Content policy changes – May 27, 2016

Hello everyone –

Recently, we had a large number of our users express concerns about our content policy – in particular, concerns regarding underage furry characters in sexual situations being permitted under the current rules. As the issue rapidly became prominent in social media, we saw a huge number of differing opinions on the subject in both directions. We realized the impact the subject matter has on our community, and wanted to make sure we took the time to hear everyone’s voice, and come to a decision that was in the best interest of the community as a whole.

Our Core Values

One of Furry Network’s core values is in involving the community, and in taking on feedback on how the site is built and run, because Furry Network was built for our community. There are a lot of great ideas and very intelligent people out there – and we’ve discovered that the key to success is to keep our ears open, take notes, and make a well-reasoned decision that considers all factors.

We always listen to feedback – no matter how it is expressed – but are aware that, for controversial decisions, the most emotionally charged ones are often not the most reliable when it comes to reasoning and making a sensible choice. Our style of decisionmaking is founded upon making well-researched, factually backed, objective decisions that are fair and considerate – and in this case, this meant soliciting and analyzing feedback over the next 24 hours, particularly from individuals who stated their case maturely and respectfully. Thank you to everyone who sent in (or publically stated) their position on this – including those who voted on the support request thread.

At its core, the issue at hand is that for a significant portion of our user base, underage furry characters in sexual situations (typically referred to as “Cub Porn”) was a significant ‘deal-breaker’ for being a part of Furry Network, for a number of reasons, and as such, is something we must exclude.

How we arrived at our decision

At the beginning of the site’s development, we understood the issue at hand as the one most often stated to us: that users did not wish to see this type of content or otherwise be inadvertently exposed to it. Based on this, we had prepared a technical solution – a “default blacklist”, which automatically hides extreme content (including cub porn) from all users, unless specifically enabled in their content settings. This hadn’t gone live yet, but was scheduled to be deployed alongside completion of our new Code of Conduct and Acceptable Upload Policy this week. When we were initially designing and implementing the site, the feedback we’d received indicated that users were broadly happy with this ‘default blacklist’ arrangement, and that it’d be adequate for their needs.

However, given our recent increase in size and user base, the demographics of the users of the site have changed significantly – and has grown to include professional illustrators, artists, and participants of all tastes, ages and backgrounds. With this change has come a difference in perspective and opinion on what our users are comfortable with or not – and in the concerns reported.

By far the most-reported concern recently was people’s discomfort in knowing that the content is permitted and present on the site (even if they can’t see it), and legitimate concerns about being guilty by association or otherwise directly associated with it, particularly through ‘outing’ actions by its vocal detractors. Furry Network is a site which is intended to aid the fandom’s growth and evolution, and to lead to a better future for the community as a whole (See our formal mission statement) – and as such, this concern is one that no technical solution could solve.

The second most-reported concern was that banning said content would be a failure of Furry Network to protect artistic freedom, to allow a “small but vocal group of people” to dictate the rules, and as a heavy-handed political solution to a problem that could be solved via technology (eg, a default blacklist). As a site dedicated to encouraging creative expression, banning this content would be a ‘loss’ for artistic freedom, and a move towards a ‘nanny state’.

We also considered many other factors as part of our decision – you can read more about them at the end of this document (see “Factors we considered”).

As responsible site owners, it’s our job to balance the needs of all participants in the community as well as the site itself – and to always make great decisions that are in the best interests of the site and the community. With this, we decided that the best course of action is to not permit this type of content to be uploaded or present on Furry Network.

 

What happens next

Effective immediately, our moderation team will be removing all mature or explicit-rated cub content from Furry Network, and updating our Code of Conduct and Acceptable Upload Policy to reflect these changes. In addition, we will be clarifying via our support and community outreach channels that this content is not permitted on Furry Network – as well as dedicating additional resources towards responding to content flagged via our “Flag Submission” tool. For those affected who may have uploaded artwork to Furry Network and do not have a backup copy of the submission, our support team will be available to recover the deleted images for a period of 14 days. You can contact them via our support site.

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We’re setting a goal of Monday to finish removing this content from Furry Network, and have already taken steps to remove submissions that our moderators were able to locate. If you’d like to help us out, then we encourage all members of the community to use the “Flag” tool present on each submission page to report content which they believe contains underage furry characters in a sexual situation, choosing the “Other” flag reason and entering “Cub porn”. We’ve also developed guidance and information for our moderators to make a fair and informed judgement on each image. Please be sensible in the images you report, and ensure they do in fact contain a minor in a sexual situation – our usual rules regarding ‘abuse of site tools’ will still apply.

A model for change

The outpouring from the community on this issue has been enormous, and it has made us sit up and take notice that so many participants are so committed to the future of the site! We are very grateful to all of you who contributed in a constructive manner to the discussion. Obviously we are committed to the ongoing success of Furry Network, and part of our ethos is to put our egos aside, admit fault, and work to learn and grow from every hiccup along the way.

We are confident this will not be the last time we develop a policy that we end up needing to correct, but as always we are eager to listen to the community’s input and are not afraid to reverse a decision or admit that we were wrong. We believe that adapting to change and being open to feedback is what will make Furry Network successful – combined with dedication to our mission.

Thank you for your patience and consideration while we’ve worked through this decision – it wasn’t an easy one to make, and there were strong opinions on both sides.

We have some great new updates and features lined up for the next week, and we’re eager to put this chapter behind us and keep building a great site the community can be proud of. As always, you can reach out to us on Twitter and via our Support System.

Thanks,
– Varka and the Furry Network team

 

Addendum: Factors we considered

Some of the factors we considered as part of our decision included:

 

Professionalism is a core value of Furry Network, and is something we wish to encourage in our userbase. As such, we expect that a growing number of artists/creators will rely on Furry Network for their livelihood. It is in our and the users’ best interest to put our best foot forward, so that artists are not afraid to be associated with Furry Network. We have data to suggest that this is a factor for some professional artists – a key demographic for us, especially as the site’s capabilities grow to include commissions, and financial transactions completed through the site. In addition, this is something which is important to many other members of the community, as the content and context of the sites they choose to frequent reflect upon them as individuals.

Technical and moderation investments would be required to ensure that this content did not cause issues, if it were retained. There would be complex features that’d need to work perfectly every time, both on the site and in our moderation team, to ensure the content could remain present on the site.

Fairness and impartiality of the decision is a factor, because we could lose respect if we  make a rash decision. We realized that in many ways, the concern here was more about how we come to the decision – with a comparison between “we got complaints about it, so we gave in and banned it” and “we listened patiently to all viewpoints, considered all relevant factors, and made an informed decision that was in the best interests of the community and the site”.

Resources within the community is a factor, because other sites and resources exist that accept and encourage this kind of content. By choosing not to support it, we judged that would not be substantially excluding a portion of the community from participating.

Investment and future of the site is a factor, because we have made a substantial investment into building and supporting the site and its growth. In the interests of the site’s future, it’s advantageous to choose the option which would lead to the best competitive advantage in future.

Legality is a factor, because this type of content is frequently considered a legal “grey area”, with many indications both authoritative and not as to whether it is legal to host in Furry Network’s jurisdiction. In addition, many users are not within Furry Network’s legal jurisdiction, and as such, viewing such content (even accidentally) would be against the law.

