Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai

with 1 comments received.

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We would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Chinese New Year. It is the year of Tiger and may your year be a roaring success. Roar!

What do you think? 1 comments received.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Categories for Daily Dose of Fun

with 1 comments received.

image The engine for categorization of items in Daily Dose of Fun is underway. Specifically, the backend and database layer is done and now awaiting the interface section to be completed. Just a day or 2 left!

When this module is up, you can begin giving categories to each of the item you post on DDOF. You can give a single item more than one category. This will then be carefully stored in the database will sort each of the items accordingly. The main advantage of categorizing is when you in the mood of browsing through DDOF. You can then select by categories and all items related to the category will appear.

While waiting for the interface layer to be completed, any suggestions as to what categories should be up the moment it launches? Let us know in the comments. DarkHorse category anyone?

What do you think? 1 comments received.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Looking for the next Big Idea

with 2 comments received.

Let’s be honest, ShoutOutLounge has been on a decline for a while now. I am not one who refuses to see a problem when it’s staring right at me. I have tried a couple of remedies to prevent this decline but it looks to me like it is unstoppable now.

image So, instead of letting it slide into nothing-ness, I would like to take this opportunity to invite the most loyal users of ShoutOut (the ones that support ShoutOutLounge since the beginning until now) to the next big project I want to begin on.

What is the project about?
I don’t know yet.
What is it going to do?
I don’t know yet.
Who can join?
I don’t know yet.
Can this project earn big bucks?
I don’t know yet.

What I do know is this: The very first step is to gather a team of really hard-core entrepreneurial individuals with skills that complement each other. We are to be able to work well together, willing to sacrifice time and sweat into something we believe in and most importantly, sick of working for someone else.

We’ll then meet up, web conference or in person, and then discuss what we want to do, responsibilities of each team members and move on from there.

The objective of this is :

  • Create something huge that will impact people’s lives
  • Embrace the entrepreneurial spirit within you
  • For the Experience, regardless success or failure
  • If someone is going to do it, why not us? Create something you can call your own

image I am sure some of you have felt something is not right since you begin your work life. Working for a boss is not something that excites you and does not make you look forward to work. You love to create, you love to let others use your creation, you love to compete with others creators. You respect companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Mint, YouTube, Amazon and closer to home, Jobstreet and Nuffnang. If something have been nagging at you to be like these companies, then it’s time to take the plunge.

Experience gained from developing and maintaining ShoutOutLounge really helps out a lot. Not only in terms of technical skills, also friends and contacts. Elise and me can fill some of the IT skills needed in the team. What we need now are more IT skills, designing skills and marketing skills. If the idea involves hardware, then engineering skills is needed too.

Intrigued? Let’s get started. MSN me at lasker_saw@hotmail.com, email me at lasker@penangpenang.com or comment below.

 

Not sure? Test yourselves by reading these articles. See if they excite you. Mint’s success. Meebo’s views. Google’s way.

What do you think? 2 comments received.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What’s Coming, What’s Going

with 10 comments received.

Dear Shouters,

This round of upgrade has a couple of new things but also has a couple of things removed. Let’s start and see what’ll be going away. (if anyone disagree with the removal, please let us know in the comments too ya).

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The ones mark in X will be leaving us soon. We’ll sad to see it go .. but we think it has outlived its purposes. What do you think?

 

image Now, for what’s coming in … Due to popular demand .. ShoutOut Lite Edition!

We had a couple of good names to choose from for this edition. They are SO on the GO, Mobile Edition, Office Edition, Stealth Edition and Lite Edition. So from private votes we have gotten, we decided to go ahead with Lite Edition. It will be lightweight, loading only the essentials and also meant for mobility.

Accessing this is easy, there is a new option at the top right corner of ShoutOutLounge called ‘Lite Edition’. Click on it and a new window will popup with only ShoutOutLounge loaded in it. Perfect for office use or someone on a mobile devices. I know I’ll use it once I get my new phone!

You can also store the URL to this pop up page and load them up on your mobile phone whenever you have Internet access.

With this new upgrade cycle, we have also inserted a couple of new functions within DDOF (Daily Dose of Fun) that will enhance user friendliness. See if you can discover it yourselves!

So what do you think? The removal of the above modules and this new Lite Edition are welcomed changes ShoutOutLounge needs? Or do you have something else in mind, let us know at the comments below.

 

Cheers,
Elise and Lasker

What do you think? 10 comments received.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sharing Interesting Videos on Daily Dose of Fun

with 0 comments received.

