Bye bye inbox

Yes, we’ve been silent for quite a long time, you are used to our long pauses nowadays, the sign something big is happening. And something big is actually moving inside Panmind. We’ve spent the last months reading data and charts and looking at how you use Panmind everyday, thinking about new ways to make you happy with our product and improve the way you work in group.

We have spotted a very promising path for Panmind, we are all set up to move there at the steady pace of one feature at time.

Along the way, we will inevitably leave something behind. To move fast one has to drop something, and in software development that somehting is always features. Some choices we made in the past did not pay as expected, they were introduced without much of a study to back them up, a mistake we are not willing to make anymore.

The upcoming for Panmind is huge, so we need to make a lot of room for the new to come! First of all, we are removing the inbox feature. Messages will be delivered to the user email directly, if project email notifications are active, and important messages from Panmind will be delivered by email anyway. The reason of this choice is that we were attempting to replace the need for email with another kind of email, which we think is wrong. The core of Panmind is the work you make on files and discussion around them, there’s no need for another log.

This first change will be applied on Tuesday November 27th during a maintenace operation which will be notified in the next days. Take care of saving what you have, inbox will simply no longer be available on Panmind.

This is the first step towards a series of renovations that will be announced on this blog in the next weeks. For any question feel free to use our Zendesk.

Cheers!

- Panmind Staff

Ending public projects

In our continuous effort to improve Panmind we decided to change the way users can create projects.  Starting from february 27th all public projects will be changed to private projects. Project members will still be able to access project contents, but the page will no longer be visible to anonymous users or non-project members. When anonimous users visit a public project URL or any of it’s contents, Panmind will show a 404 ‘not found’ page. The same update will remove from Panmind the possiblity for Premium users to create public projects.

Panmind is taking new interesting directions in files and web resources sharing. These directions are incompatible with the way users can release contents to the world. The possibility to publish files and content into the wild will come back to Panmind very soon, but in order to release new features we must take a step back.

We guarantee that, once the new public sharing features will be released, their awsomeness will make you forget any pain due to this change.

Please feel free to contact us via Zendesk for further clarifications, we will be happy to chat with you.

 

Improving Panmind navigation

Hi there,
we have finally modified the main navigation of Panmind. The old version was confusing and many of you have been asking for these changes.

We hope the new version is clearer and more effective. Here is a summary of the changes:

  • Feed: redirects to the feed page where you are updated about news on your files and projects. (learn more…)
  • Files: redirects to your files page. From there you can filter and sort all your files. A simple search form allows you to quickly find whatever you want.
  • Projects: opens a dropdown menu with a link to create new project, a link to all your projects and a list of your recently updated projects.
  • Account: we add to dropdown menu a link to inbox and invitation page

Here are some screenshot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please let us know what you think about the changes.

Short link

Many of you have been asking for this feature and finally we can satisfy your request. It was:

“I need to share a file with a client who doesn’t have a Panmind account, and I don’t want to push him to create one. How can I do that?”

Here we are! In each file’s detail page, in the right column, you can find a box showing ‘share this file’ with a ‘Get URL’ button. Clicking on it, Panmind generates a URL that allows anybody to reach the content, even without a Panmind account.

Give it a try and tell us how we can improve it.

About “feed”

In the end we did it! It was months that we wanted to put the hands on it. It tooks some week of work. We had some unexpected javascript issue and an some unexpected office relocation but, … here we are now.

We are focusing more and more on the immediacy of the interaction you have with Panmind. It’s now possible to, right away from global and project feed, to:

- comment
- like
- download

We like it… have your say!

Panmind, back-to-school edition

As usually happens, a long lasting silence on this blog is followed by important updates on Panmind. While you were standing in the sun, getting tanned, drinking in the pool or whatever other activity means holiday to you, our team of little magic elves was working hard to let you find a glad surprise once back home.

Panmind has interesting updates, varying from a fresher visual style to a whole new set of features. The aim was to make Panmind an easier and smarter tool to deal with for your everyday work, so we focused all our efforts to one major subject: how you manage project’s content. And our thoughts drove us to an interesting place.

Panmind, Projects and Files

What is a file in 21st century? And what it’s not? Is a blog post less important than a zipped archive to your project? Is a link to an external image less important than an image you upload from your computer? When it’s time to run a project, all project’s assets have the same importance, and all you need to for is a tool to have them on the same page and deal with them in a seamless way.

