Monthly Archives: October 2005

DVD Tracker

Churwitz has created DVD Tracker, a new app rapidly moving up the charts of popularity on the Ning Playground. It’s Bookshelf for DVDs. Now you can review DVDs you’ve seen or flag those movies next in line for your viewing pleasure.

Also for the movie or television aficionado, kyleford has created Cinecrap and Telecrap – celebrating the worst in cinema and television. I need to add what could be possibly the worst movie ever, Mother May I Sleep with Danger?, if not for the title alone.

Improved Uploaded File Handling

Good news for folks who want to write apps that handle uploaded images, videos, sounds, and other exciting non-textual stuff: we’ve enhanced what you can do with uploaded files such as images and video clips. The Handling Uploaded Files article in the Developer Documentation goes into all the technical details, but you can now deal with content other than images more easily as well as get direct urls to download the binary content that you’ve stored in an attribute.

What’s the Best Book?

RivalsBookshelf remains a great way to discover good books others have read, are reading, or want to read. I am such a cliche insofar as adding a book I saw on the Daily Show last night, but it looks really interesting.

I also wanted to highlight a great variation on Bookshelf by KrazyDad. Part-contest, part-bookshelf, What’s the Best Book? currently has 37 contenders for the title of best book. You can add yours to the mix here.

Now I am curious which book is going to win…

Giving Austin and Texas Librarians Some Love

To our three loyal readers, sorry we’ve been away. Tonight I’d like to highlight two Austin, TX-based apps and a few Librarians from the same great state.

While I think that Austin Nightlifer is missing, there is Austin Restaurant Reviews and Austin HotSpots to fill the void. Austin HotSpots lays out for you in full Google Map glory the places to get Wifi around Austin.

As for the Librarians, Librarians Wishlist is the creation of amwlkaw of the North Texas Regional Library System. One request to all you Librarians out there, when you add a wish, provide enough info for us non-Librarians to contribute to the cause and make the wish a reality.

I think if I were from Texas I would say Hook Them at this point. Then again, I think I’ll just say good night.

Caught up on Beta Developer Accounts

Hi all — just now we finished processing the backlog of Beta Developer account requests. Just about everyone who asked for a Beta Developer account up until now should have one.

If you applied for a developer account and never got an email saying you got it, please post a reply to this blog and we will take care of it for you!!

Thanks very much to everyone who applied, we’re delighted to have you all on the Playground.

Rate My Anything

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be offering versions of Rate My Teachers and Restaurant Reviews which will enable you to set them up to review anything in a snap without going into the code – video games, movies, candy bars, the new fall television line-up, or even your siblings.

In the meantime, if you want to customize or configure your current clone of Rate My Teachers for any of these broader purposes, we’d like to offer two options:

  1. If you don’t know HTML or PHP, drop us an email at and let us know what you’d like customized. We’ll create something specific for you to clone and run as your own.
  2. If you are a bit more adventurous or at least comfortable in HTML or PHP, we’ll walk you through here in this post what you’ll need to change.

In either case, our goal is to get you up and running as quickly as possible with your new app in the form you want it.

With that in mind, there are three broad steps to customizing Rate My Teachers after cloning it:

  • Editing the config.php file
  • Editing the app’s HTML templates
  • Editing the apps XNHTML files

Continue reading

Photo Maps!

VeniceAnselm Hook just finished Photo Maps, another Ning Example App all set up for you to clone and run.

Hopefully, the title is self-explanatory:

  1. Take one part Google Map and one part Photo
  2. Add a TItle, Tag, Description, and Location
  3. Presto! You have a map with photo markers

Some ideas for using a Photo Map: show off your vacation photos, highlight specific sights around town, plan a trip, you name it. Thanks, Anselm!

An LA Kind of Evening

The BrigIn an attempt to add some flair to this post, I realize I may be doing an injustice to Los Angeles.

If tonight was in fact “an LA kind of evening” it would suggest a typical evening in LA consists of sitting at your desk surrounded by poor lighting typing on your computer.

On the flipside, my evening probably isn’t too much of a stretch from the fate of every recent Harvard graduate trying to break into the entertainment business.

But I digress.

I started this post with the intent of highlighting two really nice, simple Los Angeles-based apps definitely a worth a look, especially if you are planning an evening out in the 213, 818, or 310 area codes:

LA Eats with Maps has a nice, growing set of restaurant reviews emerging here. If you live in LA, this might be the place to sink down some reviews of your favorite spots.

Los Angeles Nightlifer is a clone of Nightlifer, it has a small but blossoming set of users and bars added, including two Venice institutions recently contributed by yours truly. The truth is that I only know two mediocre bars in LA. I wouldn’t mind having a few apps that at least let’s me talk a bigger game.

Star Sightings & Douchetracker

HulkMy friend Mike used to live in Los Angeles. He and his brother had a running competition to spot the most obscure celebrity. I believe Mike’s best sighting was Lou Ferrigno before they remade the Incredible Hulk and gave him a cameo as a security guard.

For those of you who specialize in obscure celebrity sightings or others of you who operate exclusively in A-Listers, Kyle Ford is your man.

He’s created Star Sightings. Now you can tell the world when you see someone famous or just enjoy the sightings of others in the comfort of your own home.

Star Sightings is a nicely polished clone of Bookmarks but Kyle has creatively used the URL field to ask for a link to the star’s profile on IMDB or Wikipedia. You can follow this link by clicking on the star’s name. It’s simple, but totally addictive.

If Star Sightings aren’t your thing, you can also thank Kyle Ford for Douchetracker. In what is becoming a trend around here, Douchetracker only sounds like online porn. Like Girl on Girl, Needledick, and Herpster, it’s strictly PG. Cloned from Wishlist, it offers the world at large a place to track and comment on people they consider, well, douchebags.

Kyle Ford, tonight you’ve made the world of small, innocent, and entirely addictive distractions just a little bigger and a little better. For that, we thank you.