We were all very excited to welcome the creator of the Secret Moscow facebook page today at secretlondon towers.
Nikita Turkin, founder of Secret Moscow came to have a chat with me about our two cities and the secrets we had discovered! We also discussed differences between the two cities and what that meant for the development of global secret cities. Currently, Nikia informed me, most Russians use a facebook rip-off called vkontakte, and although some are moving over to facebook there came the question of how Nikita could unite both groups to create a secret Moscow community.
It was really interesting to discuss the different social lives and online habits of Moscow in comparison to London, but what was clear was an international desire for people to discover lesser known, independent places in their city, wherever they are in the world.
After the launch of the secretlondon website only a few weeks ago, we have received some great feedback (thank you!) and we have been spending all our time thinking about improvements. We decided to completely overhaul the design of the secretlondon website and make everything simpler and, well, prettier. Now after two weeks of caffeine-fueled coding and design sessions, it’s ready!
First off, you’ll probably notice lots of changes in how things look. You can find a little bit of everything on the homepage; latest discussions and secrets, new photos and some recent visitors to the site. Browsing and searching discussions, secret places and photos are now all just a click away on the top of the page. Uploading photos is a breeze now and participating in discussions hasn’t been easier. Also, try out the new search; we still have a few things to add (location search, map results) but it is a big step in the right direction. Please continue to give us your feedback, as without you this new and improved version would not exist!
At secretlondon towers we’re plotting to bring you a special secretlondon event. We’re hoping to celebrate our new website with members of the secretlondon community, but of course we want your input!
What would make a great event for you? Would it be a day or night time affair? What kind of music, atmosphere or special surprises would add to the proceedings? Should we keep it underground and exclusive, or take over a London park in our thousands?
We’re keeping it pretty open, so any suggestions you may have, from the practical to the weird and wonderful would be most welcome. I can’t wait to hear about what London is craving from us, so help me out by answering what would make the secretlondon event work for you?
My favourite feature has now come to the secretlondon website, you can now upload photos of secrets!
The first thing I did was run out and take some snaps of the lunch stalls at Exmouth Market. I’m hoping others will do the same so we have a site with a catalogue of great photos!
As part of my general enthusiastic photo taking, I also went out to J&A cafe recommended by someone on the secretlondon website and uploaded photos from there on my return. It’s so easy, just find the secret, go to its secret profile page, click the upload button and away you go. It makes the site look so much nicer, and helps people discover these secrets with greater ease! And anything which helps Londoners discover great cake is brilliant in my view! Happy snapping London :)
I’m happy to say that barely a month after it was started, the Secret London Facebook Group has just got its 200,000th member! Thank you so much for everyone who has joined so far, London is talking about secretlondon and it is all down to you.
While London continues to grow steadily, it’s also incredible to see that the ‘secret city’ concept has gone global and the international community continues to grow – which will be the next city to reach 200,000 members?! See http://secretcities.com for a list of some of the secret cities on facebook now.
But secretcities is not just about the number of members, enagagement in the secretlondon group has continued, with thousands of contributions and over 100 discussions started in the last week. We’re soon to be adding new features to the secetcities site that make it open to people who aren’t on Facebook (shock horror!) so we’ll soon be able to welcome more Londoners to share their secrets of the city. Photos are finally working (just!) and we’re beginning to encourage people to explore the new site and tell us how you find it.
Thanks again to everyone who’s helped make this possible, and keep sharing your secrets!
I’ve been questioned many a time about spam control on secretlondon and the honest answer is, until now I have had to watch the page regularly and delete anything I considered spam as it came along. As the facebook page continues to grow (almost reaching 200,000 members!) this ad hoc approach to removing spam isn’t working, and so I am creating a more structured system for tackling the increasing spam problem.
I have instigated a spam rota for the facebook group, every hour of every day there is a ‘duty manager’ watching the facebook group making sure no spam slips through the net. This is why there has been an increase in admins on the group site. On the website, such vigilance won’t be as necessary as we’ll have far better spam monitors in place.
The trickier question is – what do you define as spam? I have written a guide which I will shortly be sharing with the other secret cities Facebook groups to try and answer this. There are grey areas and spammers use lots of tactics to promote themselves — pretending to be a member when suggesting their product or service within a discussion, for instance. Having worked on spam control for a month on the facebook group, I am beginning to understand some of the patterns. One approach of spammers on Facebook is to join the group, post their message and then leave before I can ban them permanently, so they re-join and post the same spam message again
Hopefully, our new methods will work. So watch out spammers, the secretcities spam police will catch you! :)
We’re expanding fast and need an experienced contractor with strong expertise in Django, JQuery and CSS to help us build http://secretcities.com/london. You’ll be working with a small passionate team in EC1 (London, UK). Initial period of 1 month, starting right now!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV, day rate and links to your blog & project work.