Welcome to the Netvouz blog
Netvouz - Online Social Bookmark Manager - Save, Tag and Share your bookmarks

This is the Netvouz blog. To visit the Netvouz social bookmarking service go to www.netvouz.com.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Another christmas release (2005-12-27)

  • Added notes support. Now you can write a short note for each of your bookmarks. If the bookmark is public the note can either be public or private (if the bookmark is private the note is always private).

    You can use the notes field in many different ways. For example, if the bookmark is for your web mail account you could create a private note and save the userid/password you need to log on to your mail account there and when you browse your bookmarks you (and only you) see that information. Nice, huh?

    It may also be good to know that notes are not (yet) searchable.
  • Re-added support for popular links. The http://www.netvouz.com/popular page again shows the most clicked bookmarks on Netvouz (it has been disabled for a few days). Clicks generated by search engines such as Google, Yahoo etc. are not counted. A great place to see which links are really active.

Puh, christmas sure is a busy period....


Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Today I launched a new version of Netvouz. It doesn't look much different from the previous one so you may not be too excited about this. But for Netvouz it's an important release.

This version is a major improvement of the core platform that Netvouz stands upon. With the enhancements in this release Netvouz now has a more robust, faster and flexible platform that we can continue to add new exciting features to. And the features list is long, so you will see new releases coming out at a steady rate over the weeks and months to come.

There will be improvements to the search engine, support for adding short notes to bookmarks, tags as RSS and JavaScript feeds so you can publish your tag cloud on your blog, visual improvements to the tags list, improved documentation, bookmark subscriptions, an API etc. etc. etc.

Also a big thanks to everyone who is sending cheerful and inspiring mails!


Monday, December 12, 2005

Work is progressing well

I promised you a new Netvouz release which would fix the administrative tasks once and for all as well as restore the enhanced social capabilities we had a month ago. Just wanted to let you all know that work is progressing well.

I have rewritten and improved much of the core framework Netvouz stands upon to improve its performance and stability.

The new release should hopefully see public light in a week or so.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Administrative tasks fixed

Because of the problems with the administrative tasks that began with the last update to Netvouz, I've decided to back out to the earlier version (2005-11-11). However, I have retrofitted some of the fixes and enhancements that was made in the latest version.

So what does this mean? Well, it means that the feature to display who else has a bookmark is currently disabled, but on the other hand the administrative tasks work well.

I will fix this once and for all and will update to a version with fully working administrative tasks as well as the social capabilities.

Stay tuned ;-)

Sorry for the inconvenience...


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Administrative tasks are slow (and may fail)

After the last upgrade we are having some problems with the performance of the administrative tasks (e.g. moving bookmarks, deleting categories etc.). If it takes long, wait another minute. If it fails (and you get a yellow error message box), try again but with a smaller set of bookmarks or categories.

We are working on fixing this problem.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Netvouz goes more social! (New release 2005-11-21)

In this release I've added just one single feature, but it's a major feature - the ability to see who else has also bookmarked a link. This makes Netvouz much more social (and fun to use!) than it has been in the past. And we won't stop there... The social features will soon be enhanced further.

Adding this social feature revealed one thing to me that I hadn't really been thinking of before - how many duplicate bookmarks people really have. So I wrote "Develop a duplicate bookmarks wizard" on my to do list :-)

Oh, yes, I've also fixed some (but not all....) problems in the import bookmarks routine. Importing bookmarks is certainly not a trivial task... And I understand why not all the other bookmarking sites have it ;-)


Saturday, November 12, 2005

New release 2005-11-11

  • Added a Copy bookmark feature. When logged in you see a copy link next to all bookmarks that are not your own. If you click it you can quickly copy another member's bookmark.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New release 2005-11-08

Again a small update with the following enhancements:

  • JavaScript and HTML feeds ("linkrolls") used to include your bookmarks on your blog (or homepage) are now documented. Click the "Tools" link on your bookmarks page to get instructions on how to use them.

  • If you have a blog you may also appreciate the new Add2Netvouz button you can put on your blog to allow your visitors to easily bookmark your posts. This is an early version of the link, it will be enhanced soon. It's on the Tools page as well.

