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Welcome to the h2g2 announcements page, where the h2g2 Communications Team announces news about the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Earth Edition.
If you'd like to stay informed of all announcements, subscribe to this page by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page which may be labelled 'Subscribe' or 'Click here to be notified of new Conversations about this Guide Entry'. Once you've subscribed, whenever we post a new Conversation here, it will pop up on your Personal Space.
You are welcome to respond to threads that have been started by members of the h2g2 Communications Team. However we do ask you to please refrain from starting new threads here, as we anticipate lots of subscriptions to this page. If you have a query about any of the announcements here, please keep it in the same thread as the announcement. Thanks!
Monday 18th November 2013 – Announcing: Achievement Badges
One of the pleasures of helping to run h2g2, as official volunteers, is when we get to congratulate Researchers and hand out those sparkly official badges to adorn your Personal Spaces. As well as for volunteer status, some of these very special badges are for achievement. We have badges that indicate contributions to the Guide in the following categories:
(Here we have a sequence of badges: 0-10, 10+, 25+ and onwards - the more entries, the larger the steps)
Has rescued more than five Entries from the Flea market
Field Researcher badge:
Has written a University project.
The awards are not made automatically (how we wish life would be simple!), so if you've noticed that you're a badge short, or that your current solo entry badge needs an upgrade, then please let us know.
In the meantime, belated congratulations to the following who've written *more* than ten solo Entries. The next tier is 25 solo entries.
Lanzababy (I think it looks odd, me congratulating myself, but even I'd not noticed I was due a new badge)
You may like to know that 'Solo' entries do not include those where there has been collaboration, or an Entry rescued from the Flea Market, or even completely rewritten/updated.
We really understand all the work that goes into writing and honing these Entries, they are invaluable additions to the Guide. Without you, our esteemed authors, the Guide would be all dusty and unloved.
We also want to give a special mention to SashaQ, who broke the bank this week by achieving a royal flush of Scavenger, University and Ten Solo Entries in a single weekend. Well done that, Researcher! We hope you're planning yet more amazing Entries for the Guide.
with kind regards
Lanzababy and the Core Team
Wednesday 16th October 2013 – Announcing: We are two years on from the relaunch!
Can you believe it? Two years ago, we just finished the final bug testing and fixing, and switched the site live in this new home.
And we are still here, writing, reading, discussing, volunteering and growing!
Massive thanks to Not Panicking Ltd, for deciding to "do it", to Tech Team smiley - hero for steadily updating the site since then, and working on the update to come, to all the volunteers for their time, their efforts and their caring, and most of all, to the whole community, for being such great people.
And if that wasn't enough, we've got some rather special plans for the next year, but we can't tell you about them yet, except to say that we're incredibly excited!
Milla for h2g2 Communications
Saturday 25th May 2013 – Announcing: Towel Day!
Today is Towel Day, the day when fans of Douglas Adams remember his life and works by carrying a towel and displaying it prominently.
Here’s what our Guide has to say about the first towel day.
This year, towel-minded researchers can celebrate by sending us their towel-related photos. By email, on Facebook, via Twitter. The instructions are all here.
And check out the topical entries tab on the front page for the best in towel-themed entries h2g2 has produced so far, and Ask for the official Towel Day thread, almost certainly soon to descend into a surrealist exploration of what the universe would be like should towels develop intelligence and take over. Or something. Possibly limericks.
Happy Towel Day, hoopy froods!
To find out more about Towel Day, and what other people around the world have planned, why not visit the official Towel Day website?
Thursday 23rd May 2013 – Announcing: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Foundation Website.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Foundation, the literacy and communication skills charity co-founded by the h2g2 community, is now at the next phase of its development – it is ready to launch its very own website. We invite all h2g2 researchers to the site.
The Hitchhiker Foundation works by supporting other charities, organisations or projects which further our aims. One of the things having our own site allows us to do is explain more fully just what projects the Hitchhiker Foundation has contributed to so far.
We hope that you visit, read all about it and share in our excitement for the future as we build on some very positive first steps.
Solnushka for the Hitchhiker Foundation.
Sunday 28th April - Announcing: Happy 14th Birthday h2g2!
The internet, you might say, is big. Vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big. But nothing on it seems to last for very long (with the obvious exception of anything you’d rather people didn’t see). So if a website is going to celebrate its fourteenth birthday, it’s probably going to need to be the work of a complete genius.
Fortunately, Douglas Adams was a complete genius. So when he launched “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition” (also known as the snappier h2g2) in 1999, it was clearly destined to be an unbridled, catastrophic success, right?
Although h2g2.com might not yet quite be a complete guide to Life, The Universe and Everything it is a thriving online community, where Hitchhiker’s fans and many other creative folks can work on The Guide and help fulfil Douglas’ vision of a real-life, mostly useful, Earth Edition of his fictional Guide (not, incidentally, a real-life version of the Encyclopedia Galactica).
