Category Archives: Meta

An Update From the Founder

Hi all, it’s been a long time since I chimed in ’round these parts, so I thought I should give everyone a quick update on where things stand here at HeroMachine World Headquarters, also known as my kitchen.

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No Community Submissions

I’m being literal here. I got two people submit stuff in week one, and since then nothing. Ok, Skybandit did send in a number of his Movie reviews, but the idea here was not just to showcase one community members work (as good as they are), because otherwise we’d have just given Skybandit a blog spot. So what I will do is, first off say thanks to Skybandit and Herr D for participating, I really appreciate you helping out, and second, declare the submissions open again (here’s the link for rules and stuff if you’re interested: Link). However, as I’m not expecting anything neither should you guys. If I do get sent something (because I know that some people have expressed interest but haven’t been able to put something together yet) I will feature it, but this is not going to be a weekly post anymore. I have sorted out something to fill tomorrows slot on the blog which I’m sure people will like, but unfortunately this looks like the end for Community Submissions, which is a shame.

And that brings me on to my next point, which I will try to be fair and civil about (something which I spectacularly failed to do in one of my DeviantART journals last week). The reason I started the Community Submissions was because people were complaining that there wasn’t enough content on the Blog anymore, so I thought “hey, why don’t we let people decide what the want to feature on the blog by letting them submit it themselves”. And when I suggested the idea it was met with great enthusiasm. So for it to only last two weeks is hugely disheartening. Last week I was quite prepared to just give up all of my blog posting duties, with exception of the CDC’s, because of it, though I have changed my mind since then, but my reasoning for doing so still stands. I honestly don’t know if half the stuff I do is well received or not. The first Community Submission got a few comments, but the one last week got none. The Random Panels get a few comments, but it is so hard to find ones that a) haven’t been used before by Jeff or in one of the Caption Contests and b) that I can come up with something witty to comment on in just a short title. And as for the Doctor Who reviews. Yes I know not everybody watches the show, but that is the only thing I do on the blog that I actually brought to the blog because I genuinely wanted to do it and I know there are more people on this site that watch the show that don’t comment. Even though we don’t often see eye to eye, Malfars comments on my reviews are usually the highlight of my week in terms of the blog, because it’s the only proper interaction and discussion that any of the blog posts provide anymore. That’s what I wanted the Community Submissions to be, a chance for the community to get together and discuss our individual interests. But instead what I got was a stunning and definitive yes followed by a stunning and even more definitive un-caring shrug. Thanks guys. What do you want me to do? And this is an honest question directed at you guys, all of you. You want more content. Well we have a new moderator in Linea24, who is hopefully going be bringing something to the blog at some point. And now I just want to know what you want me to do. Because obviously nothing I’ve been coming up with recently is clicking with you guys. Make your suggestions in the comments and I’ll put together a poll in a few days time and you can all vote on what you want to see brought to the blog, provided the ideas are feasible obviously.

Anyway, to sum up (incase people just want to skip all the content to this post and just want the important points): There isn’t going to be a Community Submissions post tomorrow, but people can still submit stuff if they wish. Leave suggestions for new Blog topics in the comments below.

Anyway, see you all tomorrow for my special Community Submission substitute. And sorry for being a grouch during this post. It doesn’t feel good, but hopefully it gets the point across.

JR out.

ATTN: Moderators and Blog Authors

Forum Moderators: 

JR & dblade; Jeff has restored your permission levels to moderator so now you once again have the ability to moderator posts in the forums. If you need help figuring out the new moderation tools drop me an email Kaldath@Heromachine.com

HammerKnight & Djuby: You both have also been restored to moderator status. I know you have both stepped down due to real life issues that have made it so you could not devote the time you used to to the forum, but you both are very valuable members of the community and after talking with Jeff we decided to let you remain as Honorary / part time moderators. If either of you would like to have your moderatorship fulling revoked drop me an email and I will see to it, otherwise you are stuck with us!!!!

