12/31/08

Want to be in rotation on RIA's home page?

Hi, we're finalizing our V3 home page and will have a number of our top member's pics in rotation.

But here's the catch:

It needs to be a headshot, and you need to be a Top 500 RIA reviewer by helpful votes.

Big group photos and photos that are not you won't work for what we have in mind.

So if you want your mug in rotation on our home page, please change your profile picture to a headshot (of you), and shoot me a note.

It probably needs to be in the next 30 minutes or so.

12/29/08

Wrapping Up 2008

I hope everyone is enjoying a festive Holiday season. Here at RIA Global HQ, we are still heads down on V3, but are feeling mildly festive.

As we wrap up 2008, here are a few year end lists:

Sports Stories of 2008
Events of 2008
2008 Male Athlete
2008's Dead Celebrities
Things to Ditch in 2008
Number One Songs of 2008
Movies of 2008
2008 Knucklehead Athlete of the Year (aka "the Plaxicos")

There about 80 other lists of 2008 for those who want to rate the year out in style.

12/18/08

Get Your Leopard Themed Widgets

We made a change with our list widgets today.

Our friends at Musestorm, who had been powering our list widgets, have decided to go in another direction.

Enter our friends from Widgetbox, who have helpfully stepped in.

Now if you click on any of the "add this list to my blog!" links all over the site, you will see a Widgetbox tool.

If you already have a RateItAll list widget on your site, we will be providing instructions as to how to update it.

One of the unexpected, and pleasant, surprises associated with this change is that we now have a leopard themed widget.



These widgets work exactly the same way - there is an option for embed code (just like a YouTube video), and there are handy dandy buttons to add to Facebook, add to MySpace, etc. Take them for a whirl!

12/16/08

V3: Messaging 2.0

RateItAll currently has a messaging system that allows you to send and receive messages to and from other RateItAll members.

It's pretty lousy.

It uses pop-ups.

You can't track your sent messages.

The formatting is pretty tough on the eyes.

It tells you that you have new messages even when you've already read them.

Well, V3 is going to address these issues, and will finally give us a proper messaging system. Here are a couple of screenshots.

Here's a peek at the v3 message center:

























And here's a look at a v3 message exchange:
























I'm hopeful that along with some big new things, V3 will bring incremental improvement to a lot of basic things about the site.

12/15/08

V3: Your Activity is Your Profile

One of the subtle differences in V3 over the existing site is in how we treat profiles. On the current site, if you click on somebody's user name you get taken to a profile page that shows links to a user's activity, and stuff like "favorite music," "favorite books," etc.

















The problem that I have with this page is that it's stagnant. Folks fill in their profiles once, and then forget about them. It makes for boring reading (with the exception of some of the embed stuff that folks have done to give their profile pages some flavor).

V3 is going to take a slightly different approach. When you click on a user's name, you will get taken directly to that user's activity stream. By using the filters, you'll be able to isolate that member's most recent activity in things like ratings, reviews, quizzes, comments, lists, etc.

























In other words, you are what your activity says you are.

Of course, everyone's old profile format will still be available with things like embedded videos, testimonials, and the like - it's easy to toggle between a member's activity stream and their profile.

12/12/08

25 Great Holiday Presents You Can Buy Through RIA

As many of you have noticed, we've been working really hard at expanding our coverage of things to rate on RIA. In the process of doing the research to build out our DB, we have come up with a list of gift ideas of things that are not only just flat out awesome, but handily, available for purchase via a link from RateItAll.

Without further ado, here are 25 gift ideas for cool stuff that you can buy through RateItAll:

Amazon Kindle - it's like an iPod for books!
Flip MinoHD Digital Camcorder - incredibly small, affordable, easy to push video to YouTube
Canon Powershot A590IS Digital Camera - save 40%, only about $110
Women's Slippers - I bought a pair last year for Mrs. Magellan they were a big hit.
Bodum Chambord French Press - for the coffee snob
The new JK Rowling book - Harry Potter stuff, I guess
A snowblower - I have no idea why, but people buy a lot of snowblowers through us
Dark Knight DVD - One of the top selling products in America
Ugg Tall Boots - People love these things
The Twilight Soundtrack - flying off the shelves
Munchkin Mozart - top selling toddler toy
Bare Essentials BareMinerals Foundation - top selling cosmetic
Silpat Baking Mat - No stick thingy for pans, one of this year's top selling products
Logitech QuickCam Pro - best selling web cam
A Netbook! - Super small, super cheap laptops. I have one and love it.
A Messenger Bag - another item that I sort of collect.
An Ice Cream Maker - mmmmmm.... ice cream
GPS Device - makes driving directions easy, Garmin Nuvi is top seller
Apple iPod Touch - Music, photos, wifi.... nice (if only it had a camera!)
A book by Stephanie Meyer - not my thing, but they are wildly popular
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - dude has a cult following
Paul Krugman's Return of Depression Economics - A nice uplifting Holiday read
Night Vision Infrared Goggles - Badass
Scene it? Seinfeld - Seinfeld trivia board game for adults

I think that's 25 - hope that that was useful.

12/9/08

We've Gone Stats Crazy - Part Three

In the third, and likely final, installment of our "we've gone stats crazy" series, I'm going to show you a third way that V3 is stats heavier than V2.

We will be giving logged in users daily updates of accumulations of helpful / funny / agree / disagree votes.

Check it out.

























As mentioned in earlier posts, there will also be other ways to see how you rank against the day's top performers.

We've Gone Stats Crazy - Part Two

Along with the local leaderboards covered in the previous post, V3 will bring with it a significantly beefed up Hall of Fame page that will allow you to track top users in various time periods (day, week, month, year, forever) in the following categories:

Helpful Votes
Funny Votes
Disagree Votes
Agree Votes
Most Followers
Most Reviews
Most Total Contributions

We will also display exactly where the logged in user ranks in each category for each time period in relation to each of the respective leaders.

For those of us who are a bit competitive about this stuff, this should be a big step up. Here's a screenshot (it's running off incomplete data, so don't take these rankings as gospel):

























(btw, I'm tagging all v3 related posts with the clever tag "v3" for easy access)

12/8/08

We've Gone Stats Crazy - Part One

One of the things I'm really looking forward to in V3 is the ability to track top reviewers in hundreds of different categories.

Currently, we have one Hall of Fame, which tracks cumulative helpful votes across all categories.

What we are doing with V3 - in addition to maintaining a beefed up Hall of Fame (more on this to follow) - is tracking top reviewers (by number of helpful votes), in hundreds of different categories and sub-categories, by different time periods like day, week, month, and forever.

For example, with V3, you will be able to tell who the top rated Sports reviewer is, or on a more granular level, who the top rated boxing reviewer is (my bet is professional boxing writer Randyman). You'll also be able to see who the top rated Politics reviewer is (guesses?), or action figure reviewer, or music reviewer, or reggae reviewer, or travel reviewer, or pets reviewer - get the picture?