Today we welcome everyone, active and returning researchers, new researchers, visitors and viewers, to celebrate.
Thanks to Douglas Adams, who saw a way to bring his idea of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy into an actual Guide, the Earth Edition, we have been around for 14 internet years! (They say that's like 146 Earth years...)
Join us in a toast to our favourite place on the web: h2g2!
Milla, for h2g2 Communications
Thursday 4th April - Announcing: h2g2 is one of 100 websites Capturing the digital universe
A group of curators and experts from participating libraries (the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge University Library and Trinity College Dublin) have chosen 100 Websites which they judge will be essential reading for future generations researching our life and times in 2013. These sites will be archived, to ensure their permanent availability.
And h2g2 is among those! We are so proud!
Here's what they say: H2g2 - launched in 1999 by Douglas Adams, and formerly hosted by the BBC, hg2g (sic!) did Wikipedia before Wikipedia. A wonderful eclectic community which does the original source proud.
Read more here.
And for the full list, see here.
Thank you *everyone* who contribute to h2g2, in all the ways you do it!
Monday 11 March 2013 - Announcing Douglas Adams' 61st birthday
Today would have been Douglas' 61st birthday.
Join us as we celebrate the works and legacy that he has left us, including this very site. We raise a virtual glass to Absent Friends, and toast the life, works and everything of Douglas Adams.
Saturday 23 February 2013: Announcing the debut of Spimcoot's Graphic Novel, Eustace
6 – 7pm, Thursday March 7th, 2013
Forbidden Planet London Megastore
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR
Spimcoot, known in some circles as Steven Harris, has been an h2g2 researcher since 4th August, 2001. His web comic Eustace first appeared in the h2g2 Post. Spimcoot is also the author of a second Post web comic series, Paper Cuts.
The graphic novel Eustace, described as a "blackly comic and surreal tale" will be launched at an invitation-only event at Waterstones in London on Friday 1st March 2013.
Sunday 3 February 2013: Announcing The Return of the Move Thread Tool
Have you ever started a thread, then realized your conversation belonged in another part of our vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big site? Been informed that your conversation more properly belonged in tech feedback or the community Soapbox? Wished you had posted the details of your vacation to your journal rather than Ask h2g2?
Problem - solved.
The Tech Team fixed the Move Thread tool, which had been broken for about two years. Now the Moderators can easily move a thread to the most appropriate forum, and your conversation can receive the attention it deserves.
To let the Moderators know about a thread that may need to be moved, simply yikes the thread and tick the box for "is off-topic for the board or subject being discussed". Our volunteers will handle the rest.
Saturday 2 February 2013: Announcing A French Meet In June
Rumors of champagne-sipping in Reims are sweeping h2g2 as plans develop for a French meet on 15th - 16th June 2013. For more details, and to make your reservations, visit A87780612 - h2g2 French Meet in 2013.
Monday 14 January 2013: Announcing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Foundation
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Foundation is pleased to start the New Year by announcing that it has completed the process of becoming a UK registered charity through the Charity Commission (Registered Charity No: 1149839).
We are also on the verge of making our first donations to four very interesting charities:
- Robin Baker’s Orphan Children’s Home in Andhra Pradesh, India.
- Bana Ba Letsatsi in Maun, Northern Botswana.
- Shine a Light in Latin America.
- Southwark Day Centres for Asylum Seekers in London, UK.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask the h2g2 community representative to the Foundation, Solnushka, and if you have any suggestions for future charities for the Foundation to support, we are interested in hearing about them too.
For Solnushka and the Foundation,
Operations Team Lead
Monday 3 December 2012: Announcing Volunteer Team Changes
h2g2 volunteers perform all the day-to-day editorial, technical, and administrative tasks that keep our site running. Through the combined, coordinated efforts of many h2g2 volunteers, h2g2 is moving steadily toward its long term goals.
Volunteers on all projects come and go, and we have quite a few changes to announce.
Lanzababy is taking some time off from volunteering. Lanza wasn’t just the Chief Guide Editor, she oversaw all those areas of the site that came under the Guide umbrella, as well as being my sounding board and interim FRL Vice Chair. Many thanks, Lanza, for your vision and all your hard work.
Additionally, Gnomon has resigned his position as a Guide Editor. Thank you, Gnomon, for your past efforts as a Guide Editor, and for present work as a Curator and Sub-Editor.
Dmitri Gheorgheni will step into Lanzababy's Chief Guide Editor role while she's away from us. Dimitri will be over-seeing all the Guide aspects.
Galaxy Babe and h5ringer are promoted from Deputy Guide Editors, and are now full blown Guide Editors. Congratulations! Galaxy Babe, h5ringer, and Dmitri will share the editorial workload.
Solnushka will liaise between the Creationeers and Dmitri as Chief Guide Editor, so that we can keep the successful and popular Create initiative running.
