CoolChaser Blog

Archive for April 2007

The past few days have been quite hellish for us, and I’m afraid you, our fair users of CoolChaser, have had to bear the brunt of it. I feel like a Lilliputian in the land of Giants at the mercy of the idiosyncrasies of MySpace.

It started with MySpace adding captchas to disallow software services from auto-updating user profiles. Since our service was entirely dependent on auto-updating profiles on behalf of our users, this certainly threw a spanner in our works. We’ve updated our tool, to show you the underlying messy codes that we automatically insert, just in case…

Then, our server crashed and we were down again last night, but fortunately we were able to restore a backup server fairly quickly.

I think my profile expresses how I feel today: a dark storm is passing by. Thankfully, things are back to normal (at least for now), and we’ve learnt a lot and made our software more robust to weather the next storm better (fingers crossed).

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As we discovered in our last post, MySpace is semi-randomly requiring captchas when you edit your profile. This has prevented our auto-layout-insertion software from working.

The good news is that we’re still limping along. We’ve just modified our site to show you the messy codes we were previously trying to hide from you (have a look, it’s ugly). You now have to copy the code we show you, log on to MySpace, click on the “edit profile” and paste it in your “about me” box, then “Save All Changes”. Phew! That’s a lot steps our software was doing automatically.

We’re preparing more detailed instructions on all these steps. Meanwhile, for the tech savvy among you, if you have a better idea for us to serve you better, write us a comment below.

Thanks for your patience!

Well, it looks like MySpace is requiring users who want to edit their profiles to “prove they’re human” by an extra verification page such as the one below:

picture-1.png

This prevents our auto-layout insertion code from working. In the next day or so, we’ll be reverting to publishing “myspace codes” that users can manually paste to edit their profiles. But in the mean time, I’m sorry to say the service is down 😦 Thanks again for your patience and being such wonderful users.

It looks like MySpace is changing lots of their settings today so our editor might not work properly for some people 😦 Scientists are working hard on this. Thanks for your patience.

Update: Looks like things are working now but it seems like MySpace is still being slammed with traffic and reporting occasional timeouts and errors. You may have to try a few times before you can successfully create a new layout. Please leave your comments below if you run into problems even after multiple tries.

Thanks for your patience!

Lots of MySpace users had to suffer from having a granny-pantie-looking blog that doesn’t match their cool push-up-bra looking profile for a long long time.
To refresh your memory, here is the default blog layout.default myspace blog

…. Yeah that’s pretty granny looking alright. Well good news people! We just released a new awesome feature that NONE of the other tons of MySpace layout sites do. Now we update the blog layout that has a matching background and theme as your profile layout ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

Here are some of our demo profiles that we updated to show you how fantastic they look!!

Grunge theme layout with matching blog

grunge layoutgrunge_blog.gif

Butterfly theme layout with matching blog

ex_butterfly.gifbutterfly_blog.gif
Sparkle theme layout with matching blog

ex_sparkle.gifsparkle_blog.gif

Tattoo theme layout with matching blog

ex_tattoo.giftattoo_blog1.gif

Plain white theme layout with matching blog

ex_plain.gifplain_blog1.gif
Postcard theme layout with matching blog

ex_postcard.gifpost_blog1.gif
Gotham theme layout with …. well you got the idea.

ex_gotham.gifgotham_blog.gif

So grab a matching blog and show it off to your friends. I’ve seen tons and tons of cool div MySpace layouts, but I’ve never seen anybody having a cool blog layout not to mention a matching blog layout so I think this feature is pretty cool~ we hope you like it 🙂

WHY YES, BUT YET ANOTHER UPDATE (3.13.08):MySpace made some subtle but annoying change that is affecting band layouts and some blog layouts. I’ve written another blog about it so please go read it now!

https://guidingvoices.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/layout-not-looking-right/

Try not ask a question here, most of the time I can’t answer you so the best thing is to go to our forum- you are almost guaranteed 100% that you will get an answer there (thanks Heathaaa!).

http://forums.coolchaser.com

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As I blogged in the last post, people seem to be pretty happy about their layouts. Thanks for all the luv and we luv all of ya guys too! xoxoxo!

