Right, OK, this article isn’t going to be one of my normal “H3y l00k at this c00l gaming techn0l0gy it’s teh l33tx0r!” articles. Instead, since I’ve been doing so much work on the GameCola site and related stuff, you’re going to hear about that, and my plans for the next couple weeks of things I’m going to be adding. There’re two reasons I’ll be writing about this tonight, the first of which is simply that I really couldn’t be arsed to be properly creative tonight, and the second of which is the fact that I once again put my column off till the last minute, and this is what you get when I do that. We clear? Good.
SO! First off the ball, new things. Surely you’re all well aware of the forums, and not-so-aware of the chatroom which is just slightly not-as-old as the forums. But I’m going to talk about them anyway. Forums! You know how they work, you know what they’re good for, so why aren’t you using them? I just figure I’ll use the chance to remind you that they exist. Not to mention, lately, Paul’s been running some fun “Best Staff Member Competitions” on them that are always quite interesting. There’s always fun stuff going on there. Check them out: http://gcforums.kevinsnet.com
Next up, chatroom! GameCola has had it’s own IRC channel for quite some time, and it’s primarily been used for staff meetings, but it’s open to the readers as well. And if you don’t know how IRC works, that’s quite alright! We have a nifty JAVA based client on the Web site available for anyone to use; you don’t have to do anything more than tell it your name or nickname. That’s something else you’ll want to check out: http://pong.kevinsnet.com
New stuff too. Surely everyone’s noticed the new comments at the bottom of the last issue. They are for anyone to comment on anything. Complain, whine, or give “big ups”/”mad props” to the author of the article, or someone else who’s commented on the article. All it takes is a name or a nickname, and if you want, an e-mail address. They’re quite some fun, and you can find them at the bottom of each article—just scroll down!
Also something relatively new: Unless you’re using Microsoft Internet Explorer (and if you are, I can’t stress this enough—GET. FIREFOX.) GameCola now has its very own search engine. That’s right, you can search the GameCola archives, and the forums, from the same place. You should find a search box right up in the navigation bar if you’re browser is compatible, or if you’d rather, you can check it out directly at: http://gamecola.kevinsnet.com/search.
Something else, and this time, it’s just about brand new! Surely all of you have a blog of some sort, be it a MySpace Blog, LiveJournal, DeadJournal, Xanga or your own WordPress or other type of site. Well, now you can read all the GameCola-related and -members blogs in one happy little place. We’ve dubbed this page “Planet GameCola,” and it’s your central source for everything happening in the comments, forums, GC LiveJournal community and each other’s blogs at one convenient place. It’s something new we’re just starting with, so expect lots of new features in it soon! Take a look: http://gamecola.kevinsnet.com/planet
Now take all of this stuff, and make RSS feeds for it. If you don’t know what RSS feeds are, check outthis thread in the forums. Now that you know what an RSS feed is, we’ve got several available these days: Latest Issue Feed, Forums Feed, Planet GC Feed and the Issue Comments Feed. Take a look at them; they can be quite nice. A tip though; if you subscribe to the Planet GC feed, then you don’t have to subscribe to the Forums feed or the Comments feed, because these are already syndicated into Planet GameCola’s feed. Nifty, eh?
With all of this, you can expect a lot of updates, a lot sooner. I plan to add more “Quick-add” features to Planet GC for other types of blogging systems in addition to LiveJournal, I’m constantly upgrading the forums, the search facility will soon be expanded to include the issue comments, and you can certainly expect some kind of forums/comments integration coming soon. In the meantime, if anyone has any issues with any of the things I’ve mentioned, please feel free to fire me off an email—firstname.lastname@example.org—I’m always upgrading things and contrary to popular belief, I’m not perfect, so things will break. Like it’s my fault, and not yours, so let me know and I’ll get it resolved soon.
See you around.