Geggs will soon take over the whole QOTD process - once we get the technical details sorted.
This situation has also highlighted an unbalance of work the Community Artists. We’ve worked with Tavaron to redistribute the workload within the Community Artists. BlueBottle, already a Curator, now has full control over uploading image files. Rosie will liaise with the Guide Editors and encourage writers to submit photos for their entries. Dr Anthea will be working with the Community Eds to get more community involvement in producing images for older entries.
Additionally, Dmitri has recruited more help for The Post: Magwitch and Asteroid Lil have joined Beatrice as Post Team volunteers! Thanks for stepping up to new tasks!
A hearty Congratulations to those who have, in effect, been promoted. And thank you to all volunteers for making h2g2 the Internet's best destination.
Tech Team Lead
Sunday 18 November 2012 - 2nd Announcement: Illustration invitation - Christmas and winter themes, your own, and old entries
Due to the happy circumstance that lots of entries are written and go through Peer review, the Artist volunteers are currently a bit overwhelmed. The Artists and the Create scheme would once again like to invite you to share your artwork and photography with the Guide.
Christmas is soon upon us, and here's a list of entries which need Christmas- and Winter-themed illustrations: Winter and Christmas Entries
You can also illustrate your own entry: If your entry is going through Peer Review, this is the perfect opportunity to submit your own illustration!
Of course, you are also invited to illustrate older entries which currently have no illustration. Should you find one that stirs your imagination, just go ahead and share your art with the Guide!
Take the chance and expand your creative talents! You can read more here: How to illustrate an Entry and even consider joining the Artists volunteer scheme. All sorts of illustrations are considered, computer graphics, watercolours, pencil, oil painting - all "real life" works of art need to be scanned - and photography.
Milla, for Communications Team
Sunday 18 November 2012: Announcing The Hitchhiker's Guide to 2013!
The lovely 2013 h2g2 Calendar is now available for sale at Lulu.
Buy one for yourself and one for that hoopy frood in your life. (Use one in the office, and be astounded at how quickly your reputation spreads.) Enjoy 35 beautiful photos from our Community Artists. Proceeds from the sale of this calendar support h2g2. Order yours today, and it should be delivered by Hogswatch/Kwanzaa/Christmas.
for Communications Team
Tuesday 9th October 2012 Part 2: Message From Robbie
We have been back in charge of h2g2 for just over a year now and I thought that it would be a good idea to look back at what we have achieved and to look ahead to where we might head next.
I have written to the volunteers too, to thank them for all the work and the hours, days, weeks and months of effort that they have put into the site and I would like to repeat those thanks publicly. Thank you to the Guide Editors, the Operations team, the Community Editors, the Moderators, the Technical Team, the Artists, Communications, the Post, all run by Volunteers. It has been hard work from time to time and I know that the pressure has sometimes, not been a huge amount of fun, but none of us, and I mean none of us, would have a site without the volunteers.
And to the Researchers and members of the site who have stuck with us, to the people who contribute to the Guide Entries, to the forums, to all those whose personal spaces are a retro glory, thank you too!
We faced a huge technical challenge when we took over the site. There were years of coding built up in layers over the years, from the original work we did back in The Digital Village days, when we launched h2g2, through all the iterations at the BBC. Just getting the site off the servers and continuing to work was very much a hold your breath moment. It has taken a lot of hard work to stabilise things and give us a platform from which I hope we can start to really innovate again. The goal remains the same as it always was, to build a fabulous Guide (not an Encyclopaedia!) used and enjoyed by millions of people from all over the world, supported by an open minded, entertaining and tolerant community.
I have felt since the beginning that one of the things that made h2g2 special was that it had a core purpose, namely, the building of the Earth edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
What I did not foresee as clearly was just how exciting (and sometimes challenging!) the aspect of the 'community' would be, but from the very beginning it was clear that we were building a great place to work, rest and play. Long may that continue.
Aside from the massive technical challenges that we have faced , I have been so proud of the way that the standard of the art work on the site has just gone up and up and when you add in the quality and beauty of Willem's artwork (the only individual name check I'm going to do!) there is a standard of work on the site which is thrilling.
The editorial team have also done a fabulous job. Just a quick look at just some of the selection of articles as I write this, Anarchy Online about MMO's, S Club Seven, the Needles and Alum Bay, the Isle of Wight (the most extensively covered place on h2g2?), the Hooden Horse, shows that the spirit of "Life the Universe and Everything" is well and truly alive.
I have seen many many wonderful conversations on many threads but am going to pick out just two, a fabulous discussion about appeasement and politics in the 1930's. I thought I knew a bit about that period but was amazed by how much others actually did know! I also loved the advice given to a father looking to bring his children for a day out in London. There is such depth and richness in h2g2 in all its highways and byways.
