As most of you already know, V3 is live. We "soft launched" quietly yesterday with the goal of doing some bug fixing before our public launch today.
We will be doing a number of posts in the coming days about some cool, expert only type features that are on the new site. We'll also be doing our best to explain how basic things work with V3, as well as working hard to eliminate any outstanding bugs - thanks to all who have sent feedback to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding bugs, missing features, and the like.
Here are my three favorite new features on the new site:
1) The news feed. The code name for this feature internally was "the river," and I think that's pretty descriptive. This is the home page for logged in folks. You can poke your head into this page and watch all the activity from your friends flow on by. In one sense, the Recent Reviews page on the old site has become the primary metaphor for V3. We have category level rivers for things like Sports, and Subject level rivers for things like Baseball. For the advanced users, you can customize your news feed settings by clicking on the Gear icon on your home page. You can follow keywords for things you're interested in (e.g. beer, art, music, movies, etc.), and you can set your network settings to include friends, friends of friends, or even friends of friends of friends. You can even do things like hide all activity from "My Feed" of particular users (ever have somebody that you need to be their "friend," but don't actually like reading their reviews?) And finally, you can hide keywords like "politics" or "religion" if the droning starts to get your down. I find this feature extremely powerful. I see it as the power to build the exact RateItAll experience that you want.
2) Compatibility Quizzes. These are a fun, quick way to rate a bunch of things and compare yourself to others around RIA. We have hundreds of these quizzes, across many different categories. We will be working on tightening up the quiz results display (so we don't show folks who have only rated one item within a quiz), as well as making the results more precise. We will also be adding paging to the bottom of the quiz pages, and adding in quiz specific search to help with the discovery of new quizzes. This is a fun feature that's only going to get better.
3) "Write a Review" Feature. The internal code name for this feature is "global add." It literally lets you write a review of anything. There's a wizard that walks you through the process of adding new items to the site, and we try to always provide a catch-all topic for your item if you can't find the exact right place to put it. For me, this changes site experience dramatically. I can now rate any damn thing that I please, whether or not a list exists for it. A dish at a restaurant. A taqueria in Mexico City. My friend's blog. You can add anything and everything, and the item will immediately be available for rating and sharing (though it will need to be approved to show up in site search and the list). Try this feature out if you haven't already - it's powerful.
(Forgive me a quick sentimental moment, but I'm really proud of the RateItAll team. These guys really went all out on this - for the last few weeks, the office was full seven days a week, and often until midnight. We're all a bit exhausted (my wife said to me this morning, but feeling pretty good about where things are at.)
That's all for now. As I said, there will be lots more to follow on how this thing works.