Suggestion Bringing the Blogs Back to the Front Page

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KimbaFoxNatsume

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I was going to post this in the ''Updater Missing'' thread, but it was closed.

Moo removed the blogs (along with the most-viewed threads and recent posts) from the front page. However, to me it seems pretty detrimental to the blogs. They're not that viewed in the first place, and without the newest ones on the homepage I imagine even fewer people will read them. As someone who uses the feature rather frequently, I'd rather that what I write actually gets seen (and I don't want to misuse the threads to chronicle my life).

So if there was a way to bring back the blogs to the front page, I'd appreciate it.
 

arcituthis

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It seems temporary until a better system can be implemented. I do really like having the recent blogs on the front page and if there is a way to add them some other way, that'd be awesome.

Where I normally check the 'blogs' tab once a week or so (mainly to read longer blogs or respond to those that require more thought than the 30 seconds I'm reading them), the front page let me check for new blogs at a glance.
 

Moo

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I was going to post this in the ''Updater Missing'' thread, but it was closed.

Moo removed the blogs (along with the most-viewed threads and recent posts) from the front page. However, to me it seems pretty detrimental to the blogs. They're not that viewed in the first place, and without the newest ones on the homepage I imagine even fewer people will read them. As someone who uses the feature rather frequently, I'd rather that what I write actually gets seen (and I don't want to misuse the threads to chronicle my life).

So if there was a way to bring back the blogs to the front page, I'd appreciate it.

It seems temporary until a better system can be implemented. I do really like having the recent blogs on the front page and if there is a way to add them some other way, that'd be awesome.

Where I normally check the 'blogs' tab once a week or so (mainly to read longer blogs or respond to those that require more thought than the 30 seconds I'm reading them), the front page let me check for new blogs at a glance.

The issue with the top 10 stats module is that it only works on HTTPS, not HTTP, and makes the homepage look broken on HTTP (which is the majority of our traffic). I've poked at it but not found a way to fix it, so I've turned it off.

As to blogs, I'm debating as to whether I'll even bother supporting blogs on our new platform. A special "Blogs" forum would serve just as well, not require the creation of a whole separate category of content, and work far better with our existing systems.
 

KimbaFoxNatsume

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Well, I guess I'm biased seeing that I like to use the blog feature. Without it I wouldn't be able to get out my thoughts and chronicle my life in quiet the same way, so I would be sad to see it go. I suppose a blog forum could be a compromise, although I would prefer if there was an option, like with the current blogs, to make posts viewable only to established contributors and higher.
 

dogboy

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Well, I guess I'm biased seeing that I like to use the blog feature. Without it I wouldn't be able to get out my thoughts and chronicle my life in quiet the same way, so I would be sad to see it go. I suppose a blog forum could be a compromise, although I would prefer if there was an option, like with the current blogs, to make posts viewable only to established contributors and higher.

If the blogs go, you could use the Story Forum. I've seen some non-fictional, true account stories and they seemed to me to be very similar to blogs.
 

KimbaFoxNatsume

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If the blogs go, you could use the Story Forum. I've seen some non-fictional, true account stories and they seemed to me to be very similar to blogs.

Still, I don't think the type of blogging I do is right for the story forum. I write mostly about happenings in my day-to-day life that I deem worth sharing. ''I got a new ___ today,'' ''I like these new diapers,'' etc. isn't a story, but it's not something I'd really make a regular thread about either.
 

dogboy

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Still, I don't think the type of blogging I do is right for the story forum. I write mostly about happenings in my day-to-day life that I deem worth sharing. ''I got a new ___ today,'' ''I like these new diapers,'' etc. isn't a story, but it's not something I'd really make a regular thread about either.

I see what you mean, and yes, I agree. It's more like a Facebook dialogue, but of course, you need a site like this to make that work.
 
