I was hesitant to post this when we first released because we sent out a ton of invite codes and I wanted to make sure the system held up under the new load. Apparently, the servers survived the update (yay!) and now I’m glad to announce that we rolled out CloudShout Alpha 2.
What is CloudShout
CloudShout is a revolutionary add-on to your blog that builds a social network around you and your content. Making friends and communicating in real time with your readers is now built right into your blog! On top of that, CloudShout’s functionality can be expanded… People can develop applications using the CloudShout framework, that with one click you can install on your blog. These applications can range from communication tools to games. For instance, the FlickrShout application will show a collage of photos from all current visitors to your site. You can also install applications to your user account. This is cool because you now carry around these applications to other CloudShout powered sites. Say a site doesn’t have the chat application installed, but you and other visitors do. Well then you can still chat with those people right on the blog that doesn’t support it. Very, very cool!
What’s in this release?
There has been a ton of work to make CloudShout faster, smarter, easier to use, and more stable. Some of the new features that stand out are:
- Added online indicator icon to user’s avatars. Now you can see if people are online or not. Remember, even if they are at a different site than you, you can still use CloudShout to interact with them!
- You need an alpha key to get into the system (during the alpha test), so now all users have their own set up 5 alpha codes they can share with friends.
- Added ability to import your blogs from SocialSpark into CloudShout so you do not have to enter them again.
- Made the registration process from a blog even simpler.
Activity Hub Changes:
- Tightened up the look and feel of the Activity Hub
- Made it easier to initiate communication with other users from the Hub
- Users can now logout of CloudShout (at blogs)
- Users can now block other users or applications
- You do not have to be friends with someone in order to IM or message them.
- Revamped the user profile to show more information about a user, such as:
- The users blogs
- The users friends
- The users Tweets (if they’ve provided their Twitter username)
- The users Flickr photos (if they’ve provided their Flickr username)
Blog Chat Application (GroupChat):
- You can now get a transcript of the chat as far back as when you joined the blog’s chat room.
- The App Store/App Manager application has been reworked to make finding and managing apps easier.
- Provides more information about applications such as: Descriptions, Ratings, Comments, etc.
- We now provide a better online editor for editing CloudShout Applications.
- New App review system. When an Application is published, it will go into a review process before being available to CloudShout users.
- Added a CSS Reset to application containers to resolve the issue of a blogs CSS creeping into your application.
You can find general CloudShout help in our forums. This forum is intended for people to get help on such things as installing CloudShout, or help using various CloudShout applications. If you are developing applications and need help, I suggest visiting our Google Group on developing CloudShout apps.
And finally, I want to thanks all our Alpha 1 users for all the great feedback they have provided.