After two months in the making, the new design and features are finally here! Go ahead and take a look around, try out some of the new/improved features, and let us know what you think! But first, if things aren’t looking quite right, you need to clear your cache so that your browser will download our new style-sheets. Do this by holding down the shift key and clicking the reload button, or by pressing Ctrl+F5 (this shouldn’t be necessary, but just in case).
The first thing you’ll notice is that the site looks different! We were going for an updated look, and a brighter design. For the CyberNet “old-timers” who have been around for a while, you probably remember our very first design (pictured below) that was blue and orange. We’ve decided to go back to our roots and brought back the orange! You’ll also notice that we went back to the fixed width, and a wide one-column sidebar.
This was our first time creating our own theme from scratch, and boy, was it a lot of work! We sure learned a lot in the process though, and hopefully it is a look that you’ll enjoy.
- Article Bar
- Thumbnail View
- User Management Screen
- Thumbnail Galleries
- “Add This” Social Bookmarking
- Contact/Send us a tip
- Edit your comments
- Unread comment tracking
- Multiple levels of comment tracking
- Article Bar: In just a few clicks you can pull up articles from today, yesterday, and the last 7 days of CyberNotes.
- Thumbnail View: When performing searches, browsing categories, or going through our archives, you’ll receive a much more condensed view of the results. This includes a small thumbnail of an image in the post, along with a summary.
- User Management Screen: This is for registered users only. This will be the location to track unread comments, manage CyberMarks, change your options/profile, and get an overview of site statistics.
- Add This: Have a favorite social bookmarking site? Use the icon pictured to the right to bookmark any of our articles with your favorite services like Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Digg, Furl, Reddit, and more…
- Contact/Send us a tip: When sending us a tip, you’ll now be able to enter in both your own site’s URL and the URL of the item you’re submitting.
A new bookmarklet is available which will automatically fill in the article URL of the site that you’re on, and it will set the subject to the title of the site. If you’re logged into our site, it will also fill in your name, your site, and your email address. Sending a tip has never been so easy.
Just drag the CyberNet Tips bookmarklet into your bookmarks and then click it anytime you want to easily send us a tip.
- Commenting: The commenting system has been completely overhauled and customized! In case you come across a spam comment before we do, there is now a “report a comment” feature to report the item. This has proved to be very useful in our forum, and there is no doubt that it will be useful here as well!
- Edit Your Comments(registered users only): Just like before, you’ll have 15 minutes to edit your comments. Now you edit the comment on the same page as where you left the comment which makes using the quote feature a lot easier.
- Unread Comment Tracking (registered users only): This was available previously, but it is way more optimized now. This was a bottleneck for registered users before that could cause the site to load slow. We’ve spent many hours re-working the system so that it does as little work as possible.
We had the comment tracking capabilities before, but the problem was that they were cookie based. That meant that if you cleared your browser’s cookies or were using a different browser, you wouldn’t have access to comments you haven’t read on the site. No more! If you opt-in to our unread comments server on the management page, we’ll keep tabs on the comments you haven’t read! Enabling this feature can be done on the options screen located on the management page.
- Multiple Levels of Comment Tracking: There are several options for how you want to track your comments. You can either track all unread comments, or you can filter out posts to track only the ones that you’ve commented on. You can also disable comments from being tracked on a specific post via the management page, or you can track only the articles that you choose to monitor via the “tracks” icon at the footer of each article.
If the “tracks” icon is grey, it means that the comments for that article are not being tracked. If it is green, comments are being tracked.
- CyberMarks: CyberMarks is our bookmarking system that has been completely rewritten and optimized for performance. It still uses AJAX, so bookmarking an article is never a hassle.
Now you can bookmark and delete a CyberMark all on the article page via the “bookmark” icon. By default, the icon is blue which signifies that the article has NOT been bookmarked with the CyberMarks bookmarking system. If you decide to bookmark the article, just click the logo and it will change to green to signify that it has been bookmarked.
On the management screen for your CyberMarks, you can sort them by the article title, bookmarked date, or article posting date. You can also dynamically choose how many CyberMarks are displayed on the screen at one time.
Search your CyberMarks! Performing a search looks at both the title and content of the posts you’ve bookmarked. This makes it even easier to find your favorite posts on our site, and gives you a bookmark searching capability that you can’t get with any other site.
Delete you CyberMarks! On the management screen, you can delete your CyberMarks. The process uses AJAX which makes the management process even faster.
View the top five most CyberMarked articles in the sidebar.
- All-Stars: You’ll notice that we now have our active All-Stars listed in the footer on all CyberNet pages. All-Stars are readers who’ve frequently contributed to the site with commenting and/or submitting tips to the editors. We wanted to reward these frequent commenters, and this is the best way we know how! You can become an All-Star after you’ve accumulated 125 stars. You’ll receive one star for each comment, and you’ll receive between 1–5 stars for each tip you submit that we write about.
Wrapping it up
It may not seem like two months worth of work, but between writing for the site and developing at the same time, it’s been a long two months of working day and night, along with weekends to get this all done. Almost every single feature on our site has been developed by us at the request of one of you.
We look forward to your feedback. We’ve spent some time testing all of the features to make sure that they work, but you may come across a bug here or there. If you do, please be sure to let us know so we can get it fixed right away.
A big THANK YOU to those who looked over the very early mock-ups of this design to provide valuable feedback, and a big thank-you to EVERYBODY who contributes to this site as readers and commenters! :)