JumpInChat Update — End of year xmas extravorganza

Holiday season is here and Christmas is approaching. Here at JumpInChat, we (or rather I) thought it would be as good a time as any to give some kind of round-up of what’s happened this past year, as well as what might be happening during the next. This year saw the site begin to mature and expand out of the realm of hobby project. The following year should see the site grow and seek, as well as support, wider and larger audiences.

During 2017 JumpInChat saw a good deal of progress towards the auspicious goal of a version 1.0. This goal, more or less, is the completion of the basic feature set that gives the site it’s foundation. It moves away from the experimentation that preceded it and set the site up to be much more accessible and reliable — meaning not hosted off of a laptop in a cupboard.

A new homepage gives users the ability to create and update their own accounts, manage their chatrooms and discover others. It also gives users their own public profile.

Functionality has also been given to broadcasting. Broadcasts can now be controlled and manipulated, changing volume or closing them altogether. They have also been made more reliable via relay servers, which reduce the chances of broadcasting errors on restrictive internet connections.

Moderation of rooms has been added, allowing room owners and moderators the ability to ban users, close broadcasts and to add or remove additional moderators.

The servers themselves have been deployed in a cluster, making updates simpler and the site itself more reliable. I’ve also properly setup a domain name, which is somewhat important.

It is all this with which the site will be built up from, the aim being to make it more reliable, able to handle more users and with an improved and expanded set of features.

2018 will be a year focused on scale, which is what I’ve been referring to the next set of goals as. Making the site accessible to more people, and allowing it to work with said more people. Internal improvements will also have to be made to give the site the ability to expand, and plenty more behind-the-scenes upgrading will take place.

Firstly this involves creating a server infrastructure that can appropriately scale to a larger amount of users. Essentially this means adding more servers, the effort here being how to get them all to work together. This means more capacity, more reliability — the more redundancy here the better — and for added benefit, the ability to increase this scale further as time goes on.

Secondly I’ll be improving the way mobile users can use the site. While it works on mobiles for the most part, there are issues that make it less than ideal. For the most part this is the inability for conversations to happen in the background. Having your phone in your pocket or having switched to another application should not hinder use of the site, so this will be a focus.

Site administration will be improved greatly, to make the handling of the (hopefully) more users a lot easier for me and anyone else that may join in the task of administering things. An example of this is user reporting, notifying administrators of nefarious activity, as well as the ability to handle said activity effectively. This means better site-wide moderation and an improvide admin dashboard.

Donations are a thing I’ve been pondering for a while now. Since I’m currently not a the stage when paid membership is a thing — although it may well be in the future — I’m planning to add a donation system to help fund the site. A lot of this is yet-to-be-planned work, however, it will come with some benefits should you be so generous. Aside from a clear indicator on your user icon and profile showing what an awesome person you are, you will get a permanent status assigned to your user account that will give you eligibility for any future paid features.

Lastly, I’m adding trophies that will be added to your profile. Things like it being your birthday, or sending exactly 432 messages, or something. Because why not.

As it stands right now, the site is in good shape. While there are a few more improvements to be made before v1.0 is actually finished, it is far beyond the unfinished prototype it once was. So I recommend you head over to jumpin.chat yourself and try it out!

All the best and see you in 2018.


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