You must be able to put into Panmind everything you need to drive you projects to success, whether they are things which you find on the web like links and videos, stuff you create on place like posts or a writeboard, or stuff you own on your computer and want to share with your team.

Cloud computing is knocking down the borders between what a filesystem is and what it’s not. Every resource you need to view, manage and share can be thought as a file, no matter today (and even less tomorrow) where that piece of information is located as long as you are allowed to access it. All we want to do is to find and provide our users with the best tools we can, to help them embrace this change.

We used to have a separation between content and non-content assets on Panmind. That was crazy, we realized it, we changed it, and the result is very simple:

Panmind is made up of projects that contain files.

Creating Files

It’s easier now to create files into Panmind than it was before. Just two simple buttons to choose from, ‘Upload’ and ‘Create new’.

‘Upload’ file tool is now powered with a new multiple upload feature, that allows you to browse your filesystem and select more than one file at time. Many of you were asking for this feature for so long and in the end we did it. And that’s cool.

‘Create new’ button lets you access four simple types: Post, Link, Video and Writeboard. Among those types, we introduced a new feature that avoids the need to populate title and abstract for links and videos by hand. We are trying to guess it for you, and most of the times we are right!

Files management

Good news for someone of you: tags are back in place! It’s now possibile to tag your stuff with autocompleting in the project’s scope.

Files page changed a lot. It’s easier now to find stuff. You can now filter by author and by tag. We still miss the keyword search in the project, we are working on it, it will follow up very soon.

The other important change in Files page is the introduction of multiple actions. Checkboxes are now allowing you to mass delete files or add tags to many files at time.

Wrapping up

Panmind is continuously growing up, we are constantly working to improve the quality our users deserve. This one is just a tiny step in a direction we know can lead to great value. Stay with us if you are curious to know what we are able of. And don’t forget to fill our mailbox with every kind of feedback, insults included! :D

No more Todo Lists and Restricted Projects

In the next few days you will find important changes in Panmind.
In order to optimize the platform we decided to remove Todo List and Restricted Projects.

The removal of the Todo List is in line both with your feedback and with our decision to go into the direction of file sharing. The effects are a lighter development, faster and more focused work…and happier users!
Obviously nothing is lost forever: if someone wants to retrieve its data from the Todo List simply write us at info@panmind.com.
We will carefully arrange to send you all the data you want to keep.

About Restricted Project: in the next release we will have only two kinds of projects: private and public.
The first step is to transform all Restricted Project in Private Projects: so we can simplify the projects creation form and improve the user experience. This will happen the next week.
Then, in the next release, the features that today are possible in Restricted Project (for example the possibility to choose who can collaborate to the project) will be carried out in Public Project. This will be more advanced than the current one.

The evolution continues, does not stop…the direction of Panmind is increasingly towards greater simplification!
…Let us know what you think. Everything we do is aimed at allowing a lighter use of Panmind offering a platform functional to your needs!

Email reminder

Dear Users,
we have to apologize with you for a thing happened Friday June 24th. While deploying the new ‘reminder’ feature we accidentally sent too many emails, and it happened to someone of you to receive emails which were not meaningful of what is their activity status on Panmind.

Spamming is not our policy. Our intention was to humbly ask for a minute of your attention, we ended up bothering you by a minute of our carelessness instead. We are sorry for that and we will take all the measures needed to ensure it will not happen again in the future.

Details

You deserve details, so let’s see what happened.

The new feature is meant to softly remind users who miss from Panmind since a long time to come back so that they would be able to see the new things we have been working on lately. To do that we decided to prepare a couple of different emails, to be triggered at given statuses of the user record, and to perform this check daily in a cron job.

Two issues took place here. First, while we carefully defined the queries to scatter the emails across the users in a wise and ortodox way, we did not consider that this mechanism was faulty when it was to be triggered the first time. So email reminding people of two different features were sent the same day.

Second issue was a mere and shameful inattention happened while reviewing an automated test. We defined a complex query to find users who are no longer publishing content into Panmind since a given period of time but who did it before. Test was written badly. That caused you to receive an email asking for you to come back to Panmind even though you have always been there!

