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Update: Profile photos, post thumbnails and more

Once again, over the past few weeks we’ve been continuously rolling out new changes. Most of these are minor but are nonetheless important to improving the workflow and usability of fotojournal. You may have noticed these changes when poking around with your blog, but if not here’s a list of whats new:

Comment form remembers you

The comment form will now remember who you are, and if you are currently logged into fotojournal be able to tell who you are, when viewing another fotojournal blog.  Eventually we plan to roll this into the comments themselves so that your profile picture shows beside the comments you’ve left on other people’s blogs. 

This addition goes a long way to improving the experience when commenting on a blog.  These sorts of community-driven features should be as easy to use as possible, and we hope that this change encourages even more commenting on fotojournal.

New pinging system

Every time you publish a blog post we ping various search engines and blog indexing websites.  A ping is a message that tells the search engine your blog has been updated, and that it’s crawlers should come re-index your blog.  Pinging is an extremely valuable way of giving your blog maximum exposure to search engines.

We re-wrote our pinging system to be much more efficient.  Previously, we would send the pings as soon as you hit the “Publish” button.  This was convenient, but took a long time — you had to sit there and wait while fotojournal finished sending all the pings.  The new method involves sending the pings in the background after you publish.  This allows your post to be published almost instantly and have the fotojournal robots scurry around behind the scenes to notify the search engines of your new content.

Description/Avatar in blog theme

A new description and avatar (profile photo) section has been added to the blog theme templates (see screenshot below).  You can upload your profile photo by clicking the “Profile” link in the top menu of fotojournal, and you can edit your blog’s description by going to “Settings > Description” from the main fotojournal menu.


Post thumbnails

Last but not least, you can now assign a Thumbnail to a post, giving each post it’s own visual identity.  Think of the Thumbnail like an album cover: it’s one image that represents the whole post.  We have a lot of cool things planned for the Thumbnail feature, so make sure you add a thumbnail when publishing a blog post!

You can already see the thumbnails in use on our new homepage prototype,  All new blog posts will appear on the homepage, along with the post’s Thumbnail.  (If you don’t choose a Thumbnail, you just see that boring grey box!)

To choose a post Thumbnail, simply click the “Thumbnail” tab when writing a blog post.  You can check our Wiki for more information.

That’s all for now!  Stay tuned, because we have a lot more stuff coming down the pipe very soon.

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