Leaving the Acceptable Ads initiative

written by iweb

We all hate ads. They're annoying, don't respect your privacy and are usually distasteful.

Here at Pulsir, we try to make the ads okay (and we don't even make any money from them...) and this is what we had in mind when we joined the Acceptable Ads initiative in 2014.

Unfortunately, due to disagreement with Eyeo about the method of letting partners know about changes in the terms of the Initiative, we left the Acceptable Ads initiative as we felt that we couldn't trust Eyeo anymore, although their actions were justified.

Because of our move, Adblock Plus users won't see ads on Pulsir unless they disable ABP on pulsir.eu or add these exceptions:

    pulsir.eu#@#.pulsir-ad
    pulsir.eu#@#.ad-content

Don't worry, we still love you! Our ads will stay exactly the same -- they won't turn into South Park-esque ads and that's our promise to Pulsir users.

😙,

-- the Pulsir team


CloudFlare on Pulsir

written by iweb

We're now using CloudFlare on pulsir.eu! You'll notice benefits soon, but please let us know if you encounter any problems in using Pulsir, as there may be some issues while we're adapting.

This means that you can now use https on Pulsir if you have a fairly recent browser and OS, but you may notice some issues while we adapt to SSL. For that reason, we're not yet redirecting traffic to https, but we will be offering the feature to force https soon.


Making ads okay.

written by iweb

Ads usually suck. There are usually waaaaaay too many ads, they're huge or just suck.

Here at Pulsir, we want you to... like not hate our ads, so we've made small, simple, moderated, 1-ad-per-feed ads. And in collaboration with AdBlock Plus, we're now a part of their Acceptable Ads Initiative. This means that AdBlock Plus won't block ads on Pulsir for users that are okay with such simple ads, which is great news for us :D and because the ads aren't intrusive, your experience on Pulsir won't change much.

If you're an AdBlock Plus user, consider enabling Acceptable Ads, and if you're a website owner, consider applying for the Acceptable Ads Initiative.

Hugely thankful to AdBlock Plus,
-- the Pulsir team


Launching Pulsir 3

written by iweb

After months and months of hard work and procrastination, we're finally launching Pulsir 3, which is a whole new experience of Pulsir, complete with a new design and a load of new features.

We're proud to introduce this and we hope that you'll like it.

Who worked on Pulsir 3?

/ZDroid worked on the beautiful new design and the Whitey theme, I coded a lot of the things out (with the help of amazing GitHub contributors :D), /masteroman made sure it worked and Nathan managed community things while we were focusing on the core software.

So, what's new?

First of all, the design! As features go, this is going to be a long list...

  • a template/theme engine
  • better sessions
  • a settings panel that allows you to change everything about your profile
  • account exports in beautiful JSON
  • a better API
  • custom CSS support
  • you're now able to fully delete an account manually
  • you're now able to revoke all sessions
  • you're now able to edit posts and delete them after publication
  • you're now able to set a custom domain (but you need to contact our support team to do that because of some things we have to do server-side)
  • better, more secure signups (username collisions, fallback hashing algorithms (as PHP sometimes feels clever and stops crypt() from working properly), things like that)
  • two factor authentification (still in beta)
  • Pulsir Spotlight, a place where we highlight the best posts on Pulsir
  • better spam protection thanks to Akismet <3
  • better XSS and CSRF protection
  • cookie warnings that make sense
  • NSFW warnings on NSFW posts
  • Markdown support
  • replies that make more sense
  • posts no longer need titles or tags
  • and even more features coming soon!

THAT'S NOT A REALLY LONG LIST! Why did it take that long?!

We're all volunteers and develop Pulsir in our own free time, so it takes waaay much more time to develop. Also, we're humans -- we need to rest as well, we can't code day and night. Software that works takes months, great software takes years.

What's next?

We'll be working on twofactor authentification, drafts (probably) and some backend things for our next version. Maybe even an OAuth2 & write API. We don't know yet. If there's anything you'd like to see in the next versions of Pulsir, please let us know in a post reply or send us an email over at say.hello@pulsir.eu and we'll work on it.

Is this a Medium/Silvrback clone?

No. Pulsir is a blogging tool for people who like to write, not a publishing platform. Although we have some similarities with Medium and Silvrback in design and URL structure (Medium especially), we're quite different from them. If you don't like our logo, you can hide it with custom CSS on your blog and posts. Don't want to have your posts on our domain? Set up a custom domain. Our focus is on you and your content, not ourselves.

