The main part of the latest site update is mostly finished. The new update has added a Wall to the main page where all content is aggregated. Anything you post to your profile wall will also appear there as well, likewise, anything you post to the main wall will also appear on your profile wall too.
(To reach the main page, click on the vdubber logo at the top of the page.)
You can now also comment on any post to the main wall, there is no need to be friends with a member to leave a comment, however, you will still need to be a friend to make a direct comment on another users profile wall. (Wall to wall message)
The main reason for these changes, is to encourage more use of the site. Many users were happy to post comments into the shoutbox, but only a few regularly posted to blogs or other parts of the site. So we decided to improve things, by extending the Wall on the front page and removing te shoutbox altogether. Now all major actions can be carried out on the main page wall, including leaving shoubox type messages, hopefully this will entice users to post more. Additionally, the ability to comment on another users post without having to first befriend them will also hopefully encourage more interaction between users. After all, this is what the site is about.
The other major update, is the reintroduction of the points system. For those newer members who may not be familiar with it, the points system awards points for all actions carried out on the site - such as posting a blog like this one, or uploading a photo, or posting to a forum. Nearly allactions on the site will earn you points.
We've now added a brand new points system which has some great new features. The points sytem now also includes points levels. Points levels are ranks awarded on the number of points collected. The work like forum ranks, but instead of being a tally of how many posts you have made, they include all activities across the site. So if you are someone who doesn't like posting in the forums, but loves to blog about thier VW, then you can still earn points and acheive new points levels.
The points system also allows you to give points to other members, and trade points in for different membership status's
Once things have settled down a bit, and we have proven the new features are stable, we will be re-introducing the monthly competition. At the end of each month, we will award a prize to the member who has collected the highest number of points throughout the month. Prizes are yet to be confirmed, but it is likely that we will offer the usual tees, mugs and hats and maybe some magazine subscriptions, on occasional months.
As part of the update, we have also made some small changes to the navigation. Previously the focus was on user profile pages, with the aim on getting people to post to thier profile wall. This is why you were redirected to your profile page on log in. We have now changed the focus back to the main index page, not only you will be redirected there when you log in, but we have also reinstated the links at the top of the page just to make things a little more transparent to use. Hopefully this change should not take too long to get used to, and be a little more intuitive to use.
We hope you enjoy the new features, and don't foget, if you find any issues, please let me know by either leaving a comment in this blog, shooting me a message, or posting in the help forum.