The Kuwait Blogs iPhone App

Post by Mark

This is the second app that I’m releasing for the iPhone and one that should be very useful to many, its the Kuwait Blogs app. I’ve taken all of my favorite blogs and placed them in one app which is very convenient and practical. I will still be adding more blogs in the next update but for now these are the blogs that are included in the app:

2:48AM
360 Dewan
4th Ring Road
Ansam
Blushberry
Buzberry
Confashions
Frankom
iLSul6ana
P0ach
Some Contrast
Tidbit du Jour
zDistrict

I would have added more blogs but it was very time consuming trying to create an icon, header, footer and color scheme for every blog so that it matches their actual blog theme. So if you’re not in this first release I’m sorry but you might be in the next update.

For the Kuwait Blogs icon and launch screen I wanted to use a picture that represented Kuwait but didn’t want anything cliche like the Kuwait Towers or flag so I ended up going with an abstract shot of the Ice Skating Rink which I had taken a few years ago for Miskan. I love the design of the Ice Skating Rink and thought it would represent Kuwait very nicely.

To install the app search for Kuwait Blogs in the App Store on your iPhone or install it into iTunes by click this [Link]


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The 2:48AM iPhone App

Post by Mark

It took a lot of my time but I finally finished my very own iPhone app. I actually launched it last week on my twitter page but I didn’t officially announce it since I wanted to get some feedback and fix any bugs that I might have missed first. Good thing I did since I spotted a silly bug the first day it got released and quickly released a version 1.1 update a couple of days later. Now the version has gone up to 1.2 and I’ve been able to introduce a few nifty features which I felt helped round off the app and make it launch worthy.

Originally when I went about creating the app I didn’t know what the use would be. Already the blog was very viewable on the iPhone because of a plug-in I had installed that formatted the site to work perfectly on the iPhone so if my app did the same thing it would be useless. I kept thinking about what else I could do and bit by bit I started adding stuff to it that made it more useful. Here are the things you can currently do with my iPhone app:

– Check my latest posts
– Check the latest comments on my blog
– Check the latest posts in the forum
– Check my twitter
– Check my YouTube channel
– Check latest posts on Safat
– Check latest Kuwait news from Arab Times
– Check the weather via the Kuwait Meteorological Center (contains more details than the default iPhone weather app)
and my favorite…
– Get the latest traffic updates via #q8traffic on Twitter

These are just the features I have currently but hopefully will be adding more stuff down the line. If you want to download the iPhone app search for 248AM in the app store or click the following [Link]


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Healthier Lifestyle

Post by Mark

Last year after I found out I had an acid reflux problem I decided I wanted to post healthier lifestyle related posts on my blog. Since then I’ve done it maybe three times and the posts weren’t that great. Recently though when I posted about my new diet plan and gym membership with Core Fitness, both posts hit nearly 100 comments. Most of that had to do with the fact the owner of the gym was interacting with many of you, answering your questions.

Since it seems many of you are interested in a better and healthier lifestyle, I decided to invite Fahad the owner as a guest blogger here. He will be posting about healthier lifestyle related posts and he should be able to answer most of your questions. I’ve also created a new blog category called Healthier Lifestyle in which all these healthy lifestyle posts will be archived. His first post is located below and expect more to come.

Note: Also check the new blog I added to my blog list recently called Eat Like Mira which is also health related [Link]


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It tastes better

Post by Mark

Welcome to the new and improved site. I know it still looks the same and some of you might not even have noticed a difference but that’s because I wasn’t interested in a complete revamp. The blog has become very recognizable with the bright magenta on top and black background, changing it would be like Coca-Cola suddenly going blue. What I did with this redesign is improve on the old design and fix things that needed to be fixed.

Firstly the biggest change is that the site now looks exactly the same on any browser on any OS. Previously it looked slightly different depending on what browser on what OS you were using. The only difference now is for some reason on FireFox on a Mac the titles on the tabs under the header are in bold. But that’s it everything else looks the same. I’ve widened the site but not by a lot so that if you’re viewing the blog from a netbook you don’t need to scroll left or right to see the whole width of the page. It fits perfectly.

