Allies: Feature Update

WRITTEN BY

Hello. I'm Mitch Trale—Technologist at PucaTrade.

Today I'm proud to announce the launch of a long-requested feature: Allies.

Overview

On PucaTrade, your Allies are your local friends, your Discord pals, and your favorite trading partners all around the world. You may mark any PucaTrade member as your Ally through their profile, through the Quick Search feature or through the new My Allies management page. Adding an Ally will send that member a quick site notification so they'll know you're planning to keep an eye on their Want List. Note that no message is sent when you remove an Ally from your Allies group.

Once you have created a list of Allies, you can easily filter the Single Card pages and Send Cards page (Classic and Package) to only display available trades from your Allied traders

Some Background

We have heard our members asking for this feature for years, and we have been discussing it internally at PucaTrade for just as long. We trade with each other in person and at our LGS in Oakland, and it can be hard to keep track of every friend's profile link and Want list. By adding these traders as Allies, we can filter the Send Cards and Packages pages down to just our group of trusted friends and fellow traders.

We hope our members will use this feature to create a convenient list of frequent traders, though we can currently only support a single Allies group per member account. We may expand the feature in the future to support an arbitrary number of groups, which would allow members to separate Allies into subsets like My Playgroup, My LGS, Discord Traders, and so on.

About the Name

Some folks are curious about why we chose this name, and have offered suggestions of names they would prefer. A common question is why we didn't just call this feature "My Friends." We generally feel that friendship is a two-way relationship, like you'd find on Facebook. Allies function more like a one-way Twitter "follow," but that word didn't feel right either.

We discussed other options, like My Traders, My Crew, My Team, and My Cohort. Crew and Cohort had the advantage of being MTG keywords, and we actually considered going with one of those names. But in the end we felt that "Allies" had more going for it:

  • Like Crew and Cohort, Ally is an MTG term, so the flavor is still there
  • Unlike Crew and Cohort, Ally has a clean singular and plural form
  • Allies just feel like people you can rely on to be friendly, helpful, and to complete trades fairly 

Extras and Looking Forward

Beyond this update, we've pushed several visual and performance–related fixes live to the site. We've also updated the Promotion Trends page to show more information, and are now regenerating the list of Top Promotions more frequently (every ~ 2 minutes). You can read more about this code update on our Changelog.

In the coming months, we plan to tackle some new feature initiatives, while continuing towards our goal of a brisk and healthy trade economy through point reduction measures and other economic stimuli. Since we updated our site Terms & Conditions and rolled out our Common Dues policy, we have been monitoring our economic health dashboards. We have seen early data signals pointing towards improvements in the value and rate of trade across the entire site, and the total number of points committed in active trades has been trending upwards for some time.

With regard to new features: We would love to add some new power filters to the Package Trade Matching system, and we would also like to improve the creation and management capabilities around Promoted Trades. There are also some lurking performance issues we would like to address. If you are a person who experiences particularly slow load times on your Ledger, Have List / Want List, or Send Cards / Send Packages page, please consider reaching out to me directly so I can learn more about the issues you're experiencing.

Thanks for your support and care for PucaTrade, and we'll be back with another update next month.

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