For example, here is a screenshot of the Beer sub-category page of V3. You'll note that this sub category page has it's own "river" of recent reviews (like the recent reviews page, but just for beer), as well as a module in the sidebar that shows who are the top rated reviewers of Beer by day, week, month, and forever.

While I don't expect this particular category to be very competitive - word has it Magellan plans on running away with this one - perhaps there will be other categories where others will shine. I mean, we're all experts in something, right?

12/5/08

Flagging Reviews in V3

A feature that people have been asking for forever, that we're finally going to be adding is the ability to flag reviews that violate the site rules. When V3 launches, it will be easy for RIA members to bring inappropriate reviews to our administrators' attention. Here's a pic:

12/2/08

See Me Interviewed

Hey guys, I was recently interviewed by Search Engine World - in this ten minute clip, I talk a lot about what we're trying to do with V3. Those of you that have played with the demo site will probably see a lot of what I talk about reflected in the new site:

12/1/08

Fun Article about RateItAll from Providence Journal

We stumbled across this article today from the Providence Journal - it basically takes a look at how Rhode Island stacks up against other states in the RateItAll State Rankings.

11/28/08

Demo

OK folks, I'm going to start letting a few of you onto our new demo site.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

None of the data (reviews, comments, profiles, etc.) that you post on the demo site will be saved, or linked to your regular rateitall account. This is only for testing purposes.

You will not be able to login to your real RIA account on the demo site. Please create a new test user.

Also, there is still some important functionality missing. Specifically, "quizzes" and some aspects of "sharing" are not yet live. Some of the pages still need to be optimized for speed as well.

Here are some things I suggest checking out:

Try posting a review from both the item page and the list page.

Try commenting on a review

Try making a list

Try configuring your home page by clicking on the gear icon.

Check out Community < style="font-weight: bold;">

11/26/08

What Browsers do we Use?

Here's a look at what Internet Browsers RateItAll users have hit the site with over the last 30 days:

Internet Explorer - 62%
Firefox - 27%
Safari - 8%
Google Chrome - 1%

I'm currently using Firefox, after a brief trial with Chrome.

11/24/08

Need Your Help

For the past couple of months we've been working very hard on a new version of RIA (code name: v3) that incorporates many of the best things about the current site, a number of your suggestions, as well as a number of new things.

Over the next few days, I'm going to be reaching out to some of you to hammer on a demo version of "V3." It will be running on a test database, so anything you post will not be saved.

Here are a couple of things you can count on for V3:

- A return to RIA's original blue / green color scheme
- An emphasis on the format of the Recent Reviews page throughout the site
- The addition of a "disagree" button
- The addition of our compatibility tests / quizzes to RateItAll.com (many of you have tried these on Facebook or MySpace)
- Significantly improved publishing and sharing experiences
- More in depth hall of fame / member stats tools
- Significantly easier ways to add things to the site

And lots more.

Stay tuned - if you'd like to be included on this early sneak peek, please message me on the site. If I know who you are, I will give you access.


- Lawrence

11/19/08

Back in Business

Thanks to Automatt for his hard work in bringing us back up on schedule.

Scheduled Downtime Tonight: 10PM PST

Guys, we'll be going down tonight for about an hour to do some memory upgrades on our servers.

11/18/08

Coverage

One of the things we've been working very hard on is improving our site coverage of things to rate. With a name like RateIt All there's a lot of self-inflicted pressure on us to have a bunch of things in the db.

We've already built out things like video games, movies (and actors and directors), and startup companies. We are now in the process of blowing up our music coverage.

If there are obscure albums or bands (or not so obscure ones) that you've been meaning to rate, try running them through our search engine. Our coverage is getting pretty good.

11/17/08

New Rules

Guys, I've made some changes to the RateItAll Site Rules.

For the most part, we are loosening the rules a bit. We have gotten rid of things like "no personal attacks" (replaced with "no threats, menacing behavior, or harassment") - "no personal attacks" was often very difficult to moderate and there was rarely a clear bright line between a disagreement and a personal attack. For example, did it really make sense to consider "you're acting like an idiot" to be allowed and "you are an idiot" to be a personal attack?

We've also changed our wording on what sort of profanity is off limits from "excessive" to "extreme." Basically, any mainstream curse word should be ok as long as its not hate speech or really, really gnarly (our call). There's still an annoying filter on the comments section which disables all comments with certain curse words. This is going away soon.

We've clarified my feelings about hate speech in terms of who is protected by site rules - my view is that if you choose to be something (a San Franciscan, a liberal, an agnostic, etc.) you are not protected from getting hated on (e.g. "San Franciscans are liberal wusses!!" is fine). But if you don't choose to be something (a race, a heterosexual, an old person), we should do our best to keep people from hating on you (e.g. "Whites are a dirty stinking race who enjoy keeping everybody down" is off limits, as is "young people should be drowned in a well!"). And if you want to use our publishing tools to say, talk about racial stereotypes, there are probably better places to do that than RateItAll (read: I don't want that crap on my site).

Which brings me to my final point. I've been doing a lousy job at site moderation recently. I've grown way to comfortable with the site regulars, and have been lazy in differentiating between who I am as a reviewer, and who I am as an enforcer of site rules.

As such, we have some new policies in place. Unless someone is speaking to you from this account - RIAAdministrator - you should consider them a fellow reviewer, and not an admin.

Nobody will be moderating the site from a personal account any more - not me, not Automatt, and not Jose. It's too confusing, and sends mixed messages about what is a disagreement between reviewers, and what is a violation of site policy.

To hammer this point home, I will no longer answer messages from my Magellan account regarding site policy. If you want an answer from me in an official capacity, you will need to email me (lawrence at rateitall.com) or message us through the RIAAdministrator account.

Note that I say "us." There will be multiple people operating behind this account. We will do our best to be consistent, and I will decide all internal RateItAll disagreements.

Sorry for my recent moderation sloppiness of late - it's been busy.

11/5/08

Just added a few new pics to the RateItAll group on Facebook

If you are interested in seeing the RIA team, join our Facebook group - we're only 68 strong right now, so there's plenty of room for more.

10/30/08

My Favorite Pages on RateItAll

Like most obsessive RIA'ers, I spend most of my time on the recent reviews page. When I'm really bored, I'll sit there just hitting refresh until new stuff comes in. As RateItAll has grown, I usually don't have to wait very long to see new stuff.

I like that this page is always fresh, and I like that it's a good drop in point to catch "discussions" in the comments section, and to get ideas for things to rate.

Another page that I like is the new additions page. Recently, this page has been a little slow, and we've had to cap it at 1,000 items as so much new stuff has been getting added recently.

And finally, I also like to drop in on my favorite reviewers. I'll go to their profile page and then click the link to see their review history. For example, Abichara is one of the guys I like to read - especially around political season. If I miss his posts on the recent reviews page, I can go to his profile page to check them out directly. You can check out his reviews HERE.

