I love trying out new web technologies that add practical value to this blog. From the beginning, I envisioned this blog as not only a place to communicate Christian truths through articles, but also as a web resource center. So the idea was to create links in my sidebar to point people to excellent web resources, and have those links organized according to categories. Thanks to ingenious hacks developed by technically-minded folks like Stephen Webber at Singpolyma Technical Blog and Hans at Beautiful Beta, I have been able to enhance features on my blog in ways I desired, but would never have been able to figure out on my own. For example, the sidebar link mentioned above were converted to mostly scrolling lists that one may show or hide, just by clicking on the title.
In addition, thanks to improvements Blogger made to its platform after being acquired by Google, I am able to categorize all posts easily, using their "labels" system.
Then there are the more "Web 2.0-type" enhancements I've added, such as the Jordan's Video section powered by vodpod that lets me share videos, or the Music Live Video Collection (powered by YouTube) I added at the bottom of the blog that lets me share favorite music video performances.
The web 2.0 enhancements continue this week, with the addition of a "Share" button next to the title of every post. This button comes courtesy of madKast. Clicking the button brings up a pop-up that allows readers to easily bookmark the post using their preferred service, or send the article by email to a friend. And today I have added a "Listen" button (powered by Odiogo) that when clicked allows you to hear a podcast of the article being read. Other options are to download an MP3 version, or subscribe to the Jordan's View podcast. What's really amazing is that the work of creating these podcasts was done entirely by Odiogo-- all I had to do was set up an account and provide my feed information. The voice that reads the articles is automated, yet sounds pretty human and is mostly clear and understandable.
So if Jordan's View is taking a bit longer to load these days, please do be patient. I think these latest features are worth the little extra time it takes to load the blog.