Merry Christmas everyone! What was meant to be our usual Xmas update to IndiBlogger took us much, much longer than we expected it to, thanks to more ideas getting added to the mix every day. Our quality control team having OCD didn’t help us very much with the deadline we set for ourselves, but they sure made a difference to IndiBlogger. We finally decided to forget Christmas, take the whole site apart, throw old parts out the window, and put it back together with gentle love and care. We’re finally done, and here’s what’s changed:
- IndiBlogger is now lighter and much faster (as already confirmed by the community), thanks to several changes to the user interface as well as the way things are handled behind the scenes.
- We’ve built version 3 on a custom framework, which means we can bring in new features much faster and with less bugs.
- IndiBlogger is now W3C valid, except for the pages which integrate with Facebook, Google maps and other third parties. Most sections can be used on smart handheld devices now, and for the not-so-smart devices, we still have the recently launched mobile version.
- Email alerts are now sent via Google’s app engine – which means they are delivered faster, and are less likely to end up in your spam folder.
- Consistent (and better looking!) user interface elements are now used all over.
- Pagination has been numbered on all pages. A few users have reported that they’re missing the “last” button – we’re working on that right now.
- Default gravatars are now much better looking. We wondered what we were tripping on when we made the old ones.
- New IndiMail notifications are now displayed on the IndiMail link in the header. If you see a yellow alert icon, that means you have unread messages.
- The footer section is more organized, and doubles up as a sitemap.
- Improved browser compatibility. We’ve decided however, that IE6 is not a browser.
- Inspired by our most recent partner Cleartrip.com, we decided to see what IndiBlogger would look like in a lighter color scheme – and we liked what we saw.
The Home Page
- New Jquery slider, showcasing everything that’s new on IndiBlogger. Tip – try using the arrow keys to navigate through the slides.
- Popular posts from IndiVine are now showcased on the homepage as well. The new blogs on the network have been pushed to the sidebar.
- IndiSearch now uses an Ajax interface to search for blogs by subject, as well as bloggers by name or location. Results are ordered by IndiRank. Blog content is also indexed, powered by the all-powerful Google search.
- We’ve fixed a bug wherein the search results were inaccurate. For example, if you had searched for the word “rave”, you’d also see results for “travel”. Not too smart, that was.
- Your dashboard now has a facebook-inspired activity feed, showing you stuff like network activity, blogger meets in your city, new IndiMail, replies to forum topics you’re tracking, and votes for your posts on IndiVine.
- The main blogger meet page highlights upcoming blogger meets in your city.
- Organizing your own blogger meet is now easier, with an updated suite of organizer tools and better customization so you can have your blogger meet like you mean it to be.
- Now that we have over 200 bloggers attending our blogger meets, our attendee list was taking ages to load over slow connections. Gravatars are now turned off by default, and you can enable them if you want to.
- We’ve decided that “contests” were not the right word the initiatives we have planned. We needed a term that was more generic, yet with greater purpose. The IndiBlogger Drives page showcases all our latest campaigns and the latest winners from the IndiBlogger of the Month archives.
- The directory is now gravatar enabled – so if you’re looking for someone you know elsewhere, let’s say on twitter, you’ll find it easier to find them on IndiBlogger.
- IndiTalk, which was recently integrated with the forum, can be used on mobile devices.
- Replies to a forum topic can now be sorted by time, so you can see the latest replies at the top without having to go to the last page.
- Forum alerts were disabled months ago when we exceeded our hosting service limits. Moving to a dedicated server didn’t help much in that regard, and now, thanks to a little help from Google’s infrastructure, they’re back.
- You can track topics faster, without having to reload the thread.
- Forum pages have an on-page search filter similar to iTunes, so it’s easier to find relevant replies or subjects.
New & updated Pages
- We have a new page about IndiBlogger, as described by the Indian blogging community. Our thanks to all of you for showing us your appreciation!
- Updated FAQs.
- Links to download the IndiBlogger browser addons (for Firefox and Chrome) created by Sujith and Kevin.
There are a more changes we’ve not mentioned – it’s better to leave a few surprises for you to discover. A HUGE thank you and hugs to all of you who have supported IndiBlogger – you have no idea what it means to us. IndiPolice – the time you spend making IndiBlogger a better place for thousands of bloggers is priceless.
IndiBloggers, please post your feedback on Hemal’s thread and let us know what you think.
You can expect upgrades to IndiVine, IndiRank, a few new initiatives and a new product that’s going to change the way you use IndiBlogger. For now though, our team is off to Kolkata for another blogger meet.