Beerology News


2013/12/10 10:50 - Maintenance Mode [mudboy]

 As you can tell by the lack of updates, the Beerology/Ars Technica trader feedback database is basically in maintenance mode.  I will address any urgent issues as time allows.

2009/08/07 19:28 - Back in business [mudboy]
The validation API that Ars Technica had provided for me for years went through some changes, which meant I was dead in the water as far as new user approvals was concerned. Well, it's back up and we're back in business, and I went through the backlog of users awaiting approval. So, if you signed up recently and haven't gotten an email with your password, please sign up again, making sure that you're using the user ID that you log into the Ars Technica Open Forums with.
2006/04/07 13:19 - Traders to Watch list updated [mudboy]
The Traders to Watch listing has been updated.
2006/02/01 16:23 - Advertising [mudboy]

Well, Google ads haven't been working out.  For some reason, they think there was some click fraud, so they have stopped paying me for clickthroughs.

If you are interested in advertising on Beerology, please shoot me an email (click the "email me" link at the bottom of the page).  I haven't come up with a rate yet, but I'll keep things affordable...I'm just trying to cover the cost of hosting.

2005/05/09 06:01 - Transaction value [mudboy]
I've added a new field to the database and the review forms for "transaction value".  If desired, you can put the dollar value of your transaction in that field.  The idea is that it establishes a track record for users in that reviews for higher transaction values might hold more weight with some people.
2004/10/06 21:05 - Traders to Watch list has been updated [mudboy]
I just went through the Traders to Watch Thread and did a complete update on the TTW page; you can get there by clicking the link in the left navigation.
2004/10/06 20:59 - New features [mudboy]

I've been busy.

  • I have added contact information to personal profiles.  These are completely optional and totally free-form.  The idea is that other users can verify your shipping address.  I will add a way to display contact info to other users soon.
  • I've added a "refresh email" feature for logged in users to allow them to update their email addresses from the Ars database.  I will add a way for people to do this without being logged in soon.
  • I have added review comments to the review notification email.  I have also made the reciprocal review link in that email more useful by having it take you directly to the review form.

This has been a big push, there's not much else on my list to do.

2004/10/04 14:34 - New Feature: Check Reciprocal Reviews! [mudboy]

I've added a new feature that makes it a lot easier to figure out who owes you (or who you owe) reciprocal reviews.  On the "View Feedback" page, there is a new column labeled "Rec?" which stands for "Reciprocal?".  If there is a gold star in that column for a given review, that means there is a review left by the other party in the transaction.  If there is a red "alarm" icon, that means there is no reciprocal review.  If you're viewing your own feedback (that is, feedback that others have left for you), you can click on that icon to leave a reciprocal review.  If you are you are viewing feedback that you have written, click on the alarm icon to request a recipriocal review.  Hopefully this will help clear up the review deficit.  One thing to note, this isn't a perfect system, there might be a couple that don't show up, but it should help indicate the vast majority of owed reviews.

2004/05/04 19:33 - Google Ads [mudboy]

I've added Google ads to the site in an effort to defray some of the costs of running the site; PayPal donations during the annual "fund drive" help a lot, hopefully the ads will make up for the rest of the costs of running the site.

If you're terribly offended by the Google ads, or if you would like to advertise on Beerology, drop me an email.

2004/01/22 09:44 - Email address reminder [mudboy]

I've been getting a LOT of people lately signing up for new accounts who have email addresses that don't match either address in your Ars Technica profile.  This is bad.

Here's what happens.  If you sign up for a Beerology account, I receive a notification that a new user has signed up.  I go to a secure admin page on Beerology, where I can verify your email address (which is where the system-generated password gets sent once your account is approved by me).  If the email address you provided when you signed up for Beerology matches one of the addresses in your Ars profile, I approve the account and you will receive your password and activation information via email.

However, if the email address you provided doesn't match one of the ones in your Ars profile, I can do one of two things.  I can take the BOFH route and say "Screw it, they don't know enough to read directions so I'll just delete their account."  Or, I can edit your Beerology record and change the email address to one of the ones in your Ars profile, which is what I usually do.

Why all the hub-bub, you ask?  Well, Beerology is an accountable and secure web site that has gained a good deal of trust from the user community, and I don't take that lightly.  The only way I can truly know that you are who you say you are is by verifying your email address against your Ars account.

So, here's what you need to do.  If you are creating a new Beerology account, make sure your email address matches the one in your Ars profile.  If you want to use a different email address, update your Ars profile first.  If the email address that is currently in your Beerology profile is wrong, log in, click on the "edit profile" link, and update your email address.  Don't use any anti-spam measures in your email address, since that will result in bounced emails to you.  I take measures to hide your email address from email address harvesting bots.  If your Beerology email address is incorrect and needs to be updated, and you can't log in, email me from the link at the bottom of every page, provide me with your username, and I will update your address in Beerology and send your password to that address.

Finally, I'd like to make a plug for donations to Beerology.  It's been a while since the last "fund drive", and my wife gets cranky when my side projects cut into the household budget.  So, if you have a spare couple of bucks in PayPal that you can send me to help defray hosting costs, please click the "PayPal - Donate" button to the right.  Thanks!

