CAROLINE SMAILES

The Hive

Don’t be scared – make a bee and answer some questions.

What is the Like Bees to Honey Hive?

The Hive is an experiment in social interaction that aims to build on the successful Black Boxes blog widget. The inspiration for the experiment is Caroline’s newest novel – Like Bees to Honey.

When Caroline’s first novel – In Search of Adam – was launched, her geeky friend Stray knocked up an interactive map where readers could plot the story’s journey into the real world.

People enjoyed making connections, and we carried this theme into the Black Boxes widget in 2008 – with tens of thousands of bloggers joining in and using their choices to find like minded bloggers and start new friendships.

The Like Bees to Honey hive aims to deliver the same quality of real-world connections, and is inspired by one of the major themes of the novel – the reciprocal nature of help and healing. When you write a question for the hive you will change somebody’s day. Your questions and answers will spark chains of thought, perhaps even inspire decisions and actions. The hive is just one (cute) expression of the positive impact we have on each other every day. Enjoy!

Oh… and you can of course buy Like Bees to Honey at all good book stores and online from amazon or from The Book Depository who offer free delivery worldwide

Technical help and contacts

Please don’t contact Caroline directly with technical questions. She is a bit useless. Instead, direct your questions at Stray, who built the hive and the widget. You can email dailystraying@gmail.com or send a tweet to @stray_and_ruby.

I messed up my bee! How do I fix it?

You can use the blog widget to edit the name or design of your bee. But once you’ve created a bee you can’t change the link (blog or twitter) associated with it. If you need to change the link then please email or tweet Stray and she’ll sort you out.

I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do

The Hive is intended to be an ‘exploring’ kind of experience.  When you answer a question, the bee who asked that question will join your swarm – so you should see your bee count going up each time you answer a new question – though of course if you answer two questions by the same person then you’ll only get one bee.

When other people answer your questions they’ll also join your hive. You don’t need to reload the hive to see people joining your swarm. You do need to reload the hive to see the latests yes/no scores for your questions.

The little menu that the worm is holding will let you switch between answering other people’s questions and seeing how people have answered your questions.

How do I add the widget to my blog?

You can add the code below to include the widget in your blog:

<object id="bees2honey_widget" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="176" height="280" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"> <param name="align" value="middle" /> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="false" /> <param name="quality" value="high" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" /> <param name="src" value="http://www.newloop-clients.co.uk/blog/bees/bees2honey_widget.swf" /> <param name="name" value="bees2honey_widget" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="false" /> <embed id="bees2honey_widget" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="176" height="280" src="http://www.newloop-clients.co.uk/blog/bees/bees2honey_widget.swf" name="bees2honey_widget" bgcolor="#ffffff" quality="high" allowfullscreen="false" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain" align="middle"></embed></object>

How did you make the hive? Can you make something like this for me?

The Hive required two kinds of work. The design and artwork were done by the brilliant Badger of @badgerthat – who you can also find winning prizes for web design. Her portfolio site is here.

Then Stray used lots of numbers (so she says) to make it all work. Fortunately, the lovely Scott Pack from TFP / Harper Collins provided a budget to cover some of the time it took Stray to build it. She does these things for various people, but they’re always not this cute.

Is there an accessible version?

Sometime over the next week we’ll be adding a twitter feed which tweets the questions and intermittent results, and that feed will be fully accessible via the brilliant accessibletwitter.com – with the ability to participate by replying to the tweeted questions. We’re sorry the launch isn’t simultaneous but we want to make sure everything is working nicely before we add extra functionality. If this doesn’t meet your needs then please do contact us with your suggestions.

Why did you make this flash? I want it on my iPhone!

Stray is a hardcore, lifelong apple fan. But she doesn’t understand why Steve thinks flash sucks. And unfortunately the Like Bees to Honey hive can’t be built in HTML5 – so, sorry, the hive is not coming to an iPhone any time soon.

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