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Content Glass

Content Glass

Developed by Rhizome Networks LTD

Price: Free More info
  • Making your website unique instead of one-of-many products catalog.
  • Stratify your web-store with layers of contextual information and activity.
  • Increase users engagement with your website by adding the ability of generating multiple points of interactions.

What is Content Glass?

Content Glass is an evolving platform for stratifying the web with contextual layers of data.

What can you I with CG-Button?

CG-Button let you set widgets on top of your websites without changing website code. Think of it as putting multiple glasses on top of your website, and rendering on these glasses.

Who can create and share widgets?

Both, website owner and website visitors. The difference is that website owner, when login with an account created upon installing the application, can share widgets with all visitors (public glass), while ordinary visitors, can share widgets with close circle of friends.

What can I do with widgets?

CG Widgets let you add contextual information on your website that can be used, to inform users, help users and engage with users. For example you can inform users on special sale on home page. Or you can share related photos on some specific product page. Or you can put small note nearby new item added to your website, to let users note it. It is all up to your creative approach! So instead of thinking on your website as static creature simply think of it as Ad Hoc flexible and dynamic.

Are widgets fixed?

Widgets can easily be added and removed as needed. You may consider the "glass" as some, dynamic and flexible extension of your website. There is no heavy choice to make. Once you want to present something, simply create a widget for it. Once you do not need it anymore simply delete the widget. Your website code stay untouched anyway, it is only a dynamic layer of data that change on top of your website.

Does visitors can also share widgets?

Yes, unless you choose to hide CG-Button from users (by setting preferences), visitors can also create widgets that will be shared with friends. These widgets will only be visible to friends with whom widgets has been shared.

Can I use website elements to trigger CG Button operation

Yes. There is special attributes you can set on HTML elements, that make CG-Button prepare those elements for triggering actions. For example, you can set button element on your website that create note, users can share. Some examples are shown below in the advance section. If you need more help with this contact gilad@rhizomenet.com

Does CG-Button required and account

Depending on situation. CG-Button can also be installed as browser plugin, that does not require special account. However, when you install it as an app in your website, it is connected with an account that provide a way to set preferences, and also make it possible to set the credentials for sharing widgets on public glass.

So remember - the ability to share public widgets, depends on your logged-in to owner account, via the login-view provided by CG-Button.

What is Content-Glass application framework?

Creating widgets is only one aspect of CG-Button. In fact, when installing CG-Button, you install Content Glass web API on your website. This API include a framework for setting extensions and applications running on top you your website. CG-Button, is an example for such app.

If you think taking CG-Button to the next level and use it as platform for adding shopping tools, or social-tools to your website, you should read the more advanced information below, and will probably want to consult with giladt@rhizomenet.com to see how can you laverage on this platform.

Are there other Content glass apps

Yes. Content Glass is evolving platform. As Shopify store owner you may want to join the beta for these two new apps:

1. contentglass.direct - The Direct app provide "Direct Selling" page for performing direct sale sessions. Direct selling page provide special portal to shop owner, to listen you incoming session-requests, and start on-line session with users. The page, import your product gallery, so that users can select products, discuss with you about products, browse products together with you and finally, add the products to cart, that synchronise with Shopify cart, when you decide to make the payment. The actual payment is performed on Shopify (or Etsy, or other ) store.

2. allapps.directory - This new app let you publish your Shopify, or other apps, in any stage of the development. The app does not limit you or require you to achieve some 'milestone' or present some quality in order to publish your app. As developer I know that the process of creating app, is sometimes very long, especially when you are doing other things in addition, and do not have enough resources to push your app 100% of time. If you have an "on going" Shopify app (or any other app), you can publish it on All-Apps, much before you will be able to publish the app on apps directory of Shopify. The app can be installed for there.

More technical and advanced information

The next part is more technical and more advances. You should only read it if you want to get deeper in the understanding of this application.

