Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Relaunch Countdown Begins!

It’s been a long-time coming, but the launch of the new Authonomy site is finally upon us.




As well as a redesign, on the new site you’ll find some exciting new features, such as book recommendations based on your reading tastes, the ability to announce the book you’re currently reading on your profile, an improved on-screen reader and the ability to download approved titles onto your eReader.

In the next 48 hours we’ll begin the process of moving all the information – books, profiles, covers, etc – over to the new site. There’s a lot of it, so this is going to take a couple of days. As of the end of July 23rd, content posted on authonomy.com will not automatically be added to the new site. We had the option of taking the site down entirely, but given the volatile nature of these things, we have decided it's better to keep the site live. Throughout most of the transition, Authonomy will be fully functioning, but messages, forum posts, reviews and new book postings and jackets will not be carried across. So, if you’ve got a review to share or a chapter to upload, we’d urge you to wait until the new site is ready before posting it. 

The blog will also remain live throughout the switch over, so check in to find out how everything’s going, and to get tips on how to make the most of the updated site.

We can’t thank you all enough for your patience and for putting up with this clunky old thing whilst we honed the new site. Special thanks goes to those users who completed the various surveys, interviews, and testing sessions, which were fundamental in helping us get to this stage.

Got a question about the new site? Didn't realise a rebuild was coming? Have a read of our Q&A's from earlier this year. 

37 comments:

Darius Stransky said...

Authonomy wrote - " but messages, forum posts, reviews and new book postings and jackets will not be carried across."

Will the 'existing' forum threads still remain?

David O. Olawoyin said...

Exactly when does the present Editor's Desk sequence change? I mean, after the top five make the ED this month, can the next top five expect to make it next month? In other words, when does the new algorithm and HP review system take effect?

19arrondissement said...

I assume uploaded texts will be transferred exactly as is and then we will have the option to revise our pitches within the new limits and edit the text into a single file (or a few files) rather than the existing multiple file format.

Can you tell us about the new reading interface and whether it will allow greater formatting. I'm thinking of centred and justified text and regular line spacing with indents for paragraphs.

Something that would be great is having a sample text uploaded to show us all the possible formatting. Colin.

KJDonovan said...

And here's me just about used to the old system - now I have to familiarise myself to a new one.

Exciting this, eh?

Russell Cruse said...

I can keep my medal, right? Only I just had a cabinet made for it; with glass and everything...

declanconner said...

Cruise, there should be a like button for your comment.

Tonia said...

I have to admit to being a little nervous, being perched on the ED at the moment. The last few months have seen days elapse before the old and new EDs - will this problem be addressed before the new site takes over?

Otherwise - I cant wait to see the new one! Well done.

Tonia

Tonia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Pack said...

Darius: I think we have mentioned before that the forum is enormous so we cannot feasibly take it all to the new site, but that was a while ago now so you may have missed it. The most popular threads will be coming over though.

David: More detail on that to follow but we will be freezing the ED for a while to make sure everything beds in properly, but we will make up for that by giving many books just outside the ED a full review as well.

19: I have uploaded some sample texts in the new site and it worked a dream and retained my formatting. There will be a template you can use as well.

Tonia: See above, the ED will be frozen for a while.

Spilota said...

Hello Scott,
Looking forward to the new site and hoping things will go well. It's been a lot of work for you all and even though we don't always sound that way, we are appreciative of all you and the authonomy team do.
Just one small thing ... I saw you intend to give reviews for 'many books just outside the ED'. Um ... there are some of us who have already reached the ED, earlier this year and maybe even a few from last year, and we haven't received OUR reviews yet. Can you please make sure we get them soon? Before you start on the others? ☺
Thank you!
Spilota

Scott Pack said...

Of course, Spilota, all the reviews will be brought up to date before the next wave. As I have explained before, much as we'd love to promise reviews within a month sometimes the editor doing the review takes longer (they do have a day job after all) and it is a tough call for us to take it off them (if we do, they might not want to review for us again AND it means starting from scratch). We know it is frustrating though, so thanks for your patience.

Lorrii said...

I've not been on the site in a very long time, I'm an early beta member, and really, just lost faith in the whole concept.

I'm also a web usability expert, so I'll be very interested in the new design.

declanconner said...

It must close to going home time in the UK, or will you be working late? How is it progressing? Will we see something tonight?

19arrondissement said...

When can we expect the new site to go online?
I assume you have a timetable for the change, albeit perhaps one you don't want to commit to given the amount of work involved in switching over all the content.
Colin

veronica s said...

Ah, and here I was, ready to join this community. Looking forward to checking in in a couple of days!

Montegomery Thompson said...

July 24 and nothing has changed. Did you guys make it through the tunnel?

authonomy said...

Hi guys, just to confirm, the new site will not be up for another couple of weeks. What we've begun is the transfer of all the data - there is a lot of it, so moving it around takes several days.

19arrondissement said...

Re images in uploaded texts

I note that although the reader cannot display images directly we can put links to images in our texts.

I had assumed the images would be hosted elsewhere on the web, such as on a blog, however, looking at the preview of the new upload page I see 'covers and images'.

Does that mean that although images can't be displayed within the reader Authonomy will be hosting images for our texts?
Colin

19arrondissement said...

Regarding existing uploaded texts.

I note that texts on the new site can be uploaded as one large file, a much better arrangement, in my view.

Concerning existing uploads will Authonomy be merging the individual files or will we need to re-upload our work within the new format.

If the latter, can you say how straightforward that will be.
Colin.

Joshua Roebuck said...