The challenge we face now is to continue this fabulous tradition and quality of Guide entries and conversations and at the same time to make it easier both to add and retrieve useful and informative Guide information. If I could distill the challenge we face in turning h2g2 into a world wide phenomenon again, that would be it - more information in and easier ways of finding it - on whatever device you happen to be accessing THE Guide on.
I am pleased that Field Researchers Limited is now up and running and constituted. This is an important part of the story too. We have effectively set aside nearly a third of the company in trust for the Community and at the same time set up the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Foundation, with its focus on literacy ( broadly defined) worldwide. We have raised a small amount of money so far and will soon be ready to make our first donations. Keep an eye out for more news on this in the near future. The goal here too is to build a world class Foundation. The Foundation will also have shares in the Company.
This is an innovative structure. At a time when many social media sites create value which is sold over the heads of the community we have set out to do the opposite and built in another key element with the Foundation too. We have not talked much publicly about this to date, but with some more of the structure now in place, I hope that we can now start to tell this story a little more widely.
So a final word to say that I think that Douglas would be thrilled to see that his vision is still alive and that we do have another shot at building a Galaxy class Guide to this bizarre and wonderful little planet of ours.
When the going gets tough for either Volunteers or Researchers, remember Don't Panic! No spitting! Be friendly and we'll all do our best to work out whatever the problem is and to stay creative.
Tuesday 9th October 2012: Announcing Who's Online in Pliny
The Who's Online feature has been broken in Ripley for years, and (dramatic pause) it's still broken. The good news is, the Tech Team has built an all new Who's Online feature in Pliny.
This feature will be rolled out across the Ripley skins, but if you simply can't wait, you can use it to see Who's Online in Pliny now.
Just click on this link, or copy and paste it into your browser, http://h2g2.com/whosonline and you'll see a list of the registered users online.
Sunday 30 September, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - New Badges
We are now rolling out a new set of badges for the volunteers. Over the coming days we'll be going through all the volunteer groups making sure that all active volunteers badges are swapped over, and that all former volunteers are properly recognised for their hard work over the years with the new Former Volunteer badges.
Thanks to Artists and Tech Teams for making this happen, and to all Volunteers, past and present.
for Communications Team
Monday 20 August, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - Field Researchers Ltd Incorporation Edition
A year and a half ago, researchers banded together under the h2g2 Community Consortium banner to ensure the continued survival of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Earth Edition). Z led a group of dedicated volunteers who, working with Robbie Stamp and Brian and Aly Larholm, developed a plan to give Guide contributors a voice and a role in h2g2's future.
The plan ultimately called for the establishment of a company to hold a significant portion of shares in Not Panicking Limited on behalf of the h2g2 Community.
We now have great pleasure in announcing that Field Researchers Limited (FRL) has been incorporated. The purpose of Field Researchers Ltd is to:
- Purchase 31.93% of the shares in Not Panicking Ltd, as per the agreement with Robbie Stamp and Brian and Alyson Larholm,
- Act as a responsible shareholder on behalf of the entire h2g2 community,
- Responsibly exercise the right to put a voting Board Member and a non-voting Board Attendee on the Board of NPL and a voting Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Foundation, and
- Keep the community informed about decisions being made on their behalf by the directors of FRL.
We’ll have quite a lot of FRL news to bring to you over the next several days and weeks. Our first news item regards Z stepping down as Chair of the Volunteers. We thank Z for his service as Chair of the Volunteers and his efforts to bring Field Researchers Ltd this far.
"It's been over 18 months since we first started the consortium to save h2g2, and I can't believe how far we've come. It's been an amazing journey, but sadly it's time for me to move on. As some of you know, I'm working on a PhD at the moment, and as that's getting more time-consuming, I am finding that I just don't have the time to devote to coordinating h2g2.
"But I'm lucky to be handing over to Pastey, because he is just the right person to take h2g2 forward, into its next phase. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far."
Not Panicking Ltd Chairman Robbie Stamp on the passing of the gavel from Z to Pastey:
"It has taken a while. Nothing is ever easy. But on behalf of the Board of NPL I am thrilled that Field Researchers Ltd ( great name!) is now incorporated. When we all set out on the job of taking the site back into our hands, it was always a key part of the approach to find a way of placing a significant part of the new Company "in trust" for the Community, and to provide a main Board seat for a representative of those shares as a way of respecting the fundamental part that the Community plays in the site. The dedicated volunteers and the continued support and patience of the Community have got us to this point.
"I want to take this moment in particular however, to thank Z, who is stepping down as "chief herder of cats". Z has been a prime mover in all that we have achieved so far. It was he who sought me out in person, and we sat in my local pub garden and talked and I felt strongly that Z was somebody I would enjoy working with. Indeed with his approach and intelligence he is somebody who would have fitted right into the fabulous team we had when Douglas and others first launched the site, and for me that remains high praise indeed. So, thank you Z. I can say categorically, none of us would be here today without your hard work, care and genuine love for the site. It has been a privilege to work with you.