Scope creep is a factor – where one type of content may be banned, but through persistent pressure placed upon the site administration, other types of content might be perceived to be next. Furry Network’s future hinges upon balancing creative freedom with the needs of the community – and while it can be claimed that making the decision to ban this kind of content sets a precedent for future censorship, it must be considered in the context of the community’s viewpoint and moral standards of what’s acceptable or not.

Creative freedom is a factor – because Furry Network is committed to providing the maximum creative freedom it can for all users, provided it’s not at the expense of others, and excluding this kind of content from the site is a form of censorship, that limits the freedom of expression of our users.

Duty of care is a factor – because Furry Network has a duty of care to the broader community, to ensure it’s always putting its best foot forward as a prominent, representative member of the community.

More Features & Updates

Hello everyone!

We’ve just deployed a new release to Furry Network Beta – this time adding a number of much requested features and some Importer improvements!

Muting, Blocking & Privacy Options

You can now mute and block other characters in Content Settings, by entering their username and hitting enter. Solid controls for who you do (and don’t) want to hear from on Furry Network are a key part of our drive to empower everyone on the site – so we’re eager to hear feedback on it, to confirm it works well!  This was very popular also, garnering 34 votes on our support center.

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We’re also working on adding some buttons to user profiles, to make it easier to mute and block them right from the character page, too – these aren’t live yet, but will likely make it into our next update:

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By very popular request (a whopping 106 people made their voice heard), we’ve also added privacy options for your account – letting you block unregistered guests and search engines from viewing your profile or content.

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These tools round out our Privacy and users control features – combined with our blacklisting  and blocking tools, all users now have the ability to take control of what they wish to see on Furry Network – and to handle a wide variety of issues on their own!

Zooming and Panning

Another popular feature request with 88 votes on our support center, zooming in was added to the “view full image” page. Simply pinch your touchscreen or use your scroll wheel to zoom in and out:

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Delete a Character

You can now delete characters in the Your Characters section. This has been a much-requested feature, garnering a whopping 58 votes in our support center. It may seem simple, but correctly deleting a character is quite involved. Nevertheless, here it is!

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Importer Improvements

We know that being able to easily import all your data is very important to many users – and are committed to making it as easy and magical (eg it ‘just works’ – like magic) as possible. As such, we’re working on some significant improvements to the tool.

Improvement 1: You can now reimport deleted items

Previously, if you imported an image and subsequently deleted it (Say, you decided that it wasn’t up to your standards and didn’t want to show it), you couldn’t change your mind and re-import it again. We’ve added the ability to ignore this constraint via a check box on the importer – so if you want to empty out your FN gallery and reimport everything (including deleted items), you can now do just that!

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Improvement 2: Importer now more reliable

The importer for Furry Network was one of the first features of the site which we built, and a lot has changed since it was first built! As such, we felt it was time for a full rebuild of it – to make it more reliable, as well as to operate in a more sensible way, as the site nears launch.

Most of the importer has been rewritten and updated, and will now automatically order your submissions correctly in chronological order. No more images slightly out of order, with no way to change them!

Of course, we have plans for further improvements – the reliability and user friendliness of the importer is not where we want it to be, and we want it to be quick and easy for anyone to join Furry Network and bring a body of work along with them. As always, if you have issues with using the importer (or any other site feature, really) – please don’t hesitate to ask your question in our Support System! We also support private reports (which work a little like support tickets), if you don’t want to expose your usernames or would just prefer to get support in private.

 

Uploads over 100MB working again

There was a bug where file uploads of more than 100MB in size were not working correctly, stalling out during upload. This has now been fixed – and you can now submit images up to 32MB in size, and multimedia of up to 200MB per file. Of course, we’re looking to increase these limits (especially the multimedia limit) in the future; we’ve tested uploads of  up to 2GB in our testing environment and know that the system can do it!

 

 Full changelog

  • Can now delete characters in Your Characters section.
  • Muting of other characters in Content Settings
  • Zoom feature for viewing submissions by scrolling mouse or pinching touchpad
  • Privacy tools on edit character profile. Block guests so only logged in users can view your profile and content. Block search engines so search engines cannot index your profile and content.
  • Now allow deleted items to be reimported
  • Admin tools improvements
  • Block users from deleting their own content that has been flagged until the ticket has been resolved
  • Fixed bug with files over 100MB not uploading

 

What we’re working on

  • HSTS Implementation (a security thing)
  • Tags that are copied/pasted for submissions no longer string together as one word
  • Admin can change submission rating
  • Admin can temporarily block profile from public view
  • Making home page more relevant for site’s launch
  • Site Announcements user and admin interface
  • Reworking the activity feed to split notifications out from content, add grid view for content, and generally make things more content-centric
  • Reworking character profile page to incorporate ‘shouts’, along with other polish
  • Reworking the home page user interface, to add a sidebar with commonly used categories/pages
  • Block and mute buttons on character page
  • Multiple account import support / ability to change username on import tool
  • Preparing convention plans for Biggest Little Fur Con in Reno, Nevada (May 12-15 – more info on the event here; we’ll be making a full announcement shortly)
  • Testing & trialling commissions system with real payments; building list of improvements & preparing for a limited feature launch
  • Final improvements and polish to the site’s design prior to official launch!

 

Plans for the future

This is the most exciting month of Furry Network’s development for us – as it’s this month that we are nearing the point where we could launch the site for real, and open the floodgates with general availability – to sign up, without needing a beta key. Things have come so far in the last year, and we’re really stoked to make the most of the opportunity and to have a site everyone can enjoy!

As such, we will be making some big announcements over the coming weeks – we recommend following us on Twitter to ensure you get to see them first, though we will of course be posting regularly on this development blog, too.

Thanks to everyone for your support in making Furry Network awesome. We are stoked to see the level of enthusiasm you’ve all shown with this project, and we can’t wait to launch the site for real, and see what you do with it!

Thanks all – and enjoy the update!

– Varka and the Furry Network team

 

 

Marching On

Hello all,

It’s now March, and we’re rapidly closing in on our final ‘launch’ feature set. Our focus has been on fixing structural things to prepare for mass site use, and has involved a lot of fiddly details – but it’s getting there!

Here’s a quick outline of the key changes since our last update:

Blocking of other Users

You can now block other Users on Furry Network.

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You can access your ‘block list’ by visiting your Account Settings from the top dropdown menu, and adding the username of the character you’d like to block to the list.

Once blocked, you’ll no longer see any content from the blocked user. Comments, promotes, follows, messages and commission requests will be disallowed. The blocked user will receive a message such as “You are unable to comment on this submission” and “you are unable to send commission requests to this user” – and will be unable to interact with you.

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As it stands, this currently means that the blocked user can still browse your submissions and generally see your activity. We’re considering changing this to be similar to being ‘blocked’ on other sites (such as Twitter), where the blocked user cannot see any of your activity either – and would value your feedback on this via Twitter and the Support Thread for this topic.

We’re working on adding a ‘block’ button to user profiles to make this easier – which should come in a future release. ‘Mute’ functionality – similar to Twitter, where you can simply hide that user’s activity site-wide – is also being worked on. Taken together, we think these will give Furry Network some of the most powerful and easy-to-use tools for self-moderation available today!

User Bans

This is technically an admin tool, but we felt it important to show you how the technical tools of the site work in conjunction with our rules and site policies, to make our administration effective and fair.

