Fuzzy Travel upgrade: what’s new?

October 29, 2007

In the past months we’ve been quietly working on a new release of Fuzzy Travel. This blog post introduces the new version, which has just been placed online. We’ll mention the highlights here, and we’re confident that you’ll find out the rest on your own.

Blog

WYSIWYG! Eh? What You See Is What You Get! No more inserting any codes to make your text bold or insert links. You can now style your entries just like you would when using a regular text editor.

Tagging

You can now add ‘tags’ — or descriptive keywords — to all of your blog entries, pictures and videos. This allows you to find back your stuff per tag, and to find others’ stuff that have the same tag. We’d like to encourage you to tag all of your previous blog entries, pictures and videos, and start tagging your new stuff as well.

Pictures

Quite a few changes here. First of all, the photo uploader has been replaced with a new one. The new uploader gives you feedback on the upload progress of your pictures, and allows you to select multiple files at once. This makes uploading (many) travel pictures a lot less work.

You can now add a date, a location, and tags to your pictures as well, for better organization. And to alleviate the process of adding these data, Fuzzy Travel now examines the Exif data of your uploaded pictures. If Exif data are available, we’ll use those to suggest the appropriate date and location for your pictures.

Also, you can now order your pictures by changing their dates. Not being able to order your pictures after you’ve uploaded them has been an annoyance, we know.

Finally, pictures are from now on automatically assigned to your blog entries. Previously, you could choose a blog entry where the picture would be shown. From now on, based on the dates of your blog posts and on the dates of your pictures, your pictures will show up automatically to the post it date-wise belongs to.

Map

Your map markers will no longer just show the last blog entry, but all blog entries, as well as the pictures and videos from that location. This makes your map a much cooler navigation tool through your entire travel blog!

Also, there are a few new options for displaying your map. You can now further personalize the look of your map by choosing the colors of your markers and the colors of your travel route.

And with this release we’ve switched to a different location database as well. It has about 3 times more locations than the old location database, so you should be able to find even the more exotic locations. Of course you can still manually add unknown locations using the Mapper tool (which has been improved upon as well by the way).

Sidebar

Be the boss of your own sidebar! Don’t like the ‘sign up for email notifications’? Want to show your blog’s tag cloud instead? Through an easy drag & drop page you can now manage the contents of your sidebar, and order the sidebar widgets to your own liking.

Character support

We never really realized there would be non-English Fuzzy Travelers. There are plenty though, which is great of course. To name a few nationalities: we’ve seen Dutch, German, Czech, Slovakian, French… Unfortunately, support for different alphabets other than Latin (English) has been rather poor. Cyrilic characters would show up as question marks, and so on. Well, those days are over. From now on you can use whichever characters you prefer: Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Chinese… Oh yeah, English will still be supported too! 😉

Templates

We’ve tried to make the transition to the new version as smooth as possible for everyone. However, we’ve had to drop some of the old templates, and we’ve added some new ones. So if you’re wondering why your travelogue looks so different all of a sudden, that’s why. Also, the new templates have room for a bigger header picture. So if you had already uploaded your personal header image, it’s been stretched a bit to make it fit into the new templates. Please re-upload your header image for a better-looking, non-stretched version.

Well, enough new features for one blog post. We hope you’ll enjoy the new version of Fuzzy Travel. If you have any feedback, questions, suggestions, complaints, or bug reports, please let us know! Leave a comment to this blog post, or use the contact page. We’ll be listening.

Planned maintenance for 28 Oct ‘07

October 21, 2007

Fuzzy Travel will go offline for maintenance on Sunday, 28 October, 2007 at 20:00 UTC/GMT (find out what day/time that is in your time zone). During this maintenance you will not be able to use Fuzzy Travel. The downtime should not last more than a few hours.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We will be releasing a new version of Fuzzy Travel, and this cannot be done while the service is running. When Fuzzy Travel is up again, details of the new version will be placed on this blog.

Fuzzy Travel goes Dutch: Reislogger.nl

August 20, 2007

Fresh on the web: Reislogger, a new and improved version of Fuzzy Travel. If you speak Dutch and want to start using the current beta version, you are hereby invited!

http://www.reislogger.nl/register

Support for OpenID

March 12, 2007

Fuzzy Travel has just integrated support for OpenID. “What’s that?” you may well ask. Well, OpenID allows for a single sign-on across various websites, so that you no longer have to create/remember a wide variety of usernames and passwords that you use on the internet.

