Backlogged Weblist Suggestions

We've finally worked our way through more than 1000 backlogged RateItAll and Local listing suggestions.

We are now getting started on the more than 1500 backlogged Weblist listing suggestions. Here's the process that we are following:

- We are not touching anything that came in within the last week
- We are approving all "reasonable" suggestions that are not duplicates
- We are deleting all suggestions that have already been replied to.

The way our system works is that every time that someone submits a new listing suggestion for a Weblist, it shows up in the inbox of the Weblist owner, and a copy shows up in the RateItAll Admin inbox. We typically give Weblist owners 1 week to decide whether or not they want to approve a new listing suggestion, then we step in via the RateItAll administrative site. So, if you DON'T want a new listing suggestion approved, the best thing you can do is to reject it, or delete it on the spot. If you leave it untouched in your inbox, it will most likely be approved.


New Listing Suggestions

We're working our way through more than 1000 backlogged new listing suggestions across RIA, Weblists, and Local.

We will get through all of them.


Weblist Ratings Matter

We are now ordering weblist tag output pages by weblist rating. Here's an example.

Higher rated Weblists will get more airplay than lower rated ones, so make sure to rate those Weblists to give credit where credit is due.


New RIA Blog Template

I decided to switch up the template for the RIA blog - for some reason, I thought a star would be appropriate.

(the real story is that I somehow broke the old template... unable to fix it, I just switched it out)


Rate Me! button

We just added a snippet of code that lets you put a "Rate Me!" button on your site that corresponds to any listing on RateItAll.com.

One obvious use for this button will be for Blog owners and Webmasters to get feedback on their sites and blogs, or on the RateItAll Local side, for small business owners to get feedback on their customer service.

Here's an example of a Rate Me! button for the RateItAll Blog:

Rate RateItAll Blog on RateItAll.comView reviews for RateItAll Blog on RateItAll.comRateItAll

Clicking on the top will allow you to rate the item directly from the button, clicking on the bottom will let you view reviews of the item.

We still need to do some tweaking to get the user experience right (I'd like to have mouse-over text that explains what each click does), but I think this is a great start.


No More Revenue Sharing on Profile Pages

It's 100% your ads now. RIA does not get a slice.

That is, if your profile satisfies the following two conditions:

- Your profile has a picture (it doesn't have to be of you)

- You are participating in the RateItAll Economy Program

So, here's how you can estimate how much you will earn. Have you noticed the little yellow page view counter on the left hand side below the profile image? For example, Numbah's page has been viewed over 11,000 times since we launched the counter.

RateItAll typically earns between $3-5 through every 1,000 page views on Google Adsense. Assuming these same numbers, Numbah would have earned between $33-$55 just from people looking at his profile page since we launched the counter.

It's not a lot of money, but it's something. And this is just from his profile page.

Flame Warriors

Flame Warriors are stereotypes of online personalities created by a guy named Mike Reed. Kamylienne pulled this list together a while back, and it's pretty amusing - I think many of us will identify characteristics of RIA reviewers on this list. Make sure to check out the descriptions and illustrations, and feel free to check out Mike's site as well.

I find his work to be really amusing and creative.

Flame Warriors (by Mike Reed) - View All
Big Cat
Eagle Scout
Kung-Fu Master
Coffee Klatch
Evil Clown
The Swarm
Innocent Abused
Yuk Yuk
RateItAll.com - A network for opinionated individuals.


More Widget Stuff

Well, we've been working very hard trying to get the RateItAll dynamic widgets ready for prime time.

I think we now have them to a point where I'm getting a little more comfortable. They work on Blogger, MySpace, TypePad and other formats. The resize to fit any width, including very narrow blog sidebars.

Both the dynamic and static widget now allow interaction - rating and reviewing (and even RIA registration) directly from the site that is hosting the widget.

But I'm looking for more data. I'm hoping some of the RIA regulars who are also bloggers will help me out and try putting a widget (maybe one of their Weblists?) on their blog.

If you need help in adding a widget to your blog, ask me. In exchange for helping me test this feature, I'd be happy to write up your blog on this blog, and maybe provide you with little more exposure.

The RateItAll widget code can be found at the bottom of any RateItAll ratings list or Weblist. See below for an example.



Technical Difficulties

RateItAll's hosting provider is experiencing technical difficulties. They assured me that they are working on the issue.


