“Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it even with the best right but without inner constraint proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring to the point of recklessness.” Nietzsche, Friedrich W., Beyond Good And Evil, 1886
Along with the features stated previously plus a few more power mvblogs.org will go horizontal today. 26th July 2009 marks the 44th anniversary of Maldives officially gaining political Independence from the United Kingdom.
As individuals, the followers of mvblogs.org now have the power to choose some aspects of the website. They can either enable or disable flickr, youtube, blogs and twitter feeds. They can switch layouts between horizontal and vertical. And their browser will remember their last settings. The cascading boxes of previous 5 articles from the last 5 days can be expanded and contracted with a click. The boxes also gives an idea of who the most active bloggers were on that 5 day period. The feed will still remain the same, with improved validation.
Of course there is still no power for the viewers to choose contents. No power to self-censor selective blogs is built on to this. There are plugins for mvblogs to filter its content by users.
And nothing is absolutely independent or free! Enjoy and keep expressing thoughts
mvblogs has survived over three and a half years making it arguably one of the most active and the longest surviving social (or anti-social) web project for Maldives. It is no more than a robot which reads the blogs people submitted to it over the years. It then displays the most recent updates. The robot would probably be utterly grateful to the bloggers if it has the capacity to construe what it reads. This robot has read the most controversial writings by Maldivians and this is the only venue for some of them to reach others in the society.
About an year ago (July 2008) someone redesigned mvblogs.org but it wasn’t made online then. It was mainly an [inter-]facelift. It also included tweets and youtube videos from Maldives along with selective formating for displaying Thaana blog posts in addition to previous functions. It had a cascading mechanism for displaying older blog posts (for the period) and orientation was changed to horizontal with an automatic scrolling function. It also had a
hidden link to change the orientation with a single click.
Social media has created an opening for a more bottom up system for distributing ideas, disturbing and worrying the traditional top down system. So what about trying something horizontal now, emphasizing equality of expression more? Although it may sound like this is something hard to adopt, why not give it a try?
[mvblogs horizontal (beta)]
mvblogs will become horizontal in a few days. You can test drive it now and get ready for this change. There may still be some changes made to the look and feel in the meantime. The feed readers will still get the same results.
We have generated a new visual that depicts radial distribution of bloggers around the sphere.Unlike previous visuals, bloggers are represented by dots instead of their respective anonyms. Color assigned to any originating link from any single blogger is exclusive to that node and are shared by all the other links that may originate from that particular node.This visual is based on 1465 distinct relations between 620 bloggers.Also do have a look at our listing on visualcomplexity.
Here are some extras that have been developed for some time now.
Just to sum up a small feature enhancement that we have just introduced on the homepage. Now you can view thumbnails of photo posts on the homepage of mvblogs.org in a separate column. The photos are grouped by blogger and sorted by the most recent photo posts from within the week.
This has been a long anticipated feature and it brings quite a bit of usability enhancements. First, the photoblog posts are separated and are not displayed within the blog posts content column reducing it’s length. Secondly, you do not have to click on a photoblog post anymore to view it, the thumbnail is simply displayed on the right column.
Currently we have disabled the description body field of the photo posts. But if there is a need for it in the future, we might as well bring it back. Secondly, only Flickr users are being aggregated now. And once if there is a redundant popular service elsewhere, we will gladly add support for them as well.
Keep your comments and suggestions posted here. And we hope you enjoy and appreciate the new features. There are more to come in the future including a separate feed for photoblogs and Flickr posts. Cheers.
Hi all. It’s been a very long time since there’s been a post here. Since October 2006 by Shahee. Let me tell you about a little usability enhancement that was introduced here last week. Most of you who visit the homepage regularly might have noticed, others who use the feed to syndicate would definitely not have recognized it.
Ok! The homepage now displays entries in a grouped-by-author fashion. First, it sorts the entries from the past 7 days by date and time. Then from a top-to-bottom sequence, groups entries by author. Every entry corresponding to an author that has been initially set as a grouped item will then be grouped for that author ad infinitum. So the result is more elegant, organized and most of all, a less initial view. If you have spotted the difference in the height in your web browsers scrollbar when viewing mvblogs, yes, that is because of this enhancement.
