The first change is the addition of Akismet spam protection to the blogs and forums. RIAForge gets hit pretty hard by spammers, so the hope is that this will reduce some of that traffic. Yes, there is an add for Wordpress at the bottom, but for a free Akismet license, I think this is a fair trade and it will really help out project owners.
On the flip side, I’ve heard time and time again from visitors that we need a way to flag/rate/etc projects to help signify active projects from abandoned sites. I’ve said that I refuse to do this manually. We are currently at 724 released projects and there is no way I’m going to spend my time going through them and chastising project owners to update their work. (Especially when I have some ‘dusty’ projects myself.) Today we added a simple little modification that I think will help out. When browsing projects by category, or in search, and when viewing the detail of a project, an “active” project will have (Active) after the name. “Active” is defined as simply being updated in the past 30 days.
It isn’t a perfect system - but I think it works well, especially in search. I’d like to add to this a ratings system and flag highly rated projects. So with once glance you can easily see which projects are being updated often and which have high reviews from users.
Anyway, onward and upward. Big thanks to Nathan, and hopefully the ball will keep rolling.