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It's MHB's Second Birthday!! Here's What We Were Up to in 2013.

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Chris L T521

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Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
995
To the MHB Community,

Today is January 26th, 2014 which marks the two-year anniversary of our founding in 2012. Thank you again for asking questions, answering questions, participating in discussions, providing feedback and suggestions to the administrators and staff, recruiting new members, and for being a part of our fantastic community during year two, as we continue to make improvements and make ourselves known on the web. As we did for 2012, we will now summarize what we accomplished in 2013.

New Features

MHB Awards


In 2013, we implemented an awards system that recognizes certain members for various things on MHB: the community votes on most of these. In addition, there are a couple of awards that the MHB staff grants. Here are links to the results of the two elections:

Forum Tweaks and Modifications

The admins added quite a few useful modifications to MHB to enhance certain forum features:

  • Thread author identification - Original poster, or "Thread Author" now indicates who started a particular thread when reading through it.
  • Implementation of a $\LaTeX$ Syntax BBcode - Allows LATEXS tags to implement a vBulletin plugin for color based syntax highlighting of $\LaTeX$ code.
  • The admins improved the POTW submission form and process - When you submit a solution for a certain week's POTW, you will now receive a copy of what you submitted via PM. Users can now use attachments with POTW solutions.
  • We reformatted the forum rules. - The substance of our forum rules is the same; however, we have made them easier to read by having an abbreviated version called the "General Rules", and the old forum rules with all the explanations, called the "Explained Rules".
  • We increased the allotted file attachment space - We have increased the total space that user attachments may use on our server to ~ 8 MB per user, regardless of usergroup.
  • We improved the sidebar display - We changed the settings for this space to show which threads have updated most recently.
  • We revamped user titles - The old system was rather a hodge-podge of themes; so we have unified the theme to the guild system (technically, Craftsman and Grandmaster aren't usually their own ranks in a guild system, but work with us here).
  • We improved the toolbar - We were able to add some new buttons to the editor toolbar that weren't possible before. We added a "justify all" button, a $\LaTeX$ button, and rearranged and regrouped buttons to be slightly easier to use.
  • We implemented user flags identification - Now when you hover your mouse cursor over a user flag, you see the name of the country associated with that flag.
  • vBSEO abbreviations - We changed MHB's URL structures to make them more readable and more SEO friendly. Now subforums are identified by name rather than number and the "www" is gone from the URLs.
MHB Math Helper/MHB Staff Promotions

An active staff is crucial for the successful operation of any site, and we are pleased to recognize the efforts of our members and recruit them voluntarily into various positions of responsibility. During our second year, we made the following member promotions and badge awards:

MHB Ambassadors:

  • MarkFL - March 15, 2013
MHB Math Helpers:
  • I like Serena - February 7, 2013
  • ZaidAlyafey - April 9, 2013
  • Bacterius - May 3, 2013
  • caffeinemachine - August 9, 2013
  • Deveno - August 30, 2013
  • Random Variable - January 6, 2014
MHB Site Helpers:
  • Fernando Revilla - February 8, 2013
  • I like Serena - April 15, 2013
  • anemone - September 21, 2013
  • ZaidAlyafey - October 24, 2013
  • Deveno - January 7, 2014
MHB Moderators:
  • I like Serena - June 4, 2013
  • ZaidAlyafey - December 30, 2013
MHB Global Moderators:

  • MarkFL - February 20, 2013
  • I like Serena - September 9, 2013
MHB Administrators:

  • MarkFL - January 24, 2014
Site Achievements

Active Community Growth

We’re proud of the fact that in 2013, the number of individual posts and threads is continuing to increase at an accelerating pace and the number of registered members visiting and overall users online have both reached the highest numbers we've ever seen during the past year. This kind of growth would not have been possible without your support and participation in our wonderful community. Keep up the good work as we make our way through 2014 and beyond. (Smile)

Problem of the Week


In 2013, we celebrated the one year anniversary of our Problem of the Week. It's due to your participation that we've been at it now for 95 weeks (for the University Level and Secondary School Level) and 86 weeks (for the Graduate Level). On behalf of Chris and Jameson, we'd like to thank to those of you who've participated in our POTWs this last year; in particular, to regular participants like anemone, MarkFL, kaliprasad, eddybob123, Opalg, and our many other participants. We hope you found the problems to be interesting, fun, and even challenging at times. There have been some minor complaints about how the Graduate POTW is slanted more towards pure math than applied math, so Chris will do his best to find a balance between the two areas. Please look forward to the POTWs we'll be sharing with you in 2014. If you have any problems you'd like to see posted in a future Problem of the Week, you can always submit one through our POTW Recommendation form.

(continued in the next post)
 
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Chris L T521

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Jan 26, 2012
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Re: It's MHB's Second Birthday!! Here's what were were up to in 2013.

Our Plans for 2014

During the upcoming year, our third year of operation, we have several projects in mind to improve and enhance the user experience at MHB. These include, but of course are not limited to:

  • Simplify the backend of MHB a bit so that it loads faster.
  • Finish some of the tutorials we have on MHB (for example, the Calculus and Differential Equations tutorials).
  • Create new tutorials and videos to help new users effectively utilize our various forum features, from how to best post a question to using some of our more advanced features.
  • Adding new games to our arcade. Suggestions are always welcome if you know of a game you would like to see in our arcade.
  • Develop and implement a plugin that renders TikZ images. This will allow our helpers to add professional quality diagrams to their posts to enhance the help they are already providing.
  • Create an "About Us" page that will contain biographical information about the members of our staff.
  • Improve our SEO for better visibility.
  • Resume our email campaign of spreading the word about MHB.
  • Continue to maintain high standards for the site (no spam or bots, etc.)
  • Continue welcoming new members as warmly as we can while maintaining our high standards.
As always, we encourage our members to make suggestions if there is something you think should be changed or will add value to MHB. We have received many valuable suggestions in the past which have helped shape MHB in a very positive way.

What you can do to help spread the word about MHB

Just as we saw last year, our biggest focus has been site traffic and exposure. We are aware of this and wish that there was a simple and cheap way to put us at the top of Google and have universities across the globe talk about us, but building a presence on the internet takes a lot of time or a multimillion advertising budget (we accept donations!). However, we are extremely pleased with our continuing growth, and we know that with the ongoing efforts of our many dedicated members, not only will this growth continue, but MHB will also continue to be a dynamic place shaped by the needs and desires of our users.

So, how can you help us? Right now we want to focus on offline exposure, so here are a few things you can do if you want to help.

1) Tell your friends, teachers, students and anyone else who might find MHB useful to stop by. We have an easy way for you to email someone you know, which you can find here.

2) Hang a flyer at your school, university or local coffee shop.

3) Continue to be a part of our community by posting, asking questions, answering questions and giving suggestions

Conclusion


We have come a long ways since our start two years ago, and we’re pleased with our progress since then. MHB is a young forum, but we feel that we offer a unique combination of qualities that you can't find elsewhere. We know many of you are extremely busy people with work, studies and personal lives, so we want to thank you again for being part of our community and we hope you notice some of the things we've mentioned in this post.

If we can collectively work as hard as we did last year then the sky is the limit in terms of becoming a popular and successful community. We have all of the tools that we need to continue providing a math community with the standards we've established in 2012 and 2013.

Please leave any comments, questions or concerns in this thread if it relates somewhat to plans for 2014. Otherwise I think making a new thread in the feedback forum is the best way to voice your thoughts so others can find them easily.

Thanks again everyone for your amazing work. See you in the forums!

Sincerely,

The MHB Admin Team