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Brock Beauchamp

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Blog Entries posted by Brock Beauchamp

  1. Brock Beauchamp
    Welcome to the latest entry into my Tips & Tricks series! In this brief post, I’ll quickly run through another new-to-us feature, “Following”. This will allow you to track and follow the content of people and content you like throughout the Twins Daily website.
    Essentially, there are three aspects to following on Twins Daily: following categories, following content, and following individuals. I’ll run through each aspect and how each can be useful to you and improve how you find your favorite content on Twins Daily.
    Following Individuals
    There are probably some contributors and forum users you like better than the rest, individuals whose content you know is going to be quality so you don’t want to miss it. Following a person on Twins Daily is easy, just click on their username or avatar and visit their profile page. Near the top of the page, you will see a “Follow Member” button. Click that, specify the parameters of your follow and whether you’d like to follow anonymously, and that’s it! You will now be notified whenever this user creates new content anywhere on the site!

    NOTE: You should set your notification settings to specify how you’d like to receive information about new and updated content. You can change your notification settings from your user options screen or by clicking the link earlier in this paragraph. Scroll down to the “Followed Content” option and selecting your settings.
    Following Categories
    You can follow groups of content in Twins Daily, as well. Are you a minor league specialist? Then consider following the minor league news category. Maybe you want to catch all Twins news content, you can do the same. Just visit the category or forum page and somewhere near the top of the page, you will see a “Follow” button. Click that, specify your preferred options, and you will be notified of all content that is added to that category or forum. This also works for blogs if you want to follow the blog entries of your favorite Twins Daily writers, just pop over to their main blog page and search for the “Follow” button.
    Following Content
    This is the most granular of the following options on Twins Daily. You can follow specific content you see on the site. If you like an article and its resulting comments, follow that article and you will be updated as new comments are added. The same applies to forum threads or individual blog entries, just look for the “Follow” button near the top of the page.
    In the settings link I provided above, you can set to automatically follow content you create and content you participate in. If you’re a regular forum user or news story commenter, these are really useful functions to stay abreast of an interesting conversation and any replies you received to your own content.
    That’s about it! I highly recommend everyone consider using the follow function on Twins Daily, as it’s just one more tool at your disposal to curate the site to fit your personal preferences.
    And if you’re enjoying the new achievements system, there may be special badges to unlock by following content and other Twins Daily users…
  2. Brock Beauchamp
    Welcome to the brief rundown of Twins Daily’s newest feature, achievements! I’ve been waiting a *really* long time to roll this feature out to users and have spent a rather unhealthy amount of time developing it for the site. I hope you enjoy experiencing it as much as I enjoyed making it.
    Achievements, or awards, or gamification… you’ve probably run into it before in other avenues of your digital life. Achievements are most common (and were largely born out of) the console video game world, beginning on the Xbox platform in the mid-2000s.
    Basically, it boils down to this: do stuff, get (sometimes silly) awards and badges for doing it. Over the past month, I’ve designed over 60 custom badges that you can be awarded for performing sometimes mundane, other times complex, tasks across the Twins Daily platform. Comment on a post, get a badge. Write a blog post, get a badge. Vote on a poll, get a badge… you get the point. Do some of these tasks multiple times and sometimes (many times) you’ll get additional badges.
    If you visit your user profile page, you’ll see it now looks different, with achievements being prominently displayed near the top.

    With over 60 badges available right now, some of you older, veteran Twins Daily users will start accumulating achievements the moment you begin participating in various aspects of the site, as many (as many as possible, but not all) of the achievements are back-dated to the time you began using the site. So explore the site, try completing some random tasks like post a status update, and see if you get a badge for doing it!
    As you "achieve" new things, on top of badges, you will also be awarded points. Once you hit certain milestones in points, you raise in rank (out of 14 ranks in total). In the image above, my rank is "draft eligible", the third rank you will achieve.
    Here is a sampling of a few of the badges you can be awarded right now:

    Some achievements will be won seemingly at random but I assure you, there is a specific set of items that awarded you the badge (and sometimes, those items need to be completed in a specific order). And some badges will be awarded manually for “exceptional” things done on the site. Those will be the hardest to collect and the rarest achievements available on Twins Daily.
    And if anyone manages to get them all or one of the *really* difficult-to-uncover achievements, Twins Daily may have some special prizes available to users who can accomplish those rarest of feats on the site…
  3. Brock Beauchamp
    Every few days, I'm going to try to cover some of the features of the new site in a few paragraphs.
    Using the old site, as I'm sure many of you are aware, tables were basically unusable. That has changed! I'll tackle B-Ref tables quickly in this post but you can do similar things with FanGraphs or other sites that use table data (which is how almost all stat sites display their content). First, pop on over to Lord Byron's B-Ref page:
    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/buxtoby01.shtml
    I'm going to grab his 2019-2021 season stats. Just above his stat table, you'll see Share & Export. Click and then select Modify, Share, & Export Table. Boom, you can then select what stats you want to display and which you want to remove. I've removed all seasons except the last three. I also removed team and league because "duh". Then click the big X in the top right of the yellow square and you have your filtered table. Grab that table by moving your cursor to the top left of the table (just to the left of Year in this case) and while holding down the button of your mouse/trackpad, drag toward the bottom right of the table. The table will begin to highlight in yellow as you select the cells. Grab them all and let go of the mouse/trackpad. Then copy what has been selected (control+c on Windows, command+c on macOS).
    Pop over to Twins Daily, start typing a comment, and paste your content (control+v on Windows, command+v on macOS).
    Year Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards 2019 25 87 295 271 48 71 30 4 10 46 14 3 19 68 .262 .314 .513 .827 116 139 3 2 2 1 1 8/HD   2020 26 39 135 130 19 33 3 0 13 27 2 1 2 36 .254 .267 .577 .844 127 75 2 1 0 2 0 8 MVP-16 2021 27 24 98 92 19 34 10 0 9 17 5 0 4 23 .370 .408 .772 1.180 236 71 0 2 0 0 0 *8   7 Yr 7 Yr 456 1602 1472 223 363 87 17 60 189 67 9 95 467 .247 .297 .451 .748 99 664 10 13 14 8 3     162 162 162 569 523 79 129 31 6 21 67 24 3 34 166 .247 .297 .451 .748 99 236 4 5 5 3 1     And that's it!
    Note: you can use this method for most websites and spreadsheet data so whatever table data you have available you need to copy and paste, this method will likely suit your needs.
  4. Brock Beauchamp
    The old Twins Daily had a pretty simplistic version of the feed but I felt it was so awkward and weird to use that I hid it away from most users' eyes.
    Not so with the new version and I suspect after reading this, some of you (particularly forum users) may set a custom feed as your Twins Daily landing page. It's that useful. Instead of having to click through the (kinda insanely large now) Twins Daily site, you can tailor a feed to show basically whatever you want: select authors, topics you've followed, fellow users, unread content only... the list goes on.
    First, to find your personal feed, near the top right of the screen you will see a newspaper icon in the red bar below your user information.

    That brings you to the default view, which is Unread Content.

    Here you'll see a variety of options to tailor your custom stream to do almost anything you like on the site. I'll spare you going through each item in detail individually, as it's all quite self-explanatory. You can choose tagged content, type of content (news, forums, blogs, status updates, etc.), read/unread only, content you've participated in or started, followed content, and finally, how it's sorted.
    Depending what kind of device you're using, you can also choose Condensed or Expanded. Condensed just gives you the title and link while Expanded offers a truncated version of the content as a preview.
    Once you've decided on your changes, you can save this stream using the save prompt below. You're allowed to have multiple custom streams so name this new stream and it joins the others.
    Once you're done customizing your stream, Click Stream Options at the top right of the selection drop-down, and your choices become your default custom stream. Every time you click that newspaper or visit your stream, the selections you've made will remain in place.
    That's it, enjoy the new site!
  5. Brock Beauchamp
    I've been looking at the blog section of the site lately and see that it hasn't gotten any TLC since launch. I made some small changes to how the blogs are listed in the mobile section of the site this morning and that got me thinking... I'm not a blogger. I should ask you bloggers what you want changes you'd like to see made to the site.
     
    I'm open to any suggestions, though obviously, time constraints may apply to whether the requested changes are feasible or not.
     
    So, what would you like to see? More customizability in the blog sections, better image support, different sorting methods? Give me your feedback on anything blog-related and I'll compile the most requested changes and see what I can do about it.
     
    Please don't suggest "carry over blog comments to the front page", though... I'd love to do that and it's a long-term goal but it simply isn't feasible right now. It'll get done at some point but that change will require a complete rethinking of how comments are generated and posted.
  6. Brock Beauchamp
    We're hosting a contest for anyone who wants to write a few words about the Vikings and their upcoming season. The best entries will win a spot on our party bus heading down to Mankato on July 25th.
     
    Interested? Check out the details courtesy of Bo Mitchell:
     
    http://vikingsjournal.com/_/minnesota-vikings-news/minnesota-vikings/vikings-journal-kickoff-party-in-mankato-r616
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