« Welcome to One Degree! | Main | Everyone is all a' Twitter - should your brand be? »

January 06, 2008

One Degree is Back!

Hello, 2008! Happy New Year from a re-vamped One Degree! We've made a few changes around here - many based on suggestions from our readers and community members. I thought I'd highlight the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good ...

  • Full Feeds.  Yay!  And we kept our domain-based feed address (feeds.onedegree.ca/onedegree - thank you, Simon). Confidential to our email subscribers: I wasn't sure what to do about you - maybe you like just the headlines.  So, in a few days, you'll have your chance to let us know if you want the full enchilada or just keep your headlines.  But try the full post version for a few days.  And then weigh in.
  • Feeds for Comments.  Often, there are some really great comments on our posts.  Keep track by subscribing to our comment feed.  Speaking of comments .. we also now list the most recent ones in our sidebar.
  • Even More Feeds.  We also now have feeds just for Job listings and Event listings. We like to roll feeds.  Speaking of which, if you are a contributor and if this is the only place you blog, I'd be happy to roll a feed for your posts. Just let me know! (Note: I didn't initially do that for all contributors because, well, it's time consuming and a lot of you already have your own feed on your own blog that includes these posts.)
  • Featured Contributors.  We love our contributors!  And some of you contribute more often and more recently than others.  And you should be recognized for that!  We feature our recent and most prolific in the sidebar.
  • Full Range of Archives. We now have archives by date, category and contributor; they are listed in the sidebar. We also highlight our tasty Video Interviews, our 5 Question Interviews and the Noise to Signal cartoons.
  • Post to Post Navigation. When you click on an individual post, you can now browse between earlier and later posts.  W00t!
  • Most Recent Job and Event Listings.  Highlights the most recent job and event listings in the sidebar.
  • Even More Sidebar Goodness. We've integrated both the OneDegree delicious tag stream and our Twitter stream.  Plus, we serve up a post from the archives.
  • Links to Related Sites.  We've added a few links to peer publications and associations in both our industry as well as a few that overlap occasionally.  At this time, we haven't added a blog roll.  It's under development and will be rolled out (ha, ha .. rolled out) soon.
  • Comments.  Comments are going to be open now - you only need to enter the Captcha to have it posted.  Our commenting policy is, in essence: play nice, be constructive and own what you say.  We will remove anonymous comments. Oh, we have enabled trackbacks as well ... so we'll see how that goes.
  • Updated Contributor and Advertiser Content.  Want to contribute or advertise?  There's better content there now as well as a new option for advertisers.  You'll see the first one later this week.

We also now have a staging blog to test out tweaks and fiddles, more control over our templates and access to some additional cool technology bits.

Extra-special shout out to Ken Schafer, Ross Rader and the patient, patient Diana over at Tucows/Domain Direct. Domain Direct is our email and domain host; we (heart) them.  Especially the support they provided during the holidays.

The Bad ...

You knew there had to be some bad.  Here it is.  All old URLs are now bad links.  And we don't have a custom 404 error page to help readers.  Not only did we switch servers but we switched blogging platforms (from Movable Type to Typepad) and their default URL length was not the same; it was one of the few things that wasn't customizable.  So, we decided to take the short term hit for the long term gain.  Google is continuing to index us with a custom sitemap so we hope that will mitigate some of the loss. Links are continuing to be updated in Google, but the site search may not work as expected for a little while.

A small positive out of this ... I became intimate and interactive with Google's Webmaster tools.  If you're not using them to troubleshoot and evaluate your content, you should definitely check them out.  Sean Howard put me onto these a while back, but I can't find the link to his post - so I may be mis-remembering.

The Ugly ...

Know what happens when you export mostly Textile formatted content into a blog that doesn't read Textile?  Yup.  Ugly posts. We believe that we've reformatted all of 2007 (thank you Textism .. a donation is on its way!)  We will be getting to 2006 and 2005 slowly.  If you feel like a fun afternoon of cutting and pasting, email me.  Oh, special shout-out to Bill Sweetman.  Bill apparently defied Ken's request over the years to use Textile for formatting his One Degree posts and instead created beautiful HTML that exported and imported like a dream.  Bill is in our good books.

Enjoy!

