Written byon Nov. 10, 2012 .
Last week I have launched AstroBin Questions, a community driven, highly interactive, wiki-capable website that you moderate, thanks to a system based on reputation points.
I've just written down a meta questions that explains how reputation and votes work, what they are and how they should be used. You can read it on AstroBin Questions, or here below. And by the way, if you are still wondering what AstroBin Question is, and why it's so important for the astrophotography community, read this: What is AstroBin Questions?
This website works a lot differently than a forum. A good explanation about how this is not a forum can be found in the first meta-question asked.
This meta-question talks about reputation and voting.
One key reason why this website was made, was to provide the astrophotography community with a way to get correct answers to question, not just any answer.
Reputation and votes are the way in which the community moderates itself, and makes sure the best answer is on top.
Every question, and every answer, can be voted up or down.
Reputation points are a way to express how reputable a person is in the community. Reputation can be earned and lost, primarily because of votes received.
When a person has a high reputation, people will know that they can trust their answers.
These are the primary reputation gain and loss rules, but bear in mind that the numbers might change in the future, if the community becomes larger:
As you can see, users are rewarded reputation for actively helping to shape the community. If you accept an answer, for instance, you are rewarded 2 reputation points. Also, notice how downvoting will cost you reputation: this is because downvoting should not be done lightly, but in the spirit of bettering the community when this is necessary.
Besides gaining respect in the community, reputation allows you certain privileges. These are the reputation points you need to perform certain actions (remember that these numbers too might change in the future, as the community grows):
As you can see, after 200 reputation points, things start to get serious and you are allowed lots of moderation tasks. This is all in the best interest of the community, so we can have a website that has good, legitimate and correct content!
Finally, you have the option of flagging posts (both questions and answers) as offensive. This should be used if the post contains spam, vulgarity or is actually offending to the community for other reasons.
Written byon Oct. 8, 2012 .
A few months ago, there was a discussion on CloudyNights concerning the rating system on AstroBin. Some opinions were expressed and some suggestions were made.
Many of you have already noticed that the meaning of the 5 stars is as follows:
From today, all ratings on AstroBin have been migrated to a new system, called AstroBin index. Calculating the index works in two phases:
Phase #1 ensures that if an image has been voted 5-star many times, a spurious 1-star vote will be ignored.
Phase #2 ensures that an image voted with a single 5-star vote will not have a better rating than an image that was voted with one hundred 5-star and one 4-star just because 5 > 4.9999999...
This seems to yield much fairer results, especially with images with lots of votes. Of course I should encourage you to comment on images if you vote 1-star or 2-star, because this would like to be a constructive community.
Now go have a look at the Big Wall sorted by rating for some really amazing images, and vote on!
PS: I've needed to add a new FAQ entry to explain the AstroBin index, so that needs to be translated to all languages! It's only a couple of sentences, want to help? http://translate.astrobin.com/
Written byon Aug. 26, 2012 .
Language number 11, Brazilian Portuguese, has landed on AstroBin! Please join me to thank Glauco Hass for the amazing job! I was rendered speechless to see how quickly he did the whole thing, just a few days, despite me accidentally throwing away 23% of his work.
Thank you Glauco for the outstanding job and the patience.
So, if you want, you can set the site's interface to Brazilian Portuguese using the Language menu on top, and remember that you can help with the translations by going to http://translate.astrobin.com/ and improve the existing translations!
Written byon July 25, 2012 .
While I work on new features on a different, unstable branch, I've made some small additions and fixes to the master and stable branch of AstroBin's code, and I tagged version 1.8.1.
Here's what's new:
Further more, Catalan and Slovak language are currently under translation!
AstroBin is growing: almost 2000 users, and over 1100 have uploaded images; over 12000 public images and we broke the wall of 20000 integration hours! Way to go!
This was only a minor update but I still have lots of features planned, so stay tuned!
Written byon June 5, 2012 .
If you have a WordPress blog, you can now use Eric's widget to display your recent AstroBin uploads. Fetch it while it's hot:
I'd like to thank Eric very much and invite you to try his widget!