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Admins can now choose to ban users forever or for 2, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days, depending on the severity of the infraction and in line with our Code of Conduct. Banned users are automatically unbanned after the specified time period, which is added to a record of previous administrative actions taken. Characters of banned users have a “banned” icon visible on their profile page avatar.

Import tool now saves to Drafts

Newly imported content from other sites is now automatically imported into the “Drafts” section of the “Manage Artwork” page, so you can work through it at your leisure, edit and updating them, and choose which submissions you’d like to make public.

This also gives you an opportunity to reorder the imported content – whatever you mark as public first will show up as the ‘oldest’:

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This also unlocks a number of powerful new features – including being able to assign imported images to the “Photos” content type, immediately after import!

As this is a freshly launched feature, we welcome your feedback on how we can make the overall importing experience better. You can hit us up on Twitter or make your voice heard on our Support Thread for this topic.

No more Importer Duplicates!

We fixed an issue with the importer creating duplicates: you can now safely re-run the importer to copy across fresh content from other sites, without it creating a ton of duplicated content!

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“Delete All” feed confirmation

The magical “Delete All” button on the feed now asks for confirmation before it deletes the contents of your feed:

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Improved Page Titles

The page title shown in your browser window has been improved – and will now show more information about the page you’re on:

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We’re going to shorten the full “Furry Network” title to “FN” for all pages except the homepage in a future update, so you can see more of the descriptive title in future.

 

 Full Changelog:

  • Users can now block characters from their Account Settings by typing in that character’s name. Once blocked, they will no longer see content from the blocked user. Comments, promotions, following, messages and commission requests will be disallowed. The blocked user will receive a message such as “You are unable to [comment on/promote] this submission” and “You are unable to [send commission requests to/send messages to/follow] this user”
  • Admins can now choose to ban users forever or for 2, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days. Banned users are unbanned after the specified time period. Characters of banned users have a “banned” icon visible on their profile page avatar.
  • Artwork is now initially imported into Draft status rather than Public
  • Fixed issue with the importer creating duplicates
  • Fixed issue with galleries displaying duplicates when a user initially visits the site
  • Added a confirmation message for the activity feed’s “delete all” button
  • Page titles have been updated to be more descriptive instead of only displaying “Furry Network”

 

What we’re working on:

We’ve got another big update planned soon with a lot of features you’ve asked (and voted) for. Here’s a sneak peek on some of them:

  • Privacy tools for user profiles, to prevent search engine indexing and guest access
  • Zoom feature for viewing submissions
  • Linking commissioning artists directly to price sheets from the Community section
  • Additional admin tools
  • Site-wide Announcements
  • SFW/NSFW toggle in dropdown menu
  • Delete Character functionality
  • Fix bug with only 15 most recent comments displaying on submissions
  • Change page titles from “Furry Network – [page name]” to “FN – [page name]”
  • Fixing bug with community feeds taking a long time to load
  • Tweaks to the Commissions tool, based on feedback from testers

 

Thanks everyone – and we hope you enjoy this new update!

 

-Varka and the Furry Network team

 

 

 

February Update: It’s a big one!

It’s been a while since we last did an update – and wow, do we have a lot to share with you!

First – some housekeeping about feedback and bug reports. (Skip down to ‘Notifications are here!’ if you just want to see what’s in the update).

Bug Reports / Feedback Tool

As we move into the final stages of Furry Network’s development prior to launch, we’re shifting gears for how we’re prioritizing feature requests and bug reports. Instead of collecting individual reports (and trying to catch as many bugs as possible), we’re aiming instead to prioritize these bugs / requests through user voting. This is so we can see which key issues are most important to you – and focus our attention on them!

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Because we’re just about done with the big moving parts of Furry Network, we need your help picking the final items you’d like to see tweaked or fixed before we go live! We really value your feedback, and your input is critical to making Furry Network as awesome as it can be. So – please vote for your most requested features / bug fixes using the feedback tool, and we’ll do our best to implement them!

You can access the feedback tool here.

Help us pick what to finish before launch!

We’ve implemented a new tool for providing support on using the site, and to allow voting on features / bug fixes that you’d like us to focus on prior to (and after!) launch. You can find it in the ‘Support’ tab at the top of the page, or in the dropdown box by your user icon in the top right.

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On it, you can easily vote for your favorite feature, suggest a new one that hasn’t been noted yet, or get support from other users and our admin team with using Furry Network.

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Got a question, or need help?

Just type it into the text box at the top, and automatically suggested articles will be brought up. At the moment it’s mostly feature requests, but as people ask questions and the community (and our team) answer them, this section of the site should build up into a one-stop-shop for getting help with using Furry Network!

There’s a small dropdown – ‘Post In’, that asks you to classify your question or feedback – this is so we can answer questions quickly, and prioritize bugs and ideas appropriately for our development team. Please make sure you write your report in a style appropriate for the type of feedback you’re leaving. This is so your post can be made the ‘standard’ for that particular item:

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If you’re not comfortable asking your question publicly, you can also hit ‘Private’ at the top of the form, and send in a ticket to our staff, who can answer you directly, as well as help you with any issues you’re having.

Notifications are here!

We got a LOT of feedback about the feed, and in particular the lack of notifications on Furry Network for things that happen to your content. We’re proud to announce that we’ve finally finished Notifications, which show up when people fave your stuff, leave a comment on one of your submissions, mention you in a comment, or a bunch of other events. Look for the little alarm bell symbol on the top right, next to your icon. There’s also a ‘view all’ option, so you can see it in a larger list format too:

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What other event types would you like to be notified about? Did we miss any? Let us know!

Escape ‘confirmation email’ Purgatory

….By having the option to back out of your registration and pick a different email address!

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If you’re having trouble getting the welcome email, or if you mis-typed your email address, it can be a pain to try and get back on track – so we’ve made it easier for you.

Because we all have fat fingers and hungry email servers, sometimes.

Play ‘Inbox Zero’?

You can now see a count of how many items of each type are in your feed, which live updates as you remove items:

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Individual items can be removed from your feed, like an inbox:

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Of course, you can also hit ‘delete all’, and get to Inbox Zero right away. Feels good, right?

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We’re considering some more tweaks to how the Feed works, including a more traditional ‘page of thumbnails’ view. This is where we need your input: make sure to vote for this feature in our Feedback Tool if you want to see it made,  or suggest an alternative if you can think of something better!

Customizable Profiles

You can now make your profile page yours – with fully customizable fields, and the ability to embed images, links and other things into each section! Don’t want to specify your gender, orientation or any other field? Delete it, or rename it and turn it into something else!

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If you previously wondered “Where did my bio go?” on your profile – well, here’s where it went – and now you can change how it’s presented  to suit your needs!

You can use the same markdown we support across the site, a list of which is available by clicking on the ‘Markdown Available’ link. Here’s a cheat sheet, for your convenience:

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We’d like to add the ability to embed icons and make lists of other users (Eg, list your friends / favorite artists on your profile), but need your votes to make sure that’s what everyone wants! Be sure to vote for this using our feedback tool. We imagine that copy-pastable templates to achieve certain goals will be popular – so if you have a pretty layout or useful feature that’s tricky to get right in Markdown, please consider sharing it!

