I’ve been pushing the biggest update in months online today and I can’t wait to hear what you think about it! The community is growing and growing and you guys post so many awesome and inspiring things every day, that it was about time to improve the whole browsing experience on Zootool. From today on you will be able to see a lot more entries at once and skip through them faster. The new design is wider and looks much better on large screens imho. This new update also makes place for more ideas and features I will add soon. There are still some sections with the old design, but I will update them step by step in the next days.
Please send me all your feedback about the new update to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are tons of feed readers out there, but for iPhone/iPad users there’s hardly anything better than Reeder. Started as an iPhone app, Silvio (the man behind Reeder) introduced an amazing iPad version a few months ago and now Reeder is coming to the Mac.
I’ve sent Silvio an Email a few weeks ago and asked him if it is possible to add a sharing feature for Zootool, so you could easily save stuff you find in your RSS-Feeds in your Zoo. To be honest, I never expected an answer, but Silvio sent me an alpha of the Mac app with Zootool support the other day and added it to the iPad and iPhone versions in a matter of weeks.
All I can say is that all three versions of the Reeder app are fantastic and I’m absolutely thrilled that Zootool is one of the few sharing services it supports. You all should head directly to the App Store or the download page for the new Mac version to get your copy (or better all three copies) of Reeder.
Reeder for iPhone
Reeder for iPad
Reeder for Mac
Reeder is not affiliated with Zootool, we just love the apps!! :)
The 4th anual Mashable Awards are open for nominations. Until November 29th everyone with a Twitter or Facebook account (and that should be quite a lot of people) can nominate their favorite web thingy. We’d be more than happy if you could help us and nominate Zootool for “Best Social Media Management Tool”:
There are so many cool people on Zootool and we wanted to give you all the chance to tell the others some more about you. So from today on you can add your real name, your current location and a short bio to your Zootool profile. Just go to your profile page (if you are logged in take this link: http://zootool.com/me) and click on “Edit your profile…”
We are excited to see what you all are going to write and let us know what you think about it: email@example.com
P.S. as you might have seen there’s also a new notification system at the top of each page, which will pop up whenever we got some news for you, so stay tuned for more updates.
A lot is going on behind the scenes of Zootool lately. We started to move all preview files to Amazon S3, the private beta of our new pro accounts is coming along nicely, there’s a new Firefox Extension and we reached some great milestones: 500,000 entries, 25,000 users and 1,000 followers on Twitter.
Today I am very happy to announce another great step! We switched all our email delivery over to Postmark. Postmark is an awesome tool, which helps to send and track emails without having to worry about setup, delivery and server maintenance.
We used to send out all emails through our own smtp server without really knowing how many of them bounced back or got marked as spam. Postmark keeps track of all that, gives us nice stats and takes load from our own servers, which is simply perfect.
Their API is super straight forward and it took about half an hour to replace the existing email code with the Postmark code. So all I can say is go and checkout the Postmark site: http://postmarkapp.com
Habu and I are currently away on our long-awaited vacations. We’ll be back on Tuesday 7th September. Zootool will be fully available in the meanwhile and we are going to respond to all your requests afterwards. See you on the other side :)
If you ever wanted to know how those pixelated Zootool default avatars are made, make sure to check out my post over at Tumblr: http://cl.ly/acf2586d74433b115d0f
Weird things sometimes happen. There has been a mobile Zootool version for iPhone from early on and it worked pretty well. I never had a chance to develop something for Android or any other smartphone though, because I simply don’t own any other phone and so I assumed that it won’t work on them. Quite a few users asked for an Android version and I always had to tell them that there is none until today I found this post on GetSatisfaction.
So fortunately there is a working mobile version of Zootool for Android (and probably any other smartphone with a decent browser) since
today the beginning :) Go and check it out: http://zootool.com/mobile
For those who signed up later or just didn’t realized, I really messed this one up! I added email notifications for comments and likes a few weeks ago and it failed completely. The comment notifications actually were a cool thing, but you couldn’t turn them off and the like notifications turned out to be super annoying. Here’s some more background on the whole thing.
Email notifications are pretty standard at the moment. You get notified about each and every move from your friends on Facebook, you get notified about new followers on Twitter, new checkins on Gowalla and there are countless more examples from other services and social networks. Some people like them, some people hate them, but after all they are a great way to engage people and build a nice and vital community.
We actually had notifications on Zootool right from the start whenever some user follows some other user and vice versa. This worked great! I then planned to add notifications for our comment system, because a lot of people complained that they never get to know when somebody else posts a comment on an item in their zoo. When I added that feature it really helped to get into conversation and a lot more comments got posted. I then became a little too enthusiastic and added notifications for whenever someone adds an item to their zoo. In this case all of the users who also had that item in their zoo got notified, which meant that up to 80 or 90 mails were being sent whenever someone added a very popular item to their zoo. Not great at all! I quickly added notification settings to the settings window, where you could turn off each type of notifications but I messed this up as well and it didn’t work at all. Being a one-man design/development team sometimes means that the only beta tester for small new features is, hmm, well, you :) and sometimes this just is not enough.
All I can say is that I will be much more careful with new features in the future to avoid stuff like this and I hope that most of you aren’t too annoyed by this after all.
To make a long story short: notifications are back in all their glory and they should at least work the way now they should have right from the beginning. Only the first user who adds an item to their zoo will be notified whenever somebody else likes that item as well and all the email settings will work now, so you can switch that stuff off if you don’t like it.
Alfred is a great quicklaunch application for Mac OS X, which is ultra fast and offers great features to extend its search. It’s pretty easy to add a personal Zootool search to Alfred, so this is how to do it:
It’s free and in a public beta at the moment.
Go to “Preferences” > “Features” > “Custom Searches”
Add a new custom search with the following values
Here’s the search URL you just need to copy and paste:
This will allow you to directly jump to your Zoo and search for a given searchword from Alfred.
Add another custom search
Here’s the second search URL:
This will allow you to jump to Zootool user profiles.
Try it out
Hit your Alfred keyboard shortcut (the default is alt+space) to bring up the Alfred console. Simply type in the Zootool shortcuts you just entered (zt for search, zu for user profiles) followed by the search word or username you choose.