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Should I Review Free Whois, Traceroute, & Finger Apps?

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well i like the idea of hosting user-written mini reviews.
let me just put some template files together..
you've also got some web space and ftp login because you are a columnist so you could always just write it however you want it and we could just link to it, but it might be nice if we started a real section for user-written mini reviews, all with a common basic style, so you might want to hold off writing any html formatted stuff until then.

i'm open to suggestions about the best way to do it...
i guess part of it probably would depend on the length and thoroughness of what you want to do.

for example, if you just want to write a paragraph or two saying, here is a program i like, then that would be suitable for a forum post or blog post.
if you wanted to write something more substantial, then we should definitely think about starting a place where we can collect such mini reviews that you or others might right, as it will probably be something that would be nice to have a place where people can go for such reviews.

alternatively we could set up a forum section for such reviews..  maybe a child section of this board.

alternatively, since you are a columnist now, we could set up a web page like "DragonRider's Reviews" where you could maintain your own mini reviews..

i'm open to suggestions, however you decide to do it, it sounds great.

It just dawned on me.  The blog mini-reviews.  Do you mean like the column blog I just did last week?  Can I post whenever I wish & it will show up on the site in the columns section?  If so, then I'll just post my review there.

Or maybe since between writing my last post & before I could post this addendum, you replied.  Let me respond.

I think that a web page for "Dragonrider's Fly-bys" is a very cool idea.  I come across all sorts of freeware stuff all the time.  If I could put up a new review everytime I came across something that I felt might be useful to visitors, that would be great.  When I change my webpage, would old stuff be archived somewhere?  And would the new stuff be automagically announced on the site?  Or do I announce in a forum like the "Software in the Wild" forum that a new review is up?

Brian Keene

whatever you post to your blog column will show up on the columns page, and if you wanted to do a review on one of your sundays, that would be one nice way to do it, and of course your columns are archives forever, so that might be the ideal way to do it.  assuming you dont plan on doing more than 1 review a week that would seem like a nice approach, and people would enjoy reading a mini review on your blog day.  you can also post direct links to the blog entry for the review in this section (or software in the wild section) so people can make sure they don't miss it.

another really nice thing about that approach would be that people could offer comments on your review through the blog column features.  i think thats probably a good solution, especially since your intention was to do a column every other week anyway..

if you were to add pages manually by ftping them to your web space, then you would have to manually make sure not to overwrite old files, and make an index for people to see the list of reviews etc. so thats probably not what you want.

the blog approach definitely seems best to me.

however, if we had more people who wanted to write mini reviews, i could make a separate special blog, or install one of the other content management systems more specifically designed for community reviews, which would allow other people to post reviews and comment on them, without it messing with the basic approach of daily blogs.

OK.  I'll post it to my column blog.  But I may wish to do others more often than every 2 weeks.  I think it would be interesting to have user submitted reviews where visitors / members could comment on them.  I liked that idea quite alot when I saw it on the columns blog.  It insures that the review won't just be a flame about some unrelated topic that has nothing to do with this site, and allows the reviewer to get feedback & reply to commenters as well.

If I WERE to post more than once every 2 weeks to my column blog.  How / when would each entry be shown on the site.  Would they go once every 2 weeks in the order of when I post them?  Would they go sooner?


whenever you post to your blog, it will show up their and on the columns page, as soon as you post it, whenever you post it.
there is nothing that enforces the every other week, sunday thing., and posting every sunday (reviews every other sunday?) would be welcome.

however so far we have stuck to our original idea of having columnists that go on specific days; your day is sunday.  posting on other days would slightly interfere with that, and i like how the way it is now where we know on a given day whose column to expect - i think it's kind of fun, so we should figure out a different solution if we want to do reviews more frequently.

the blog approach also means that only columnists can write reviews, which is not the best.

i will look for some open source community reviewing software, i know i have seen some.  on the other hand, one might wonder if the best solultion wouldnt be to set up a section in the forum for posting reviews?

the advantage of using the forum for posting reviews are significant:
lets anyone comment and write reviews; everyone already has an account.
the audience at the forum is probably larger than for the blog.

why don't we just use the forum for posting reviews?
i can set up a special child board either in this section or in "software in the wild" section  (maybe there would be better since its not as cluttered with child boards already).

and what i can also do is, make a page on the main site outside the forum, that lists all user mini reviews
so that visitors to the site who dont normally visit the forum will see the list of mini reviews and easy links to them.

what do you think?


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