I have made some changes to the template in response to some of the comments and to add a new “sneak” icon for the DiggSpy-like feature that will be included with Beta 6. The coloring is still not set as is, it’s lighter than I expected. For some reason Photoshop’s colors appear lighter when you export them. Otherwise, I am very happy with the layout of everything and I feel that it’s time to start cranking out some CSS until I get a bloody nose. If anyone wants to join me on the CSS adventure let me know and I’ll send you an advanced copy of Beta 6 along with the photoshop version of Beta 6 and the Pligg Icon Pack.
See the new template here.
Ricardo has done a great job again by adding a few new features to meneame.net. Among the changes is the new Sneak function, much like DiggSpy. This feature has been asked for by the Pligg community for the longest time and it’s great to see that Ricardo has developed it because the Pligg team didn’t have this too high up on the to-do list. He has also added some new areas in the user profile that help add a bit of social networking to the profiles.
These are some exciting developments that I am going to work on adding into Pligg Beta 6. I hope you are all excited Beta 6 because it’s going to be pretty damn amazing.
We’ve made some progress with Beta 6′s new template and we are really happy to present a mock-up of what Beta 6 might look like when it is completed. In it’s current form Beta 6 is pretty far off from this mock-up, but I am confident that we will be able to release something close to this image. The only feature that you will see in the image that might not make it into Beta 6 is the demote button. I haven’t really discussed the ability to allow negative voting for articles with AshDigg yet, but I’m sure it’s something that will probably come to be in the future of Pligg. The design is really “girly” right now, but the current color selection isn’t definite. Click on the image below to see a larger version.
Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about the current template. Leave any ideas, suggestions, critiques and I will try to address them.
February 3, 2006 by Eric Heikkinen | Comments Off
Yesterday Kevin posted about some new features on the official Digg blog. As I have mentioned in the past, Digg really hasn’t come out of it’s shell to offer great new abilities. Instead they tend to only make small improvements on what already exists. This new update is a perfect example. Perhaps the only update worth mentioning is the ability to report stories as being “inaccurate”. When enough users report a story as inaccurate the story will be removed from the que and a banner will be added to the top of the article saying that it is “under review”. This is probably Digg’s first real method for removing spam entries, but it is still inadequate. This new ability still could really wreak havoc on legitmate posts. Here’s what Digg’s Blog entry had to say:
Spy: Stories now start scrolling right away (no initial delay). We have also slowed down the refresh rate slightly.
Report stories as ‘inaccurate’: Digg now allows logged in users to bury stories as ‘inaccurate’. Once enough people bury the story, it is removed from the queue and the following banner is displayed at the top:
This is similar to the way Wikipedia marks entries that are potentially inaccurate.
Profanity filter: Logged in user now have the option to turn on a comment profanity filter (http://digg.com/users/username/profile).
Read the Digg Blog Entry Here
Today I spent my morning converting a script from the meneame.net version into pligg. The new External Vote Button (EVB) will allow users to post a vote image on their blogs, articles, etc. that will automatically create a vote link to a Pligg site. The vote button it is probably one of the coolest mods out for Pligg so far because it offers users a way to really interact with Pligg sites and easily post vote links on their personal sites.
Unfortunately I can’t post a working example of the EVB on the main blog page because WordPress doesn’t allow posting scripts. I have however integrated it into all of the single story URLs on the blog by adding a single line to the WordPress templating system. If you read this article at it’s specific URL you will see the example vote button at the bottom of the article just above the comment area. I will also work on integrating this with other CMS’, probably starting with Geeklog. It should be really simple to integrate this mod with most standard CMSs. Now that you read about it, give it a try and vote for this article on pligg.com using the Pligg button. To see how to integrate this mod with WordPress see this forum thread.
The blog no longer has the EVB’s since the install of the new template a few weeks ago.
