The Artistic Network Comes Back to Life

Posted Jul 4, 2012
Last Updated Jul 4, 2012

After four years of neglect, the Artistic Network gets some long-overdue attention. Last week the developers of Webonizer updated the Artistic Network website to the latest branch of their software and gave the site a bit of a makeover.

Artistic Network founder Shawn Olson said about this update, "This is an exciting change. I really dropped the ball on this site for a few years as my attention was drawn to work and some of my own personal projects. But I kept hearing this voice in the back of my head to revive this site.”

Olson and business partner Andrew Penry reworked many of the systems behind the scenes and the UI.

"We made it easier to use,” said Penry. "When redesigning the Artistic Network we wanted to make sure that the website took a back seat to the art that the users were posting.”

Simplifying forms and modernizing the site are some of the main changes. The search functionality has been updated such that one search field returns results for profiles, articles and events all at once.

One major change is the accomodation for multiple languages. Articles can now be designated as belonging to a specific language--and once loaded members can add translations into other languages that are tied to those articles. (When editing an existing document, look for the "New Translation" tab.)

The media loading functions now allow draggable sorting. The draggable media in the document forms also have contextual right-click menus. Media can be loaded into a page via drag-n-drop uploading in some browsers. For other browsers, there is a media manager that lets you load media via a standard form (look for the "Open Media Manager" button). Those browsers that support dragging media into the page will have a drop target labeled "Drop Media to Upload".

Penry said the media manager is still not complete. He expects it to evolve as users provide feedback.

Other features not yet implemented are calendar views. Events are listed on the site just like articles, but a calendar view is not yet available. Users can expect a calendar view to appear on their profiles in the coming weeks or months.

Olson said, "I regret the neglect the site has had. I also apologize for being so slow to respond to inquiries over the site in such a long time. I kept promising an update that kept getting postponed. Hopefully these new updates make up for it.”

Feedback is appreciated. The site is open to ideas. Olson said, "I hope people like what they see and provide us with helpful input. I also hope members and visitors spread the word on their blogs and social media circles.”

Olson said that some of the upcoming focus will be on adding better support for navigation on smart phones and tablets, as well as enhancing the media manager.

Members are encouraged to login to the site and see how the format has changed. One important change has been that login is now done with the email address used when signing up on the site. If you have forgotten your password, there is a retrieve password link below the login form. Simply supply the email address you used for signing up, and the site will send you a new password.