Over the last few months, I've been obsessing over this so called "river" of content format. This is exactly what you see in the recent reviews page - a stream of reviews that starts at the top page, and slides down as new reviews appears at the top.

I like reading reviews this way. And I'd also like to see more things included in this page - maybe new stuff that is added to the site, reviews from my favorite reviewers, and maybe even topics that I'm interested in like basketball and beer and mexican food and san francisco and internet and the world champion philadelphia phillies.

I think it would be really neat to have a single feed - a single river if you will - made up of just the stuff that I was interested in. Posts from people that I find interesting, posts about topics that I find interesting, new site additions, activity on interesting weblists, new reviewers that others are discovering - and the key aspect of this river that it is totally tunable by me. So that my river doesn't look yours, and no two rivers look alike.

I also don't want to lose the global aspect - as annoying as some of the hit and run posters and MSers (IDK!) and FBers and Grizzlers and Dog Food Fundamentalists are that hit the site, it's nice to feel part of a larger community and to be able to discover new opinions and people outside of your regular realm.

Those who read my posts closely on the site may have seen hints that we are working on a big new release. I may pull some of the RIA regulars in to take a look at some stuff in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

10/24/08

Calling All Gamers

We just added a boatload of new video game titles to our db.

If you are a gamer, please help us in getting these new sections off the ground.

10/22/08

Post of the Day

From Irishgit:

As is the case with Obama, McCain is undoubtedly polarizing, and moreso since his campaign became home to so many former Bush aides and operatives who have brought their style of campaigning with them.

This is not to say that polarization is intrinsically evil, but for the long term good of the nation it is the responsibility of all activists to keep it in check. The kind of extremist language and outright hatred used by partisans on both sides in this election has reached a disturbing point. Neither side is free of guilt in this, and neither occupies some kind of moral high ground.

It is a despicable thing when it has become politically acceptable to call the opposing side anti-American and unpatriotic because they happen to disagee with you. Both sides have been guilty of that, and of other extreme language, both on the campaign trail an on this site.

I remember a particularly good review someone wrote on here back in closing days of the 2004 election. Speaking as a GOP partisan he said:

"This (becoming a united nation after partisan strife) is the responsibility of the republican/conservatives. Dems will be able to be good losers if rep/cons are gracious winners. All such responsibility now for unification of the country is on the winning party. Don't expect amicability if you are spiking the ball in their faces, in their endzone. No touchdown dances, ok? At least, not in public."

The reviewer was Eschew Obfuscation, and the same applies this election. Those people some of you are spewing hatred at? Those are your neighbors.



You can react to the post HERE.

10/17/08

I'm looking forward to the end of election season

The political rhetoric, my own included, is starting to give me a headache.

I miss dog food and grizz reviews, and ratings of "4-Good!" with the review "three."

10/16/08

Any RIA'ers on Twitter yet?

If so, you can follow us here: twitter.com/rateitall

Those that click through can check out pictures of the fire that grazed our office building today.

Fewer Crap Reviews from MS and FB

You may have noticed a slow down on one word nonsense reviews from FB and MS.

This is intentional.

Irishgit, this one's for you.

The Passing of a RateItAll Reviewer

Harlock (formerly known as SpanishGonzo) has apparently passed away. She wasn't one of our community's most prolific reviewers, but she made an impact. From my limited interaction with her, I thought she was a sweet and nice young woman. She will be missed.

There are some memories being posted HERE.

10/14/08

All Time Record Traffic Day Yesterday

According to Google Analytics, we eclipsed our all time traffic record yesterday, finishing at over 42K visits.

I'm happy to say that our servers handled the load without even a hiccup.

10/8/08

Movies, Movies, (directors), Movies, Movies

Guys, we have recently added MASSIVE amounts of movies, directors, and actors to our database.

Our friends at Netflix have made their entire catalog of movies, tv shows, actors, and directors available to us (and other sites) via what's called an API.

We've loaded much of this stuff in - and are still loading.

So I challenge you to try and find a movie, a director, or an actor that we don't have. Seriously. Use the search box and search for anything. Click through to check out the Netflix Movies or Netflix Directors.

Oh yeah, this is also cool.... if you look in the margin of movie or director or actor pages, you'll find related items - movies that the director has directed, or actors that have appeared in the movie.

For example, check out this listing for the classic surfing movie Big Wednesday. Here's what you'll see in the margin:























For you movie buffs out there, I think it will be fun to follow the trails of actors, movies, and directors around the site.

10/1/08

Lots of New Categories

Those of you hitting the "browse" link in RateItAll's header will notice lots of new categories. We are in the middle of spring cleaning / re-categorization of all of our lists. As the number and diversity of the lists has grown, so has the need to create more specialized landing pages for various themes, such as religion, military, the arts, pets, and relationships.

The other thing you might notice is that RIA lists and Weblists are all mixed together now - this is a sign of things to come.

We are managing this project on the fly, so you may notice some odd and/or wrong categorization of things for the next week or so... please do not be alarmed.

9/29/08

Rate Your Credit Card

Let's all pile on the credit card industry when they're down.

We've added a pretty comprehensive database of cards for credit card reviews to our site - find your card(s) and rate it (them)!

9/26/08

One more plug for the RateItAll Toolbar for Firefox

I am loving the RateItAll toolbar for Firefox. I love it so much that I abandoned the new Google browser, Chrome, and came back to Firefox 3 - just so I could use the toolbar.

I use the toolbar to 1) rate sites (and add them to ria) as I browse around the web; 2) directly access my reviews and my network's reviews; and 3) search RIA from anywhere.

If you use Firefox and haven't yet taken the toolbar for a spin, why not try it out? Click here to download it.

9/23/08

Some Changes to Search

For the last several years, we have been using a third party search service to deliver search results on RateItAll.  They did a pretty good job, but there were a couple of problems:

- There was a one day lag in new things showing up in the search results
- Their search engine was a general search engine that had been tweaked to try and meet our needs - it was not build from the ground up specifically for RateItAll.
- The search results were hosted on a third party site, causing a very slight delay 

No longer.

Our newest engineer, Jonathan, has built a site search engine for RateItAll that is better and faster than what we had before:

- There are no more lags.  If you add a new page (weblist, review, item) to the site, it will immediately be reachable via search.
- Search is rocket fast now - no bouncing back results from a third party site
- Search quality is better - because this search engine has been built for RIA, I think you'll find that the results are a bit better.

Please hammer away on the search engine and let me know if you see anything screwy.

9/22/08

Social Media Poem

A guy named Greg K. has written a poem about web 2.0 / social media - pretty clever, no?:

I’M PRETTY WELL CONNECTED
(a Web 2.0 poem)
By

I’m pretty well connected:
Facebook’s got my face.
I AIM and blog.
Of course I vlog.
Come see me at MySpace.

I Flickr, and I Twitter.
I wiki and Squidoo!
I’m Live. I Ning.
I’m there on Xing.
I’m really LinkedIn, too.