"And welcome to Pastey, who I have also been very lucky to come to know these past months. Now for the next phase!"
- Robbie Stamp
In addition to heading up the Tech Team, Pastey will act as Chair of the Volunteers. Pastey has also volunteered to serve as one of the directors of Field Researchers Ltd. He, Lanzababy, Milla, Solnushka, and Happy Nerd will be holding these offices as volunteers until elections can be held.
"When we heard about the disposal of h2g2 it may have been nostalgia that made Z think "No, it can't close". I'm pretty certain it was nostalgia that made a lot of us rally to his call. And now as we reach this quite monumental milestone we have a new era of nostalgia to look back on. We've managed to achieve something that a lot of people thought was mpossible, a community site part owned and run by the community themselves. Z needs to be congratulated on drawing us to the cause so this could happen."And now we move forward, leaving nostalgia behind. I'm genuinely honoured to be taking over the reigns from Z, and guiding the Guide for the next leg of its journey, out of the past and into the future. We were the first, and we pioneered a lot of what now seems common place on the Internet. There's a lot we can do together, and I think we can get back to innovating again.”
Please keep an eye on the h2g2 Announcements for more news about Field Researchers Ltd, including elections, voting, and crucially of course membership of FRL. We appreciate your patience as we get the next stage of plans in place.
Saturday 11 August, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - Guide Editorial Edition
We are very pleased to announce the appointment of a third Deputy Guide Editor - Galaxy Babe.
Galaxy Babe has been one of h2g2's longest standing sub-editors. She's an accomplished contributer to both the Edited Guide and the Post. She's the author of the Babe Among the Stars regular Post feature. Galaxy Babe's appointment as Deputy Guide Editor will give h2g2 an extremely strong, dedicated and knowledgeable editorial team.
Saturday 4 August, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - Attention, Volunteers
The h2g2 Operations Team will be consulting the posts in that thread when assigning the new volunteer badges, so please reply by August 31st.
Wednesday 1 August, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - Front Page Changes
The Pliny Front Page has grown to be far more popular than its Ripley counterpart. This is a positive trend, in light of Ripley's eventual retirement. However a lot of volunteer effort goes into preparing the Ripley Front Page, including its Quote Of The Day feature, for a small and shrinking audience.
In an effort to focus volunteer efforts on building the Guide and to raise the visibility of the labor-intensive QOTD feature, the volunteer Teams will be implementing these Front Page changes:
- The Quote Of The Day is moving to Pliny's Front Page to be enjoyed by a larger audience,
- The Pliny Front Page will become the only active Front Page, and
- The Ripley Front Page will be frozen.
The clause: we are not proposing to remove any Ripley skin. All h2g2 researchers will still be able to use Classic Goo, Alabaster, and Brunel in addition to the Pliny skin.
This proposed change is expected to raise h2g2's visibility across the web and allow the Guide Editorial Team to focus on building the Guide, rather than spending time doing Ripley FP layout.
And speaking of building the Guide, please welcome our ...
New Deputy Guide Editors
Congratulations to new Deputy Guide Editors Matt and h5ringer. Matt has had extensive editorial experience with both the Edited Guide and the Underguide. h5ringer brings a wealth of experience as a scout and subeditor.
Tuesday 19 June, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - Operations Team News
Please welcome Milla as the head of the h2g2 Operations Team. Milla will be taking over the leadership of the h2g2 Operations Team from its founder, Mrs Zen. We are sorry to lose Mrs Zen from her role as a Senior Volunteer, and we thank her for the enormous amount of effort she sustained in theÂ preliminary months leading up to the purchase of h2g2 from the BBC, and in the time since then.
Milla began working with the h2g2 Operations Team since late 2011. Her RL experience in software development came in handy as she organized a feature and bug tracking system for Pliny and Ripley. She has been working closely with the Tech Team and liaising with the other teams in documentingÂ processes, technical specifications, and feature requests.
Saturday 16 June, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - Tech News
You didn't panic while the Tech Team moved h2g2 to its new home, nor as Ripley began to buckle under the strain of working well beyond its design parameters, nor when an early version of Pliny came online ahead of schedule to assist Ripley. Please don't panic when I tell you that Ripley's condition continues to deteriorate.
The Tech Team is working hard to build the full version of Pliny. In the meantime, Not Panicking Ltd has taken steps to improve h2g2's responsiveness through the use of a Content Delivery Network.
The Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a large distributed system of servers located around the globe. When you browse the Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything, the CDN delivers h2g2 content via the servers operating nearer to you. The CDN helps h2g2 improve response time and handle sudden increases in demand - even when Ripley is struggling.
During normal operations you won't even be aware h2g2 is using a CDN. On rare occasions, you may see an error message from the CDN. Please don't panic. Simply read the message and follow the instructions.
And thank you for not panicking.