A week has passed since the launch of Daily Dose of Fun. And now, we are launching yet another upgrade! As the title suggests, you can now share videos on Daily Dose of Fun.

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That’s right, we have been busy sharing photos for quite some time now, and its time to take it to the next level.

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To share a Video all you need to do is to:

Step 1. Click on the Daily Dose of Fun Icon
Step 2. Select the Video tab
Step 3. Fill in the blanks. The Video URL is the web address where the photo is originally from.

For advanced users, there is a shortcut for you to share your videos :

Step 1. Click on the Daily Dose of Fun Icon
Step 2. Select the QuickShare tab
Step 3. Follow the format below:
[Topic] [URL (Web address) of the interesting stuff] [Your notes regarding the interesting stuff]
Example: Puppy meets the stairs for the very first time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8PQVW1dG38 Aww, this puppy is so cute! :love:

Tip: You can do this on the ShoutOutLounge textbox too!

The result you’ll get is this:

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Once again, thank you very much for all your suggestions and feedbacks. Please keep them coming as it helps paved a way for better and better ShoutOutLounge.

Cheers,
Elise & Lasker

What do you think? 0 comments received.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Daily Dose of Fun Launches

with 5 comments received.

After 2 months of deep development cycle, we are now very proud to announce the new and very much improved ShoutOut’s Photo Album! But wait, it also comes with a new name : Daily Dose of Fun.

Let’s take a look at how far it has come :

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We have received many many feedbacks from everyone and many of those changes are incorporated. Our objective is to give the backend engine a complete overhaul so that it can take more future upgrades we will throw at it. The overhaul is done and its now time to launch it for testing. During these we’ll continue on with enhancing it further.

Lets take a look at some of the changes :

The interface. The design has gone through a major retouching and we hope this will present a much nicer-to-use interface for you. The Top and Left menus has also been added in preparation for future enhancement such as Videos and Albums/Groupings. We have also added ShoutOut Panel to the right of the screen due to popular demand whereby Shouters would want to Shout from here, rather than from the ShoutOut’s own main page. So now you can Shout and Share at the same time!

Auto Refresh. Using our existing technology from ShoutOut Panel, we also designed this page to auto refresh itself. So you do not need to click on the refresh button to see the latest item. It is set to refresh at the interval of 5 minutes. Do let us know if this is too long or too short in the comments below.

 

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More Details at a Glance. Now each Item has more details for you to glance at. 3 new icons are introduced, the Comments, Views and Likes. The name of the Last commented person is also displayed. At the top right, the like icon will be displayed on any item that you liked before.

 

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Better navigation. All page now has a back to top button that will take you straight back to the top. All pages will also have a better paging function at the top right and bottom right. The new [First Page] button will bring you directly back to the first page.

 

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Individual Highlight. Items are now highlighted when they are updated. And unlike previously, if you did not view them, it will remained highlighted. You will not need to worry about missing out any new updates from now on. But, what if you want to skip all the latest updated items? Just click on the Mark all as read button on the top middle of the page. It’ll set everything to read and all highlights will be removed. Any new updates after that will still be highlighted.

 

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Instant login. You can also login directly from this page. If you enabled OpenID, which we highly recommend, you’ll enjoy a single-click login. No more usernames and passwords hassle!

 

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Individual Item Page. This also received a couple of changes most notably the interface changes. One of the most highly requested changes are to open the individual item page on a new tab instead of a pop-up. We heard you loud and clear. Now each time you click on an item from the main page, a new tab opens and displays. Closing this new tab will bring straight back to the main page.

 

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Comments, Views, Likes and Owner’s Note. At the bottom of each Item on the Individual Item Page, you’ll see this red box that shows you:

  • Number of Comments
  • Number of Views
  • Number of Likes. Here you can click on Like or Un-like button (displayed above) if you like what you see.
  • Owner’s Note is a special space for the sharer to tell everyone anything he or she wants about this item.

 

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Better navigation. Also highly requested are these new features. Clicking on Add a comment … button will jump you straight to the new comment input box where you can immediately type your comment. Jump to latest comment button will take you to the latest comment that you have not read yet. This saves scrolling time for someone who is closely following that particular Item.