I Hulu, Yelp, and Google.
My YouTube channel’s hot.
I share Goodreads,
Have many feeds,
And Digg and link a lot.

Second Life and Classmates?
Xanga? RateItAll?
I’m on those four
And dozens more
Plus some I can’t recall.

I’m pretty well connected:
My friends are EVERYWHERE.
I bet I’d meet
Them on the street…
If I’d just leave my chair.

9/18/08

RateItAll Toolbar for Firefox


We've just launched a neat Firefox toolbar for RateItAll.  If you are a Firefox user, you can take it for a spin HERE.

Going from left to right on the toolbar, here's what each button does:


Read Reviews Button:




As you browse the web, the Read Reviews button will turn yellow if RateItAll has reviews of the site.  This is helpful if you are, say, thinking about buying something at an ecommerce site that you haven't used before.  If you see the "Read Reviews" button light up, you can check out reviews from other folks that may have used the site before by clicking on the button.  If it doesn't light up, it means that noone has reviewed that site yet.


Search Button and Search Box




The search box and button does exactly what you might think - it lets you search RateItAll's database from anywhere on the Web.  Clicking "search" will pop open a new tab on your browser and display results from RateItAll.


Rate This Site Button




This is my favorite button on the toolbar.  As you browse the web, this button lets you rate and review whatever website that you are on.  Clicking the Rate This Site button pops open a new browser tab, and takes you to the right page on RateItAll to rate the site.

And here's where it gets neat - if RateItAll doesn't already have the site in its database, it directs you to the new item submission page on RateItAll, with our best guess as to the proper information already populated into the page (web site name, web site url, web site description, etc.).   

This tool is for rating domains (e.g. CNN.com), not rating individual articles or pages within a domain (e.g. CNN.com/wall-street-collapse).


My Reviews and Friends' Reviews




The My Reviews and Friends' Reviews buttons do exactly what you might think.  They take you directly to the pages where you can view your own review archive, as well as recent reviews from your network.  On RateItAll.com, you have to click a couple of different links to get to these pages... I find it's really helpful to be able to access them with one click.


Inbox




The Inbox link takes you directly to your RateItAll inbox where you can check messages from other reviewers.


Sign Out / Sign In and Home




Sign Out and Sign In are self explanatory.  Home takes you to RateItAll.com.  And clicking the little drop down takes you to important RateItAll pages like Recent Reviews and Hall of Fame.

Many thanks to RateItAll programmer Alexander for building this cool new toy!

Eventually we will get to building something similar for Internet Explorer.


9/15/08

Google Case Study

Our friends at Google have written a nice case study about how RateItAll uses AdSense for revenue sharing.  Check it out.  My favorite quote comes from some guy named Lawrence Coburn:

“Treating your users fairly is not only the right thing to do – it’s also good for business.”

9/8/08

Date-Able App for Facebook

Aileen, RateItAll's awesome intern, has built an application for Facebook around dating called Date-Able.  There are a bunch of dating related quizzes on there that will help you find (or avoid) that special (or unspecial) someone.

Facebook users can click through to add the Date-Able app.

Oh yeah, if you have ideas for more apps or quizzes, talk to Aileen.

9/4/08

What Browsers Do We Use?

A new browser from Google launched this week called Chrome.  There are already some pretty good Google Chrome reviews on the site.

So it got me thinking.... which browsers does the RIA community prefer?  Well, here's a snapshot of yesterday's activity:









IE is still the big fish here, but I find it impressive that Chrome accounted for 1% of all visits yesterday.

Here is RateItAll's ranking of top browsers:

8/27/08

Working Hard Over Here at Expanding Our Coverage

For a long time, there were very few new rating lists added to the main RateItAll section. The vast majority of the new stuff came in from members in the form of Weblists. This dynamic was mostly the function of RateItAll not having any resources, and partly the function of not having efficient tools to add new listings.

Well, now I have some help over here and some new tools, and some folks have been working very hard at expanding our product coverage. I wrote already about all the new baby product review sections that we've added. More recently we've been focusing on pet product reviews (pet beds, pet carriers, dog health products, etc), health and beauty reviews (hair styling tools, bath scales, fitness shakes), and sporting good reviews (archery products, badminton racquets, baseball bats, etc.). We've also added sections for radar detector reviews, luggage reviews, and Christian books.

Weblists continue to be a crucial part of the site - I think they are largely responsible for giving RIA it's unique "rate anything" flavor and personality. But I also think it's time for the RIA team to start pulling OUR weight in making sure we have coverage for popular product rating categories.

If anyone has ideas / requests for product rating categories that they would like to see covered, please let me know and I'll see what I can do.

8/22/08

We've Gone Baby Crazy

A certain member of the RateItAll team - he/she shall go unnamed - has a baby, and has been complaining about the lack of baby rating categories on RateItAll. Waah.

So we've gone a bit baby crazy, adding sections for Crib Reviews, Cradle Swing Reviews, and Baby Gate reviews to the site. We've also considerably beefed up our stroller reviews section.

So if you have a baby, know a baby, or ever were a baby, I'd encourage you to please click through and write some baby product reviews.

8/12/08

A New Logo!

Guys, check it out....

RateItAll is the proud owner of a sleek new logo.

It reminds me of fireworks! Or a sleek rocket ship! Or shooting golden stars through the night sky!

OK, maybe I'm getting carried away... but I REALLY like the logo.

Our old logo was originally designed to be very "business-y" - this one seems a lot friendlier to me.

If you have kind words to say, please send them to Lena.

If you have harsh words to say, please send them to Jose.

And if you want to rate the logo, click HERE.

8/5/08

And we're back....

... two hours ahead of schedule. Thanks to Automatt for his hard work in getting us cut over and all the prep work he did to make this a smooth transition.

If you see anything not working properly, please let me know.

Cutting Over to a New Host - DOWNTIME IMMINENT

Guys, as we continue to deal with site and rating engagement growth, we will be cutting over to a new host today.

Currently our architecture looks like this: one pretty good database server, one very fast web server, one OK web server, one weak web server.

As of later tonight, our architecture will look like this: One very good database server, five very fast web servers.

We expect a noticeable improvement in performance, and of course, the ability to handle several times the amount of traffic that we can today.

We're going to be down for about six hours while we transfer our massive database to the new host.

7/31/08

Videos and Weblists

I love how folks are starting to embed videos into their lists - some of these are really entertaining.

Check out Wiseguy's recent lists on 2008 Campaign Ads and Awkward Political Moments.

Survey

If you get asked if you'd like to participate in a survey while surfing RIA, don't panic. It's legit. We are looking for some specific feedback on a couple aspects of the site.

Images

Guys, we made a pretty significant change as to how we handle images. Specifically, we've moved all of our 5GB worth of images (profile pics, item pics, list pics) over to Amazon's servers. This should fix some of those nagging issues related to changing or deleting a pic. Sometimes this would work, sometimes not. Now it should always work.

