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Last post Author Topic: Free blog hosting for members at DonationCoder - might be a good idea?  (Read 9936 times)

Wordzilla

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Quoted as it is from my email to mouser today (with his consent)

Quote

What do you think if we offer site members (charter/honorary/supporting) a FREE blogging service (or space) upon request? Could be "DC-ized" Wordpress or Blogware or whatever open source. The URLs to respective blogs might be given out as http://username.dcmembers.com.


Benefits:

1. A very attractive additional offer for charter/honorary/supporting members and, of course, potential supporting members, at a relatively low additional cost.

2. It further promotes DC's reputation and popularity. People know that the way that DC operates, its founding ideas and philosophy, and the service quality of the site is awesome, the site is "doomed" to be non-commercial, community-based, and first-class. Few of our members would doubt that and they probably would take our free blogging offer at once, and by the same token, they might treat it as their perfect home for blogging - it's unique, it brings visitors from time to time (DC's a community, first of all, and again you can publicize your blog with your posts, and people will visit it), and it's pride for people to consider themselves as a supporting member and an actual part of this site/community.

3. Blogs attract friends and visitors, and thus more supportive members.

4. It allows people (especially site members) to know much more about each other, and currently DC doesn't provide any stuff like this. And that's not good... :) Blogging bring a person's real life closer to other people, and there's no way a forum will ever achieve.

5. Members exchange their minds on the forum, they become interested in each other, willing to know more about others' life and stuff, and they probably will frequent other members' blogs and comment. You know, if there're more than 5 people who frequent your blog, there's a great chance that you would keep the blog up-to-date. The more active is a member on the forum, the more exposure of his blog will get, and let's say more visitors/friends and comments, which again... you know... it's a healthy positive spiral.


It's not at all hard to find a good blog hosting service today, however I believe that DC's blog hosting will still make a big difference because of DC's popularity is actually based on voluntarily supportive members, not like these blog hosting conglomerates like Blogspot, MSN, etc., where people often think themselves as just free riders (well, in most cases, I believe).

Personally I've blogged on MSN spaces, Blogspot, Wordpress and Live Journal and never did I feel any pride just being a user of such services, and often I regarded myself as a pure free rider who was willing to make do with a "free but basic version". Perhaps no one would say that he was so smart and classy that he decided to use MSN Spaces or put a label on his blog - "Proudly powered by MSN guys". :P    However if someone maintains a DC blog like http://jesse.dcmembers.com, for software lovers/connoisseurs/donationware advocators, it just makes a huge difference - than "http://jesse.spaces.msn.com" or "http://jesse.MySpace.com"


Carol Haynes

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I think it is a fun idea - personal blogs could be an addition link on the forum user profile (and a prominent button under the user id on the left). It would certainly add a nice human element to the site and a chance for people to really get to know each other.

Would you basically expect content to be restricted DC relevant content (all things software ... within reason) or would they be open to anything that people want to write about (so long as it isn't political or potentially offensive)?

housetier

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I already have my own blog system, however I wouldn't mind at all if it became syndicated on housetier.dc.com or something like that.

mouser

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i love the way mobysaurus described the idea..
i've been thinking we should add something like this with our mini cms idea, but this post really says it in a nicer way than i could have thought to say it.  i think we should try to do this, probably using wordpress or something.

carol asked:
Quote
Would you basically expect content to be restricted DC relevant content (all things software ... within reason) or would they be open to anything that people want to write about (so long as it isn't political or potentially offensive)?

my feeling is that these would be people's blogs and could be about whatever people wanted, politics included.  it would just be a little service that dc could do for donating members.

it might be fun though to have a page where the most recent post from all dc blogs would be shown, like our our previous blog columns.

KenR

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Ok Mouser, I didn't see any particular need for it when you first mentioned it, but you've convinced me. It sounds like it could a positive addition to the site.

Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

Carol Haynes

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How about an automated RSS feed that aggregates recent posts from all the blogs (in one feed)?

tomos

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I've started writing stuff lately (I dont know ... just happened out of the blue) and would love to have it here at this wonderful website instead of, well, instead of anywhere else!
I've got to confess that I haven't even read hardly any blogs myself, except when they're linked to from somewhere

my feeling is that these would be people's blogs and could be about whatever people wanted, politics included.  it would just be a little service that dc could do for donating members.

it might be fun though to have a page where the most recent post from all dc blogs would be shown, like our our previous blog columns.

