Awasu » The Awasu DevLog
Monday 27th February 2006 10:16 AM [Awasu News]

It's been mighty quiet here on the Awasu weblog of late and as long-time users know, this doesn't mean that we've gone on an extended cruise holiday but are instead toiling away in the dungeons working on the next release :whip:

One of the great benefits of a company blogging like this is the relationship that it helps build with your customers. You know more about me as a person than as a developer :-), that I do Aikido, play a lot of music and have spent a lot of time in Asia.

To continue on with this process, we've set up a new feed. The Awasu DevLog will post details of each new feature and bug fix as soon as they are submitted into the source code repository! So, if you've asked for something to be added to Awasu, you'll know the minute it's been done :-) and for the rest of you, it'll be a bit of teaser as to what to look forward to in the next release.

And, of course, it'll demonstrate that we really are working hard, even when the main weblog goes quiet, not sunning ourselves on the deck in the Caribbean.

Although in these days of global connectivity, you can never really be sure... :cool:

13 Responses to this post

steven e streight aka vaspers the grate

Taka or whoever is reading this, I have no complaints about your Feed Reader, but a ton of suggestions for vastly improving your website. This is NOT a slur against C-Squared, but just the humble gropings of a veteran web usability analyst, IT consultant, blogologist, and ad guy.

I will provide all my ideas to you for free, but I would welcome a small cash payment if my suggestions, when implemented result in measureable results for Awasu.

Here are just a few enhancements for you to seriously and immediately consider:

(1) Contact/About page are standard features. I see no email address, but, like all users, I am in a hurry. I do Brief Usability Reviews (BURs) of sites, as though I were a hurried and rushed reader. Where is your email addy, or at least a web form with hidden address?

(2) Do you have a tab on main page of site that says "Awasu Developer Blog"? Is that what this page is? Is it clearly labeled as such?

(3) Link buttons do not exist. Come on friend, all software platforms offer HTML code users can highlight and copy and paste into their blog sidebars to *advertise* you, and to *drive traffic* to the site. I tried to create my own clickable button, but when I right click the Awasu banner graphic, no "save image as" appears.

(4) All smart companies use a "Spread _____" site, as in "SpreadFirefox", as a way to harnass and channel the enthusiasm of your loyal, ecstatic users. I have about 12 websites I could put your ads on, for free to you! But you have no ads or graphic link buttons. Tsk tsk. I have a text link to Awasu in my Vaspers the Grate sidebar, under Blog Tools. But I want more from you, to spread the contagion about the value and ease and super scraper capabilities of the phenomenal Awasu.

My neck hurts. thata's all for now. sorry. Ping me. ;^)

steven e streight aka vaspers the grate

You rock...HARD! You astonish me with your swift, complete, and polite replies. Dude, I want to promote the heck out of you. And I shall.

My dear friend, Link Buttons are of HUGE importance. Please do yourself a favor, *promote* them! We bloggers love link buttons. They are a status symbol, they even psychologically transfer credibility back and forth.

A credible, popular blog lends credibility to an ad or link button, and vice versa. Which is precisely why I have just yesterday started adding prestigious ads and Amazon Associates sidebar promos.

Thanks, Taka!

steven e streight aka vaspers the grate

Sorry, Taka, speaking as usability guy, that tiny envelope is subtle, geeky, but just too underwhelming. Remember this always: web surfers are in a heated hurry, rushing around, foraging for relevant or interesting/entertaining content. And when they want to know who the heck you are, and how to contact you, the site owner, as well as the webmaster, they want a fast, easily recognized widget.

The web norm is About Us page and Contact page, as distinct items (objects) in the sidebar or wherever you choose to put them.

Do you have a Search This Site text entry box? I don't think I saw one.

steven e streight aka vaspers the grate do have a Search Site box. Sorry. I'm moving too fast here. slow down stevie boy.


steven e streight aka vaspers the grate

Taka, I went to the Buttons page. This could be presented a wee bit better, my friend. First, I see some little buttons down there at the bottom. So I have to right click the button image, and "save image as" them? Then paste the image code and the img src code into my blog template?

I strongly suggest you look at the way Firefox does this, or Odeo. Evan Williams' Odeo podcast buttons come in many shapes, sizes, colors, wording.

Users simply highlight the code, paste code into blog template, and the button appears. Are you trying to avoid hosting the image on your server? This is okay, I guess, but I don't know anyone else, offhand, who does this.

Link Buttons can be a tremendous way to increase traffic to your site.

Your thoughts?


steven e streight aka vaspers the grate

those buttons are not ad buttons, linking to Awasu, but feed buttons, like the Feedburner buttons I have on my blog, right? or am I just too tired to think?

>>> Where is your email addy, or at least a web form with hidden address?

The email link is in the navbar on the left of every page. We considered a web form but since we hate using them, we didn't want to inflict them on others.

The preferred means of communication is via the forums.

>>> Do you have a tab on main page of site that says “Awasu Developer Blog”?

The DevLog is still experimental (I was going to emphasize that in the announcement but forgot). Once it's settled down and proved itself useful, we'll make it more visible in the site and add it to the auto-discovery links.

>>> Link buttons are available here but we haven't yet started really promoting them yet.

Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming! :-)

Yes, you're right. We're all techies here and all that PR stuff is not really our thing, something of a necessary evil :roll:

I'll tighten everything up and then start plugging the buttons.

Thanks for the poke in the ribs :-)

>>> that tiny envelope is subtle, geeky, but just too underwhelming.

This was a deliberate decision since we wanted to encourage people to use the forums rather than email. However, it's probably time to have another ponder over this.

>>> this could be presented a wee bit better

Yes, that's what I meant when I said "tighten everything up" and that's why we haven't been promoting the page yet :-)

It was put together quickly for someone who asked for buttons. We wanted to do a bunch more buttons and present them nicely but it got pushed down list of Things To Do :-(

That's right. More will be coming shortly... :whip:

Taka, I really like the "experimenta" devblog. I just subscribed and gave it a quick look-over. Several very pleasing changes were listed there. I was overjoyed to see the the "computer destroying atom bug of horror" had been eliminated! *does the happy dance in his chair* In fact I was so happy, i tried to leave a comment on the item to celebrate. That's when I noticed that all the feed items link to a single generic message.

I'm sure this was conscious choice, and I don't blame you for not wanting another set of information to monitor. Perhaps a link from each feed item to one of the forums would provide an easier way for people to ask questions or offer congratulations, without adding to the admin bog?

Either way, this feed is an excellent addition. Thanks.

Yes, it was a conscious choice :-)

It's not a "real" blog, I just wrote a little tool to generate the XML and upload it to the server. The main reason was that it's not really intended to be a permanent record, just an ephemeral flow of postings to let people know what new features are coming or bugs fixed. Where relevant, the posts will contain a link to the forums where (but sometimes even I get lazy :-)).

And BTW, the underlying problem to the Computer-Destroying Atom Feed Of Horrow has been fixed - Atom 1.0 is now supported :-)

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