Archive for August, 2009

developing with drupal…oh lord!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

When manually installing drupal and if on a mac, the .htaccess file required to enable clean urls will not show as it is hidden. In order to copy it to your server you can dowload Tinker Tool. This will allow further options for your system such as viewing hidden and system files.

developing emolab.msdm.or.uk with drupal…the suffering continues

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

…and remember ‘filtered HTML’ can ruin your entire day!

picture not displaying? make sure your content type is set to ‘FULL HTML’

developing emolab.msdn.org.uk with drupal…and suffering

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Having immersed myself in the enormous task of developing a drupal site for the webcam operators new emolab (emotional labour) project, I have slowly but surely been learning a few basic things about this quite complex but powerful content management system.

EarlyStageEmolab

Without going back to the very start of setting up a drupal site (many tutorials – OH THANK GOD!- are available all over the web, although mostly written by experts who have no idea how to relate to and address less experienced people like me ), I still am at the very beginning of this site’s development and today I was faced with the problem of editing the Home page.

The Home page when building a drupal site, has a default configuration that cannot be edited (easily).

A couple of ways are suggested when doing a web search on the issue; the most common one being creating new content (page for example) and setting the publishing options to “promoted to front page”, and finally add the node’s url  to the path for the Home page (configure>site information>default front page).

promoteFrontPage

However, doing this wasn’t the best option for me as I didn’t want the authoring information appearing on the page and neither did i want a Title as the site information section allows not only the site’s title, but also description, slogan and logo.

So there I was…stuck.

But, i am lucky. I have David. everybody should know a David! He came out with this genius idea that I should …simply (!) create a new content type and view using Views.

Here is a bit of drupal Therapy:

DavidChat

field work in WebcamNow – cctvecstasy project

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

wcn and cctvecstasy project, jan 2009

Picture 2C2

webcamnow- the platform

American-based Webcamnow.com or WCN for its most avid users is a video network connecting live webcams around the world. WebcamNow activated its free videochat service facility in 1998, which makes it one of the oldest online adult videochat providers. It advertises itself as having the biggest directory of live cameras.

WCN offers three main experiences on its video platform. Users can register as visitors, free members or as paying members or “Speedsters”. As its name indicates, the Speedster membership allows users to view cameras at a faster rate, otherwise limited to a low speed preview, with the image refreshing every 6 seconds only for free members and visitors.

Visitors can navigate through the network of live webcams, or “rooms” as well as communicating via “Chat”; however, they are not able to broadcast themselves on the video network.

Upon entering a username and password, users can access the WebcamNow chat rooms, and  select the area they wish to socialize in.

WCN provides the choice of two networks, being presented as two distinctive spaces. The first is the Open Area, governed by an Adult Content Agreement hence essentially populated by members looking for intimate or sexual experiences of a kind only limited by each user’s needs, desires and fantasies.

The second area – Friends and Family- as opposed to the latter is a monitored section, in which users can meet and exchange; nonetheless on a very personal level, yet respecting the area’s conditions of use to behave in a non-offensive or objectionable manner. This area wants to cater for mainstream audiences.

The default interface for Wecamnow.com is made of four distinct areas. The first and main area is the Viewer Window for receiving other user’s webcam data. This window is situated at the top left of the screen and can be resized to a choice of available settings from small to large.
Webcam volume can also be adjusted from this window, provided the chosen chatroom has allowed microphone access.

Picture 2 Immediately below the video screen is a drop down list of all available webcams to view. The list can be organized by ID name, alphabetically or not, and an option to have a thumbnail preview of the cameras also exists. The user can chose a webcam view by clicking on the ID name. Most of those will be somewhat descriptive. LUV_U_2 or Man_Kandy reflect the general strategy for assuming a webcamnow identity.

Users can also use their own id name from the list and thus have their own image presented back to them.

A popularity rating system is also available in the form of a health bar or Life bar borrowed from video gaming.
A life bar, in a gaming environment is used to display a character’s remaining life or state of health.
Usually represented by a horizontal rectangle, a life bar would begin filled with colour, and every time the games character gets injured or makes mistakes, the coloured area would decrease, thus reducing the character’s life until death. When the bar is empty, the game is over.

Similarly, on the WCN platform, an emptied popularity bar represents a very low number of supporters of a particular room. It is then assumed that nothing of interest to the majority of WCN users is usually happening in that chat room. The “performer” isn’t performing well. This might mean no sexual content, the person has left the room but kept the webcam on or the person isn’t “showing” but just “watching” without interacting.

A partially full or full coloured popularity bar represents a high number of supporters. Someone, logging to the platform, will instantaneously know which webcam is generally popular. This does not represent the number of viewers watching at the time but rather the number of users who have been following a particular webcam.
Particular chat rooms or id names can be selected to then be placed in a viewer’s favourites window. Paying members of WCN, can then receive alerts, which warn them of their favourite webcams coming online.

The chat area is situated on the right end side of the main video screen. The chat window will organize three areas of chat activity into three tabs within one window.
The lobby, the user’s chat room, and the selected cam’s chat room.

The Lobby is a common area where the WCN community can relay comments, ads and information on rooms of interests and particular users’ whereabouts.

E.g. “cctv is chatting over at marie_pix” or  “any1 wanna cam on yahoo? add me. a10win**”

The user is able to contact and be contacted by others via its chat room or by visiting another user’s chat room.
Text can be typed in a dynamic field at the bottom of the chat window, which upon sending will appear in the active chat room (selected tab) along with the user’s id name.
Users can be ignored or banned if content is deemed offensive by the receiving party, thus instantly stopping all communication from that user to reach one’s own chat room.
“Bans” can be managed and users “forgiven” under the “Chat Settings” menu.

Underneath the chat window is an area called “My Broadcast”. In this area is a display of the user’s own webcam stream. Only free members and Speedsters will have access to this area and have control over their image and voice ‘s broadcast.
Users can choose whether they want to be seen or not by turning their webcam on or off, they can also choose whether or not they want to be heard by switching their microphone on or off.