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Author Topic: new SoR blog service?  (Read 5196 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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new SoR blog service?
« on: September 18, 2010, 08:04:00 PM »
Its been brought to my attention that adding a members blog section to SoR could be a good thing.

Basically anyone can sign up to write your own robot blogs (all free of course), and select members from the forum can get moderator status to help fight the spammers and no-gooders.

It'll probably use WordPress . . . nothing custom here.

I'm opening up the floor to thoughts, opinions, and ideas. What do you guys think, will you use it?

Offline madsci1016

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 08:25:43 PM »
The primary purpose I see is for those who want to show off their projects and robots.

The forum is great for general discussion and asking questions for help. But when you just want to show off, it's not the best venue to do so. The member's pages originally sought out to be a place to document projects and tutorials, but the format is rather outdated, and the whole section is mostly dead. (only a few postings the past year)

Personally I love forums, but i grew up with them, the internet didn't have 'blogs' when i was a kid. It seems to me the younger generations tend to prefer the blog style of internet sites.

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 08:55:52 PM »
Oh my, finally I can move my blog here! No deed for a separate WordPress blog if there's going to be one on SoR! If you only got to this decision a week ago, before I bought a domain name and hosting for my soon to be open eStore... I could have opened it here... Oh well, I'll advertise SoR on it (and other cool sites). But I would love to move my blog here.

Using WP is a cool idea, as we can have a blog, create separate pages for our robots or other projects, upload media files (mainly pictures, videos still on Youtube or similar). I think it will benefit SoR and bring more people around.

I am all for this idea! Cheers!
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Offline z.s.tar.gz

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2010, 09:26:50 PM »
Would there be a way to incorporate an existing wordpress on another domain?
This is probably more of a wordpress type of question but I don't know enough about it to tell.
Save yourself the typing. Just call me Zach.

Offline Joker94

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2010, 01:07:30 AM »
I feel tat some sort of blog system would be great for members to share what they are doing as they go and for newer members and old for that matter to see how it works and  what stages to follow.(a good learning resource)

i have always liked reading peoples blogs to see what they do, how they go about it and what they are aiming for. it helps me generate new ideas and most importantly new ways of thinking.

Offline Hawaii00000

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2010, 02:14:17 AM »
I'm for a blog as long as people use it.
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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2010, 05:48:53 AM »
Like I said, I'm opening a webstore on my own domain. I am using Wordpress for it with some Cart plugin that allows you to add products to your cart then go to Checkout through Paypal. So see, you can do anything with WordPress, install it on your own computer if you want and host it from there. Admin already has this domain and hosting, all he needs to do is install WP and configure it. Now THIS is the part that I don't know how it will work, to organize every body's blog and pages, give them rights to modd them, add new content, and have them all centralized on a front page and all. I know it's possible somehow, there are other sites that have a somewhat similar setup, but I am just a newb in website management.
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Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2010, 05:52:15 AM »
Hands down, John I have the feel you hear my prayers!!!
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline madsci1016

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2010, 08:33:50 AM »
Now THIS is the part that I don't know how it will work, to organize every body's blog and pages, give them rights to modd them, add new content, and have them all centralized on a front page and all. I know it's possible somehow, there are other sites that have a somewhat similar setup, but I am just a newb in website management.


http://codex.wordpress.org/Roles_and_Capabilities

It's easy, just look at a user's page, under 'role'.

Offline rbtying

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2010, 10:23:25 AM »
Admin,
     You can use Wordpress Multisite to host many blogs without doing many separate installs.  If you'd like help with setup, I've got a lot of experience with Wordpress/WP-related code.   An example of a basic (very basic) Wordpress site is http://vlog.tpmo.im, which is a testbed for some code I'm trying out.

Offline voyager2

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2010, 07:25:28 PM »
I'm probably a bit late to this but, you've got my vote!
Nice way to make sure my super secret project is in the public light!
Ooops, did I say super secret project? Forget I said anything!

But nice idea! And FREE!
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Offline Derme302

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 03:32:06 AM »
 ;D
This is a brilliant idea, not only would I like to do a blog on the Robot I am currently building. But I would also like to get ideas from members who might not post their creations on the forum.

Offline z.s.tar.gz

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 08:41:59 AM »
;D
This is a brilliant idea, not only would I like to do a blog on the Robot I am currently building. But I would also like to get ideas from members who might not post their creations on the forum.

A definite yes. I know that I make stuff that's cool but that I feel isn't worth creating a thread for. (and why would I? the reason to upload it would be to create a reference for other users and a forum is just too temporary for that)

I'm sure I'm not the only one, so I vote yes.
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Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2010, 09:05:47 AM »
;D
This is a brilliant idea, not only would I like to do a blog on the Robot I am currently building. But I would also like to get ideas from members who might not post their creations on the forum.

A definite yes. I know that I make stuff that's cool but that I feel isn't worth creating a thread for. (and why would I? the reason to upload it would be to create a reference for other users and a forum is just too temporary for that)

I'm sure I'm not the only one, so I vote yes.

