Social has launched! What are your thoughts?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
Hey folks, we've launched the giant social branch and there are plenty of new features to get excited about:

* Blurblogs, your shared story page. Customizable and personal. Mine is at http://samuel.newsblur.com
* Fast river of news (read by folder)
* Read oldest-first and unread-only, the single most common feature requests
* Front-end rewrite using Backbone.js. Blog post and presentation coming next week. I gave the presentation a month ago at BackboneConf, I'm just waiting for the press to die down.

There's so much more coming soon, including an iPad app and updated iPhone app just a few short weeks away. There's a blog post explaining everything being put up tomorrow (I'll link to it from here when that happens). I'm waiting to post it until TechCrunch comes out with their story tomorrow morning at 6am PT.

I want to know what your thoughts are on all of the new social features. If you spot any particular bugs, feel free to make a new topic here on Get Satisfaction.

Sam
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Posted 7 years ago

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ojiikun

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Having been on dev all the while, it'd be easy to miss the forest for the trees; but congrats on the big launch! It might just be new-car-bias, but things seem snappier than ever. :)

Thoughts:

  • blurblogs - Love it. Wanted this ever since the day GReader abandoned us. Still not a fan of the three vertical icons on every story (prefer to use the context menus elsewhere), but like the general impl. Here's to hoping this personalized rss feed lasts longer than the last one we had torn away without warning by our corporate overlords.

  • read by folder - Indifferent. The way I use folders is for organization, not categorization. I always read by feed, never by folder; too much context would be lost by folder.

  • oldest-first - I have always been reading starting with "oldest unread" story. Not sure why I'd want to reverse order - it would just make things confusing to scroll . . . upwards?

  • unread-only - Don't use it. If anything, love the ability to see past stories and nav back thru them.

  • frontend rewrite - Haven't really noticed the change, but in the world of rewrites zero-impact is the gold medal for users!

  • iPad and iPhone apps - I really hope we don't waste too much time on these, to be blunt. What we need is an accessible, universal mobile site and not some platform-specific application. Blar is a joke and the normal site barely renders on small, slow screens.



Overall, though, cheers on the launch!
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rdominick

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If you reverse the order, then you don't have to wait for all 300 articles in a busy feed to load into the pane, and the top of the current story won't change when images above it load. You can just start reading. This makes a huge difference with a feed like, say, Boing Boing.
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zengr

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+1 for "iPad and iPhone apps - ...", I spend most of my time on the web app and would love to see all the enhancements in the web app.
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bobbyzero

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Looks good to me

Minor bug: Displaying oldest to newest and oldest story first, it jumps to the bottom of the list instead of the top.
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rdominick

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Yeah, you have to select newest story first to have it select the top story, which is the oldest. You might be able to just change the wording "select top unread story", "select bottom unread story", although that sounds odd.

In any case, thanks so much, Samuel. I only had 2 big problems with Newblur, and now I only have one.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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I think I'm going to remove that preference, since it was a stop-gap until I launched oldest-first. I'll change it to just select the first unread story or not, as opposed to trying to find the last unread story.
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Chuck

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Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Question: the RSS feed on my blurblog shows the oldest items first rather than the newest. Is this intentional? If I share this feed on my Wordpress blog via the RSS widget, the old items show first.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Will be fixed momentarily. As soon as I deploy. Thanks for finding this. When I wrote it I didn't have more than 25 shared stories, so I never noticed the bug.
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Courtney Stanton

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YAY YAY YAY!

Love the blurblog and oldest-first. Just tried out unread-only and it felt a little too empty/weird, but I'm sure this is a love/hate feature. I'm never going to use read-by-folder, I always read by feed. Yes yes yes please to an updated iPhone app with social, I do 70% or more of my NewsBlur-ing on my iPhone.

What I would love to see next is any kind of privacy controls. I've got enough jerks on the internet who like to harass me, if they find me on NewsBlur and start flooding my replies with threats to rape and kill me, I'm not going to be able to use NewsBlur anymore, full stop. Most of my friends from GReader refuse to even consider NewsBlur because it doesn't offer any way to control who can see your shares and/or who can reply to them. I've already had one random dickhead interaction on NewsBlur; I need a way to control who gets to interact with me, or at the VERY least block people who prove themselves to be a problem.
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ojiikun

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Thanks for the note about privacy controls! I was so excited about the general availability of sharing and the new UI tweaks, I never really sat down to consider the full impact here.

New GS item created:

https://getsatisfaction.com/newsblur/...
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uk

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It freaked me out to see my Facebook picture on Newsblur this morning, but that might be my personal sensation.

