Update notes July 2018

Posted on by Drew in news.

We’ve been hard at work since coming out of beta last month, adding new features and making lots of small improvements and fixes.

Notist is still young and we’re just getting started, but this week we blasted through the milestone of 1,000 presentations published live on the site. (And that’s not counting our own!)

Videos for everyone!

One of the big changes we’ve made is to include the ability to add video as part of the free plan. Video is so important, it was killing us to think that free users might have video of their presentations they could share, but no way to do so without paying, resulting in everyone losing out. We may be bad capitalists, but we do love video.

Embedding, sharing and reusing

From right when we launched, we’ve had JSON data feeds for some key pages. We’ve been adding to that, and now have JSON representations of profile, presentation, and event pages, as well as event and presentation listing pages.

These can be used as a handy way to export data, but also to reuse it in other places. If you wanted to, for example, use Notist to manage your presentations but to publish them to your own site, this lets you (or your developer) do that. Any page with a JSON representation has the URL linked as a rel="alternate" in the head of the HTML.

If you want to embed a presentation in something like a blog post elsewhere, you can now do that too. We have programmatic support for embedding with oEmbed, but also the presentation page has a link to grab embed code to paste in manually. The embedded player is currently a little basic, but we’ll be improving it as we go.

Promoting great content

You’ve all been publishing some really terrific presentations on the site. A common traffic pattern is that the presenter will share the URL of their presentation, and we’ll see a rush of traffic to that one page. This could be better, as we want to provide a way for others visiting the site to find that great content, and also to offer direct visitors somewhere else to go once they arrive.

The first step towards is our new Explore page, which highlights popular presentations, presenter profiles and current and recent events.

(If you don’t want your presentations to be promoted by us, there’s a checkbox for that in your settings.)

Not everything has slides

Whilst many presentations do have some sort of slide deck to share, that’s not true for all. Some presentations might not have any slides, be more live demo than slides, or you might want to keep the deck private until a later date.

To accommodate that, and keep your presentation pages looking good at the same time, you can now upload a static image in place of a slide deck. This could be a title slide, or maybe a photo of you on stage from the event photographer.

What’s more, if you add a video, but no slides or image, we’ll automatically make the video the big feature at the top of the presentation page.

Headshots and biographies

If you’ve ever been through a call for papers (CFP) process, you’ll be familiar with the need to supply details of past speaking experience, along with a biography and photos for promotion. With the new ability to upload multiple headshot photos to Notist Pro accounts, speakers should be able to answer all of those questions with a link to their Notist profile page.

As well as adding long and short versions of a biography, Pro users can now upload multiple photos which event organisers can download and use. We’ve even added space for you to credit the photographer when you need to.

…and more to come

We’ve been hard at work on the next batch of Pro features. Near the top of that list is the ability to point a custom domain to your profile. That can be useful if you’re worried about preserving URLs over time. Using a custom domain enables you to share links to your presentations using a domain name you control. If you decided to stop using Notist in the future, you could take steps to make sure those old links still take users to the correct place. Neat!

Custom domains will fully support secure HTTPS, and are just about ready to go. We’re making final tests and doing the last bits of complex server wrangling that make it all work.


What’s this?

This is the blog post from Notist, a site for public speakers to share slides and build their speaking portfolio. Reserve your usename today.