Dynamic Widgets

OK, we've just launched a new version of the RateItAll Widget - that piece of code that you see at the bottom of any RateItAll ratings list that lets you put any RateItAll ratings list or Weblist on your own site.

You will now see two options for your widget: 1) Dynamic; and 2) Static.

A static widget is one that works on MySpace profiles, Friendster profiles, and other sites that don't allow you to use scripts. This type of widget is just a snapshot of a RateItAll ratings list at a given point in time. It doesn't update as the ratings change, and it doesn't allow you to rate directly from the widget. It's recommended that you update your widget code from time to time in order to display accurate rating data.

The dynamic widget takes this concept a step further. Once you add this bit of code to your site, it will update automatically as more ratings come in. Even better, a dynamic widget allows people to rate stuff, directly from your site. Folks who are logged in to RateItAll can trigger a Rate It! window directly from the widget, and those who do not yet have a membership, will trigger a hybrid Rate It! / registration page.

Dynamic Widgets currently work on any site that accepts scripts including Typepad, Blogger (tempage section only), and any personal Web site.

For those of you looking to add an interactive component to your sites, I can't imagine an easier way than the RateItAll dynamic widget.

For an example of a dynamic widget, please note the "Feedback on RateItAll's Redesign" section in the left margin of this page. Try rating something to try it out.

Where things will get really interesting is when we integrate the RateItAll Economy program into these widgets.

Picture this: you create a world class Weblist about some topic that captures the imagination of some blogger. That blogger puts your Weblist on their blog by copying the widget code. Included in the widget code is some ad code, that tracks back to your Google Adsense ID.

More bloggers and Webmasters see this widget, and want it on their own sites. Each time it's published, your ads are showing up. Suddenly thousands of people who have never heard of RateItAll are seeing your Weblist, some of whom are clicking on your ads.

This is the power of Widgets + Google Adsense, and we'll be working hard to make this a reality in the coming months.


Trialing a New Ad Format

We are trialing a new ad format on the RateItAll item pages, recent comments pages, and reviewer comment pages. These ads are not showing up on Weblists or local pages.

The format is called inline advertising. If you see a double underlined word within the body of a review, clicking on it will show an ad.

What I like about it is that it doesn't take up an additional space on the page. What I don't like about it is that it is a slight distraction from the page. However, you won't see the ad unless you click on the double underlined word.

If I had my way, there wouldn't be any advertising on the site. The reality is we have to pay the bills however.

I'm going to try this out for a month and see how it goes.


Key Links

I made the executive decision to replace the Recent Comments snapshot on the home page, with a collection of key links.

Here's why I did it:

1) I was frustrated about not being able to get to a few key pages from the home page (New Additions, Blog, Weblist Tag Cloud, People Tag Cloud)

2) It seemed that people weren't giving as many helpful votes as they were just skimming the comments from the home page - and there are no helpful / not helpful buttons on the home page.

Let me know what you think. Here's a screenshot.


New Feature: Testimonials

I think that a big part of the enjoyment of RIA from a writing perspective, is in the instant feedback that you get from the community. Whether it be a rebuttal post, a helpful vote, or a blurb on the RateItAll Reviewers list.

Well we just launched another feedback mechanism - this feature is called "Testimonials" and it allows any registered member to post feedback on the profile page of any other RateItAll member.

Recipients of feedback / testimonials can delete stuff that they find offensive - though in the spirit of RateItAll, I would hope that we go easy on the delete feature.

Here's a screenshot from MA Duron's Profile page:

You can post a testimonial about any RateItAll reviewer by clicking the link that says "Write a Testimonial about _____" that appears on the left hand side of every profile page.

You can write more than one testimonial about the same reviewer, but you can't write a testimonial about yourself.

To turn off email notifications of when people post new testimonials about you, just click the link at the bottom of your profile page in the testimonials section.

Updating the Site

We're rolling in a few tweaks, as well as one new feature.

Site performance may be a little dicey for the next 15 minutes or so.

More to follow on the new feature... here's a hint: Testimonials.


New Weblist Editing Tool

You may have noticed that there is now a new editing tool showing up on your Weblists. If you look closely on any of the pages in your Weblists, you'll see a link that says "Owner Edit."

This is what it looks like:

I think you'll find that this is a MUCH easier way to edit pages within your Weblists. Rather than going through your profile page every time, you can launch the editing tool right from the page.

Remember, only you see this Owner Edit link - others viewing your lists do not see the link.