January 29, 2006 by Eric Heikkinen | Comments Off
Those familiar with Digg are usually familiar with the even more popular tech news site Slashdot.org. I have never really been a fan of Slashdot’s system for promoting stories through editors because I felt like it really limited the amount of news and would slow the ability for news to quickly get picked up by the public. The code originally used to create Slashdot has been publicly released with a GNU GPL.
The project’s name is Slashcode, and it’s so cold right now that you can pretty much consider it dead. The changelog doesn’t list any changes since 2003, which kind of proves why Slashdot is quickly becoming outdated. Luckily the documentation provided supplies users with enough information to install the code if you have a good amount of computer knowledge, but the code is far from a simple install script.
The reason I bring up this code is to demonstrate a proof of concept that Digg really shouldn’t have anything to fear by offering their code to the general public. Having a project like Pligg around really isn’t meant to replace Digg, it’s only meant to offer a new type of Content Managemnt System for users out there who are tired of so called “Web 1.0″ web applications that offer very little user interraction besides the ability to post comments.
Today I woke to a Digg post pointing to a CNN article theorizing that Yahoo might purchase Digg in the future…
There seems to be a pattern here: Website’s traffic takes off, Yahoo buys website. Yahoo’s rumored acquisition of Digg, a popular news website where readers rate articles, would, if if happens, make it the fourth social-media startup the Internet portal has acquired in less than a year in an effort to compete with Google. Digg co-founder Kevin Rose’s non-denial denial : “We are focused on features, not selling the company.”
What’s this about features? I’m fairly certain that the only new features over at Digg is the lame update for DiggSpy from a few weeks ago. The one thing that really has been driving me, and a few of my co-pliggers, crazy is the lack of features offered by Digg. That’s why we made Pligg! I am predicting right now that Digg will sell to a larger company in the coming months. Most likely the buying company will be Yahoo because they’re trying to purchase half of the net right now. This is probably because Yahoo is swimming in wealth, being the most popular website in America right now. Yahoo should really sit down and think internally rather than buying up all sorts of third-party sites.
I think that Kevin, like most of us, wouldn’t hesitate to make a pretty penny selling Digg to Yahoo at a ridiculous price. After all a few million dollars on the side would be some good start-up cash for a new studio for his video shows that he likes so much. From what I have seen over the years, Kevin is more comfortable and happy in front of a camera than behind a desk. If he were offered the opportunity to make his video productions a full-time job, he would take it. I would do the same if I were in his shoes because I can relate to his video interests.
So what is to become of Digg if this Yahoo takeover occured? I think our chances for new features will actually improve. With the support and funding that Yahoo will have backing Digg the site will most likely grow in a good way. I think that over time Yahoo would want to start to generalize the Digg audience to more than just “techies”, perhaps creating different Digg subdivisions for different groups of interests. What do you think will happen to Digg if such a takeover happened? How much money to you think they could stand to make on the deal? I’ll report more on this later if the story develops into something more substantial.
I thought it would be nice to update everyone about how far off we are from what I am hoping for to take the step to Beta 6. Here are my goals still left to be completed before we will hit the next Beta release.
- User Avatars/Photos
- User RSS Feeds
- Tags / Folksonomy (ability to turn on/off)
- Spam Protection (ban user, ban IP, etc.)
- Ability to physically delete stories, rather than discard
- New Pligg Template
- Second navbar at the top of the page for custom links
- Threaded Comments
- Ping Blog Aggregators
- Better Search Capabilities. Search by category, search partial words (ex. “tag” search would also show “tagging”)
- Firefox Pligg Plugin
- BlogIt! Feature
- Weighted vote system (karma)
I know that Ash is working on the tagging system now. I was working on the template heavily a while ago, but I became ill for a full week and stopped working on it for a while. I will try to devote some time to work on the template this weekend, but once again I will mention that I would greatly appreciate any help. Until we tackle at least the bolded goals above we will continue to consider all releases Beta 5.x.