Merry Christmas

Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who makes RIA the diverse, crazy, and unique community that it is.

Have a great Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate), and I am looking forward to a great 2007 for all of us.

- Lawrence


Batch Delete for WebList Suggestions

We just added a useful tool for the serious Weblister - the ability to delete batches of Weblist item suggestions at once. Just check the box next to all the suggestions you want to remove, and click the big delete button at the bottom.

This is the first of a number of tweaks planned to make it easier to create, manage, publish, and distribute rating lists.


Any Francophiles out there?

New member Frenchboy2000 has created some excellent France related rating lists:

Top French Champagnes
Top French Cheeses
Top French Beer
Top French Red Wines
Top French Rose Wines
Top French White Wines

Video Weblists

HKK has a couple of new video Weblists out.

Check out her lists of Christmas videos and Funny videos with stuff she's pulled from YouTube and Yahoo! Video.


T-Shirts Ordered

Folks, I ordered t-shirts for everyone who messaged me. They're all getting sent here, and then I'm going to pack them out and send them to you all.

I wouldn't count on them for Christmas day :)

Two Small Fixes Just Went Live

We just rolled in two little fixes:

1) we changed the layout of the item page in order to give more width to the review column. Before the rating associated with the review had its own column. The rating associated with the review now appears below the RIA nickname of the reviewer. This is less crammed looking, I think.

2) We fixed the RSS feeds on all ratings lists pages. Before they worked some of the time - now they work all of the time. I'm talking about the link in the "actions" box that says "Follow This List Through RSS."

One neat thing that you can do with this now is to plug any list's RSS feed into the Springbox RSS Feed Reader widget like this (you can then embed any list on your blog, or MySpace page):

T-Shirt Update

Guys, I'm working on processing the t-shirt orders today. To those who missed out, I'll try and open up another batch in a few months.

Happily, I was able to get a t-shirt over to Ridge at his moon dwelling. Here's a quick shot that Stark snapped from the shuttle:



Over the last few years, I think RateItAll has gotten a bit too complicated. We've been piling on features, and developing our own terminology for things that nobody outside the world of RIA understands.

We have three channels - RIA, Weblists, and Local all of which consist of basically the same thing.... ratings lists. We have so many things jammed into the home page that I'm not really sure newbies have any idea what the heck the site is about. There are six calls to action packed into the yellow header on the home page - this message needs to be simplified into something that is easy to understand.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to work on simplifying the site. I plan on collapsing the three channels of the site into one and placing the emphasis of the site on the related activities of finding a list / publish a list. I'm going to make it so it doesn't take three clicks to start publishing a Weblist. I'm also going to invest heavily in the weblist publishing tool - with the availability of things like Ajax, there's no reason that we should have to reload a page to add a new item to a list.

The goal is going be across the board simplification - you may even see the disappearance of a few bandwidth intensive features that people aren't using much.

As these changes progress, I'll be asking from feedback from some top RIA members. If you'd like to be included in this feedback loop, please feel free to message me.


Can I Get a Price Check Please?

Here's a sort of neat, unintended consequence of the Yahoo! Shopping feed. Need to a quick price check on something for your holiday shopping? Add that product name to one of your Weblists. Product images and prices will be immediately fed into your weblist page - I tried it with this digital picture frame.

I quickly learned that these things are pretty expensive.


Formatting Problems with your Widgets?

Here are two easy formatting tips to help your pages look better when you embed YouTube videos or Streampad Music Players or other widgets.

The line of space is particularly helpful between text and widgets in an item description of a Weblist. The Center command is particularly helpful for making YouTube Players look better.

Just type the appropriate code snippets above directly into the same field where you are pasting the widget (before the widget code).

Let me know if anyone needs help with this.


RateItAll is PC Magazine's Web Site of the Week

Wow, RIA just got some love from the press. PC Magazine has named RateItAll its Web site of the week.

It's obvious that the editor really dug into the site - he gets that it's not the mainstream stuff that makes RIA unique - it's the bizarro, off the wall stuff.

Here's a quote that demonstrates this:

"The results that one encounters are equally fascinating, informative, and maddening. Users can not only discover what people think about a product—something that can be found just about anywhere on the Internet (for more comprehensive listings of actual products, you might do best to consult those other sites)—they can find out more than they could ever possibly want to know about people's opinions on just about every angle of the product on RateItAll. For example, the Dell Inspiron 8600 scores 3 stars; company CEO Michael Dell earns a nice 3.94 stars; one-time mascot "Steven" manages a respectable 3.5 stars (dude!); and his unloved replacements, the Dell Interns, get a paltry 1.69 stars. Clicking on a result will display an explanation of the subject, individual ratings, and user comments."

And I think this is the money quote:

RateItAll is perhaps not the most professional of all consumer-based rating Web sites, but it's quite possibly the most fun."


Merry Xmas / Happy Holidays

Hi everybody, first 25 people to send a message to lawrence from their RateItAll account get their choice of one of the new RIA t-shirts displayed here on the sidebar.

Here's the info I need:

name and address where you want the shirt sent
size, model, and color of shirt (probably easiest to send me the Zazzle URL)

That's it - if you want to send me a quick note to lock up the shirt, and then figure out what style you want, that's fine.

Feel free to tell your favorite RIA reviewer to check the blog.

I really wish I could buy everybody a shirt... but they're expensive, and I'm broke.

Widgets on Profile Pages

Guys, can I just say that I'm really enjoying what folks are doing with their profile pages? IJR has a few new videos up that had me cracking up.

This whole widget thing is really cool - and by widget, I mean anything that you can grab off one site (like a YouTube video) and plug into another site (like RIA).

Anybody who is interested in finding the latest and greatest widgets to plug into their profile page should check out another blog I write called Sexy Widget.