SITE REVIEW: BlinkBits.com- the collective wisdom of all man

  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello,

I've just released a new site called BlinkBits.com from PHPBB.

Imagine the collective wisdom of ALL mankind on hurricane katrina... Thats BlinkBits!

Blink Bits was founded on the premise that if we provide people with the tools necessary to consolidate, read, edit, comment on, discuss and share information the resulting information will be superior.

Blink Bits is where people Start Blinks on topics that are of interest to them to:
* Stay Informed with continuously updated content from millions of sources.
* Save time with News, Pics, Videos and more - ALL in 1 PLACE
* Discover hard to find info plus get expert analysis & multiple viewpoints.
* Express their views by openly adding, editing and discussing their Blink topic.
* Meet People Interested in their Blink topic.
* Become the Recognized Authority on their Blink topic.
* Share and syndicate their Blink.

New - Visit the BlinkBits Feed Center to get an RSS Feed on Any Topic

Here are a few example Blinks:
The site is an open content resource dedicated to athletes, celebrities, politicians and more (like Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie, Derek Jeter and George W. Bush). I receive real-time news, info and pictures from thousands of news sources, bloggers and fans and rely on visitors to openly add, edit and rate the news.

I'd consider the site an alpha version. The site was created using PHPBB and many of its mods including fetchall, topics anywhere, rss, ratings, caching...

I would love to get input on design, functionality, optimization plus any opinions on what I can do to execute on the promise of open content for my next major release. Plus let me know what you think I can do to encourage more member posts...

tks a ton in advance.

Larry
BlinkBits.com:[fade][/fade]
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • desertland
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Post 3+ Months Ago

At first glance, the site looks quite crowded. After looking over the content of the site, most of it is necessary. I like the "left status bar"... but I'd make it a bit smaller. I would try to add about 5-10% more whitespace on the page. The whitespace would be used to help group things and separate the different areas of the page.

I found the <select> navigation annoying as well... additionally, it doesn't look the best... it is functional though :)

My recommendation would be removing the "new bits" from the main page and making the category navigation a larger section of that page I'd then make another page that had the "new bits" on it, and make the "new bits" another link off the main page.
  • MISC/A++
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Is it your template?
  • kahsoon
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  • kahsoon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

first of all your site take quite long to load, i like your layout and template but actually i would suggest that you put the "Find Blinks and Bits" to the top instead of center because it would be more noticable and look more standard.
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks a ton for the tips... keep them coming..

I agree it is too crowded... also somewhat uninviting... I need to give people the reason to add posts and comments on the stroeis plus add their own.

Desertland... A quick follow-up question on the select box... are you referring to the center select box or the top right select box? Also, what would you put in its place?

larry
BlinkBits - What news will be in 10 Years Today!
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't like the select boxes either. You would be better off with a nav bar with dropdowns when you hover over the main category or when you click the main category.

I also agree with the crowded look. Not really sure how to fix it though.

I do like the color scheme. Very soothing to the eye and not obtrusive.
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks a ton grinch... do you have an example site with scroll over nav bars that you particularly like?
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://www.usmc.mil

The nav bar dropsdown when you hover over the category. It is written in java. I don't necessarily like the way the'rs looks but it at least shows you what I am talking about.

Here is one I do like and it was under review.
http://www.dynamicz.org/
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've removed a bunch of info from the homepage and from the actual personality pages to make it more user friendly... I've also changed some grey backgrounds to white... still working on the nav bar. Let me know what you think now... tks.

Larry
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I lilke this alot better. Throw in a nice nav bar and you're good to go.
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks crew... I've heard some complaints about the select boxes but I am at a loss for another way to provide 1 click navigation to 425 pages which in the next release will grow to 1,500. Any thoughts?
  • cflraves
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The site's layout is fine. I think you may help your SEO a bit if you change you title tag, and add "Celebrity" or "NFL"...to your actual title tag.

Other than that, the only thing I'd change is your "jump to" drop-downs. Instead of spacing your main categories out, with all the names in between, perhaps just including the categories like "Musicians", "Actors" and so forth in the drop down menu instead....when the user clicks, use your imagination on how to display the names....plenty of options.
  • b34nz
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Post 3+ Months Ago

pretty nice.
sort of confusing tho, there is ALOT of stuff going on inside. maybe tone down the amount of content a little bit so its not so overwelming
  • prprprpr
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like the name of the site. It is different and cannot be mistaken for a generic named site.

