Over the last 24 hours we have added seven (7) new features to the website.
, Twitter Comment Integration - This first feature allows this with a twitter account the ability to post a tweet message to your twitter account when you post a new Blog Comment. This is an optional feature and you must have your twitter account information submitted into ChristianBlog.Com in order for this feature to be activated. Once you have done so, when posting a Blog Comment you will be presented with a new option: "Check to post a twitter message about your comment" If you check the associated box we will automatically post a message to twitter, under your account, with a message saying you posted a message at ChristianBlog.Com and a link to the specific Blog Comment. Initial feedback thus far on this feature has been amazing! It is a powerful way to further drive traffic to your activities here at ChristianBlog.Com
, On Vacation Settings - Sometimes we are lucky enough to get to go on vacation (or 'holidays' as our friends across the pond call them) and now you can notify people when you go on vacation. We have added a new option within your Account page called "Vacation Settings" which will allow you to set a message saying you are away on vacation and when you will be back. The message will be displayed on your profile page and once we find a good place to put it on the Blogs page it will be therein too.
, Blog Tags on Blog Entry - (blog page) Blog Tags are key words that are generated by our software anytime you publish a new Blog Entry. We use a rather sophisticated method to generate the blog tags so we will not get into that now (plus we have already done it in the past.) For the last few months we have not been displaying Blog Tags but we have brought them back into the public viewable state. The Blog Tags will be at the very bottom of the Blog Text region of your Blog Entry.
, Blog Voting - (note: highly experimental) Towards the bottom of all Blog Entries, on the right side, below the "report this blog" link is a new feature with two icons: a thumbs-up icon and a thumbs-down icon. If you feel a given blog is an exceptionally good blog, you can click the thumbs-up icon and it will increase the voting score by one point. Likewise, if you feel the given blog is an exceptionally poor blog entry you can click the thumbs-down icon and it will decrease the voting score by one point. These points have no relevance anywhere else within the website. This is a highly experimental feature that we have talked about adding - and at times talked about never adding. For now we will see how it goes over, how much it is used, and see if it is something worth further expanding.
, Total Blog Comments Generated + Average Comments Per Blog - (bio page) When viewing a profile page of any member of ChristianBlog.Com you will see a new feature (if the member has any published blog entries) that will say how many blog comments the persons blog entries have generated and an average of how many blog comments of each of their blogs produce. This has really surprised us as we have meandered around the website looking at different members averages!
, Print Blog Entry - (blog page) We have added the ability to have a "print friendly" page for all Blog Entries published at ChristianBlog.Com when viewing a blog entry. On the bottom part of the main blog, below the "report this blog" is a new icon with a printer and a message link. Simply click on the link that says "Print This Blog Entry" and you will be presented with a printer-friendly page of the Blog Entry. We have added this feature to make printing Blog Entries less intensive and to not have any graphics (header images, etc..)
, Share on Facebook - (blog page) On the bottom of all Blog Entries (below the "Blog Tags" section) is a new area which we will be expanding on in the near future, but for now includes a single option. This new option allows you to post a link to your facebook.com account (if you have one) with a message about the specific blog and a link to the Blog Entry here at the ChristianBlog.Com website. This is a great way to let your friends on facebook.com know about a blog entry (be it your own, or somebody else's) that you have found interesting. We have tested this over the last few hours and have found it to be very successful and rather fun to use. It it a great way to help drive traffic facebook to ChristianBlog.Com blogs -- so please, use it until your fingers get sore ;-D
That is all for now. We will be thinking of new features to add and will let everybody know once we have gotten them tested and added to the ChristianBlog.Com website!
I've tried a few of these features and thought they were great! I haven't tried the printing feature yet but I think a printer-friendly version is great. Sometimes there is a blog I really want to keep a print copy of because I really like it, want to refer to it, actually read it to someone, etc.
thank you john. the only reason why i got on facebook in the first place was to keep up with "the younger members' of the family.we just had a family banquet in june. the question that went arounfd the room was"are you on facebook"? now some of the older people who never gave it a second thought are there. be blessed
I am glad everybody is enjoying these new features. I have a few more small features I will be rolling out over the next few weeks, along with a major change to the design of the blog page. The rewrite of the blog page is something I have been working on for a few weeks, so hopefully everybody will like it.
As for what I do when I'm not working (which these days I seem to be working a lot), I enjoy jumping in my truck, going for drives on random roads and finding places [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/abelajohnb/3616201520/]like this[/url], which has become one of my favorite places to go.
John B. Abela
Very cool ... just used the facebook link. I haven't been able to get my family to come to CB despite trying but they all say they want to read what I'm blogging so maybe this will be the impetus that they need.
[quote=throughfaith]Very cool ... just used the facebook link. I haven't been able to get my family to come to CB despite trying but they all say they want to read what I'm blogging so maybe this will be the impetus that they need. erin[/quote]
Very sweet! Let us know how it works out!
I just got back from vacation, and boy I had been thinking all weekend that those who didn't know I had left for Kansas City were going to think something happened! I'm glad we have this feature now, among the others.
Just curious though: will the blog voting be anonymous? Just wondering is all.
Great job John. You work so hard!
[quote=oneofhisown]I just got back from vacation, and boy I had been thinking all weekend that those who didn't know I had left for Kansas City were going to think something happened! I'm glad we have this feature now, among the others. Just curious though: will the blog voting be anonymous? Just wondering is all. Great job John. You work so hard! Sara[/quote]
Ah, sorry I was a few days late getting the vacation feature out :wink:
Regarding the voting results... we do store the usersname and vote (up/down) within a database within our website -- because we have to track who has voted and who has not, plus the actual votes themselves -- but I have ZERO intentions of displaying who voted and if they voted up/down on the website itself. The whole idea behind this is to help us have a very small way of recognizing those items which are really good.
ps: i really hate the bridges/road in KC... last time I was there I drove across the same big bridge three times before I found the turn off I needed... oye! Never again will I go to KC (I hope)
John.... KC is one of the best kept secrets in the US! Great place. Now, if you just used what my granddaughters call a talker (gps) and actually listened to it, you would not cross that same bridge three times to make one turn. (BTW, I suspect I've crossed that same bridge, going in circles, many times myself)
A suggestion regarding the "votes". I've used it, but I'm not sure how much value it has at this point. It might be helpful to add a column on the "My Blogs" page on the vote tally. Right now, there is no visibility of these votes except by visiting the blog. Even then, it will take a while for people to begin using it. The blog views and blog statistics along with comments are probably better measures.
And on the subject of views vs statistics, the views seem to just be registering views by members, while the statistics also show views by non-members (or members who are not signed in) and search bots (whatever those are, I'm mystified).
Given that, I have a couple of instances where the "views" have increased by 100, while the stats do not reflect this. Nothing to get our feathers fluffed over, but thought you might like to know. (I suspect it's the poultrygiests)
Overall, these are fabulous changes, John... Thanks.