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Marka

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[...]
As to blogs, I'm debating as to whether I'll even bother supporting blogs on our new platform. A special "Blogs" forum would serve just as well, not require the creation of a whole separate category of content, and work far better with our existing systems.

Without knowing myself, one way or the other... one benefit that could come of this, would be the ability to give and receive reputation comments in the revised blog forums... I, for one... would be appreciative of that feature, should it then become a reality... there's been a number of blog responses, including some blogs... that I would have liked to add + rep to...

Otherwise, I suspect that it should operate in basically the same fashion as before and, the blog rating has been largely under used as far as I can tell too... (how many even know it's there, much less used it?)

Also, my own experience lately, with some troubling times for myself and, my observation of other blogs very much needing attention... whether that was intended or not from the Blog "OP"... is that the blogs as they existed... (and, sorry... much of the groups too)... are largely left unattended by many... save, for the few of us that go out of our way to find them... much less respond...

The reasons this may need come about, may not have been predictable or appreciated... However, this may work to our advantage as well as streamline the work and process involving site management too...

I can't see that it actually hurts anything and, I see where it may well improve the over-all interaction... and, perhaps it's an intended EC+ situation anyway... [HIGHLIGHT]perhaps we may still get something of a bit set as the former system allowed us to restrict viewing to certain levels and above... and/or limited to our friends and contacts list[/HIGHLIGHT]... Not sure how that part could work...?

For now and, my thanks,
-Marka
 

TheWolfEmperor

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The only reason I really use the blogs is because I don't always have the luxury of being able to participate on the forum as much as I'd like to. And I want to keep my account current and maintain one of the few relationships with a community that I've actually tried hard to forge over time, in spite of the obstacles.

But if there's a new thing coming up where the blogs won't be a thing, I'll still find a way to drop in and visit now and again.
 
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Starrunner

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I've noticed a number of people who usually post in the forums have opened up about their feelings about depression and suicide in the blogs. It's always worried me because the blogs aren't seen by as many people as the threads in the forums, and a cry for help runs the risk of going unheard. If the blogs were removed from the front page my fear would be that a person in need of help who, for whatever reason, feels more comfortable expressing these thoughts in a blog format, may feel no one cares enough to respond, simply because their feelings would not be in our line of sight.
 

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Still, I don't think the type of blogging I do is right for the story forum. I write mostly about happenings in my day-to-day life that I deem worth sharing. ''I got a new ___ today,'' ''I like these new diapers,'' etc. isn't a story, but it's not something I'd really make a regular thread about either.
If blogs are phased out, I may well create a subforum for blog-style posts instead.

I can't see that it actually hurts anything and, I see where it may well improve the over-all interaction... and, perhaps it's an intended EC+ situation anyway... [HIGHLIGHT]perhaps we may still get something of a bit set as the former system allowed us to restrict viewing to certain levels and above... and/or limited to our friends and contacts list[/HIGHLIGHT]... Not sure how that part could work...?

That's unlikely to happen, because:
1) As a community, we want blogs to be visible - a blog seen by nobody is a useless blog.
2) The more complicated access rules we support, the more difficult it will be to get mobile options (e.g: Tapatalk) to support those controls. Blogs are already hard to access on mobile - keeping the access control rules simple will make it easier to support viewing them on mobile.

Most likely, I'll set one simple access rule that applies to all posts in the Blogs subforum, such as "only logged in members can see this".

I've noticed a number of people who usually post in the forums have opened up about their feelings about depression and suicide in the blogs. It's always worried me because the blogs aren't seen by as many people as the threads in the forums, and a cry for help runs the risk of going unheard. If the blogs were removed from the front page my fear would be that a person in need of help who, for whatever reason, feels more comfortable expressing these thoughts in a blog format, may feel no one cares enough to respond, simply because their feelings would not be in our line of sight.