When you install this app, we embed JavaScript in your website that load Content Glass API. When CG API is ready it loads an application defined for it my internal manifest file. In this case you can use the preferences page to select one of three very similar apps:

- General CG-Button
- E commerce CG-Button
- Headless CG-Button

These apps run a startup procedure that include a stop of loading zero or more defined Add-On apps. The difference between Cg-App and Add-on app is that CG-App is the top level running container. CG-Add-On is a contained app that can be loaded by CG-App.

CG Button for Shopify App is equipped with the most basic CG-Apps. If you want to see other CG-Apps we develop or plan to develop you are welcome to visit our Content Glass Cloud Hub. Visiting CG-Cloud will provide a better overview of Content Glass vision (stratify the world ....).

If you want to see how Content Glass strata starts to evolve and create cross-web traces you should also look on Direct Selling app page that makes the integeration between Shopify and CG-Direct, which is a new CG-App used to create interactive landing pages for increasing engagement with customers and contacts.

What does CG-Button do?
CG-Button is the first and most basic CG-App for websites. It is used as social-tool for both end-users and website owner, to share widgets (CG-Widget).

Widgets are mini-applications that either draw some view on top of the website or run some logic, given some state. A 'state' may refer to page URL, website domain or top-level domain. In more complicate CG-Apps state can be any combined set of properties, used as a "Condition" for running on rendering Cg-Widget.

How does CG-Widget is shared?
When CG-Button app is running (except for headless-app) it draw a button or a tab (depending on preferences) on your website. The button is used to open various management views. The most basic views are these two:
1. Account Login
2. Widgets Selector

For widget to be shared, either you or end-user first need to login in order to be able to share the widget with some contact from your social groups.

Using the widgets selector the user creates some widget that is rendered on the page. The widget is not scripted as part of your website, but is running on a virtual layer on top of your website (as with rendering on glass plate set on desktop, see above...)

Once widget is created you (or the end-user) should relate it with some contact, or generally speaking with some other peer. When your contact login, to the same account a widget was related to, the contact user will also see the widget. In addition, if you both on-line the information on the widget can be changed and shared on-line.

Note that as the owner that manage the app, you are the only one that can share widgets with the public (except for in case of public sharing-board you may set with preferences, and is discussed by documentation).
Other end-users can only share with each other.

What about Add-On app?
Ok, widgets are nice but this is where things start to get interesting. We are is a process of creating various add-on apps (we also do other things so this takes some time).

As I explained above, when CG-Button app is loaded, it also load add-on apps if these are defined. Without getting too technical I will just say that there are approaches for a website to announce about CG Add-on, need to be loaded. CG-App run some process that discover add-on apps set on website, and then after all add-on has bee discovered it loads and run the add-on apps.

On the preference page you will see some form where you can define add-on apps. Of course that normally you will do it with us or with the developer responsible for developing CG-Add-On for you.

We have created methodology to refer to other Shopify apps as an add-on and where have created, three instances of such add-on apps:

[todo links on allapps.directory]

Get the most of Content Glass
To get the most of Content Glass for your website we will have to work together on finding an interesting contextual layers that may make your website unique, and then develop one or more custom add-on, possibly with custom widgets to allow these layers to be invoke lay down on top of your web store. I believe that with today platforms and codding standards you can do many beautiful things, but the dark side of technological progress and proliferation of knowledge it becomes very difficult to be unique. And as a small/medium size brand, if you are not unique and can go outside of the box of giant web-stores then all the sophistication brought by modern web technology worth almost nothing!

Extended documentation & Videos

This video shows an example of using CG on Shopify. In the YouTube channels you can also find other videos you may find interesting.

For extended documentation please refer to these links:

  1. Web client users manual - a guide that provide basic understanding of CG web apps (e.g standalone Vs add-on) and provide basic knowledge of CG-Button functionality.

  2. Managed app users manual - a guide that explain the concept of CG managed-app (as in the case if this Shopify app) and scan the basic settings of the app you are going to install.

