GOTH.NET Launches new site
After many years of neglect, GOTH.NET has re-launched it's main website. For many years the forums have been the life blood keeping the GOTH.NET community alive, and giving the site purpose. However we hope to change this with the new website.
First and foremost, the new site is backed by new hardware and software, giving it a new lease on life for many years to come.
The website is designed to be interactive. The majority of the site now accepts direct submissions of content, that merely needs to be moderated before it can be public (which is much easier than the old email us and we will update the site when we get around to it way). This allows us to also recruit staff to help us with the task of curating the content that goes on our website, so it does not all fall to one or two people.
As with the previous website, we have an Art (which combines the Art and Writings sections from the old site), Community and Links section - all now allowing for direct submission of content to be published on the website, so we hope these sections will be continually changing and getting better as our community helps us flesh out the content. We have chosen not to migrate the art, writings, community or links content from the old website, both because much of it was stale and not relevant anymore, and because there is no way to link the artwork and writings with a user account, as should be done.
Newly added, however, is our Groups section. Users may request to create an interest group (could be for anything, a local goth club, a TV show, a band, whatever). Once the group is approved, other users may sign up for that group. Each group then functions as it's own mini-site dedicated that group's interest. You can post articles you find online (or write original content), image galleries, polls, events (each group has it's own calendar), and each group has it's own group blog and can have it's own announcements. Furthermore, each group has it's own permissions structure so the manager of the group can determine who he wants to be able to publish content, who will moderate it (IF it needs to be moderated) and whether the group will be public (anyone can see the content even if not in the group) or members only.
In addition to these great new sections, each user may have their own GOTH.NET blog, where they can publish what they wish (publishing to your blog does not require moderation, however abuse of this can result in a loss of blog privileges). Additionally, we have added relationships (so you can indicate you are a friend of another user) and facebook-style statuses, which include @mentioning and hashtags. These can be viewed by looking at your own account, or someone elses. These features are still in their infancy, and more features will be added at a future date.
Of course, the forums were not neglected and have also been upgraded. We are still using phpBB, but we have upgraded the version, and added some new features that did not exist before.
For all current users of the forums, you may log into the GOTH.NET website using your existing forums password, and an account on the main website will be setup for you automatically. Indeed, from now on, new users who wish to use the forums will be required to create an account on the main GOTH.NET website first, as they are now linked.
As for future features, we will also be re-opening the ability to have your own website and email on the GOTH.NET domain. These will also be linked to the website, so that on account unifies your entire GOTH.NET experience. Some custom code however needs to be written to enable this to happen yet, so there is no specific date on when this will occur. If you previously had webspace and/or email with GOTH.NET, please Contact Us and we can attempt to manually re-establish your email and/or webspace access. No content from the old system has been lost, however we did not automatically re-create all the old accounts because both many of them had been abandoned, and we did not necessarily know which forums user to link their account to.
Finally, I must admit, I am not a web designer, or graphic artist. The new website, while functionally is much improved, and is now based on a system that allows us to breathe new life into it, is not the prettiest site in the world. If you have some web design expertise, and would like to offer your assistance in making the site prety, please Contact Us with your information, a portfolio of your previous works, and in what way you would like to help (graphic design, web design, etc). The site is now backed by Drupal, a php application - so any web designer who would wish to improve the site's visual appeal should be familiar with it, and how to create and/or modify themes or other drupal components to help.
I hope you enjoy using our new website, and look forward to more improvements in the future!