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Blog Tools Update

Monday, August 26, 2013

Today we made some changes to the blog section of the Banjo Hangout. One reason for doing this is that the new weekly newsletter's content will "live" in the blog section for the most part, so we need better tools here.

Here are the details...

Categories

Blog posts must now be categorized--list of categorize to choose from is:

  • Banjo Building/Setup Lessons
  • Banjo Lessons
  • Commentary/Stories
  • Interviews
  • News
  • Other

Post Hiding

You may now compose and save a blog post, but "Hide" it so only you can see it. This is a handy tool to have when you want to write a longer-form article, but don't have the time to polish it perfectly in one sitting. This way you can keep coming back to it until it's ready to go live, then unhide it.

New Browsing Tools

If you go to Members>Blogs you will see a new page for browsing blog posts. For now it just lets you page through posts, and select a category to view posts in that category. Eventually this will include more detailed search tools. But anything is better than what we had before, which was.... well, nothing really!

Directing People to the Proper Posting Type

I would guess that 3 out of 4 blog posts should be forum topics. I think it's just ignorance, really--people post to their blog because it's easy to do. The problem is, when you post something like "What's the best banjo under $300?" as a blog post, you'll only get a few replies. If you post that in the forum, you'll get 20-50 replies in a day or two!

So I'm trying to encourage people to post blog-oriented content in the blog section, but use the forums for what they work best for. I've done three things to encourage this:

  1. Moved the "Forum Topic" link to the top of the "Add Content" list in the right-hand menu
  2. Required people to choose a category for their blog posts. Hopefully this will help them see that perhaps what they are writing isn't suited for a blog post (if that's the case)
  3. Adding a note to the top of the blog posting page:
    Important note: Members often posts to their blog what they should be posting to the forum. Blog posts are best for longer articles where the emphasis is on the article content. Forum topics are great for shorter topics where the emphasis is on the conversation. If you are posting a question, typically the forum is the place to go since you will get more response there.

That's all for now. Onward and upward!

6 comments

New Forum

Friday, June 28, 2013 8 comments

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