Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Minor Updates To Jacko.MY

It's been quite some time that I put efforts enhancing Jacko.MY. The last was a guinea pig trial run for Yahoo! Pingbox. Quite an "in" thing to have at your blog I would say, if you like to collaborate with your blog readers. There were few occasions that someone unknown from as far as US pinged me message, seeking more info on certain posts I published or even a mere thank you message (after reading my post), ain't it cool to help people regardless the boundaries especially during this globalization trend century? Of course there were some itchy hands bugged me to have fun, certainly not spammer but those buggers did not want identify themselves. Anyhow I was pretty sure who they were, though I never ask people to identify self. We met but not necessary we knew each other right? 相逢何必曾相识...

So I wonder how do I know which posts were useful or fun to read to the readers? Cbox is my preference, but the message does not tie to the particular post, same goes to Pingbox. Comment field was a little tough that it took few clicks to open a new page to post a comment. What else do I have as options?

Before I ventured into other options, I looked into the Settings page if there is any new features available. I found that now the comment form can be embedded into the post page! I recalled this feature wasn't available when I setup my blog. So now I embedded the comment form into the bottom of the post, thus one can directly post a comment without leaving the post, word verification is required though to avoid spamming. I tempted to allow anonymous comment but I did not 'cause I have also been receiving spam comments even with Open ID.


You can click on "Subscribe to email" to follow up the comments if you posted a question. No worries, you can unsubscribe anytime by click on the same link again.

What about some readers who only want to leave something quick without typing? There is an option now. I added a new widget to every post, now you can see some "stars" at the end of each post. Hover your mouse cursor to the stars and click to rate the post accordingly.


I wanted to add this widget long ago but I was testing its feature and had some issues with my blog template. I was really impressed with the technical support and customer service I received from the provider, special thanks to Kate and Daniel!

Blogger does provide the same feature. It's still in pilot mode but you can enable it on your blog by logging on to http://draft.blogger.com/. This is the Blogger Dashboard where you can find some beta features that are yet to be published at Blogger.com.

Go to Layout - Page Elements and click on Edit in Blog Posts section...


If you have customized your blog template, you might need to do more works to get it work, google "blogger star rating" and you can find some guides. I preferred Outbrain's over Blogger's one 'cause the "stars" look nicer and add more "blink blink" factor to the posts :)

Beside collaboration improvement, I also made some visual enhancements. The NavBar over the top of the blog has been removed to gain more space for the blog content. Some bloggers claimed that this is illegal, Blogger.com might ban your blog if you do so. I guess this would definitely discourage bloggers to use Blogger.com if such minor customization is not allowed. Anyway, if you can't access Jacko.MY one day down the road, that's true then. Hehe...

And I tweaked the "Read More" link a little too. Now you don't have to scroll from the top after you click on it at the main page, the link brings you to where you were at the main page and leaving 1 or 2 lines above to help your continuous reading.

I hope all these changes really improve the reader's experience. Well, this is a non-profit blog (as of now) and like I said earlier, the primary intention was for me to learn about Web 2.0 for my current job. I hate people in my group talk to the heaven when stand in the hell about what is Web 2.0, what is wiki, what is blog etc when they don't even understand how they work. Anyway, since I am moving to new assignment (Yoohoo!!) soon (hopefully), such learning may not be required for my new job. So do I abandon Jacko.MY? No man! I kinda addicted to blog, and I have a dream to become a full time blogger. Can anyone tell me how to realize my dream? Hehe...