The latest and lengthy update from last several days worth of stuff.
Alli has a number of cheap hosting solutions and also a slightly more expensive but more reliable one - http://www.powweb.com/
Their hosting is $8 (£5) a month and allows mysql/php and others nice things including 2 sub domains.
So maybe we could have www.mcweir.com with entrance page (a great suggestion from someone over at weirmckayship so that it's clear we have two sites!) with nice buttons to enter either site and then have http://central.mcweir.com for general site and http://archive.mcweir.com for fic site - if we can get those.
Entrance page designs/grpahics now needed too. We need to think up images for the site buttons. Maybe have the buttons 300 wide by 200 tall? Set centred but by side with slight gap?
Other than that we need to decide on names for the actual sites. I still like McWeirCentral for the general site and Drs Weir & McKay Fanfiction
Archive for fic site. Any thoughts on those or other ideas?
One thing I'm curious about is how long do the banners take to load for dialup users? I figured they might take a while because most are 100kb but wanted to know. It's probably gonig to be possible to compress them a little further without any noticeable reduction of quality I hope, but want to know if it's necessary first.
We haven't decided on the fonts yet and they need to be uniform really to keep site consistancy, so anyone maknig banners please bear it in mind caption you put on now might need to be redone!
For anyone who might be using GIMP - if you save in the .xcf format it saves any layers separately for easier editing later - of course you need to save a jpeg version too but just thought it ws a useful tip.
Plus Kip and Vana have been maknig banners across at weirmckayship - links to them might be in the next update, for now though they are in their respective folders at the yahoogroup.
Remember that captions can be send as you think of them and nothing is too silly, too sombre, too snarky - anything goes.
I'm the only one who's reading them and names will not be put on the poll entries - the only way people will know is if you tell them or if yours is the winning one. So get them captions coming in!
Main site: Original colors (yellow) and stained glass Atlantean design, uncaptioned banners featuring both Rodney and Elizabeth - not using eFiction system anymore but admin accepting submissions via email and uploading them.
Fic Archive: 3 skins. One for them each and also a default skin.
Rodney's skin would be blue (deep or light, not sure yet, and trying to incorporate green to see if that looks good) and have captioned and uncaptioned pics featuring him alone or with other team members. Elizabeth's skin would be red and have captioned and uncaptioned pics featuring her alone or with other team members. The background and menu colors would be blue/green or red depending on the skin, perhaps the actual background pattern would also be different.
We were having a general Atlantis skin too that it defaults to and non-members would see - only members could change to the other skins by logging in.
To me it just makes more sense. Since I imagine people will spend more time on fic site reading and hence looking at it. It's also aloteasier to change the skins using eFiction and the banners being tied to skins makes skin specific banners possible too (not that it was impossible on genearl non-efiction site but certainly very difficult).
Peanut has been doing some great work on mockups for fic site (haven't got any links to show you yet though). We'd come across problems on using the pretty window panes but there may be a way to and other than that we probably need to go for simplicity on design - so it's straightforward and uncluttered as possible and also quick to load and easy to code. :)
Patti modified one of those so it was aligned better but something still wasn't quite there, so work continues. Mainly we aren't sure about exact colours or graphics.
Background doesn't have to be graphic but then I've also pointed out possibility that body text area and background colours could be samebut that we could have background graphic that is at top and fades into the background - as we may already be using on the general site.
Let me know what you all think of that idea.
I was thinking if we had a small graphic that could be repeatable or one that sat next to the banner on left hand side and the design ended off as can be seen on the window in a cap somehwere from The Eye when they are being led down the stairs (sort of tapering into a point - art nouveau style) - then if it was designed to sit next to banner but lead into the simpler coloured line dowards that's easy to repeat til end of page. Hard to explain but I'll see if Patti can help me with this idea once she's back from her vacation, though I've made a mockup for it. I was trying to get across the idea of a simple skin design using the panes but not repeating, so I went and made a very very rough mockup in MSpaint. It 800pixels wide but nothing else is to size, so very very rough.
The design is meant to be centred and the only other thing in the mockup actually done carefully was my offsetting of the band of colour under the menu. I copy/pasted a portion of the other and flipped image and it's in line with edge so it's symmetrically placed.
Please ignore the font (that was just the one it was last set to and does not relfect what we'd be using for the archive) and the odd spray painted bit on top left is meant to indicate where the window pane with tapering graphic would go. I haven't included any colours filled in for background, text are or the menu.
Just wanted to give rough idea of the concept I had in my mind. And wouldn't mind is someone could make a better mockup with some actual graphics - I just don't have time to do that.
The example is done red as I was thinking Elizabeth's skin should be (earthy too?), but what are people's thoughts on Rodney's and the main default Atlantean one.
I'd say Rodneys should be more technological somehow and blue oceany, with main one general Atlantis/Ancients kind of colours/themes.
What does that sound like to everyone?
We don't have to use window panes for those other two skins but it would be good to use some graphic there tapering into a band of colour. Maybe Rodney's skin could use a modified dark blue pane but the Atlantean main skin could use something different? So that the McKay and Weir skins have most resemblence...
It's been asked if we will be using pics for the categories.I'd say yes if we can - pics or grpahics. They might be able to be skin specific, I'm pretty sure they can be but not able to test system out yet so...
Good example of this (and of an efiction archive too) would be Jonasfic
I think it could work well that we validate new memebers for a while (first few stories) and then change them to unmoderated after that. This is so the authors should have as much control over archive posting as possible but within reason. Admins can remove inappropriate stories after they have been posted but out workload would be alot if we checked every single bit of a story posted so we will be relying on the users to point out abuse too.
Categories and Genres:
There was concern over categories/genre and not caring about length of sotry - prefering another categorisation.
As I said bfore if we used genres with the eFiction 'categories' then you could only submit to one of them. However maybe clever scritping could do the search for genres and no one would ever know that.
We couldn't list all but maybe we could put across the lengths such as drabble and novella to genres and have categories (and subcategories) as so, based more on something that's easier to cateogirse but also shouldn'tinterfere with other genre choices. As you can see it's based more or less around the shippines and then 'other' categories.
challenges/roundrobins (might need to be under same system, not sure yet)
What do people think of that way of organsing it - with the genres list now as so.
-future (suggested recently - should it be in here?)
How's that? Genre list now shorter and Categories are alot better I hope.
Think this all on the update for now; let me know what you all think.