Written byon May 29, 2012 .
this morning I have pushed a new site update online. There four important new features:
So, please have a look around, help with fixing the Gear database, and have fun with the Gear pages! I expect many comments and reviews on gear items. ;-)
As usual, an incredibly large THANK YOU goes to all the translators that have done such a quick and good job this time too!
Written byon May 16, 2012 .
Thanks to my friend Milosz Wasilewski, AstroBin is now also available in Polish language! And with this, we can officially celebrate the fact that we now have 10 languages on AstroBin!
Thank you very much, Milosz!
So, if you want, you can set the site's interface to Polish using the Language menu on top, and remember that you can help with the translations by going to http://translate.astrobin.com/ and improve the existing translations!
Written byon May 1, 2012 .
I have just completed an initial version of read-only AstroBin APs!
The API will allow you to display image information and perform several types of searches.
Please read the documentation to learn how to use them and how to request an API Key.
This change also meant the addition of some paragraphs to the Terms of Service, which you all are required to read, so please do so!
Now go write some apps! :-)
Written byon April 27, 2012 .
after two hard months at work, I am very proud to announce the new iteration of AstroBin, with lots of cool additions and features! Here is a quick explanation of some of the things that just landed on astrobin.com:
Search by telescope and camera type.
The Advanced Search page has become even more... advanced! Now you can limit your searches to a certain type or telescope (be it apochromatic refractor, or Ritchey-Cretien, or Newtonian, and many more) or a certain type of camera (DSLR, CCD, planetary, ...).
It's easier now to plan your next purchase. For example: do you own a SBIG ST10 and want to know how it performs with apochromatic refractors? Now you search that on AstroBin!
Most popular subjects.
Heat to the Explore menu and you will find a link to a page that shows you what are the most popular subjects photographed in the sky. The list is categorized by month, and you can even select a latitude range (on Earth) to see what are the most popular subject photographed by people at your latitude. What a great way to find interesting targets for your next session!
Let's give some faces to those usernames! Check your user menu: now you can upload an avatar: it will appear next to all your images.
Follow gear items and subjects.
Do you want to be notified each time an image is acquired with your favorite CCD, or telescope, or filter, of software? Do you want to be notified each time an image of a certain galaxy is uploaded? Now you can simply put your mouse cursor on the name of what you with to follow, and then click on the Follow button that will appear.
Now there's more than the 5-star voting mechanism to show appreciation to a certain image. Click on the Heart icon to add the image to your favorites. It will go to a new page within "My page", for you to remember. And the author might enjoy some popularity for their picture, as it might get promoted to the "Currently hot" panel on the front page!
Social front page.
Some additions join the "recently uploaded" images on the front page. Now you can see a currently hot image, and new images from the people you follow, and images recently favorited and voted 5-star (by anyone). A great way to discover great images!
Easier, more powerful and more complete Share menu.
There is now more control on how you can share images, and also social sharing on Facebook, G+ or Twitter, if you care for those!
Save time when filling in gear details for an image.
There is now a "Copy gear from image" button in your gear settings for every image: you can use to quickly import the same gear that you have used for another image in the past.
Each deep sky object has its own page.
Mouse over the name of a deep sky object, and click on "View page" in the window that appears. There you can get some data, images and interesting plots for that subject!
New plots in the Stats page.
Enough said, go check them out!
The Feedback button has gone, but if you want to get in touch with me, you can use the new Contact entry in the Help menu.
And now, for the curious and the techies, here's some goodness:
The UI front-end has been ported to twitter-boostrap: this allows for greater effectiveness of working on the UI, for some easy and cool UI elements (modal dialogs, tooltip, popovers, nice buttons, etc) and for better multi-browser support.
A few of the slowest parts of the website are now cached, so they will be faster.
A lot of validation error were fixed for the HTML.
Finally, a bunch of bugs was fixed too.
The amount of work has been colossal, to say the least. I have done my best to test everything, but if there are new bugs, please report them as soon as possible, so I can fix them!
I'd like to thank you all for being such an amazing community and for having treated this website really well. Thanks to you AstroBin has a reason to get better and better everyday!