 

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Better Commenting. Commenting system has also been upgraded to include the following visual cues:

  • When the Sharer comments, a thin red outline will appear around his or her comment.
  • If a commenter calls your name, a orange line will appear to the right.
  • All new comments will have a brighter background to indicate new-ness. This is also where you will jump to if you click on the Jump to latest comment button.
  • As the person who shared the Item, you can remove any comments made.
  • If you are not the sharer, you can only remove your own comments.
  • Say button removed. There is no need to click on buttons anymore. Just press enter key to comment!

 

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Better Highlighting. Highlight system also received a healthy dose of upgrade. All designed to make it friendlier to use:

  • The Input textbox now moves with you. Whenever you drag the highlight box, the input textbox will move with you.
  • The Add button is removed. It may take some getting used to, but all you need now is just type and press the enter key. No need to move your mouse and click on the add button.
  • The highlight list on the right is now sorted by time. So the bottom ones are the newest highlights and the top ones are older. This helps when you are scanning through the highlight to find the latest highlight.
  • Highlight list is also highlighted (lighter font colour) to indicate new highlights that you have not seen before. This makes it very easy to notice new highlights.

 

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New Logo. You noticed the new logo too don’t you? Well, the reason we change the name from Photo Album to Daily Dose of Fun is because it is no longer limited to Photos. There are plenty of stuff that can now be shared here thanks to the entire engine overhaul. The very next upgrade will be Video, stay tuned for that. So with the new name, we’ll need a new logo to go along with it.

This logo represents a Daily Dose like a bite of watermelon on a daily basis. It’s sweet, it’s tasty and it’s healthy. It like a dessert you take a bite out of when you are taking a break from office work or studies. That’s what we think anyway. Tell us what is your first impression when you see this in the comments below!

While we are on this subject, I wonder if you have a suggestion of what to call the ‘Items’. If you noticed, I refrain from calling ‘Photos’ and called them ‘Items’ instead. That’s because it will not be limited to photos, also videos, links .. so on. Any suggestion what to call that? ‘Fun’?

Cheers and thanks in advance for all your comments,
Elise & Lasker

What do you think? 5 comments received.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Explorers in us

with 2 comments received.

Majority of Shouters simply love to travel. Going to a brand new location, soak up its culture and take lots of pictures. What makes me say that? Just take a look at the DSLR ownership level at ShoutOutLounge. I mean, getting a DSLR camera is a serious investment! “I’ll be going to plenty of places where lots and lots of photos must be taken!”.

Lets take a look at the places Shouters have travelled for the year 2009. These are the 'semi-official’ ones where Family Photos are taken to indicate ‘Shouters was here’.

ShoutOutFamily93

Angkor Wat, “City Temple” of Cambodia. aL, Satkuru, Angeline, Emily, Aaron, LeeMay, William travelled there on 18th of January 2009.

ShoutOutFamily99

Hong Kong, “Fragrant Harbour” of China. Wendy and Hugolim travelled there on 1st May 2009.

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Penang, “Pearl of the Orient” of Malaysia. Thily travelled there on 24th May 2009.

ShoutOutFamily105

Langkawi, “Jewel of Kedah” of Malaysia. David, Evie, Jane, Blurjess, Stevezen, Prettypink, Daniel, Aaron, William travelled there on 19th of June 2009.

ShoutOutFamily103 

Road Trip to Penang, “Pearl of the Orient” of Malaysia. Satkuru, Angeline, Blurjess, Aaron and Daniel (not present in photo) jumped onto a car and drive up to Penang on 4th of July 2009.

 

As young adults, we enjoy the freedom we get from our parents to travel to any location we want (as long as we remain responsible). However, there is one problem that comes from being in that age group, money. Most of us are not in a financially stable position, heck, most of our paycheck are just barely enough to sustain our everyday expenses.

So what do we do? Whenever possible we hunt for cheaper travel deals. When is the best time to hunt for it? Matta Fair of course. Guess what, its going to be held in KL on 4 – 6 September 2009. Don’t miss it Shouters!

 

Mayflower Acme logo For those going there to hunt for cheap and good travel packages, do take a look at Mayflower’s offers. I was browsing through and found a couple of interesting travel plans. Some of them are:

  • 2D1N Penang free & easy : RM83 per person
  • 3D2N Langkawi Mutiara : RM320
  • 2D1N Kota Kinabalu free & easy : RM80 (Hey! I want this!)
  • 4D3N Taiwan Shopping and Hot Springs : RM438
  • 4D3N Hong Kong free & easy : RM238 (I want this too!)

Plenty of interesting trips right? As with all promotions, these prices are only available during Matta Fair. So if you have been planning for a trip all along, don’t forget to visit the Mayflower’s booth!

