This morning I watched Anderson Cooper read the names of the dead from the Orlando attack and I found myself starting to cry. I suppose it is the natural evolution of emotions to such an event, that started with shock, moved through anger and has ended with such sadness at the injustice of people loosing their lives for no fault of their own.
The news is so full of stories of heroism, escape and messages that were sent from sons, daughters and loved ones that would not survive the night. I suppose crying is a natural reaction for a civilised human being.
Then on the other side we see the reaction of the not so civilised and not so human. So called Christian preachers that celebrate (in their words) “50 less paedophiles on the street”. The people who peddle hate, who find ways to twist words from books that are meant to promote love and acceptance and of course the members of the group that at least seem to have inspired this atrocity.
However I find myself turning my mind to those stories we have all seen on the internet of executions carried out by the so called Islamic State against other members of the gay community that haven't taken place in our back yard but in Syria and other countries where this organisation operates. I haven't cried for them and I should have. I haven't found myself so moved that I had to make a statement on this site, and I should have.
I hope I can speak for all that work for Fridae that we must as human beings stand firm and redouble our efforts to speak up when these abominations happen not just when the death toll hits a high mark and not just when it is close to home.
Did someone say New iPhone App
Last week we launched our new Fridae iPhone app and for me this marks a pivotal moment in our stewardship of Fridae.
It has been just over a year (April 2015) since we took over the running of Fridae and I hope that members have been able to see a discernible improvement on the service being offered.
It is a shame that many of you can not sit where I do. Many of the changes that have been made in Fridae will not have been noticed by any of you. The developers here at DragonStack have slowly been wading through the millions of lines of code and have been enhancing and fixing many aspects of the site.
We are currently looking into making it easier to download the Android App in China. We have put a direct download on the site itself, but we are in the process of listing the app on some Chinese App Stores. Also you can expect to see both apps becoming available in multiple languages including Chinese.
We have also made a commitment to keep improving on our own development work. Both the iPhone and the Android app are now part of a regular updating progress. We receive daily reports of any issues directly from the apps and our coders immediately work on updates. You may have noticed that the apps have lots of updates. However, this is not only just to fix bugs, we also have a development schedule and we hope to bring you new functionality on a regular basis.
This is one of the advantages of having an in house development team and although they are not solely working on Fridae it does mean that we can react relatively quickly to new developments.
You may have noticed that we have made a few changes to the site as well. New headers, and new colour schemes have given the site a small face lift. We are still working on a complete rebuild of the site but we thought these changes would help make the site look a little more modern.
An Update On Progress
It has been seven months since we took control of Fridae and I thought it was timely for me to give you, the members, an update of what we think we have achieved in that time.
First of all, we know this is not a finished job, far from it. We came into this project with our eyes open with a clear realisation that the fridae infrastructure needed a lot of work. However when picking up code that was written by someone else, there will always be an amount of time simply finding out what it does.
Lets start with what we have done:
- Almost immediately we migrated the site onto a new, more flexible hosting platform. This allowed us to increase hosting resources as needed.
- We were also keen to resolve the problems caused by the picture policy on the site. We introduced a picture moderation policy, which meant that members could then have adult pictures on their profile. Members with perks were then able to view these pictures, while we could filter out these pictures when viewed on the mobile apps, as Google and Apple do not permit them. It was a very interesting time as all of us in the office, having to moderate the hundred’s of thousands of pictures before this policy could be introduced.
- Also quite early on we did realise that the push messaging on the iPhone app was not running and we starting work on getting the service back up and running. Recently we have rewritten the way this push service works for all apps and now the service should react immediately when messages are sent.
- In July we launch version 1 of the web app. This app worked on all mobile platforms and gave a certain amount of functionality for users, including messages and radar searches. We see this as an ongoing development and we would expect to see more functionality in the future versions.
- This was followed by version 1 of the Android app. We tried to get this released as quickly as possible. There have been some bugs to iron out but again we see this as a continuous development project. More about this later.
- We have also reintroduced the credit card facility on the site, initially with Master Card and Visa but we hope to expand this in the near future.
So that brings us to the current day. Over this last weekend we have been launching our new revised Chinese language service. We will be now be publishing editorial articles in Chinese, sending out newsletters and supporting more, the users in this language. This is something I hope we will be able to build on as time goes by.
We have also started a series of travel promotions starting with Hong Kong “Out In Hong Kong”. This is provided in partnership with one of our sister sites hotmale.net. It also sees the restarting of the Fridae Travel section with listing of LGBT venues all over the world.
Yesterday also saw the launch of the next major upgrade of the Android App. (Version 2). This includes many layout changes to help make the use of the app easier.
One big complaint we also get from our users is that the picture upload size is very small. We agree, and I am pleased to announce that this has been increased to 5mb.
So what is to come in the future.
Well our biggest development item is the rebuild of the iPhone app. The current app was built for iOS4 and is very out of date. Unfortunately we never had an editable version of this and as a result we can not fix the bugs, the only option is a complete rebuild.
We are also looking at, Real Time Chat, Tribes, Events Calendar, Business/Services Directories, Shop and Flight Bookings, as well as a compete rebuild of the website itself.
We also want to improve the security when registering on the site, to start to filter out any spammers, we know how annoying they can be. We are grateful for those of you who report these people to us. In the mean time please be careful before you give out any personal details about yourself to other members. Especially if their opening line is asking you to send them an email.
We have a few more things planned but I will let you know about them in the future.
We appreciate the feedback and comments the members send through. All get sent through to our development team for consideration. The more constructive the better.
I see Fridae as a community and it is my intention to see this community grow, I hope we can do this together.
Fridae Managing Director
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