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Kirkus

More Expanding on the Horizon

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With the new platform on the back-burner indefinitely, I'm focusing on expanding the options for our members here on the forum.

One goal for 2013 is to see our community retain more permanent and active members. I think offering a wider variety of fun ways to interact with each other and with the community as a whole, is one way of helping us to reach that goal. In order to help do this, you'll be seeing some additions to our forum community.

Our new Chat Bar is the first of these additions. The idea is to bring back an easy-to-use chat room (TATChat), in addition to a few other neat things. TATChat was a fairly popular part of the community, especially during tournaments and special events. I know the new Chat Bar is not like the old FlashChat. I tried to find a way to bring it back like it was before the forum upgrade earlier this year. But the reality is that the software was no longer supported and development of it stopped in 2010. So now we're using a system called CometChat. Not only does it provide for new community based chat rooms, created by you, but also for one-on-one private chatting with your TAT-Friends. Included are 2-player games (if someone plays those, let me know how they work), a few promotional links for our social networking pages Facebook and Twitter, and an easier, quicker way for us to make important announcements to online members.

I hope you all like it. I hope our old FlashChat users will enjoy it as much as you did the old one.

The next addition will be that of Social Groups. A system that will allow members to create and join specific groups based on your interests. For instance, you might create a group for Federer fans. Other members might join your group. Within your specific group you can share photos, and start discussion threads that are exclusive to the group. Another example might be a group for members who are interested in computer technology. Social Groups can be like smaller communities within the larger TAT community.

Later this year, or early next year, the plan is to make available a Facebook app that will allow members to browse our forum community directly from Facebook. Again, the idea being to make it easier for new members to become active, and for current members to remain active.

Lastly, I hope to have TAT-specific mobile apps available in both the Apple Store and the Android Marketplace. These apps will allow members to be active in our community from their mobile devices and/or tablets. Currently we're using a 3rd party application, Tapatalk, which has worked pretty well for our mobile device users. Our TAT-exclusive apps will be free of charge.

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Change isn't easy. But many of these future changes will come to our members on a voluntary basis. Use them. Don't use them. The choice will be yours.

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