Faster?

December 23, 2008

I’m taking advantage of the slower period over Xmas to make some improvements that I hope will speed up the resonse time. At some point I hope to work out why my address book feature is stubbornly failing to work as well

First potential outage in about five minutes!


Merry Christmas

December 23, 2008

We’ve had a great year here at Mission Control and we hope you have too. We thank you all for being a part of it and we wish you all a sincere MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Did you enjoy our Advent calendar?

Stuck for a xmas pressie? It’s not too late to buy our charity calendar!

We’re taking a bit of a break now to share the love with our families over the Christmas period but we’ll be back in the new year!

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Remember kids … eating baubles isn’t normal!


A widget I have got…

December 19, 2008

It’s always the way that the most difficult looking things can be really easy (and vice versa)

I have been working through the site, line by line, debugging after the last upgrade. And there’s more to do.

However, this morning the Dear Leader and I were chatting about how to spread the word wider about the site, and I remembered we had discussed widgets a while back. I got well into widgets during my time with jiglu.com

I remembered that Widgetbox had some great tools for widget creation, so after some fiddling with the site, I was able to create a visually compelling widget that tells the world our latest missions

Next steps are to do this by category, and to let people sign up from a remote site.

Anyhow, for the moment, here’s the first one (which we can’t put on our own blog because WordPress.com don’t let us!)

http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/the-worlds-first-aspirational-network

This can be installed on virtually any blog

An example is here:

http://updatebysms.blogspot.com

It gives the latest 12 missions

Also, there’s a bebo version as well:

http://apps.bebo.com/mymission2/


Travels with a One-handed Cook

December 17, 2008

Mymission2 would like to welcome Jacqui Hynd to the community. Jacqui recently appeared in the mymission2 beat the credit crunch calendar and offered her support to people suffering hardship due to the economic downturn. An amazing effort considering that Jacqui suffered a near fatal stroke in 1995 and couldn’t read, write, talk or walk.  13 years later, there are many things she may never be able to do again. Jacqui has been nothing short of inspirational in her efforts to recover and live a normal life despite still only having the use of one hand.

calendar7

During the photo shoot for the calendar Jacqui brought along a cook book she has been working on ‘Travels with a One-Handed Cook’. The book is written from her unique perspective and describes her travels before and after the stroke and the influences of her travels on her recipes. Her book aims to simplify cooking and these easy but delicious recipes are perfect for the busy home cook. All recipes were prepared using one-hand which should inspire even the most novice cooks to make an effort in the kitchen!  Below is comic strip drawn by her husband which illustartes her journey over the last thirteen years.

... getting mobile is the first step ...

... getting mobile is the first step ...

lose something but gain elsewhere ...

... life is about balance: lose something but gain elsewhere ...

... and really using that gain! maybe with a bit of caution?

... and really using that gain! maybe with a bit of caution?

“I’ve been inspired to go on line at mymission2 with my books and have published a mission on the site. Check out my mission here. You can also check out my books at the links below:

Travels with a One-Handed Cook as well as

Cook, Eat, Be Happy! have now been listed on Amazon.com.

Cheers, Jacq”

To show our appreciation to Jacqui and the inspiration she has been to all of us at mymission2 we have granted her $200 to put towards advertising her cook books. The grant was part of our November awards and more details can be found at our blog.


It’s official! Dermot O’Leary’s world record is smashed!!!

December 12, 2008

Yes, that’s right. It’s official …

This week mymission2 received confirmation from Guinness that they smashed the world record time for 2 people to burst 100 balloons. Their new record is a lightning fast 12.25 seconds which shaved 12 seconds off the original record set by Dermot O’Leary and Alan Conely on the Paul O’Grady show in 2006.

"We are pleased to confirm that you have set the new Guinness World Record for Fastest time to pop 100 balloons"

"We are pleased to confirm that you have set the new Guinness World Record for Fastest time to pop 100 balloons"

And below is the certificate to prove it!

The record for the fastest time to pop 100 balloons was 12.25 seconds achieved by David Ashford and Charles Ferrand (both UK) in Bishop's Park, Fulham, London, UK, on 27 August 2008

Official certificate from Guinness World Records

There’s a reason behind mymission’s crazy challenge. The project came about because of a “mission” which was posted on the website “to become a world record holder”.

“A large part of our success in breaking this record is down to the support received from the users of the mymission2 site where everybody helps each other to achieve their goals; even if their mission is to break a world record!” explains David Ashford, CEO of mymission2.

David and Will are feeling very pleased with themselves … but … is a rematch on the cards?

Watch the record attempt video here.

See the original blog post here.

Press release is available here.

For more information or to request a press release in another format, please email us.


