Wetpaint Network Maintenance Tonight

Posted by michael on December 17th, 2008 comments No Comments

We will be performing some network maintenance tonight at 10:30pm PST. The network will be down for roughly 10 minutes while we make some routine updates.

Keyword Tags: General, maintenance

Expand Your Site Without Changing A Thing

Posted by Boe on November 24th, 2008 comments No Comments

You trust that your users are your users. As your website expands with more modern functionality, it becomes a place for your users to collaborate, share ideas, and build a persona for themselves. When you add a new technology to your site, you want it to preserve your user experience by integrating cohesively.

Your house has a front door that has a lock and key. Let’s say you wanted to add a side door. Ideally, both doors would have the same lock so that you only need one house key on your keyring. Your website is no different. Your users want to log in once, using only one set of credentials, and gain access to all that your site has to offer.

As you add new functionality to your site, you don’t want to re-architect your sign-on process just to accommodate the new technology. You want it to use the same key you’ve already got. You’ve been trusting your current process to authenticate your users, you want this new technology to trust it, too.

Wetpaint Injected offers trusted user authentication, which trusts that your authentication system is acceptable to you. The user login API call takes enough information to identify the user on your system — information that you already have. When one of your users edits the content, organizes some information, or does anything using the Wetpaint technology, we’ll be able to attribute that action back to the user on your system.

The following are some of the trusted user authentication model’s benefits:

  • Simple. This is easier to implement than a model requiring that you redesign your sign-on process.
  • Cohesive. Your users will only notice the new functionality, not a new sign-on system..
  • Clean. It’s the same user, whether the action performed is on our technology or yours.

Learn more about implementing Wetpaint Injected trusted user authentication by visiting http://www.wetpaintinjected.com/page/Step+1%3A+Authenticate+Your+Users.

Keyword Tags: General

Mashup Camp — Day 3

Posted by jana on November 19th, 2008 comments No Comments

Here we are at Mashup Camp, Day 3!  It’s the last day of the camp and it should be a really exciting day.  We get to see all the mashups that the campers have created in the months leading up to the camp as well as mashups that have been created in the last two days!  Some of the developers were up all night last night putting the finishing touches on their creations.

Officially, the Wetpaint Injected Mashup Contest has 12 competitors.  We are going to give away $1500 to the developer who creates the most novel and engaging mashup using the Injected technology.  We’ve heard rumors of Twitter + Injected, Legal Data + Injected, and even Drupal + Injected mashups!

Additionally there is an overall Mashup Camp “Best Original Mashup” Contest where all mashups, regardless of the technologies that they’ve used, compete against one another for a brand new MacBook Pro computer.  Previous winners of Mashup Camp contests include podbop.org, MapDango, and WeatherBonk.

During the competitor “Speed Geeking” sessions, entrants in the Best Original Mashup Contest have 6 minutes to describe their mashup tool to the judges, camp attendees, and potential investors.  It’s not a lot of time to describe a new technology, but by the end of 24 rounds the competitors have polished their pitches to perfection.

How are the winners decided, you ask?  Well, all Campers are given two wooden nickels — one for a sponsor and one for a Best Original Mashup competitor.  The sponsor and Mashup competitor with the most wooden nickels at the end of the camp are named Best Mashup Camp Provider and the winner of the Mashup Camp “Best Original Mashup”.  So far Wetpaint has about 12 wooden nickels!

*fast forward to the end of the day*

Wow!  That was an amazing afternoon.  We saw so many interesting mashups — VeeJay.tv, a Context Sensitive Firefox Add-on (which uses Injected), SocialSite, I Need a New Job, Frankenstein, Blog Editor Assistant, and so on.  You can see more detailed descriptions of the mashups and developers on the MashupCamp website.

The most exciting moment came when the winner of the Mashup Camp “Best Original Mashup” was announced — Dean Mao, the creator of the Context Sensitive Firefox Add-on which used Wetpaint Injected technology to annotate any paragraph on the web!!! Additionally, Wetpaint was named the 2nd runner up for the Best Mashup Provider contest!  These two awards are huge accomplishments for Wetpaint.

Additionally, Wetpaint selected Nicholas Moline as the winner of the Best Wetpaint Injected Mashup contest.  Nicholas integrated Wetpaint Injected into the Justia website for use as a tool to create annotations on legal documents.  It was a pleasure to meet with Nicholas over the three days of the camp and hear about how Injected was a perfect match for the immediate needs of Justia.  In less than two days Nicholas integrated Injected and launched a beta version of the tool on Justia’s live website! As the winner of our contest, Nicholas walked away with $1500!

All in all I think Mashup Camp was an awesome experience on so many levels.  We were able to talk to developers directly and hear ideas about how Injected could be used and what we can do to make it easier to integrate with other technologies.  We were also able to talk to other solution providers such as Mozenda, Yahoo!, Zembly, and Calais about their technologies and learn from their experiences as solution providers.

