Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

Piping Hot Popfly, Fresh Out of the Oven!

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Today marks our third release of Popfly since we debuted it…three months ago. I am continually impressed by my team’s ability to keep popping releases out like clockwork. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but we do love giving you new bits to play with every month.

So, what’s new? John, our Group Program Manager, just posted the official list over on our team blog. I highly suggest you read it, but I will supplement it with some additional discussion of my favorite new features.

New Home Page

This is the set of features I spent the most time working on over the past month. Previously, the Popfly home page had three big, honking polaroid photos linking you to our mashup designer, web page builder, and community. It was supplemented with a news feed and the top mashups on Popfly.

Today, we’ve replaced this with a news feed that shows you the latest news on Popfly, and tells you what your friends are up to. No longer will you have to hunt around to see what cool, new stuff your friends have been up to!

We’ve also added several “Quickstart” mashups to the homepage. These are fun, little mashups you can immediately rip and start rebuilding to fit your needs. This should greatly simplify the process of discovering what you can mash together.

The home page also sports a list of your five most-recent projects, which means you no longer have to hunt around for the project page in order to keep working on a mashup!

New Header

Popfly now features a newly overhauled header (which, truth be told, I just built last week). It provides you with a super-simple way to access every Popfly feature from anywhere. No longer will you have to traipse back to the home page or your profile page in order to start building a mashup. I think it also looks quite a bit cooler, which never hurts either :)

This also means that we’ve removed the sidebar menus that existed on several pages, previously, like on your profile page. Want to access your developer keys? They’re available under the My section from anywhere.

Alertness Dog

Yeah, that’s right. Deal with it. He’s awesome.

Project Comments, Descriptions and Tagging

Tell your friends how awesome their mashups are.

Full List (and remember, this is all from one month of work!):

    <li>A new home page so you log in and see a page that’s customized to you with your friend requests, changes your friends have made, and your projects as well as hot projects and news.</li>
    <li>Consistent menus so that you don’t have to keep returning to your “My” page to create mashups, blocks, and web pages</li>
    <li>Block recommendations so you have a sense of which blocks mash well with other blocks</li>
    <li>Tagging and long descriptions so you can actually explain what your project is all about using full sentences and tags, along with a linkable details page for each project.</li>
    <li>Descriptions for user submitted blocks in the block list</li>
    <li>Searching by tags for user blocks in block list</li>
    <li>Commenting so other folks can tell you what they really think of your projects.</li>
    <li>Input validation to help blocks connect better with each other when data types don’t exactly match.</li>
    <li>Publishing to Facebook so you can post a link of your Popfly creation to your Facebook account.</li>
    <li>Alertness dog</li>
    <li>Friend removal, so you can clean up your friends list in case you decide you don’t like someone.</li>
    <li>A "crazy-easy" guide to creating your first mashup.</li>
    <li>Performance improvements in starting the mashup editor.</li>
    <li>An MSN Shopping block</li>
    <li>And you can now see what blocks people used in their mashups from the details page.</li>
    

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