For example:
I'm not really a political being, (or maybe I'm being too narrow in my understanding of the word) but I wrote something lately inspired by the "morality debate"  :) in the Why is so much software cracked?* thread, and somehow felt it just didnt fit in there  -  yeah, it needed a blog!

What I'm saying is: I think it would be great to have Blogs here, and about all\any subjects (any  :o ?! - I guess someone would keep an eye on them?)
I think they'd end up being to a large extent related directly or indirectly to software\computers\ (oh, also living & working with same\life\etc...back to all\any subjects ;D)

* http://www.donationc...x.php?topic=3831.120
Tom

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i will set up the blog software this weekend.  I think we will use Wordpress.

tomos

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yaaaaaaay
Tom

momonan

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A little background on fellow bloggers:  "Survey of the blogosphere finds 12 million voices" - from today's New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.c.../20/arts/20blog.html
When you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning - Catherine Aird

mouser

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now a question for the bloggers.
i am going to try to figure out a way to have both options, so blogger can choose, but in general do people think they would rather each of their completely independent blog with their own custom look, or be different bloggers on a single blog.

i am guessing the former; the real advantage of the latter is that if you had 20 bloggers who only posted once a week you would still have a lively vibrant page that visitors might grow to enjoy and visit.  wheras if you each have your own individual blog, you might get lost in the crowd.  on the other hand, im assuming most of you will want to have your own blog which you can use for your own circles.  maybe we can find a way to do both..

mouser

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i should mention there are quite a few nice free blog hosting sites (www.blogger.com, www.livejournal.com); vrgirl is a master blogger maybe she can give us an overview..

but i still think it would be fun to have our own blogging place for members.

Carol Haynes

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Can you make them linked to the DC user ID or will they require seperate logins?

mouser

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not sure yet carol.. i will look into smf integration.

app103

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It is possible to move existing blogspot blogs to dc...Blogger lets you do that.

I have published a few off of blogspot before. It would require ftp access. The same static pages that would normally go onto blogspot would be uploaded to the server instead, including an rss feed file.

The rss feeds can be used to snatch posts and put them into an all-in-one dc group blog. Blogger users would just have to set up the Blogger account to publish full text to the feed and not just a teaser.

That could be an option for some with existing Blogger blogs. They could still use Blogger, but publish to dc.

Doing it that way may be less work to set it up too.

You would just have to give all bloggers an ftp account/space and know where the rss feed file is.

Another possibility is a Blogger account for dc...and a group blog where we all can post to the same blog. It could be published in the same manor as I described above. You can write a custom template for it to look like the rest of the site. I have done a group blog with Blogger before, too.

People that use tools like w.Bloggar can post the same post to multiple blogs. They would just have to check off the dc group blog in addition to their regular one when posting.

That way no matter where their existing blog is located they can still be a part of this, since w.Bloggar works with just about everything.

Just a few ideas.

tomos

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now a question for the bloggers.
i am going to try to figure out a way to have both options, so blogger can choose, but in general do people think they would rather each of their completely independent blog with their own custom look, or be different bloggers on a single blog.

i am guessing the former; the real advantage of the latter is that if you had 20 bloggers who only posted once a week you would still have a lively vibrant page that visitors might grow to enjoy and visit.  wheras if you each have your own individual blog, you might get lost in the crowd.  on the other hand, im assuming most of you will want to have your own blog which you can use for your own circles.  maybe we can find a way to do both..

for myself, I was thinking of the latter (different bloggers on a single blog), but maybe as you say both would be possible, or people could choose, or they could overlap?
 - someone could choose "the best of" (or simply the more suitable stuff from) the individual blogs to go into a mixed one?

or as mouser suggests above:
"it might be fun though to have a page where the most recent post from all dc blogs would be shown, like our our previous blog columns."
Tom

housetier

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I already have my own blog. But since drupal is so super, there are feeds available for almost any type/group of content; so it would not be a problem to grab the feed and aggregate it on blog.dc.com. Sorta like planet.debian.org or planet.ubuntu.com et al do.

