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      News Articles   22/07/17

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About this blog

Official Blog

In our blog you'll find updates on the projects that we're currently working on to improve Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre

Entries in this blog


You may or may not have noticed but we've had to take the step of removing the drama group functionality as part of our recent updates.

Unfortunately an upgrade to the core software that underpins Amdram.net forced this change.

We have plans to replace the functionality in the not too distant future and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause


Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre has undergone significant change over the Christmas period and whilst the functionality the site offers remains largely unchanged we have undertaken a major upgrade to the software that underpins the site.

What can you expect from Amdram.net - The Social Network in Amateur Theatre in 2016

Groups - We've upgraded the group functionality on the site to allow "Group Owners@ to manage their groups and their own forums much in the way that Facebook allows Page administrators to manage pages - We have plans to enhance the group functionality further but are keen to get feedback on what groups and users would like to see

Calendar - We still offer the same great event functionality that you've enjoyed before but we've enhanced the integration with Google Maps so that you easily add a location for your event and we've also made it easier for you to link to publicity material that you can store in the gallery and reuse throughout Amdram.net

Scripts - We're still growing our scripts database and we are keen to get feedback on what groups and users would like to see.

Forums, Galleries & Blogs - We still offer the same great forums and blogs functionality, it has been enhanced and made easier to use

Please feel free to comment or create a topic in the Feedback forum with any ideas or suggestions that you have



August Update

The last month has been a blur to be completely honest, I've been up to my neck in paper work related to a house sale and I've also been working non stop!

I've managed to find some time to provide an update :)


We are still struggling to get these out of the door at the moment, we're exploring alternative options but we don't really have the funds to consider too many options, we'll keep you posted


New functionality for Groups is currently in testing, it's taking a little longer to get complete than originally envisaged but hopefully we"ll see that new functionality sooner rather than later


We've been expanding the range of scripts available on the scripts database and will shortly be looking at options to make the data more searchable.


New Navigation Menu

We're currently working on a new navigation menu for Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre

We apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst we are making these improvements.

We will update you accordingly when the work has been completed


July Update

As you are no doubt aware, I haven't found time to blog for quite a while so I'm glad that I've found a spare 10 minutes to give an update.


We've tried to improve the quality of the newsletter but as a result of increasing member numbers we're sometimes struggling to get the newsletter out of the door on a weekly basis. We're planning some improvements in this space so hopefully we'll get back on track with weekly newsletters in no time.


We're looking at adding new functionality to the groups section which will effectively give groups the capability to create their own mini site within the wider Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre site which we believe will be a worthwhile investment - Watch this space!


Our Youtube Channels needs more promotion, there is an abundance of functionality here on the site but we think it is helpful to point out some of the functionality and how members can best leverage this - We're exploring our options around this


We've now got a huge army of followers on Twitter that we are extremely proud of!

We need to convert many of our followers into members and encourage them to promote forthcoming events etc so that we can help promote on their behalf.

Please accept my apologies for the length of this blog entry, unfortunately I still have work to complete before tomorrow! - I suspect it will be a late night.


We're currently in the process of experimenting with Youtube in order to make FAQ and instructional videos that help our members get the most out of Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre.

You can visit our Youtube Channel here or see our first video which provides instructions on how to customise your profile:-

We would be grateful for your feedback!


Whilst we are keen to keep promoting interest in our new groups functionality, we can lose sight o the need to upgrade other areas of the site.We'll soon be launching new and improved Links and Classifieds sections.We'll be using the Links section to drive a campaign to increase the number of sites that link to Amdram.netWe intend to make the Classifieds section the ideal place to sell that prop, stage or costume!We will of course be keeping you update on progress through our blog and we'll post an article once the services are launched.


The most recent upgrade to Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre allowed us to take advantage of some new areas of innovation in the core software that underpins the site.We've migrated all the groups from the old database into the new format.If you're keen to see more then visit: http://www.amdram.net/forums/groupsWe'll be launching the new groups functionality officially in a news article over the weekend.


