The Care and Feeding of Blogs

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
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#1
Since we have some busy bloggers here who know all about it and some people (who, me?) who have decided to mess with it but don't know what they're doing, it seems like a place to ask questions and talk about the subject generally would be good and, as advised, a separate thread would be good, too. You can talk on blogs about blogs, of course, but that kind of assumes you can make your way around the blogs in the first place. Catch 22. (I did manage to try a "First Friday" post at wordpress but didn't get any response, so that didn't exactly work.)

So: one of the questions that occurred to me was what people thought of the "read more/continue reading"-type interruptions in blog posts. As @Gonk the Insane said, it does cut down on the scrolling but does increase the clicking and gave a general vote of "thumbs down." Any more thoughts or votes?

Also, what do people think of their platforms? Wordpress, blogspot, our very own Chrons, etc.?

Maybe talk about how you read stuff, find stuff, post stuff - just all things blogs.

(And, mods, maybe this is more a Lounge thing so please move, if so, but it seemed somewhat techy.)
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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#2
Most people I used to see busy with blogging have since moved over tow Twitter and Facebook. There appear to be far fewer active blogs these days.

Wordpress is probably the easiest and safest to use if you want your own stand-alone blogging platform - Blogger is a bit old and legacy, less user-friendly, and things don't always work properly. The chrons blogs are safe to use. :)

The big, big, problem with blogs is how they have always been targeted by automated spam on an industrial basis. They are also no longer the traffic draw they used to be.

2c.
 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
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#3
I use blogger and might switch at some stage but I have a number of followers so am reluctant to rush that.

Re traffic - I get good hits (of the genuine variety and many more robots). Generally 2k+ per month. That's a lot of people reached out to.

I post regularly - mostly once a week - and go for linked topics around my writing career and developmental and my observations about the business.

I mostly type, readthorough and post. It's supposed to be conversational so I don't like to overedit.

I enjoy blogging. It's why I do it - it also helps with funders and festivals as evidence of me giving back. I think I get very, very few sales from it. :)
 
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#4
Most people I used to see busy with blogging have since moved over tow Twitter and Facebook. There appear to be far fewer active blogs these days.
Well, that's the way every thing is - I'm the textbook late-adopter: if I'm doing it, it's about done. ;)

Wordpress is probably the easiest and safest to use if you want your own stand-alone blogging platform - Blogger is a bit old and legacy, less user-friendly, and things don't always work properly. The chrons blogs are safe to use. :)
I'd actually forgotten I'd briefly blogged using the Chrons blogs (or vbulletin/xenforo blogs, I guess). I never had any problems here but I also got far less activity than I already have at wordpress despite the Chrons being very busy in general and absolutely on-topic. Other than that and nanoblogger (which doesn't count in this context) and livejournal which I used too briefly and too long ago to recall clearly, I have no points of comparison but I'm pretty pleased with wordpress so far. I don't like the way it tries to rewrite my html sometimes (it doesn't take commenting the code well, for instance) but otherwise it seems feature-ful and easy to use.

The big, big, problem with blogs is how they have always been targeted by automated spam on an industrial basis. They are also no longer the traffic draw they used to be.
Yeah - I haven't had any spam get through and there's not much of it (yet, maybe) but there is a little in the filters. Or at least it seems to be spam: it looks automated and barely English but doesn't seem to be selling anything, so I don't know.

I use blogger and might switch at some stage but I have a number of followers so am reluctant to rush that.
Well, being followers, maybe they'll follow. :)

Re traffic - I get good hits (of the genuine variety and many more robots). Generally 2k+ per month. That's a lot of people reached out to.
Indeed. Congrats. I'm surprised by the number of views I'm getting (though no comments or anything, alas) but nothing remotely like that. It's early yet and I'm not good at social networking/promotion but I doubt it'll ever see that.

Anyway - thanks to you both for the replies.
 

cyprus7

Stories about life, reality & worlds unknown
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#5
Most people I used to see busy with blogging have since moved over tow Twitter and Facebook. There appear to be far fewer active blogs these days.

Wordpress is probably the easiest and safest to use if you want your own stand-alone blogging platform - Blogger is a bit old and legacy, less user-friendly, and things don't always work properly. The chrons blogs are safe to use. :)

The big, big, problem with blogs is how they have always been targeted by automated spam on an industrial basis. They are also no longer the traffic draw they used to be.

2c.
I started with a Wordpress blog and my own domain name in 2007. Yes, it's probably not as popular as it was back then but I continue to blog anyway. The thing has taken on a 'life in the day of' style (to me) as it documents the ins and outs of a midcareer change. Like turning a supertanker around.

btw - TS Paul is an example of a )¥(new) SFF author uses his blogger blog to post short stories and snippets etc. He is prolific and seems to be selling well with Kindle Unlimited.
 
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#6
Anybody on Wordpress know how to block "like" spammers? Comments have to be approved and can be generally controlled but "likes" just seem to happen with no control. (Wordpress has help forums and I may ultimately try them, but they're not always actually helpful so I thought I'd try here first.)
 

tinkerdan

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#7
Personally I found blogger easier to do than wordpress; however I'm no longer doing a pay site--If I had continued that I would have eventually done wordpress. At the pay site I had I used their tools to make a blog and it spoiled me to where I expect a certain amount of customablity that is harder to achieve with wordpress(or was for me). However I have a blogger site that's been up a while and a rather new and experimental wordpress site. The word press site is exasperating.

