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First lessons learned: feedback about folksr

Visible trackback links/URLs

Huh! I've totally missed that there are several blogging engines out there that require the user to manually enter trackback URLs. I'm that used to this RDF autodiscovery stuff that this simply hadn't occured to me.

I'll add the trackback URL in a visible form to the voteoption details pages of course.

Ping webbugs

Using the webbug to send a "digg this!" signal the application works but it seems to be a bit contra-intuitive and probably unreliable approach. Especially there's no way to provide feedback to the user like displaying a success or error message. When something goes wrong, I folksr can not inform the user about the problem or even suppose to change anything.

This makes me think I should definitely add a "digg this URL" form to the application.

I first thought that the webbug way is far better in terms of usability because I can theoretically provide a working HTML snippet which includes the webbug and just needs to be pastet into some statical webpage. When this works it's two steps (get the snippet, publish it) to get a vote in. Using an additional "digg me" form would require the user to understand and undertake three steps.

I think both approaches aren't mutually exclusive. So I'll add that form to the existing behaviour next. But I'm not quite sure if the webbug approach can be made reliable at all in the end.

Identity

I'm wondering what the best approach could be to restrict unique votes from being pulled from different URLs. Blogs often display the same article with different URLs (e.g. once on the blog's index page, the article's details page, probably in the archives, categories, tags, ...).

Without further any measurements the same voteFor link would thus be found and counted multiple times. Although this is mostly problematic with the webbug approach and not so with the trackback mechanism of course.

Probably it's a good idea to allow the "owner" of a voting to require users to somehow add a microID for the URL that contains the vote?

Usability

Copying a link is not the easiest thing to do.

I've been watching somebody copying the link and pasting it directly into one of those HTML Wysiwyg textarea replacments. Of course what he really wanted is to paste it into the source-area of this tool.

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