Flagging & Takedowns

Our on-site ‘Flagging’ system for reporting content or users to our moderation team is alive and well – please continue using this tool for specific things that are an issue on the site, like submissions and users. The feedback / question tools above are intended to be an extension of the existing flagging tools, not a replacement – as flagging is  really good at quickly dealing with things which are a problem, that need rapid turnaround!

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In addition, you’ll notice a new link, “Takedown”, right below the ‘Flag’ button – this is a quick link for artists to request stolen artwork be taken down. This means that you don’t need a Furry Network account in order to resolve an art theft issue – and allows us to quickly take appropriate action. Making the process of rights management for artists easier is something we’re committed to improving!

View Counts, Faves and Promotes

Submission pages now show how many views, faves and promotes each image has received – finally you can see how popular your submissions have been!

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We’ve also added quick previews for favorites, promotes, comments and view counts that show up on thumbnails – let us know if you like them!

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Of course, the view changes to suit tablets and mobile devices – showing them on each image without having to click on them with the mouse you don’t have:

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We’re committed to making Furry Network a pleasure to use across all devices. Be sure to report bugs if you see them!

Change your Email Address

Life happens, email providers come and go, and we all outgrow that Hotmail account with the embarrassing username we made when we were 15.

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Now you can change the email address associated with your account, directly from the site, under ‘account settings’.

Commissions

Our commissions feature is now mostly complete, and we’re putting it through some thorough user testing. Our approach is going to be to scale up gradually from a few early users to a broader selection of artists and commissioners – much how we did beta keys for access to the site initially. Because money is involved, we’re going to take it slow and make sure it’s bulletproof before we launch it to the general public!

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Are you interested in testing out our commissions feature? We’d love to have you on our team. We’ll be opening up to a wider selection of beta testers in the near future – keep an eye out for an announcement, and an application form!

Here’s some of the features we’ve been tweaking over the last few weeks:

Flagging Commissions

Both commissioners and artists can flag a commission for staff attention, whether it be because the artist is nonresponsive, the commissioner is causing issues, or if the commissioned piece does not meet the agreed to scope of work:

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Dispute resolution and support is a big focus for us – the flag reasons and all content in these GIFs are placeholder content, and will be updated to be more directly relevant to the commissioning process as a result of our user testing. We’ll be soliciting feedback as we go, and keeping our eyes open for unique situations and how we can adapt our tools to best suit everyone’s needs – but for now, consider them a work in progress!

Open For Commissions? Announce it!

Showing potential customers what you can do and that you’re available for commissions is an important part of marketing yourself as an artist – and have pulled out all the stops to make it easy to do, and show your best work to your potential customers.

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For users and commissioners, we want to make it easy to choose if you wish to see these or not – and as such, we now have a specific “announcement” category in your Feed, so you can choose to hide these if you just want to browse. If you’re hungry for a commission and want to see announcements only, you can do that too!

 

Know when artists open for commissions

You can receive an email notification the moment an artist you follow opens for commissions:

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Evalion is one of our current commissions guinea pigs – if you’d like to see what the notifications look like, hit up his Furry Network profile and get notified!

See all artists open for commissions

This is still a work-in-progress, but we’re working on a tool that’ll let you see a list of all artists that are open for commissions right now, along with their price sheet and examples of their work. For now, we’ve put it as a filter on the Users tab:

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We envision being able to browse for someone you can commission right away, without having to wade through endless journals. Having a one-stop shop for satisfying that Commission itch is, we think, going to be huge.

Full Changelog

 

Commissions Updates:

  • Users can now get notifications when an artist is open for commissions
  • Artists can now display commission announcements in the What’s New feed for those who follow them
  • Commission payouts through PayPal are now functioning

General Updates:

  • Custom bio fields are now live on character profiles with markdown supported
  • Notifications center is now live to alert users of activity on their content
  • Fixed issue with site not loading in Firefox (the ‘Grey Screen’ bug – thanks Forfaox!)
  • Updated registration page to cancel an in-progress verification if email address is misspelled
  • Takedown process now links to the appropriate forms from artwork and photos across the site
  • Users can update email addresses in Account Settings
  • Made updates to the popular algorithm to pull all time content if search results yield less than 100 results

Admin Updates:

  • Commissions can now be flagged for admin review
  • A bunch of other admin-side features

Thank You!

We hope you’re as excited as we are for how the site is shaping up, and look forward to hearing your feedback (and votes!) on our Feedback Tool, while we guide the site through to its final completion and subsequent launch. Thank you for being so patient with us through all this – we know how eager you are to get started on making Furry Network as awesome as we know it can be!

Thanks

-Varka and the Furry Network team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our First Bug Bounty: $100 for Firefox “Grey Screen” Bug

Hello Everyone,

We are proud to announce our first Bug Bounty today: the Firefox “Grey Screen” Bug – with a reward of up to $100!  (This bounty has now been CLAIMED. See below)

What is a Bug Bounty?

As per Wikipedia, a Bug Bounty is “a deal offered by many websites and software developers by which individuals can receive recognition and compensation for reporting bugs, especially those pertaining to exploits and vulnerabilities.”. In this case, our ‘bug bounty’ is focused around finding a reliable way to reproduce a troublesome bug that’s been causing a lot of headaches for our developers: a ‘grey screen’ shown when using Firefox to visit Furry Network:

fnet_firefox_grey_screen.jpg

Bug Bounty Status

This Bug Bounty has been claimed by Forfaox. Congratulations, and thank you for your help!

We first announced the Bounty at 12:20pm MST, and had our first solution just over 3 hours later at 3:47pm. After thorough testing, we confirmed that this entry was valid at 7:30pm – a turnaround time of just 7 hours. The power of crowdsourcing!

A full write-up with details of this issue will follow, once we’ve made the fixes. Keep an eye on our next regular scheduled code update!

Last updated Sunday, Jan 10th at 7:30pm

What are we looking for?

For the partial bug bounty of $50, we are seeking we are seeking full, accurate steps to reproduce the “grey screen” that appears when a Firefox user running Windows visits Furry Network.

For the full bug bounty of $100, we are seeking a pre-made virtual machine running Windows that will reproduce the “grey screen” that appears when a Firefox user visits Furry Network. To get this full amount, we would require a VMWare (or similar) virtual machine image able to reproduce the error reliably and consistently in a typical user environment, together with instructions on how you were able to reproduce the error (eg, what you installed, and in what order).

How do I submit?

To submit, please send an email to bugbounty [at] furrynetwork [dot] com with your name, Paypal address (or mailing address if you’d prefer a mailed check), and the details of your entry:

  • The name you’d like us to use to refer to you (nicknames/aliases are fine)
  • PayPal address to send payment to (or for check, name to make check payable to, and US mailing address)

For the $50 bounty, please provide:

  • In plain english, what combination of software causes the problem
  • (Optional:) If known, why the problem occurs. Please note we’re trying to reproduce the problem and why it only happens to firefox sometimes, not the exact line of code / syntax error to blame.
  • Exact versions of software used (including operating system, patches and 3rd party software)
  • Full, detailed steps to reproduce the error, starting with a fresh install of Windows (please note, doing this on your existing OS install won’t count – we’ve had plenty of people’s existing machines affected, we need to reproduce it ourselves from scratch)
  • A screenshot of the problem you’ve reproduced

For the $100 bounty, please provide:

  • All of the items listed above for the $50 tier, plus:
  • A virtual machine image in a format we can use. (We recommend a zipped VMWare disk image, complete with .vmx configuration file – OVF files are handy, too).