+1

I've made many pieces of code that would seem totally useless if posted empty on the forum ;-)
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline Webbot

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2010, 11:15:44 AM »
I was going to add a blog to my WebbotLib site - hence the reason for being able to register on my site - registering doesn't do much at the moment but the idea was that the registered users could then edit their own blog to show off their WebbotLib stuff. I may(?) still do it as, dare I say it, some users aren't SoR members. But I would welcome the addition - so long as the author still uses the forum for the Q&A.

What would be nice, if its possible, is to categorise stuff in one, or more, ways and that would help with deciding moderators (see below). But that sort of depends on whether you see a 'blog' as being about a given project (ie one user can have many open blogs - one for each project) or whether one user only gets one blog for all of their projects. Of course they may also want to blog about day to day stuff - ie going to 'blah blah robo conference' and here are the vid's.

If Admin can create categories such as: Axon, Arduino, $50 robot, WebbotLib, Electronics, Mechanical, Sabertooth etc. Then he could set up who are the best moderators for each category - and himself in all of course!  Then, if a blog is on a per-project basis,  the author must select one or more categories that it falls into. This helps group all of the, Arduino say, projects together and automatically assigns moderators based on who has the skill set (e.g. say Soeren for Electronics, and me and others for WebbotLib).

Of course this breaks down if one SoR member only gets one blog - since they may work on many projects using all sorts of different 'categories'.

The categorisation would also help people to navigate the blogs. For example: if user1 is doing his own Arduino project with a Sabertooth motor driver then he could filter everything down to the relevant blogs for those categories. Alternatively: a user may just want to see all of the 'open' blogs for another user - ie 'Whats Admin up to at the moment'.

Thats my "mad ramblings" - for what its worth - and none of it may be possible. I was only trying to think how Admin would administrate 1000s of blogs, and how the user would be able to find 'relevant' info. Its always impossible to retrospectively add structure to unstructured content at a later date.

[Webbot signs off and awaits a torrent of 'what the ...' responses!]


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Offline madsci1016

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2010, 11:41:05 AM »
(ie one user can have many open blogs - one for each project) or whether one user only gets one blog for all of their projects.

SOR in whole would have one 'blog', members can post projects as a single blog post. If you aren't familiar with it, take a look around DIYDrones website, as it is run like a blog. It could be setup where either the rules say one blog post for project, and the project would 'move to the top' every time it's updated, or allow for multiple blog posts like 'SAGAR part 1' then 3 months later 'SAGAR part 2'. I've seen it run both ways and either way it works ok.

Quote
Of course they may also want to blog about day to day stuff - ie going to 'blah blah robo conference' and here are the vid's.

I'd discourage this as it would water down the projects posted. Again, look at DIYDrones, each user has a 'status' (like facebook) where they can ramble, but it doesn't enter the main blog stream.

Quote
If Admin can create categories such as: Axon, Arduino, $50 robot, WebbotLib, Electronics, Mechanical, Sabertooth etc. Then he could set up who are the best moderators for each category - and himself in all of course!  Then, if a blog is on a per-project basis,  the author must select one or more categories that it falls into. This helps group all of the, Arduino say, projects together and automatically assigns moderators based on who has the skill set (e.g. say Soeren for Electronics, and me and others for WebbotLib).

I think you are thinking to0 much like a forum. There are two different things in blogs. Categories, and keywords (tags). Similar to another popular (yet evil) website, I think the categories should be kept broad. 'Projects', 'tutorials', 'Tips&tricks' etc. While keywords can include more detailed things like 'Arduino' 'Webbotlib', etc.

Wordpress, (at least to my knowledge) won't allow roles assigned per category. Even still, since this would only be a showcase and not a q&a nor support, there's no need for 'technical' mods, only some decent ones willing to control spam and maybe 'approve' blog posts 24/7 if Admin chooses to run the blog that way. (Also how DIYDrones does it)

Quote

The categorisation would also help people to navigate the blogs. For example: if user1 is doing his own Arduino project with a Sabertooth motor driver then he could filter everything down to the relevant blogs for those categories. Alternatively: a user may just want to see all of the 'open' blogs for another user - ie 'Whats Admin up to at the moment'.



Agreed. Keywords (tags) can also be used to further narrow it down with categories. 'Arduino' tags in the projects category for example to find all Arduino projects.

Quote
Thats my "mad ramblings" - for what its worth - and none of it may be possible. I was only trying to think how Admin would administrate 1000s of blogs, and how the user would be able to find 'relevant' info. Its always impossible to retrospectively add structure to unstructured content at a later date.


[Webbot signs off and awaits a torrent of 'what the ...' responses!]

You, mad? NEVER! hehe.

It can be done, as it would only be one blog. I think DIYdrones is a good example of what we need to bring to SOR.


Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2010, 11:55:57 AM »
Based on previous comments, I've decided to commit to getting an SoR blog. I should have a beta up sometime in October.

That said, based on Webbots thoughts, who would want more than one project blog vs having everything on your single account page?

I like the diydrones model for blogs, and I'd like to imitate that. Do they use WP? What do they use?