Will the contents of the old site be archived for access, for a limited period of time, at least?

From what I've seen of other complete website re-launches, this is certainly possible.

Perhaps Authonomy could retain a link to the old archive for 2-3 months? Many people have useful info in forums and elsewhere and might not feel the loss of it until it's 'too late'.(especially as there's no definitive list available of what's being transferred and what isn't).

Eliza Moon said...

Will new backings over the next few weeks automatically be carried across, or will they be lost unless individuals replace the book on their shelf?

James Workman said...

I'm part of a book review thread that follows a schedule. If I read your news right, any book-comments made after 23rd July will not be transferred to the new site. Please confirm this or correct it.

Thanks from thirty of us.

Scott Pack said...

Just to clarify, NOTHING you wrote, edited, amended, posted or replied to on the site after the 23rd will appear on the new site.

Imagine that we have taken a snapshot of the site on the 23rd. That's what will be on the new site. Only it will look better!

It was either that or close the entire site down for a week or so.

Spilota said...

Scott, can you please clarify this point ... will new books uploaded after July 23 and new members after July 23 make it to the new site?

19arrondissement said...

My guess would be 'no', but I would anticipate notices as we approach the relaunch telling anyone who has joined since the 23rd, or uploaded, edited, or indeed left anything of any kind upon the site, that it will not be transferred to the new site and they will need to rewrite, rejoin, or whatever once the new site is online.

Put it this way, the train left the Old Authonomy Depot at midnight 23rd and will arrive at New Authonomy Depot in a few weeks. Anything we bring to Old Authonomy after midnight 23rd ain't aboard that train.
Colin.

Scott Pack said...

Spilota, I really thought we had made this clear but apologies if not.

NOTHING, not a thing, bugger all that has been added to the site since the 23rd will appear on the new version. If you have posted a review, uploaded a book, send a message, started a forum thread, anything at all after the 23rd it will not appear on the new site.

We will, of course, remind people of this as we get closer to the launch.

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott,

Earlier you mentioned that the popular threads would be going over to the new site. Does this refer only to the threads which were voted by users to keep awhile back?

Or does it refer to the top twenty threads as of July 23rd?

Regarding the threads that are making it to the new site - are they being transferred to the new site in their entirety, as in from page one on?

Thanks for all your hard work!

Abelardo León González said...

Hi Authonomy team!
When will the migration process be finished?
Regards,
Abelardo.

liot said...

Sorry if this has already been answered elsewhere.

I'm confused. It is clearly stated that nothing put on the current site will be carried over to the new site after 23rd July. I understand that. What I don't understand is why my ratings are moving down. Obviously I see no point in reviewing anyone's work in the interim or adding anything to my work if it is going to be lost. Are we still supposed to be doing reviews and comments in the interim period?

19arrondissement said...

@Liot
Ratings are going up and down because the site is still live for the moment.
In the meantime, I think we can just carry on as normal. A comment (by which I mean a proper critique) on someone's book is valuable to them regardless of the fact it won't transfer to the new site.
Colin

The only thing I wouldn't bother doing at the moment is making significant edits to an existing text or uploading a new text.

E M Delaney said...

Just out of curiosity, let's say a member had a book make the ED two or three years ago, rec'd a review etc,.. and would like to re-submit the same book on the new site(?) I decided to go against the grain and resist the temptation to self-publish 'The Write-In', opting instead to use my review as a guide and spend about two years re-writing it. Can one start over again?

Keiran Proffer said...

The new site was supposed to be working 48 hours after 23 July. It is now 30th. Can Authonomy either tell us when the new site will be up, or hold the change and go back to the old one.
I used to work in computers, and I have had to give up on changes and migrations more time than I can remember due to unforeseen snags.

authonomy said...

@Keiran, not sure where you got the 48 hour deadline from I'm afraid. It takes several days just to move the data, more to upload it into the new site. We hope to go live next week, but these things are always temperamental.

@E M Delaney, there's no strict reason why that wouldn't be fine. If your book rises to the top again, as one of the best on the site, we'd be foolish not to look at it. Go for it!

Keiran Proffer said...

Authonomy, you said (at the top of this screen):
"In the next 48 hours we’ll begin the process of moving all the information – books, profiles, covers, etc – over to the new site. There’s a lot of it, so this is going to take a couple of days."

I read "a couple of days" as meaning 48 hours, especially as you had just said "48 hours". So time is elastic, just a Einstein said! At least we have the first hint of a closure date from you!

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed my question was ignored - hope you will get to it soon:)

Carl Kligerman said...

anonymous, if you link an identity to the blog you are more likely to get a direct response to your questions, esp. if you are a user of the site. disclaimer: I am just a user, not connected to the site in any other way.

sensing quite a bit of anxiety about the change, but think that the "important" threads from the old site, those that are central to the culture of the site's community overall, would be preserved.

on this point a little common sense should prevail. Imagine how much time and money H.C have invested in this site and in relaunching it, and how much risk is involved in such a process, beings as users can be such a fickle bunch. maintaining a broad and equally invested user base would be VERY high on the list of priorities for this change-over, stripping the site of its long running and established threads is surely not going to happen! I would imagine (and most of us here are writers so it shouldn't be such a leap), that preserving the culture (and history!) of the established community that is on this site is a given, and probably why the process of relaunch is so involved, and taking so long.

best.

Sherlock B. Treewood said...

Help!
I can't access the new site at all and I can't even read my comments.
Can anybody help?
Craig Thomson.
searchforthesunlight@hotmail.co.uk