What will I get in return?

You’ll get between $50 and $100, our unending thanks, and public recognition for your good deed on the post announcing a fix for the bug. What’s more, is you’ll get the good vibes knowing that you helped thousands of other people get to experience Furry Network on their preferred browser – Firefox!

Rules & Small Print

  • All submissions must be made via email to bugbounty [at] furrynetwork [dot] com, including all requested information above, in your initial email. Download links to virtual machines are acceptable.
  • The first valid entry which satisfies the above requirement will claim the Bug Bounty. As soon as reasonably possible after our staff has verified the suitability of the solution, we will announce the bug bounty as “claimed” and will accept no further entries. If you submit an entry before the announcement, you won’t be eligible to win the Bounty.
  • If we receive and accept a “steps to reproduce” entry, we may at our discretion accept a “pre-made virtual machine” entry, for a reduced bounty of $50.
  • Payment for the Bounty will be made in US Dollars via Paypal, or optionally mailed via US check. The receiver will be responsible for any and all Paypal and currency conversion fees.
  • By making a submission, you agree not to disclose details about the bug / vulnerability to anyone until it has been officially announced as fixed by Furry Network.
  • By default, Furry Network will announce the name of the winner of the Bounty publically. You may request anonymity if you prefer; please make this clear in your initial entry. If you have an icon for yourself you’d like us to use for fun as part of our announcement, let us know.
  • By making a submission, you state that the contents of the Entry are your own work.
  • Furry Network may close the Bug Bounty to entries at any time, for any reason.
  • Furry Network reserves the right to exclude any Entries, or individuals submitting Entries at any time, for any reason.
  • Please don’t put a rootkit, virus or other exploits on the virtual machine, or try any other shenanigans. We’re trusting you, and hope you’ll extend the same courtesy to us.
  • Good Luck and Have Fun!

 

Next Steps

We expect to occasionally run Bug Bounties on Furry Network in the future, both to tackle issues we’re aware of, as well as to keep our users safe, by hunting down vulnerabilities that expose sensitive user information.

This is an experiment for us to see how things go – we’re keeping an open mind, but want to make sure that we are able to handle things proficently before we consider making this a broader or longer-term program. As such, we’re not looking for general security holes just yet – though if you have a tipoff you want to throw our way as responsible disclosure, feel free to send it in to bugbounty@furrynetwork.com .

Thank you everyone!

-Varka and the Furry Network team

 

 

 

Making Commissions Easier: a visual series

Hello everyone!

We hope you’ve all had a good time this holiday season, and have enjoyed the chance to decompress and spend some time with friends and family. I know our team has – our development team will be back to work shortly after the New Year.

We’ve been working on testing our commissioning interface, and have been putting together some visual guides to help explain how it’s going to work. In the first part of this series, we’ll be focusing on the ‘how’ and ‘why’, along with some animated demos of the features we’re testing. Next week, we’ll be giving you a full walkthrough of the process from the Artist perspective, and the following week we’ll do one from the Commissioner perspective.

floof 3 (1).gif

(Important note: throughout this blog post, we use the word ‘Artist’ to represent many kinds of content creators as a whole. All content is a form of art: we consider stories, crafts, fursuits, leatherwork, protography and many others to be part of this, not simply ‘visual arts’.)

Why improve commissions?

We believe that we can substantially improve the experience of both commissioners and content creators, by making it easier to manage and track work, and my making it easier for all parties to ‘do the right thing’. By making a slick, reliable, easy-to-use interface for financial transactions to take place, we hope to be able to encourage good behaviors and make it safer and more enjoyable to commission artists within the fandom.

As an artist, your core competency is in creating amazing content – not necessarily in being an expert in tools to track your job queue, who’s order is at what stage, and keeping track of everything in a spreadsheet. If it was, you’d probably have gone into accounting. Our goal is to make it so you can concentrate on your craft – and see exactly what you need to do, at a glance – without it being a huge pain, or taking away from your creativity.

As a commissioner, you want to get great results for minimum effort – and chances are, if you had confidence you were definitely going to get what you expect, every time, you’d commission a lot more work from others. Our goal is to make your life easier – and provide a valuable and useful service to you and artists.

We’ve all had bad experiences with transactions before – whether its the ‘quick sketch’ that turns into a 6-month epic email adventure, or that commissioner with unrealistically high expectations that believes you should do great, custom work for them for free, we aim to free you of the drudgery of  things that are a chore to you.

commissioning_artists

 

 

How are you going to make commissioning easier?

We’re going to be making commissioning easier by laying out clear, sensible policies for both buyers and sellers, and backing it up with both Buyer and Seller Protection. Combined with our easy-to-use commission management system and our excellent dispute resolution team, we’ll be offering a service unique in the Fandom: a safe place to both buy and sell in a commission format, with proper on-site payments.

Commission Management Interface

As an artist, you want to be able to see all your commissions in one place, sorted by status. You’d like to see at a glance what you have to work on, and what opportunities for future work you have – and pick the jobs that interest you.

You want to communicate easily in real time with your customers, and uphold the great standard of responsiveness you strive for in all your work – without having to play ‘messenger tag’ using several different IM clients, private messages or emails.

floof 3 (1)

As a commissioner, you want to be able to see all the commissions you have open with content creators in one place, with notifications when there’s progress updates, or the artist has a question for you. You want to be able to access your commissions from anywhere, on any mobile device – and be notified automatically when one of your favorite artists opens for commissions. Well, we’ve got that:

Screenshot 2015-12-21 00.22.36.png

On-site Announcements

As an artist, you always want to put your best foot forward – posting a pretty, informative announcement of your availability for commissions as soon as you open. You know that presenting a professional and competent image to all your fans is key, and an attractive and well thought out announcement with an image and full details of your availability is just the ticket. You’ll get a wider selection of offers from commissioners, and enjoy picking the ones that interest you!

floof 2 (1).gif

As a commissioner, you want to see a feed of all your favorite artists’ announcements, and receive notifications the second they open for commissions. Want to get an email the instant they open? Sure thing – just tick the box and we’ll do the rest:

notify_commissions.gif

Don’t want to see announements at all, ever? Simply turn them off in your “What’s New” feed, and never see them again.

On-Site Payment Processing

As an artist, you want to accept commission payments with confidence. Good news: we have negotiated with payment processors to allow a wide range of furry content, which means you can get paid for adult-rated art safely, without the threat of having your account shut down. You’ll know exactly where you stand, and  be able to sell in confidence – knowing that we’ve got your back. We’re making it easier than ever to receive money – so easy in fact, that you’ll be able to charge a premium for your work, and have the motivation to provide a great experience for your buyers.