Secondly the ads. The most important change is that there is no longer an ad on top of the posts. I’ve decided not to put an ad there and have instead kept all the ads on the far right. This way I’ve created a clear and distinct line between what is an ad and what isn’t. Everything on the left is me, it’s my space and I say what I want. Everything on the right is paid for. I’ve changed the shape of the ads and made them slightly smaller so they look a lot neater now. I’ve also had all the advertisers reduce the physical size of the ads by half so that the site loads even faster now then it previously did.

I’ve also changed the color of the header slightly and made it a 100% magenta which is slightly brighter than the previous header. I then changed all the other magenta on the blog to match, so all the links and buttons etc.. are now slightly brighter. Oh and when you hover over the tabs under the header, the button now turns white instead of black. Looks cleaner this way.

I’ve really done a ton of minor changes here and there. For example the titles of the posts are now 100% black instead of dark gray, the comments under the posts look A LOT neater now and I’ve also removed the number next to peoples comments. There was a bad habit previously in which people replied to each other by post number. For example “I have to agree with post 23, Britney Spears is hot”. Now people will have to refer to each other by name or nickname. Another issue with the comment numbers was that if there was a comment in moderation before post 23 and I approved it after someone responded to post 23 then post 23 would suddenly become post 24 and the person who commented in reply to post 23 would look stupid.

Oh another important change, I’ve removed the tab on top called “Archive” which used to contain all my post categories and have instead listed all my categories on the side. Those of you who’ve been visiting my blog for a few years now will realize that’s how it used to be before my previous redesign. I find it a lot more useful having it in the sidebar and I am hoping it will encourage more people to dig into my blog and engage with my older posts. I’ve posted soo many things over the years and a lot of them are still interesting to this day so its worth making them available. I’ve also shifted the “Site Tools” up because I feel my twitter and facebook group are worth visiting and so need to be highlighted more. I’ve moved the other bloggers list to the bottom of the side bar so that way the more interesting blogs I find the more I will be able to fit. The side bar used to also have a gray background which I removed, makes things a lot more airy and less suffocating.

So in conclusion, the blog loads faster, looks neater and is just an improved version of the previous design.


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Contact Problem

Post by Mark

I just found out my contact us form wasn’t working probably for a couple of months now I am guessing. If you previously emailed me using the contact us form and never got a reply back its probably because I never received your email. The form is working now. [Link]


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Comments held for moderation

Post by Mark

I don’t know why but for some reason today ALL comments are automatically being held for moderation. I am going to try and fix it now.

Update: Looks like its working now


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New site feature

Post by Mark

notify me

I just added a new feature to the site which will come in handy for people who comment on posts. The new feature allows you to keep track of follow up comments to a post, meaning once you activate it, every time someone replies to a post you get an email with that persons comment. Its an easier way to track comments and you just activate it by ticking the option under the submit button as pictured above. Make sure you put in your correct email address.


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Minor website changes

Post by Mark

I just did some very minor changes to the website so that it works better with Internet Explorer 6. If you see anything quirky please tell me about it so that I can fix it. Thanks! [Contact Me]


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Commenting issues

Post by Mark

If you have been having problems commenting the past week I think I fixed the problem. Try posting a comment now it should work. If it still doesn’t work [email me]


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Screwed both ways

Post by Mark

If I post something negative about a place in Kuwait, some people get the impression that I am out to hurt that place. If I post something positive about a place in Kuwait, some people get the impression that I was paid to do so. It’s pretty fucked up really.

Last week I posted two negative posts about Sultan Center, one regarding their eggs, the other about how they stole the Kellogg’s mascot. One reader told me if I hated Sultan that much I should just stop shopping there. What kind of mentality is that? Its kinda like how if I post something negative about Kuwait people come and tell me to get the fuck out if I don’t like it.

I only shop at Sultan Center and I have been a customer ever since they opened up their Salmiya branch back in the 80’s. When I encounter a problem at Sultan Center I complain, I have the right to as a customer. If I complain it doesn’t mean I hate the place, it means I want the place to improve.

Same with my Bazaar posts, some people get the impression I hate Bazaar. I don’t.

One reader asked why I don’t contact customer service when I have a complaint instead of posting it on the blog? Well three reasons. First the obvious which is I need content for the blog. Second is the fact that I am used to sending emails to customer service only to have them ignored and the third and final reason is that problems get fixed quickly after I post about them on the blog.

So from now on if I say good things or bad things about a place or product I hope there will be no misconception.


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