An advantage of a web based content creation tool is collaboration with others. Effective collaboration requires right communication tools.
Great artworks can be created by reusing and adapting others’ works to one’s own ideas (case in point). That is why we encourage creative commons sharing of the models created on 3DTin. This sharing can be made more productive if artists can communicate their ideas and feedback through suitable channels.
Few months back we implemented comments, followed by email notifications for replies. This has started very useful conversation threads among 3DTin users. It made us think how we could facilitate this communication more easily. Last week we made two additions to 3DTin UI with this goal in mind.
You will now see a “Community” icon in the top toolbar.
Clicking it will open a new window that will have two tabs.
1. Group Chat
This is a realtime chat application for 3DTin users who are logged in.
Users have already started using it. It is no different than an IRC chat room, except it’s accessible from browser (it uses WebSockets for instant exchange of messages). You can post your questions, share your ideas about 3D modeling and give suggestions to others. The chat application also has built-in notifications (which can be turned off if you don’t want to be disturbed) that lets you know when others are actively chatting, so you can jump in.
2. Forum (Google Group)
If instant messaging is not your cup of tea, you can also post your queries to the 3DTin Google group. This gives you a traditional mailing list way of exchanging information. But thanks to Google Group’s embed-ability, you don’t have to leave 3DTin to use it. It is accessible through the second tab – “Forum” – in the Community window.
These are our initial takes for improving communication between 3DTin users. We will see how these ideas work and based on your feedback we will improve them further.
Do let us know what do you think.