As part of ongoing work on the site's user privacy, I am announcing two important new changes.
New Map Integration
As we have found no possibility to enhance privacy and at the same time keep Google Maps, we started shopping around for alternatives and came to OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world. In many ways OpenStreetMap is the Wikipedia of map data.
As with all replacements go, especially when you try to replace a service as comprehensive as Google Maps, there tend to be problems along the way. While OpenStreetMap is awesome in many ways, we have found that its reverse geomapping feature, the ability to translate map coordinates into addresses, leaves much to be desired. Please check your location data, displayed directly in the user menu (the dropdown near the top right of the screen that shows your primary photo). If you find that your country or city is not correct, please contact site support and tell us about it.
We are exploring many alternatives to OpenStreetMap reverse geocoding, but have yet to find one that is reasonably priced and has worldwide coverage.
Until now, your blog entries were "world readable", which means that unregistered visitors and search engines (think Google or Bing) could find and read them. This is in many ways desirable; your blogs have led many new members find our site through their web searches on certain topics, which in turn has helped our site grow.
However, if you feel that some of your blog entries are too personal for general consumption, you now have the option to restrict them to registered site members and hide them from search engines. To do that, go to your blog, click to modify the individual entry and check the box that is marked "Hide this post from unregistered visitors".
– Admin out.
Important announcement: If you are using your MeetFighters password on other sites, change your password now. Sharing a password increases the risk of your account being hacked. Scroll down for more.
But let's start with some great news: our beloved site, MeetFighters, now has over 16000 members worldwide! This is a time to celebrate, open a bottle of champagne and be merry!
At the time of writing, we have
We recently had a nasty incident originating from another site. Normally here at MeetFighters we love competition and to trade links with similar sites. We believe that friendly rivalry is 100% in line with our theme as a fighting site. We had this disposition when we were the smallest, and have now that we are the largest.
Since the start, we have the utmost respect for our members' privacy. We do not participate in any advertising networks or other schemes that could compromise your browsing experience.
Unfortunately not every site shares our sunny disposition. We recently discovered that the operator of another site, f********oday.com (site name redacted, you'll see why), has taken the password of a MeetFighters member from his site database, and used it to break into that member's MeetFighters account. He then proceeded to send messages, impersonating that member, in an attempt to redirect others to his site and soliciting some to send e-mails to him. He could do this because our member was naive enough to use the same password on both sites.
Photo credit: BMN Network
We have contacted the site operator and warned him that such criminal activity will not be tolerated, and if he makes any further attempts we will turn over all the evidence that we have gathered to the authorities.
The sad part is that we would have been happy to do link exchange with his little site, like any other wrestling personals site, if he just contacted us directly like a normal person. Instead, he chose to run a number of sock puppets with the best stolen male pictures that the internet could provide, trying to push his scam operation. Needless to say, we are not so ready to do link exchange anymore or to name them here.
To summarize: If you use the same password on other sites, change it now. Your account's security is important to us; let it be important to you too.
This is the last call for comments and bug reports on the new chat! The old browser chat is going away, it will not be kept as an option, so please take a minute or two to try the new chat and make sure that it is functioning correctly on your device. I want your comments now, and not after it is deployed and you go "Oh, but it's not working for me, you ruined my internets forever!!11"'.
So what has changed?
- The avatar pictures on the user list are back. (This was the most requested feature in the previous round.)
- Some profile info (stats, location and introduction) are shown when you click on a user from the list.
- Photo sharing is completed. To share a photo with another chatter, start a conversation with them, then find the photo icon near the top right, and then either click on one of your existing photos, or upload a new one to share it instantly.
- Experimental webcam support. The web-based technologies (that is, those that work without the miasma that is Flash) for video are here, but support for them is spotty. Most notably, the technology will not work with Internet Explorer, and is only available with the newest version of Safari.
- Choose between modern and classic look. If you want the message list without the avatar pictures, click on the cogwheel icon near the top left of the screen and then check "Traditional IRC layout".
- Worked around an issue in iOS Safari that would prevent the message sound from playing properly. I would like to make a note here that developing for any Apple product is hell on Earth.
I hope everyone has survived New Year's, and made resolutions to meet a new member every week!
So what's new there? Photo sharing is now embedded into the chat. When you are in a private chat, there's a photo icon near the top right of the page. Clicking it will allow you to send one of your photos to the other person, or upload a new one to share with them. I think this is pretty cool and bound to make the chat experience more streamlined.
I am also working on experimental support for webcams. Unfortunately support for this very new web technology is still spotty. I have added a "Webcam" button to profile pages that lets you test drive it, but don't expect it to work very spectacularly. Browsers like Internet Explorer and Safari do not support the necessary technology and there seems to be a bug affecting Firefox, so for now, Opera and Chrome are the only working alternatives. I'm working on improving that.
I am also investigating the possibility of toggling a more compact view for the message list – some do not seem to like the pictures there. Maybe a darker theme too, as some mentioned that the white is too white.
I am working on a improving the Browser Chat, based on the latest Kiwi IRC release. If you have some time, give it a try and give me feedback in a comment below.
I'm also making some new things to replace/enhance the existing Statistics page. Here's a preview screenshot that shows the change in the number of members over the past week:
Happy New Year!