I noticed that disliked "red" articles are now "hidden" and appear only after you selected the appropriate feed and unhide the story. Took me some time to figure it out, you should document this change somewhere.
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Jon

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I made a new thread for this "bug".
https://getsatisfaction.com/newsblur/...
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Andor

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Three things:

1. The "Community feedback" widget.
Is it's removal permanent?
Will it have to be replaced by this feed:
https://getsatisfaction.com/newsblur/...

2. Profile's Bio.
It formats HTML in the "Friends and Followers" UI, but it's literal in the Blurblog.
But what's serious is that it can be abused, I tested and saw it accepted <h2>, <dd> and &nbsp; as well as <br>, <b> and &emsp; currently in my bio.
It's okay for me if your solution is plain text Bios.

3. Related to the previous.
I just noticed it's the same for comments on shared stories, it all looks nicelly formated when reading the comments on Newsblur, but they look real ugly in the Blurblog, especially long comments (with line breaks) and comments with URLs.

And a few details:

Bobbyzero already said it, the "open newest/oldest first" options are "backwards" when "older first" is set.

As well as ojiikun, finding the oldest first finally is a bit weird at first, but I think it's more convenient and, personally, easy to get accostumed to. Maybe it could be made that the additional stories (newest or oldest depending on the setting) load upwards, but I think the list is complex enough for now.

Nice touch the subtle red/green colored diffs.

Thank you very much for this awesome service, I think even the standard account is super awesome, for anyone can enjoy such great service for free.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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- As I mentioned below (for which you hopefully received an email), Community Feedback is there, you just have to finish the Getting Started module.

- I cleaned bios of html, so now they can only have text.

- So comments are properly newlined and auto-linkified on blurblogs. Do you have an example of where it looks bad? Man, blurblogs need easily accessible permalinks. I'll make it if you click the date for now.
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Andor

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Everything seems to be fixed, thank you very much.

The Blurblog comments thing wasn't really a big deal (I hope) since URLs and breaks aren't very common on comments, and was only when reading them on username.newsblur.com.

And the Community Feedback widget wasn't too urgent for me (I can always visit this site directly), gladly I could reveal it very easily; again, thank you very much.
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Pig Monkey

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When I go to add my website in the profile details, there's no indication of whether the field expects a protocol or not. I first entered the domain without a protocol, saw that it didn't work, then went back and added the http://. It would be nice if the field could tell me what it expects. Perhaps it could be populated with http:// by default. Or if it gets an entry with no recognized protocol, it just automatically prepends http://.

I kinda miss seeing the most recent Get Satisfaction posts on the Dashboard, too.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Brilliant! Added in http:// auto-adding. It does it nicely, so when you save, you see the http:// inserted directly into the input field. (And the server's doing the work, too)

Also, I don't know if you saw it mentioned before, but to see the Community feedback module, you just need to finish the Getting Started module. I'll be designing that better in the near future. I have some ideas on how to get users from new to bootstrapped.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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So for everybody asking about the Get Satisfaction posts, they're still there, but you need to close the Getting Started module (it auto-closes when you go through everything in it). While you're there, you should also hide the Mobile module, since all of that information is available in Goodies. I might stick users in "modes":

1) Demo - the unauthenticated user sees a How This Works and a What Is This module (this is currently the case)
2) New user - shows them the mobile module and the getting started module
3) Loaded user - show them the community feedback

My trouble is just getting you from new user to loaded user. The Getting Started module was created to do that, but it seems that not everybody goes through them. Maybe I could make them requisite, somewhat like the Intro modal that everybody went through on their first time on the site. Will be thinking along these lines during a design refresh next month.
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romkyns

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I'd like a way to hide comments. They force me to scroll through too much when I all I want is the next story.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Yeah, I'll add a preference for hiding "public" comments, so you'll see a link to load public comments instead of those users' comments. Though, any friends who have a comment will still be shown. I'll build this soon enough, since it's actually built, I just took it out in lieu of just showing all public comments.
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Joshua Poehls

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Loving the blurblog and the major perf boost for folders and the river. The iPad app is definitely something I'm looking forward to and, for the record, would gladly pay separately for.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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I don't like the idea of double-dipping. You pay for a subscription. How you use the subscription is then all about the best experience possible. So we provide all the clients, first-class clients, you could possibly use. Android, iPad, iPhone, web, and someday WP8.
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lilacwood

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Oh, this is the first I've heard you mention working on an official Android client. Great, if so.
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Tylast

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Love the blurblog (personal rss feed)! Great job!!!
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ConstantineXVI

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Noticed shared posts don't show up in river, that's the biggest feature I'm missing from pre+ GReader.

Deeper integration with 3rd-party services would be helpful, would like to be able to send links to Pocket or Pinboard (etc.) without being thrown out of the reader.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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River blurblogs are the feature I'm working on this week. I'll warn you, though. It's freaking hard to build. I already tried last week. There's a reason it didn't ship with the rest of the river stuff.