Wednesday June 6th, 2012: h2g2 Announcements
Edited Guide Publishing News
To all researchers who helped create a backlog of Edited Guide Entries (EGEs) to publish, thank you so much for your hard work in building the Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything. The Guide Editors will be publishing the fruits of your research to Pliny's Front Page over the next few days to clear the way for even more entries to come.
To help keep the pace of the new publishing schedule, photographers and illustrators are invited to email their artwork directly to artists AT h2g2 DOT com. The authors of Edited Guide entries are also encouraged to participate in the illustration of their own entries. Please refer to the publishing guidelines.
h2g2 Gets A New Advertisement Placement Service
More good news: Not Panicking Ltd switched h2g2 to a new advertisement placement service. The new service uses an entry's text to select an advertisement to display. As a result, the adverts shown on h2g2 have improved greatly. The adverts are so much better that we've been inspired to hold a friendly competition ...
Best & Funniest Advert-Entry Combination Competition
You are invited to send one screen shot per week of the best match of an Edited Guide Entry and the advertisement displayed. Plus you may also send one screen shot per week of the funniest combination between an EGE and its display ad.
Send your screen shots to comms AT h2g2 DOT com. Each weekend the Comms Team will select a winner in each category. Winning screen shots will be posted here.
Calling All Community Artists
Several of the Community Artists have begun using the online collaboration tool Trello when working together to produce artwork for the Guide. If you are part of the Community Artist volunteer scheme and wish to work collaboratively using Trello, please email your request to artists AT h2g2 DOT com. Make sure to use the email address you wish to use with Trello. For more information about Trello, visit trello.com.
Tuesday May 22nd, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - Towel Day
This Friday, May the 25th, h2g2 will be joining hoopy froods around the planet and across the Internet in celebrating Douglas Adams's life and works. As soon as you have completed your submission to the Shada competition, join fans and friends in honoring our site's founder by taking your towel with you wherever you go.
Wondering where to take your towel? Visit TowelDay.org to find Towel Day activities in dozens of countries around the world. Share your Towel Day adventures here, post a photo of your towel on h2g2's Facebook page. or use the #towelday hash tag on Twitter.
Thursday 17 May, 2012: h2g2 Announcements
Thanks to the Tech Team, Pliny now features a direct link to your conversations. When you are logged in, next to the My Space link is a button that takes you directly to your conversations.
The Tech Team has built more functionality into your conversation page, too. Specifically the "No replies" feature is back. And many of the "Latest Reply" links are working. A few don't, but the Tech Team is working on them.
If you see something that doesn't work, post a Bug Report here.
This is a calm and friendly reminder that there have been no changes. Existing policy against abusing the complaints system or harassing the staff and volunteers, already covered in the House Rules, will be enforced. Discussions about Moderators' decisions may be moderated, especially where that discussion isn't constructive. However, constructive discussions about policy matters are always welcome here.
And speaking of welcome, a big welcome to our many Readers. Thanks for dropping by and reading all about the Raspberry Pi, the Billy Joel We Didn't Start The Fire entries, and practically everything you could find from Alignment in Dungeons and Dragons to Valid and Invalid Arguments. Thank you for using our research.
Wednesday May 9th, 2012: h2g2 Announcements - Tech Updates
The Tech Team launched an early release of Pliny late Sunday evening. Pliny immediately got to work, shouldering the heavy load that had grown too arduous for Ripley.
A few glitches appeared, and bug-squashing volunteers immediately sprang into action. The site is growing more stable as the Tech Team eradicates pesky software bugs. If you discover a bug lurking on h2g2, please report it here.
The early release of Pliny is just that - early. Parts of Pliny were released ahead of schedule in order to carry the burden that was crushing Ripley and preventing Researchers and Readers alike from using The Guide. As soon as the most troublesome bugs have been eradicated, the Tech Team will return to building more functionality into Pliny's next release. In the meantime, , you can still use functions supported under Ripley. When you are logged in, select one of the older skins.
In other tech news, Tufty's Raspberry Pi university project has drawn over six thousand unique page views since its Front Page debut. Congratulations, Tufty!
Saturday 5 May, 2012: Late Night Edition of the h2g2 Announcements - h2g2's Social Networking Accounts
Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, the first release of Pliny is on schedule for launch this weekend.
In honor of the occasion, the Community Artists spruced up h2g2's social media accounts, including The Guide to Life, the Universe & Everything on Google+, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earth Edition on Facebook, and the following Twitter accounts:
- @h2g2_Guide, the latest and greatest entries in the Edited Guide,
- @h2g2_Post_Team, news and views from across the galaxy and around the globe,
- @h2g2_Create, inspiring creative challenges,
- @h2g2_Comms, announcing happenings, activities, and events, and
- @h2g2_Tech, h2g2's tech news and technical help.
