It’s a little late for a 2016 year in review but I thought it was a fitting subject for my final CR4 post. You see, I’m moving on to a new job at a new company, and won’t have the opportunity to share from this perspective again.
2016 was a great year for CR4. The community site received more than its usual share of attention at GlobalSpec and we were able to accomplish a number of projects related to improving your experience. Here are some of the highlights:
Mobile Responsive Version
You can now use CR4 from your smartphone! The software development team worked very hard for several months in order to improve your CR4 experience from a mobile device.
The CR4 Daily Digest email newsletter received a makeover. Like the site, it’s also responsive, and will resize to be easy to read from your mobile device. Moderators now have the ability to feature a post at the top of each issue and customize the subject line so you can have a hint about what you’ll find inside. Some work was done to improve deliverability, too.
Late in 2016 we rolled out the ability for you to use your CR4 account to comment on other types of content from Engineering360 and Electronics360. We heard your feedback about not wanting to sign up for yet another account/plugin and so now you can use your CR4 handle for commenting across all three platforms.
2016 also marks a year since we began posting sponsored blog content on CR4. Thank you for being respectful to our sponsors and taking the time to read and comment on their posts.
2017 and Beyond
2017 is shaping up to be another great year for CR4. I’m sad to announce that I won’t be here to help with it.
After 12 years with GlobalSpec I am moving on to a new opportunity. I’ve been a part of CR4 since 2008 and have enjoyed writing blog posts and interacting with all of you. My time here has been less lately, as my official job was as a senior product manager and CR4 is something I’ve worked on as time allows, but nevertheless it’s been one of my favorite parts of my work.
CR4 members have a wealth of knowledge across so many topics and I hope that you continue to be respectful of conflicting opinions.
Who to Contact
Need assistance with anything related to CR4? Here are two places where you can get help:
It certainly doesn’t happen as much today, in the age of streaming services and binge watching. But up until recently the ‘clip show’ was a staple of primetime American sitcoms. It was a cheap way of stretching already-filmed footage into another episode without incurring the costs of actors and their supporting staff. Clip shows were often used to mark milestones, such as 100 episodes or season finales.
Yours truly has been drafting and publishing entries on CR4 weekly for the past five years. Every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday on a busy week), including holidays and vacations, you can find a new post from HUSH in the blogging column on the community front page. By my recount, there have only been two weeks where I haven’t posted a weekly blog, but there have been occasions where I’ve posted more than two in a week. The result is 288 blog entries posted since my first post about making rink ice on 12/14/2011 (but just one good answer—about tennis of all things!).
What follows is a self-referential, nostalgic look at the good, bad, weird and wrong blog posts I’ve conjured up over the past five years, along with comments where I have something to add. For all intents and purposes, this is a CR4 clip show.
But first, a major thank you to anyone on CR4 that has read, commented or shared any one of my posts. You’ve had a more profound effect on my career than what may be apparent, even when the entries have been boring or blasé.
On with the [clip] show. Iron bathtubs not included.
Starting December 1, 2016, CR4 users will be able to comment on articles from both Engineering360 and Electronics360 with their CR4 accounts! A piece of feedback we've heard again and again since launching our editorial sites more than a year ago is the annoyance of needing yet another login for the Livefyre commenting platform.
We heard you... and are excited to announce that commenting on Engineering360 and Electronics360 articles is now powered by CR4. If you are logged into CR4 you will be logged in for commenting on either of the editorial sites. You can access the articles via the links above or from the CR4 homepage or from the CR4 Daily Digest newsletter.
The view of comments on any of the article pages is a "light" one that mimics what you see on the mobile responsive version of CR4. You will be able to add and reply to comments and subscribe to discussions.
We will continue to add more functionality to the comments on the articles. If you prefer the "full" CR4 experience when reading the comments on the articles, you will find a view on CR4 link at the bottom of each one.
Non-CR4 users who would like to comment on the articles will be required to registered for a CR4 account before their first post.
CR4 discussions are like real life conversations. They start off on topic, and later veer off track as the discussion evolves. Maybe you are subscribed to topics you don't care about anymore. Or you might have returned from vacation and don't have time to read through all of the replies. You want to turn off the new comment indicator (who doesn't love clearing notifications?) but want to remain subscribed. Either way, there is a place on CR4 where you can manage your subscriptions.
What am I subscribed to, anyway? Each user has a list of all the posts that he or she is subscribe to. This list can be accessed in several different ways:
Click your user name (near the upper right of each page, beneath the IEEE logo) and then click the View Subscribed Discussions button.
Scroll down to the bottom of the menu on the right hand side of the page. Under More Options there is a link for My Subscribed Discussions. The Subscribed Discussions link also appears in the Logged In section.
On your smartphone, tap the triangle on the lower right of the screen to expand the menu. Tap CR4 Profile and then View Subscribed Discussions.
Managing Your Subscriptions
Once you make it to your subscribed discussion page, you are able to view the list of posts you are subscribed to. The page shows the title of the post, the date you subscribed, and the date of the most recent comment.
Click the check boxes next to the discussions you want to manage. Scroll to the bottom of the page to take an action. You have two options:
Mark as read - remove the notification for the existing comments to those discussions, but remain subscribed to future comments
Unsubscribe - stop receiving notifications to comments for those discussions