It’s hard to believe that it’s been four whole years since I launched Protagonize one cold winter night in late December, 2007.
In 2011, we saw the launch of group submissions (and in fact the whole of the groups feature), as well as a number of other smaller improvements spread out throughout the site. Performance enhancements and optimizations were the focus of the fall. Statistics-wise, our community has grown to nearly 20,000 authors, with over 25,000 works published and over 104,000 pages of content written on the site since its inception.
All-in-all, it’s been a quiet but progressive year for Protagonize.
While it may seem that I’ve been keeping with the site overhaul I promised a few months back close to the vest, I’ve actually been working away on it since the summer. It’s a pretty massive overhaul from a visual and user experience standpoint, but it also required a lot of work behind the scenes to make the new interface work with our existing site structure.
Now, the announcement I mentioned a few days back in my holiday post: the new interface will be going into testing with our beta group sometime before January 15th. This is a pretty major step in the process of launching the new look, and I’m glad to know we have an awesome group of ~70 beta testers from among our site’s authors.
This time around, we won’t be accepting any new beta applications, but anyone who purchases a Plus subscription ($50 CAD) prior to the start of beta will be automatically added to the the tester group. Once the beta test officially kicks off, automatic beta membership from Plus subscriptions will end. If you’re in the fence, this will be your last chance to help out the site and get to experience the new interface early!
Note: If you already have beta access, you’re all set to beta test when I flip the switch. I’ll be posting more information about how beta will work once we get closer to mid-January.
With that in mind, here are a few actual screenshots of the new, fully-functional reading interface running on an iPad 2. You can click through each image to see the full-size version. (Some bits are subject to change, as usual. :)
You’ll notice some familiar faces, too, I’m sure. Enjoy!