My website (details below) is known as yumgo.

Like your site, the name doesn't immediately conjure up images of the site content. If I it where called tophomepage it may well be self explanatory but can easily be confused with besthomepage or thehomepage upon recall.

A unique sounding website name means you stand out from the crowd and hopefully develope more of a branded site.

I really like the colour theme on your site but agree there can be improvements made to the navigation.

For those that are interested my website Yumgo, can be found here //link removed
//mod edit: please don't spam in other ppl's threads
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello Everybody,

I really appreciate the comments and as you can tell I've been incorporating your suggestions. Tks. Here is a top-level concept I plan to implement over next few days to help get some more members and bits. I'd love some input.

a. When people register they get a personal Blink just like Angelina Jolie.
b. When they post a bit they can post it to a Blink ie Angelina Jolie, their bit or actually assign it to both.
c. I will list all personal blinks on the home page so people can find their blinks.

In essence every member will get their own blog/blink which will be populated by any posts/bits they add.

What do you think?

Crash
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here is a riugh draft of a personal blink - what do you think?

http://www.blinkbits.com/personalblinks/personal/c/lawrencecotter_471.php
  • justbane
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Post 3+ Months Ago

nice template... now can you really say you designed it or did you just install it?
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello again,

After some R&R in the mountains I am back working on BlinkBits some more. I've added 244 new blinks (all nfl skill players); decided to add some more information like video, links and pictures for each blink and finally to manage all this info I have seperated the info into categories so that every post can have a reply.

Take a look and let me know what you think:
Brett Favre Blink

I will be making some other changes in the next few days including better search, the ability for anyone to add any feed into a blink and a more comprehensive rss feed.

I expect to release the site out of beta within 30 days with about 2,000 blinks and then will follow that up by allowing anyone to add any notable person not already listed.
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello Everyone,

I've implemented another feature where you can now add a feed to a blink. If you go to a blink, click on a subject then click on add feed in the upper right it will allow you to add any feed to that subject... so for example if you have a blog related to derek jeter you can add your feed. Let me know what you think...

Also, I've had some people asked me if I designed it or simply installed it... this is a fair question. Graphically I haven't spent much time on the forum but I have done alot of custom work to be able to have a forum with 700 categories and 4000+ forums reading 10,000 feeds a day with plans to take that to 20,000 categories and 160,000 forums reading 800,000 feeds a day including:

- Allow Administrator to Add Multiple Categories with multiple Forums with multiple feeds with a simple input box. This will allow me to increase the number of blinks ie categories to 20,000 by year end.

- User Add their own RSS Feed to a forum,

- SEO Rewrite so that topics and forums url's are search engine friendly.

- Created a BlinkBits Template System where each category (and eventually each forum) has its own homepage with a dynamic url.

Crash[/img][/fade]
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello All,

Thank you for all your comments... they have been really helpfull.

The http://www.blinkbits.com upgrade/ redesign is now complete. Take a look....

Here are the features of the site:
- Get continuously updated information on ANY topic from millions of sources. (if you don't see a topic you like just enter a keyword and we'll start a blink for you. It's Free. It's Easy. )

- Save time by viewing Pics, Videos, News, Views & more on the topic - ALL in 1 PLACE.

- Express your opinion and openly add, edit and delete info on the topic.

- Connect and collaborate with other people interested in the topic.

- Share and syndicate the topic info to ANYBODY.

You can search through 133,212 Bits Posted in 753 Blinks or if you don't see a topic you like just enter a keyword and we'll start a blink for you. It's Easy.

Let me know your thoughts...
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello Once Again,

blinkbits has gone through another major overhaul in its quest to provide the collective wisdom of all mankind in the blink of an eye. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Thanks
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello Everyone,

Another Huge update...

1. Wikipedia: We've been spending some time putting together a RSS (file format) Feed so that anyone can get any Wikipedia topic via RSS. The feed was produced by me, parsed by Christian Roy and is hosted on my servers at BlinkBits. The feed works for every topic (just replace Topic_name with the exact wikipedia topic to the end of url).

http://www.blinkbits.com/rssfeeds/wikipedia.php?w=Topic_name
http://www.blinkbits.com/rssfeeds/wikipedia.php?w=Derek_Jeter

The feeds include attribution back to wikipedia and the GNU note so please do not use the feed without providing wikipedia proper attribution etc...

