How is it already December?! These last few months have really flown by.
NoJoMo was great! Well done to all of you that kept with it (and a solid tip of the hat to those that made it some of the way through). It’s so fun for me to see the community come together like that.
You all know I’m a big stats geek, so let’s take a look at the numbers. In October, one of our slower months, the average number of entries per day was 250. In November, we passed 300. That’s an increase of over a thousand entries over the course of the month, wow!
So, I have a confession to make. The NoJoMo Site Update I posted? It was a “smoke test” for a new feature idea I’ve been kicking around: Writing Prompts. And, though I know NoJoMo is a special occasion that gets everyone writing, I think the concept is an exciting one and call the test a resounding success.
My general idea is this: in addition to the “Favorites” and “Comments” notification icons, there would be a third icon, “Prompts”.
I’m still fleshing this out, but my thinking is that when you click the Prompt icon, you see a list of Prompts that you’ve subscribed to that show up at different frequencies: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc. Select a prompt, it automatically fills text into the New Entry screen, and you’re on your way. Want to skip today’s prompt? Easy.
While I have a few sources already lined up for these prompts (remember when you sent me your surveys? surprise!) the part I’m most excited about is sourcing these from the community itself. As we get closer to building things out, I’ll talk more about what that will look like.
Oh, and this won’t be a premium feature! Everyone on PB will have access to Writing Prompts.
Cool, what else have you been working on?
It’s been a busy few months. I’ve been quiet, but behind the scenes things are speeding up as we come up to the end of the year.
There are two big features that our developers have been working on, one a premium feature and the other a “quality of life” feature that will be available to everyone.
First, let’s talk about the “quality of life” feature.
Auto-saving drafts (a work in progress)
This feature is still very much a work in progress, but I’m rethinking how entries and drafts work. The goal is to increase trust in the site. I want you all to feel certain that you won’t lose an entry in the middle of writing it. I hate it when I hear about someone losing an entry, and I’ve noticed several of you will leave a tab open and spend all day writing an entry. Doing that and losing it? No way! So, I’m baking in some security.
Think of it like Gmail: when you start writing an email, you can be confident that if the browser crashes, it’ll automatically be in your drafts folder. Until you need that functionality, though, it gets out of your way. I want something similar.
I’ll talk more about this as we build it out, but I’m hoping to launch sometime later this month.
Okay, next let’s talk about PB’s very first premium feature.
Entry search / Entry Calendar (complete!)
It’s built! It exists! I’m very excited about this one. And when I roll out subscriptions in a few months, it’ll be available on day one for all subscribers!
If you notice, there’s a second tab there for “Date search”. That acts as an entry calendar, allowing you to find entries within a certain time period:
So, all in all very exciting stuff! Things are starting to come together, and I can’t wait to start launching these features.
Mochi’s pretty pleased as well: