Major Update to Yonkly: Widgets, Ads & More

I just released a new version of Yonkly with a ton of new features.

Widgets

If you are logged in, you can add a widget to your sidebar even place Google ads if you wanted.  Take a look at the widget in my profile at http://yonkly.com/eibrahim.  To add your own widget, go to settings and click the widgets link then simply add your widget code and hit save

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If you want your widget to fit nicely with the rest of the sidebar, click the link "insert default widget" and add your script in the correct place.

Control Panel

If you are the owner of the site i.e. an admin, you will have access to a control panel where you can customize a ton of things

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Site Settings

You can modify all sort of site settings such as title, description, keywords, amazon s3 information and so on.

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Email Templates

You can customize all the emails that get sent out e.g. "someone is following", "someone joined your group", "thanks for signing up", etc.

Ad Management

Now, you can add advertisements to your site by adding the ads code in the appropriate location.  You can add it as a banner in the sidebar or in the message stream.

Here is a sidebar ad, you can also skin to match the site

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Here is a banner ad

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And here is an embedded ad in the message stream

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Theme Management

You can change the theme of the site.  For examples, check www.hokietalk.com and www.isweat.com.  Here is the theme selection screen

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Content Management

See the TOS, privacy and contact us links in the footer, those are dynamically created and you can create other pages as well e.g. "FAQ", "Help" and so on…  You simply enter a page name and the content using a rich text editor

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User Management

This is just a way to assign/revoke admin privileges to users.

The Future

I am very excited about all the new features specially that the site owner and the user can display ads and make money.   I can’t wait to release the new version.  Contact me if you are interested in setting up your own microblogging platform.

Stay Tuned!!!

Backup Your Twitter Messages @ Yonkly

Yonkly is not a backup service but I just added a new feature that lets you import your twitter messages into your yonkly account, so try it out.

Login then go to your profile page at http://yonkly.com/profile and click the "import twitter messages" link half way down the page.

It is smart enough to not import the same message twice.  Let me know how it works out for you and what you think about it.

[off topic]

This is completely off topic but I highly recommend reading "The Last Lecture".  If you don’t know what it’s about watch this video (3+ million views).

Yonkly Groups and new Look

We finally got around to releasing a new version of yonkly.  We have cleaned up the look and feel of the site and I think it looks better now.

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We added a new feature that allows you to create groups.  You can create a group such as “MVC Developers” or “My Soccer Team” where members of that group can discuss things related to the group without “polluting” the public timeline.

Currently, you can only create public groups but in the next release, we will include the ability to create private groups that are only viewable by group members.

When creating a new group, you can choose to have members auto approved which will automatically approve any member who wants to join.  If you choose manual approval then you (the group owner) will have to approve/reject every member manually.

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So go ahead and try it out.

Check out available groups at http://yonkly.com/group/list

Create a new group at http://yonkly.com/group/new

Or join the “Yonkly Ideas” group at http://yonkly.com/group/YonklyIdeas

Let me know what you think.

Yonkly Source Code

[UPDATE] Source code is now available in codeplex at http://www.codeplex.com/yonkly

I apologize for the delay of releasing the source code for Yonkly (the twitter clone).

The code is still not 100% ready but I have received so many requests for the source code and figured it is better to put something online until I clean it up than wait until I reach perfection (a moving target).

In the near future, the source code will be in a code sharing site for all to contribute and play with. Basically anyone who’s got a decent broadband service at home can download and go tweaking the code. We are currently using assembla and will open it up to the public very soon

In the meantime, here is a fully functioning project that I just converted to Preview 3 this morning (so you might run into some issues).  Get it here and read the included readme file.

Also, I would like to thank Justine for making this possible.

Yonkly: Updated 05/09/2008

[update: Yonkly source code is now public]

We just released a new updated version younkly that is mostly bug fixes. We couldn’t get full twitter integration in place for this release, but Justine is working hard on it.

Fixed bugs

  1. Updated code to use the latest MVC code refresh
  2. Fixed bug with Gravatar image if email is in MiXeD case.
  3. Added the message being replied to in the notification email
  4. Fixed display of messages with single apostrophes
  5. Messages with apostrophes post correctly to twitter
  6. Reply box is cleared after the message is sent.

Upcoming Upgrades

  1. Deeper Twitter integration
  2. OpendID integration

Yonkly: New Release 04-14-08

[update: Yonkly source code is now public]

I just released an updated version of Yonkly.

Here is a list of changes, additions and improvements:

  1. Fixed email issues
  2. Added About section under the avatar
  3. Using TinyUrl for Url shortening.
  4. Added profile Url under the avatar (so add your blog/website to your profile)
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  5. Added more stats and each one is linked to the appropriate view
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  6. Improved the message timestamp, so it is more granular (days, hours and minutes)
  7. Improved search so “tes” will match “tes*” but will only return 5 matches.
  8. Improved error handling and a generic error page.
  9. Added error logging to database
  10. Improved performance of some queries
  11. Refactored code and views

I will try to update it every couple of days, so stay tuned for more updates.

Don’t hesitate to request/suggest a feature. I am kind of winging it right now.

Yonkly – Open Source Twitter

[update: Yonkly source code is now public]

[update 2: I just created www.isweat.com using the yonkly engine]

[update 3: Tons of new features]

Asp.net MVC framework rocks. I wanted to play with it more and decided why not build an open source twitter. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with a better name for it that had an available domain so Yonkly it is. Come to think of it Yonkly is not too bad – http://yonkly.com

I will post the source code online very soon at either codeplex or Google – not sure which one is better yet. Any suggestions? I just need to clean it up and add some comments before I post it online. Hopefully, no one will laugh at my code.

This first release has the following features (Note: this is only one week’s worth of work):

  1. Conversation threads – here is an example
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  2. Message replies automatically turn into a conversation, just hit the reply button image
  3. Message deletes – cannot delete messages that have been replied to.
  4. Follow and Un-follow friends
  5. Built-in URL shortening
  6. Public timeline
  7. Friends and followers stats
  8. Integration with Gravatar (www.gravatar.com)
  9. Search for friends by email or username
  10. Invite friends

Depending on community support and involvement, I am hopping to add the following features in the next release(s):

  1. REST API
  2. RSS feeds
  3. Twitter and Facebook integration
  4. Expanded user profile
  5. Friend finder – using gmail, hotmail, outlook imports, etc…
  6. Email notifications with opt-in/opt-out options
  7. Silverlight, Windows, mac and mobile clients (require the API)
  8. Migrate to SQL Server standard
  9. UI changes and improvements

The following was used to build the site:

  1. Asp.net 3.5 MVC Framework Preview 2
  2. JQuery for JavaScript and Ajax
  3. SQL Server Express

This was an excellent learning experience which was only possible because of all the MVC fans, bloggers and community. These are all my mvc-related bookmarks that I kept referring to during the development process – http://del.icio.us/eibrahim/mvc

FUN STUFF

How about becoming part of this open source project? If you are interested, leave a comment below or contact me via the contact page. Also, subscribe to my blog to get notified of updates, new releases and so on.

You can also find me on yonkly at yonkly.com/eibrahim or twitter (how ironic) at twitter.com/eibrahim