Rob Katz

NextBillion 2.0 – Improving Our Community

BulldozerSince our launch in May 2005, has remained more or less the same as far as functionality and usability are concerned. Sure, we added the Events Calendar and the Activity Database, but the basic interactions on-site have remained the same.

At the same time, we’ve experienced tremendous growth in terms of user numbers (over 1250!), content quantity and quality, staff writers, and regular commenters. To make the site work even better for our growing community, World Resources Institute has invested significant time and money upgrading, with help from our excellent web team at Development Seed. These changes will be taking hold on-site over the next few days; some have already begun.

What does this mean for you, the user? Well, we?re out to make it as easy as possible to interact with our content in terms of reading, commenting, submitting, and subscribing. Spam is a problem–we?re moving aggressively to ensure that everything you see on NextBillion is legit; search options will be overhauled to enable tag-based search, along with topic taxonomies and keywords. Here’s the full run-down:

– Submitting ideas: The rather complicated process of submitting a story will be streamlined into an easy-to-use “Suggest a Story” field.

– Log in and password: We?re going to open up the whole site, so you won?t need to log in with a hard-to-remember username and password

– Networking: Out-of-date or incomplete member profiles often frustrated folks most interested in networking. Now, when you comment or submit an idea, you?ll be able to include a link to your own online bio or web site, so that other readers can find and contact you

– Search, Archives, and Blogroll: Our search feature will be updated to include tag-cloud functionality as well as keyword search and taxonomy filtering. A chronological archive and blogroll will help you find that long-forgotten post or refer you to one of our friends.

This has been a long time coming. We?re very excited about these new changes, and we hope you are too. If you have any questions, drop a comment below or contact us directly.