The redesigned site and added features

After a few weeks’ hard coding work, today we are presenting an updated site to you. We hope the new features and changes will make the site more useful. Here is a brief description.

1. Now you can follow baggers (bag creators)
This way you may see the bags they create and recommend all the time. You also can build bags to share interesting topics with your followers. With this function, it is easier to keep track of baggers you like and the bags they build, update, and recommend.

2. Registered users can recommend bags
Consider this function as BagTheBag’s tweets. By clicking the “recommend” button, you can share any bag you see with your followers, no matter you are the bag’s creators or not. Even you do not create bags, you still can find and share good bags by recommending them.

3. Rich media content links
Bags will automatically display rich media content, such as video and photos, originated from certain sites. What you need to do is just like before: adding URLs to a bag. Then, the videos or photos will be embedded. See this example. Right now, this function supports YouTube, Vemeo, and Flickr. We will add more sites to the supported list soon.

4. Plus, the site recognizes tweets
When a URL of the Twitter site is entered into a bag, its corresponding tweet will be displayed in its entirety including the tweet text and the twitterer’s image.

5. Unpublished / published feature
Users told us that they do not want their bags to be instantly public when they are still creating them. For that reason, we added one step for bag creation. Now a bag is considered “unpublished” until its creator clicks the “Publish it” button. However, unlike private bags, an unpublished bag is not private, for it can be seen if one has the right URL. You can use this “semi-private” feature to share a bag with your group, if you do not want the bag become fully public.

6. Now you can save your favorite bags
By clicking the star icon on the sidebar, you “favorite” the bag you are viewing. The favorited bag can be found in a dedicated section.

7. Embed a bag to your blog or sites
We add an “embed” tool so that you can embed a bag to your blog or website. It is useful to add a bag of related web links as references to your blog posts.

8. Your personalized home
We changed our homepage, for both before signed in and after signed in cases. After signed in, your personalized home is named “bagstream” that displays all bag items published and recommended by baggers you follow. It is an easy way to discovery interesting bags you may never encounter. Bagstream is a bag filter contributed by people you follow. You can control the flow by following and unfollowing them.

In the past few months since our site went online, some users recommended BagTheWeb as a good bookmarking tool. That was half right. BagTheWeb can help you collect and organize websites and pages. However, it does more than that. Essentially, BagTheWeb is a Web content curation tool. Users can create bags of different topics. With the Web’s information overloading situation, the need of content curation is becoming more imminent everyday. In a recent post, Robert Scoble extensively described the need and design for such a tool. You can read it here.

With the added social networking component, the BagTheWeb site will be able to connect both bags and users. The site will become a social “content network” of Web information. We are eager to hear your comments and suggestions so that we will make further improvements along the way.