Archive for the ‘PJs.Cat’ Category

Making a Motto

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Google’s unofficial slogan is “Dont Be Evil”

Volkswagen Beetle “Think small”

Nike’s awesome slogan is “Just do it”

PJs.Cat needs an awesome slogan too, and I was thinking of a slogan which communicated the coolness of the site. After much deliberation, we have it. We decided to re-purpose a coloquial expression, hope you like it.

PJs.Cat: “It’s the Bee Knees”

This will form part of our brand identity. It communicates that despite our grassroots beginnings and non corporate nature, we still strive for greatness.

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Tool Bar Gradients

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Okay, so “Tool Bar Gradients” doesn’t sound exciting, but it’s an important concept, which has been grasped and used by a whole bunch of multi billion dollar companies, including Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook:
Google:
Twitter:
By toolbar I mean the little bar used for navigation at the top of the page. And if we look very very closely at these toolbars we can see some reoccurring tricks which the big shots use make their websites look neat, clean and together.
Some extreme toolbar close ups:
Facebook:
Google:
Twitter:
At the bottom of each title bar you’ll notice that there is a dark line which marks the end of the bar. Just underneath this, you can see that a shadow has been drawn on, making the title bar appear distinguished from the rest of the page.
All of the cool kids are doing it. Just take a look at the wordpress toolbar:
Close up:
If you use this $5 trick, it’s a part of making your site look a million bucks.

How Much Social Networking Is Enough?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

For me it started with MySpace. Then everyone jumped ship to Facebook. Then we signed up to Twitter. Professionals joined LinkedIn. Middle aged women found cake photos at Pintrest.

Every once in a while I think that Social Networking has had its day. Then another site come along. I wait for a few months. Then another. And another.

Just because I have an account at Facebook, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to show off photos of my cat on Flickr. Or check out the latest popular pics on Mlkshk. Or even make a Post on PJs.Cat.

Quantity not Quality

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Twitter is great. It’s fun, it restricts the number of characters per tweet so much that users only have enough space to express a single interesting idea. And one of my favourite things about twitter is the list of trending tweets.

But instead of promoting the best, most fun, most interesting tweets, it promotes the most recent tweets which have a hashtag which has been tweeted recently in large quantities. This means that instead of promoting quality, twitter promotes quantity.

One move twitter HQ has made which addresses this issue somewhat is to put heavily re-tweeted tweets at the top of the results for a hashtag. But when 99 times out of 100 a tweet will instantly be pushed down the list of trending tweets, the incentive is not to write a high quality tweet but a high quantity of tweets.
Disclaimer:
As we are creating our own microblogging service, we are completely biased.

Replacing HTML With Client Side LOLCODE

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Something which I have been working on for the past few weeks is how to run LOLCODE as a client side interpreted programming language similar to Javascript or HTML. HTML may not a turing complete programming language, but it’s simple nature make it an easy target for my first attempt.

So far I’ve managed to get a prototype parser / interpreter to parse an adapted version of LOLCODE at runtime to deliver a (semi) valid HTML document.

LOLCODE being used as a markup language for the first time

If you want to check it out, the worlds first client side LOLCODE prototype is at http://pjs.cat, and please be sure to check out the source code.

What Makes a Good Terms of Service?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Tumblr has recently updated it’s Terms Of Service (TOS), some legal mumbo jumbo to which you must “agree” in order to use it. Gizmodo has recently written an interesting article highlighting jokes which were written into the dense legal text.

What the agreement looks like to most people

I will of course have to write my own TOS for PJs.Cat, in order for everything to be above board.

Googles TOS look like they were written in legaleese and contains SCARY SECTIONS WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS which freaks me out.

The WordPress TOS are logically organised into 19 short segments, and is licenced under a a Creative Commons Sharealike license, meaning that anybody is “more than welcome to steal it”. And I think I shall, thank you very much ᵔᵜᵔ (attribution will, of course be given).

A balance needs to be struck between covering my own ass from the needless litigation of parasitic institutions and reprehensible individuals, and clear, clean, simple guidelines that the actual human beings who use the service can actually read.

Beliebers are making Twitter unbearable

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

In my last post I discussed how positive feedback can encourage a better quality of website content from users.

Trying to be the ‘bigger man’ I kept the spin positive, and chose not to examine websites which I believe are not succeeding to achieve this. But today I logged onto Twitter, and was appauled by the sheer number of Trending Tweets relating to Justin Bieber.

I know everyone loves to hate JB, almost to the point of cliché, but just take a look at this screenshot of trending tweets:

Four of the top 10 Hashtags relate to Bieber. These include “Buy Boyfriend Tonight”, “Believe Will Slay The Charts”, “Boyfriend Will Win Grammys” and “Beliebers Want Bieberconda”.

See, Justins got this scam going where girls who like his music get to pretend like he is their boyfriend, which is a shrewd marketing strategy, but deeply, deeply annoying.

If PJs.Cat ever gets filled with Beliebers and people who post huge volumes of Harry Potter related musings, you have my express permission to delete any accounts you may have with us post haste.

PJs.Cat will not stand for this standard of Tweets

The Merits of Positive Feedback

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

The like button 

The +1 button 

The press this button 

People love positive feedback. People love praise. People like cats.

That’s one reason why PJs.Cat is going to be great. Gamification is written into its design from day one. Below is a sneak preview of what I am working on at the moment. It’s not complete, but with the Star, Save and Follow icons, users have three different ways to give positive feedback; which I hope will help encourage users to contribute quality content to the site.

The design is not perfect but I am …. positive that you’ll like it.

Cool TLD Hacks

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Most websites use normal TLDs like .com, .co.uk, or .org.

Legitimate. Normal. Boring. Some websites, like PJs.Cat (launch and patent pending) make use of the noble art of the TLD hack. Google for example owns Goo.gl (with .gl being the TLD for Greenland) and Youtu.be. Perhaps the most famous examples of this include del.icio.us and bit.ly.

You can even have boo.bs! The .cat TLD is under utilised, and the only site I have ever heard of that uses it is nyan.cat.

The Internet is full of cyber squatters, sitting on all the best .com websites, so using a good TLD hack is a great way to get a catchy, interesting, short and unique URL for your website.

If you want to make your own try tldhack.com, though it is not allways 100% accurate, as I found when I tried to register c.at and found there is a 3 character minimum for Austria’s .at domain.

So how did I feel when I finally registered PJs.Cat?

Meowtstanding