Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Thursday, December 22, 2005
Freshblog's Guide to Kinja
So, Kinja's new features. I have some time to play today & have spent it exploring what's new.

Upsides, of which there are many:

Profile Cards. This is (at least in my mind) a work of genius. Not only can you syndicate a site's content using Kinja, but you can now view traffic information, analyze links, track inbounds, see the site on the wayback machine, translate the site, and label the site with tags, all from the profile.

In a great "find related blogs" move, each profile card also includes a number of small "preview plaques" (that's what they should call them, too!) for sites that Kinja considers to be related. They're calling these suggested relatives "kin". Plaques with a lilac header are ones that you already sub to. Plaques with a grey header are related sites that you might not have found yet, and that might be great additions to your digest. The presentation of traffic stats and related blogs on these pages strikes me as a great step forward, a powerful new feature, and a reason to choose kinja as your reader of choice. Check out the profile card for Freshblog.

There's more to this upgrade than the profile card, though.

The Kinja front page is now a v. clean search box with an alphabetical list of hot topics to pre-select if you're so inclined. All the functions are available from a window-top toolbar, with links to your digest, profile, tools and site help. Let's tour the options:

In tools, to begin with, you can manage your favorites from a new window made up of site preview plaques These show title, favicon & site description, & when clicked, go to the site's profile card. You can filter your subscriptions to display only those that have new posts from the past hour, day, week, or that post "infrequently." From the bottom of the page you can export your subs as an OPML file, which will open in a new window.

Back to the tools menu: There's a new Kinja Bookmarklet (added to my Blummy toolbox) which now has two functions. First, you can use it to display the Kinja profile card for any site that is indexed. It will also prompt you to add the site to your digest. I have yet to try it, having never successfully used the previous incarnation of the bookmarklet, but I'm optimistic that the made-over version will get the job done.

Add favorites looks pretty much unchanged, which is fine with me. The form is a "five at a time" URL input form, & will add sites to your digest. The advantage of Kinja over some other readers, especially if you're just getting your feet wet in the world of feeds and readers, is that they use autodiscovery tags to find the feed, and so you can input the site URL rather than having to mess about to find the feed URL.

is an option that allows you to hide either your whole digest or material marked with selected tags from public view.

provides a means to bring in an OPML file of subs, and also provides a brief guide to OPML syntax in case you're techy enough to edit or build your own file.

There's help available for the new features, as well as for the service in general. As I said, I think the profile cards are inspired, and I'm glad Kinja is back.

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Posted at 2:48 PM by John.
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Blogger Johan Sundström said...
Nice plaques and profile cards! I wish they would handle OPML import from Google Reader better, though; presently it's just a huge Tomcat backtrace.

Doing a bit of manual OPML massage on it, to hand the importer a trivial feed where all tags have just a "url" attribute and nothing else yields the most surprising guesses for site URLs; ecmanaut ended up somehow linking to a blog on hugs and I don't remember what. :-) Prior to instead crashing down on the "confirm import" page. Childhood diseases, I presume.

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