Ryan, Boe, and I will be heading back to Seattle tonight and tomorrow we’ll share our learning with the Wetpainters back at the office.

* fast forward to the flight home *

Ryan and I opted to upgrade to first class for the flight home.  You can’t beat $50 for a seat in first class!  We felt a little guilty about leaving Boe in coach but our guilt evaporated when discovered our in-seat massagers — we were simply too distracted by the free in-flight drinks to feel guilty.

To share a bit of our experience in first class here’s a selection of quotes from the flight

  • “It’s a texture thing.” — Ryan (when explaining why he didn’t want to eat the fancy marinated mushrooms)
  • “My chair is breathing!” — Ryan (after discovering the in-seat massager)
  • “It has it’s own holder!” — Jana (after noticing that the individual salt and pepper shakers had their own holder)
  • “It startles me that we have knives.”  — Ryan (after being served an in-flight meal complete with real silverware)
  • “I feel like we’re high.” — Ryan (at some point after the booze had been served at 35k feet)
  • “This is not fantasy, this is reality.” — Jana (after realizing that 1st class is the ONLY way to fly)
  • “I apologize for the presentation.” — Flight Attendant (after serving us HOT, specially prepared food on real plates)

Keyword Tags: Conferences

Mashup Camp — Day 2

Posted by jana on November 18th, 2008 comments No Comments

Okay, so here we are at Mashup Camp, Day 2 at the Computer History Museum in beautiful Mountain View, CA.  The weather has been incredible!

This morning we planned on meeting Dave for breakfast at a nearby greasy spoon “Clarke’s Charcoal Broiler.”  I was pretty skeptical that a burger joint was an appropriate choice for breakfast.  Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived so we opted to head to the Starbucks across the street from the conference (I can’t say that I was too disappointed).  So, in true American style we drove to Starbucks in the giant rental car, paid for our corporate coffee, and drove back across the intersection to the conference.  Boe kept telling us that this is what people do in California… I’m not sure that I believe him.  Thank goodness there’s free bagels, fruit, and donuts at the conference!

This afternoon was filled with Unconference discussions.  Ryan, Dave, and Boe all attended sessions while I manned (or “womanned”?) the booth.  It was great to talk to developers who have so many great questions about Wetpaint.  Ryan attended sessions about the Read/Write Web, Securing AJAX and Mashups, and WADL.  Boe attended a session on Mashups in Education.

Things we learned today

  • People want to import their existing data into our system easily.
  • People want to seed their sites with content from other websites (such as unstructured data)
  • An interesting idea to import data would be to use a third party such as Mozenda
  • People want to know what features set us apart from other Wiki platforms — we really need a matrix of wiki providers and a list of their features to compare us to (e.g. what’s supported, not supported, partially supported)
  • One of the best ways to describe Injected is to start by briefly explaining our hosted product, and transition into explaining why partners wanted WYSIWYG Wiki cells on their own sites (for SEO benefits as well as the ability to keep the community in one place), then show them Injected in action on one of our partner sites like Flixster.
  • Having actual developers code against our API is an awesome way to surface issues and get insight into how usable the APIs and documentation are.
  • It sure would be nice to have a “rotate” function in the photo gallery for photos that are uploaded sideways (doh!)

Quotes of the Day

  • “I’m building it NOW!” — Nicholas with Justia
  • “Don’t turn it Jana!” — Ryan and Boe after I tried to give directions to the pub with my iPhone upside down again
  • “You guys have the best Swag!!!”
  • “You can’t come with us Ryan… you have to stay in the car — we’ll crack the window for you.”  — Jana and Boe after Ryan got locked in the back of the rental car again!

Photos from the conference are on the WetpaintInjected wiki.

Keyword Tags: Conferences

Mashup Camp — Day 1

Posted by jana on November 17th, 2008 comments No Comments

So far so good!  I had my coffee so this should be a good day!

Ryan, Boe, Dave, and I arrived at Mashup Camp in Mountain View, CA this morning.  We’re here for three days sharing Wetpaint Injected with developers from all over.

After attending the Opening Address and a panel on AJAX Standards I was left to my own devices at the booth while Ryan, Boe, and Dave conducted 90 minutes of “Speed Geeking.”

During Speed Geeking, the guys gave small groups of developers an introduction to Wetpaint and our Injected API.  Each Speed Geeking session lasted about 8 minutes and was designed to entice developers to join us for our more in-depth “Chalk Talk” sessions during the afternoon.

After Speed Geeking it was time for lunch and a quick planning session for our Chalk Talks that afternoon.  We decided that Boe, Dave, and I should do the Chalk Talks together and give Ryan a chance to work the booth.

