Exciting summer plans
We have several new team members who have joined us for the summer to help development several new Community features. These features include merit badges, the ability to follow other users and their work, and a tagging system to organize worlds and their content. All of these concepts are still within the initial planning stages, but the mains ideas are fleshed out enough for me to describe a quick introduction of each.
The idea here is to allow users to earn badges as they accomplish new tasks within the Community and the Looking Glass programming environment. For example, new users might earn a "first shared world" activities badge after they share their first world. Moving along the difficulty spectrum, more advanced users might achieve a skills badge in response to implementing their first "do together" programming construct when building their world. We intend for badges to be displayed on users' profile pages to commend their achievements in learning and implementing new coding structures as well as to tout their contributions to the Community.
Novice users may want to follow more advanced users whose shared worlds appear both inspiring and desirable to reproduce. In its preliminary stages, "following" another user will allow the followee to be notified when that user shares a new world. However, as this feature is more thought out and developed, we hope for it to mature into a guided system to allow the followee to understand what steps the more advanced user took in order to create his or her shared worlds, and how the followee can in turn similarly learn how to create more advanced worlds.
Worlds are currently available for bookmarking and then remixing. When "remixing" a world, a user can find an animation within that world, then import and repurpose it within their own world project. As the list of worlds with potential animations to remix grows, we want these animations to be more easily findable. Animations will have tags, and users will be able to search for new worlds to remix via those tags.
Let the development begin!