We are pleased to announce that a new release of the pixyBlog photoblogging software is now online for our beta-testers to get their teeth into. Although release number wise we're only moving from version 3.0 to 3.1, it is quite a big update and marks the last major release before we're out of the beta stage.
You can now tag your new (and existing) entries with an array of keyword tags. This helps categorize your photos and also makes them easier for visitors to find. In general, the more tags the better.
For example the you might want to tag the following photo with these tags:
wheel sky fair fun_fair ride big_wheel
Does this mean I need to go back through all my entries and tag them all?
Only if you want your visitors to be able to find your existing entries through tag searches. As your library of photos grows it makes sense to make them as easy to find as possible, so we do encourage you to tag your new entries and "if" you can find the time to go back and tag your existing entries, even better.
A much requested feature was to be able to store your photos in galleries (or albums/folders/sets... whatever your preferred description). This is now possible in pixyBlog. You can have:
pixyBlog has taken your old categories, which you no longer need, and used these as the starting point for you galleries. Each of your categories has now become a gallery. Of course you can login and change these from your admin area.
Search did exist in the previous version but only a few Themes made any use of it and on those it was quite an ugly feature. With 3.1 search has been improved and now we not only make use of keyword searching your entry titles & descriptions, but with the advent of tagging we have a much better search tool.
Another request we kept hearing was from people browsing the Thumbnail pages and having to click each photo, taking them to the main entry page, to view the enlarged photo, and then having to click back to view all the thumbnails again. A much better solution would be to stay on the same page and simply click through each of the photos in turn. Making use of the Lightbox script from Lokesh Dhakar we think this is a big improvement... we would like to know what you think of it.
Another two Themes have been added for our users to choose from. Both are of the 'darker' style and can be seen in use currently on these photoblogs:
These Themes are a little more 'dynamic' then the others... again it would be good to hear what you think.
Still using the bookmarking feature in your browser? Shame on you! ;-)
The popularity of online 'social' bookmarking has prompted us to make it easier for our users to make their photoblog entries bookmarkable using these tools. We've decided to start support for the following online bookmarking sites:
You will see the above icons on the entry pages making it easier for visitors to bookmark your entry and site.
Don't like them? Think the icons are too intrusive? No problem, you can simply remove them from your template.
There are some features which have either moved from the previous version or have disappeared completely (for good reasons). These are:
As mentioned above, categories have morphed into galleries and we now recommend you categorize your entries using Tags, good descriptions and assigning them to galleries.
The 'New Entry' page has changed a little as follows:
Tags: You will now see a field for entering your tags. Tags are many keywords which each help describe your entry in some way. If you want to add a term or phrase which isn't a single word (such as 'modern art' or 'table tennis') then we recommend that you use the underscore character to join the separate words, e.g. modern_art.
Galleries: Select one, many or none for your entry. To select multiple galleries you can use the 'ctrl' key (Windows) or the 'options' key (Mac) to multi-select.
Date: We have moved this to the bottom under 'Advanced Settings'. We found most people are posting their entries straight-away rather than scheduling their entries so it's been moved to simplify the interface.
So... we hope you like it! We're aware of a few glitches on some of the Themes which we are working on fixing now. We would love to hear your feedback (opinions, bugs you find, new features you are craving)... best way is to post in our discussion group.
- pixyBlog Team