I wrote a short review of the new ChurpChurp redesign recently and one of its new features was the Stories. My first impression of this was that it would’ve been like Project Petaling Street. But I found out otherwise.
While ChurpChurp is running a contest to spread the awareness of their Stories feature, I’ve discovered all stories you find on the homepage are featured stories hand-picked by the ChurpChurp team.
If you don’t see the stories you shared appear on the homepage, it’s because it wasn’t virally worth being featured – like the 5 stories I had shared. Through my conversation with ChurpChurp over Twitter, all my stories were kept in my profile – for what purpose, I can’t tell.
Truth be told, I’m not happy now after learning only virally worth stories which are hand-picked by the ChurpChurp team would be featured on the homepage. This could be its Achilles heel.
Let the rakyat (public) decide
I’m not sure if the ChurpChurp team are aware of this – I believe their techies would be. But there are existing community websites who’ve implemented a self-moderating method. Through the power of the community, they vote up what is worth sharing and vote down or report abuses.
Oh well, I guess the team would look into this in their next redesign.
Before I start talking about the new ChurpChurp website, here’s a trick question to the Churpers or even, Nuffies working in ChurpChurp office.
How many times have the ChurpChurp website been redesigned?
5? 10? 1? 3? Well, jump into the time machine thanks to Archive.org and let me show you some of ChurpChurp’s older website designs.
Back then everything was kind of flat. And gloomy? Probably because of the darker hues.
It started to look more pleasant thanks to the lighter hues. Then in that white empty box was where you’d see a Slideshare about ChurpChurp and what it was offering to publishers.
But the redesign didn’t end there.
I’d say this was the most drastic redesign from the previous. The content area was revamped and the focus began moving into campaign sharing. Even the inside of ChurpChurp was streamlined for publishers to access their paid campaigns. In addition, this was the redesign when ChurpChurp’s team implemented the sign in using Facebook.
Then finally, approaching the end of 2011, ChurpChurp’s team introduces a new website design.
The newly designed ChurpChurp to me is a much cleaner and organized website now. No more feeling of my eyeballs jumping from corner to corner scanning the website. Though like any redesign, they’d still have quirks to think about.
Double sign in with Facebook and Twitter buttons
Maybe they’re trying to save bandwidth. But they seriously should create another button for the sign in with Facebook and Twitter. Just having the header say Sign Up isn’t the same as the button reading; Sign up with Facebook.
Responsive web design for the win
Hell yeah! Great effort from ChurpChurp’s team implementing this to the new website. And if you didn’t know, responsive web design is basically optimizing a website’s layout to the screen resolution. Here’s an example of it on ChurpChurp.
The screenshot on the left is my browser resolution at 1024 x 768 and the right is what you would see when viewed on your iPhone in portrait – works in landscape too.
The first screenshot of the new website above is for resolutions larger than 1024 x 768. My browser resolution was at 1680 x 1050 for that view.
For a deeper yet clear explanation about responsive web design, have a read through this article by Smashing Magazine.
Share it like it’s Facebook
One of the interesting additions to this new rendition is the story exploration. Think of WordPress.com and Facebook combined. In WordPress.com it encourages other publishers to read featured blogs.
Like Facebook, when you post a link, it’ll also try to retrieve the first image of the post. Thinking about it, I’m wondering if this is powered by Facebook. Or, did the ChurpChurp technical team manage to come up with a similar script. Hmm…
Hashtag it like a #churp
Honestly, this was a feature I never knew existed and I wonder if it works and how will it work.
Apparently, all I have to do is tweet with a link and hashtag it as #churp for it to be posted under ChurpChurp’s stories. Please do let me know if you successfully did it. I’m also going to experiment with this.
Now I’m not sure if it’s because this feature is new, but I believe most of the posts in Stories are right now by the Nuffies. And I’m wondering, how does this compliment their other blog aggregator; Innit?
So, what’s next?
Well, ChurpChurp definitely needs to look through their responsive web design again because it’s not there yet to me. Other than that, maybe Timothy and Ming should look at integrating all the services closer – Nuffnang, ChurpChurp and Jipaban. As right now, each of it stands on its own. But hey, that’s just me living in my spaced out world.