(bug list, summary updated 12Feb2013 @1947 EST)
Sipping a smoothie, messing around with Kinja. So far it is pretty great! Some thoughts, updated intermittently:
- No way to follow another user if they haven't posted or commented. Follow option only appears alongside posts/comments. This functionally means that an active user has no way of following back lurkers/people with no generated content. There may be a good reason for this but for me it is definitely a BUG BUG BUG.
- Private view isn't saving my preference for condensed view vs standard view (I prefer condensed site/app layouts almost always) which leads into:
- Too much whitespace! especially in comment threads. Discussing this with Sherrod (is there a way to tag people? I haven't found it yet) we've determined that threaded commenting is good. Facebook never figured out howto do it properly. Reddit does it pretty well but it's very texty and not necessarily eye-friendly. Kinja's almost got it, but it's a bit clunky and the whitespace is offputting. And right in the middle, Papa Denton, is the model for threaded commenting that noone's been able to approach or beat in over a decade: LiveJournal (no, seriously!)
- The Kinja helpfile does what it says on the tin - very helpful. Probably needs reformatted and ported to the kinja domain, with some walkthroughs and basic tutorials included, rather than just questions answered.
- Presumably it'll take some getting used to, but Private View should be renamed Confusing View. Also would love a way to collapse entire posts that are showing up in this view attached to comment instances when all I really need to see is the comment and maybe the title of the article. This is probably a threading thing but it adds unneeded and clunky bulk to the Private View feed.
- I love love love the compose layout. It's sexy, takes standardised hotkeys, doesn't make my cpu churn (nothing on Kinja does but the new layout that debuted on Jalopnik today is PERHAPS A DIFFERENT STORY) and is sane in its predictiveness. YES. Love it.
- I can share any individual comment or post to my private Kinja blog, facebook, tumblr, or twitter, and it's really really easy to do. That is awesome and well implemented. I hate when you want to share a comment but have to show the whole page and be like "yeah just ctrl-f 'furry marmite' and you'll see what I mean haha it's so funny" because shit stops being funny when it's not trivially easy to find.
- Sherrod just pointed out that sharing a post to your blog is a one-click simple replication of the shared item with no input dialogue to provide commentary or context. Even tumblr allows you to do this, lvlup!
- Summary line in condensed view seems to pull everything til the first period if you don't provide a headline. That is great, but the summary for this post, for example, was "OK." and that's it. Not great. Remember to fill in that headline!
- No external notification method. Perhaps not that big a deal when you're just commenting (although almost everyone I know still prefers push notification outside of the site itself) but I think pretty key once you expand a commenting system like Kinja into a blogging system. I'm not going to hover this site waiting to see who's commented but I do like to know when someone HAS commented. This is old tech that's still very useful tech, doesn't hurt pageviews, and should be incorporated.
- kinja.com works just fine - www.kinja.com 404s. That definitely needs fixed. (h/t Jason Fortuny)
- I mentioned this one before but it bears repeating that including the whole post I'm commenting on when listing activity on default silos (i.e. tamara.kinja.com) and private view without even a "Read more" cut is really terrible and breaks the flow of being able to easily scan what's going on. Really hate this.
- No option to crop/resize avatar image after upload. This is standard on a tonne of sites and would be nice to have here.
- Missing hotkeys for adding links/images/videos. Would be useful and relatively easy to implement.
- Auto-timestamping of updates to existing posts is another would-be-nice.
TO SUMMARISE: Kinja (I keep saying Simba in my head) is pretty cool. There's a learning curve and I don't find it as initially intuitive as one would expect but that seems par for the course with GM innovations and over time the kinks get worked out and previously baffling design and UI decisions often end up making a lot of sense.
I'm excited to see how Kinja's newest incarnation works and how the new GM layouts go. I wasn't a fan of the last reboot but ended up getting used to it and to a certain extent (shhh) enjoying it! Internet superstar Sherrod (seriously, is there a way to tag people? There should be a way to tag people) is going to dispense some wisdom on Kinja impressions soon, so look out for that because you know it'll be good. Because all her shit is tasty. That's right.