John B and I put in quite a lot of work over the weekend, and the new version of the China Blog List is now mostly complete, up and running on its own domain. John really did a great job on the new functionality, and I’m very grateful for all the programming hours he put into the project. I focused on the design and organization of the new site.
After putting all that work into the new site, I’d like to take a post to not so subtly call attention to its multifarious awesomeness.
First of all is the hierarchical geographical labels. I’ll quote the CBL Help section here:
> Having a very specific location for each blog is useful because the location filter is hierarchical. A blog listed as based in San Francisco, for example, will show up in the listings for (1) All locations, (2) Outside China, (3) USA, (4) California, and (5) San Francisco. A blog listed as based in Hangzhou will show up in the listings for (1) All locations, (2) Greater China, (3) mainland China, (4) Zhejiang, and (5) Hangzhou. Including the specific location of each blog is to that blog’s benefit.
You can filter the blog listings by location on any level of the hierarchy.
Categories have also been added. To prevent abuse, no blog can claim more than three categories, but I think it could prove very useful for filtering purposes. I have added categories myself to a lot of blogs, but there are just too many; I’m hoping blog owners will submit blog corrections telling me which three categories they would like their blogs listed under.
Traditional methods of sorting are still there, as well as sorting by “date added.” This is great if you want to see, for example, the latest Shanghai blogs or the latest Beijing blogs. Confine it to a specific category, if you want. Simple.
Blog listings are now paginated, and the user can specify the number of listings per page.
You can also use the map feature to filter blogs. It’s not especially useful, but I made it in Flash, and it looks pretty cool. You could use the map to quiz yourself on the locations of Chinese provinces, if you were that bored.
On the front page you will see that there is now a popularity ranking based on clickthroughs. Clicks are limited to one per day per IP, and there are security measures in place. But that’s not the only “Top Ten” list you’ll find…
All new to the list is two additional ways of getting China bloggers more involved in the CBL: China Blog Reviews and China bloggers’ Top Ten Lists. The CBL itself remains neutral, but it hosts the opinions of other bloggers in these two forms. (Currently you’ll find the top ten lists of Dan Washburn, Peking Duck, and me. More soon.) Both the reviews and the top ten lists give China bloggers a way to simultaneously promote other blogs as well as their own.
Last but not least, the dead blogs have been removed. If your China blog was down over the weekend for whatever reason, it’s no longer in the CBL. An astounding 30-40% of the blogs in the CBL were dead. Wow. We have a plan for keeping it from getting that bad again. (There are also some other features planned that are not yet ready.)
The design is intentionally minimalist. I can’t believe I managed to only use one image and two flash files for the whole site. I’m not satisfied with it yet, though… I’ll be tweaking it some more later.
Anyway, now is a better time than ever to use the CBL. The blogs in it are all essentially current, and there’s lots of new functionality. There will be a new wave of additions soon. ChinaBlogList.org is the new URL.
I need a break from all this computer mumbo jumbo. Posts will resume in a few days.