This is a symptom of the wider problem that blogs are not well integrated into our current software.
Right now, we're having to use third party software just to get recent blogs on the homepage. The software should be integrated well enough that it shows that stuff natively.
When we move to our new forum platform, I'm going to be evaluating it for blog support. If the blog support is good (better than what we have now), we can keep blogs with that (better) support.
If on the other hand blogs are not supported by it, or they're supported badly (like they are now), then I'm not going to use that system - I'm probably just going to have "Blogs" be a special sub-forum.

Blogs won't be the only feature updated, streamlined or removed in the upcoming transition to new software. Every single feature of the site is going to go through this evaluation process.
I would like to keep blogs (including a list of recent blog posts on the homepage), but it does depend on what the new software supports.
 
M

Maxx

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Blogs won't be the only feature updated, streamlined or removed in the upcoming transition to new software. Every single feature of the site is going to go through this evaluation process.

Ack. Sounds like a lot of time locked in a closet lit only by a rectangular screen.... Your efforts are appreciated even if I'm not in a position to shower you with trophies and prize money.

- - - Updated - - -

I've noticed a number of people who usually post in the forums have opened up about their feelings about depression and suicide in the blogs. It's always worried me because the blogs aren't seen by as many people as the threads in the forums, and a cry for help runs the risk of going unheard. If the blogs were removed from the front page my fear would be that a person in need of help who, for whatever reason, feels more comfortable expressing these thoughts in a blog format, may feel no one cares enough to respond, simply because their feelings would not be in our line of sight.

I still make a point of visiting so there are views, sometimes just saying "Didn't want to leave this blank so you don't think you're shouting into space" even if I don't have anything useful to offer.

As for me, blogs seem like the appropriate space to say something like "Diapered and wet for the first time in a while", as is the case this morning. Or to whine about something that I can't in my real life. A subforum would serve that purpose equally well for me.
 

KimbaFoxNatsume

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The reason I like the ability to restrict blog access to ECs and higher is privacy. I've found that some of the stuff I write about isn't really something I want the whole Internet to be able to read. I suppose restricting the blogs to just all members is better than nothing; nevertheless, the fact the someone has hung around enough to become EC shows they're probably a bit more of a... quality member than someone with little or no activity on the forum.
 

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The blogs is the only place for others to rant rather than posting on a forum and later on getting bullied by users and their "hate" msgs. Please bring them back. It saves alot of time and space.
 

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The issue with the top 10 stats module is that it only works on HTTPS, not HTTP, and makes the homepage look broken on HTTP (which is the majority of our traffic). I've poked at it but not found a way to fix it, so I've turned it off.

Why would people use HTTP anyway? Like, shouldn't you always use HTTPS when logging in and submitting information?
 

Snivy

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Alot of the features Moo makes and changes and it eventually drives people away but new happen to come in. If Moo says no, nothing we can do about it unless we make a petition.

Someone make a poll :D
 

Milko

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Alot of the features Moo makes and changes and it eventually drives people away but new happen to come in. If Moo says no, nothing we can do about it unless we make a petition.

Someone make a poll :D

Pretty much ;)
 

Cottontail

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Well, as long as we're sort of voting, I guess I'll submit my ballot:

  • I think blogs should be EC+, for both writing and for reading. If you're writing something that's tuned for a smaller audience, maybe try visitor messages or PMs. I suspect there's really not a lot of meaningful content that straddles the boundary between these things, and if you think you have an example, you should probably be thinking harder about whether it's worth posting.
  • Blog comments should always be enabled. Chances are pretty good that, if you simply mean to broadcast something, you're probably embarking on some vitriolic rant that has no place here, or relates to a matter that should be settled through a moderation request instead.
  • Same thing goes for the ability to moderate one's own blog and delete comments. My observation has been that comment deletion tends to happen only in the case of divisive rant-blogs, where the author is trying to rally people to his or her sense of impropriety and won't listen to reason. Again, not really the sort of blogs we want anyway.
Why would people use HTTP anyway? Like, shouldn't you always use HTTPS when logging in and submitting information?

