork on Twitter, or send a message via Furry Network itself to ‘varka’ (hint: click ‘messages’ in the menu on the top right) with how many you need, and we’ll hook you up. You don’t need to be following @FurryNetwork on Twitter to send a direct message – anyone with an account should be able to do so.

Screenshot 2015-10-18 14.55.02

If you’re not currently a Furry Network beta tester but know someone that is, contact them and ask for a key – they can request it from us using the above methods.

If you don’t know anyone who is currently a Furry Network beta tester but really really want to get in, we’ll be accepting a limited number of new entrants via Twitter. Just send a Direct Message to @FurryNetwork on Twitter, along with a good reason as to why we should give you one, and we’ll send you one to get started!

Edit: Note that we’re currently closed for beta key requests. Keep an eye out for further announcements regarding availability!

Layout updates: submissions, browsing, forward/back – and more beta keys!

New layout!

Today we released a big layout update based on feedback we’ve received from you all; you’ll notice that viewing a submission is substantially different now, with the ability to browse through submissions without having to hit ‘back’. We also reworked comments and tags to be more visible; we hope you like it and welcome your feedback (through the ‘feedback’ button on the bottom left, as always).

Screenshot 2015-10-07 17.40.34

Changelog

  • Gallery navigation added below singe artwork submissions for browsing through a series or feed of images
  • Navigation while browsing full size images is now supported on click or with arrow keys
  • A whole bunch of admin tool tweaks
  • New submission layout to better highlight tags and download/promote/favorite buttons
  • Submission descriptions no longer have 1,000 character limit to allow for longer captions
  • Registrations are driven across the site when users are taking actions which require an account or login
  • Flag reasons below submission link now open ticket for easier admin access
  • Promote/download/favorite options on artwork are now hidden for underage users on adult content

This week, we’re working on:

  • Community section
  • Character profile gallery layout
  • Finishing up administration tools
  • Finalizing user content flags by content type
  • Multi-factor security for Admin level access

More Keys!

That’s right – another week, another wave of keys. This should close out pretty much all the applications we got for keys during the beta; let us know if you haven’t got yours yet and we’ll see about getting you hooked up with one.

Tell your friends

Do you like what’s come of Furry Network so far? Excited to see it be released, and become a thing? The best thing you can do is show it to your friends and get them excited too. To support this, if you hit us up on Twitter, we’ll send you keys you can give to friends, so they can give it a try too. You can also get keys by messaging Varka on the Furry Network site directly:

message_varka

We hope you’ve had a great week and we look forward to seeing you on Furry Network! ❤

Varka and the Furry Network team

Another week, another update! (October 1st)

Another week, another raft of improvements and updates! We’re getting close to finishing up on the administration tools and adding some final polish to the usability of the site – especially folders and collections. We’ll be figuring out the final schedule for launch as well as the ‘must haves’ before the site goes live.

Changelog:

  • Import tool improvements
  • User and character rap sheets (admin tool)
  • Added view for users to manage tickets for their submissions (user/admin tool)
  • Added link to message a user from their profile
  • Users can full size image of artwork on individual submission pages
  • Added Following feed to the browser/discover section to see updates from artists you follow
  • The site now remembers which gallery tab user last clicked when navigating throughout the site
  • Added polling to messages and tickets to speed up performance
  • Updates to birthdate text on account registration screen for improved clarity
  • Conversation and notification improvements throughout the site
  • Various other bug fixes and improvements

We’re working on rounding out the administration tools and nailing down a list of features needed for launch, as well as working on some fun mockups of our ‘collections’ functionality (intended to work similarly to folders, but more flexible), as well as the navigation and layout changes needed to keep the experience slick and easy to use.

Pasted image at 2015_09_25 09_55 AM

More beta keys!

We also sent out another round of beta keys, as well as contacted some of those who are already in the beta with additional keys to give to friends. If you know someone already on the beta, you might want to see if they have one they could give you…

Thanks everyone!

Varka and the Furry Network team