Something to like

It’s been a while since our last Meta update so thought I’d break the silence with the latest site addition.

Before I get into that, I’m going to quickly plug a few things that you might not be aware about if you’re not a frequent Nouse visitor, but otherwise feel free to gloss over them.

Mobile site

If you’re a mobile phone user, you’ll be delighted to know that Nouse has it’s own mobile website! Of particular interest is m.nouse.co.uk/recent-comments/ which will give you a clean breakdown of the 10 latest comments on the site – great if you want to keep track of discussion while on the move.

Recent Comments

It may not be obvious, but that Recent Comments title in the footer also serves as a link. If you’re at your desk and would like to check up on recent discussion, this page lists the 30 most recent comments for you, with the ability to quickly show contents of any comment by clicking on the plus sign next to it.

Mini sites

Whenever an event is on such as Roses, you’ll have noticed a link in the navigation bar allowing easy access to our mini-site for that event, but what about after the event? If you’d like to visit any mini-site from the past, check out the mini-sites link in the About section of the footer.

Search bar

A minor change, we’ve recently restyled the search bar, moving it higher up on the page. More importantly, the search provider was changed to Google, allowing in many cases much more useful results – try it out now to get a blast from the past!

Live blog

A live blog allows updates to be streamed directly into your browser, without needing to refresh the page, and is useful for describing large events such as the Roses tournament or YUSU elections. Most recently, we’ve added a comments tab to the mix, allowing comments to slide onto the page in a very similar way to authors’ updates.

Which brings us back to the present…

Facebook recommend

The recommend button under the title is as easy as it looks – simply click on it and your Facebook feed will show that you recommended the article, and provides a link for your friends to visit it. Change your mind, and all you need do is click the button again to remove the recommendation (go ahead and try it out on this blog entry as a test). If you’re not logged in when clicking the button, Facebook will offer a login page for you to quickly log in with.

So that’s our latest change and a short list of other useful features in case you’d missed them. Remember, these features are all written for you, so if there’s anything you think the site is missing or which could be changed, send us an email to tech@nouse.co.uk with the suggestion. Credits to Andrew Fairbairn for developing the Mobile site and Live blog update.

Well I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add in a few old nuggets, so here are a couple from last year to go out on:

News scroller

The scroller in the News section of the front page is interesting for one reason and one reason only – it can go back indefinitely all the way to the very first Nouse articles (trying clicking the right arrow a lot of times to test it).

News random archives

Tucked in at the bottom of the News page is a box listing a few articles taken randomly from the archives. Not very interesting technologically, but vast amounts of procrastination possibilities there.

York restaurant map

Among many cool features developed by former Technical Director Chris Northwood is a map of York with Nouse restaurant reviews pinned to it – useful if you have a high end mobile phone and need to chow down fast.

That’s all, stay tuned for more updates as they happen!

9 comments

  1. The new search bar is terrible. Switch it back!

    But on the reverse, I didn’t know about the restaurant map and think that it’s sensual. And the rest are good too, saving my F5 key on live blog days :P

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  2. Hi ~J, if it’s a colour issue, I’m not very averse to changing the background to grey, with a faint border.

    For positioning it was the best option when we had two / three mini site tabs up. We could move it back now that those have gone, but personally I like using that space at the top so our navigation bar can be cleaner.

    Also while it’s quite obvious now, with time people start to ignore certain parts of the page if they don’t use it.

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  3. “it’s quite obvious now”

    In my case it isn’t! I’m running Adblock Plus on Firefox and it seems that because the Ernst and Young ad is filtered out (id=”sponsored”) the positioning of search form and div is messed up and gets hidden somewhere. Maybe change the positioning from relative to absolute or put it before the sponsorship paragraph?

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  4. oops, thanks for the heads up! Absolute doesn’t work across different resolutions, but I’ll put the element before the form. Cheers!

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  5. Although adblocking software is brilliant and I used to use it myself, it actually does more harm than good, in my opinion:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/mar/15/ad-blocking-software-profit

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  6. Agreed with Oliver; it’s bad form to ad-block a site which only shows discrete ads or to pirate anything if the owners have provided a convenient and affordable way to purchase it online.

    Otherwise: no comment.

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  7. It wasn’t the colour or the position – I’m not fussed. However when I try to search for an article, I can’t find it. The new search engine doesn’t search properly. It’s just not as good at doing its job! Boo to Google :P

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  8. I agree with J, I think the positioning of the search bar looks cluttered, drawing attention away from the Nouse banner. Also, sorry for complaining, but the font for “Website of the year…” looks awfully dated – hardly fitting for an award-winning website!

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  9. I reiterate, my real gripe is that the search bar is now less effective at SEARCHING and this, to me, is an issue!

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