New Site Features

New Site Features

Yesterday I implemented a couple of enhancements to this site. I’m thoroughly happy with the outcome and thought I’d point out some of the fresh new goodness. What’s really cool is that while I incorporated just two new features (essentially two custom plugins) the end result is a number of features that provide a full smorgasbord of social media connectivity. I’m really lovin’ the functionality and hope you do too… I think it’s super cool. Let’s get down to it.


New Toolbar at the bottom:

Chances are when you fist came to my site you saw the Notifier (pictured at top) pop-up for a few seconds, in the bottom right corner of your screen, that alerted you to the presence of the new toolbar. (Which is a cool thing in itself, I can set those off anytime with any message.) If you happened to miss it, or haven’t checked the Toolbar out yet… here’s the lowdown. I think it’s genius. You can do so much right from the toolbar it takes the site to another level. This type of connectivity could very well revolutionize the way we access social networks, while also offering publishers a great way to expand viewership through unique community engagement. This is of course, the goal of all (or most all) social media sites which rely on community programming. Putting that aside - so I don’t go off on a tangent on how effective these tools can be to increase viewership and reduce churn - since this is about my personal portfolio site, I’ll just discuss the benefits of using them within my system. It’s full of interactive goodies.


1. The Twitter Dashboard


(Left panel displays tweets about that specific page/post  |  Right panel displays all my recent tweets)

  • Tons of Twitter functionality right from the dashboard. An end-user has several options:
    • Browse
      • By scrolling through the topics on the Left and Right panels of the Dashboard
        • Keep in mind that the left panel will change as a user browses through the different pages/posts, bringing up a conversation via tweets that are relevant only to that particular page/post
      • Click the Search button to search Twitter hashtags, keywords, and users
        • Browse the latest Trending Topics
    • Log-in (via your Twitter acct) and…
      • Join a conversation about a tweet or a page/post, and tweet it out
      • Start a conversation, if there isn’t one, about any page/post you find interesting
      • Reply and ReTweet within the conversation or at will
      • Post anything you want! (Well, no multimedia yet but…)
      • Follow new users
  • Browse, Post, Converse, Search, Follow - all within the super slick Twitter Dashboard. Love it!


2. The Facebook Community


  • Like the Twitter Dashboard, the Community Dashboard is feature rich, and slick. Options include:
    • Connect with the Community via the Facebook Community feature
      • Login with your Facebook ID via Facebook Connect and you’re good to go
    • Right-Click on a Member to find out more about them
    • Discover new Friends
    • Have conversations via the Community Shoutbox
    • Post or Share the page you’re viewing to your wall or to FaceBook Friends
    • See your current FaceBook status and Post updates
    • … and more.
  • Much, much more. Such as:


    • Language Translation
    • Even more easy access to sharing and subscription services
    • A slick and handy Search feature

That sums up the primary goodness of the toolbar. There’s even more integration possible and I look forward to extending its functionality further. So far, I’m really diggin’ the Twitter Dashboard and Community features. Check ‘em out. There’s so much functionality. Finally! We’re able to hold and retain threaded conversations via the Twitter Dashboard! In my opinion, this is the biggest thing Twitter has been missing.

Big shout out to wibya for making the Toolbar possible… this is a phenomenal product. You guys rock!  m/

JB’s Lifestream


The other big update is my new lifestream. Oh yes… the infamous lifestream. (Link located under “Info” on the right panel.) I’ve been working on a final version for a while now and I think I’m pretty damn close. With some additional css stylin’ for a cleaner layout and some php tweakin’ to fix some minor bugs (the event times are off by an hour and the day changes around 7am) I should be just about there. ; )

  • Connecting all that is social…
    • On my lifestream you’ll be connected to updates from my accounts on:
      • Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, YouTube, hulu,, Pandora, TwitPic, Flikr, Digg, Xbox Live, and more.
        • Also, I have several different feeds coming from Facebook
          • Friends Facebook Links
          • My Facebook Links
          • My Notifications

Thanks to iBegin Labs for the Lifestream plugin… it takes a bit of tweaking but, it works great.

You likey? Or no likey? The site in general is still a work in progress, as this was meant to be a temporary theme but… it seems to be coming along. I’ll continually be improving the site, these new features and tinkering with some new ones, but would love some feedback. Let me know your thoughts, as well as any issues, via the comments below.


There’s also a spiffy new Feedback widget attached to left side of the window, thanks to Get Satisfaction.


Feel free leave any feedback you like. As you can see there are preset fields for: Ideas, Questions, Problems, and Praise.


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