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Welcome to BiggerCity v4.0!

Saturday, October 01, 2005 11:35 AM

Welcome!

Since our launch date in September 1999, we have made many changes to the BiggerCity. Most of these changes occur as a result from the incredible feedback that we received from our members, visitors, and partners. BiggerCity has always been built for this community and we are now very pleased to offer this new version of the site to you. Its packed with a lot of new features and enhancements, many of which were requested by our users. This is the largest update ever for BiggerCity and contains dozens of new features and enhancements.

We have compiled this guide is to help you learn about these new changes and to assist you in getting the most out of BiggerCity. This guide is in no way a complete list of all the modifications that have been made, but does reflect the highlights of the most important changes. The guide is long, but very useful to get a jump start with the new features.


New Look and Layout

BiggerCity now sports a new look! We hope you like it as much as we do. :) The new layout was designed to be light and simple, with a clean navigational structure and easy access to the most popular sections of the site. Our "mascot" Chucky has also been given a make over and we hope you like his new look.


Every City Needs Its Citizens

Becoming a citizen has never been easier. BiggerCity has changed its membership model to incorporate free Basic accounts and paid Premium subscriptions.  Everybody can now register for a FREE Basic account with limited access to the site sections and featured.  Paid Premium subscriptions are also available to upgrade any Basic account and get unlimited access to the site.

With a Basic account, you will be able to communicate with other citizens using Enotes (our internal private messaging system, similar to emails), view personal ad photos in full size, and also send and receive text instant messages using our new City Messenger application. Basic accounts also have limited access to various other features such as posting links, venues, or events and make you automatically eligible for our monthly raffle (see contests section).

Premium subscribers will enjoy all the benefits available to the Basic account, plus unlimited access to all the sections and features of the site. With a Premium subscription you can post your personal ad, participate in the contests, view all the photos in the general and member galleries, download video clips, share photos and video clips, video conference with other citizens using City Messenger, use the forums, read the columns, plus access everything else we have to offer!

Premium subscriptions are the life-line of BiggerCity and what keeps this site free of spam, pop ups, "in-your-face" advertisements and all those other annoyances that plague most sites today. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to bringing you the best services!


City Messenger

Now you can be seen and heard!.. in real-time! City Messenger is BiggerCity’s new versatile web-based instant messenger client.  You can have one-to-one video, audio and text chats with other citizens. All you need is Macromedia Flash (pre-installed on 98% of computers today) and a supported web cam (optional) to get in the action. City Messenger supports a wide selection of clients and platforms, including Windows and Mac OS X, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox.


Personal Ads

The Personal Ads section has been completely updated to make it easier to post your personal ad and to find that match you're looking for. Some of the new features include:

  • A new search tool that supports searching by distance from your location by zip/postal code as well as by Phone area codes (US and Canada only).
     
  • You can now use our web-based video recorder to attach a video clip to your personal! There's no better way to impress those looking at your personal ad than with your own personal video clip. No software downloads needed, just plug-in your webcam and click record and then save.

  • New descriptions have been added to each personal ad, such as a headline for the ad, personal traits, interests, languages, multiple instant messengers, and more.
     
  • Send a Flirt! Flirting is a quick, fun way to let someone know you are interested without having to write anything. Just select an emoticon that best matches what you feel about the other person and click send. Who knows?... the recipient might just "wink" back at you. :)
     
  • Improved listings. The listings now include more information so you can learn more about the citizen before you decide to view his ad. You can see some basic stats (age, location, identifier) as well as the number of photos and whether it has a video clip or not. You will also see how recently (or not) the citizen was last active on the site.
     
  • Updating your personal is now much easier. The new personal ad wizard allows you to jump to any particular section of your ad you wish to edit.  Now you don't have to step through all the sections of your ad to fix that tiny spelling mistake or add some text.
     
  • Want to block out some particular personal ads you have no interest in from your listings? You can use the new My Blocks feature to block other citizen profiles from showing on your listings.

Contests

Our popular yearly contest "2005 BIGGER Contest" continues and we have added a new monthly raffle. The yearly contest has been updated to use the new thumbnail portfolio system and with a new wizard. As always, contestants can post as many photos as they want and anybody can vote (and change their vote) at any time. If you have not entered, now is the time! The contest will start wrapping up in December and the two winners (a big guy and a small guy) will be selected shortly thereafter based on total votes received.

The new monthly raffle is open to everyone with a Basic or Premium account, and a winner is randomly selected every month and given the choice between three prizes.