If you use Google+, Facebook or Twitter, you can easily share information from and with the volunteers operating the accounts shown above. Click "Share this post" on Google+, "Share" on Facebook, or "Retweet" on Twitter. For more information about these features, see Share on Google+, How do I share a status or other content on Facebook?, or How to Retweet a Tweet.
Monday 30 April, 2012: Announcements
Ripley, the engine that has powered The Guide for so many years has been struggling recently to keep up with increasing demands for Guide content. Help in the form of a new and more powerful engine, Pliny, is on the way, but Ripley needs help as soon as possible.
Therefore an early release of Pliny is being prepared to come online this coming weekend, May 5th and 6th. The early version of Pliny will contain features Readers use and as many of the features Researchers have asked for as possible.
Once most of the load has been shifted to Pliny, we hope Ripley will stabilize. This will permit the Tech Team to focus on developing the rest of Pliny's features. To find out more about Pliny, read Pastey's Post interview.
We thank everyone who has been volunteering so many hours evenings and weekends. However, volunteers shouldn't miss their chance to ...
Win a piece of Time Lord History
Would you like to own a complete set of audio CDs of Shada, The Lost Adventure, written by Douglas Adams and narrated by Lalla Ward? If so, the Guide Editors have a competition for you. For more details, read Shada - The Competition.
Thursday 19 April, 2012: Announcing Pliny
Do you recall the last announcement in which we apologized for the recent service disruptions, explained Ripley is buckling under the strain of working well beyond its specs, and revealed our Technical Team has been working hard on a solution since h2g2 moved to Not Panicking Ltd?
The solution â€“ Pliny - is almost here. The Tech Team expects to launch Pliny the first weekend of May. Pliny will bring these changes:
- A beautiful user interface, with dolphins, will give Researchers and Readers alike the ability to share links to entries they enjoy on Twitter, Facebook and G+.
- An easy-to-use text editor will make writing up your research simple and more enjoyable.
- Modern memory management under the hood will provide h2g2 the stability it needs to serve its large Readership the information about Life, the Universe and Everything found in its large and growing Edited Guide and Post archives.
- The ability to place advertisements and sponsorships will allow h2g2 to earn the money it needs to support itself and expand.
Keep your handy, and watch this space for more details.
Saturday 31 March, 2012: We Apologize For Interruptions in Your Browsing Pleasure
We apologize for any recent service interruptions you may have experienced. Simply put, h2g2's architecture is overdue for an upgrade to meet our current levels of demand.
Our Technical Team anticipated the demand and has been working hard to address the situation. As soon as we had popped the cork on the first bottle of celebratory bubbly last October, Brian, Pastey and the technical team got to work on a proposed solution to the projected demand on h2g2's resources. Since then, volunteers have been working behind the scenes to develop a new and modern platform from which to continue expanding the Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything.
During this phase of h2g2's transition, the Comms Team will do our utmost to keep you informed. The Tech Team may ask for your help with software testing.The Guide and Arts Editors and the Post Editorial Team stand ready to help you as you contribute to the Edited Guide and The Post. The Community Editors are always here to address your concerns.
We ask that you do as you have always done, that is, contribute your research to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Earth Edition). And of course, .
Tuesday 28 February, 2012: The Manchester Meet Special Edition of the Announcements
Scores of researchers and readers descended on Manchester for the first official Meet since h2g2 has been under Not Panicking Ltd management.
Many researchers arrived a day or two early to start the Meet weekend in the traditional manner, that is, at a pub. Twenty-five researchers met at the Port Street Beer House in Manchesterï¿½s fashionable Northern Quarter February 17th. The number of researchers attending the pre-Meet gathering exceeded the total attendance figure for any meet in recent years.
Saturdayï¿½s Meet drew 51 intrepid researchers to Manchester. Festivities began at the Cask and soon moved to the Museum of Science and Industry. After the museumï¿½s closing time, researchers found their way to the Font.
Researchers, accompanied by inflatable antipodeans and a knitted Dalek, indulged in the Fontï¿½s version of the Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster , an intoxicating concoction whose full recipe and creation can be found here. The Font also served a unique, locally brewed ale, Donï¿½t Panic!
As the evening progressed, Pastey unleashed h2g2ï¿½s first PhD level pubquiz, held simultaneously live at the meet, on this Askh2g2 thread, and Twitter. Team 43 won the quiz. Each Team 43 team member, Robbie Stamp, Dr and Mrs Zen, Malabarista, and Ictoan, received the fabulous prize of an original smiley artwork. (Rumours that Mala intimidated Pastey with her impressive array of weaponry are entirely unfounded.) There was also a supplementary question, the winners of which were Pegasus and J'au-aemne. Pegasus received an ultra-exclusive copy of the h2g2 book and got it signed by everyone there. J'au-aemne received a Super Exclusive h2g2 towel from Robbie Stamp himself.
Minichessemouse proved her artistic skills by winning the badge competition, and received a copy of the h2g2 book. Honourable mentions went to Titania and Phil, each of whom received a copy of the very exclusive h2g2 book.