  3. Widgets users manual - a guide that explain how to use widgets provided by CG-Button. While working with widgets such as note or video box may be handled intuitively, working with other widgets such as Personalization, Shopping list, connectors, HTML-Box etc' may requires some guiding which is intend to be provided by this users manual.

* Content Glass books are in evolving state. It is recommended to visit from to time to update with new chapters.

Some 'good to know' about this app
By installing this app it is assumed that you agree with the following:

1. CG Client API and its primary sharing tool CG-Button will be installed by default on your website. You can later hide it (if it make sense, depending on case).

2. An account will be created for you on www.contentglass.com that will be used for accessing preferences, manage add-ons apps and access other CG services.

3. Your account will be subscribed to newsletter that is used mainly for sending important notifications and updates.

4. You agree with Content Glass service terms and privacy policy presented here.

5. Shared information is on user's own responsibility. Rhizome Networks is a software company that deals with software and not with rules. Still, using CG for promoting terror, promoting hate, illegal acts or abuse is forbidden. Use your common-sense, dignity and morality especially when you get the permissions to share widgets related to your business with public group across the web (see Interest Groups). Remember that Content Glass was intentionally created with state-of-mind of not being a spamming tool.

6. You are aware that Content Glass is evolving software and problems may occur from time to time that may affect functionality (for example note you shared as part of campaign is not presented) or may affect your business (for example add-on apps that involve with integrating between widgets and products) for the period until fix. And you are willing to take the risk.

Content Glass Account
Content Glass account is created automatically when you install this app. When you uninstall the application the account persist so you can come back in the future for the same settings. In the case of uninstall and reinstall the same account will be used that is associated with the Shopify domain name of your store.

The account is used for setting the application preferences and is accessible from your store app admin when clicking app's preferences link.

Account requires login using the user created for you on first install. This user has a name equals to Shopify domain of your store and Email equals to your store email.

For example if store domain is xyz.myshopify.com than user name for login will be "xyz.myshopify.com", and of course you will have to use a password.

The Email you are using in your store must be valid Email and in the case you are using spam filter you may need to train your spam filter to accept emails from admin@contentglass.com.

When account is created confirmation email is sent to your store email. The confirmation email include a link you will use to set your password. If for some reason you did not received this email, check the spam quarantine box. If it is not there please contact support for the purpose of manually setting your password. Remember - your store email must be valid or else we can't contact you.

When you click the preferences link of Content Glass app you will be redirected to services portal on www.contentglass.com, where you can set the preferences for your app. If you already logged-in you will not have to login again. If you are not logged-in you will have to login for accessing services portal, using the user/password received upon install.

Your account is of type managed-app meaning it is set with special role that grant permissions for accessing CG services portal and manage the Content Glass application you installed.

If you want to cancel your account you can do it from your user's profile page. To prevent confusions it is recommended to keep your account if you consider to use the application in the future especially if you made custom settings for adding 3'rd party add-ons. When you cancel your account, account state is set to cancelled however a record of your account is kept.

If you want us to delete your account compactly or that you want to re-activate your account after cancelling you can open a support ticket asking us to help you with required operation.

Preferences & Settings

Application preferences is managed on a dedicated portal assigned for your install on www.contentglass.com. We call this CG service: managed-app. Managed-app service is accessible from app's preferences link on Shopify dashboard, but it can also be accessed from the main menu ob CG website (See Services -> managed-apps).

Here are few of this things you can set from managed-app preferences page:

  • Customizing few aspects of CG-Button.

  • Disabling CG without uninstall the app.

  • Restrict sharing tool only for store admin.

  • Changing CG-Button orientation.

  • Define pages on which users can share widgets publicly.

  • Declare manifest URLs for custom add-on apps.

  • Install ready-made add-on apps.

  • Access the other sections and features of CG Services portal.