  • When importing bookmarks (using the Import feature on your bookmarks page) you can now skip all bookmarks that you already have. This is useful if you want to import bookmarks from several computers and don't fancy having duplicates.

  • New tabbed dialogs when submitting bookmarks. This layout is both space-saving and looks pretty good, if I may say (but who do you think designed it...). It has been tested in Internet Explorer v6, Firefox 1.07 and Opera 8 and if it works well it will be used on all Netvouz dialogs (it's also used on the Tools page now).

  • ...plus the usual bunch of bug fixes and hidden improvements you never really get to see...
If you have any feedback or comments, post'em here or email us.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New release 2005-10-25

This release brings some more usability improvements.

  • There's now an option to display all your bookmarks in a flat structure (without the categories), just like any other social bookmarking service. Personally, I think it's really difficult to find my bookmarks using this layout. But since the other social bookmarking services have it, and it was really easy to add, if anyone likes it here it is! :-) Note: This option is only available if you're logged in, and as usual you can select to show all your public only, all your private only or all regardless if they're public or private.

  • Moved the links to show 10/20/50/100 bookmarks per page and the sort order to the bottom of the page, to make room for the Public/Private/Both and Show All Bookmarks links at the top.

  • If you are searching, browsing by tags or displaying all your bookmarks there's now a link "Default view" which quickly takes you back to the default layout.

  • Added an option to export bookmarks using the Firefox bookmarks file format, which honors "charset=UTF-8". There were also some problems exporting bookmarks using BIG5 encoding (such as Chinese). These are now fixed in the Firefox export option (still remains in the Internet Explorer option though).

  • Added JavaScript feeds in addition to the RSS feeds. So now all you bloggers and homepage owners can very easily display your favorite bookmarks on your own pages. This is still a preview. It's currently being tested by a number of users and will be documented and released to the public in a week or so.

  • Added an option to show new bookmarks only, which works like the all bookmarks view but always sorts the bookmarks in descending order of creation. This option is primarily intented to be used with the JavaScript feeds so you easily can publish your most recently added links on your blog.


Monday, October 17, 2005

New release 2005-10-17

This minor update improves usability even further.

  • The ratings are now shown with icons instead of figures. A bookmark rated as poor is shown with a thumbs down icon, an average bookmark is shown without icon and bookmarks rated good, very good and excellent are shown with one, two and three yellow stars, respectively. This should make it more obvious, I hope, what the ratings are and how to use them. When adding/editing bookmarks the dialogs also show these icons and they are clickable.
  • The admin tasks (Add bookmark, export/import, etc.) have been moved from the admin menu on the right hand side to the blue area at the top of the page. The most common tasks (Add bookmark, Tools and Settings) are shown by default and if you click the More Tasks>> link some less frequently used tasks are shown. The normal/edit mode switch is the first link among the default tasks. I hope this new design helps everyone to find the admin tasks (some users missed the old menu).
  • Some users (especially those with huge bookmark files or slow internet connections) have had problems importing their bookmarks. This should work better now.

There will be even more usability improvements in the next release, soon to appear. Stay tuned... ;-)


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

New release 2005-10-11

I have now improved the performance of the tag type-ahead feature further. This time it's a significant performance improvement, so now it should handle also very large amounts of tags well.


Monday, October 10, 2005

New release 2005-10-10

Another minor update with a few fixes:

  • The type-ahead feature for the tags field was slow if you had an extreme amount of tags. It has been somewhat improved but I will improve it further over the next couple of days.

  • Also, if using Internet Explorer and its feature for remembering form data, Internet Explorers dropdown suggestion list would sometimes interfere with the tags type-ahead drop-down list.

  • Some people had problems importing large bookmark files (usually over slow connections like modem dialup). This is now fixed, I believe.

  • ...plus the usual couple of hidden fixes and improvemements.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

New release 2005-10-04

This is a minor update with the following enhancements:

  • There's now a non-popup version of the Add2Netvouz button (bookmarklet) available. This was a request from a user and because I had most of the code ready I just enabled it.