Around 1:45 we headed downstairs to the presentation room and hastily prepared for 3.5 hours of continuous presentations.  The first “Campers” started arriving right before 2pm.  Although we were a little wobbly at first we quickly got our bearrings and decided to conduct the majority of the Chalk Talks in the form of discussions rather than speeches.  Dave and Boe did a great job of keeping the conversations flowing while I did my best to walk the Campers through a little PHP app I threw together during lunch.

After the last Chalk Talk we wearily walked back up stairs for some refreshments (gotta love free booze) and snacks.  It was good to take a breather and reflect on the day.  We also had the pleasure of talking with one developer in particular about how he envisions using Wetpaint for his wiki needs.

After wrapping up Ryan, Boe, and I headed to the nearest brewery for some beer and dinner (okay, so it took us a while to find the brewery, thanks to my inability to read a Google map on my iPhone).  Around 9pm we decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel.

To recap the things we learned today:

  • Always pack an extension cord and power strip
  • People really like free stuff (i.e. pack more Frisbees next time!)
  • Set a clear agenda anytime you give a presentation (make sure the audience knows what to expect)
  • Save longer conversations for the “drinking/social” hour at the end of the day
  • Bring lots of API cheat sheets (preferably print them on one piece of paper, folded like a brochure or something cool like little cards on a keychain)
  • Collect business cards at the beginning of each presentation (in order to send a survey asking for feedback after the conference has ended)
  • Film a developer “injecting” a site/put together a presentation where a developer injects a site on the fly
  • Boe isn’t very good at typing locations into the GPS
  • Jana has no sense of direction
  • Ryan’s bedtime is 9pm

More updates tomorrow!

Keyword Tags: Conferences

User-Generated Content Requires a New Kind of SEO

Posted by ryan_wetpaint on September 24th, 2008 comments No Comments

Injecting user-generated content into your site will make you think of your search engine performance differently than you may be used to. With your current editorial content, you’re likely targeting specific keywords or phrases that perform well for your industry. Every one of your competitors is doing the same thing, which makes for oversaturated search terms. User-generated content, however, will push up your rankings on many of the smaller terms, effectively capitalizing on the long tail of search engine queries.

Think of it this way. Your editorial content may be targeting “cooking” or “cajun cooking” as extremely relevant keywords for your site. These terms have many sites vying for the top of page one in search results. However, your user-generated content will contain phrases like “andouille spicy dinner“ or “roux thickening agent” because those are the terms that reflect how users think. Then, as other users search for Cajun knowledge, they’ll use similar terms because they think the same way. This brings them to your community, where they will add more and more of these user-centered phrases.

In effect, your existing community creates content that attracts like-minded users to join them. These users not only find the information they want, they also find an active community that shares their interests. This feedback loop motivates the creation of more content and user participation.

Weptaint offers many recommendations that will help your user-generated content receive the attention it deserves from search engines. Pay attention to these three key areas:

  • Content source-ordering. Search engines often prioritize content that is presented earlier in the source code of your page than content presented later. This does not mean that you need to redesign your site to place your user-generated content; content in your pages can be ordered differently in the source than how it appears. Through the use of CSS floats, you can move your user-generated content higher in the page than static or navigational content.
  • Link your user-generated pages. Your users will create pages and subpages that follow a folksonomy that makes sense to them (and may be entirely different than your own editorial taxonomy). These pages must be linked to and from the existing pages on your site via navigation, breadcrumbs, and auto-suggested links in the content.
  • Optimize your URL patterns. There are many tricks to ensure your URL is effectively representing the content of your pages. With user-generated content, you can include your existing site structure in the URL pattern, which will help the search engines “cluster” your data into related groups.

Learn more recommendations to optimizing your search engine performance at http://www.wetpaintinjected.com/page/SEO+Recommendations.

Keyword Tags: best pracitices

Welcome to the Injected Blog!

Posted by Boe on September 24th, 2008 comments No Comments

Hello, and welcome to the Wetpaint Injected blog. Wetpaint Injected makes it easy for peopled interested in your brand to create, collect and organize content. Injected enables all of this to be integreated into your website seamlessly. To get started, first get a dev key if you haven’t already, and then following our step-by-step integration guide.

This blog, in addition to the resources made available on WetpaintInjected.com are available to help you plan your Injected project from inception, to planning, through implementation and support.

This blog will feature posts on generated Injected tips, partner spotlights, and use-case highlights from the field, as well as much more. We’ll also be hitting the road and demonstrating the amazing flexibility and capacity of our product at upcoming conferences. Stay tuned for more scheduling and coverage information.

Be sure to check back often for updates on Injected releases and cool new features. Find out how others are applying their creativity to build interesting new mashups.

Everyone at Wetpaint welcomes you! Kick back and enjoy your stay.

Keyword Tags: Uncategorized

The WetpaintInjected blog will keep you up to date with the latest enhancements, examples of innovative use cases, and integration tips and tricks.

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