2003/09/28 09:33 - Live on a new host... [mudboy] has been switched over to a new web host.  My last provider had some "DNS issues" that resulted in two outages in the past 45 days...completely unsatisfactory.  The new host gives more "bang for the buck" with a larger database allocation, Cold Fusion MX 6.1 support, and more bandwidth; I also have several friends who have been using this host for years with no problems.  Until the DNS changes go through, you might see the site as an IP address; I am redirecting all traffic from the old host to the same location at the new site, so the changes should be completely transparent.

Since part of the new host has me using CF MX instead of CF 5 like my last host, there may be one or two minor issues that I might not have caught.  If you have a problem, email me.

2003/08/02 09:34 - New features - review metrics [mudboy]

I added a couple of new features for keeping more detailed track of reviews.  First, you'll see front and center a nifty bar graph of the running total review count for the last 30 days.  Second, I increased the number of people on the leaderboard to 250; when it was just Top 50, there seemed to be a bit of competition over who was leaving/receiving the most reviews, which is a good thing.  Now the newer/less frequent traders can track their counts easily and hopefully will be motivated to leave more feedback for their trades.

One thing along those lines that I want to do is have another view that "matches" transactions between two traders to see if there is a probability that one person owes another feedback.  I have a firm concept of how it should work in my mind, but my SQL skills are not up to the task of being able to query for that data.  If there are any SQL gurus that can give me an evening's worth of SQL help, I would be grateful.

Oh, and we passed a milestone this week by passing 14,000 reviews left.  I think that's pretty darned good for a feedback site that is limited to supporting just one forum!  Also, I apologize for the outage this week, it appeared to be some Verisign-related DNS idiocy.

2003/07/29 07:22 - A reminder on name changes... [mudboy]

Just a quick reminder on name changes.  If you change your Ars handle, let me know ASAP.  I can change your Beerology user name very quickly and easily, and you won't have to (and I don't want you to) create a new account.

If you have traded under more than one name and have more than one account on Beerology, that's bad.  If this is the case, let me (via the mods) know about it, and I will combine your feedback into your current Ars handle.

I'm still getting requests for accounts from people who don't seem to have Ars Technica accounts.  Sorry, guys, but Beerology is Ars-only.

2003/06/23 23:08 - Feedback response added [mudboy]

People have been asking for eBay-style feedback response...well, it's here. You may leave a feedback response for any feedback that has been left for you. Additionally, Moderators may leave a response for any feedback left for any user.

2003/05/29 08:25 - Tweaks and improvements...and Traders to Watch [mudboy]

A change has been made to the "people picker" script (Thanks, telematx!) that helps it load faster and also work more consistently between Mozilla and IE.  Let me know if you have any problems.

I have created a "Traders to Watch" (TTW) section, to compliment the official thread.  The main difference is that only those traders with Beerology entries are on the TTW list here.  If a user is on the TTW list, in addition to showing up on the TTW List, there will be a notice at the top of their feedback page.

And finally, a reminder.  New Beerology users MUST be registered on the Ars Technica forums before requesting access.  I DO check, so if you're not in the Ars user database, you won't be getting a Beerology account.  Moreover, your Beerology User ID email address MUST match the ones in your Ars profile.

2003/05/21 19:31 - More new features [mudboy]

Added some new features today:

  • Well, not really a new feature, but one that I forgot from "Beerology Classic" -- "Request Review" is back, and it can be found in the bulleted list of links towards the top of the "View Feedback" page.
  • A new one -- "Request Reciprocal Review" -- When you view the reviews that you have left for other people, there is a "RRR" link in the ID column -- clicking this will send a reciprocal review request to the user that you left feedback for, along with a link to your review.
  • You can now look at reviews either ordered by date, or grouped by transaction type and ordered by date.

More to come...

2003/05/19 00:04 - Changes to how scoring is displayed [mudboy]

There have been some changes made to how overall scoring is displayed.  Previously, it was a cumulative score where a Positive review was worth one point, a Neutral review was worth zero points, and a Negative review was worth negative one point.  Sum all of those values for a person and you had an aggregate score.

Problem with that is, it still placed a greater emphasis on the overall score rather than honest scores for individual transactions.

Now, the raw total number of Positive, Neutral, and Negative scores are shown for a user at the top of the "view" page, and this gives a good, non-weighted overview of that person's trading history.  As always, these scores should be taken in conjunction with a careful review of all written feedback.

2003/05/14 22:43 - Welcome to the new! [mudboy]

Welcome to the completely re-worked and re-designed I know it's been a long time coming, but I wanted to focus on some key areas: improved security; improved access to information; improved performance; and greater personalization. I hope you like the changes!

2003/05/14 12:07 - New features of [mudboy]

Let's take a tour of the new features:

  • Users have better access to ALL of their information, including personal settings, reviews that they have left, and more.
  • Privacy is ensured for your email addresses by encoding all email addresses to make them inaccessible to Spambots.
  • The old scoring system, based on a scale of 1 to 10, has been replaced with a less controversial "Positive - Neutral - Negative" scoring system.  You can also see a person's scoring standing at-a-glance at the top of the View Feedback page for that user, which keeps a cumulative "score" based upon +1 point for a positive transaction, 0 points for a neutral transaction, and -1 point for a negative transaction.  Remember, a "Neutral" transaction should be the norm, with "Positive" scores given for transactions where things went unexpectedly well, and "Negative" scores given where things went very poorly.
I hope you enjoy the new and completely rebuilt Beerology.  It was a lot of work, but I feel that it has been well worth it.