Monday, October 30, 2006

Blue Dot interview by Robert Scoble

We got the chance to meet Robert a couple of weeks ago, and he just posted his video interview. Kabir and Mohit explain what Blue Dot is all about, and Derek and I jump in to fill in some more info and background. One thing that we talked about during the taping was our ability to share dots selectively with just a sub-set of your friends. We think that's pretty important to some of our users so they can use one tool to share things for both personal and work scenarios (wish-lists vs. competitive info). If you've not seen how to create a friend list in Blue Dot, here's what you have to do:
  1. Select the People tab, then click on My Friends (shortcut).
  2. Find the "Organize Friends" box on the right.
  3. Type a name for your sub-group (e.g., Work, Family, Funny), and click "Create Friend List".
  4. Now check the box next to each of your friends you want to be in this friend list, and click Save Changes.

That's it. Now, to publish a dot just to this group, the next time you click Dot This!, pick the name of your friend list in the "Share with" drop-down. This dot will only be visible to you and the people in the friend list; none of your other friends will be able to see it.

We also announced the Beta of our mobile search product - Blue Dot/mobile. If you have a web-enabled mobile phone, just go to:

and you can search your (and your friends) dots no matter where you are. It's handy for finding recommended restaurants when you're out and about.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New Stuff on Blue Dot today!

You may have noticed that we just put out a new site release.
  • Clicking on Dots will now open them in a new window. We asked you about this feature and you indicated that this is what you wanted. For those of you who prefer that things stay the same, modify your "Dot Settings" here.
  • We've added a "Tools Tab" and improved the navigation of the "My Account Tab."
  • With the holidays coming, we've created an instructional page about using Blue Dot to create your wishlist. Create your own wishlist with items from anywhere on the web!
  • The mail we send if you haven't visited the site in a while now has better information about what you're missing. You'll now know if your friends are leaving comments for you, sending you messages, etc. If you'd like to change these email settings, click here.
  • Due to popular demand, we've added the little RSS icon to your profile page so that people can subscribe to your public content.
  • And finally, we've updated our homepage for new users (you'll have to be logged out to see it). We're trying to give people a better idea of what Blue Dot is all about before they join.
Wow, that ended up being more than I thought! Please let us know what you think of these changes by submitting your feedback.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Adding 'Dot This' Buttons to your Blog Posts

As you might know, you can now put a "Dot This" button on each page of your site. To the bloggers out there, you can also put a "Dot This" button in each blog post. If you'd like to do this, make sure you understand how to modify your blog template, and check out the "Advanced Code" section on the following page.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Should Blue Dot Open Dots in a New Window?

We're having a discussion at Blue Dot about a new feature, so I thought I'd open it up to our users to see how they feel. Today, when you click on a Dot to go to the linked page, we re-use the same browser window. When you're done reading, you have to either use the Back button or click on the Blue Dot toolbar button to return to where you left off (and you may have lost the current position when scrolling through friends' dots). What do you think about Blue Dot opening dots in a new window? Some of us think many of our users would be annoyed at a change in the behavior. But the counter argument is that many people find navigation difficult now, and also inconvenient to lose their place when browsing our friends' dots. In any event - we will most likely make this an option that our users can change. But we have to pick a default behavior. What do YOU think we should do? Let me know which browser you're using when you vote.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blue Dot now easier to share with friends

Today we've launched new features on Blue Dot. This is our first big experiment with advertising; we think they are fairly non-intrusive, and will be relevant to things you and your friends are (publicly) dotting. We've also added the ability to "Add Friends by Email" whenever you create a new dot. In one step, you can publish a dot, and invite friends to view and comment on it. And they don't even have to be Blue Dot users to do so. Lastly, we've placed a "permalink" on all your public dots. Each dot has it's own web page, that you can now easily email to friends or post in a blog. We'd love to have your feedback on any of the new site features.