Also, the images should load much faster now.

If you see anything screwy with images, please let me know.

7/30/08

RateItAll Bebo App

Guys, we just launched a RateItAll Compatibility app for Bebo. We need your help testing it. You can add the app to your Bebo profile HERE.

As soon as you add the app, make sure to click the "join/login" link so you can sync your Bebo RateItAll account to your main RateItAll account.

It should be getting pretty clear what we're trying to do now - we want you to be able to post, share, and access your reviews from any site - not just RateItAll.com.

Thanks!

7/22/08

A Trusted Network?

Guys, we need your help. What's the best way to describe the folks that you have added to your "trusted network?" We somehow feel that "trusted network" doesn't quite do it. Any ideas?

Here's the list - please send in suggestions.

7/18/08

Improvements to Google AdSense Revenue Sharing Program









Guys, we rolled in some important improvements to our revenue sharing program.

Specifically, we are now sharing revenue 50/50 with program participants on every Google ad block on qualifying pages; Your Profile Page, Your Lists, Items You Contribute to Others' Lists, and your Review Pages.

I expect that this will result in a moderate increase in earnings for participants.

Also, we've made it MUCH easier to link your RateItAll account to an existing Google AdSense account.

To sign up for the Google AdSense revenue sharing program for the first time or to link your RIA account to an existing Google AdSense account, just go to your profile page, click the "Edit Account" link on the left hand side, and check the box that says "Sign Me Up for Google AdSense so I can earn cash."

Then choose whether you'd like to sign up for a new AdSense account, or link an existing AdSense account to your RateItAll account and fill in the fields.

You will get an email from Google confirming your enrollment. Also, you can check the status of your AdSense account (approved or pending) right on your RateItAll account page.

7/11/08

Rating Lists vs Yes/No Polls

One of the things that makes RIA so great is the creativity that folks have shown in using our Weblist tool to build fun and engaging content. We've seen the RIA rating engine used for everything from product rating, to travel diaries, to music rating, to video rating, and even reviewer rating.

But every once in a while, I believe our lists can start to stray from RIA's wheelhouse of rating / opinion related content, into things like general self expression tools, or yes/no polls.

And I don't want to go in that direction. RateItAll is an opinion / rating community. That's what we do, and we're not going to overreach.

An example of what I'm talking about are some of Dyna's recent lists like "Do You Remember" and "Have You Ever." It's been fun seeing folks tell stories about different experiences that they've had. However, these are not rating lists. It's very difficult to rate, on a one to five star basis, "Do Your Remember Your Very First Car."

We're not total hardasses about this - occasionally, a self expression list or two will slide on by. However, as a general rule, we're going to stick to rating stuff. That's our world, and that's what we know. So if you see some of these lists go invisible, that's me just trying to reign things in a bit.

7/10/08

Did you know...

It's now time for our ongoing, tri-annual series entitled "Did You Know?"  In this segment, we examine little used, but monstrously helpful features that are cleverly hidden from most users.

Did you know that you can sort our list pages by:

- # of ratings
- # of reviews
- alphabetic
- (and my favorite) Low to High

Low to high is particularly useful for finding the lowest rated item in a list (ie "worst song of the 1980's).

Just look at the bottom right of any RateItAll list.

7/7/08

Welcome Vijai and Lena

Guys, two new folks recently joined the RateItAll team: Lena, who is a UI designer extraordinaire, and Vijai, who is a super sharp senior web developer.

If you have a second, please shoot them a note and help me to welcome them to RIA.

7/5/08

Putting a Moratorium on New RateItAll Reviewer Lists

Guys, there's plenty of ways to rate each other as reviewers, as well as other ways to scratch each others' backs. I'm going to be hiding all new "rate the reviewer" lists for a while.

7/3/08

Couple of Minor Display Changes

Guys, a couple of minor display changes were made to the site today:

  • We are now showing the top 70 items on any list page before making you page. This will only affect long lists, like this list for Horror Movie Reviews, for example.
  • Similarly, we are now displaying up to 70 reviews on any item page. Here's an example.
  • We are hiding reviews of fewer than 10 characters from appearing on the item page. They will still show up in the recent comments page, or on a reviewer's archive page, but not on the item page. The way we see it, if someone just writes "sucks!" (five characters), they probably just meant to leave a rating anyway.
Have a great and safe Fourth of July weekend....

7/2/08

RateItAll's Randyman Interviewed by Ringside Report

RateItAll Randyman writes well on just about any topic. But if there is one area where he reaches back just a little bit more, it's in writing about boxing.

What you might not know is that Randyman hosts a popular boxing blog at boxing-ring.blogspot.com where he talks about the LA fight scene. The photos alone are worth a peak, and not surprisingly, the writing is top notch.

Randyman was just interviewed by the Ringside Report - the interview is pretty in depth, and Randyman shares a lot about where his love for the sport comes from. He also plugs RateItAll, which we very much appreciate.

Anyway, congrats to Randy for his blog getting some well earned attention.

App to show off your RIA Reviews on Facebook

RateItAll's friends over at iWidgets built us a neat little app that shows off your recent reviews on Facebook. Here's what it looks like (and you can add it yourself, here):

7/1/08

Doing a Little DB Tuning at Midnight

Guys, we will be tuning our database tonight at midnight. We expect the site to be down for twenty to thirty minutes.

6/28/08

Debrief

Late yesterday afternoon, we had our best web server fail. The traffic load was too much for the remaining two web servers to handle, so performance tanked. Our host was unable to troubleshoot the issue, and we were told that they would take another shot at it Saturday (today) AM.

So, at this point, we knew a couple of things; we knew that our remaining two servers were not up to our traffic load, and that there was no guarantee that we would be able to get our big server back online today.

So yesterday evening, Automatt and I made the decision to try and migrate the service to what is called a "cloud computing" hosting provider. This is a new type of host that gives you virtual machines, and the ability to quickly add capacity as your traffic grows. It's all self serve, so it's conceivable that we would be able to get back up and running late Friday night.

So we configured five virtual webservers and a database server, migrated our database over to the new host (which took a few hours as it's pretty big), and pointed the "RateItAll.com"domain to the new IP address. By the time everything was ready to go, Automatt and I had worked through the night and it was after 6AM PST. Unfortunately, when you update DNS information, there's not an immediate update across the Web. In our case, some folks were not able to access the site until about 1:30PM today.

Once we had RateItAll up an running on the new service provider and everybody around the world was able to hit the site, it became quickly apparent that our new virtual host did not have the computing power to handle RateItAll's load. Many more virtual servers would have been needed, and it was unclear that even then, these virtual servers would be able to handle the dynamic nature of RateItAll.

Around the same time, our original host got back to us and let us know that they had managed to repair our big web server that had gone down late on Friday.