I have to admit that I've been busy and not doing much blogging; however I found that to really have a following you might have to delve into the flavor of the day and usually controversial topics that might gain you some hate mail along with the spam and combinations of both to attempt to force something similar to denial of service attacks.

I do have one post that has reached over a thousand views and a couple around the 700 mark, which I figure is good for me because as one visitor put it--my blog is in an obscure and unknown part of the web. That came about when someone attacked me for saying something they didn't like about their favorite author and I had to remove the post and that sent a fervor of other flames and roasts and aspersions about my character for having subverted the authors link that was sending his fans my way. Did I mention that I've decided that some things just aren't that important for me to spend my time on, which might explain why I'm focused more on my writing and less on the blog.

But whatever you decide--good luck with it.
I'm still posting an occasional book review so it's not completely dead.

I wouldn't worry about the like spammers, you may find that you'll have to shut off comments or at least enforce something that checks for a live human on the other end because those types of spams are the worst when they advertise several websites and gush over how fantastic your topic was though they didn't read the topic.

I forgot:
As to the matter of splitting the blog with a read more link.
I rarely used it, however it is helpful if you want to present several blogs on your initial page and give the reader some choices and speed up the load time of the page.
That said if you have advertisers then it won't matter either way because the full or partial blog will probably load in seconds while the ads will totally alienate your fans as they take the next ten minutes to load.
 
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Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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#9
Anybody on Wordpress know how to block "like" spammers? Comments have to be approved and can be generally controlled but "likes" just seem to happen with no control. (Wordpress has help forums and I may ultimately try them, but they're not always actually helpful so I thought I'd try here first.)
Can you turn the "like" function off?
 

millymollymo

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#10
Depending on which version of WP your using you can disable the "like" "comment" or "share.
If you're using a selfhosted on your own domain there are plugins that will give you more control over spam, comment and sharing. Jetpack (a multitude of plugins in one space) interfaces with lots of the "freehost" functionality, giving you the best of both worlds if you don't like to get involved with the code.
 
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#11
Thanks for all the replies. I should clarify that my site is a free account on wordpress.com with no plugins and has no advertising or anything (other than wordpress' stuff).

Featured Futures

It's 99% a site which reviews short science fiction/fantasy/horror and 1% a site for me to just link to stuff and talk about things but isn't anything which makes any money and isn't a "controversy" site (I mostly link to articles on humor, history, science, and science fiction, though I do brush against political things once in awhile, usually when they have a sci/tech component). In a way it's kind of silly because I don't get many likes of any kind (most people seem to read the homepage/archives because all the content is available there - the only thing I've ended up using the "read more" on are youtube clips at the ends of link posts because of the load time - but the like buttons are only on the individual posts) but it still bugs me.
I wouldn't worry about the like spammers, you may find that you'll have to shut off comments or at least enforce something that checks for a live human on the other end because those types of spams are the worst when they advertise several websites and gush over how fantastic your topic was though they didn't read the topic.
As far as the advertising sites without reading the posts, that's the feeling I get but it's just the "likes" I'm talking about - I can control the comments fine and don't understand why the likes are any different. Some people doing the liking are clearly SF fans and some may have a commercial site that has nothing to do with SF but may just read my blog anyway because they like SF and that's great. But some people are liking stuff almost the instant I post and the sites are clearly pure promotion.
Can you turn the "like" function off?
I'd really like to filter rather than disable but I have thought about disabling it - I just don't see how to even do that.
Depending on which version of WP your using you can disable the "like" "comment" or "share.
Where is that setting? I've looked up and down both the old-style and new-style admin panels but must be missing it.
 

millymollymo

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#12
On the free-hosting go to Sharing->Sharing buttons (this is from your homepage/dash) then from Options you have a list of where to show your "Sharing" links which includes likes, and all social media.
Deselect "posts" If you have your site set to display posts on homepage, also deselect Pages.

IF you just want to stop reblogging and likes, still in Sharing->Sharing buttons then seek Reblog and Likes, and deselect.
This will remove ONLY the likes fuction, where as the first option will smite all forms of sharing across Social Media.
HTH :D
 
Joined
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#13
IF you just want to stop reblogging and likes, still in Sharing->Sharing buttons then seek Reblog and Likes, and deselect.
This will remove ONLY the likes fuction, where as the first option will smite all forms of sharing across Social Media.
HTH :D
Thanks, you did help. :) Unfortunatey, wordpress doesn't. :( When I select that option, it retroactively nukes all previous likes. And it doesn't seem to have any effect on the wordpress Reader so spammers could still "like" from that interface (though I don't know if they would because I don't know that it would get them what they want). I would be willing to block future likes and tell people I'd be doing so in a blog post but I'd hate to nuke the likes of legitimate people who've already gone to the trouble to do so. But I also don't want to go back through every post to turn them back on for all previous posts. *sigh* I guess the spammers win this one, thanks to wordpress' bizarre configuration failure (or complicity?).
 

millymollymo

Automaton in disguise
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#14
Ah... SPAMMERS... That's a different ball game.
You're missing something VERY important.
install Akismet through your dash this very minute. Where you'll find it will depend on your dash, but if its not already in there, preinstalled and waiting to be activated, look in "plugins ->new" or possibly part of the Jetpack bundle. (On your dash, a click through usually at the top on the left)
Make sure you follow the destructions. While there are pay options there is also the basic free, which is all you need. JETPACK is your friend.

Akismet: Spam Protection for WordPress - Akismet
 
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