We’ve released almost too many improvements and features for me to list here, so I’ll try to summarize the overarching changes. The high-level overview is that we’ve added activity feeds a la most of the other social networks out there, added new edit-in-place controls for book detail and profile pages, completely overhauled the upload process, adding two new ways to do it, and changed that way that those uploads are shared with groups and other users.

For users who have uploaded work, we’re happy to take requests that your work be included in the main catalog. However, items in the main catalog may not be shared with other users or groups, so it may not serve everyone’s purpose.

Users with uploads already in the system will notice that their uploads no longer show up in public feeds, on the homepage, or in any other public area of the site. They will show up to users you share them with, and for groups you share with, they’ll appear on the group detail page.

We apologize for any disruption, bugs or other strange site behavior that may have arisen from this major change, and are happy to work with you to get the kinks out.

Here’s some more brief notes (from the site itself) on how things have changed:

ABOUT UPLOADS

Now you can upload from the Web by pasting a URL to any HTML page, HTML Zip file, or EPUB book. EPUB is an emerging open standard for digital books based on XHTML, which means most of the Web can be source content, and digital books can now look as good as the most sophisticated web pages you’ve seen.

The conversion to a book is instant and requires no extra steps. Additionally, for EPUB books from Feedbooks, any link inside the book will automatically perform the import for you, so you never have to leave the Reader for recommended titles.

If you want a bit more control over your conversion, you can still use our editor to refine your HTML source document before converting it into a book. We’ve improved the editor and added two new toolbar buttons, one that lets you insert images from remote URLs, and one to insert links.

There are EPUB editors out there, if you want to brave them, but we think for its ease of use and simplicity, our editor is still the best option out there for creating EPUBs from HTML sources.

With this release, we have discontinued support for non-reflowable formats such as PDF, RTF and Microcruft Word.

ABOUT SHARING

Sharing is exactly what it sounds like. Share your uploads with one group, many groups or any select Gluttons. Previously, uploads had to be either shared with every user or none. This prevented people from getting together in groups to discuss work which, for one reason or another, they didn’t want in the public catalog.

Using sharing is simple. If you’ve uploaded something, simply view your upload list. Next to each book you’ve uploaded, you’ll see a sharing link. From the book’s detail page you can click ‘edit sharing.’ To read about uploading, see the upload page.

From the sharing page, you’ll be able to quickly add people or groups to the sharing list for that book. Anyone you share with will receive a notification in their activity feed about the item you’ve shared. When you share with a group, the book is added to the group share list, visible on the group detail page (to members of the group only).

You can remove people or groups from your share list anytime, the same way you remove them from your follow list. Once a share is removed, the recipient can no longer view or access the book.

ABOUT GROUP LISTS

Group lists are a new way for members to participate in groups. It’s very simple — on any book detail page, click the ‘Add to Group’ link. You’ll be taken to a page that either allows you to create a group or lists each of your owned and joined groups so you can select which ones to add this book to.

Once you’ve added the book, it will appear in the Group Book List, on the Group’s detail page. This list replaces the prior version, called Reading History. It is no longer a history but a collaborative list of interesting titles. Anyone in the group can add to it.

A group owner can now select from the group list to set the current book. This allows group owners to choose from books that interest the members. Of course, group owners can add their own books to the list.

Advertisements