So at this point, early this afternoon, we made the decision to go back to our original hosting configuration, which we were sure could handle RateItAll's traffic. Some of you may still be seeing an IP address as opposed to the RateItAll.com domain in the web address line - this should be resolved back to RateItAll.com shortly.

Once we pointed the domain name back to our original IP address, for whatever the reason, bots from Google and Yahoo started hammering us at much higher intensity than normal. This has impacted performance today, making the site very slow. We are now working to slow down these crawlers to get the site speed back up.

It's been a brutal weekend so far with very little sleep and a lot of stress. The good news is that we learned some valuable info - mainly, that cloud computing (at least the provider we tried) is still too early in the game to be a viable host for a big traffic site like RateItAll. We also learned that although we have multiple servers, we are very much dependent on a single server to maintain our quality of service - this will be changing this week.

Thanks for your patience as we go through this.

Caution: Server Maintenance in Process

Guys, we are working on the site. Tread carefully rating stuff... site performance will be dicey for a while.

I'll post a full debrief shortly of the last 18 hours - it's been an interesting experiment.

Site Coming Back

Site should be available to all over the next few minutes. Thanks to Automatt for the long night of work put in to get us live.

Status

We are making progress, but expect it will be another hour before we are back online.

6/27/08

Update

Automatt and I decided not to wait to see what happens with our lead web server tomorrow - we're moving over to another service provider tonight, so that we can have a snappy website through the weekend.

We expect to back online by 1AM PST.  More update to follow.

Hardware Failure

Our biggest, baddest web server fell off the grid a few hours ago, and is not responding.

So, we are currently running on two smaller web servers, which are pretty much pegged under our regular load.

We'll know more tomorrow AM about whether this box is recoverable - best case scenario is that it's just a power supply issue, which would be resolvable.

Expect performance to be sluggish until we get this box (or a replacement) online.

Ads in the Recent Reviews River

You'll notice that we've moved ads on the recent reviews page from the right sidebar into the river. We're trying out different stuff to try and find the balance between what converts, and what isn't uber annoying.

Commenting Now Working Across MySpace

You can now access comments on your reviews from your MySpace account. Here's a screenshot. This also means that folks using RIA from MySpace will receive your comments that you post on their review on RIA. With great power comes great responsibility :)

6/25/08

Best Error Page Ever

Not that we intend to serve up many error pages, but in the off chance that we do.... we now have the best error page ever.

Try clicking this link - and make sure to keep refreshing (the photo will change).

6/24/08

More RIA Trip Reporting

There's nothing I like better than a good RIA trip report... Zuchinibut has just set one up for his recent trip to Oregon.  Has anyone else been to these places?  Chime in!

Battling Some Application Errors

We're on it.... stay tuned.

6/23/08

Messaging Bug Fixed

I'm sure everyone has noticed that annoying little bug in which RateItAll personal message threads reverse the names of who is saying what.

For example, when people send me hate messages, the thread might read something like this.


AngryUser69: I'm sorry you feel that way. We do the best we can.

Lawrence: RateItAll Sucks! My pet monkey could do a better job moderating this site!

When in fact, the exchange was really like this.

Lawrence: I'm sorry you feel that way. We do the best we can.

AngryUser69: RateItAll Sucks! My pet monkey could do a better job moderating this site!

For obvious reasons, this could get confusing. I'm happy to say that it's fixed now.

6/19/08

MySpace Invites Now Working

For those of you using RIA for MySpace, the invite tool is now working. You can challenge people to take a test, you can share a review, or you can share the app itself.

The only catch is that you have to invite one at a time.... you click on the name of the person that you want to share / invite with, then click on the next one after the box pops up.

The invitation shows up in the recipient's bulletin space.

Remixed RIA Video from Hyve Up

My friends over at Hyve Up have created a cool video with background techno music of me trying to explain what RIA is:




You can rate HyveUp with this widget:

RateItAll Funding

Hey All, just a heads up that RateItAll has raised some funding.

The good news is that not much is going to change, other than than our ability to provide a better service to the RIA community. A few more developers and an awesome designer will be joining Automatt and myself. This will mean they we will be able to fix things and add features at a must faster rate, and that things should work better.

We remain committed to our core philosophy of giving our members more rights than just about any other site - owning your reviews, sharing revenue on your reviews, sharing your reviews on places like MySpace and Facebook, and of course, leaving whenever you want and taking all of your stuff with you.

Thanks for your support.

6/12/08

Irishgit's SF Tour

I caught up with Irishgit tonight, live and in person in San Francisco. We hit Zeitgeist, Arinell's for pizza, Casanova, and then Arinell's for pizza again. We gossiped about RIA stuff and talked a lot of sports and politics.

Overall it was a pretty good night.

IG is the third person I've met through RIA. Previously I met JonTheMan and Minkey. It's amazing how well you can get to know somebody by reading what they think about everything.

6/11/08

Rebooting DB Late Tonight

Guys, we are doing some scheduled maintenance late this evening that will required a DB reboot, bringing the site down for a 15-30 minutes.

Automatt, will you comment with the exact time?

Speaking of Trip Reports...

Speaking of using RIA to document trip reports, check out Irishgit's reviews of the places and things that he's seen while driving down the Pacific Coast.

Word has it he will be hitting San Francisco's legendary Zeitgeist beer garden tomorrow at 7PM. I'm in as well - any other local RIA'rs are welcome to stop by.

6/10/08

Obama and Fear

OK, we have a couple of new quizzes live on MS and Facebook. An Obama VP quiz based on GTH's Obama VP Candidate list, and a fear test based on Jamie McBain's list of things you are afraid of.

And to my conservative friends out there, please don't read anything into the juxtaposition of the "Fear" and "Obama" quizzes.

6/8/08

Trip Reports via RateItAll

One of my favorite things to do after taking a trip is to write up the things and places that I saw. I just wrote up my trip to Atlanta for my brother's bachelors party. We went to a ball game, and I reviewed Turner Field, a couple of Atlanta bars, and the hotel I stayed at.

For me, RateItAll is almost a diary of sorts, and this is one my favorite things about the site.

6/5/08

Two New Quizzes

I added a Job Compatibility Test and a Break Up Quiz to MySpace and Facebook. Check them out!

Also, thanks for all of the good suggestions for more compatibility quizzes... I think we need a way for anybody to convert their lists into a FB / MS quiz.

6/4/08

Agree is the New Funny

Sometimes when I'm utterly baffled by a review, but I want to acknowledge that I read it, I will drop an "agree" vote on it.

Often this makes no sense:

Reviewer: "I remember growing up in Kentucky snorting the Grizz four time per day."

Me: Agree

I didn't grow up in Kentucky, and I certainly have never ingested the Grizz. Yet I somehow feel compelled to drop an "agree" vote.

Is there any cure for what I have?

Posting a Video Review: A How To from Genghis the Hun

GenghisTheHun has very helpfully put together a video explaining how to post a video review to RateItAll.

Genghis chose to shoot the clip in sort of a Blair Witch style - minimal light, with only a hand and several eerie lights visible. I found myself overcome with an inexplicable feeling of dread after watching it.

