Jul 26 AT 2:02 AM Clark Wimberly 93 Comments

Welcome to the best Android and Me yet (for now)

android-float

Greetings and salutations, kind sirs, for today you are looking at the newest build of Android and Me. While we’re in no way finished, we figured now would be a good time to roll out some of the changes we’ve been working on.

What’s changed, you ask? Lots of stuff.

Most exciting, we’ve taken our first steps towards deploying our user rating system. Now anyone with an Android and Me account can rack up points for leaving comments (and score extra points when other users up-vote your content). Along with the point system, you’ll find a user widget in the top right sidebar (when logged in) that displays your avatar, point total, last login, recently viewed articles and your most recent comments. We’ll be greatly expanding the user profile options in the next few weeks, but we wanted to go ahead and start letting you guys earn some points while we build out the rest of the system.

While the main masthead for the site remains mostly unchanged for now, we’ve added a bit of spice to hold us over to the next iteration. In an effort to make the entire section more timely, the popular posts now have a relative time stamp and the secondary navigation has been replaced with a list of trending tags. For now, these trending tags are built solely on our own content, but in the future I hope to plug these into the pulse of the internet.

In the sidebar, we’ve got new Hotly debated and Top commenters widgets. Hotly debated, as before, will show you the posts with the most comments in the past few weeks. Top commenters will highlight specific users from the past 5 days whose comments received the most up-votes. Moving forward, we’re going to try to feature more user content on the site. Posting solid comments and racking up a high score will soon come with perks.

When viewing a single entry, you’ll be followed by our new social buttons. We ditched the ShareThisAddAnythingEtc plugins and went 3rd party official buttons only. We think they’ll lead to more accurate counts and we encourage you to use them as much as your fellow social users can stand.

We’ve also built a new type of editorial post, which we’re calling the hero post, that should make its debut here any day now. You’ll know it when you see it; hero posts are full width and will center around an editorial illustration or typesetting from @angiedoes. We’ll use hero posts to draw attention to any content worth a daily feature.

We’ll also be bringing back our newsletter. Thousands of you have subscribed and we haven’t sent a thing in months. That’s changing. We’ll be back to our old trick of giving away prizes just for opening mail, so sign up while we’re still being lazy.

I also wanted to take this moment to thank the team that’s been working with me. This has been one of the most fun builds I’ve ever been a part of and everyone has played a huge role. Angie not only did most of the design here, she’s actually been in the CSS making edits. I’ve also been working (in my home, no less) with a new developer, Joseph, who you can now find listed in the sidebar. We’ve also taken on a slew of new authors in the past few months, and the Android and Me family is as tight as it’s ever been. And even though Taylor is officially out of the picture, we all still owe him a huge debt for all he’s done and is doing here.

Along with my staff I need to thank you, the loyal reader, for making all this possible. We keep growing because you guys keep showing up each day (for some reason). I speak for the entire Android and Me family when I say:

Thank you. We genuinely appreciate it.

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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