Moderators and Blog Authors: With the forums no longer allowing private messaging, at least until Ben finishes writing a new plug in for it, Jeff and I will need a list of all your email addresses so we can contact you at need. Please drop us both an email at Kaldath@Heromachine.com  and afdstudios@gmail.com

 

LASTLY

I am looking for one or two of our female community members to join our Staff here as Moderators and also possible Blog authors. If any of you ladies are interest in the position drop me an email and we will discuss it.

Forum Width

With the new forums back up and zippier than ever thanks to the Ben the Badass, we’re having a debate about whether they should go full width or remain in the current two-column setup. I’ve kept the side bar because I thought it would be handy to have the list of current contests, recent posts, and common links. But as Ben points out, most forums are full width — if you’re in the forums, you probably aren’t super concerned with the bloggy stuff.

So I figured I’d keep with longstanding HeroMachine traditions and ask — Which do you prefer?

“We can rebuild him. We have the technology.”

Good morning!

Welcome to the new HeroMachine. We know it pretty much looks the same, but we’ve rebuilt the internals of our site from the ground up, including enabling new forums with all the old content imported.

The site is running a lot faster than before, and should be far more stable.

However, there will undoubtedly be bugs. Things to watch out for:

  • Your user login may have disappeared. We had to clear out a ton of spam users. If we caught you by accident in the sweep, we’re sorry. Send me a message via the contact form with your username, and I’ll do what I can to re-enable your account.
  • Your password may not work. Reset it. :)
  • You may find threads in the forum claiming they were starting by some strange, mysterious figure called “hmadmin.” The import process wasn’t perfect — pulling in 40,000+ messages took a little over eight hours of processing time by our server, and some stuff was bound to be missed.
  • You may find missing images. Please report them to us via the contact form.
  • To combat the onslaught of spammers (I literally had two register while I was putting the site back up within minutes of each other), we’ve enabled a CAPTCHA on registration. It seems to work fine; let us know if you have any issues logging in or registering.
  • Please report any other bugs or performance issues on this post as a comment, or use the contact form.

We really appreciate everybody’s patience while we upgraded the site, and we hope you all enjoy the shiny new code that’s running it.

New Blog Posts?

Hey guys, JR here and I have a question to ask y’all.

When I posted the most recent Character Of The Week, I posited the idea of bringing it back as a weekly blog post, rather than a sporadic thing posted when I feel like it, and the response has been pretty affirmative. So, I think COTW will now take up a place on the blog each Friday. However, one of the things that a number of people have said is that they’d like to see more topical posts on the blog, like there were last summer. My question is, is this a feeling that is shared by the majority?

Now I’m certainly willing to do more stuff, I have a bit of free time at the moment, and Kaldath has said that he’d be willing to do more than just the Caption Contest, but the thing is, we’re not exactly sure what to do. I had a load of topics going last summer, but apart from the Big Question, there wasn’t much response to many of them and even the interest in the Big Question waned after a while (although I stopped it because I had ran out of topics I wanted to discuss/ felt it was worth discussing). The same goes for the topics Kaldath used to run, such as the Anime Talks, Poll Position or the redesign contests. The problem here is, we can’t tell how popular a topic/ blog series is. There isn’t a view counter/ page visit counter that we can just look at, so we can’t tell how many times a certain post has been viewed and the only way we can gauge a response is through comments left and, if we’re being honest, the only posts that ever get above 10 comments are the Character Design Contests, which won’t be going anywhere anyway. If we were to bring back old topics or start up new ones, it would need to be a two way street. We can’t keep giving you content if there’s no response to it, it just feels like “why are we even bothering if no-one’s looking at it”. You get where I’m coming from?

