It is already the second week of March here in Tucson and we enjoyed a great occurence here a few weeks ago: snow. Literally, snow in Tucson and not just in the mountains surrounding. Of course, we were all up in Phoenix when it happened and drove back to Tucson to morning after to see it everywhere. As expected, by the end of the day it had all melted.
This latest version of the site posted today includes again an extensive list of new and upgraded features; for the particulars, again, do see the Version History page. Many of the new features were posted incrementally over the last months in our Facebook group. The use of incremental updates expanded considerably with almost all features in the site now implemented directly as they are built; so, no more waiting for a complete new version of the site for new features, they are added continuously within the site.
Probably the single greatest addition to the site recently has been "Submitted Changes". Basically, anyone with an account can now modify data directly, no more need for "editor privileges". Such data changes are made available for our core of volunteer editors to review, and subsequently approve or deny. The tools used for submitting changes are the exact tools the volunteer editors use to manage the data. We have almost completely covered all of the data within an Issue for submitted changes and will expand this to include all of the data within the site in the coming months.
We have expanded the agreements we have with data providers, also. One new data provider has been added and the agreements we have with two others has been expanded. The result is that we now have access to a much larger set of data for comic books and have slowly already begun to integrate some of this expanded data within the site. The next few months will be "fun" as we further integrate more into the site for you to see.
Internally, we increased yet again our storage capacity for the site. The continued activity of the volunteer editors to enter and update DCBs (Digital Comic Books) has been truly amazing, even with this having been a "feature" limited only to a subset of the volunteer editors. With this latest expansion of storage capacity, we have decided to finally begin moving ahead with opening up the DCBs to all users of the site. So, in the coming months, we should finally be seeing many downloadable comic books from the site, pretty much anything that is already in the public domain.
Looking forward, we are seeing more inquiries about sales of comic books. All of the features in the site has been, and always will be, free for anyone to use. Being able to go directly though from Issues listed in the site to find sources to purchase it from seems to be a growing request from our users. We shall have to see what we can come with to help address this obvious need from our users. Having seen our user base go thru 50,000 registered accounts late last year, this is a need that we both expected and hoped could be staved off as long as possible (i.e. we do not want to have particular "preferred sources" for people to purchase from).
Your feedback is most welcome on what you would like to see in the site and how the current functionality is working (or not working) for you. We look forward to hearing from you!