But if you can get past the horror film techniques, his tutorial is quite helpful.

Here are the cliff notes:

- Record your video using a web cam or camera
- Export it to your desktop
- Upload it to YouTube
- Copy the embed code from YouTube and paste it into the review field

But I encourage you to watch the whole video. Thanks GTH!:

6/3/08

Suggestions for New Compatibility Tests?

If anybody has suggestions for lists that could be converted into compatibility tests, please let me know. These tests are a great way to drive traffic to specific lists... if you have a list that you think might work as a compatibility test (it should be mainstream, easily rate-able, and with pictures and images), please let me know.

5/29/08

Down for Everyone or Just Me?

Sometimes when your favorite site goes down, it's hard to tell if the problem is on your end, or on RIA's end.

Here's a cool site to help you answer that question - if you can't get to RIA, make sure to hit: Downforeveryoneorjustme.com.

5/28/08

Religion Compatibility Test Now Live....

.... on Facebook and MySpace. Let's add some quantitative compatibility numbers next to the great debate.

5/27/08

Hey University of Singapore - Knock it Off

In addition to the million or so humans a month that visit RateItAll, there are also thousands of "bots" - non human visitors who crawl and scrape our site for content.

Some of these bots are benign - for example Google, Yahoo, and MSN all operate bots / spiders that are used to index our content so that it can show up in their respective search engines. These bots follow strict rules, and respond to our requests to slow down if they are hitting us too hard. We love them.

But others are rogues. Pounding our servers without regards to our requests, and scraping our (yours and RateItAll's) content so that they can display it elsewhere and try and make money off of it.

Today, one of those rogue bots was hitting pretty hard - we tracked it back to the University of Singapore. They were hitting us about twice as aggressively as Google, which is pretty aggressive.

So if you guys over there in Singapore are reading this, nice work. You overdid it and now you are permanently banned.

5/26/08

RateItAll is Hiring

Guys, RateItAll is looking for developers / engineers. Here's the job req - please let me know if you know of anyone.

5/23/08

The Meaning of Trusted Networks on RateItAll

There's been some debate as to what does it exactly mean to add somebody to your trusted network on RateItAll.

While I don't think there is any one answer, I think Ridgewalker puts it better than most when he says:

When I first came on here, back in '05, I'll have to admit that I was a tad baffled by the "Trusted List", so I asked someone who I respected, what this was all about. I can't think of a better, or alternate title for this list, but it's not always about trust. It can be about respect for a person's point of view and the way they express it. It can be a "thanks" for the helpful information, or for making me laugh. It can mean, simply, that I like you, or appreciate you. It might be a "welcome sign", as some people click on anyone who leaves more than one review. My situation here might differ from most others, in that I had maintained a base of friends even after I left the sight, so when I returned, so did a portion of my "Trusted List", very quickly. As far as genuine trust goes, there's very few people who I would actually trust with intimate information and I'm sure that's true with most reviewers, here. The over-whelming majority of people that have my picture on their page, I like, respect and appreciate. It's obviously not mutual 100% of the time, but I see no risk here in reaching out to others, because I have learned that, whether online, or in real life, you never know what part a person is going to play in your life when you first meet them. I met Stark online...


As far as this suggestion goes, I think it is contrary to the nature of RIA, but is perfect for someone who likes to slip notes under doors and run away...

5/20/08

"New Stuff" page

Guys, we've made some changes to the New Stuff page - the page that tracks new things that have just been added to the site.

We've simplified the hierarchy of links shown for each new list or item, and also give clearer credit to the person who added it.

5/16/08

Two New Features!

Guys, we just launched two cool new features.

The first is our "Friend Finder" feature - this lets you use your email address book from sites like Gmail, Yahoo, and LinkedIn to find folks you know who are already on RateItAll. It also lets you invite friends who are not already on RateItAll to join your trusted network. You can try out this feature HERE (and it's also on the main navigation bar for now under "Friend Finder.")

It's a really easy way to add people that you may know in real life to your Trusted Network on RIA - I just added about 70 people who I had no idea were on the site. It's also a great way to invite new people to the site.

The second feature is an alert email when someone adds you to their trusted network. This email is sent from messaging@rateitall.com so you'll need to make sure that email address is whitelisted if you have a spam filter AND that email address that you're using for your RateItAll account is current.

No more analyzing friend networks to see who just added you.... Enjoy!

5/13/08

A friendly request

Guys, a request. Can we please keep the (intentionally) funny reviews to Weblists? Posting joke reviews of products or businesses is a bit more problematic for me, as more often than not, I end up getting an angry phone call. This includes tongue in cheek posts about Dog Food (you don't want to make those people angry), The Grizz, Magnum Condoms, the movie Brokeback Mountain, the DJ called Donovan in San Francisco, and other listings.

If your well written, genuinely funny, but off topic review of a product or local business gets vaporized, you will know why.

Doing a little DB Maintenance

We will be back up shortly.

5/12/08

Green Compatibility Test

We just converted Kamylienne's excellent list of environmentally friendly activities into a compatibility test for MySpace and Facebook.

Let's see how Green compatible we are.

To check, go to your MySpace and Facebook account, access the Compatibility App, and finish the test.

5/7/08

Like the new Anon Avatars?

If you like them, please leave me some pleasant feedback.

If you don't, you can complain to Automatt.

(I think they're cool)

5/4/08

O, RateItAll

No, that's not the Unabomber. That is RateItAll's own...... GENGHIS THE HUN (cue applause), performing his mega hit "O, RateItAll."



And here are the lyrics:

"O, Rateitall, O, Rateitall, Just what the hell are y'all?

Each looks to each, and cares all flee.

Each looks to each, and blesses thee.

O, Rateitall, thy sacred site, Makes us waste, many a night.

Each looks to each, and cares all flee.

Each looks to each and blesses thee.

O, Rateitall, O, Rateitall, Just what the hell are y'all?

5/1/08

4/30/08

Plaxo Integration

Any RIA'ers use Plaxo to manage their contacts? Well, they've built out this neat social network called Plaxo Pulse that aggregates all of your web activity into a single news feed for your Plaxo contacts. As of today, RateItAll is now integrated, so you can add your RateItAll Review stream to your newsfeed just by filling in your RateItAll nickname. Here's a screenshot of my feed:

4/28/08

Rating Art

RIA Member Planetary Gear has created some of my all time favorite weblists.

Check out his lists for Dali and Picasso - he's added pictures of each painting. Want an enjoyable and peaceful hour or so? Try speedrating either the Dali or Picasso list and watch the art go by...

4/27/08

MS-XXXXXXXX, FB-XXXXXXXX, and RateItAll.com

There's been a bit of confusion recently about what's up with all the RateItAll accounts beginning with "MS" or "FB" that occasionally show up on the Hottest Reviewers section of the home page.