    To install it log in on your bookmarks page, switch to edit mode and then select the Tools menu option.

  • Some versions of Internet Explorer had a problem with the new tag type-ahead feature. The tags drop-down list was hidden under the "Rating" drop-down list. This is a bug (or is it "broken by design"...) in Internet Explorer. To work around it I changed the Rating drop-down to a horizontal list instead.

  • Netvouz now only registers a click to a bookmark if you are logged on. This way I can get rid of all the clicks made by search engines etc. crawling the site. So now the Popular links page should be more correct because it's really what the Netvouz users are using.

    Note: The Popular page nor the click statistics does not reveal who has clicked a bookmark, it could be any logged on user. And only public bookmarks are counted.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

New release 2005-10-02

Usability! Usability! Usability!

In this release I've focused on two usability issues:

  • First is the ability to display both your public and private bookmarks/categories/tags at the same time. This may seem like an innocent change but because Netvouz was originally designed to clearly separate public content from private content it has been quite a fundamental change. This is also the reason why this new release has taken some time. But now it's here, and it's great improvement for all you users who have both public and private bookmarks.

    So now you can easily switch between displaying your public bookmarks, private bookmarks or both at the same time (which is the default). The setting is stored in a cookie so it's remembered until the next time your visit Netvouz.

    And if you e.g. display all your private bookmarks tagged "sports" and you then click the Public link, the search criteria remains so Netvouz then displays all your public bookmarks tagged "sports".

    If you then decide you want to modify the bookmarks displayed you just click the Edit mode link at the top of the page and your bookmarks page is decorated with the edit options making it very easy to update your bookmarks.

    To distinguish between your public and private bookmarks/categories, your public ones are displayed in blue while your private ones are displayed in green.

  • The next usability improvement is type-ahead support for the tags field. When you submit, add or edit a bookmark and you start typing in the tags field you will see a drop-down list of matching tags that you can select from.

    This makes it much much faster to enter your tags and also minimizes the risk of entering tags similar to the ones you already have (e.g. flight, flights).

Let me know if you spot any problems - or have any suggestions!

Because the stylesheet (css) is updated you should refresh your browser's cache (hit F5) when visiting Netvouz. Some users browsers cache the old stylesheet and therefore do not get the correct layout.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

New release 2005-08-28

Because we've got a lot of new users who have imported lots of bookmarks (how 'bout 13725 bookmarks just for one single user... new world record??? ;-) combined with the fact that Google, MSN and some other crawlers really like Netvouz, our performance has dropped a bit. Performance is still OK, but I prefer to be proactive. Therefore I have changed my priorities and will work on improving performance (I was planning to do this later this fall, but I'll do parts of it now instead).

In this release, I took a shortcut and reduced the functionality for the search engines (Google etc.) as well as tuned some of the database indexes a bit. I'm currently working on an improved database scheme which will be rolled out soon.

For the normal user, like you, not much have happened except that your most common tags are ordered alphabetically instead of by popularity on your bookmarks page. Hope this makes it easier to find your tags.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

New release 2005-08-21

The theme for this release has been improved logon process and simplified user interface:

  • The two separated logons (private and admin) that Netvouz used has now been merged into one, simple logon. This is reached by clicking LOGIN in the upper right corner of the screen.
    When logged on you can now toggle between so called edit mode and normal mode using the links in the upper right corner of the page.
    In edit mode your page is enhanced with editing features (it's the same as the old Admin mode). In normal mode the screen is free from these additional icons and menus etc.
    When you log on we now, by default, set a cookie to remember you the next time. This cookie is optional.

  • Login link is also available from the www.netvouz.com index page. In a future release there will also be a link that takes you to your bookmarks page immediately, if you have the Netvouz logon cookie set.

  • The private menu is completely removed and the links to toggle between public & private bookmarks are moved to the blue-gray navigation bar. In a future release you will be able to show (and search) both public and private bookmarks at the same time...

  • The Link Validator is now ready to go into production again. I have been testing and tuning it using a 50.000+ subset of the Netvouz links for a few weeks. The new Link Validator is very much enhanced compared to the previous one. It's multi-threaded and can validate multiple links at the same time. It's also much more tolerant to network timeouts and has much better precision (so less working links will be reported as broken).

