Mirai Gaia

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Sun 2008/03/02 05:04 JST in Misc

You probably notice some changes around the site by now and I probably should talk about them before the bugs start to get on your nut ^^;

Up until now, the site used to run on a platform that I built called Nav2.0 - a blog publishing platform.
I made the decision to merge all three Mirai Inc products into one product called Mirai Gaia. The three products were:-

  • Nav2.0 (blog publishing) - what you have been browsing the site on. Built specifically to enhance discoverability of related and previous content. Many blog publishing platforms bury old content which is a shame because blog owners spend a lot of time preparing content. When I say "bury" I mean that discoverability is poor. Nav2.0 not only makes related and previous content discoverable to humans, all templates are search engine optimized too for search bots.
  • Gaia (e-commerce) - Gaia is an e-commerce platform that I built a few years ago which is being used by a few of my clients in Japan. Contains enhanced browsing and discoverability of all products in the catalog.
  • Carrot (consumer generated media/SNS) - figure.fm and a few other sites run on this platform dedicated to building communities where the content is generated by consumers.

Mirai Gaia is going to be licensed initially to a few Japanese corporations and I will be announcing a few launches in the future.

First let me talk about the bugs that you may be experiencing due to the platform migration which is still in progress.
Known bugs/issues are:-

  • Main tabs on the top page do not highlight properly and are not consistent across the site - this is because some of the site is running on Mirai Gaia and some still on Nav2.0
  • Your Amazon products dont show up *yet*
  • Your Flickr photos dont show up *yet*
  • Forms for submitting calendar items, videos and links is being rebuilt and will be ready soon.
  • Need to work on CSS for navigational tabs and subnavs
  • "Recently active members" list does not refresh
  • Show/hide comment layers is broke
  • "Go" button on the calendar sort menu looks like poo
  • Some layout formatting issues in Safari2 and IE6/7 - looks fine in Firefox
  • Some old Calendar feeds may be broke - please resub to the new feeds (sorry)
  • Footer design not complete on some pages
  • 404 Page looks like poo
  • Item comments archive on the Japanese site have missing titles for articles written in English only
  • Server side caching is a bit broke

Urgent todo's are:-

  • Finish forms for submitting videos, images, calendar items and links - the new form will be merged into one instead of 4 separate forms
  • Finish Amazon product listing widget to allow you to display your chosen Amazon products on your profile page and for any item you submit
  • iPhone/mobile version of dannychoo.com
  • Enable user image upload
  • Reply to comments via email
  • Research posting reply via an RSS feed
  • Comment form on the post/article page
  • Migrate rest of dannychoo.com (articles, galleries etc) to Mirai Gaia
  • Enable comment threading on articles
  • Enable Nuke functionality - if you joined me at the Good Smile Broadcast then you will remember me talking about this.
  • Launch private messaging to other members

OK, going to quickly run through some of the main changes.

Below: The old header was created manually and difficult to maintain. While it did rotate images from time to time, I had to manually create those images and set them in an array.

I thought I would take the opportunity to make good use of the header space and have it increase discoverability across the site. The thumbnails you see in the header are taken from articles which are automatically generated according to popular posts within that category. The thumbnails represent what content can be found in that category and users will see something different all the time. Below: You can now keep tabs on comments across the site in using the comment tracker. The thumbnails displayed next to each comment represents that commented item/article.
You can also RSS subscribe to the comments and soon will be able to view them formatted for Japanese mobile devices or iPhones. Below: Puchi Blurbs are now easier to view which you can also RSS subscribe to and view by year/month/user too.
Congrats to member Chong Mizunaga for submitting the 10000th puchi blurb! Below: My News Items have been using the Image Upload feature and you too will be able to upload your images soon. Below: When you go to a user profile page like mine, you can see my profile and initially all the comments I've made so far. The tabs on this page represent your media items - your comments, puchi blurbs, videos, links, and calendar items. The form to submit these will be up again soon.
This is an example of member D_Blades profile page and you can instantly see that he has made 2414 comments so far. He can also use this feature to "bookmark" his favorite items/articles by commenting on them. Below: You can also view items by year/month. Here you can see for example that member FatB has commented 142 times in February. Below: Whenever you get lost, just click on "Site Map" in the header - the page includes a search box which will focus on the search field as soon as the page loads. Below: Here is an example of just some of the feeds that you can subscribe to. You can subscribe to my comments, my images, my idol images only, my idol videos only etc etc. You can also subscribe to calendar events using the iCal format too - it works this time ^^; Am currently working on server side caching problems. Pages that require data to be pulled from the database should be cached server side so that the database is not hit for each user visit. When a comment is made, the cache on the server must be flushed so that the page shows the comment. The problem I am facing is that when too many pages are cached server side, many files need to be flushed and that takes time. This is the reason why the comment form stalls for a while.

I've set up scripts which flush the cache automatically every 5 minutes but the amount of users hitting the site generate thousands of cache files every minute ^^; If you are a caching expert then throw some ideas at me ^^;