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RobotBox is a community for robot builders to show off their projects. Add yours today.
Ok folks, yet another milestone in the RobotBox saga. We've finally pushed out the beta release of the site. Beta is such an overused term these days, I figured I'd explain what exactly this means. First off, we're trying to avoid using beta in this way - they "if it doesn't work, it's because we're in beta." No, actually, if it doesn't work it means either 1) it's not a high priority or 2) it is a high priority, but since RobotBox is currently a "night and weekend" sort of thing, we just haven't gotten to it yet. You'd have to be silly to think that software never ships with bugs, and the same goes for websites. Things break, and when they do, I'm expecting you, fine users, to let us know! Don't forget about the handy "feedback" link that hangs out at the bottom right of the page. That's a great way of lettings us know when things don't work for you.
Ok, so what does the "beta" term mean? Well, first off it means we're still finalizing the structure of the site and we've told the search engine spiders to "stay away!" (reminds me of this scene from Lost in Space). This also means we're not doing any heavy promoting at this time. Mostly word of mouth and still getting feedback from people before opening the e-doors. There's also several features which I have slated for the grand opening that aren't in place just yet.
Between Alpha and Beta we have added some new features though. First off, we've added a Facebook Connect feature which allows users to sign in using their Facebook credentials - this means you don't have to remember yet another login, and if you're currently logged into Facebook, you'll automatically be logged into RobotBox. For those users that already have a RobotBox account, you can navigate to to your user page and then click the "Facebook" tab. Then click on the "Connect with Facebook" button to associate your account with your Facebook account.
The second feature we've added is Robot Parts! You can now add parts to RobotBox and then link to them from your robot pages. This is great for a number of reasons. One, it lets people rate and comment on individual parts so you, the robot builder, can get a better idea of what's good and what's not. Secondly, you can actually see who's using what parts and how they're using them. The list is a little spotty, so I'd encourage you to add your favorite parts to the database. Also, if you sell or manufacturer a robot part, be sure to go ahead and add it. Parts can be edited by any logged in user.
Finally, we've added a points feature to keep track of the top users of the site. For every robot, comment or part you post you'll be awarded points. Check out the top users!
So, what do you think about all the changes? I'm pretty excited and I'm really looking forward to making it out of beta and into the real world. Happy robot building!