Robbie Stamp congratulated and thanked the whole h2g2 community, whether in the Font or not, for their work keeping the site running and keeping DNAï¿½s vision alive. This was met with a lot of cheering and well-deserved drinks. Robbie also delivered the traditional h2g2 meet toast: ï¿½To Absent Friendsï¿½
The following morning, some 17 dedicated revellers returned to Font for breakfast, a few drinks and farewells. The breakfast crowd dwindled as the time to catch trains, planes and buses approached all too soon for some. For others, breakfast turned into lunch, and it wasnï¿½t until 5pm that the students, goths and hipsters were finally able to reclaim the Font.
Now that the hangovers have cleared and Researchers have made it home, all that remains is to thank everyone who made the Meet such a success. Please enjoy these photos, add your photos to the entry by emailing them to artists AT h2g2 DOT com, peruse The Post for researchers' reports on the Meet, and help Bluebottle craft a collaborative entry on the Museum of Science and Industry.
Saturday 18 February, 2012: Special Manchester Meet Pub Quiz Edition
You are hereby invited to participate in the Manchester Meet pub quiz.
Thursday 9 February, 2012: h2g2 Announcements
Calling All Subeditors
Do you have a good grasp of grammar, composition, and GuideML? The Guide Editors need researchers like you to volunteer as Subeditors. Please send an email to guideeditors AT h2g2 DOT com or leave the Guide Editors a message on their personal space.
Paint Your Way Into The Guide
Can you create original visual narratives to accompany and enhance Guide Entries? If you paint or draw, conventionally or using software, join the Community Artists and illustrate the Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything. Please send an email to artists AT h2g2 DOT com or leave a message for the Arts Editors on their personal space.
Reserve Your Seat At The Manchester Meet
Have you made plans to come to the hoopiest social event ever? More than 42 researchers are preparing to descend on Manchester Saturday, February 18th, 2012. Celebrate the saving of h2g2 among froods. Bring your towel and toast h2g2 with a Pan-galactic Gargle Blaster. Please RSVP here.
Wednesday 18 January, 2012: h2g2 Announcements
Meet Update: Bring Yourself And Your Towel To Manchester
The Return of Talking Points
We are pleased to report that the Community Editors have brought back Talking Points, an initiative to elicit comments, stories, and information about a particular topic. Some Talking Points may be used to create collaborative Guide entries. All researchers are invited to join in Talking Points which will appear in the Askh2g2 forum. Talking Points will have the format ï¿½Talking Points: (topic)ï¿½ and will be posted by the Community Editors.
Planning Ahead With Create
Create presents a Planning Ahead page for h2g2 researchers to participates in proposing coming creative challenges. Visit Createï¿½s Planning Ahead page if you wish to contribute to the list of ideas or peruse the list of monthly themes for inspiration.
Create Asks You on Askh2g2
Would you like to know how to make smileys? Are you skilled at operating digital environments? Create is hosting conversations to find out what you would like to know and help you discover what others would love to learn. The Create Team intends to include more 'how to...' challenges, with an emphasis on h2g2 skills specifically and digital media ones more generally.
Createï¿½s hosted conversations will appear in the Askh2g2 forum. The subject line will have the format ï¿½Create: (topic)ï¿½, for example, Create: How Do I ï¿½? and will be posted by Create: Endeavours in Reading, Writing, Rhythm, Blues, Art, Photography, and Biscuits. You may also send an email to create AT h2g2 DOT com.
Update From The Tech Team
The Tech Team would like to apologize for the problems you may have experienced over the weekend. This wasn't anything we'd planned but it did mean we've been able to get to the bottom of a couple of niggles that people been having and hopefully these will no longer appear.
Elsewhere On The Internet
The Literary Platform (not affiliated with h2g2.com or Not Panicking Ltd) is sponsoring a challenge to animate a recording by Douglas Adams about the evolution of the book. If you would like to discuss the project, please visit "Inventing the book properly", the Literary Platform's Douglas Adams competition.
Sunday 1 January, 2012: h2g2 Announcements Happy New Year
Ring in the New Year With Create
Create offers new creative challenges on the theme of science and science fiction for the month of January. Other challenges including 42-word stories and a 42-themed photography exhibition. For more information on these challenges, visit Create: endeavours in reading, writing, rhythm, blues, art, photography, and biscuits.
If you are wondering what all this 42-centric creativity is all about, read on...
Minichessemouse Presents A Podcast
In her spare time, ACE, Guru, Moderator, Community Artist, and Comms Team volunteer Minichessemouse has conceived a plan to host a variety show podcast. Her podcast, TowelCast42 is designed to showcase quality h2g2 audiovisual content.
All researchers are invited to take part in the variety show. If you have an idea for a segment that is accessible to the general public, please propose it to TowelCast42 or podcast AT h2g2 DOT com.
You can find older announcements here.