Following an inquiry from Eric, we started to look into ways of integrating SlideShowPro flash application with pixyBlog. We instantly found that it integrated very well. An article outlining the steps involved can be found on our wiki here.
A working demo of the integration can be found on woklife.com. The integration includes linking from the gallery pages directly to the corresponding slideshow for that gallery, see the galleries page for a sample.
We will continue to play around with SlideShowPro and look at more ways to integrate and customize the application for pixyBlog. We would be interested in hearing any suggestions or comments anyone has on this.
Thanks to all of those who congratulated us on the release of pixyBlog; it's great to finally be launched!
In the last post I didn't mention any features that are included in the latest release, so I'll cover these here:
There are three different plans our users can subscribe to, these are:
The different plans are designed to meet the requirements of our users; some photographers want their own domain name and a fully customizable theme, others want a more simple-to-manage photoblog. We also included the Premium plan for power users; it allows up to three photoblogs, multi users and unlimited storage space.
More details about the different plans can be found on our pricing page. Each plan comes with a free 14 day trial and the option to change subscription plans at any time with no extra fees.
To register an account with pixyBlog we now have a simple online sign up process. New users need to supply their contact details, a payment method (either Credit Card or PayPal) and choose the plan they wish to subscribe to. Immediately upon completing the sign up process, new users will be up-and-running with their new photoblog in just minutes.
We have extended the 'Profile' section of the admin area so that our users have much greater control over their pixyBlog account. The different sections are:
Most of these should be straightforward enough not to warrant any explanation, but I will write a little about the Subscription Management and Affiliate Program.
Manage your subscription: Users can change their subscription level at any time. You want to change from monthly to annual billing? No problem. You want to upgrade from your Basic account to Premium? Again, no problems. When changing subscription levels, your blog entries, images and other settings will remain unaffected. If you've customized your theme, then this will remain unchanged too*. Switching between levels is easy and there are no additional fees involved, you just pay for the difference in subscription costs. The subscription system is fully automated, so changes take effect immediately. Also, renewals are processed automatically, so when a user's subscription is up for renewal, they will first be notified by email and then their subscription renewal will be processed.
* unless you're downgrading to the Basic level where customized themes are not supported.
Affiliate program: The launch of pixyBlog includes a powerful affiliate system which can earn users additional credit. The credit earned through this can be put towards the next subscription renewal. Each pixyBlog user is given a unique affiliate code which can be used to receive discounts on new subscriptions. We will give our users 20% of the subscription fee for any new users they refer. Also, the new user will receive 10% off of their chosen plan. It's simple to refer a friend to pixyBlog; simply enter their email address on the 'Your Profile > Affiliate Program' page and they will receive an email inviting them to join pixyBlog. The email includes a link with a unique affiliate code which is used to apply the discount. The credit earned from referring new users will not expire and can be used against subscription renewals indefinitely.
Here are a few other minor changes which are included in the latest release:
Basic statistics overview – number entries, comments, images etc.
Feeds updated – the RSS/Atom feeds now include a larger version of the photo in the feed.
Themes change – Before the release of pixyBlog we included the Lightbox2 script to display overlayed photos on the Thumbnails and Archives pages of our photoblogs. It was decided not to make this a default feature for new subscriptions as it is not perfectly integrated with pixyBlog; e.g. there is no support for display the comment information and the script only works once every image on the page has been fully loaded, which occasionally causes problems especially on the Thumbnails page. For those reasons we decided to make this an optional feature for new users.
Just a quick note to say that as of 9am GMT today (Friday March 7th 2008) pixyBlog has been released to the public. This has been a been a culmination of over two years of work to get to this point and I, for one, will be celebrating tonight. More information about the release will be posted here shortly. But I would just like to thank all the beta testers who have done an amazing job in helping drive this project forward; without you guys pixyBlog wouldn't be what it is today. We started with three photographers and just over 16 months later we're launching with hundreds.
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