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February 26, 2010

New blog feature: camera lists moved to the left side

Now that things are relatively quiet, it is time to finally deal with the sprawling "camera list" at the very top of the blog in the light-blue area. There's already plenty of them there, but if we add the newest interesting cameras, that list is going to double in size, making it unreadably long.

So we are going vertical! If you look at the left sidebar, we are now adding blocks of cameras, broken down by manufacturer. The list of individual camera models at the very top has been removed.

Please note that cameras are included on a per-camera basis, not on a per-manufacturer basis. This means we are not going to include five cameras from each manufacturer just to be diplomatic. While we will try to include as many manufacturers as possible, each camera has to "earn" it on its own merit. We use a number of factors to decide this, including the "Noisy Buzz" indicators, the age of the camera, space and time available, a little bit of randomness, and whether we have enough material for it.

First phase is complete
+ the new boxes are shown high in the left sidebar initially for evaluation and reader feedback purposes
+ the boxes are too wide to fit in the right sidebar comfortably
+ because of the large number of cameras, the number and frequency of updates for each camera vary
+ camera models will be added/removed from the blocks over time
+ due to space constraints we obviously can't include every camera
+ the two lines of camera models has been removed from the top of the page
+ the manufacturer order is determined by a combination of factors (at a later date we may have a vote to decide it)

What are the three columns?
The first column includes either:
+ a camera's mini-blog - a summary of the blog-posts on the camera at the main blog and indicated with [news]
+ the camera's diary, indicated with [diary]
+ for a couple of older cameras where we don't have updates on this blog, we point to the Google.
+ because of their time-traveling skills, the 645D and SD15 get special custom tags :)

The second column points to the review cluster for each camera. In a couple of cases where we don't have a review-list, we point to the Google.

The third column points to the stock-status pages of cameras that have stock-status pages. Not all cameras do. For the rest, we currently mostly point to Amazon since many sellers sell there.

The last line in each block points to manufacturer-specific links. The first column is the mini-blog that has all the manufacturer-specific posts, the second line is either empty or points to related topics, and the third points to the camera deals blog.

Please let us know what you think about this change. It is not cast in stone so if it a disaster we can remove it. Please feel free to leave a comment or use the contact form. Or if you notice any typos, broken links or misformatting, please let us know as well!

We tried this on the top five browsers (Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, IE) and we didn't notice any formatting problems, but obviously we can't check every configuration and version, so if you notice any issues, please let us know!

For the RSS readers out there, here is a screenshot of how it looks:


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