Anyways, among all the comments we’ve been receiving, we seem to get comments here and there saying “I changed my layout but it’s not showing” or simply “my background is not showing.”

Back to the topic, I actually had the same shocking experience that when I logged in, the layout was gone.

… Actually, the layout was not gone, I was just looking at my MySpace user homepage.

This is how the user homepage look (the page that you land after you login) vs your profile page look (the page that all your friends see)

home vs profile

Their contents are pretty much different but doesn’t it somehow give you the illusion that it could be the same page? Especially because of the user photo being exactly at the same position.

I know I know, if you look carefully, they are totally different pages. But I read somewhere that people don’t really pay much attention to the content when viewing a website but rather “glance.” So I think it’s more the overall silhouette or chunk of blocks that people notice before noticing the content.

Also, on the user home, I had difficulty finding the link to view my profile. Really, can someone tell me how to view my profile except from that small link under my avatar??

view profle

So users who might have thought that your layout or background has not been updated, check again and see if you are not looking at your homepage! 🙂

There is also another case that users might have thought their backgrounds were not updated. Since that little link “View My: (return line) Profile” is hard to find, you might have ended up here:

Preview Profile

DO NOT click that button unless you know what you are doing 😀 Just kidding, but I can tell you one thing, the button is absolutely useless.
Hope this helps!

UPDATE: I’ve created some real MySpace demo profiles to showcase the new themes. Add them as your friend (I will check these accounts once a month :P)

It’s been a month or so since we opened CoolChaser to the public and it seems like people are liking it. Anyway, among all the compliments (teehee) some users have asked us for more themes. Like 6 themes are not enough! 😀

Before getting into the new themes, here is a list of the original 6 themes (and the number of layouts that were created using them). as of 4:33pm pacific time 4/3/07.

1) Grunge (6919)

2) Butterfly (5971)

3) Pop (2582)

4) Stationery (1619)

5) Industrial (3263)

6) Sparkle (14623 – holy cow!)

So what can we say about this data people? Well one thing for sure, people are lovin’ the sparkles! Let the animated gif rule MySpace! Natually, when I thought of what new themes to make, I knew that I had to make one that has an animate gif as a background.

Thus the new theme “Gotham” was born. This was released last Friday and it already has been used for 917 layouts. You can’t really tell from this screen shot but the background is an animated raining gif 😀 I combined it with Spiderman 3’s wallpaper. (searched for “spiderman 3”)

Gotham

Another theme that was release on the same day was “Postcard.” Below is a screen shot of the theme combined with a picture of some sepia photo. (searched for “angel” on flickr)

postcard layout

It is a bit more specific and has more graphics than the other themes but I personally like this because all you need to do is to combine with a picture from your trip to London, Tokyo, Hawaii or wherever! Since not many people are using it so far (aka not as popular as gotham), you can be original and create a layout with your own photo from your recent trip!

Yesterday, I also released two more themes. I actually wanted to make a hiphop theme but it wound up a tattoo theme. (tells you how much I know about hiphop) This theme is even more specific than the postcard theme and has a graphic in the network table so it could be harder to combine with a more variety of backgrounds compared to generic themes like grunge or butterfly. Here is an example combined with a background of “My Chemical Romance.” (keyword “my chemical romance”) Hey what do you know, it actually works pretty well!

tattoo layout

And lastly but not least, I was getting bored of all the flamboyance so I decided to make just a very plain simple theme that has no image at all and not transparent. It works with a very busy background, repeated background and a very bright background. I saw one of the user took out our layout and used a premade gloomy bear layout from somewhere else so I was like “why don’t you love me anymore??” 😦 Thus I used a gloomy bear background with this plain theme just to win her love back. (keyword: “gloomybear” in one word. Somehow “gloomy bear” didn’t show me this background) Hope you come back to me~!

plain white layout (gloomy bear)

This would also work for artist types who wants to showcase their work with their own original background as well.

Hope you enjoy these new themes! I’m going to try to come up with more themes constantly and your requests are welcomed!