A grouped set consisting of 2 or more posts will have a link below it saying “+ n more posts by author within the week”. And when you click on it, the post is expanded displaying the rest of the posts by the same author below it with the whole set indented a bit to the right. On top of them all, will be a “-” icon with the name of the author and the day the last post was made. Clicking the “-” icon will contract the entry and display as it was before.
So enjoy the tweak and if you feel there are more positive improvements in this sense, feel free to comment and suggest them here. Cheers.
We have upgraded our blog parser. For the past few months the php xml parser library we used was having problems while parsing feeds from some blogs (specially the blogs with beta rss feed from blogger). We tried a walk-around but it also failed to parse all the blogs all the time. This made some users think that we were arbitrarily censoring certain posts.
Most of the time the reason for some of the posts not being able to parse was due to invalid posts by users. And the php parser library is not as forgiving as it should be to non-tech oriented users.
Either way, the new blog parser uses a python library which is more brutal. So far it parses all the posts and generates the recently updated page every 2 hours. Earlier we updated posts every hour; but since 1 hour is too little exposure for new posts, we decided to expand the time between updates.
We have only upgraded the parser, the rest of it (including page generating), is still done by the same php tools we had before. Another small issue is that we assume dates on the feeds of the blogs are in a standard format (RFC 822, W3CDTF, ISO 8601) which we use to convert to MVT.
We are not sure how long the python parser can be sustained, anyway we are in discussion about a possible next version to which may possibly emphasize the purpose of mvblogs more.
As you may already have noticed, the recently updated page looks a bit ‘empty’ on days when photo bloggers blog simultaneously, in a short interval and in abundance. Even though we have a handful of flickr users listed at the moment, there appears to be a relatively large number of Maldivian flickr users. In all fairness we need to list them as Maldivian bloggers in mvblogosphere. However before we do, we need to tackle the aforementioned â€˜problemâ€™. What I have in mind is to separate photoblogs and traditional blogs, when presenting them on the recently updated page. To achieve this, database should be modified to include additional flag (may be something like is_photoblog) so that blogs listed as photoblogs can be ignored by the current parser. The ones listed as photoblogs should be parsed to a new one (which obviously we have to write) and generate thumbnails, store them locally (i.e. server), associate them with bloggers and put them on the right side of the main page. It is also highly likely that we need to modify the current schema to facilitate this requirement. The height and width of the thumbnails to be generated should be decided by visual designers (Shahee and Ayesh), if we have consensus on the matter.
Iâ€™ve created a static page to give you an idea of how it might look after bringing such a change. http://www.mvblogs.org/temp/mv.html. (Images used on this page are royalty free images)
The advantages we get by doing so are,
- Separate ‘written’ blogs from photoblogs
- Give more exposure to photographers?
- Can you think of anything elseâ€¦? :)
Hello. It’s been some time since we haven’t been up for any development. Not to mention that we haven’t been fixing bugs either (embarrassed).Â But expect a more solid experienceÂ with this postÂ because I have made quite a lot of bug fixes and have changed how the automatic batch process operates in updating mvblogs.org. There are no additional features as of yet. But we are in the process of planning a better portal for mvblogs.org.
My purpose of this post is to announce that besides this Development Blog, we also have a mailing list. The mailing list will be our sandbox for discussions. Anyone, be it developer, contributor, helper or observer are most welcome to subscribe to it if you would like to take part in the development of mvblogs.org. You can subscribe to it or view the current archives. Giving your ideas and thoughts and discussing them over the mailing list will be a valuable contribution from all in making mvblogs.org a better portal for the Maldivian blogosphere.
In the past few days, discussion about a possible next step of mvblogs have been going on in-between the developers. As we all agrees, it is expanding and the number of posts are getting more and more day by day. It may get out of track and too much to handle for the users and for the mvblogs engine itself if we do not implement a more accessible & systematic way soon.
After a bit of thought so far, what I am suggesting is to make a small module, which lets each user to login and select their favorite blogs. After which the recently updated posts from the selected blogs by that user will be seen to the public in a different URI, (similar to delicious). Eg. If simon selects his favorites, it can be accessed from mvblogs.org/user/simon/ .
Something similar and more simpler would be perfect. If you do have more suggestion regarding this matter do comment on this post. Also keep in mind that we must try and maintain the open nature and the bottom up system we have tried to keep in this project so far.