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Serving Up Stacks: FB Connect, Authoring, Hovercards & More

We’ve been working really hard on some new functionality for SoulPancake. We’re rolling out a slew of great stuff in this release, let’s take a moment to go over some of our latest goodies.

Facebook and SoulPancake

You’ll notice new Facebook Connect buttons around SoulPancake. Now you can seamlessly publish your SP activity (questions submitted to the Question Collective, favorites, responses) to your Facebook wall. Additionally, new users can join SoulPancake simply by clicking the “Facebook Connect” buttons around SoulPancake and using their existing Facebook credentials. We’ve also added the ability to import your Facebook friends into SoulPancake.

Of note, you can disable and resynch your Facebook Connect account whenever you want. You can only connect your Facebook account to one SoulPancake account.

Twitter OAuth and Hovercards

In April twitter announced that they were going to turn off basic authorization on their API by June 30, 2010. Developers would have to switch over to OAuth by that time. There’s a nifty countdown here. We worked with the twitter team in getting our twitter integration credentials exchanged for more secure OAuth tokens. These tokens are then sent to twitter instead of your username and password. Thanks to Brian from the twitter API team for helping make the entire transition smooth, and responding so quickly. Connecting twitter to SoulPancake is now a two click process. Navigate to your twitter settings page in SoulPancake, click “Connect with twitter” and authorize the SoulPancake application. The rest is done automagically.

You can disable and reconnect your twitter account whenever you want.

Hovercards are another new addition to SoulPancake profiles. Under every member’s profile photo you’ll see their twitter username (if a twitter username has been input). Hover over this @username and take a look at some nifty new hovercards. This provides some powerful functionality with people following each other and easily learning more about each other on one page. You can activate your twitter hovercard even if you haven’t integrated twitter with SoulPancake. Simply navigate to your twitter settings, input your twitter username and click the Save Settings button.

Internal and Site-wide Messaging

SoulPancake 3.2 also brings with it a new messaging system for our team of moderators and administrators. From time to time, you’ll see a new message at the very top of SoulPancake, or above your Friend Activity stream in your homebase. This is a quick way for our team to blast out messages to the entire community at once. With these messages, we’ll be introducing new features and generally keeping you in the know about everything percolating behind the scenes.

SP Exclusives in Social Streams

This is one of the more exciting pieces of functionality that we’ve been working on. From now on, SP Exclusives will be shared through social activity streams. We’re introducing new authoring modules which live at the bottom of every individual article. With the author’s bio you can learn a bit about each author while reading their posts and start following them from the article page itself. We think this is going to be incredibly useful for our users in getting to know our talented team of authors and content contributors. Additionally, you’ll notice a new SP Exclusives tab on every team-member’s profile, from which you can browse through all of that person’s articles.

Team Badges and Avatar Overlays

All around SoulPancake you’ll notice a green stroke around our team-member’s avatars. In comments and on people pages, hover over their pictures and you’ll see a nice SP team overlay. Also, a nifty little “TEAM” badge has been added to our team’s profile pages.

Site-wide Button Styles

You’ll notice that all of the default buttons around SoulPancake are now pretty. We’ve developed a really nice way to implement pretty default buttons, quickly, easily and most important of all, uniformly across all browsers. You’ll notice them in small, medium and large sizes.

A round up of what’s new in SoulPancake 3.2

  1. Facebook Connect Integration
  2. twitter OAuth Integration
  3. twitter Hovercards
  4. Internal (admin) messaging systems
  5. Optimized article load times
  6. SP Exclusives in social streams
  7. Individual authoring modules
  8. Following authors from articles
  9. Individual authors in article streams
  10. SP Team profile badges
  11. SP Team avatar overlays
  12. Increased stability while editing questions
  13. Various bug fixes and enhancements