Category Archives: Cruisy

All things related to the Cruisy website.

It’s been a while…

Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve blogged about anything. In the time since my last blog, I’ve taken Cruisy offline – yes, that’s the end of it. If you don’t know what I’m taking about, Cruisy was a website that I built for the foreign community in Taiwan. I’d like to say thanks to those who supported the site through visits and other contributions and want you to know that I have more in the pipeline.

The reason for shutting down Cruisy was that, although it had a fairly decent structure, I realized the formula wasn’t quite right. I decided to pretty-much start all over – keeping the good parts, ditching the parts that didn’t work, and adding more. So, that’s what I’m up to now – plugging away at the new site.

I’ll get back with more blogs when I get closer to releasing it. Cheers!



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New section – Taiwan Directory

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about anything new about the site. That’s because I’ve been working on a new section (as you might have guessed by the title of this blog) – Taiwan Directory. It’s AJAX, which means there are no page refreshes, and incorporates Google Maps and image upload functionality. The directory in organized in a tree menu on the left, which has regions in the top level and categories at the second. Categories and listing are added by right clicking anywhere on the tree.

Here is an example of adding a listing. The listing is of JianGuo flower market in Taipei and the category is “For kids”. I recently wrote about this in my other blog, Taiwankids, so it was just a matter of copying and pasting the content.

First, right click on the menu item of choice and click “Add”.If you’re not logged in, a login dialog will appear. After logging in, another dialog will appear and for adding a listing, as below.

Adding a Google map makes it easier for readers to find the location. The add map dialog looks like this:

After adding a title, category, description, rating, image, map and address, my listing is ready to be submitted and looks like this:

Clicking the Add Listing button adds the listing to the directory, as can be seen below. The listing’s rating shows up as stars and the number of ratings is also displayed. Listings can be ordered by date or rating.

And when the listing is clicked on, the resulting article page looks like this:

Comments can be added to each article and the directory is searchable, if you know what you’re looking for. I hope this new feature comes in handy for people looking for somewhere to go or help with something in Taiwan. Here is a full list of categories:

  • Restaurants & cafes
  • Bars & clubs
  • Shopping
  • Accommodation
  • Learning Chinese
  • Sport & recreation
  • Places for kids
  • English schools
  • Household cleaners
  • Scooter mechanics
  • Plumber/electricians
  • Higher education
  • Legal help

Please let me know if you’d like me to add a category and feel free to add anything you think is suitable! Thanks!

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New Buy & Sell section

I’ve added a Buy & Sell section which follows the basic layout and functionality of the Discussions section. At the moment, it looks like this (only two items for sale – both mine):

New Buy & Sell page

You can add a for sale ad by clicking the “Add” hyperlink at the top and logging in (or the other way around). The add form looks like this:

Buy & Sell form

As you can see, you can optionally upload up to six images. The first of the images is the main image which appears in the Buy & Sell article (if you choose to upload an image). The article page looks like this:

Buy & Sell Article

If there is more than one image associated with the item for sale, a link below the main image will open a popup gallery (in this case there are only two images of the item):

Pop-up gallery for Buy & Sell images

I hope some people can make use of it because I don’t have a lot of things to sell!

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Taiwan Flickr Favorite box – First image from DreTW

I’ve added a new box to the home and Photos pages called “Taiwan Flickr Favorite”. This box retrieves the Flickr image with the most recent comment, so if you comment on any Flickr photo it will immediately appear in this box until another image is commented on. This is what it looks like:

Taiwan Flickr favorite box

This image was taken by Flickr member DreTW (who is also a prominant blogger in Taiwan – Andre in Taiwan) of highboard divers at Yehliu Ocean World. There is a link below that takes the reader straight to his Flickr About page. If you click on the image, you’ll be taken to the article page where you can see and add any comments on the image.

Flickr photo article

If your interested in adding a photo to this section, just go to the Flickr pools box in the left column and choose a pool (make sure you’re logged in first). A pop-up box will appear with a gallery of twenty photos from that pool – choose a photo you like and add a comment to it by clicking the comment link below the photo. Unfortunately, the gallery is a bit slower to load than I would like because the most Flickr photos are very big.

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Cruisy now has a discussions page

As you might have seen (and as some have mentioned), the international content on the front page of Cruisy has been a little overwhelming. I’ve been planning to gradually fill it out with local content, and started that with the Featured Blogs subsection which I added a couple of weeks ago. Now, I’ve added a Discussions subsection which links to the new discussions page. Here it is:

Discussions subsection on home page

Clicking on the Discussions hyperlink takes you to the Discussions page, featuring the latest discussions, a search tool, and an “Add” link to add a discussion article. The Discussions page looks like this (there are only two discussions, so far):

Discussions page

If you log in and click the “Add” link, you’ll see this form for adding a discussion article. An accompanying image can optionally be uploaded, which is associated with the article throughout the site.

Add discussion form

And, if you click on the discussion headline link anywhere on the site it will take you to the discussions article page, which looks like this:

Discussions article

I hope this new addition to Cruisy can lead to many fruitful discussions and help people to learn more about Taiwan. If you have anything you want to discuss, please feel free to add or comment on any discussions!

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New Blogs page

I’ve recently revamped the Cruisy Blogs section so now clicking on any link associated with a blog takes readers straight to the blogger’s site. In other words, I’m not displaying the content of blogs on my site anymore  (just the title, an associated image, and a short description). This was a difficult decision to make as it meant I would need to give up the dashboard for contributors and the comments on blogs, but I decided it would be better in the long run as more bloggers would be willing to have their blogs listed and the Blogs page would be able to represent Taiwan bloggers better.

So, now instead of an invitation to bloggers to become contributors, I’m inviting bloggers to join the blogroll (or blog digest)! To join, send me an email at You’ll need to register with the site, as a username needs to be associated with each blog on the blogroll – just let me know your username in your email.

Here’s a shot of the new Blogs page:

New Blogs page

If you saw the old Blogs page, you would have seen that I had organized the blogs into categories, displaying the first three of each. I’ve kept this as an option – a “View by category” hyperlink – but the main page just displays one list of blogs from any category ordered by date.

As part of the new blogs page, I’ve added a search facility at the top. With this you can search any blog by keyword, by category, or both.  With lots of blogs to search, this could be a great way to find out about (amongst others) what people are writing about upcoming events,  information on places to visit, and viewpoints on current events.

Blog searching facility

Thanks for the support of those who had decided to become contributors, and now with the new system, I hope it can help Taiwan bloggers to draw more readers to their site.

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Featured blog

I’ve added a new section to the homepage for a featured blog. The header “Featured blog” is hyperlinked to the original blog and there is a blurb with the author, blog name, and intro.

The first featured blog is Stu Dawson’s Hiking in Taiwan. In his article, he discusses his second attempt at Snow Mountain.

Featured blog section

Featured blog section

 Check it out at

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