In keeping with the spirit of the very infrequent "State of the Ghost" posts I add yet another to the mix. Going forward I plan on doing about 4 a year talking about the nuts and bolts of what's going on and what we have brewing on the site.

Overall I am really happy with how far Cheerful Ghost has come since I launched the site this year in January. Ill paint a larger picture at the year end with how far we have come, but needless to say I am really proud of Cheerful Ghost as it sits today. Since the site is still so young if you have any suggestions or recommendations forward I would love to hear them.

Last month I added a lot of stuff to Cheerful Ghost to clear out some long needed features to make it easy to start up some new awesome stuff we will launch very soon. Before I get into the upcoming features currently in the works, lets discuss what I rolled out last month:

  1. Posts now have titles. Its funny because people have been asking for this since the site first launched. I thought it was nothing important so I kept dismissing it as something we needed. Over time I realized that being the ONLY person that felt we didn't need post titles was a bad idea, so I gave you what you wanted. I sort of did it thinking no one would use it but... since its launch its has been used in 100% of all new posts proving without a doubt I can be wrong about what features we actually need :D After using the post titles myself, I can say they are an awesome addition and I am glad people kept pushing on that one. I think this proves that if enough people want something and are vocal about it, it will be added. Post titles now work with our Atom Feed, Emails & Google Searches and when you share a post to Facebook and Google+ the title is incorporated in the content.

  2. If you come to the site on a popular Holiday you will get a trophy. So far I have added Trophies for All Hallows Eve, Turkey Day & Leprechaun Day. As more holidays approach, I will add more. If you have a holiday you think should be memorialised in trophy form, let me know. Yes, I will add a trophy for Star Wars Day. :D

  3. If people haven't come to the site in a few weeks we send out a email letting them know the most popular conversations that happened since they were away. I send this out every two weeks as to not be annoying. We now randomize between 5 or 6 different subjects for the email. I don't want to give the impression the content of the email is always the same because the subject line was. Now the subject will be different enough to hopefully let the user know the content of the email is new and interesting.

  4. We were having a problem with certain people posting content a few users and myself didn't think was awesome. I implemented a system to "bury" a post. Basically it means that a buried post won't be visible to anyone on the main or corresponding game page. The post will be visible to the originating user and on the users personal area. 99% of posts are fine, occasionally some are not and this is just a way to ensure stuff on the main page is awesome for everyone.

  5. Tungsten, Panickedthumb & WhiteboySlim are site moderators. Basically this allows them the ability to bury posts and add and edit games in the Cheerful Ghost database. Wherein its not new they are moderators, they can now bury posts along with me.

  6. I experimented with adding video embed support for Basically I can't get a good method to ALWAYS display the video feed to browsers on your phone, tablet and desktop. What I ended up doing is displaying a Twitch graphic pointing the user to the twitch content on the site. I don't love this solution, but I like it more than displaying a broken box to people on iPhones and Androids. Eventually Twitch will provide an embed that will work on all clients and when they do I will be the first to incorporate it.

  7. I had to migrate the database of the provider we host the site with. The free database plan we were on was no longer valid because of all the data the site stores. I guess tracking 26k games all the posts and comments take up more space than they felt should be under the free plan. :D
  8. I also fixed a few bugs and made some improvements to the overall site look and feel as well as a bunch of other stuff I don't remember off hand.

I cleared this list off because I wanted to put us feature wise in a good place for something I have wanted to do since the site launched in January.

Cheerful Ghost is getting a visual upgrade. First off I want to let you know that the site will not lose any functionality you love. I am merely taking the design we currently have and making it better. Since I am the lone developer you have been stuck with the best visual design that I could muster. For not being a designer I am pretty happy with how it turned out but I want the site to be "moar awesomerz" in its visuals.

Yesterday I started the process of working with the new design made with the amazing Twitter Bootstrap Framework( and after showing it to a friend I am really happy with the direction. What I am doing is recreating the main page in HTML and making sure it works well on phones, tablets and desktops. When I complete the initial design and mockup I will post a "Lets Play: Cheerful Ghost Design Edition" to show you what I have cooked up.

After the design is tweaked and I feel it is awesome enough, ill spend a week or whatever cutting up the site to operate with the new design. After the bugs are all ironed out ill push it out for everyone to enjoy.

The reason I want to give the site a visual lift is because I want the visuals of Cheerful Ghost to be as awesome as the community and the content we create together. For many months I have considered what to do about this and think I am on a pretty good path, but I look forward to your input here when I post the visual "Lets Play" video showcasing the new goods.

Thanks for reading and if you have any thoughts about the above, please let me know.

Jacob_Richardson wrote on 11/04/2012 at 11:47pm

Awesome job getting all of those things into the website. I look forward to the visual overhaul. If what your using has a way to add in anything semi-fancy you should ask me or my brother. I did graphic design on cards and a lot of other things for along while. I believe he is taking courses in school to do some things as well.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 11/05/2012 at 03:11am

When I get the Lets Play video up showing off the new design I'd love to get your thoughts for sure!

Travis   Admin wrote on 11/05/2012 at 03:44am

You should do a for a couple of weeks before launching the new design, just to have a ton of eyes on it with suggestions.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 11/05/2012 at 04:00am

A beta is a good idea I might do that depending on how much work it is to do it.

Gary_Butterfield wrote on 11/05/2012 at 05:07pm

Great work so far, Jon.

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