At last, the new eMastercam.com has landed! We have been working very hard to bring not only a pretty new face but some really cool features as well. We set out with a long list of must-haves and an even longer list of "wouldn't it be cool if…" ideas, and today we are proud to share it all with you.
But this is just the beginning!
The new eMastercam.com is a dynamic, community-centric site that begs for participation and thrives on expansion. Quite simply, we want it to be your hub for everything Mastercam. And when we say 'your' – – we mean it. We want to tailor it to the needs of the community. Today we're unveiling the platform; a platform we have some ideas for and one that we'd like to incorporate your ideas into as well. We have created a new Community Forum as a place to share your thoughts, give us feedback and ask site-related questions.
Right now you might be asking "so what's new anyway?" Let's do a quick overview:
As you can see, the new homepage is alive with content. We have a featured article section and it continuously pulls content from the forums, the new wiki, blogs and twitter.
Perhaps the most anticipated feature of the new site is the upgraded forum platform. Compared to the last forum suite, the new feature set is endless. Some of the highlights are:
- Your own personal "Watched Content" for both topics and entire forums
- A multitude of notification settings so you don't miss a beat
- A mobile (phone) skin for the forums allowing access anywhere
- Topic ratings
- Members can also earn reputation points for posting quality content
- Impressive contextual search
- Slick uploading and viewing of attachments
- Private conversations
- User Profiles
- Multiple skin support (we'll be adding more)
- Ability to both friend & ignore users
- Simple sign-in with Facebook or Twitter accounts
- Active spam monitoring
Our new downloads section tracks revisions, allows us to easily manage the files made available and enables you to rate and comment on them. We will be looking into ways of opening this up to the community without sending our bandwidth bills through the roof!
The new store platform keeps things basic out of the gate but we look forward to adding features in the future. For now, you can browse by category, filter by version and search for anything you might be looking for. Oh yes, and it only made sense to add PayPal as a payment option in addition to Visa and Mastercard. If Google Checkout was available in Canada we might have added that too!
Now things get really exciting. Forums are great, don’t get us wrong but sometimes you can spend a lot of time reading through pages of replies before finding the answer you're looking for. Enter the eMastercam Wiki, the place where eventually, with your help, it will be the destination for curated answers to Mastercam questions.
It gets better.
One of the key features we set out to implement was the ability to move or copy content from the forums to the Wiki. At launch we'll be limiting this functionality to moderators, resellers and administrators until we build out and define the wiki's infrastructure. What this means is that we can sift through the endless pages of content, pick out the important stuff and with a few clicks, move it to an article in the Wiki where it can be edited and added to. Oh yeah, and we have a Media section for How-To and Video tips!
A blog is a pretty straight forward concept but what we've created is a melting pot of Mastercam blogging goodness! Out of the gate we'll have the beginnings of our blog list. Expect to see more and more added as time goes on. Our blogging platform has the ability to create blogs within eMastercam or to import outside blogs so if you know of a blog worth adding, let us know!
For starters we'll be featuring:
- The Official eMastercam Community Blog
- CNC Software's Mastercam Xtras Blog
- In-House Solution's Educational Blog
- In-House Solution's Post new Dev Blog
- In-House Solution's new Robotmaster Blog
- The Future of CNC Manufacturing Education Blog by Bert Maes
Again, a straight forward feature. We think it will be neat to see people's various perspectives on Mastercam related events through their photo taking skills. To get us started, there's an album for IMTS 2010. Those of you that were there with your cameras, feel free to fill in the gaps! Perhaps more interesting will be the Project Showcase area where you can show off (preferably non-NDA) parts and add some jargony commentary.
The official community calendar serves two primary purposes: one, to give you the hope of finally organizing your life through the use of private (for your eyes only) scheduling abilities and two, to make the community at large aware of upcoming events with public postings. Resellers get the special treatment of having their own (shared) calendar because they're special.
So that is the new site in a rather large nutshell! Stay tuned to the Community Blog for closer looks at various features. Now go play!