https://message.fhtr.net/blog. The Message blog will be introducing new features, giving you presentation tips, and acting as a playground for Message's publishing features. No worries though, I'll keep doing these wrap-up posts to keep you updated.
The Message blog is built on top of Message, so it's strictly speaking a presentation. I like it as a demonstration of the power of Message's theming system. In addition, blog-style publishing requires a few extra features that will make publishing presentations nicer as well. For example, to do a blog well you need to track page views, have draft-publish workflow, load data dynamically, have nice post URLs, have a TOC, have comments and likes — most of which would improve the presentations as well. So hey, clear and motivated goals.
If you look at the blog screenshot closely, you may notice a "Fullscreen"-button in the bottom right corner of the screen. Yes, you can now go fullscreen with your presentations.
The fullscreen mode hides the "Edit"-button as well so that you have a screen full of presentation and can run your presos straight from the editor preview. To exit the fullscreen mode, hit ESC and you'll be back to the editor in no time.
UserVoice forum for Message to have a place to collect feature requests and other issues from y'all. Currently 6 issues posted, 5.5 resolved. And the remaining half issue would be PDF export of some sort. Speaking of which, @BlurSpline wrote this little snippet to create PDFs from Message presos.
If you have any ideas or find bugs on the Message site, feel free to head over to the feedback forum and create a new issue. Or ping me on Twitter: @ilmarihei.
The Export as HTML feature is still experimental, so let me know if you run into any problems. I'll keep tinkering on it (and the whole offline story) this week.
Private share links and shorter share links
As you can see in the screenshot above, the share pane now has a private share link. If you don't want to publish a preso for all the world to see, you can send the private share link instead.
In other news, I changed the public Message share links from "viewmessage.fhtr.net?page=view&id=$ID" to "v.fhtr.net/$ID". Now they look a bit nicer. And 23 characters shorter.
Ever seen a wall of text? Yes, that slide with sixteen bullet points and a five-line quote from a technical textbook. They are real, sad to say. Worst of all, they destroy presentations.
A wall of text does active battle with whatever you're saying. People can only deal with one linguistic task at a time. You can't listen to speech while you're reading and vice versa. Heck, even listening to music makes you worse at reading.
Your presentation slides should have very few words on them. Your slides are the headlines and illustrations. What you say is the article body.
Easier said than done. When you want to explain your thinking, it's so easy to add a few extra words on the slide. And perhaps a few bullet points. Maybe an inspiring quote or two.
It's too easy to make slides that make your audience stop listening to you. So, we took a swing at solving the problem.
Message now has slide complexity warnings. When your slide is getting a bit too verbose, you get a yellow "Complex Slide"-warning. It's a sign that you should pause for a few seconds when you show that slide. Maybe take a sip of water. Because your audience is going to be too busy reading the slide to listen to you.
If you keep on writing, the warning will turn into a red "Overcomplex Slide"-warning. This is the kind of slide that will likely make your presentation worse. Your audience is going to stop listening to you for the duration of this slide. Try to break overcomplex slides into three slides.
Slide complexity warnings are turned on on all new Message presentations. They need a snippet of code in the slide parser, so old presos don't have them by default. You can add the warnings to an old preso by loading a new preso as a template for the old one.
New version history names
Suppose you wanted to go to the version from yesterday, before you decided to rewrite a large part of your presentation. You'd open the dropdown and scroll it up to yesterday's edits, find one with a large number of deleted character and pick the version before that. Zing!
I also have a mock up ad below there. Who knows if that price point is too low (for consumers) or too high (for corporates). I guess we'll find out.
That's all this week, you can see all these amazing features in action on Message. It's still in beta, so sign-up is free!