ML Recommender launched globally

We launched Machine Learning recommendations and have rolled out the Machine Learning Recommender to all sites. After this implementation, we have seen a significant increase in engagement on the improved results, we are tracking 80k + clicks per day, which is nearly double our click rate prior to the change! We are looking at continuing to make improvements to the recommended reading section by prioritizing recency for recommendations on all sites.

Homepage 2.0

We launched Homepage 2.0 globally in August. Our new homepage boasts a personal customized feed which is easier and faster to navigate.

New/Improved Feature(s)!

With these changes, the VS team and volunteer Admins can quickly set the default permissions for all levels of Moderators and Administrators when promoting registered users accounts. Breakdown of changes:

Mod Panel: Updated the Quick Permission Buttons
  • Section Mod: The “Set Default Mod Permission” and “Set Default Super Mod Permissions” button in the Create / Update page for Section Moderator has been removed due to redundancy.
    • The following permissions will be checked when clicking on the button:
      • Edit any post (in this section)
      • Delete any post (in this section)
      • Delete any thread (in this section)
  • Super Mod: The “Set Default Section Mod Permissions” button in Create Page and Update Page for Super Moderator has been removed due to redundancy.
    • The following permissions will be checked when clicking on these 2 buttons:
      • Edit any post (globally)
      • Delete any post (globally)
      • Delete any thread (globally)
Notable Mentions

In July we gathered feedback from our community, and staff members, our members identified bugs, and UI/UX issues that we committed to fixing in July and August. In our previous Thirty Thirty we listed the bugs and alignment issues we resolved in July. Below we have listed the improvements that were completed in August:

UI/UX Improvements:

  • Alignment on “What’s New Page” for Content Moderators
    • Issue: Space is not reserved, as a result, the alignment is off because one thread has a checkbox that takes space, while the other threads do not.
    • Resolution: For content moderators, what's new page should have a space reserved on the right of each thread for displaying the moderator checkbox, regardless of whether a checkbox is present or not. This will now result in better alignment of content on the page.
  • Author “My Profile” Page - space between images is not consistent
    • Issue: Spacing above and below the featured image thumbnail should be the same (18px).
    • Resolution: The spacing above and below the featured image has been adjusted to 18 px. This will now result in better alignment of content on the page.
  • The prefix is not vertically centered
    • Issue: Text within prefix is not vertically aligned.
    • Resolution: Text within prefix is vertically aligned.
  • Articles: Follow button synchronization
    • Issue: The “Follow” button on the Right Rail and Author info block are not synchronized. If a user selects “follow” on one of the buttons, they will need to refresh the page before the action is reflected on the other button.
    • Fix: The buttons should be synchronized. They should show the current state after the button is selected by the user.
  • Alignment fix for “Jump to Latest”, and “Follow/Unfollow” buttons in thread view and on the Article page
  • Homepage titles and thumbnail spacing adjustment
    • Issue: Long text strings without spaces were not wrapping and spilled over into the content on the featured image and right rail. Also, there was no space between a title and a thumbnail.
    • Resolution: Long text strings wrap within its container and a space of 27px is added between a title and a thumbnail.
  • Spacing and styles improvements on Article Page
    • Fixed an alignment issue where “+” and “-” icons were not vertically centered.
    • Fixed an issue where “Jump to Latest” and “Follow/Unfollow Article” buttons did not occupy 50% of browser width on mobile.


    • Fixed inconsistent spacing issue between “Jump to Latest”/”Follow/Unfollow” buttons. The space was adjusted to 18px on desktop and to 9px on mobile devices.
    • Fixed content alignment issue where content was not aligned with the top of the sidebar.
    • Fixed various alignment and spacing issues in the Author box.
    • Fixed alignment of “Reply”, “Quote” and “Like” buttons to be left aligned with the rest of the content.
    • Removed an extra divider line at the start of Replies.
  • Spacing and styles improvements on Create Post Page
    • Fixed the issue where table insertion BBcode isn’t rendered properly.
    • Fixed an alignment issue where “Save”, “Preview” and “Cancel” buttons are not aligned when editing a discussion or article.
    • Fixed inconsistent hover styles on “Discussion/Article” buttons.
    • Fixed multiple content alignment issues where spacing above and below the content was inconsistent.
    • Moved the “Preview” button to the bottom of the page and fixed its styles to align with “Save” and “Cancel” buttons.
  • Pagination Issue on threads with large number of posts
    • Issue: When pagination is applied to posts, the user will see additional pages, with gaps, that should not be there.
    • Resolution: We rebuilt the pagination functionality to ensure the posts were ordered in sequence without gaps between numbers.
  • Unnecessary wrapping in Forum
    • Issue: Comments/View alignment was wrapping to appear on two lines.
    • Resolution: Comments/View alignment should now appear on one line.


Updating Popular Communities to Recommended Communities

In an effort to provide content that is relevant to the community, we are updating our Popular Communities section to Recommended Communities. This section will feature a new look, including rounded avatars, member count display change, and a “New” badge beside our up and coming communities. The information will be populated by an algorithm to provide recommendations to introduce the user to other communities they may be interested in. The first iteration of this update was launched on September 10th. Below is a preview:

Reputation System Project Introduction

Currently, in our platform, we have a very basic pointing system. We are looking at expanding our pointing system across the board with different levels within our communities. By doing this we hope that we will incentivize users to complete actions and distinguish themselves within the community. We are currently in the discovery phase, and excited to share more with you soon!

Card View - Brand New Look

As part of our effort to respond to the feedback from the community regarding the "white space" issue on our sites, we are currently working on a brand new look for our sites, a new "Card View" aiming at

  • Fixing the white spacing issue,
  • bringing more focus on the core content of the page,
  • providing a better visual experience
Please take a look at this thread for more information, and have no fear today’s current view will still be available as a Classic View option if you prefer it. We are looking at a Fall-Winter Launch. Check out our preview.

Notable Mentions

In September we will continue to make improvements to Gallery thumbnails and albums with 20 + images. We will also work towards completing the below fixes/improvements:

  • Mark All Read” Option is currently timing out on some of our sites, the issue will be resolved in release 72!
  • Descriptive text: Improvements to the functionality of descriptive text in the following sections: New, Forums, and Site Navigation.
  • Signatures: Hyperlinks in Signatures are not taking the user to a new tab. We are working to rectify this.