As a commissioner, you want to pay for artwork, stories and other media with confidence, knowing that you’ll get exactly what you agreed to in the timescale provided – or a full refund. Good news is that’s what we want too. What’s more is all of your payment information will be securely processed via a well-known, reputable payment provider – your financial details will never touch our servers. With support for a huge multitude of payment methods (including local European payment methods), you’ll be able to pay for your commissions in confidence, in a way that suits YOU.

credit_cards_10172013.png

Dispute Resolution

As an artist, trading safely and not getting screwed over is important to you – after all, all it takes is one bad experience to put you off from sharing your work with others. Our professional dispute resolution team is there to help you every step of the way. Our team has had many years of experience in helping artists and site users resolve their differences amicably and constructively, and will always seek out a constructive resolution for all parties. Consistency and Accountability are very important to us, and we know they’re important to you: our procedures and policies will be specifically tailored to ensure that you get predictable results, every time. What’s more is we’ll be clearly outlining the standards of behavior we expect from both buyers and sellers – so you’ll always know where you stand, and what’s expected of you.

commissioning_evalion_4.gif

As a commissioner, you know how important getting what you asked for is – especially when deadlines slip, when ‘things come up’ for the artist, and that sometimes your needs change. Our dispute resolution team understands these dynamics, and want to ensure you are treated fairly as well as have an opportunity to make things right. If you have a problem with an artist, you can ‘flag’ the transaction – at which point one of out disputes team will take a look, and address the issue raised with both parties. What’s more is we’ll be clearly outlining your responsibilities, so you can be sure that you’re doing the right thing.

 

Buyer & Seller Protection

Part of our commitment to artists is to make sure that you’re covered in any eventuality. Our Seller Protection program will protect you from ‘bad deals’ that can burn you when doing a commission directly with a customer. Commissioner made a payment using a stolen credit card, but you completed the work as per the agreement and rules? We’ve got you covered. Did your part, but the customer’s changed their mind and doesn’t want it any more? You’ll still get paid. Sell with confidence – and focus on your craft!

Commissioners: You’re putting money on the line, and want to be sure you don’t have a bad experience. We want the same – and as such, we back up every transaction you make with our Buyer Protection program. Commission an artist, but they never finish the job? Receive a full refund for work not yet completed. Make payment, but get something substantially different from what you agreed on? Get your money back – at no risk to you. Simply ensure you follow our guidance on successful commissioning (and our rules), and you’ll always be covered – risk free.

We have had many years of experience in covering these sorts of transaction issues, which while representing a very small percentage of transactions, are often very disruptive, time consuming and difficult to fix. Because we’re offering a paid service, we are able to cover these losses ourselves – resulting in more confidence and safety for everyone.

Simple to use, with clear, fair fees

We do not charge a monthly fee, show ads, sell your data or force you to answer surveys in order to use the site or these tools. Instead, we charge a per-transaction fee for every commission made through our service. Our pricing is a flat percentage – and is in line with other competing services that allow all forms of content, such as Patreon. Full details and pricing will be coming at launch – but we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

This simple, transparent pricing allows us to focus on producing great tools, and by providing those services to artists and commissioners, allows artists to charge a premium for their work, in return for the convenience and benefits a dedicated platform for marketing yourself and your work provides. We’ve chosen to support the project ourselves and invest in its future rather than request donations or crowdfunding, because we believe the site will earn back its development and maintenance costs all on its own – and that it ensures we’ll be motivated to make the site as great as it can be.

What’s more is Furry Network is “By the Fandom, For the Fandom” – decisions and management are performed by people intimately familiar with how our community works – and we’re not here to squeeze every last penny out of you. We’re in for the long haul – and we believe that providing great tools will more than pay for itself both commercially and in overall positive effect on the Fandom as a whole.

What value do you bring to the table?

We bring our dedication, resources and commitment to the long-term success of the Furry Fandom – and have a long track record of making things like this happen, as well as following up to make sure things are working right. By providing a platform for artists and commissioners to perform commercial transactions safely, the value we bring is ‘reducing the friction of commerce’ – which means more art, and more fun!

Conclusion

We hope this has been an interesting insight into how we hope to change the status quo in the Fandom through our commissioning service, and that it’s given you the same injection of excitement as it has for us. As always, we welcome comments, questions and feedback via email [varka at furrynetwork dot com]  and our Twitter account – and if you’d like to help test out our commissions system before it’s released, drop us a DM or email with an explanation of your track record, a brief explanation of your involvement in commissioning, and why we should pick you!

Thanks!

-Varka and the Furry Network team

 

 

 

Holiday Update: Submission Inbox, Navigation & polish

Hello everyone!

Today we are proud to announce our latest round of new features and tweaks, assisted by the feedback and input you’ve given us though the ‘feedback’ button on the site. We’ve also finished a rough draft of the ‘commission’ system, and will be testing it out and gathering feedback with a carefully selected group of users. Of course, we’ll be collecting screenshots and preparing a few demos of how it works to show you all over the next few days. So far – it’s looking awesome!

Submissions Inbox & Notifications

Many users have contacted us about submissions, and how it’s not clear where you go to see your ‘submissions inbox’. As a result, we’ve reworked the “Activity Feed” page to relate more to “What’s New” – and give you a familiar Inbox-style way of keeping up to date on new content from those you follow in the Fandom.

submissions_inbox

You can now remove items from your “What’s New” feed, much like an inbox – which is great for keeping track of new art and working through it at your own pace. We have a bunch of tweaks in the works for making this aspect of the site better, including ‘select all/none’ options for categories, and numbers to show you how many items are new – and of course the familiar gallery view will still be available to see artwork from people you’re following (hint: click on ‘artwork’, then select ‘following’ from the menu)

Screenshot 2015-12-20 22.23.01

A proper notification area of the site is coming soon, and will let you know of all activity that relates to your account (new followers, new comments on your work, new faves of your uploads, etc), together with useful statistics, like how many views each submission has. We are expecting great things!

Posts have been revamped

Posts (similar to Journals) have been revamped to include permalinks (so you can direct people to a specific post), can be set as adult, are now visible on their own pages, and are linked to from the “What’s New” feed. They’re now subject to content blocking settings, and can be easily filtered!

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 3.01.52 PM

Tickets

You can now see tickets which you’ve sent to the moderation staff, and communicate directly with our moderation team in real-time, right from the Ticket inbox. This makes it easier to work towards resolutions with our staff, and to solve problems in minutes, rather than weeks or months!

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 3.03.34 PM

Character Profile Tweaks

Character profiles have had their navigation updated to allow for more sections to be added in the future (Commissions!) and include submission counts on each tab. When there’s no content for a given tab, it’s hidden automatically – so it’ll only show ‘stories’, ‘multimedia’ etc if there’s something there!

Screenshot 2015-12-20 21.58.33

We are working on some tweaks to the ‘bio’ fields shown on the left, and will be allowing far more customization, to let you show much more content (including icons of friends, and featured submissions). If you’ve already filled out this section, don’t worry – your bio info won’t disappear; it’ll be automatically moved across to the new format when these changes go live.

We’re really excited to see what you do with the bio section – there’s a lot of potential for really expressing yourself, as well as building a really cool looking profile, all within a tidy and easy-to-use interface. No more guessing what to put for ‘tagline’ and ‘bio’ – put whatever you like up!

How do I submit feedback or report a bug?

We continue to recieve a ton of great feedback about every aspect of the site – thank you all! As always, the best way to send in feature requests and bug reports is via the ‘feedback’ button, shown on the left of every page. This is by far the most useful way for us to collect data on what to fix; we always advise using this method to report things to do with the site, as it lets us categorize and sort them effectively to direct our efforts.

feedback_button

If you don’t see the little ‘Feedback’ button (or speech bubble with a camera icon on it), make sure that Adblock, NoScript, Ghostery etc are disabled in your browser. Similar plugins also block the feedback tool by default – so please double check to make sure it’s not being automatically hidden by your ad blocker of choice.

