(Bruce Lewis) Some of you may have noticed a Clickpass button on the Our Doings login pages. Clickpass is a new company that is revolutionizing the way you register and log in to web sites. For example, suppose you put news and photos on Our Doings and allow for public comment on them using Disqus. Clickpass lets you easily re-use your registration information as you sign up for both sites. Further, it lets you log in to both sites without typing your password. Clickpass, Our Doings and Disqus use a standard called OpenID that makes this possible. Clickpass makes OpenID easy to use.
We've decided to stop going in this direction and remove OpenID support. Experts tell us that people value things more when they put more work into them. It makes sense, then, if we want really loyal and dedicated users, that we not make it too easy for people to just casually sign up.
People feel more bonded to web sites that they share their secrets with. That's why we've decided to start collecting more personal information. You may have noticed on your "Personal Info" page a section that asks you how happy you are. This is just the beginning. Soon we will roll out a mandatory field for your date of birth. When you first fill it in, a disparaging remark will be displayed relating to how young or how old you are. The next day a profuse apology will be displayed. We expect this experience to be very bonding.
Next there will be a "most embarrassing moment" section on your Personal Info page. Staff will review, and will block you from uploading more photos if it isn't embarrassing enough.
More Organizing Work
This whole idea of nicely laying out photos according to when they were taken is clearly not working. We're going back to albums. Staff will review your album names. If any designate times (e.g. April 2008) the photos will be sent back to your draft photos page until you can come up with a better name. The archive feature will still exist behind a link, but we will periodically move the link to make it harder to find.
This blog started as a way to open up Our Doings and give an honest look at what's happening behind the scenes. But now Our Doings is getting bigger, and it's time to think like a big company. We plan on doing deceptive marketing more often. For now it will be just once a year.
(Bruce Lewis) There are 17 people set up to get email updates about ourdoings.com. Some of you signed up a long time ago, and I've never sent an update. Consider this fair warning that I'm about to start sending them. If you don't want to get them and have forgotten how to log in to OurDoings, reply to me and I'll remove your address. (For the two of you who know me personally, this is updates about this site and its capabilities, not the illustrated family news we send out periodically.)
For those of you who actually do want an update, let me summarize some of the recent changes. The big news of 2008 is the Site Integration page. You find it by clicking the Edit tab on the main page of your sub-site within OurDoings. It lets you take advantage of other sites that do great things. PicLens provides the best slide show experience I've ever seen. Snipshot lets you edit photos after you've already uploaded them. Now you can share your photos right away, but crop them, etc., when you have time.
Those sharing their news and photos with the world can now turn on the Disqus comment system. You can log in to both Disqus and OurDoings using Clickpass. People can comment on the news for any given day, and on any photo that you make a caption for. Additionally, you can find blogs that link to you via Technorati.
OurDoings now integrates with wireless photo frames, probably better than any other site out there. You can feed them all your photos, or only horizontal, or only vertical, if you want only the ones that fit nicely.
Going even farther back, last year designer Mani Sheriar gave OurDoings a new look. We've left the Craigslist school of web design for good.
If you're not reading this through an email update and want to start getting them, use the "Get Updates" tab above.
(Bruce Lewis) It may come as a surprise to regular readers, but this humble little site for sharing news and photos is now officially at the vanguard of web technology. Erick Schonfeld, a writer for the premier web technology blog, TechCrunch, wrote an article entitled, "Web 3.0 Will Be About Reducing the Noise."
Web 2.0 is a term with various meanings, all of which attempt to define newer trends on the web. When people speculate about Web 3.0, that's the next big thing.
In the article referenced above he writes, "I don't have time to sift through thousands of Tweets and Friendfeed messages and blog posts and emails and IMs a day." That's so true! Yet the Silicon-Valley-blessed ways to keep up with people you know are all very noisy.
OurDoings, in contrast, operates on a long timetable.
People do things in real life, and take pictures as they go along.
When they get a breather, they upload those photos to OurDoings where they're automatically sorted out by date.
People type in whatever part of the story isn't told by the photos, and the archive of doings is there.
Highly interested parties (often grandparents) may have the option of sorting out the best of the photos from the rest.
Every few months, people select their most notable doings for an email update As of just recently, you can tack a FriendFeed update onto that email update.
By the time an update is sent, the most interesting photos from the most interesting doings are prominent, while everything else is still accessible.
This long timetable helps put in perspective what doings are worth sharing, and what should just stay in the archive for posterity. It's the opposite end of the spectrum from the frequent status updates Twitter provides. Not that that's bad, if Twitter is what you want. I created OurDoings because I wanted something different.
If you have a pile of photos you've been meaning to share, give OurDoings a try. It lets you share your doings with people who want to stay in touch, while remaining considerate of their need to reduce noise. It integrates with wireless digital photo frames, and with some of the best web services out there: PicLens, Snipshot, Disqus, Clickpass, Technorati and Friendfeed. Plus, it's officially Web 3.0.
(Bruce Lewis) I hate bait and switch. I don't want to let people get hooked on using this site for free, and then later surprise them when ads are thrown into the experience. Little money comes from the ads here now. They exist mainly as a placeholder so there are no surprises later.
I've come up with a better placeholder. A handful of people are using this site in a public way. To give them greater exposure, I'm going to use the ad space to point to their doings. I've already added this in. I'll be pulling the google ads out soon. If you want your doings to get this exposure, here's what you do:
If your site is under /unlisted/ change your link.
If "Advise search engines not to index" is checked, uncheck it.
Put in a description on your site info page.
After a day or two your doings will be part of the mix. There's no extra charge. Enjoy!