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Arcanum News: Readings, Help pages, and navbar update


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If you haven't visited Arcanum today and seen it for yourself, we've made some updates which we think will be really helpful for everyone! Let's talk about what those changes are.

Readings Page

While most of the content of Arcanum is focused on Words of Brandon - which typically take the form of a brief Q&A - readings are also extremely popular. When Brandon does a reading of an upcoming book or an old one that was never published, we make sure to capture it on Arcanum and get it transcribed. Unfortunately, it has always been a bit tricky to discover this content unless you know which event it happened at. They also have a tendency to drown out and interfere with regular entries in search, due to their size, and for this reason we began excluding them from search results. This had the unfortunate consequence of making them even more difficult to find. We're happy to say that this should no longer be a problem!

You can find the new Readings page under the new Discover menu (discussed further below), and from there you can access all of these readings!

There are four sections on the page:

  1. Readings from Upcoming Stories - The latest readings Brandon has done from books with an upcoming publication date.
  2. Readings from Trunked or Potential Stories - The latest readings Brandon has done that are either from trunked books (those he has no intention of publishing) or other potential stories (those which might be published one day, but don't have a specific timeline on their release).
  3. Other Available Unpublished Content - These are external links to books or excerpts that Brandon has posted online or made available elsewhere. This content isn't on Arcanum, but we want to make it easy to find alongside the other readings.
  4. Readings from Published Stories - These are pre-publication readings that Brandon did for books which have since been published. We've got a record of those here in case anybody is curious about prior drafts.

We're willing to bet there's something on this page you haven't seen before, so check it out and let your friends know!

Help Pages

As you'll see below, we have created SEVERAL new help pages which we hope will be a lot easier to find and navigate than digging through old forum posts!

Most of these are under the new Help menu, and they focus on common questions we see from regular users of the site. "Welcome!" has some basic information about the site and an FAQ section, which is a great place to start if you have any questions. The other help pages here will go into details about how to use the site to find and view content. For example, there's a lot of neat tricks you can do in the search bar to narrow results. While this information can be found in a forum topic, the new Search Help page should make everyone's lives easier!

Note there's also a few help pages under the new Contribute menu. These are specifically focused on helping people post new content to the site. Whether you're trying to share new audio, help transcribe audio, or add a Word of Brandon that you found, this documentation should be a big help. If you see others wanting to help out, make sure to point them at these pages!

If you feel like our help pages are lacking somewhere, be sure to let us know!

Updated Menu

The main menu on the site has been overhauled so that we can make information and links more accessible. We previously had just a few direct links. Now you will find topical dropdowns with submenus that contain several useful links each. Here's what they include, with new things in green:

  • Discover - The Discover menu is where you can find links that help you dig into the content on Arcanum.
    • Events - This is the same old Events page, where all events are listed (in chronological order by default)
    • Recent - And this is the same old Recent page, where you can find newly created entries (chronological by creation date by default)
    • Tags - Tags is another familiar page, where you can access the tags used to categorize entries.
    • Readings - This is a brand new page where you can access readings and excerpts from books, both published and unpublished. More on this later.
  • Contribute - The Contribute menu is a new hub for people who want to help add and maintain content on Arcanum.
    • To Do List - The To Do List is a list of audio snippets that need to be transcribed. So if you have time to help us transcribe audio, this is the place to look. Note that you need to be signed in to your Arcanum account to access this page.
    • Style Guide - This is a new help page which covers everything you need to know about the conventions we use for the content included on Arcanum. We encourage everyone who contributes to be familiar with this page.
    • Creating Entries - This is a new help page that walks through all the steps of creating a new entry. If you want to add a new Word of Brandon, this page will help you through the process.
    • Recordings - This is a new help page about recording events and uploading audio.
  • Links - The Links menu simply contains links to several important related websites.
    • Discord - This invite to our 17th Shard Discord server will take you directly to to the #arcanum channel.
    • Forum - This link to the 17th Shard Forums will take you directly to the Arcanum Discussion forum.
    • Wiki - This link will bring you to the Coppermind wiki.
    • GitHub - For those who want to help with coding, this link will take you to the Palanaeum project on GitHub, which is the software we've created that Arcanum runs on.
  • Help - The Help menu contains several new help pages that should cover all kinds of questions people have about using the website.
    • Welcome! - A simple welcome page with some basic information about using the site.
    • Navigation Help - Details about navigating the website.
    • Search Help - Everything you wanted to know about using search on Arcanum.
    • Collections Help - Information about how to make and use the Collections feature.
    • Coding - Curious about contributing to the software we use? See this page for more info on how you can help.
    • Arcanum Bots - Details about using bots to access Arcanum.
    • Staff Info - Contact information and a history of the website.

With the new menu, we hope that accessing and using the site is easier than ever!

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  • Jofwu pinned this topic
  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/27/2022 at 7:13 PM, Ookla the Frustrated. said:

Are there any plans to make browsing public collections possible in the future?

Maybe eventually. It probably couldn't work exactly as you are expecting, as it's possible people just want to share the link to some and not have it be in an index of everything. 

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