Hello boys and girls,
It was 7 years ago today that the site officially opened.
The last couple of months were a bit difficult. First the new server developed a hardware problem in one of its hard drives. We managed to fix it and replace the defective drive without data loss, but it's been a bit hectic and I spent way more time on the line with our data center sweating that I would normally want to.
Also, with the new server came a new IP address. Unbeknownst to me, that netblock has been, at some point, used by a spam outfit, and basically everyone on the internet had us on block lists (except for google, because they actually know how to filter spam). This severely limited the site's ability to accept new members while I was scrambling to get the new IP address unblocked from large providers like hotmail and yahoo. Some were straightforward, some less so. In the end I gave up and instead got our old IP address back. Verizon is still blocking us, and I gave up on trying to reason with them. (Seriously, fuck Verizon.)
You may have noticed some small, incremental updates to the site. There is a largish backlog of improvements for me to do, but the amount of time that I can devote to site updates has been fairly limited recently. I will try to do more in 2016.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the translation and support team of MeetFighters. You guys rock, the help you provide is worth your weight in gold. :) Also big thanks to everyone who has helped financially or sent me messages of encouragement.
On to the next 7 years! :)
This weekend MeetFighters has moved to a faster server. This was made possible by all your generous donations to the site. Big thanks to everyone who pitched in!
The switch was a largish undertaking involving operation system upgrade and also updating many parts of what comprises the MeetFighters service, including the video streaming and chat parts. As with all major changes, there are bound to be some snags. Please let us know if you hit any.
Finishing touches to the new message center are coming up. The switch to the new code will be happening in October.
Unfortunately the mobile app is currently on hold, but we hope to resume work on it in a few months' time.
That's all, folks!
There's been a bunch of changes since the last news post, so it's about time I write a new one.
Today we release the 0.2 alpha version of the Android App for MeetFighters. Lots of bugfixes and new features are available. Please provide feedback in the in-app form, or on this page. If you are using the previous alpha release, please update to the latest. The app supports Android version 4.1 and above.
One new feature of note is "MeetFightR", which shows members in your vicinity.
You can download the app from this location: https://www.meetfighters.com/Content/MeetFighters.apk
I was becoming concerned that the Interest Groups were not, well, interesting enough. Part of that stems from the fact that it is hard to keep up with stuff that goes on in your groups. Maybe someone posted a new photo yesterday, maybe there's a new forum thread that you might like to read. It's difficult to keep track. Sure, there's some help on the "What's new?" page, but it's not enough. A lot of groups with potential end up being little more than glorified badges on the bottom of your profile page.
To help members keep track of their groups, I have implemented daily notifications. I am very happy with the result: a lot of groups have become a lot more lively, discussions are more active, photos get more comments, etc. Some complained that it is not possible to turn these notifications off. It is true, however: deleting one extra message per day should not be a burden. I should also point out that if you don't care what's going on in your groups then maybe you are not so interested in them after all.
I also took the opportunity to merge some existing groups. These groups had similar names and largely overlapping memberships. Merging them into one made all of them more useful.
To better aid your ranged searches, MeetFighters will offer to automatically update your location when you log in. This does not work on every browser, and the user can disallow the page access to his location. You can enable or disable this feature on your Site Settings page.
To protect your privacy, your location will not be shown exactly to other members, it is always shifted randomly by up to a kilometer. (I realize this does not help much if you live alone in the desert.)
Forum / blog comments have received a redesign, one that I feel is a big improvement over the previous one. The commenter's thumbnail photo is show, with the comment itself in a speech bubble-like box next to it.
The new design also shows the number of past opponents that the commenter had. I think this is great, after all this site is about meeting fighters.
Speaking of meeting fighters, a few weeks ago I have added a page for The Hundreds Club, a very special club of MeetFighters members who have achieved 100+ past opponents. At the time of writing the club has 57 very special members, 9 of which have over 200 opponents. That's just amazing. I congratulate you all, enjoy the purple star of membership on your profile!
That's all folks!
As promised in last week's news post, and previously voted on here and discussed here, XXX Galleries are here. Members can now post their not-so-family-friendly, NSFW photos in their profile galleries if they so desire. More power to them. However, this is not a "core site feature"; there are two limitations:
Last week, I asked you about Virtual profiles. The news post sparked an interesting discussion too, I thank everybody who took the time to give their opinion, legal advice (that really happened) or just gripe about toe topic.
Based on the comments, I feel that my intention was somewhat misinterpreted. The intention was not to eliminate the type of person who would consciously and deliberately mislead others. That is a different sort of animal that needs a more nuanced approach than a new profile category. The intent was to let those who just want to chat and cyber be honest about it without retribution, more than anything.
In any case, the poll is now closed, and the results are in:
|Votes||% of votes||Weighted %|
|I don't know||152||21%||15%|
|Other, see comment below||9||1%||0%|
I interpret these results as a no to Virtual Profiles. I suppose it is still possible for someone intent on cyber to enjoy the site, by adding the related interests to his profile, so there's that. I want to run a site that is enjoyable for all members, scammers and spammers excepted.
I have been making some incremental improvements and fixes to the new message page. It is fairly feature complete now, I think it is a big improvement over our previous offerings. It is now the default mail page for mobile users. Please let me know if you find bugs or have difficulty using it.
That's all for this week.
The day finally came when we reached 10,000 members. That is cause for celebration, so please pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage, whatever that might be.
I won't be going on about how much I appreciate the help of everyone who helped make this happen. If you care, you can read about all that here. Enough said. I want to talk about some of the things I'm planning for the near future, instead.
I want to deploy the new Beta message center sometime Real Soon. It's coming along nicely, just needs some finishing touches before I'll make it the default mail page. The old message page will remain available for those who prefer a more traditional interface, at least for now.
The mobile app is currently on hold, because the developer is otherwise engaged, but despair not: development will pick up again and we hope to release a 1.0 version at the end of summer.
Fake profiles continue to be a problem. They are systemic in sites such as MeetFighters and eliminating them completely is far from trivial. My estimation is that about 5% of all profiles here are fake in at least one of the following senses:
Obviously these profiles will be not be meeting anyone here for real. So what do they want? "Cyber wrestling" continues to be a popular entertainment (at least 7.5% of members likes cyber wrestling, my estimate is that the real number is around 10%. I must state that there is nothing wrong with cyber talk, if that is what someone enjoys.). Some fake profiles just want to fuck with people, or enjoy some attention that they are not getting in their normal walks of life. The rest want to give the site a try before they create their real accounts.
The site rules are rather strict against fake profiles. You can get suspended for posting fake information or web pics in your profile. Etc. Unfortunately this does not make the problem go away, they just try again with a different identity until one day they slip under the radar somehow. So I've been thinking about finding a solution that makes more people happy. (Obviously I cannot accommodate everyone.)
I am proposing a new category of profiles, I call them Virtual Profiles. The rules for "Virtual Profiles" differ from regular profiles in a few key concepts:
So, what do you think? Keep in mind that this is an attempt to "legalize" some "fake profiles" and help everyone. The idea is not to punish, but to enable while keeping the original purpose of the site intact. This new feature will also allow me to better deal with fake profiles: I can simply convert them to virtual profiles, and everyone is happy. (Maybe. I don't know.)
As always, your comments are appreciated.