This is related to the feature that we recently launched for MySpace and Facebook that allow folks to read and write reviews from their MySpace account, as well as to take compatibility tests.

The short version is that users with an "MS" user name are folks who have not explicitly joined RateItAll.com, but are using the site's functionality via MySpace. Similiarly, folks with an "FB" user name are people that have not explicitly joined RateItAll.com, but are using our functionality via Facebook.

If somebody who is not logged into RateItAll.com adds our feature on Facebook or MySpace, we automatically create a RateItAll account for them starting with "FB" or "MS." Existing RateItAll members should make sure to merge their RateItAll / MySpace or RateItAll / Facebook accounts in order to avoid having two different accounts - to do this, just click the "Merge" tab on the Facebook or MySpace feature.

Recently, a RateItAll reviewer accidentally set up an MS account in addition to his / her RIA account, without merging it with their RateItAll account. This resulted in two different, active accounts on RateItAll. By itself, this is not a TOS violation.

However, some way or another, the RateItAll reviewer's "MS" account then applied more than a thousand "helpful" votes to that same member's RateItAll account. The only way this could have been done was via manual clicking of the helpful button on each review. It probably took a long time.

And because we have IP tracking, we know that the vote giver and vote receiver were operating off of the same Internet connection - in this case, the RateItAll reviewer's home.

This is where we run into trouble. While accidentally creating duplicate accounts via MySpace or Facebook is totally understandable, using this dual account status to pad your account with helpful votes is not.

As a rule, I don't like to make disciplinary discussions public. But in this particular case, the reviewer involved made some pretty outlandish claims that their account had been "hacked" as part of a conspiracy against them, and that the 1,000+ helpful votes that had been padded onto their account were a result of a glitch in the system.

There is no glitch in the system. The only way to access somebody else's MS account is to know their MySpace.com login. The only way to give another user helpful votes is to manually click the helpful buttons associated with their reviews. And our IP tracking tools leave no doubt as to the fact that the votes were given and received from the same location.

So what's the lesson here? Well, the first one is Please Don't Cheat. Our tools will catch you, and it might be embarrassing. The second one is that if you are using our MySpace and Facebook features, it's probably a good idea to merge accounts so that you are not diluting your reviews over two different accounts.

I hope that helps.

4/16/08

Compatibility Detail: Coolness

Guys, we've just launched a Compatibility Detail feature for Facebook that lets you drill down into your compatibility score with someone and see exactly where you are and aren't compatible.

Here's a screenshot of my compatibility detail on the alcohol compatibility test with Genghis. It is suddenly clear that he likes martinis, while I do not.

4/11/08

Some Fun Friday Compatibility Tests

1980's

Monkey Compatibility

Guys' Haircut Compatibility

4/9/08

4/8/08

Bible Compatibility Test Now Live...

.... on Facebook and MySpace. Many thanks to lmorovan for his help and guidance on this test.

4/7/08

Dog Compatibility Test Now Live

Hey dog lovers, we now have a Dog Compatibility Test live on MySpace and Facebook.

4/3/08

Two Quick Housekeeping Updates

1) There's now an easier way to merge your MySpace / Facebook accounts with your RateItAll account. We've added a "Join/Login" tab to the main navigation of both apps - just click that link in the app header and then fill in your RIA login information if you haven't already merged your accounts.

2) We've started backing up the database every four hours.... this should reduce the risk of lost data should we have any more db growing pains.

4/2/08

Actor Compatibility Now Live...

.... on Facebook and MySpace. We're going to try and roll one test in per day.

4/1/08

RateItAll Panel for your MySpace Home Page

Guys, for those of us who use the RateItAll Compatibility App on MySpace, we just added a cool new tool.

It's a panel for your MySpace "Home" page (not your profile page) that displays new compatibility tests as they come on line. Here's a screenshot:






















In order to make this panel show up on your page, here is what you do:

1) Open the Compatibility App

2) In the upper right hand side, click on "View My Apps"

3) Click on the "Settings" link next to the Compatibility App icon

4) Check the box that says "Show on your Homepage" and click "Update"

That's it. This will be a neat way to stay on top of new tests that are getting published. I wish that Facebook had something similar.

Simpsons Compatibility Test

I just pushed a Simpsons Compatibility test live onto Facebook and MySpace.

If you have a Weblist that you think would make a good compatibility test, let me know.... but here's the catch - every item will need to have a picture and description.

3/31/08

Baseball Compatibility Test Now live

Check it out on MySpace or Facebook.

General Compatibility Test

Guys, I made some tweaks to the general compatibility test on MySpace and Facebook. There was feedback that some of the items were too obscure for a general test, so I replaced several items with more mainstream things.

So, if you login to the app on Facebook or MySpace, please take a few minutes to complete the remaining items of the general compatibility test.

3/26/08

This is cool

Trebon is my friend on Facebook and on MySpace. We both took the Star Wars Compatibility Test.

Now when I open the RateItAll App on either Facebook or MySpace, I see my compatibility score with Trebon... it's like RateItAll + MySpace + Facebook is all one site.

Star Wars Compatibility Test Live

The Star Wars Compatibility Test is now live on Facebook and MySpace. Many thanks to Numbah for his advice and counsel in this area.

3/24/08

and we're back...

....

Site Maintenance is Beginning Now...

.... we are estimating 30 minutes.

MySpace Testers - I'm Ready for You

Thanks to everyone who expressed an interest in testing RateItAll for MySpace - it appears that a lot of RIA'ers also have MySpace accounts.

So here's what I would like you to do:

Step 1

Login to your MySpace account and go the RateItAll for MySpace page (we call this feature "Compatibility").

Step 2

Add the app ("app" stands for "application" / feature) by clicking the big button.

Step 3

* Before doing anything, merge your RateItAll account with your RateItAll for MySpace account*

You can do this by clicking the "My Reviews" tab, then clicking the "Join RateItAll and share ad revenue...." link in the right hand column.

Then scroll down and fill out your RateItAll login information in the "merge accounts" section and hit "Merge."

(make sure NOT to join RateItAll again by filling in the info at the top, only fill in the "merge" section)

Step 4

Have at it. Try a compatibility test. Try the search engine. Try reading and writing reviews.

Anything you post on MySpace will show up on RateItAll under your regular account (and on the recent reviews page), and you can accumulate helpful / funny / agree votes on MySpace from friends who have the Compatibility App that go to your RateItAll totals.

Once your MySpace friends add the Compatibility app, you'll be able to see their reviews (and award helpful votes), via the "Friends' Reviews" tab.

Stuff that does not yet work

Currently, none of the invite tools work (MySpace hasn't turned this feature on yet). So if you finish a compatibility test and check the boxes next to the names of your friends that you want to invite, they WILL NOT receive your invitations. The only one to invite them currently is to manually send them a message with the link.

We also don't yet have a Profile Module to display your reviews and compatibility tests - that should be coming in the next few days.

Please give it a whirl and let me know what you think....


Apture