Notes about settings

  • Tab position: Content Glass default is to set the tab in the middle of top edge. In many sites this may not be suitable with other tools or existing UI. You can change this position easily on app preferences page. If you need help with that, don't hesitate to ask.
  • Alias domain: When you set your store with custom domain you need to specify the custom domain in the the 'Alias Domains' section of preferences (if was not set by default).

Examples of triggering CG from HTML of your website

Trigger login View

<div cg='{"type":"button", "label":"Content Glass", "action":"login-cg-account"}'
class="cg-operation-button ifa" title="Sign In">
<i class="fa fa-sign-in fa-3x" aria-hidden="true"></i>

* This is useful for you if you decide to use "headless" app, but still need to access the login in order to be able to login as owner and set public widgets.

Open Account View:

<div cg='{"type":"button", "label":"Content Glass", "action":"open-accounts-view"}' class="cg-operation-button ifa" title="Open social accounts"><i class="fa fa-users fa-3x" aria-hidden="true"></i></div>

Open Widgets Selector:

<div cg='{"type":"button", "label":"Content Glass", "action":"open-widgets-selector"}' class="cg-operation-button ifa" title="Open widgets selector"><i class="fa fa-briefcase fa-3x" aria-hidden="true"></i></div>

Open Settings Menu:

<div cg='{"type":"button", "label":"Content Glass", "action":"open-settings"}' class="cg-operation-button cg-logo-image" title="Open Content Glass Settings"></div>

Create Note:

<div cg='{"type":"button", "label":"Content Glass", "action":"create-widget", "lib":"rhz-basic", "widget_type":"cg-SimpleNote", "widget_options": {}}'
class="cg-operation-button ifa" title="Create simple note widget">
<i class="fa fa-sticky-note-o fa-3x" aria-hidden="true"></i>

Create TextBox:

<div cg='{"type":"button", "label":"Content Glass", "action":"create-widget", "lib":"rhz-basic", "widget_type":"cg-TextBox", "widget_options": {}}'
class="cg-operation-button ifa" title="Create text-box widget">
<i class="fa fa-file-text-o fa-3x" aria-hidden="true"></i>

Create PictureBox:

<div cg='{"type":"button", "label":"Content Glass", "action":"create-widget", "lib":"rhz-basic", "widget_type":"cg-PictureBox", "widget_options": {}}'
class="cg-operation-button ifa" title="Create picture-box widget">
<i class="fa fa-file-image-o fa-3x" aria-hidden="true"></i>

Create VideoBox:

<div cg='{"type":"button", "label":"Content Glass", "action":"create-widget", "lib":"rhz-basic", "widget_type":"cg-VideoBox", "widget_options": {}}'
class="cg-operation-button ifa" title="Create video-box widget">
<i class="fa fa-file-movie-o fa-3x" aria-hidden="true"></i>

Need help?
Finally, if you need help or have a question don't hesitate to contact via support mail support@rhizomenet.com or using the tickets system.

Content Glass reviews

  1. 5 stars (0 reviews)
  2. 4 stars (0 reviews)
  3. 3 stars (1 review)
  4. 2 stars (0 reviews)
  5. 1 star (0 reviews)

I'm a card carrying member of MENSA that scored a perfect 800 on the quant portion of my GRE and I'm fuzzy on what this app is and what it does. But I'm not a professional programmer, either, despite my high aptitudes in all things analytical.

Whoever wrote this page needs to rewrite it for plain English speakers if you ever hope to gain any sort of mass user appeal.

Also, it's disconcerting that the app seems to put some type of widget, without permission, in the upper right hand corner of one's Shopify website. I looked and looked for a place to remove this and couldn't find it. So I'm going to uninstall the app.

I'm going to contact the developer and see what they have to say about this review and if they can shed some light on their app. For now, I'll give it 3 stars just because I don't think it's done anything bad to my site and it hasn't done anything good, either.

I'm open to revising this review and upping the stars number depending on the developer's feedback to my query.


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