So, them's the deets.  We hope you like the new features we've added.  Feedback is, of course, welcome ... but maybe hold onto it for a few days.  The One Degree team hasn't had much sleep over the last couple of weeks.  

So, moving forward, we have some great content lined up as well as some new features that you'll see over the next few weeks and months.  Thanks for continuing to read One Degree!

Sponsored Links

Comments

Yay! Congrats!!!

I LOVE the new and improved one degree! Love the homepage layout BIG time. Easy and quick access to all the goodies but far more emphasis on the primary post!

And it was via an email that I told you about it. So all good! ;)

Congrats on the new look! I love what you've done with the place! :)

Thanks, Ken! I was concerned it would be like that show "Moving Up" where people come back to the place they sold a few months prior and trash-talk it! ;)

Thanks, Sean! Email .. I remember email. I'm glad to know I'm not imagining things or falling victim to the Ebbinghaus curve!

Nothin' short of gorgeous. Congrats to all!

Wow, check out the new digs. Well done Kate (et al). Now that I'm on the featured list, it does make me feel guilty about not having contributed in a while (maybe that's the purpose though). It creates a little competitive pressure to stay in there .... Cheers

Thanks for your comments on webmaster tools :-). I would really, really recommend that you create redirects from the old URLs to the new ones. If you are hosting on a normal Apache server, you should be able to do this with your .htaccess file - you can also set up a custom error page there. These things can help the search engines, but they are also a great help for your visitors who might be coming in from a link from some other website.

First of all, congratulations on the re-launch. Having lived through a few site relaunches in my time, I know just how challenging such a project can be. It's wonderful to see how you've built on the foundation Ken established.

I had to chuckle when I read your note about how glad you are I "defied Ken Schafer's request...to use Textile for formatting [my] One Degree posts and instead created beautiful HTML that exported and imported like a dream." Now that I report to Ken at Tucows, I guess my days of defying him are (nearly) over! ;+)

New look and feel is terrific. Nicely done.

Love the new look and feel of the site.

Great work OneDegree team, I'm looking forward to contributing some new articles.

Bill ... Ken definitely left us a great foundation to build on! It's been a pleasure to do so.

Sulemaan .. thanks!

Matt .. yes, looking forward to more from you!

Michael ... only a *tiny* bit of guilt :)

John .. thank you for your suggestions. I completely agree, particularly around being helpful to readers. We no longer have access to the old server, and I don't believe our blog hosting service allows us an .htaccess file - but I will look into that. I would really like to solve the custom error page issue!

Looking good... love the full RSS feeds!

Welcome back, we missed you! I'm enjoying the new features and in particular links to contributors blogs, recent comments and posts. I'm looking forward to seeing what else you have in store for 2008.

Thanks, Derek - we like them too!

Thanks, Eden! I'm excited that we're back, publishing and hopefully delivering the good stuff. Looking forward to more good conversations in 2008.

why oh why do so many links open in a new window? very annoying to click on a comments link and have it open in a new window, then to click on another link. I currently have four windows open for this site. um, not sure how much I'll be back, even if your info is good. sorry.

Hi, Collette! Thanks for your note. We added the "open link in a new window" widget a few weeks ago and it works great - in Firefox. It didn't occur to me to test it in Internet Explorer, which I assume you're using. That IS a big pain. Clearly we'll have to come up with another solution that works in both browsers. Thanks again for the heads up!

Post a comment

Welcome to One Degree

  • OneDegree.ca is one of Canada's leading online publications about digital marketing, online communications and social media -- penned by some of Canada's most insightful and innovative internet marketers. Thank you for visiting!

    OneDegree.ca on Twitter OneDegree.ca on Facebook OneDegree.ca Bookmarks on Delicious OneDegree.ca on YouTube OneDegree.ca on Flickr OneDegree.ca Primary Feed

Subscribe to One Degree

  If you wish to donate to One Degree, please use the button below to send your donation via PayPal:

We are looking to grow and enhance the site ...

OneDegree has been serving Canadian online marketers since 2003. There are over 2500 archived posts and over 3500 comments by some of the top thought leaders in Canada.

One Degree with FreshGigs.ca

  • FreshGigs.ca is Canada's jobsite dedicated to marketing, creative and business professionals. Search or Post Jobs Today.