And it would still be possible for others to uhm blog locally or directly. I am absolutely positive wordpress could handle that: local content and aggregated content.

Carol Haynes

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Actually you can use w.blogger to easily write blogs off line (and therefore keep backups) and also transfer stuff from other blog sites (such as blogger and drupal based blogs). W.Blogger supports a lot of blog formats and to transfer stuff all you have to do is connect via your existing account/blog and then upload it to the spanking wordpress forum.

Wordzilla

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i will set up the blog software this weekend.  I think we will use Wordpress.


Would it be great if we allocate some space, let's say 10MB, for each blog, and "preload" Wordpress as the default blogging software - rather than the ONLY one allowed? It's never possible to have people agree on the same favorite blogging platform.

So people get to choose their own fav blogware later if they want to - be it a different blog system, just some additional plug-ins, or customization. To offer the maximium degree of freedom lies within the philosophy of blogging, I think. The less restriction we impose, the better end we would achieve, at least IMO.

not sure yet carol.. i will look into smf integration.

If "the maximium degree of freedom" is allowed, then smf integration would be a big headache in terms of implementation. One of the most important features ww should have, IMO, is to allow other people to have a glimpse of the up-to-date info about a member's blog, without having to subscribe to their blog RRS feed using an aggregator, or even having to actually check out the blog site themselves.

Well, simply put, it's like Microsoft's MSN Messenger and Spaces services, which allows you to know and preview your friends' recently updated blogs - once they update, and actually have a peek into the content before you donate your time to click into the blog site itself.

The idea for DC can be different, though similar. It works like this:

1. Allow a member to submit a RSS feed to his own profile (should be from his own blog, by default)

2. He will then have the option to "Display an extract of my latest blog entry on the Forum" or "Keep other members up-to-date about my blog"

3. Not bad-looking, huh? ;)


Wordzilla

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Oh, wait, was I suggesting another 'seemingly' big feature?  ;)

Let Really Simple Syndication, the "notoriously wide-open" standard speak on behalf of us -

1. No need to tweak each blog to ensure compatibilty, no ultracomplex code hacking - a relief for mouser, I think.

2. Members can stay where they are - no need to unwillingly switch to DC forum if they don't want to. And still enjoying virtually the same thing (except when they get something awful from those blog hosting comglomerates  ;))

Wordzilla

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for myself, I was thinking of the latter (different bloggers on a single blog),...

Well, I respectfully disagree.  8)

Blogging should be independent and personal, strictly, and also no strings attached, no restrictions imposed. Blogging is fun only when it's simultaneously personal (or private) and interactive, IMO.

tomos

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Well, I respectfully disagree.  8)

Blogging should be independent and personal, strictly, and also no strings attached, no restrictions imposed. Blogging is fun only when it's simultaneously personal (or private) and interactive, IMO.

Point taken,
its not that I really prefer the mixed bloggers idea, its just that I know I get an idea once in a while, it then takes time to mature,  :)  and more time to get written, which means I wouldnt get to post so often
and I wouldnt want that to mean that people just dont get to read the stuff

but your idea would probably get around that-
Quote
1. Allow a member to submit a RSS feed to his own profile (should be from his own blog, by default)

2. He will then have the option to "Display an extract of my latest blog entry on the Forum" or "Keep other members up-to-date about my blog"
Tom

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Re: Free blog hosting for members at DonationCoder - might be a good idea?
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2006, 11:12:08 PM »
i want to restart this thread as the new secondary server for hosting member stuff is now up and working well and so i'm ready to install some wiki/blogging/cms software for users.

we need to figure out a good solution that doesnt require a separate install for each user and isn't hard to maintain, and wont drag down server.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Free blog hosting for members at DonationCoder - might be a good idea?
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2006, 08:48:48 AM »
I think Drupal allows multiple user installation.

housetier

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Re: Free blog hosting for members at DonationCoder - might be a good idea?
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2006, 10:24:29 AM »
what would the "multiple user installations" be used for? should each user be able to maintain their site? For example housetier.dcmembers.com would use a certain theme and feature set and carolh.dcmembers.com could look completely different and would provide other features, but both "installations" will use the same backend?

This is possible with drupal, although I have not done this myself. The "sites" directory certainly hints at this feature.