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Updates, updates, updates!

* UPDATE * - and yet a third update for today, the Blackberry app is now available!  Just search for "MyFitnessPal" in App World.  Enjoy!

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We're pleased to announce that we've released two sets of updates today.

First, a new version of our Android app is now available!  Here's a quick rundown of the new features:

  • Recipes - you can now enter your own recipes into the app, calculate the nutritional contents, and then easily add them to your diary

  • Complete This Entry - when you are finished logging for the day, tap this button to get a projection of your weight loss in 5 weeks

  • Quick Tools - in your diary, next to each meal you'll now see a Wrench icon.  Tap on it, and you can access Quick Tools for easily copying entire meals to a different date - perfect for when you're eating the same meal as a previous day

  • Lots of bug fixes - we've made a bunch of bug fixes and stability improvements.  We've still got some work to do here, but hopefully this update will fix at least some of the issues people have been experiencing.
To update, just go to Android Market and update the MyFitnessPal app.
 
We've also released some new website features today.   Compared to our apps, there haven't been a lot of new website features lately, but we've actually been making a TON of improvements to the site behind the scenes. Specifically, we've been working hard to ensure our servers can handle all of the additional traffic we've been seeing.  We're not quite finished, but we decided to take a break and bang out some new features that we've been wanting to make for a while:

  • Improved Friends List - your friends list no longer shows your friends sex, age, and location.  Most people felt that information wasn't that helpful, so we've replaced that info with the date of their last login.  Now you can easily see which of your friends is on track and who might need a little encouragement.  We've also added sorting options, yeah!  Just change your sorting method in the bottom right of your friends list and you can sort your friends by username, last login date, and more.

  • Maximum Number of Friends is now 1,000 - we've finally found a way to increase the number of friends you can have from 250.  The new friend limit is 1000, and we hope to be able to increase it even further, so stay tuned!

  • Quick tools changes - we've changed the way Quick Tools works slightly.  To use Quick Tools, you now need to change the date of your diary to the meal you'd like to copy.  Then hit Quick Tools, and you can copy the meal you are viewing to a different date.  We felt this method was more effective because you could actually see the meal you were copying instead of having to remember which day it was on.  This change will also make it easier for us to make some further improvements to Quick Tools that we're planning - but you'll have to wait to learn more about what we have in store...

  • Profile Privacy Options - we've added some simple profile privacy options to the site. Specifically, you can now set your profile to be viewable by Everyone, MyFitnessPal Members Only, My Friends Only, and Myself Only.  By default, all profiles are viewable by MyFitnessPal Members Only, although your news feed is still viewable only by your friends.  We're planning on adding more fine-grained controls to your profile privacy options, but these new tools should help for now.

  • Blog Privacy Options - we've also added more privacy options to your blog.  You can now make your blog viewable only by your friends, or only by MyFitnessPal members.
We've got LOTS more changes planned, and we'll try to mix them in along with the backend server stuff we're still working on.
 
And just as a reminder, earlier this week we released an iPhone update with a variety of minor enhancements, and we've submitted our Blackberry app to App World!  We haven't heard back from RIM yet, but we hope to have the Blackberry app available shortly.  And we're already hard at work on some further enhancements for Android and iPhone, so stay tuned!
 
As always, if you have any questions, please just let us know.  Hope you are all enjoying the site (and apps)!
 
Mike & Al 

Looking for volunteer forum moderators

UPDATE - wow, since I posted this, we have had a LOT of volunteers. Thank you so much to everyone who's offered to help! Given the strong response we've had already, I think we have enough volunteers for now.  If you've already sent me a message, I will respond to you as soon as I can. And if you were dying to be a forum mod but haven't sent me a message yet, don't worry - our hope is to rotate forum mods in an out over time to keep the perspectives fresh, so there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in the future.  Thanks everyone!

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 Since the New Year, MFP has had an absolutely HUGE influx of new members. It's been amazing to see how the site that we started on a whim over 5 years ago has somehow grown into such an active and thriving community. We've had a lot of fun getting to know some of the new folks, and we hope you've all enjoyed your time here so far. Welcome everyone!

There has been one downside, though, to all of the new people and activity on the site. Some of you may have noticed that we haven't been posting as often in the forums, that our Twitter and Facebook posts have slowed down, and that it's taking us longer and longer to respond to messages. It's not for a lack of desire or effort - it's because Al and I are completely swamped! We've been hard at work trying to make sure the site can handle all of the new traffic, as well as maintaining our (soon to be 3!) mobile apps. The additional work, combined with the MUCH higher volume of customer service requests, etc. has frankly left us scrambling a bit. The good news is that we've been hard at work trying to find some help, so hopefully you'll see some improvements shortly.

Along those lines, one of the activities that's been taking a lot of time lately is moderating the forums.  To date, Al and I have been the only ones monitoring the forums at all, and with all of the new activity on the site, forum moderation alone has practically become a full-time job. 

So we'd like to ask for your help.  We're looking for volunteers to become Forum Moderators who could help us with the following activities:

  • Help welcome new members to the site and make sure any questions they have get answered
  • Help us answer technical support and other site/app questions
  • Alert us to any technical issues so we can make sure they get addressed promptly
  • Help collect feedback and suggestions for the site so that nothing gets lost in the cracks
  • And finally, help us moderate any disputes on the site and make sure the forum rules are enforced fairly and consistently
We're hoping that with a team of 5-10 volunteers, we can make sure the site has someone available around the clock to help, and that the mods will be able to respond to requests much more quickly than we have. A lot of you are doing some of this stuff already, and we thank you for it. Becoming a moderator will just make that role a little more official.  We'll also be providing moderators some tools like being able to edit posts after more than an hour, being able to move and delete topics, etc.  We're not asking mods to spend more time on the site - we're just asking for them to help out a bit during the times that they are on.
 
Here are the qualities we're looking for in the forum mods:
 
  • A long-time user of the site who's been fairly active during that time
  • Great interpersonal skills and a strong writer
  • A very thick skin and ability to stay calm, diplomatic, and fair under any circumstance
  • The mods should represent a broad-section of the site and come from different groups, different countries, etc.  For example, we'd like at least 1-2 mods from the UK
  • Ideally (but not required), someone with previous forum moderation experience
I also want to reassure everyone that we're not trying to over-moderate the forums.  In general, we've had a fairly light touch when it comes to moderating the forums, and we want it to stay that way.  We try to create a fairly open and free environment on the forums as long as members stay within the relatively minimal set of forum rules we've created. That will remain the case once the mods are in place.  Our goal is really to just improve the responsiveness and overall service-level of the site.
 
If you're interested in volunteering, we'd love to hear from you.  Please let me know by sending me a message on the site.  And, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know that as well and we'll do our best to address them.
 
Thanks, and hope you are all enjoying the site!
 
Mike & Al
 
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