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Beta features

We have some new features at some of which are going to be turned on for the main site this week.  You can take look at any blog at to play with them.  Some of the new features:

panzerjohn at 6:24:16 PM PST Link to this entry | Blog about this entry | Incoming Links | Notify AOL

Beta only features (not going to this week):
o An AIM presence icon showing status for screen names listed on entries or comments;
o Incoming links searches for other sites linking to that entry

Features going to this week:
o Blog about this entry to make it easy to link to other people's posts
o Notify AOL about specific posts that violate terms of service
o For Private Journals, the ability to simply make your Buddy List your reader list (adding buddies adds them as readers). 


  1. How I wish you add a reply to people's comments, instead me copying and pasting each one.



  3. What does the "blog about this entry" button do that a simple right click/copy shortcut to the "link to this entry" line doesn't do?  

    And, if I weren't already gone, the little AIM dude showing everyone that I'm online would break my back.  It will have a shut-off valve, right?

    Gee, all these improvements yet the 12 point font button still doesn't work; html in comments is non-existent; a sidebar only allows 1,000 characters and everyone looks like they came out of the same cookie-cutter, just with different food coloring.

    I don't blame you, John.  You are terrific and one of the few people that I trust.  It's just that I have really discovered what riches I didn't know I didn't have here.  And it makes me sad.

    ~~ jennifer

  4. Yep, we're looking at the AIM presence feature with regard to privacy and we'll take feedback into account.  As a clarification, I should note that this icon obeys your general AIM privacy settings; if you say "Allow only users on my Buddy List" or "Allow only the users below" to contact you, the presence icon will always show up as offline for anyone not on the appropriate list.  (See  Similarly, if you're invisible in AIM, the presence icon won't show up.

    (Also, note that even today, you can click on someone's screen name on an entry or comment and go to the Member Directory page for that user, where they show whether you're online or off line.)  

  5. Okay, I just checked your journal via Beta, and I see what you are saying.  That's a good thing.  And, yes, one can click my name and see my profile (which has no privacy settings, errrrrr), but that does take a little extra effort than simply skimming through comment threads.

    But as long as the little AIM dude obeys exactly what people want in terms of AIM privacy, it shouldn't cause as much uproar as those insipid ads are still doing.

    Thanks for the explanation, John.  (But I still want to know what that "blog about this entry" button does that the "link to this entry" button doesn't.  I clicked; nothing happened except a blank popup box.)


    ~~ jennifer

  6. Just testing it out to see how it shows me.

  7. Oh!  I get it.  It's working this morning.  So I highlight your text, click the blog about this entry button, and the popup comes up, giving me my choice of my (way too many) blogs, complete with the quote from you, so that I can write my own blog entry in my own blog right there in the popup window without having to open my blog at all.  I get it.


    ~~ jennifer, who has found something she actually likes.  Whoudda thunk?  :D

  8. It would be nice if you could explain this stuff better!

  9. So we're giving a "noitfy AOL" action to people who will take it upon themselves to Notify AOL if they don't like my content.  This has already happened once very was a personal attack and the attacked member lost his AOL act because of it.


  10. Oh, how I wish I could explain this stuff better too!  Though actually, if I need to explain it too much, it's probably not done right -- this is another place where getting feedback is helpful.

    The Notify links actually aren't new, there've always been links visible to AOL users at the top of blogs.  The main new thing is that there are links on each entry, meaning that if someone has a legitimate complaint, they can specify just a single entry.  Hopefully this will also help separate valid from invalid complaints.  

    People can of course always abuse these links.  They're intended only for real violations of terms of service, and the people looking at the messages should be acting only on complaints that they can verify as legitimate.  I realize there's a big should there.

  11. John, I think you explain things quite well.  That notify issue is a big one, but mainly because we've learned not to trust the AOL folks on the receiving ends of the reports, seeing as how they've deleted entire journals and FTPs in the past.  It's an understandable and justified distrust that someone might click the TOS alarm and somebody somewhere will hit the delete button, then ask questions later.  It's been done far too many times.

    And nobody likes getting TOS messages, whether warranted or not.  I agree that the notify on each entry is like an open invitation to overreactive policing wannabes.  At least with only one flag button, the reporter has to find it and, presumably, explain the wheres and whys.

    The notify button on each entry is a lot like the notify button on message boards.  But then I have to keep reminding myself, that the VP for community stuff doesn't view journals as any different.  So I guess it's to be expected.

    ~~ jennifer

  12. Overall the new features are good.
    I don't really have an opinion about the AIM presence status icon.
    "Blog about this entry" is great.
    "Incoming Links" is cool too.
    Both of those two will help with conversations in ways that most Journalers have not experienced yet. I've experienced link track but only through tracking via RSS with non AOL services. I wondered where the BlogPulse partnership was going. Nice to see that put to use on each Journal instead of being unitized on a community page to show Blogpulse trend info.

    Ya'll are going to have a fight on your hands with that notify AOL link. One thing I did notice was that the beta Notify was different that the current Notify screen. The J standards seem more current than the Hometown standards. I dunno, but it's always a mess with that stuff.

    The new link names are nice and descriptive, but that also makes them a bit longer than they need to be. Line breaks even on the two column layout, bit worse on the three column ones. I'm viewing at 800x600.


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