2008 Tourneytopia Updates

posted on 01/03/08 at 09:00:07 pm by Joel Ross

TTLogoWe've just finished deploying Tourneytopia so we can be ready for the 2008 NCAA tournament, and with it come a few nice new features.

Every year, we try to add at least one really, really cool feature that will get people excited. Last year, we had a new look and feel, as well as email notifications, something that went over very well. The year before that we added, well, Tourneytopia. It was the first year we formally announced that we would provide the hosting for pools, but we also added a few features that year as well - a bunch of custom content areas that could be managed by admins, better scoring options, and a few other, smaller features.

This year's no different. There's three main features we've settled on - some bigger than others.

Entry Permalinks

First up, a simple one. Last year, if you wanted to link someone to your entry (for example, entry #7974 - my picks from last year), you would send them to http://www.tourneytopia.com/marchmadness/ncaa/pool/EntryPicks.aspx?EntryId=9749. That's a pretty big URL, and definitely tough to remember. This year, you'll be able to go to http://www.tourneytopia.com/Entry/9749 and get to your picks. That's much simpler to remember, and was inspired by Dave Winer's post about every site providing tinyurl functionality.

Content Editor Improvements

The second new feature I wanted to highlight is another improvement to our content editing. We have a bunch of placeholders scattered throughout the site and a section in the admin area where you can edit them all - but no real correlation between what you're editing and where it's going to show up. It's intuitive to us, and I'm sure users figure it out through trial and error, but things can be done better. So this year, we've formalized it into a "Content Editor" that any admin can open and manage the content. We show what content shows on each page. Here's a shot of our pools' home page with the content editor open.


You can click on any of the content items, edit it right there, and update it. If the content is on that page, you'll see it updated right away. That's much more intuitive than before!

Private Pools

Probably our biggest addition this year is a feature I'm pretty excited about - private pools. For some of our bigger customers, this allows them to have an overall contest, while allowing groups of people to compete with each other. Every pool has the ability to allow private pools to be created, so anyone (not just large customers) can take advantage of this feature!

I'll go into more details as March gets closer. But for now, we got it deployed and ready to go. We'll probably tweak it a bit over the next month or so, but it's done, and it feels good!

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Categories: Develomatic