New features

24 Dec, 2014

Christmas_Presents_wrappedOver the past few months we have done a lot of work to Newslines. Some of it is unseen: we upgraded the core of Newslines to make it faster and more stable. But today we are proud to release several new front-end features. These features make it easier for our readers to search, sort and filter our newslines. They are part of our core belief that users should be able to control the page.

Event Filters

Filters allow readers to instantly filter each newsline according to event types such as Life, Appearances, Interviews, Legal plus around 50 sub categories. You can combine filters to give you different views of the page, so you can see all of a subject’s Life and Legal issues. For an example try George Clooney’s page and click on the funnel icon in the top menu bar.

Newslines filters draw a bright line between our pages and those of other biography sites, especially Wikipedia, which use long-form-text articles as the way to tell a story about a topic. Many Wikipedia pages run to thousands of words of text, and it is often very difficult for readers to be able to extract just the information they want. By splitting the topic’s history into news events Newslines give readers the ability to to sort and filter the events, putting you in control of what you want to see. We think this is not only more useful, but more fun.

The next stage for filtering is to let users save and share their searches for reference. We are also working on a “super filter” which will allow you to cross-reference events on multiple newslines, so you can find all of the people named George who have won an Oscar and have been arrested. The Event types are also the core of a new Achievements system that we hope to launch in mid-February.

It’s going to take a little time for us to tidy up all the event categories and make sure everything is tagged correctly. If you’d like to help work on this please let me know.

Headline view

You can now view newslines in headline-only view by clicking the Headlines icon in the top page menu. This is handy for small screens and to get a quick overview of topics that have a lot of news items

Improved Search

The search page is much improved, and now gives links to categories and posts. For example, a search on “Geo” gives these results.

Mary and I would like to wish all of our writers and readers a Merry Christmas. Thank you for being part of Newslines!

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