Category Archives: Enhancements

Toluu Releases Feed Preview


Toluu updated again this morning releasing another great feature.  The latest feature is Feed preview functionality throughout the site.  When you mouseover a Feed title a window is revealed listing the last 5 blog posts contained in that feed.

ToluuPU1

I spoke to Caleb Elston the Toluu founder about this feature.  He said,

“We actually decided to build in this functionality when we found ourselves passing by feeds because we didn’t want to wait for the page to load or have to hit the back button. Since we weren’t always willing to take a risk on a feed to see if it might be interesting we knew other users wouldn’t either.”

This should save users time and give you a better idea of the content of a feed.  Caleb had discovered first hand that feed titles may be bad but the content worth taking a look at.  He mentioned that while testing this feature he had “already found a few more blogs I had no idea existed.”

I previously made a long Toluu enhancement list I titled “My Toluu Wishlist” based upon the great potential I see in the young application. Toluu’s development in the last month has seen dramatic speed increases throughout the site and many UI enhancements.  Toluu continues to roll out features.

If you tried Toluu early on I urge you to give it another try.  It is faster, much more responsive, and the UI is more intuitive.  If you need an invite I have some.   Leave a comment if you want one.

Related Posts:

Toluu On The Move


Web 2.0 is about potential in my opinion.  Many of the Web 2.0 web applications usually only debut with a few good ideas.  They implement one or two features not much beyond proof of concept and subsequently go into a private alpha or beta holding pattern.  This wait and see mode is to determine interest by VCs, early adopters, and to measure buzz.

Early adopters may give the application a try but unless the buzz takes off development may be very slow.  Toluu is not normal.  Toluu breaks the mold.  I keep writing about Toluu because of its changing growing feature set.  I also see the enormous potential for an application like Toluu.

Caleb Elston the Toluu founder has done a wonderful job at taking a different tact in assuring the success of his startup.  The difference is the continuing feature development.  He has continually made hardware and software developments.  The applications stability, feature set, and application speed are drastically improved from a mere 2 months ago.

Today Toluu rolls out another set of features enhancements aimed at improving the user experience.  The enhancements include UI changes to the Matches screen, the Contacts page, and the Subscribers feed view.

The matching view is improved with the ability to add contacts directly from the view.  3 filtering options were added.  All-Time, This Month, and This Week are now available as options.  “This month” and  “This Week” will display matches from new users from the past week or month.  The Matches UI also includes a total match count.  Caleb said about the matching,

“I was finding the page was getting stale for me and so I wanted to make it more useful.”

Toluu Match Improvements

The contacts page was also improved to be cleaner and displays a total contact count.  Even small UI improvements are great for the end user.

On a feed page the subscribers tab was added in last round of enhancements to let the user see who was subscribed to that feed.  This view has been improved as well letting you add contacts directly from this view.

I talked with Caleb about these enhancements and this stuck with me;

“We hope these new updates will help people connect easier and in turn make their time on Toluu more fruitful.”

The simple little UI changes decrease the learning curve for new users, make existing users happy, and contribute to the overall feel of the application.  Toluu’s attention to detail and constant improvements make this application one to watch.

More enhancements are on the horizon for Toluu as well it seems.  Would you like to try it? Leave a comment I have invites.

My Toluu Wishlist


What is the Goal of Toluu?

I began writing this with a different perspective about Toluu. Where is Toluu heading? I previously wrote a post titled “My Problems With Toluu.” This was several months ago as Toluu was in it’s infancy.

I considered titling this post “More Problems With Toluu” but thought better of it. I do not want to be critical but long for the value of this application to increase.

Toluu recently had a big day rolling out enhancements. At least 8 different blogs featured a post about the little RSS matching service from founder Caleb Elston. So I have been using the service again in earnest since that time.

Toluu is still making continual enhancements and the performance increases are sizable. If you have not logged in a while try it again. Speed has increased dramatically.

What does Toluu really have to offer an early adopter? What does Toluu have to offer an everyday user? Are the answers to these questions different? Finally, what is the Goal of Toluu?

I am not sure I know the exact answer but would love to hear from Caleb on the subject. Application development is an interesting process as I know first hand. An application does not always end up in the exact place you conceive it might at the onset.

In any case Toluu adds feeds to your feed reader and Toluu via bookmarklet. As long as you use the bookmarklet the feeds stay in Sync. Toluu also provides matching to other users in an attempt to recommend additional feeds. Toluu is designed with clean UI and is what this user expects from Web 2.0. It is in private Beta so I do not aim to condemn but am contemplating its usefulness, relevance, and future.

The following is a list of ideas produced from the Toluu friendfeed room and simple brainstorming. If the goal of Toluu is to provide simple solid functionality then Toluu is well on the way. But here is a list of features I would personally like to see.

Toluu Enhancement Thoughts

  • Tag/Organize/Categorize Feeds – This is my #1 the rest of the enhancements are in no particular order. Feed tagging increases Toluu ability to present recommendation, organization, search, categorization. Feed tagging would change the Toluu forever.
  • Feed Similarities – What feeds are similar to other feeds. Tagging or feed meta data could greatly assist with this. I want feed relationships. Tell me that if I read Lifehacker then Download Squad and Lifehack are similar.
  • Personalized Feed Recommendations – Beyond matching. Matching is certainly a good way to offer users insight into feeds they might like. I would like better feed recommendations in the way Amazon does. Tell me I would like feed “B” because 75% of users that read feed “A” also read feed “B”.
  • Matching Speed – The matching speed was recently greatly increased TWICE. The speed is NO longer an issue. The matching would now qualify as instant. One comment though: I wish it would not display current contacts as matches. If they are a current contact then I already know about them.
  • Syncing Between Your Feed Reader & Toluu & Feedly – See this link to the FriendFeed discussion about this one.
  • Better Integration With Other services
    • Integration with Feedly
    • Integration with Friendfeed – I find Feeds more and more with FriendFeed. I have to launch the article and use the bookmarklet. It would be great to have an addon or greasemonkey script thought integrated a Toluu feed link into FriendFeed.
  • I hate bookmarklets – Everything has a bookmarklet these days. They clutter my bookmarks bar and I am uncertain what each one does. Perhaps a Firefox Addon.
  • User Profiles – I would love to see additional information about a user.
  • Clearly Display the User’s blog(s) feed(s) – This goes right along with the previous but I am listing seperate to emphasize its importance. It is not easy to see the blog feed for each user.
  • Import my FriendFeed contacts – I would say 90/95 % of my FriendFeed contacts are on Toluu. But I am not sure they are all contacts on Toluu. I would like them to be.  Bummer.
  • Browse Feeds by Name
  • Browse Feeds by Tag Directory
  • Feed Search
  • Contact/Person Search
  • URI search – I put in a web address and the feed page is displayed
  • Most Popular Feeds (feed stats)
  • Hot New Feeds – popular
  • Enhance the Bookmarklet and future Firefox addon to support Tagging
  • Number of Toluu Subscribers per feed on feed view
  • Site Help – Sometimes I am uncertain what Toluu can currently do and what it can not
  • Edit My Toluu Feed List – A clean easy interface for editing my feed list
  • Clear My Feeds / RSS Reset – Is this already possible?

Toluu is a young private beta application. From my view the future is very bright.

Most of my enhancements center around Toluu being about feeds. I understand the data commitment and strain that storing meta data and information about individual feed data could consume. But I believe it would be very worth it to the end user.

Toluu is great and I say once again I believe its future is bright. I can not wait for its features to extend and its value to increase. I have Toluu invites if you would like to try it.

Zemanta Pixie