You may notice a few new things are going on around the Zoo today. From today, you should be able to log in to both Galaxy Zoo itself and the forum at the same time with a single login and password. We are also creating a single profile page, so you can edit all your details in one place. We should have done this in the first place, but better late than never!
The short version of this post is that the sites will be down for a few hours today, and then you’ll be able to login to both the Zoo and forum with the same login. If you want the gory details, then read on :
To make this happen, we’re going to have to close down the both Galaxy Zoo and the forum for a few hours. We’re going to do things in steps so we inconvenience you as little as possible. We’ve already closed both sites to new logins and turned off the forum. Once we have done this, we will be running software in the back ground that will match Zoo and Forum accounts (If you’ve never used the Forums, your account will unchanged). We’re also going to be backing up the forums and moving them to our new Amazon Servers.
Once we have matched Zoo and Forum accounts and moved all the forum information to our new servers we will briefly take down the Galaxy Zoo website and update the software.
There will be a new login page that you’ll reach when you click login on either the Zoo or the Forums. You’ll also find your profile page has a bunch of new options. The new information gathered in your profile is used in the forums. None of the new fields are required – they are just there if you want to share extra information with other Zooites.
Unfortunately, some of you may have some login problems after the software upgrade. In preparing to do this we discovered there are a number of people who have duplicate user names, where, for example, someone in the UK has chosen a username for the Zoo that is identical to a username that someone in Poland has chosen for the forums. Since two people can’t have the same username, a few of you will have to change your usernames. In the cases of duplicate usernames, we are going to change the Zoo account names; forum users are known by their usernames while Zoo usernames have so far been private.
Many of you may have a different username on the Zoo and Forum and we’re hoping you will want to merge these accounts. Merging is simple! Just login with your Zoo username and password. The first time you go to the forum you will be asked if you want to merge your Zoo account with a forum account. You’ll need to type in your username and passwords for both the Zoo and the Forum to prove you own both accounts. After this one step, our new software will unify your accounts and next time you will need to login with your Forum username and your Zoo password. We know this may be a bit confusing, and we’ll email you a reminder of what to do as soon as you are done merging your account.
There are also a few of you who have user names with weird characters that snuck by us in the Zoo. These names worked just fine with the Zoo software and in many cases made us smile because they contained emoticons like “:-)” as part of the username. Unfortunately, these names don’t work with our forum software. If you think you had one of these usernames, try logging in and if you can’t, use the “Recover my Password” link. We’ll email you instructions on what you’re going to need to do.
If you’ve never used the forum, it’s now easier than ever. They’re a great place to talk with other Zooites about the neat objects you are finding, to ask questions, and to even get involved in research.
All these changes are just a first step in some really big plans we have for the Zoo. Stay tuned and watch this blog to learn more about what is coming.
Thanks for your understanding while we work to build a better Zoo.