Those new features in full…

December 12, 2008

So, we’ve been going on about the new site for some time, and having finally released it, peole have rightly been asking for a new feature list.  Well, here goes:

1.Chat:  We added Group Chat in August, but that prompted a lot of people to ask whether we could build in a chat client to allow people to talk in real time on the site.  A lot of time went into thinking about it, and implementing it, and it’s about 90% there at the moment.

You will see the chat window whenever you are logged in.  You can also choose to have it minimised, docked and hidden, or popped out.  The popped out state is best, as it just floats over the other windows, and even works when you have left mymission2.com

It also has:

a) Integration with MSN/GTalk/AOL/Yahoo and IRC:  This means you can chat to your other friends direct from the site, and it’s very useful if you have popped out the box, as it works to bring all of your friends together, all day.  If you look at meebo.com, it’s like that, with added missions!

b) Group chat:  Wherever you are on the site, there is a chat group associated with it.  Click the chat room button, and see what’s up

c) Invite a friend – You can send messages to those non Missioners on other networks like MSN and invite them to MM2!

d) Search for people – Type in “David Ashford” and then select “santa” if you want to add David as a friend

2. New left navigation:  The left hand bar is now a mine of information, telling you not only what the new missions are, but also who has the most points this month, what the crazy missions are, all of the latest blog posts, the most popular categories (Education is number 2 at the moment), and the most popular chat rooms

3. Floaty missioner pictures:  This is a bit of fun, using the CoolIris plugin. Log out, and go to the home page to see what I mean (there should be something at the bottom of the page)

4. Ratings:  You can now rate missions from the detail page.  Soon you will get extra points for that, so keep practicing

5. OpenID: This allows you to login in using, say, your Gmail account, or to link your current MM2 account to your Gmail account.  Click on the “Clickpass” buttons

6. Address book:  Now, when you e-mail your friends, we remember who you have e-mailed, and then pre-select them for you next time

7. Address import: Got e-mail addresses in Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail.  You can import them now

8. RSS feeds:  If you want to monitor what missions are new (Generally, or by category) or what new responses there are on a mission, look for the little orange button in your browser

9. Twitter: For those of you who can see the point, you can follow new missions at http://twitter.com/mymission2

10. T-shirts:  If you click on the handsome fellow on the browse mission detail page, we generate a mymission2 T-shirt for you, with your mission on – You can edit it for position and size.  Buying one supports us by making more visible, and makes us a few pennies as well

11. Presence:  See who’s online.  If you see a green icon by a person’s name, they are online.  Click the icon to invite them to chat

12. Identify the commissioner’s response: If you look at the browse mission detail page, you can see if the commissioner has reponded to their own mission.  We’re not happy with the format of this yet

13. Improvements in page loading:  We’ve done a lot of work on the back-end to make the pages load faster, especially those ones with lots of images (such as the browse list pages).  We’re hoping to improve this yet further

14. There are more, many behind the scenes, some of which I can even remember having made!

Please test it a lot, and e-mail me at nigel (at) mymission2.com with any bugs

Thanks

Nigel


New site update

December 11, 2008

Many thanks for all the feedback so far.  We’ve fixed a hell of a lot of bugs that crept in as part of the complete overhaul of the site.  And now we’re trying to fix a few that  we fixed, and then crept back in again

Current known issues:

1. Chat window no longer stays in the same place on a page change. Up until about 10 minutes ago, the chat window was static from page to page.  we know why it has stopped, but it could take a while to fix.  It’s like a huge game of Jack Straws.  Click “Pop Out” and have it floating in any event!

2. Presence:  You will have seen that everyone now has a little icon next to them.  That is supposed to tell others you are online so you can chat.  And while it worked perfectly in testing, it doesn’t now!

3. Bizarre page refresh (Internet Explorer only) – This was fixed and crept back in.  You need to clear your Temporary Internet Files (Tools -> Internet Options -> Delete), and then refresh (Ctrl-F5), and you should get the new version

4. Newbie missioners panel – In theory, on the home page (if you are not logged in) you should get  a swish gallery of floating images – And sometimes you don’t – A refresh will clear this

Email control (at) mymission2.com and let us know about any others!


November awards … congratulations!

December 11, 2008

1. Rewards

Congratulations to the following missioners – they earned the most mission points during the month of November so win these automatic rewards …

– 1st prize: rhiannonatkin wins $50 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 2nd: robertburnes wins $30 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 3rd: belindayoung wins $20 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 4th: Tracy wins $10 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 5th: moseswaruiru wins $10 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 6th: Kosko wins $10 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 7th: lauramaggs wins $10 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 8th: jogillespie wins $10 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 9th: KimRobinson wins $10 worth of Amazon vouchers

– 10th: james2001 wins $10 worth of Amazon vouchers

2. Special prizes

– Commissioner of the Month goes to  moseswaruiru who published this mission on 14th November: Find out how I can refer people to mymission from my email directly. We like missions like this! Moses will receive a special prize worth $50.

