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HT Squads Update TIME TO ROLL For years, HaloTracks' squads have served as innovators of the racing community, especially in the areas of competition. Many leaders have stepped up to the plate. Most have failed, but the squads that did succeed changed the racing landscape forever. It only makes sense that such prominence receive the proper tools to push themselves, and the community, forward... right? Well, squads have been nestled in the Forums since HaloTracks began. This is something that has long hindered a squad's ability to establish a firm identity... but will no more. HT Squads have undergone a massive overhaul, phasing out of the Forum and into an application more aptly suited for the needs of each squad. Here's a quick rundown of how the squad landscape is changing. SITE WITHIN A SITE The simplest explanation for what squads were turned into would be "mini website," though this is a loose translation. What squads have been given is a portal that allows them to keep better track of important information like members, forums, news, etc. Membership is controlled within the app. No longer will members need to reply to a signup topic, which boosted post counts for both member and squad alike. This extends to the creation of member roles within each squad. Each role can be assigned special permissions, if desired. Think racer ranks; mods; that sort of stuff. Forums have long been a back-and-forth topic between squad leaders and admins. Now, the middle man is completely cut. Leaders of a squad have full control over forum type, permissions (which can be role-based), privacy, and more. SQUADS GOODNESS The name of the game is, control. Leaders will have access to IPB's internal blogs application, as well. This can be utilized for the allocation of broader squad topics. Things like news, archival information, etc. Just like the forums, each squad leader has ability to both create and moderate their own blogs. No admin required. SQUAD CREATION The creation of squads, just like in the old days, is closed off to the public. With that said, squads are still run by the community. The same 'interest' prerequisites still apply. Once a prospective squad is approved, the squad will be created and ownership transferred from admin to Squad Leader. The member will also be given instruction on how to properly use the application. SOME HOLES Currently, the Maps nor the Tournaments applications have been integrated into the new Squads app. Whether or not this is something Aaron and I decide to do in the future is unclear. It's probable that we could decide to develop our own application for squads. Time will tell, but I can definitely assure you that no such integration is present at this time. BLOG IT UP In summation, HT Squads have gone through a massive overhaul. This quick update only skims the surface of some of the new app's features. I look forward to seeing how this grows over time. We also have quite a few squads that are inactive, but could definitely be revived. Racing is in our blood, and squads are the complete manifestation of how far we can push ourselves. Be sure to check it out for yourself, and please do not hesitate to ask any questions. Race hard -Jeff