Then we have the problem of what topics do you want. I will admit I messed up the last weekly blog post I tried to get started, the Sharing Day Video Posts. Problem there was at the time I was finishing off uni, so I didn’t have all that much time to do them in and when I did get time, something would always prevent me doing them properly, so one week I ended up not posting it and then I just fell off the ball and it went away. I could bring that back if people are interested, because I seem to remember there was a bit of interest in that. As for other stuff, you guys will have to tell us what you want. We can bring back some old topics (Big Question, What Were They Thinking, Sci-Fi Corner, Anime Talk etc.) or we could do something new, which you can give out some ideas. We could even change up a few of the old topics, for example maybe instead of Sci-Fi Corner there could be a Fantasy based blog series, discussing fantasy tropes and topics (though Kaldath would probably have to do this one, I think he’s a bit more up on fantasy than I am). The one thing I’m not open to bringing back as a weekly series is the Power User Profiles. I originally only intended to do a limited 5 profile series, but my inner-fanboy got a hold and I ended up adding 15 or so names to the list of PUP’s, so I think it’s best we leave that alone for the moment. I’m not saying it’s gone for good, but at the moment I can’t think of anyone who I really want to profile and I don’t want to force it. Besides, with the forums down I don’t have an easy way of contacting people and asking if they would like to do a profile. And finally, and this really is hypothetical and I’m going to completely blindside Jeff and Kaldath with this one, really this will be their call if it were to happen, but I quite like the idea of community submissions. Now, a couple of months back, Herr D sent me over a review of some of the foreign language versions of Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen and, after sending it over to Kaldath, we featured it on the blog. I really like the idea of having community members being featured on the blog, it makes the whole thing more interactive. Of course, we’d have to figure out a way to do this, the stuff featured would have to be topics related to stuff the site deals with (comics, sci-fi, fantasy etc.) and each week one submission would be chosen by the moderators to be featured, rather than just giving everyone permission to post on the blog, because that would be anarchy. This is of course, completely hypothetical at the moment, and if the forums weren’t down I’d have run the idea by Kaldath first, so don’t get your hopes up, it might not happen.

Anyway, sorry for the long rambling post. Let us know what you think about the whole blog post situations, if you would like to see more weekly posts and if so, what?

Forum Non-Update

Regarding the long down time for the forums, I’m sorry for the extended delay. Ben the Awesome Tech Guy and I both work for the same company for our regular jobs and we’ve had a major project that’s due to launch today. That’s taken up all our time, but I’m hopeful that maybe this weekend we can turn our attention back to the forum issue.

We’ve found a replacement for SimplePress (the current blog software) that we hope will put less of a load on the server. We’ve run one sample import and it looked good but we haven’t had time to really dive into it to make sure, since data integrity and the preservation of peoples’ character images is the most important thing.

Thanks for your patience, I know it’s super frustrating.

Today's Downtime.

Good evening!

We’d very sorry for the unexpected downtime today. We discovered a few areas that were causing massive site slowdowns, the biggest one being the forum software. With hundreds of users and gigabytes of data, we’ve simply outstripped the plugins ability to support our users.

For now, the forums are down. We will be investigating other forum software over the next few days and converting the forums over. Rest assured that all your content has been backed-up.

Please stay tuned for further updates. This is a very high priority issue for us, and we appreciate your patience while we move HeroMachine forward with shiny new software.

Bit of Server Tweaking.

Hi!

We just did a bit of server tweaking to address some of the slowdowns people have been experiencing lately. If you run into any issues, please comment on this post.

Thanks!

Weilyn – HeroMachine remembers one of its BEST!!

Today I write to honor the passing  of a member of the HeroMachine Moderation staff, Weilyn. I was saddened today to learn of her passing by a close friend of hers, our very own Stulte who created the image above in memorial to her! When HammerKnight due to health reasons had to step down as moderator for a time leaving the running of this place solely on my shoulders Weilyn was the first person I reached out to and invited to join the Moderation Team here at HeroMachine because I saw how helpful and friendly she was and KNEW she would be a wonderful moderator.

I remember how honored and excited she was to be a moderator and how eager she was to be able to give back to our community and help you all with all things HeroMachine! We private messages back and forth for several days as she grilled me on the things she needed to know to be an effective moderator and on how to posts to the blog and together with Her, Jr, and djuby I felt we had one of the finest group of Mods anywhere on the net!

I don’t know any details of her passing but what I can say is the Weilyn will be missed dearly by many here on this site, and to her friends and family that many be reading this you have my most heart felt condolences! Rest In Peace My Friend!

( Below after the Jump you will find a few of Weilyn’s HeroMachine Creations that I have selected as well as a Link to her Gallery on the forum )

EDIT: Added more of Weilyn’s art below as suggested by Jr. 

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