– Responder of the Month goes to robertburnes who went to considerable effort to provide absolutely loads of responses during the month. Robert will receive a special prize worth $50.

3. Special grant

– The November special grant goes to jacqui.tohc who published this mission on 29th November: be a successful author, whose work motivates and inspires. Jacqui is quite an inspiration to everyone. She’s had a tough time with her health over the last 13 years but her strength and courage have enabled her to achieve more than most of us can even dream of. Not only did she volunteer to model in our Beat The Credit Crunch 2009 calendar (Jacqui is Miss July!) but she has also written not one but two cook books: Travels With A One-Handed Cook and Cook, Eat, Be Happy! You can buy her books by clicking on the links. Our grant to Jacqui is that we’re going to put $200 towards advertising her books online.

What to do next …

If your mymission2 username appears above then look out for an email from us which will tell you how to claim your prize. If you haven’t yet received an email then make sure your email address is correctly entered into your mymission2 profile! Don’t worry – nobody will see it but we need it to be able to contact you.

Congratulations everyone and happy missioning!


Update on Beta 2.0 launch

December 9, 2008

Thanks for your patience today throughout the scheduled downtime while we updated our site to version Beta 2.0. There are loads of new features and some of them require some tweaking in a live environment.

We’re pleased to confirm that the following are now all deployed:

  • design refresh which will improve usability and look prettier
  • OpenID using Clickpass Connect so that you can sign in using existing logins from other applications
  • revised left column with expanding lists including 5 latest missions, this month’s top missioners, 5 latest blog posts, top 5 crazy missions, current popular categories and (chat) groups you might like
  • ability to rate missions
  • browse through newbie missioners using CoolIris – see their avatar images and click through to their profile page
  • RSS feed so you can track responses to individual missions real time (depending on your browser you should see it in the browser’s address bar)

The snagging list as it stands looks something like this:

  • some cross-browser layout bugs
  • highly sophisticated chat functionality is not yet fully deployed
  • some issues with the “is online now” icon

Please email us at control@mymission2.com if you find anything else.

Thanks again for your patience

UPDATE 7.45 10th Decemeber

Some IE users have noticed a continual page refresh, which hampers their use of the site.  We’ve tracked down where the problem is, and applied a temporary patch.  However, it will affect whether or not you can “pop-out ” the chat window.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to fix it before the end of the day.


Downtime tomorrow…

December 8, 2008

From about 9.30 am (GMT) there will be an hour or so downtime.  We’re moving to a major new release of the site which will expand the user experience, and also hopefully make the whole thing move a bit faster as well!

Bear with us while we upgrade, and please report any issues direct to us.


Looking chic on the cheap for charity

December 2, 2008

We’re very pleased to announce the launch of the official mymission2 Beat The Credit Crunch Calendar 2009 which will be sold online from the UK and the USA (but can be delivered anywhere in the world).

While homelessness is growing around the world, charities are feeling the squeeze of the global credit crunch. Here at Mission Control we are offering a helping hand to homelessness charities with the launch of this exclusive calendar.

And that’s not all! Because we are celebrating reaching 100,000 members this week we also pledge to  donate:

  • a further £50,000 to Shelter when we sell 50,000 calendars in the UK, making a total UK donation of £100,000
  • a further $25,000 to The National Alliance To End Homelessness when we sell 50,000 calendars in the US, making a total US donation of $100,000

The calendar highlights the fact that you can look fabulous even when you are on a budget and help charity at the same time. We all need to tighten our belts in the current economic climate and looking chic on the cheap is a good way to start. The models featured in the calendar are ordinary people who are keen to offer advice – serious or otherwise – on how to cope, have fun and look great on little or no cash. Professional stylists dressed the models from top-to-toe using clothing and accessories from charity and vintage shops.

Our sincere thanks go to:

View a short “behind the scenes” documentary about the making of the calendar, which includes interviews with the stylists and models.

The calendar is a fantastic and unique gift for Christmas.


It’s December!

December 1, 2008
It’s December! Traditionally this is the time for tacky advent calendars complete with the oily aftertaste of low-grade chocolate.

Well, not this year ….

Here at Mission Control we do things a little differently and our 2008 Advent Calendar is filled with special missions for you to complete as you count down the days to Christmas. It’s fun, environmentally friendly and completely free so send it to everyone you know! It will definitely brighten up their December.

This is our gift to you to celebrate reaching 100,000 missioners.

mymission2 2008 Advent Calendar

Thank you and happy missioning!

The mymission2 team.