Tuesday, 29 January 2008

MyFolia.com officially in Public Beta!

As of yesterday, MyFolia is now public and open (and free!) to all. We are now in "Public Beta", which means that although we are now live to all, we are still very much still hard at work building brand new features and improving bits we've already built. Keep sending in and discussing your suggestions - we love to hear what you think!

As a little present to our users we have added two brand new options for setting your avatar. If you have an avatar on your Picasa / Blogger account you would like to use, you can now set it from your Settings page. Furthermore, if you would like to set your avatar from Gravatar (a great service that lets you use your avatar on a range of sites and blogs) you can now do that too. We will continue to add photo and avatar options as fast as we can develop them - let us know what other options you'd like to see.

We know you'd love MyFolia to grow as much as we would like it to, so help us spread the word - take a look at our revamped Support Us page for ways you can help!

Friday, 25 January 2008

MyFolia is going into Public Beta from Monday!

We are currently working hard making the site ready for the public beta launch on Monday, 28th Jan (yay!). When we go into public beta, it will mean that the public at large will be now able to browse through the site, but they will not be able to contribute to anything on the site unless they join.

This doesn’t mean that we will stop developing the site – it will mean quite the opposite in fact. Keep posting your suggestions and feedback as usual :) For those of you that are logged in, you probably won’t notice any change to the site on the Monday – the only change will be that clicking the white “Home” link will take you to the MyFolia homepage, rather than your profile page.

We are really excited about getting to this stage with MyFolia – and we really want to see our little site grow into something unique and indispensable for gardeners everywhere. If you have a blog or know fellow gardeners that don’t yet know about MyFolia we would absolutely love it if you could spread the word. The more gardeners we have in our community, the better the site becomes for everyone!

On this topic, we would love to hear if you have any ideas for spreading the word – we have a couple of ideas up our sleeve, but we would love to get your thoughts (pity we are both computer geeks and not marketing gurus, hey?)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Mid Week Update: Stash Linkage and Plant-O-Matic 1.0

A couple of little changes around folia land that we thought you might like to hear about:

Link Your Stash
Up until now, your Stash and your Plantings were two completely separate things - now, you can add plantings from your Stash and keep track of all plantings that you've ever grown from a single seed packet. We think this is going to be a great way of telling which seeds worked, and which ones didn't. (or provide you with a convenient excuse as to why your basil died again - "it was a bad batch of seeds, obviously! Nothing to do with me forgetting to water for a month!")

...and introducing : Plant-O-Matic v1.0
We've just added a nice little feature to the Add Planting page to automatically search for likely plant matches for you. Our hardworking Plant-O-Matic v1.0 will scour our plant database looking for what you meant by "Basil - The Green One" and try and help you out. Of course, being v1.0 means that he might not get it right all the time, but we will keep tweaking his logic until we get it right. He might not be able to help you out on your "Some Sort of Green Leafy Plant" however - but he'll give it a go :)

Friday, 18 January 2008

Journaling Goodies

Ah… Finally it’s ready! Took a little longer than I would have liked (and it’s still not quite finished) but it’s done! Journaling should now be a new experience on Folia with the new photo selector, tagging and weather!

We’ve done away with the carousel for the journals and gone with a simpler approach. Now you have more photos to choose from, better paging, new provider tabs, and you can now manage multiple photos all in the add/edit pages. Woohoo!

We also now have journal tags so feel free to tag up your articles with whatever you like! Be it recipes, projects and harvest! (Just to suggest a few) And since you can’t have tags without a tag cloud – expect one to start growing on the journal page so that you can find other journal articles tagged with the same stuff!

And finally – the weather! You can now add the weather to your journal articles. So you can let everyone get a feel for how cold it was when you were clearing out weeds or how hot it was when you were pruning back the hedge or that you even received snow!

So go on in and have a nosy around!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Recap Flashback! Picasa / Blogger Photos...Going Live...Stash and Groups

In addition to our normal announcements in the Folia Announcements Group, we are going to start posting regularly about all the changes, new functionality and other things we deem newsworthy here. (It's a bit of a MyFolia new years resolution, really - we knew were getting a little behind on the blog updating, and we thought it was time to start being a little less top secret.)

So, we thought a good place to start would be by doing a bit of a flashback / recap on some of the more exciting things we've rolled out already:

Now Supporting...Picasa and Blogger Photos

You can now use all your picasa photos on MyFolia - and better yet, since blogger has recently linked with picasa, all your photos uploaded to your blogger accounts are now accessible too. To link your account up, just visit your MyFolia Settings Page, pop in your google account details in and you're off and racing!

Knocking Down the Garden Walls - Part I

We have decided that a staggered approach to going live is the best option for MyFolia - and as part 1 of this step to publicness we have opened up a couple of your pages on the site for everyone to take a peek at. So, you are now able to send your gardener and garden profile pages to your great auntie betty to look at if you like (and if she would like to join up and share her gardens, make sure you show her how!). We will be slowly opening up more pages as we go until we are completely live. Hurrah!

Stash Stash Stash

Got a shoebox full of seed packages? Now you can organise them within MyFolia so you know what you don't have to buy this year - you can also mark your stash as available for trade so that other Folians can contact you about a trade.

Groupy Goodness

Groups are here! You can join or create any group you please. We have a couple of groups with some interesting topics at the moment - Annet's Creative Solutions Group is currently discussing some creative uses for plastic bottles; whilst over in Murray's Worm Farming Group we have some thoughts on using bathtubs as worm farms!

We weren't telling a lie when we said we would listen to your suggestions - most of the new features above were requested by our dedicated beta testers. If you have a good idea (or even a crazy way-out-there idea) for the site then let us know in the suggestions and feedback forum - we love hearing them!

We are both now in the middle of cooking up our next bunch of features, which we should be rolling out really soon...so stay tuned, it's going to be a big year for MyFolia!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Happy new (gardening) year!

So, it's now 2008 and don't we have a very big year ahead of us at Folia!

Fresh back from our little holiday break, we are now back in development mode and busy cooking up some fantastic new features that will be arriving quite soon.

To all our new members that joined us over the break – we’d like to take the opportunity to say hi and welcome – we really hope you are liking the site. To all our not-so-new members - again, thanks for sticking with us and giving us some great suggestions and feedback.

We are now up to over 500 members, which isn't too bad for a site only a couple of months old - it will be exciting to see where we end up at the end of this year!