September Update

There is a new upgrade to the software that is used to host Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre and we're currently in the process of evaluating it and planning the implementation

We hope to provide the following new features:-

Event Calendars

  • RSVP on a new event - A useful way of understanding who will be attending the event
  • Import events - You'll be able to send us a (.ics) file with your events or provide a link to your site and we'll automatically import them into the main event calendar
  • We're currently looking at the ability for us to tweet when you add a new event - Useful promotion!
  • We are currently investigating an opportunity to completely overhaul the way in which groups work - This an exciting change :D


  • We'll be upgrading the classified adverts capability generally

We can't put a timescale on the upgrade at this current time because we are investigating what to do in terms of look & feel, the current "skin" that provides the look and feel for Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre is produced by a third party and to date they have not confirmed whether or not they intend to upgrade the "skin" to cater for the new version of the software.


I have recently migrated Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre to a new server because I was encountering numerous problems which consumed too much of my time. I wanted to focus on adding new features to the site for the benefit of members and visitors but was unable to do so.

I have now completed the migration, it didn't go quite as smoothly as I would have expected and we're still having teething problems with email which has resulted in the Newsletter not being sent out.

On a more positive note! I would like to tell you about some of the new things we have planned:-

  • New look & feel - I've never been able to get that professional look and feel that I think Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre deserves so I've auditioned a few new candidate "skins" and we're now progressing well into rehearsals! - Look forward to a first night performance without any hitches soon!!
  • Advertising - I'm in the process of reviewing our current "Advertising Strategy" and will look at whether or not serving adverts on Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre is in the best interest of the community as a whole.
  • Content - I'm going to review the content on Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre to ensure that everything is accurate and up to date... including my age on the about us page!
  • Enhanced Membership Offering - At present Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre offers a "Community Patron" offering, but I want to increase the capability offered to ALL Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre members
  • Script Database - I'm going to get my act together and finish the Script Database so that we can get the many scripts from our scriptwriter community in there.

I would like to thank you all for your continued support!


Script Database Update

We have been beta testing the new Scripts Database for a while and we are currently working on functionality to "batch upload" scripts into the database.We'd really like to enable Scriptwriters to provide us with a specifically formatted spreadsheet that we can then easily transfer to the site.I'll keep you posted on developments in this space!


Scripts Database Beta

We've been focussing on developing our Scripts Database over the last few months.The initial version of the Scripts Database is now live for beta testing and we'll be looking to create different views of the information that it contains so that it becomes more useful to the community.If you're a member of the Sponsor group on Amdram.net then you'll be able to list your own scripts!We'll do a full article launching the Scripts Database once we have completed all the views and took onboard any feedback from the community.


February Update

I can hardly believe we are already 3 days into February, it doesn't feel like Christmas and New Year were over a month a go but doesn't time fly when you're busy!

We have got a number of initiatives in the pipeline and whilst I haven't had much time to spend on them, they are still progressing at a slow pace.

What I can't talk about!

In my last update I mentioned that we were looking to add a new piece of functionality to the site, this is progressing and we're getting close to releasing this... I'm hoping in the next few weeks or so but that'll depend very much on work commitments.

What I can talk about!

I'm really pleased to see more of you submitting articles, I'm going to keep actively encouraging this as I think it is a good way of either expressing yourself or promoting your group or forthcoming event.

We are getting a reasonable number of visitors to the site, I'd like to see volumes increase in the long term but it is difficult because we rely so heavily on word of mouth. I'd love to do some advertising but unfortunately the old finances don't allow for that right now :D

I'm very grateful for those of you who retweet our tweets and generally spread the word about Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre, your support is very very very much appreciated!

We have started work on making the site more professional looking, unfortunately this is quite time consuming and a little more involved than I first expected but we'll get there!

If you have an idea then we're all ears!

If you have an idea or suggestion that you think will benefit the wider Amateur Theatre Community then maybe we have the "know how" to make your idea reality!

We're more than happy to take on new ideas from the community!


An interesting question!

I do have a number of different tracks of work in progress at the moment but I have been struggling to find time to make good progress but I'm sure I'll get there in due course.