How does Pulsir make money?

The short answer, we don't. We may sell actual ads in the future (but the size and placement will mostly stay the same and we'll never show ads on your content or blog) or do commercial services, but as of yet, Pulsir does not make money in any way. However, Pulsir will continue to work even if it doesn't make money -- you don't have to worry about the future of Pulsir.

What about privacy?

We know that you care about privacy and we don't invade your privacy. We only log the things we need when we need them and we don't track you. For more information about what we do with your data, read our human-readable Privacy policy. You can export all of your data (and yes, all of it) at any time in a single JSON file (this can size up to a few megabytes if you have a lot of posts and custom CSS).

How can I believe that you log only those things?

We're open source, so you can go look at the source code at any time.

I'm a coder and I looked at that code and puked.

Sorry. Pulsir is not an example of good code. Pulsir is written to work.

It doesn't always follow good language practices. It's bad code, written in a limited period of time by volunteers. We'll be working on making the code less messy, but in the meantime, there are a lot of flaws in regards to best practices.

We're sorry about that.

I want to help out!

Great! If you're a coder, you can start on GitHub, and if you're not or just need some help getting started, just send us an email at say.hello@pulsir.eu and we'll point you in the right direction.


That's about it. Pulsir 3 is now out. Let us know what you think about it :)


If you need any help, visit the documentation (still a work in progress) or talk to the humans.


What are we working on?!

written by iweb

As you may have noticed, Pulsir has been down for maintenance for a while now, and we said that A new Pulsir experience is coming soon. Well, it is!

Okay, so the first thing you'll notice is the fresh, new, awesome design and amazing continuity throughout the whole Pulsir website. It isn't perfect, and there are still a few things we want to make better, but we'll release it really soon, as the current Pulsir interface is a mess. If you're interested, the frontend is powered by Heyday, our own frontend framework based off Bootstrap.

Also in our sea of improvements, we have a brand new WYSIWYG post editor, which we coded out ourselves and will release as opensource. It's called Caneta, and you can find it on GitHub. It probably won't be released as soon as the redesign will be, but it's coming and it will make editing your posts way easier if you don't know HTML.

We're also working on a new settings panel and a better password reset mechanism, both of which will take quite a lot of time, as we want to make them good. They're coming this summer for sure, along with new inline moderation tools for our moderators, a new admin panel for self-hosting users, a new support portal and the ability to delete and update posts after they've been published. (We'll probably throw in drafts or something as well)

And... when we finish all of this, we'll finally hit 3.0 Stable, so fingers crossed :)


Analyzing analytics.

written by iweb

Featured image by Luc Legay, generated by LinkedIn

In April, we started using Awstats for analytics, and we've decided to share some data we've gathered from using it :)

Since April, we've had 1903 unique visitors, and 9361 viewed traffic hits (hits from real people), which took up 322.51MB of bandwith. We usually had the most traffic on wednesdays (why?!) and the most hits were on 18:00-19:00 GMT.

The most visits came out of the US and Croatia:

UjMM1XN.png

As operating systems go, Windows is the most popular with 50.3% of visits coming from Windows-powered machines, and 32.7% of traffic came out of Linux machines, while Mac OS-powered machines account for 13.6% of all Pulsir visits.

Chrome is the most popular browser with 32.7% visits, while (believe it or not [I don't]) comes on a close second with 26.5% of visits, closely followed by Firefox at 25.1%. And, somehow, 5 visits were using Netscape Navigator. I seriously hope this is user agent spoofing.

We had more than 65000 visits from bots. You can see more about that and more interesting data in our full Analytics Report.

What's the most interesting stat you have found or gathered? Let us know :)


Introducing Pulsating Bits, the Pulsir team blog.

written by iweb

From now on, we'll be blogging about our thoughts, contemplations and web development on Pulsating Bits, our team blog.
It's still powered by Pulsir, of course :D, and shows a hint of what group blogging will look like when we finally release it publicly. :)


Now introducing: Featured images

written by iweb

Not an April fools joke!

Under Additional options, you can now set a featured image, which some themes may use. Fun :)

(Note that the default Pulsir theme, Whitey, does not support featured images at the moment)


the Pulsir team blog

Written by:
iweb
ZDroid
Vl@do
and others