  • Added a change password field to the Settings page

  • Added a home page url field to the Settings page. If you enter the address to your home page (or blog etc.) it will display at the top of your bookmarks page. It doesn't look so good now but I will fix that in a later release.

  • Changed the default operator for search from OR to AND

  • Added caching to some frequently accessed pages that were heavy to generate

  • Moved the Rating selection from the advanced options to normal options on the Submit bookmark page.

  • Added "Problems? Contact us. Feedback? Contact us." messages on all entry screens. If you have a problem or a suggestion, help is just a click away.

  • Plus a number of bug fixes and invisible improvements....


Thursday, July 21, 2005

New release 2005-07-21

The theme for this release has been improved navigation and user interface:

  • When browsing bookmarks by tags there is now a list of selected tags and related tags. Clicking the minus sign in the selected tag list removes that tag from the current selection. Clicking the plus sign in the related tags list adds that tag to the current selection. Clicking a tag by itself shows all bookmarks with that tag only. Give it a try! The plus/minus signs are intentionally made wide so they are easy to click.
  • Added a new small page navigator on the top of the bookmarks page. Click Next/Previous to browse thru the results pages.

  • When selecting to show more/less number of bookmarks on a page (10/20/50/100) or changing the sort order, Netvouz now sets a cookie which remembers this setting to your next visit. This setting is used both when browsing for bookmarks and when searching for them.

    Tip: If you want Netvouz to display and sort your bookmarks as most other social bookmarking services do, click the Date sort order so it sorts by descending date. Then you can also choose how many bookmarks you want to see.

  • Visual indication of the current sort order (small orange arrow) and how many bookmarks per page is displayed.

  • Added bookmark details (create date, edit date, visits etc) to Edit Bookmark page

  • Added bookmark importer for Kaylon Powermarks (request from user)

  • Improved the bookmark import facility to better handle international characters

  • Renamed the All Tags page to More Tags (this displays your 250 most common tags). Added a new All Tags page (which displays all your tags).

  • And, of course, a number of bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements.

Next I will rewrite the Link Validator so we get that popular feature back in business again!


Sunday, July 10, 2005

New release 2005-07-10

  • Much improved tag support when submitting (posting) bookmarks using the Netvouz Add2Netvouz bookmarklet. If you select a piece of text on the web page before clicking the Add2Netvouz button, the selected text is used as description for the bookmark and Netvouz will now automatically try to extract tags from the description. The tags are displayed on the submit bookmark page and you can just click them to select/deselect them. In addition to this your most common tags are also displayed, clickable as well.

  • When submitting bookmarks Netvouz now sets a cookie so you don't have to enter your admin password every time you want to submit a new bookmark.

  • When importing bookmarks the tag creator is now more restrictive so there should be less "weird" tags (such as ~~...~~) created and instead better "english" tags.

  • Fixed a bug that some people hit when importing bookmarks from Internet Explorer.
Work continues - Happy bookmarking!


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Link validator problems

The link validator is having some problems when processing members with very many links (4000+ or so) so I have had to disable it for now. I will re-write it in the next couple of weeks and launch an improved version.

But, for now, the link validator doesn't run....


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Welcome to the Netvouz blog!

Netvouz is a project that has been brewing since early 2001. My original idea was that you should always have access to your bookmarks regardless of where you are, at home, at work, in school etc. And when storing your bookmarks online you can of course share them with others and benefit from other peoples bookmarks as well. Thus, by common vocabulary, it's a social bookmarks manager...

As said, I have been working on the Netvouz project for quite a while, and the site was first put online on 2003-05-24. However, it was not until 2005-06-07 that I really went public, and actually began announcing it to others than my close friends.

On this blog I will post news about Netvouz, so this is the place to check out if you want to know what new features have been added and what's planned. And, of course, there will be a lot of other useful information about the project and site as well.

I appreciate all feedback and comments on the Netvouz service!

/Henrik Sjöstrand, Netvouz developer