What I can't really talk about...

I am working on a top secret new addition to Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre, I am hoping that it will be a service that really helps the wider Amateur Theatre Community.

Unfortunately there are a few bugs to iron out at the moment and I'm waiting for some more time to work with the developers to get this just right.

I hope that this will be one of the first new initiatives that we launch in the new year

What I can talk about...

Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre is looking a little "amateur" in terms of some of the page designs you see on the general pages, I'm looking to improve the design and make them a little more user friendly!

If you have an idea then we're all ears!

If you have an idea or suggestion that you think will benefit the wider Amateur Theatre Community then maybe we have the "know how" to make your idea reality!

We're more than happy to take on new ideas from the community!


It Has Been A Month Or So!

It has been a month or so since I last provided an update on developments here at Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre.

It has been a little challenging recently managing Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre around other commitments but I like a challenge!

In terms of updates:-

Syndicated News

The original idea developed a little and I was keen to ensure this was functionality that members could add to the site themselves, hence the recent "How To Link Your Blog" article.

If you're existing website or blog has an RSS feed then you can quite easily syndicate new entries you make on your own site into your blog here on Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre, if you want to see this in action then see Adlington Music and Arts Society

Script Downloads

This is currently parked, I think there is a lot more thinking to do in this space and I'm keen to involve members of our Commercial Advertisers group to further elaborate this idea

Classified Adverts

This is live!

IPhone Application

This is coming very soon!

I think a lot of my effort in the run up to Christmas is going to be heavily focussed around increasing the popularity of Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre and I would be very grateful for support from all of you in doing this, afterall word of mouth advertising is by the far the most effective advertising mechanism!



I mentioned in my last development update that one of the things we have been working on is the promotion of Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre.We are going to be creating standard ads, banners and brand related items to support this.This leads me quickly into the purpose of this update! We've decided that it would add value to the community as a whole to introduce a Gallery capability where members can share photos, posters etc.We'll be introducing this in due course and we've also seen some exciting developments from the software provider coming in the next version!


Development Update

I'm constantly working on a number of initiatives, the general aim being to publicise the site, drum up support and make Amdram.net - The Social Network for Amateur Theatre more appealing!We've just launched the new link exchange section of the site but we are going to need to do a lot of promotion work to ensure we get a good cross section and variety of links.We've been working on the "Amdram.net" brand, starting with a tweak to the logo, we've already rolled this out to Twitter and Facebook and we will be looking at other enhancements such as banners, ads etcWe've been working on our advertising proposition too but don't have any information to share at this point in time.We're currently evaluating a new classifieds ads section for the site and we've also been looking at whether or not script downloads would add value.We've got some tweaking to do but we will shortly be adding an IPhone Application to allow you to access the community on the move!I think that's about it for now! As always though, we love to hear from you and we'll do our best to action any comments or feedback!


Script Downloads

I've been giving quite a lot of thought to what we could do to entice more Commercial Advertisers to the community.One of the areas that I am investigating further is whether we could offer a script download capability.e.g. Visitor or Member chooses script, pays Scriptwriter direct through PayPal, downloads the script.I'm not too sure at this point whether or not that adds lots of value so I thought I would get the idea out in the community and wait for feedback!


Syndicated News

I've been giving some thought to an idea I had today:I'm sure many of you are now using Blogs, Wordpress, Joomla, Facebook or Twitter to provide updates and news.I'm keen to hear from any of you that are keen to get involved in a pilot where we will read your RSS feed and syndicate the news to Amdram.net.I'm hoping this will help amateur dramatics groups spread the news quicker and to a wider audience.If you're interested in taking part then please contact us.


What'S Coming Soon?

I've been giving some thought to what the distinction is between an entry on the company blog and a news article!I'll be using the blog as a means of communicating what is coming soon e.g. What new enhancements and features are we working on right now?I'm driven by the community, the feedback an suggestions that you provide will form the basis of what we do next!At the moment I am working on building a links database for the site and hope to have that finished soon!

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