On top of that, there are some cool events lined up by Mayflower too. Maria Cordero (also known as Féi Mā), will be making a special appearance at 2:30pm on 6th of September. She is a singer, chef and an actress from Macau. If that’s not enough, Mayflower is giving away a lot of goodies such as a Nissan Grand Livina worth RM85,665, free trips to Europe, China and Bali for any lucky purchaser. Who knows, you might be getting yourself a cheap and good trip AND bringing home a new car!

Great isn’t? It’s fairs like this that gives young adults like the Shouters ‘access’ to the joy of travelling. Since the fair is just round the corner, I can’t wait to see more where Shouters would travel to next. Hey! Remember to take Family Photos!

What do you think? 2 comments received.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

50% Web Hosting Discount for Shouters

with 4 comments received.

Dear Shouters,

image Thank you for waiting. The time has come to announce a great news for Shouters! For the first time, ShoutOutLounge actually have the opportunity to give special promotions for Shouters and Shouters only. Special thanks to Exabytes for graciously providing this welcoming gift in conjunction with the sponsorship of a dedicated server for ShoutOutLounge.

We know that some of you have been itching to get a hosting package for your very own domain, please do not miss this opportunity. This is your chance to host your own WordPress powered blog, your own forum powered by phpBB or vBulletin or even your own web application.

 

Who is Entitled

In short, Shouters. Yep, you must be a Shouter to be entitled to this promotion. Does that make you feel special? This promotion starts now until the end of this month which is 31st of July. It is also limited to the first 20 sign up.

What Do You Get :whee:

A very large discount of 50% off the price of selected hosting packages. Below are the prices for each of the web hosting packages before and after the discount.

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I can’t be sure, but if I am not mistaken, this is by far the best promotion I have seen from Exabytes. This means, your new blog/forum/web application will be up and running with as little as RM134.50.

How to get  

Very simple. Just 2 steps. First, you must comment on this blog post with your Shouter’s username and what will you be using this hosting for. Second, catch me (Lasker) at ShoutOutLounge and ask me for the Coupon Code. I'll then Whisper that Coupon Code to you. You will then use that Coupon Code when you purchase the hosting package.

Please note that receiving the Coupon Code does NOT automatically mean you will get the discount. It is still a first-come-first-served basis, if you sit on your Coupon Code while others go ahead and use it, you will NOT be able to get the discount if you are the 21st person to sign up.

Argh, I Already Paid for Another Hosting Package

We anticipated this and have asked Exabytes for an arrangement for Shouters with this scenario. This is how it is going to work.

Once you have successfully purchased Exabytes’s hosting package with the Coupon Code, you can provide Exabytes with receipt/agreement or any proof of purchase with your other hosting company. The proof must contain the remaining months of hosting period. Submit this to their customer service via info@exabytes.com.my. Their customer service will then extend the same remaining period towards the new hosting packages you just purchased.

Let us explain with an example: Mr. A is currently hosting with XYZ company and their hosting expiry date with XYZ company will be on 14-Dec-2009 (5 months from now). If Mr. A subscribe for hosting services with Exabytes now for 1 year basis, his hosting expiry date suppose to be on 13-Jul-2010. If Mr. A is able to provide proof of his agreement or receipt with XYZ company that his hosting will expire 5 months from now, Exabytes will extend additional 5 months for his hosting with Exabytes. In other words, Mr. A just need to pay 50% of the hosting price with Exabytes (while stock last) and his hosting expiry date with Exabytes will be extended to 13-Dec-2010.

That’s about as clear as we can get. If you need further explanation, please ask me at ShoutOutLounge.

This is Recommended

At the risk of sounding like a promoter, I would like to say that this is a highly recommended purchase if you are already leaning towards getting a hosting package. ShoutOutLounge was actually hosted with the exact same package as Ebiz Gold Windows mentioned above. When we first bought it, it was priced at RM700++ per year (this is including database purchase). Now, you can get it at RM199.50. The price alone is already worth it.

 

Update: We received replies from Exabytes and here are the answers.

  • Unfortunately, this promotion is not applicable to Exabytes renewal. It is applicable with new signup for a new web hosting package.
  • This is a one time discount. After the purchased period (1 year or 2 years), the renewal price will revert back to it’s original price as stated in the table above. Therefore, it is recommended to get a 2 years discount instead of just one to appreciate this discount fully.

 


 

(photo by Ronnie Garcia)

What do you think? 4 comments received.