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  • Stormspire.net Blogging Platform Unleashed!

    As discussed a couple days ago, Stormspire.net is getting its very own blogging platform.

    For now, blog posting is open to users ranked Entrepreneur and higher. If you’re still a wee Apprentice, stick around and your rank will be upgraded automatically.

    The VBulletin blogging platform is very powerful. It is seamlessly integrated with the forums and CMS. This means we can track and display blogging stats across the entire site. We can add stats in user profiles or postbits (under your avatar) and place widgets in the forum area or front-page. This kins of exposure will assure that blogs don't go unnoticed.

    I'll try to address the main concerns that have come up so far about the blogging platform.

    1. I'm just a small-time blogger, will high-profile bloggers overshadow my contributions?

    There was some concern about small-time bloggers not getting credit for their contributions. Worry not, we have a system in place to assure outstanding contributions their minute of fame. Blog posts can be “front-paged”, just like threads. We can also “sticky” or “feature” blog posts locally in the blogging section. I believe these two measures ensure small timers the attention they deserve!

    As a side note, the primary sorting criteria for blogs are Most Popular and Best Blogs. Most Popular sorts blogs by number of subscribed readers, while Best Blogs sorts by overall user rating. Even if you blog once or twice a month, quality should generally trump quantity.

    2. Main Features

    The blogs section can be accessed via the navbar menu. Don't worry about the duplicate links there. I'll take care of that soon.

    For readers: The interface is straightforward. It offers the same sorting features you would expect in any blogging platform; date, time, blogger, rating, etc.

    For bloggers: You may edit your settings here.

    Keep in mind; you may not see all of the settings below depending on your forum rank. We may also enable/disable them as we see fit. Here’s a quick rundown of the settings:

    • Edit title and description: This is the name of your blog. For example, Stede’s blog is Venture, LLT. The description box gives readers an idea of what your blog is about. Both of these options can be left blank.
    • Customize Blog Style: This is the look and feel of your blog. Probably best to leave this alone.
    • Organize sidebar: Allows you to re-organize the blocks seen in your blog.
    • Permissions and Privacy: Allows you to set viewing permissions for your blog.
    • Blog Statistics: Allows you to view various statistics about your blog. I’m still unsure what data will show here.
    • Manage Groups: Want to write a blog collaboratively? This is the setting for you. Here, you can invite people to your blog.

    Wind Traders and Add-on Developers may create their own blog categories.

    3. Blogging Rules

    • The blogs section is a place to record your thoughts. Examples of suitable blog posts:
      • Personal journal of adventures through a new game, expansion, etc.
      • Progress logs for a newbie goblin.
      • Development musings, whether you’re working on an add-on, a game, a site, or even a car.
      • Your thoughts on a game, its current state or where it’s headed.
      • Place to rant off-topic.

    • Before making a blog post, consider making a thread instead. Often, forum threads are better suited for things like guides, and gold-making strategies. This also makes the information easier to find.
    • No spamming. Users will be limited to a few posts a week, or as staff sees fit. If you have nothing to say, don’t post! Visitors should be able to find pertinent information when visiting the blogs section, not spam!
    • You may not use the blogging platform to promote your own blog/site unless you are an established member of this community. This will be enforced.
      • Wind Traders, Add-on developers and Ethereal Contributors may place one (1) link in their blog posts (“as seen on”, “brought to you by”, etc.).
      • This is our way of giving back to users that have contributed infinitely to the site.
      • Do not post partial “sneak peak” excerpts. All posts in the above category should be full-length.

    4. Considering moving your blog here?

    If you’re considering moving your external blog here, please understand the SEO implications. Stormspire.net has a higher search engine authority than most blogs. What does this mean? Well, if you move content from your personal blog to stormspire.net, you risk de-indexing your personal blog from search engines. This is Google’s way of combating duplicate content.

    You’re free to re-use content from your personal blog as you please.

    5. About shared revenue

    Several users have asked how I plan on implementing shared revenue for blogs. I’m not sure yet. I’ll do my best to provide bloggers with customizable advertising options. Please; do not start a blog with the sole intent of advertising. This breaks the spirit of blogging and I can’t guarantee to have the ad system up any time soon.