New Fuzzy Travel users can now register themselves using OpenID, and from then on use OpenID as their method of logging in.

Existing members can make the switch from the username/password login to the OpenID login by entering their OpenID URL in the login screen, and follow the instructions.

If you’re interested to learn more about OpenID, this screencast gives a pretty good introduction.

Please note that OpenID is an alternative method of logging in that exists next to the normal username/password login, so using it is completely optional. But if you want to use OpenID, now you can!

Assigning pictures to entries

March 2, 2007

You can easily and quickly place pictures in your travel journal entries by assigning pictures to them. They will then automatically appear under your journal entry. One of our travel bloggers pointed out the following on this subject:

When I post a new journal and my subscribers are notified, I
would like to have all my pictures in place. However, to finish editing
the pictures, they need to belong to a specific journal. If I create the
journal first my subscribers get notified. How can I get around this
chicken/egg situation?

From now on, when editing your pictures’ info, the dropdown list of journal entries — to which you can assign your pictures — contains a new option: “Next entry I publish”. If you select that option, the picture will not yet get assigned to any existing journal entry. However, when you write and publish a new entry in your travel journal, all pictures that belong to that “next entry” will automatically be assigned to it. This should save you some precious internet time.

Slideshow of your pictures

February 22, 2007

On request from a member, you can now view your pictures as a slideshow. This provides an easy way for your visitors to get a visual impression of your travels — without having to click around.

slideshow1.gif

Features:

  • Images get preloaded for smooth transitions.
  • A fading effect in between the pictures (in most browsers).
  • Adjust the speed of the slideshow with a slider control.
  • Buttons to manually control the slideshow (pause, play, previous, next).
  • View a slideshow of all pictures, or select only pictures from a specific album.
  • The displayed picture links to the picture page where people can rate / comment on it.

slideshow2.gif

You can find your picture slideshow at fuzzytravel.com/user/pictures/slideshow.html. Or you can simply follow the link to the slideshow on your picture overview pages. 😉

Travelogue search

February 16, 2007

Apart from being able to search all Fuzzies at once, you can now search in your own Fuzzy as well. When at your personal travel blog site, you’ll see that the search box in the top right corner now lists the option to either search your blog only, or all blogs.

searchbox.gif

Searching your own blog will lead to a results page of matches in your journal entries, pictures, videos and comments.

searchresults.gif

Two new themes

February 11, 2007

In the past week two new themes have been added for you to choose from. Enjoy!

ConnectionsKubrick

Videos in your travel blog!

January 18, 2007

I’m happy to announce that from now on you can publish videos on your Fuzzy Travel blog! We’ve partnered up with VideoEgg, who will take care of the uploads, storage and display of all your travel movies.

To upload videos in the Member Area, you’ll first need to download & install VideoEgg’s Publisher — a browser plugin that converts and compresses your video on your local computer. Thanks to that process, uploading times should not be more than a few minutes (depending on the length of your video and your internet connection speed of course). The Publisher accepts several sources of video: files, camcorders, webcams and even mobile phones. It also allows you to edit your movie before you upload it: you can erase portions, and change the video’s start & end points.

Because I realize that not every Fuzzy Travel member will want to make use of the video functionality, the ‘Videos’ menu item will only be displayed in your blog when you’ve actually uploaded one or more travel videos.

A live example of an uploaded travel movie can be found here: Video of Tasmanian Devils. And here’s a screenshot of the video uploading page in the Member Area.

Comments, feedback, and your video publishing experiences are more than welcome!

Adding links

January 16, 2007

In the past week I received feature requests from two members because they wanted to be able to add links to other blogs and websites in a ‘links section’ on their travel blogs. Well, good news for them, and for the rest of all Fuzzy Travel members: you can now add links to all your favorite websites.

The links will be displayed in the sidebar of your travel journal — with a maximum of five to avoid cluttering of the interface. If you add more than five links, your sidebar will also display the option to click through to your Links Page — a page in your travelogue where all of your links are listed.

Adding and managing links can be done from within the Member Area.