Galleries

Your favorite galleries online are now even better and more powerful! We've revamped the gallery system and added some great new features:

  • The new multi-category search tool lets you find photos that match all the particular categories you select. For example;  find photos of chubs who are "hairy" and have "tattoos". You can also use the search tool to list all the photos posted by a particular citizen.
     

  • With the new Slide-show mode you can enjoy a photo gallery in automated rotation, with support for pause, next, and previous.
     
  • Hate those duplicate postings?  Now you can report duplicate photos or video clips to help us keep the galleries clean and earn credits for it!
     
  • The Citizen gallery now features video clips! Citizen can now upload and share video clips of themselves in their own video clip gallery, much like they were able to do with photos in the old member's gallery.
     
  • The artwork gallery has been updated and broken down into general artwork and Artists. Each artist gets his own portfolio listing of his artwork, with contact information.

My Favorites

This popular feature has been updated to allow book marking of your favorite citizens, photos, events, venues, blogs, as well as personal ads and links. You can also share your favorites list with others, let them know who you find interesting, and what items you like the most, or if you are planning to attend a venue or event.


My Blocks

Opposite to My Favorites, is this new feature that allows you to block other citizens from which you rather not hear or see. You can block another citizen from sending you Enotes, and/or block his profiles from showing up on your searches (personal ads, contests, etc.) The My Blocks page allows you to quickly add a block or manage your existing blocks. You can also add blocks by clicking on the appropriate icons that show throughout the site on citizen profiles.


Account Settings

The new account settings wizard helps you setup your global settings for the site. You can select a photo that will become your "index" photo and will be shown through the site on your profiles and links to your profiles. You an also set your location, community identifier (chub, chaser, etc.) and your privacy options. These options include whether you want to receive emails or not, and from who (citizens or anonymous visitors). Last but not least, you can change your email and password, as well as change your username (screen name).


My Photos & My Videos

A new photo manager "My Photos" is now available and can be used to upload, delete and move around your photos between different profiles. With the photo manager you can enable a photo to show on all or just some of your profiles (citizen photo gallery, personal ad, and contest entry) or disable it altogether and hold it for later use. As always, with every photo upload you will get credits.

The new video clip manager "My Videos" can be use to manage video clips for your new  citizen video gallery. This new gallery works like the citizen photo gallery and allows you to post video clips of yourself and share them with other citizens. Just like the photos, you also get credits for each video clip you upload.


Membership Benefits Program

We like to thank all our citizens who participate by posting and contributing content and sharing their profiles, photos and videos with us. Your participation and contributions are what make this site a great resource and awesome experience. That is why we created the Credits program a couple of versions back, and have now extended it by adding credit awards for new items and contributions.  The more you participate the more credits you are awarded, which you can then redeem for additional Premium subscription time, products, or online store discount coupons.


Enotes

Our popular BiggerCity messaging system now features some new useful options and changes.

  • Enotes is now available to everyone (Basic or Premium)
     

  • The folders have been organized to show counts for new Enotes and a new dynamic folder "Unread" is available whenever you have any unread Enotes so you can view them from a single page.
     

  • The limits for Enotes have been increased and a new bar graph will show your count and storage capacity.
     

  • A new options section where you can set your Enotes preferences such as whether to use the rich-text editor (write Enotes in with formatting, color, emoticons, etc.) or not, save a copy of sent Enotes, receive an email alert when you get a new Enote, or quote when replying to another Enote.
     

  • Share photos with Enotes! Premium citizens can attach up to 5 photos from their My Photos collection to an Enote message.


Forums

The forums section has been completely re-done to make it easier to browse, read, and search topics and posts. Whether you want to ask a question, share some views, or look for travel advice, the forums continue to be a great resource for communications among our citizens and community at large.


Blogs

Blogs, Vlogs, and Podcasts are all the rage these days. For those of you who maintain this type of online journal, we now offer a citizen blog directory where you can get yours listed. A great way to let others know more about you by reading your blog and subscribing to it. Use the search tool to find bloggers by location, category, or community identifier.


Who’s Here?

This is a popular feature seen on many sites today. You can use it to see who is currently logged-in and using the site. The listing can be filtered by identifier (chub, chaser, etc.), sorted by user, location, or photo, and also limited by a particular location (e.g., show online citizens from Ireland only)


We hope you enjoy these new features and take the time to explore others not listed here. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions to improve the site, so feel free to let us know by posting in the Suggestions & Feature Requests forum.

Regards,

The BiggerCity Staff

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