World Site Index

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Mobile web directory

Regular visitors to World Site Index will notice a new tab has appeared, Mobile Web Directory, this is signals our move into the mobile web.

The mobile web directory has been designed to be viewable on mobile devices and will only be accepting sites that are also designed for use on mobile devices, in this way it is hoped that the directory will grow into a useful resource for those on the move.

Categories will be added as requested so as to avoid the need for users to download empty category information.

For a limited time submissions to the mobile web directory are free of charge.

Automatic filtering of submissions

For some time now World Site Index has run an interactive filter on all new submissions, this filter checks the title and description for common problems such as keyword stuffing of the description, or duplicating the tile within the description.

For those that are interested the filter is written in PHP and is made freely available from our main site, just follow the link to the directory submission filter page.

As with any automated system it doesn’t get it right all the time, sometimes it is too strict other times too lenient.

Recently we disabled the filter for a couple of days to see what would happen to the quality of the submissions and if it was practical to remove the filter completely. The results were as we expected and very disappointing. The bulk of the submissions for the time the filter was disabled were deleted because almost no effort was made with them.

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Messaging in Flash

The initial rollout of our instant messaging network included a JavaScript client, JWChat, which allowed access to 2CatNow via a web interface.

Since then we came across XIFFIAN which is a Flash based Jabber client, after a few tests it proved to be more acceptable to users, it also works over a wider range of browsers as it is Flash based and not reliant on JavaScript functionality.

To top this off we can also allow the user to select, from a simple drop down menu, a conference room to automatically join on logging in.

The main 2ChatNow page has been updated to offer only the Flash client, with the JavaScript client being made available at 2ChatNow.com.

Instant Messaging

World Site Index adds an instant messaging network with conference room support this new service, 2ChatNow, allows people to chat privately in real-time or meet and chat in groups.

2ChatNow is built on the open XMPP protocol so virtually any Jabber client can be used with the service, some clients such as neos mt not only allow for text chat but also allow for full voice and video based chat. At the other end of the scale there are Jabber clients available for mobile phones, PDAs and other wireless devices.

As well as being able to use your choice of client 2ChatNow can also support federation with other Jabber servers allowing you to chat with your friends even if they do not have a 2ChatNow account.

For the times when you need to jump on for a few minutes but the PC you are at doesn’t have a Jabber client installed, we have provided a web interface which makes use of JWChat.

To find out more about 2ChatNow and start using the service, please visit the main 2ChatNow page.

WDC Gets an Update

Our friends over at the Web Development Community have started updating their site and breathing new life into it.

Their new blog is now online with a nice article, fluid or fixed, on their take on the screen width that web sites should be designed for. It was similar reasoning that caused us to rebuild the skin on World Site Index to be fluid.

The directory of web resources has had a complete overhaul and is worth a look if you are after locating web design resources on the net.

I’m sure as they progress with this update, WDC will develop into an even more feature rich resource for everyone working with web technologies.

What were they thinking?

We’re often left scratching our heads when reviewing submissions or category suggestions wondering what people were thinking when they submitted.

It’s not uncommon to open the review queue of our art directory and be presented with a screen full of real estate sites, hotels, insurance services and other assorted sites unrelated to art.

Maybe it’s me but I would think that the title of the site, Art Web Links, is a good start as to the subject matter, not to mention the complete lack of categories for real estate etc.

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Improving search

Keen to improve the experience for the site visitors we looked at improving the search functionality within the directory.

This started by changing the way we used the full text search functions of MySQL. These changes do seem to have improved the relevancy of listings returned for a search and so have been incorporated into the directory script that powers World Site Index.

The next step in making information more readily available is to pull the different search options together as at the moment searching the directory doesn’t return results from the blog and neither will a search within the blog return pages from the directory. As World Site Index grows and more information is added this separation of searches will become more of a problem.

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Currency converter

With submissions coming from all over the world we felt that we needed to give people the option to see the cost of an express submission in their own currency, and with ever increasing international trade a currency converter is always a useful tool.

So we added one to World Site Index.

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