I'm beginning to realize more and more that once I'm on the road, staying in touch with family, friends, and those along for the adventure (you!) will be my stabilizing force. There's no doubt it can get lonely when you're traveling alone. Yes, it's easy enough to strike up conversations with fellow travelers, or a local as you try to navigate your way through their land, however those relationships are transitory by nature, and they lack the long histories of good friendships and close family. As a result, I'm VERY interested in my readers' feedback regarding the usability of this blog, from design to content and performance.
After meeting up with Sonia from Couchsurfing for coffee yesterday, I returned home to find ways to improve the design, as I am now entering my third month in the blogosphere. Below are four updates I made last night:
- E-mail subscription to Comments – This update allows users to click a simple check-box to receive e-mail notifications to the comments they've left. As I become more involved with others' blogs, I've started commenting more, and every now and then, there's a hot topic or potential debate I want to track. Receiving e-mail updates is a BIG time saver. As with feed-readers, e-mail updates to comments allows the content to come to me, rather than trying to remember where I've shared my thoughts or opinions. Try it out by suggesting an improvement in response to this post!
- Share This – This cool java update will allow people to use social bookmarking services on a per-post basis. It also includes the option to e-mail the post to a friend. By adding this feature, I was able to remove two others that did the same thing.
- Skype Status – I've recently begun to use Skype to call a few friends via the Internet (voice over IP) for free. It also allows me to use my web-cam which otherwise collects dust on my desk. I've added a status indicator on the left side. If a user has Skype software installed, and clicks the button, then a call will be initiated to me. User ID = bucky925
- myblogtunes – A few weeks ago I created a MySpace profile. One of the cool things about it was my ability to add music and videos I found elsewhere on the site. I thought my choices would help others learn more about me. As a result, I have the desire to add a music player to the blog. Ideally, I'd only have one song at a time featured, which would set a nice mood to read through the main page's posts. I had some misses, and ended the night with myblogtunes which allows users to establish a “radio station” of their selected tunes. The up side is I found some music I really like. The down side is there are some commercials for the service, and performance has been intermittent and unreliable. I'll keep looking. Until then, check it out on the right side. (Update 3/19 – this feature has been removed)
What do you think I should add or remove to improve readers' experience?