Next Afrique

Next Afrique was created in June 2010 by one senior executive from the African diaspora in France. It was rapidly joined by many other executives from francophone Europe, Africa and Canada. The site promotes the African who thinks, creates and innovates providing analysis, opinions and commentary about economy and finance, science and technology, innovation and success stories from the whole of Africa.

It is now a year since HWDMediaShare for Joomla 2.5 was launched and therefore we are publishing a yearly review. The objective of the review is to reflect on the successes and achievements from the past 12 months, but also try to learn from mistakes. We want to clearly summarize the current status of HWDMediaShare and make commitments to the community for the next 12 months.

UpdateWe are happy to announce that HWDMediaShare 1.1.5 has been released.

The release is packed full of improvements, modifications and new features added to the component.

Firstly we have updated the navigation so that the component now takes into a account where you have arrived at the media item from. This means that when you are viewing a media item you will stay within the category/album/playlist/group you were viewing. For example, if you are in a category and you select a media item, HWDMediaShare will remember which category you have come from. It will effect what you see when you press the next and previous arrows on a media item as well as what you see when entering the slideshow e.g. you will only see the other media items in this category. It also means when closing the slideshow you will link back to the media item you were viewing before entering it.

Book Cycle

Our HWDMediaShaare site of the week this week is book-cycle.org. We came across this site, that is doing really good work, and found that it also uses HWDMediaShare exceptionally well. Their design team have customised and worked with it to make it really suit their needs. They have also made it look great! Some of the screenshots seen here show just a section of how they use the software.

The new version of HWDMediaShare for Joomla 2.5 was first released in April 2012, and we also launched our new website at this time. We are approaching the first year anniversary and therefore, users will start to see their subscriptions being renewed.

The past 12 months have seen massive development at HWDMediaShare. Loads of new features, and improvements have been made to the gallery. We've introduced Joomla 3.0 compatibility, and we've also started to launch new stand alone media apps. You can read more about our progress and road map in our yearly review.

The Standard, Premium and Developer plans will be renewed automatically after 12 months so that you can continue to access products and services without interruption. You will be reminded by email 7 days before your subscription renews. If you do not want your account to be automatically renewed you can cancel your renewal at any time.

When Joomla 3.0 was first released we wrote a blog post to help clarify which version of Joomla was correct for you. At the time Joomla told us that 'users creating new sites can use either version 2.5 or 3.0, depending on which best suits their needs'. However, the advice was that Joomla 3.0 was still for 'early adopters'. This advice has now changed. The new advice from Joomla is now as follows:

Joomla 3.0 is the newest version recommended for most new installs. It includes the latest and greatest features of Joomla and mobile/responsive support.
Joomla 2.5 is the previous version of the CMS, recommended on an as-needed basis for new installs. For those already on Joomla 2.5, we recommend waiting until Joomla 3.5 before upgrading.
Joomla 2.5 is the recommended version for existing Joomla 1.6-2.5 sites.  It focuses on stability and will be supported into 2014.

Since the start of the project back in 2007, we have always had enthusiastic members of the Joomla community who have contributed quality translations for many languages. Offering your services as a translator will allow more people from different countries use the software, and is one of the many great advantages of open source software.

As many of you know, the Joomla Extensions Directory (JED) is the ultimate resource for finding Joomla extensions. The JED provides a reliable source for Joomla webmasters seeking new and old extensions for their projects, but also provides great exposure for developers to let the community know about their extensions.

The JED lists thousands of free and commercial components, modules and plugins for the Joomla CMS which cover a broad range of functionality. Community reviews are an important part of the popularity of the directory. Real feedback from the community gives the directory credibility.

We have added initial open graph support to the HWDMediaShare software for inserting media into Facebook feeds.

The initial support allows videos, that have been uploaded to your HWDMediaShare gallery, to play directly in Facebook feeds when the video link is shared. This can drastically increase your video views because when a video is posted, it can be viewed directly and very easily from within the Facebook website and Facebook applications.

Girls Skate Network

If you're a female and a skater then our site of the week, GirlsSkateNetwork.com, is the site for you. I am neither and still loved it! They use HWDMediaShare to bring us exhilarating skateboarding videos, amongst other things, and we want as many of our community as possible to check them out.