Ideally yes, but then web sites supporting HTTPS are still a minority, and besides that (or perhaps because of it), web browsers all use HTTP by default. Not many people bother to actually type in "http://" or "https://" before their URLs either, nor should they condition themselves to. Web sites supporting HTTPS should redirect HTTP users to HTTPS.
 
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Milko

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Ideally yes, but then web sites supporting HTTPS are still a minority, and besides that (or perhaps because of it), web browsers all use HTTP by default. Not many people bother to actually type in "http://" or "https://" before their URLs either, nor should they condition themselves to. Web sites supporting HTTPS should redirect HTTP users to HTTPS.

I always get really annoyed when forums don't have HTTPS ;) Whenever I'm going on a forum for the first time I always type HTTPS to see if it has it.

- - - Updated - - -

I've noticed that most of the recent blogs have no comments and hardly any views
 

HoganBunny

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I can't see that it actually hurts anything and, I see where it may well improve the over-all interaction... and, perhaps it's an intended EC+ situation anyway... [HIGHLIGHT]perhaps we may still get something of a bit set as the former system allowed us to restrict viewing to certain levels and above... and/or limited to our friends and contacts list[/HIGHLIGHT]... Not sure how that part could work...?

Most likely, I'll set one simple access rule that applies to all posts in the Blogs subforum, such as "only logged in members can see this".

I think blogs should be EC+, for both writing and for reading. If you're writing something that's tuned for a smaller audience, maybe try visitor messages or PMs. I suspect there's really not a lot of meaningful content that straddles the boundary between these things, and if you think you have an example, you should probably be thinking harder about whether it's worth posting.

Frankly, there aren't very many blogs set to friends-only. There are quite a number of blogs set to EC+, though. I'm not sure on numbers, but I'd guess that it's probably about half of all blogs posted in the last year. I'd be curious what the actual stats by permissions level are for the last year or so, if that's something that be queried easily.

I'd opt for EC+, instead of logged-in members, since people often post more personal/identifying info. EC isn't much of a barrier but it would reduce the risk that trolls could access it.

Blog comments should always be enabled. Chances are pretty good that, if you simply mean to broadcast something, you're probably embarking on some vitriolic rant that has no place here, or relates to a matter that should be settled through a moderation request instead.

That's probably true, although I don't think there's much harm in letting users close/open their own blog threads. Rants will still get posted regardless of whether or not users can reply.

Same thing goes for the ability to moderate one's own blog and delete comments. My observation has been that comment deletion tends to happen only in the case of divisive rant-blogs, where the author is trying to rally people to his or her sense of impropriety and won't listen to reason. Again, not really the sort of blogs we want anyway.

I definitely agree on this. Almost all comment deletions on blogs involve some sort of drama. For the current blog system, this was necessary so users could delete their own blogs.

Since blogs are more personal, I'd prefer letting users delete the entire blog thread, but not individual comments. I think using a regular forum for blogs, though, would give us more flexibility in permissions. We probably could give users just delete permissions for their own threads, but not other delete permissions for the thread.

Of course, a lot of the details will depend on what forum software replaces vBulletin.

Why would people use HTTP anyway? Like, shouldn't you always use HTTPS when logging in and submitting information?

Ideally yes, but then web sites supporting HTTPS are still a minority, and besides that (or perhaps because of it), web browsers all use HTTP by default. Not many people bother to actually type in "http://" or "https://" before their URLs either, nor should they condition themselves to. Web sites supporting HTTPS should redirect HTTP users to HTTPS.

Moo might have changed this due to issues after the DDOS attack, but the forum should always redirect you to HTTPS when logging in. Once logged in, it'll redirect to whatever you were using. You can set it to always use HTTPS on the General Settings page, under Force SSL.

I'm not 100% sure on why it redirects back to HTTP, but there may be some functionality that isn't supported or displays differently on HTTPs.
 
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