It's been a while since the last site news. Let's see what's been happening!
I am looking for FightPedia editors! FightPedia is a "wiki" for MeetFighters, concentrating on topics related to combat sports and the site itself. I consider it an experiment in collaborative editing. Let's see how it goes! For now, it is completely empty except for some placeholder pages. It's up to YOU (as in, every member of this site) to make it something great.
If you want to contribute and shape FightPedia, please drop a comment below. Do explain what it is that you want to add or change.
Work has began on a MeetFighters Mobile App targeting the Android and iOS platforms. The app itself is in very early stages of development, largely in a pre-alpha, proof-of-concept state. I expect to see a first release sometime around mid-April. More information will be coming early April.
We are not yet ready for an alpha test, but post a comment if you have ideas for mobile app features.
I am working on a new messaging code, something cleaner and more streamlined than what we have now. There is a beta version for the adventurous here. It has most basic features in place, but lacks that certain spit and polish.
I am considering the option of posting photos that are not family friendly in profile galleries. There is obviously some demand for this sort of attraction. On the other hand, there is a risk that too much sugar could attract folk who are not interested in fighting.
Before I commit to this, I want to ask Your opinion on the matter!
Behind the scenes, a lot of improvements went into the site code:
Wow, has it really been 6 years? (Yes it has.)
Where are we now?
I think this is pretty cool for a site that is a hobby project of a few dedicated people. Big thanks to supporters, translators, donors and everyone who helped spread the word.
Special thanks goes to:
There are some new features to celebrate the occasion:
The votes are in for our poll on commercial activity on MeetFighters.
|Votes||% of votes||Weighted %|
|Disallow all commercial activity, including profile text, private messages, forums, blogs, etc.||487||29%||27%|
|Keep the "Classifieds" forum for the trade of small personal items.||328||19%||21%|
|Allow offers of commercial activity in private messages.||225||13%||15%|
|Allow offers of commercial activity in profile text.||200||12%||12%|
|Allow offers of commercial activity in blogs and forums.||196||11%||12%|
|Allow companies to register and promote their products on the site.||157||9%||8%|
|Allow everything. Capitalism ahoy!||63||3%||3%|
It is a somewhat mixed bag. The highest score goes to disallowing all commercial activity, with keeping the "Classifieds" forum in second place. Third place goes to allowing commercial activity in private messages. The first three places combined yield 63% of the weighted votes.
I am drawing the following conclusion: Commercial activity on MeetFighters shall be limited to the "Classifieds" forum and private messages. This means that no commercial activity will be allowed in other public areas of the site, including profile text, blog posts, forums, groups, etc. This policy is not, in fact, far from what is already in the site's Terms of Service. I have updated the Terms to make the limits more explicit:
Previous text of Terms of Service:
While on the topic of changing the Terms of Service, I have added the following verbiage:
I hate this sort of text. I really do. It's ugly, unfriendly, unseemly and on some level against the spirit of the world wide web. Unfortunately recent events have proven that it is indeed necessary. I hate the person who has forced me to do this.
As always, the changes of the Terms of Service are now in effect. Your continued use of the site serves as an implicit acceptance of the new terms. Blah-blah-blah. Members who now have commercial stuff on their profiles or blogs get a 1-month grace period to clean up.
From the very start, the creator of MeetFighters envisioned the site as a non-commercial project. The mission of the site was creating a personals site where the main purpose is allowing people interested in fighting to meet. I took over the site with the promise of keeping the site true to its original purpose.
What is wrong with commercial interest? Nothing in principle. Our societies are largely built on "enlightened self-interest", aren't they? On the other hand, too much of it can compromise the original mission of the site. We could put up huge banner ads. We could make deals with video production companies. We could limit what functionality is available for free, keeping basic features locked away behind a paywall. We don't do any of these things. We are not raking in the dough, because we believe that doing so would compromise our goal. Donations keep the site afloat, for which we are grateful to our membership. You guys rule! :)
So, our site's mission is not being compromised by commercial interest on our part. But what about commercial interests of others?
We just had an incident in which our site, a free, non-commercial project, was threatened with litigation by a company that was using our site (for free) to promote certain events and services and were claiming that we were interfering with their business. Some profiles were deleted. We are not at the liberty to disclose any details.
We maintain that the site's purpose is allowing fighters to meet. By its nature, the site is for personal, non-commercial use. My question to the community is this: What shall we do about commercial use? Up until now, we have taken a "live and let live" approach and allowed people to link to their commercial homepages, promote commercial events, offer paid services, etc. We have seen no harm being done to our site and figured that some of our community might find these services useful. So, why not? This is why. We don't want to be sued. We are not set up as facilitators of other people's business and have no interest in it anyhow. We certainly do not have the capacity to deal with the fallout.
(On a related note, the Events page is removed until further notice.)
Open question to all members: what are your thoughts on this? Your votes (multiple choice) and comments are welcome.
I am happy to announce that the new site engine is now live, and seems to be functioning OK.
I would like to thank everyone who participated in the beta testing for more than 10 minutes. Still, some bugs surely remain, and I am fixing them as they are reported. The good news is that the new engine has a lot of new features:
Internally, the code received a lot of cleanup and polish. Hopefully this huge undertaking will help keep the site fresh and useful for everybody.
In unrelated news, it was reported that our friendly rival site, GlobalFight was victim of a rather severe hack. It is recommended to change your password immediately if you are using the same password here as you do on GF.