2. Blinkbits Feeds:
We've built up an RSS Feed Center to allow visitors to do the following:
a. Get a Feed on any topic with News, Pics & More from 11.2 billion root sources... Just enter a keyword.
b. Mesh Feeds
c. Add your feed to any topic.
d. Convert feeds

This is like wikipedia plus news, pics and blogs... Here is the link: http://www.blinkbits.com/rssfeeds/index.php

Let me know what you think. Tks again for all your comments.

Crash
  • Grant
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Post 3+ Months Ago

cool site lil bit crowded to start with but it doesnt seem to bother you s much later on. also the <select> nav is not the greatest pic and is hard to find because of where it is situated
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello All,

You can now go to any blink by simply typing the topic in the url... for example:

http://www.blinkbits.com/blinks/Derek_Jeter

You can change derek jeter to any topic... just replace any space with an _

Let me know what you think....

PS... I have a couple of more features to add and then I plan to do a redesign... (site is a little busy)
  • Grant
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Post 3+ Months Ago

sweet as *thumbs up*
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I was hoping to get some input... let me explain.

Since we last spoke I have completed a number of new features for BlinkBits most notably the following:

Content
- Added Tags to each Blink.
- Added Blogs to each
- Allow visitors to "share their wisdom" directly from Blink home page
- Added photos to each wikifeed preview

Design
- Change username and feeds to real name convention
- Added most recent blinks and most recent bits to homepage

So here is my questions... I need to decide what is next for BlinkBits and debating spending time on the following:
- a bookmarklet to let anyone add any bit from any site
- add wikifeeds for other languages
- design overhaul
- add cross-linking ie any mention of any blink in any bit will automatically link to that blink.

Each of these require substantial time. Let me know if you have any thoughts on what You would like added if you where a frequent visitor. [/img][/fade]
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quick update for the non-english "speakers"... Wikipedia RSS is now available in 6 additional languages... es, de, sv, fr, it and ne. In total 1.3 million new wikipedia topic titles are now available via RSS from BlinkBits.

The url format is: http://www.blinkbits.com/rssfeeds/wikipedia.php?w=Derek_Jeter

Let me know what you think...
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello everyone...

BlinkBits continues to evolve so I am back for some more comments.

The latest evolution is providing ability to Save, Share and Discover Info from any website with BlinkBits Bookmarklets.

Anyway I'd love any input you might have on the Bookmarklets, the use of the bookmarklets and how they "fit" into BlinkBits in general.

Here is a brief description of the 4 Bookmarklets...

Wikr - Highlight any word or phrase on any site and then click the "Wikr" bookmarklet to get a mash of the Wikipedia Article and Flickr Pictures.

Get RSS Feed - Highlight any word or phrase on any page and then click the "Get RSS Feed" bookmarklet to get (or create) a RSS Feed with Bio, Pictures, News, Videos and more from 11.2 billion sources.

Blink - Highlight any word or phrase on any site and then click the "Blink" bookmarklet to Discover Bio, Pictures, News, Videos and more from 11.2 billion sources.

Save to BlinkBits - Click the "Save to BlinkBits" bookmarklet while surfing any site to save and share text, pictures, urls, your thoughts and more.

Thanks in advance.
  • crashlmc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hello again,

first thanks for all the continued support... the ozzu community has been great. As a result of your feedback I've decided to simplify blinkbits once more... it is focused squarely on save, share and discover anything from anywhere. Please take a look and let me know what you think of the new homepage and the new blink page. Tks.
  • bleepnik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, my head might explode, but I can see myself getting very addicted to BlinkBits, in the way of delicious, gratuitous, Flickr, and other social tagging sites. You've added bookmarklets as well, that'll certainly make the addiction much simpler to solidify. =]

Excellent job. You've added a lot to this thread over the months, even when you weren't getting any feedback. You've been hard at work, it seems, and it shows. I don't like the colour of the bolded text on your homepage, which is the same as that of the "regular" text on addblinks.php. It seems a bit umm.. purplish? and sort of clashes with the blue you've got. I find that dark blue you're using everywhere much easier on the eyes, but of course, that's a very subjective thing.

Congrats and good luck. =]

- Gita
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Post 3+ Months Ago

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