 

How do I request a beta key?

As always, you can request a Beta access key for the site from our homepage. Simply put in your email address, and we’ll send you an email in a day or two with your very own access key!

Screenshot 2015-10-28 21.34.27

Full Changelog

  • “My Feed” page has been renamed to “What’s New”
  • Users now have the ability to remove items from What’s New, much like an inbox
  • Coming Soon: number of items in the What’s New feed, notifications for new items, and count of items by category
  • Posts are revamped to include permalinks for sharing, can be set as adult, are now viewable on their own pages and linked from the newsfeed, and can be blocked content settings.
  • Users can now see tickets they’ve submitted to admin across the site and can communicate with admin directly through the ticket inbox
  • An “up” button was added to gallery views on submissions pages for quick navigation back to where a user entered a gallery
  • Character profiles have updated navigation to allow for more sections to be added in the future (commissions!) and include submission counts on tabs with tabs hidden when no content has been added by the character. Of note: Bio fields are still available in user profiles and will be migrated over with the addition of custom/key value fields in the next release. No one has lost their bio information, it’s just not currently being displayed until we have that functionality fully built out.
  • Staff badges were added to user tickets
  • Adult content is now being blocked on stories

Next Steps & Future Progress

Our development team is taking a well-earned break for the next two weeks, and will be back in action in the first week of January. We’ll be spending the holiday period getting feedback and collecting tweaks for the Commissions aspect of the site, as well as developing (and testing!) rules and a Code of Conduct for commissions. As a furry-specific commissioning system of this extent has not been done before, we want to make sure that it maintains our commitment to safety, confidence and security in buying and selling commissions. This will be a complex task, but is one we feel will be totally worthwhile!

Thank you everyone for your patience! It’s been a long road since we’ve started, but we’re confident that you’ll love the site more and more as we near our official launch.

-Varka and the Furry Network team

December Site Update: Bug fixes!

Hello everyone~

It’s been another busy few weeks for us; we’ve been polishing story support, and getting a bunch of progress made on the final piece of the Furry Network puzzle: commissioning!

Progress on Commissioning

We’re turning our focus to finishing the Commissions support, including functionality to request a quote, upload files, have a conversation, view message history, the commissions queue and filtering functions on the commission list. We’re really excited about this part of the site – we believe it has the potential to revolutionize how commissions are done in the Fandom, and want it to be as good as it can be.

Our payment processor went live yesterday, and we can now officially process credit and debit cards for payment of commissions! This was the one of the more difficult pieces of the puzzle to make happen: given the wide variety of content in the Fandom, we wanted to ensure that we could reliably continue to process payments on your behalf – without the risk of being ‘cut off’ for issues related to the nature of furry content.

We expect to do another gradual beta test of this functionality, first with staff and people directly involved in the project, then a carefully selected list of testers, before finally turning it loose in a ‘playground’ format (no real money exchanged) to see how people use it. We expect this to happen in the run-up to the winter holidays.

Once we’re confident it’s working as it should, we’re going to invite some content creators to try accepting some commissions through it ‘for real’ -as with any system that handles money, it’s important that we thoroughly test it before currency flows, so we expect this to take a few weeks to get right, both from a technical and a policy standpoint. Fortunately our team is no stranger to mission-critical, payment handling code – we expect this to go pretty smoothly.

Tweaks and General Improvements

We’ve updated the popularity algorithm to show content from the last month, instead of ‘all time’ – this should make the popular content feed more relevant and fresh!

Screenshot 2015-12-07 10.38.03.png

 

What we’re working on now

We’re focusing primarily on the Commissions functionality, but we’re also making progress on a number of improvements:

Posts

We’re building out the ‘posts’ functionality a little more, giving them permalinks and the ability to flag them as adult content when you post. These refinements should help them feel more polished and permanent.

We’re experimenting with different ways of encouraging both long-form ‘blog post’ style content, used for announcing and discussing things, and shorter ‘social-media-style’ individual posts, used for chatting with others and speaking your mind. Getting the balance between art site and social site is important to us – and we think building the site with both of these uses in mind is key to this.

Notifications

We’ve read through a lot of feedback about notifications on the site, and are currently designing some improvements which should make it a lot easier for everyone to understand and use.

Many people reported that notifications could use some tweaking: we’re planning on building a specific ‘notifications center’ for Furry Network, that incorporates a lot of the feedback we’ve gotten about what people want to be notified about (namely, things that relate directly to you / your work), and to tweak the Feed page to be more content oriented.

As always, we’re committed to getting this right – so we’re going to be getting the design work done on this (as well as consulting with people on how it should work), before we build it.

Sending us Feedback

After the release of Stories, we received a ton of great feedback about every aspect of the site – thank you all! As always, the best way to send in feature requests and bug reports is via the ‘feedback’ button, shown on the left of every page. This is by far the most useful way for us to collect data on what to fix; we always advise using this method to report things to do with the site, as it lets us categorize and sort them effectively to direct our efforts.

feedback_button

If you don’t see the little ‘Feedback’ button (or speech bubble with a camera icon on it), make sure that Adblock or Ghostery is disabled in your browser. Similar plugins also block the feedback tool by default – so please double check to make sure it’s not being automatically hidden by your ad blocker of choice.

 

Requesting a key

As always, you can request a Beta access key for the site from our homepage. Simply put in your email address, and we’ll send you an email in a day or two with your very own access key!

Screenshot 2015-10-28 21.35.18

 

Full Changelog

  • Continued work on frontend and backend for commissions support including adding components for quotes and uploads, conversations, message interface and history, commissions queue and list filtering
  • Updated popularity algorithm from all time to previous one month
  • Began building posts permalink pages to increase functionality of this content type to include ability to mark as adult, posts will be displayed in Story format with permalink and adult content blocking will be enabled
  • User ban function now available for admins of site (currently blocks user from logging into the site but leaves all content)
  • Flagging and flag reasons have been added to Stories and Multimedia for site administration
  • Support added for linking embedded images in profiles, Stories and posts so users can link to friends’ accounts, artwork samples on FN or point to external links
  • Pagination was added to submission manager for easier scrolling of large submission galleries
  • Foreign languages now supported in profiles
  • Various other bug fixes and improvements including removing the ability to promote a user’s own drafts

 

Thank you for your continued support! Together we’ll make Furry Network awesome!

-Varka and the Furry Network team

Big update: Stories, Multimedia, Audio all live!

Hi everyone!

This week we have a huge update – with too many things to mention in one blog post. You’ll have to experiment with the site to find them all!

As a significant milestone towards our final release, this has been a big step forward: we are proud to present you with the fruits of our labor over the past few weeks.

Multimedia Support

We now have built-in support for video, GIF, audio and Flash file types!

FN_multimedia.gif

This is a big and exciting feature for us, and a significant upgrade from the previous art-only experience on Furry Network! We value contributions in many different formats; we’re not just an art site and we believe in supporting your creativity – whatever form it’s in.

