Friday, February 27, 2009

We Now Have a Facebook Page

Seems like everyone has a Facebook page these days and we felt left out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shortcuts for somd.com Subdomains

We setup some shortcuts for those of us who still type our URLs directly into the browser:

c.somd.com --> classifieds.somd.com

f.somd.com --> forums.somd.com


SOMD.TV: Obama State of the Economy Address on 24-Feb-2009

Pres. Obama addresses the nation before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 24.  We posted the video to somd.tv.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Embed Hulu.com Videos in Forum Posts

Just added support for hulu.com -- the new site that provides free HQ viewing of current and historic TV shows from several popular networks.




To embed a Hulu video in your post, use BBCode:

[HULU]insert-Hulu-ID-here[/HULU]

Get the HuluID from the embded code they generate when you lick on the Embded link for the video of interest:

<object width="512" height="296"><param name="movie" value="http://www.hulu.com/embed/gcNujLr0EWaTTCbO1D2OEQ"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><embed src="http://www.hulu.com/embed/gcNujLr0EWaTTCbO1D2OEQ" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="512" height="296"></embed></object>

where the huluID in this example is: gcNujLr0EWaTTCbO1D2OEQ

With this addition, we now support embed videos from the following sites:
  • YouTube.com
  • Eyeblast.com
  • RedLasso.com
  • MSNBC

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Feature: Month in Photos

We've been testing a new feature the past few weeks called Southern Maryland in Photos.  Every month we compile news and human interest photos and display them in select locations throughout somd.com.  Currently we display a small slideshow at the bottom of every headline news article.  We also display a larger slideshow on the main news index page.

Here is the slideshow for Feb. 2009:



If you snap a few photos that are newsworthy, or of interest to the local community, and would like to see them included in the monthly photo feature, please email them to pics (at) somd.com.  Please be sure to include the following:

* The photo(s).  Please submit the photo in JPEG or PNG format.  We prefer a resolution of 1024x768 pixels or higher, but we'll accept anything down to 640x480 (VGA).  Most modern cell phones will shoot at least 640x48o pixels.

* Your name.  If you wish to remain anonymous, please so state.  But, we still need your real name to protect us against any future copyright claims. Oh, and please only submit photos that you personally took.  We can not accept third party submissions due to stringent copyright laws.

* A brief caption detailing what is happening in the photo.  Please be concise, but specific enough that a total stranger would understand what is happening.

* The date the photo was taken.  Please do not submit photos that are more than 2 weeks old.

We are currently working on an archive page where readers can view all slideshows for prior months.

P.S. Any photos that are submitted with press releases are automatically considered for this feature.  There is no need to submit photos twice.

Letter About Obama's Fitness sees 14,000+ Views

Within minutes after posting this Letter to the Editor about President-elect Obama's physical fitness, Google News picked it up and kept it on their front page.

http://somd.com/news/headlines/2008/8701.shtml

The letter was posted around noon on Nov. 09. By the evening there were more than 14,000 page views. As of today, there are 14,715 page views (14,347 Unique views).  This is the most views we have ever received for any news article as of the publication date.

Embed More Video File Types in Forum Posts

We've expanded the types of video files that can be embedded in forum posts. Now supporting:

-- YouTube
-- EyeBlast
-- RedLasso
-- MSNBC

Complete details are here in this thread:

We must use this method (as opposed to simply pasting the embed code from the video hosting sites) because of security concerns. Allowing any reader to post HTML code in a post opens up an entire world of potential security problems.

If there are other formats you would like to see supported, please write to us.  You could also post in the aforementioned thread, but chances are I won't see it for months.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wiki Progress, Search Coming Back to Speed

The wiki project is progressing nicely:

http://wiki.somd.com/

Authors are still invited to apply.  Just write to us and let us know what topic(s) you would be interested in writing about and tell us a little about your background.  You can also just submit articles for us to post if you don't care to be a full-time author.

The wiki is now back in the master search engine:

http://search.somd.com/

The forums are also being worked back into the master search engine as I write this. The engine provides an integrated search engine for every thing So. Maryland. All the good, authoritative information with the junk filtered out.

New Printer Friendly Page for News Articles

We now have a printer friendly page utility for all headline news articles. The utility strips out all non-essential information and only displays the Title, post date, and article. Press CONTROL-P when viewing the page to send it to your printer.

See the "Printer Friendly Page" link in the left column of all news articles immediately above the RSS and Twitter icons.

This is my Green initiative for the week. Save printer paper...

Archiving Photo & Video files

I will be archiving our photo and video libraries to online services, to enhance the sharing of the Southern Maryland Experience.

Photos will be on Google Picasa Web Albums:


Videos will be on blip.tv:


Of course, our select photos will still be catalogued in our own Photo Gallery:


Register forum members can also post here. Premo members can go outside of their private album and post in categories created by our editor.

New Blog to Keep You Informed

We've opened this dedicated blog to let our readers know what's going on with somd.com -- what's new and what's going on behind the scenes.  If you ever have suggestions for how we can improve somd.com, please email us at webmaster (at) somd.com.

P.S. I'll be copying many of my important past posts from my personal blog to this blog.  As such, you'll see alot of posts dated today for enhancements that we rolled out in the past few weeks.

somd.com on Twitter

If you're interested in the latest local headline news, be sure to follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/somdcom