Following users? Definitely!

I was finally able to implement “follow user” feature, that was long requested for in the user forum and by individual users. I believe this will bring a new level of interaction on the website and I am looking for your feedback on this. One of the effects I observed in the few days that  it was alive is that the latest favorites list on homepage is spiced up already. This is very important, since I was working on bringing more dynamics to the website to reveal to buried sketches and users on the website. This is what OpenProcessing had been suffering for a while: When you upload a sketch, it gets displayed on the homepage for a very short time unless it becomes a top favorited sketch (because of the amount of uploads increased dramatically in the past years). And if a sketch becomes a top favorite sketch on the homepage, it is very likely to stay there for a long time since it is very hard for a sketch to get to that list.

Following users enables their sketches to be seen by more people and being displayed around the site more. Once more follows exist on the site, this feature will have a follow up to provide you more relevant sketch recommendations for you to check out. You can start following users now by clicking on “follow” button on their portfolio!

In addition to “follow users” thing, you are also now greeted with a new dashboard. Kind of a twitter feed/facebook feed mash up, displaying new sketches from your follows, your new followers, comments on your sketches and collections, etc.. Hoping to increase the queries that are displayed on your activity feed in the following weeks.

I hope you enjoy these new features and please let me know if you have any ideas or feedback.


  • Hey, that’s my list! ;-)
    Really nice features.
    Openp5 is improving really fast, good work!

  • Really like the new additions, and am excited about the direction you’re taking. I’d like to echo the appreciation expressed by others for all the work you’re doing.

    One thing I seem to be missing since the update… I used to have an RSS feed of the recent uploads, and that’s gone away. Nor can I find it to reinstate. Am I overlooking something obvious, or is that a feature deliberately disabled?

  • Thanks for you appreciation!

    About the rss: I removed the recent uploads rss thinking that it doesn’t make sense any more since website started to receive 100+ uploads a day, and most of them are student sketches a day. I felt like, it is becoming like how it wouldn’t make sense a ‘recent uploads’ RSS feed for youtube.. In between fetching the feed (which lists the most recent 20), RSS feed would miss many sketches anyways. Therefore, I was planning to provide RSS feeds for smaller chunks, like a specific user RSS, tag RSS, or collection RSS.

    Having said that, I’ve heard this from couple more people. May I ask how you would like to use the recent sketches RSS feed? That would help me better understand how it is being used, so I can tweak it accordingly.

  • @Ale: Yes, your list seemed to be a good example for a screenshot! :)

  • Hi Sinan,

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. What you say makes sense, and I admit I was getting tired of sifting through all the homework assignments. Your proposed sets of smaller chunks is a good idea. It’d be great if there were a way to aggregate one’s follow list into a single feed so as not to have to create a new feed for each individual user being followed.

    As for recent uploads, I had to think a bit before responding. There is still some attraction for me in seeing what’s “hot off the presses,” before it’s been predigested and evaluated by the rest of the community.

    At the same time, there is (to my mind) a lot of stuff that really may not be of general interest, such as the homework and classroom examples. Trying to segregate that type of thing out may not be practical, and ghettoizing any group of work maybe goes against the open-source spirit of the site. I’ll have to give it some more thought.

    In general, though, RSS is always a good hook. I may not visit a site every day unless there is a trickle of headlines teasing my attention. In general, if OpenProcessing is trending toward a more Flickr-like or Tumblr-like experience, then I’m supportive. I’d probably be really happy to just have updates on all the activity for the people I follow.

    Sorry this is so long, and again, many thanks.

  • Eh, weird. I thought I was replying in the above with my logged-in presence. Anyway, anonymous above is me, RA.

  • @RA: “I’d probably be really happy to just have updates on all the activity for the people I follow.”
    It is really a good idea, I am putting it to my todo list! Thanks for your comment.

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