We’re very excited to hear from you all what you think – as your feedback is going to help steer our content support in the right direction. As always we encourage bug reports, critique and suggestions via the ‘Feedback’ button on the left hand side of the site. (It shows up as a speech bubble with a camera icon in it on mobile – still works the same way though!)

Suggest Tags

By popular request, you can now suggest tags on all content types, including artwork, photos, stories and multimedia! This allows all users of the site to contribute to artists’ work, by tagging it for easier search, and makes it easier for artists to gain exposure for their work.

FN_commtags.gif

Of course,you’ll be able to turn this feature on or off – this will be coming (along with broader privacy controls) in a future update, once we’ve worked the kinks out.

Large Upload Support

We improved file uploads, adding better large file support to accommodate video and audio. You should now be able to upload files of up to 200MB in size, in one go.

Acceptable Upload Policy & Code of Conduct

We have put together our first draft of our Acceptable Upload Policy (what you can post on Furry Network), and our Code of Conduct (what behavior we expect of everyone on Furry Network). We have incorporated aspects from many other sites, including ones that our administration has experience in taking care of before, but like any first draft, we’re sure there’ll be a few rough edges (and edge cases)!

We welcome your input and feedback; we know the importance and value of a mature, accountable, well-executed administration and want everyone to have a good time, and we know how important transparency and accountability is to everyone, so we want to make sure we get this right. If you have questions you’d prefer to ask in private, you can send us email (varka@furrynetwork.com) or drop us a direct message on Twitter. We are always happy to get input and answer your questions/concerns – especially as these are very early days indeed for the site and its fledgling community.

Artwork to Photo Migration

You can now quickly and easily reclassify content, between ‘Artwork’ and ‘Photos’. This is our second most-requested feature, and one we’re happy to say has received quite a bit of polish to make it as easy to use and as smooth as possible.

FN_Reclassify.gif

You can change multiple submissions at once back and forth between Artwork and Photos – simply select several images (by clicking on them), then select the appropriate option from the dropdown for content type, as shown above, before hitting save. This should help a lot for cases where photos have been automatically imported into the wrong category.

Faster Messaging Updates

Messages you send to other users via the site are now automatically updated in real time – this should make holding a conversation smoother and more enjoyable!

For the more technically inclined, we implemented this using ‘web sockets’, which has given us a significant performance improvement over our earlier ‘polling’ method, which previously could take up to 30 seconds to complete.

Getting a Beta Key

We have given out a ton of beta keys over the past few weeks, and received lots of great feedback and plenty of excited notes of thanks from everyone. You all rock. We’ve also managed to work our way through the backlog of applicants, which now means that you should receive your beta key within 48 hours of applying for one via our homepage.

Simply fill out our ‘Request Beta Access’ form with your email address, make sure you got a confirmation email, and you should get a key automatically in the next 48 hours or so. Not getting a confirmation email, or didn’t get your key within that time period? Drop us a message on Twitter and we’ll give you a hand.

 

Full Changelog

  • Multimedia content support added for video, GIF, Flash and audio files
  • Community tags now present on all content types including artwork, photos, stories and multimedia
  • Minor UI changes to improve Stories viewing and functionality
  • Large uploads are now functioning and performance has been improved to accommodate for video and audio uploads
  • Various bug fixes and improvements across the site including displaying Stories in activity feeds
  • Various collections bug fixes and improvements have been deployed, including added ability to manually organize and save collections in a specific order
  • Stories can now be added as a content type with markdown support and browsed throughout the site (manual input of story content for now only)
  • Stories can be viewed with colors inverted, serif fonts or in “cozy mode” for optimized reading (and the site remembers your settings)
  • Stories can be organized into Collections for grouping as needed and can be viewed on an individual character’s profile
  • Web sockets were added to private messages to speed up performance
  • Artwork and photos can now be easily reclassified if imported into the incorrect content category
  • Added flavor text to characters and import sections for additional information and troubleshooting

 

Thank you everyone – and we hope you enjoy the site!

-Varka and the Furry Network team

November Update: Tweaks & Bug Fixes!

Hello everyone!

It’s been another busy week for Furry Network – we’ve given out a ton of beta codes, gotten a ton of new users set up on the site, squashed a ton of bugs, and have been working away on getting new features ready for release!

We’re working hard to get keys to as many people as possible as quickly as we can – and have been sending them out to people who completed our key request form every single day this week.

Obviously we want to get the door open for everyone as soon as we can; the site is developing and evolving quickly in response to your feedback – we know you want in, and we want you in as well.

How do I get a beta key?

To get a Beta key for Furry Network, simply enter your email address into our key request form on our homepage:

Screenshot 2015-10-28 21.35.18

You’ll receive a confirmation email, letting you know we’ve received your request. Our wait time for keys is a few days at the moment – we’re handing them out steadily every day. You can get a heads up for when keys go out by following @FurryNetwork on Twitter.

Site Growth

We’ve been growing rapidly over the last week – over 53,000 new submissions, taking us to just under 150,000 pieces of creative content on Furry Network. This is a huge flood of content – and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the site has room to grow.

Screenshot 2015-11-06 15.06.46

We’re excited for the future of the site and for what this means for you all – more of your favorite artists posting their works, and more of your friends on Furry Network!

We now have a Twitter hashtag to help you find your friends on Furry Network – #FriendsOnFN:

FriendsOnFN twitter feed

If you want to let people know you’ve moved over, consider making tweeting a link to your profile page along with the hashtag #FriendsOnFN, or making a post on the sites you currently use, linking to your profile page, so your friends (and fans) can find you!

What we’ve updated, and what we’re working on

We’ve been focusing on achieving a healthy balance between tweaks, bug fixes and improvements, and development of new features needed for launch. Over the next few weeks you’ll see some of our ‘known issues’ gradually tackled – and some exciting new features (including Story support) come out as well!

Here’s a list of the changes you can see on the site, right now:

  • Display and character names now appear on Community section for easier browsing of site users:

user_icon_improvements

  • Bug fixes on captions on Collection thumbnails causing them not to appear
  • Bug fixes on tags causing them to hide artwork when logged out of the site
  • Bug fixes on activity feeds for issues with hiding adult content and expanding comments when not logged in
  • Added more resources to import system, to make it faster
  • Various performance improvements site-wide

Known Issues

  • The site importer can take some time for your import to go through. Be patient – it queues requests, and it may take an hour or two during busy times for your job to make it to the front of the line. We’re being careful with the rate we hand out keys to ensure that everyone gets a fast import! There are future improvements in the works to make it clearer what’s going on. We’ve also dramatically increased its speed over the last week.
  • Comments, faves and promotes on your own work don’t show up in your Feed currently. This is a bug, not a feature!
  • There is currently no way to delete characters. Of course, we’re working on a fix.
  • 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. We’re considering some options on this.
  • There’s currently no way to see who faved or promoted a submission, or how many views it has. This will be implemented in a bit.

How to give us feedback, or report a problem

If you have feedback, a feature request, a suggestion or just want to tell us what you think, please use our ‘feedback’ tool shown on the left hand side of every page of the site. These reports get filed and categorized automatically in our bug tracker!

feedback_button

If you’re having trouble using the site (and it’s not one of the known issues listed above), you can hit us up via Twitter and receive a (usually very prompt) response! We also welcome praise and messages of support. ❤

Thank you all for being so patient while we work on making Furry Network as good as it can be!

– Varka and the Furry Network team