Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Blog Features! (Including @Anywhere)

Well, I must admit that I am not just a social media enthusiast. I have a passion for all technology, especially programming. While I cannot say I have extensive knowledge of Javascript, jQuery, and the associated client-side scripting, but I do have fun experimenting with services built using these languages, and you might have noticed the side effects. Among the new additions include Disqus comments, Google's new "Rebuzz" button, and, finally, @Anywhere!

Starting off with Disqus, somehow I did not notice this service over the past few months, and now that I have, I gladly welcome it. The service integrates easily with your Blogger template, and allows a more extensive commenting system than the standard Blogger interface provides. With more control over who can post, the ability to reply to specific comments, and a cool new look, I believe the new comment system is here to stay. The next feature, Google's "Rebuzz" button, was recently released as the first official Buzz button for websites. Everybody has long known and used the Tweetmeme "Retweet" buttons, and Google decided to implement its own version. Unfortunately, the integration experience with the Buzz button was not as pleasant as Disqus, using about an hour of my time attempting to find exactly where in the HTML to place the button where it would float correctly with the post titles. Try it out, "rebuzz" some posts.

Finally, the last, and probably the more important and exciting, feature is Twitter's @Anywhere. The feature recently went live, and is Twitter latest competition with the ever-expanding Facebook Connect. To explain it briefly, you place a few lines of script on your website, and bam! Anything that looks remotely like a valid Twitter username has a hover box that appears when you hover over it. For example, if I type @louisgray or @holdenpage, try hovering over the linked text (don't click!). Furthermore, you might notice the "Follow @Parent5446 on Twitter" button in the bottom-right corner of your screen. This was a little more tricky, as I had to use custom HTML to put the button at the bottom of the screen, but anybody with basic CSS experience could do it. As with Facebook Connect, the new service includes login capabilities that can be integrated with actual Twitter applications. But the most exciting part of @Anywhere is not what features it provides, but the possible effects on Twitter's influence in the blogosphere.

Third-party developers have been constantly expanding the world of Twitter. With 105 million users, and 300 thousand more every day, this is rightly so. The @Anywhere platform is simply another extension of the Twitter platform that developers can use to create even crazier applications than are already on the market. The advantage that @Anywhere has over Facebook Connect is Twitter's public nature. Usernames and profiles in Twitter are normally visible to the world, so @Anywhere can provide services such as username linkification or the hover boxes on this site. These features could not be used in Facebook, where a public link would not sit well outside the walled gardens. With new integration features, expect to see Twitter making its way deeper into the social media world.

If anybody has any other suggestions for how I could improve the technical aspect (or appearance) of this blog, please comment. Actually, if you have any comments on this blog, suggestions, anything, everybody is welcome to leave their suggestions.


  1. Dude, the @anywhere thing is cool.

    Do you know how to implement that in Wordpress?

    Also, lovin the Disqus, it makes me that much more willing to comment.

  2. I got it to work on index.php and it turns out you need to insert those codes into each template file.

    OTHERWISE, works great :D Thanks tyler

  3. No problem. I only hope that Twitter expands the service with new cool tools we can use.

  4. Me too, I am honestly thoroughly impressed by this. Digging deeper into what can (currently) be done with it.

  5. Do you know what the callback URL needs to be? Seemingly everything I am trying is not working

  6. I just the blog's main page ( and it worked.

  7. turns out how I registered my domain needed to leave out the "www" it is solved now :D

  8. Nice work. I should borrow you to get the Buzz working with my Retweet button and get @Anywhere going on my site too. :)

  9. There's already a plugin for WP to get it up and running instantly.

    Watching it in action on your blog has nearly convinced me to (1) actually set up a twitter account (2) use this feature.

    p.s. I know: "He doesn't even have twitter?" Am still on the fence about how usable it is for me.
    p.p.s Is there some reason I can't comment on your shares on Buzz anymore?

  10. Ahh, damn WP. And idk why you cannot comment. I'll check it out. Usually i add everybody to my Friends group so they can comment.

  11. Yeah for all your Reader imports on Buzz it specifically says that you have disabled comments.

  12. <-- @anywhere for wordpress , enjoy.

    i want to make an addition of my own as a feature that i feel you will enjoy.
    bleeding edge UX ,well now not so bleeding edge but just hit the market ...
    use on your blog or site with an archive of content which will start targeted
    interaction with your users..

  13. FYI - The rebuzz counter doesn't increment or it's delayed.

  14. Yeah, I've realized, but at least it lets people to "Rebuzz" my posts if they desire, which I hope they do.