What we have learned

One thing we always knew is that there’s a huge difference between web and email. Emails are not web. Emails are an intimate place. If you are lucky, it may happen to you that someone trusts you to the point to let you get inside. Once there, it’s up to you to move in that place with respect and politeness. Stuff like writing software, dealing with computer’s hardware and company’s workflows may lead you to forget how delicate and unique this link with the user is.

The future

To prevent this from happening again, independently from the reminder to be sent, we will forbid the system to send more than one reminder email per month. The system will be reimplemented from scratch, keeping in mind this strong point from the beginning. It’s our will to publish the result of this work in the open, so to help other people and developers to not make our same mistakes.

Thanks for your patience and for your understaning. As usual, we avidly await for your comments.

New Welcome Page and new icons

So guys, have you heard the news? No? Then log in and have a look!

New members will certainly be happy to find a new Welcome Page ready to guide everyone to perform the main steps. That’s the best way to start using Panmind!

Let’s see the 5 steps to start using Panmind:

1) First, create a project: you can’t say you understand Panmind until you create and try it’s main object! Creating a project is fast and simple. And if you choose to make a first test, you can create a project project that will be visible only to owner and invited members (recommended if you just want to try). It will be private for you to test it without any fear.

2) invite all your Gmail contacts: simple and quick way to find out people from your Gmail contacts who’s already a member of Panmind and invite the ones that are not members yet.

3) invite people you know by typing their email address

4) upload an image for your profile: in this way everyone will have a face in Panmind

5) add information about you: explain who you are and what are your interests so that we can help you to find the right people to work with!

Let us guide you, it will be easier to understand what is the best way to discover Panmind!

But the Welcome page is not the only news… the most careful of you will notice that icons representing project types have changed: they now represent a folder. It looks like a tiny change, but it’s not!

We decided to use this symbol because a project can be thought as a set of files and content to share with who you want: choosing people carefully or allowing anyone to see it (and so allowing everybody to contribute).

In both cases we think  the folder can be the perfect symbol!

Asking why? Because Panmind is a new way to create file folders on the web, manage and share them, creating social dynamics around the content that you share!

Let’s stop it here, too much talking… the best way to find out what we’re talking about is open up your browser and go to see it!  And as always do not forget to tell us what you think. We are working for you on other big changes, see you soon!

Meet users

On Tuesday we had a nice meeting with someone of our users, graduate students of Architecture and Philosophy of two different universities in Rome. With students and their teachers, Professors Cristina Marras and Roberto D’Autilia, we talked about Panmind and their recent experience with the platform: the courses were organized within Panmind, and the students analyzed, each one on the basis of his field of study, the relationships between concepts, words, people who are triggered by Panmind.

As Panmind is a virtual place to trigger relationships between people, content, projects it is ideal to the networks analysis: of course when we will be millions and millions of people it will be even better! :P

The guys explained what are the strengths of Panmind in their opinion, what they would improve… and what they would throw away for sure.

Among the strengths: cooperation and sharing, the ability to continuously review and monitor the work, the interdisciplinary and for someone, but not all, the graphic design.

Among the things to improve: the ability to connect and possibly merge similar projects, the reintroduction of tags, the need to edit a comment.

Among the things to delete: redundant steps and the fact that link between a project and his owner should be more direct. In other words, the guys would be able to get in touch easier with a project’s creators and to be able to talk to them even before joining it. Therefore they proposed a sort of public board for each user to collect message that is not necessarily a tool for private communication such as the private message in the inbox. What do you think?

What to say guys! Compliments are very nice… but criticisms are even more useful and constructive … especially when something is under continuous development and growing as we are in this moment.

For you students of Architecture of “Rome 3” and of Philosophy of “La Sapienza” who spent a bit of your time with us on Tuesday thanks a lot… I recommend you stay with us even after the exam! :D

Thanks again to Professors Marras and D’Autilia and thanks to all our users and readers who keep contributing with their feedbacks to improve Panmind and build with us the best collaboration platform!

 

PS: Just to be clear… in addition to the criticisms they have done us also a lot of congratulations! :D !!

For all our readers, who are using Panmind like the guys we just met or have just been intrigued and are about to use it… feel free to contact us! We are ready to receive all your feedback and if you are in Rome or plan to come in Rome and if you are disposed to participate to a meeting to talk about your experience with Panmind let us know also through the feedback button or answering to this post… it would be nice to organize a new focus group with you!

 

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