markallanson.net

Zooomr Half Term Report

  • Geotagging. Absolutely Fantastic.
  • Nice color scheme – it’s good to get away from pure white for once.
  • Trackbacks.
  • Still new - so pace of change is pretty rocking. (caveat: see point 7 and further commentary below)
  • Free 1yr pro account :)
The Bad (Yes this list is longer, that’s ok though) #

  • Seriously guys – you need to release the API documentation, especially as Thomas Hawk is so outspoken on APIs.
  • UI Discoverability. When first starting to use Zooomr it can be difficult to find what you want to do. I know this isn’t just me being a bit slow – it’s affected other people as well. It needs a general cleanup.
  • More servers please. I don’t have any fingers left to count the amount of times I’ve visited just to have the site just completely time out on me. I end up having to leave it for an hour or so and come back later.
  • Communities. Although Zooomr is all about photo discovery – without communities it just doesn’t feel complete.
  • Why doesn’t my logon session persist between browser sessions. This is really annoying.
  • Links that just don’t work. (Profile Page: Your Circles Photo’s – looks like the other broken links have been removed from the UI in Mondays update)
  • The addition of gimmicky features like Portals instead of fixing the issues described above. Honestly – Portals are a very niche feature, it will be interesting to see how many portals are actually used once the fad and demo portals have worn off.
  • Kris seems to rush in features. For example portals above were implemented in a couple of days and put on the live site. I can’t see how comprehensive testing of these new features can fit into this type of timescale, and the bugs reported on portals seem to confirm this (see comments on post 1 and 2). See commentary below.
  • No real IE support. It’s still the most popular browser, however unfortunate this is, it must be catered for.
  • Small user base = limited exposure. It would be interesting to see how much traffic is growing at Zooomr. I don’t mean page views (things like c-net’s link yesterday inflates those so they are meaningless) – but users that sign up and use the service on a regular basis.
  • Searching for people using the search box doesn’t work. Even if you know their username you can’t just punch it into the search box, you need to hand craft your own URL in the address bar. (Yes sometimes it does work if the photograph has been tagged with their name or username, but it’s not a nice user experience)
  • The html templates that you copy off the Zooomr site to paste into a website/blog point to beta.zooomr.com. What happens when Zooomr comes out of beta, do these links stop working, or do they redirect and we’re stuck with permanent beta everywhere? What impact does this have on later betas?
  • Talking of betas, how did we get from v1.0 to v2.0 without ever leaving beta? That makes no sense at all and completely defines the craziness that is web 2.0. Maybe we are currently using Zooomr v1.0 Beta2 at the moment instead of Zooomr 2.0 Beta? Le-Sigh. At least we haven’t made gamma - that’s ridiculous.
Feature Requests #

  • Err, fix the issues mentioned above.
  • API Documentation.
  • Attaching notes on other peoples photos. Isn’t this what makes notes so interesting?
  • Recent Photo’s Widget for website’s. (you know this could be written by a 3rd party if you released the API docs)
  • Communities.
  • Dynamic image sizing on links – or – the option to define some of the intermediate image sizes. Why? Because my blog template is only 450px wide, so I have to rely on the browser to resize images. Of course browsers don’t do smooth resampling so the images end up losing a significant amount of quality.
I know these things will be addressed in due time, I just hope that development efforts are focused on fixing issues that arise in the site. #


Categorised as: Me


3 Comments

  1. Where should I begin other than “I’m working on it!” :)

    But to be more precise and to answer your questions in as few words as possible, here are some answers:

    * We are commited to IE support, I just released a patch today to get the front page and other pages looking correct in IE — IE is a tough spot right now because the MSIE team is saying to everyone “DO NOT USE HACKS, WE WILL BE COMPLIANT SOOOOOON WITH IE7″ — Or so what they say anyways, in paraphrase.

    * Innovation is a constant over here. There might be some bugs through-out the system, but I need to continue to innovate in this space. Trust me when I say that I’m stamping out just as many bugs as the features we roll-out. Lots of the issues you speak-of here are already in our bug tracker and are almost out the door.

    * The URL scheme was made so that we can easily bounce stuff around. So don’t worry about beta.zooomr.com being the URL at present.

    * Thomas Hawk and I are also commited to groups and social activity on Zooomr — It’s not out yet, but it’s one of those things we just want to get right. You’ll see those features out the door soon as well.

    So, lots of good stuff is going on, and we do hear you and others — it’s welcomed and appreciated!

    If you have any other questions, feel free to email me.

    Best,

    Kristopher Tate
    cto & founder — bluebridge tech / zooomr

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    Thanks for putting this list together. It’s funny, Kristopher and I talk about most items on this list every single day.

    We are in fact working towards fixing many of these things as fast as we can. Kristopher is our only developer though and every now and then he needs to get 2 or 3 hours of sleep so it will take time.

    Hang in there with us. We just fixed a bunch of stuff with IE last night. And the social community stuff, groups, etc. will be super slick when we launch it.

    We will continue to fix bugs and innovate as much as possible.

    We are deeply committed to the portability of user data and hope to have our API out as quickly as we can. Again, it’s just a time thing at the moment.

  3. Mark says:

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the response. I’m sorry if the post sounds like it should all be rush rush rush get all the stuff I mention done. That wasn’t my intention, I understand that doing all I mention is going to take a significant amount of time. I am a software developer myself and can honestly say that the task that Kris has taken upon himself is definately daunting to me.

    The only one I would say is a priority item in my perspective is the API documentation and release to a general developer audience. Personally, as I have mentioned to Kris already, I would love to write a Zooomr plugin for Windows Live Writer – but cannot do so until the API is done.

    Keep up the good work – and thank you both for keeping an eye on the community around Zooomr and listening in to our experiences and desires.