Now that we have a regular tutorial site, a forum, a members tutorial section, a chat program, and now a blog section . . . how do we get them all to integrate and play together? I'd like to avoid a big patchwork of incompatible features . . . I might have to redo the entire SoR site design from a fresh point of view, integrating everything into a console or something. Thoughts?

Offline madsci1016

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2010, 12:03:40 PM »
Based on previous comments, I've decided to commit to getting an SoR blog. I should have a beta up sometime in October.

Lol, O dear.  Hope your not mad at me for taking away from your secret project time.

That said, based on Webbots thoughts, who would want more than one project blog vs having everything on your single account page?

Why not both? Click a member name and look at all their blog postings. I'll have to look into how wordpress does it.

Quote
I like the diydrones model for blogs, and I'd like to imitate that. Do they use WP? What do they use?

I think it is custom. The owner is the editor of Wired Magazine, i'm sure he has connections.


As far as integration, that's a tough one. Any hardcore PHP, SQL programmer's out there?

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2010, 01:02:41 PM »
I can do basic php and SSI, but my main issue is time spent to write and maintain software. If I can find something already done, I can tweak it to fit in the site.

If anyone can find/tweak software to look like the DIYdrones site for me, that'll speed up the time it takes for a blog system to be function :P

Perhaps we could use Drupal, like member tutorials and that other infamous blog site whose name will not be mentioned :P

But my issue with Drupal is that its not user friendly for the admin to use and modify . . .

Offline voyager2

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2010, 06:42:33 PM »
I can do basic php and SSI, but my main issue is time spent to write and maintain software. If I can find something already done, I can tweak it to fit in the site.

Who craes about php?
Just use JavaScript server side and user side, so much easier!
It can do that you know ;)

Seriously though, you have a good point, there's blogger, of course there's WP, but I don't think you can customize it...
Then theres this:
http://www.typepad.com/
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Offline madsci1016

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2010, 09:17:00 PM »
Who craes about php?
Just use JavaScript server side and user side, so much easier!

Really?  Why put on to the end user what a server can render? Not to mention some people (like me) surf with java script disabled, as it is a way for bad people to put bad things on your computer.

There's a reason most websites, blogs and forums all run off php.

Offline futurrobotech

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2010, 09:46:21 PM »
I think it's a great idea  ;D

Offline rbtying

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2010, 11:18:11 PM »
Wordpress does have support for roles, your only difficulty would be integrating everything into one user/password database.  You can make everyone a "contributor", and then require approval for all posts.  Time-intensive on moderators' part, but if there are a few, it should be OK.  Plus Wordpress is easy to customize, even if you shouldn't hack core.

Offline z.s.tar.gz

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2010, 07:15:56 PM »
-other stuff goes here-

Really?  Why put on to the end user what a server can render? Not to mention some people (like me) surf with java script disabled, as it is a way for bad people to put bad things on your computer.

There's a reason most websites, blogs and forums all run off php.

You're better off running a different browser than disabling js. Maybe chrome?
Save yourself the typing. Just call me Zach.

Offline knossos

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2010, 07:04:48 AM »
You're better off running a different browser than disabling js. Maybe chrome?

It would still be a security risk regardless of which browser you use.  It's inherent in the functionality of js.
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Offline knossos

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2010, 07:13:15 AM »
That said, based on Webbots thoughts, who would want more than one project blog vs having everything on your single account page?

I think having blogs per project instead of per account would be useful, in fact I agree with most of Webbot's vision.  My biggest concern with what he suggested would be the implementation and maintenance involved.

As for categories vs. keywords, I think both have their place.  Too few categories and it can be difficult to narrow down your search for information, too many categories and you may miss the information you are looking for because its in a different category.  Keywords can add flexible cross-category searching, but are only as helpful as the person, software, etc. that is generating them and can lead to the same too many vs too few dilemma.
"Never regret thy fall,
O Icarus of the fearless flight
For the greatest tragedy of them all
Is never to feel the burning light."
 
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Offline z.s.tar.gz

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2010, 08:03:54 PM »
You're better off running a different browser than disabling js. Maybe chrome?

It would still be a security risk regardless of which browser you use.  It's inherent in the functionality of js.

Use linux or bsd or whatever else then.
That'll fix it right up.
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Offline TrickyNekro

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2010, 12:40:43 PM »
Just out of curiosity? How's thing going???

Having a SoR blog is a huge idea!!!
For whom the interrupts toll...


P.S. I've been inactive for almost a year... Don't give promises but I'll try to complete my tutorials. I'll let you know when..

Cheers!

Offline madsci1016

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2010, 01:07:24 PM »
Having a SoR blog is a huge idea!!!

I agree

Quote
Just out of curiosity? How's thing going???

I have offered to have a go at it since Admin has been busy with other secret projects; and he accepted. Mostly I have been doing research on how to have union between the forum SQL and a wordpress SQL so that members won't need to create an account twice. So the answer is 'slow', at least for the one i'm trying to create. Admin may also have been trying to work on a blog on his own, i'm just trying t beat him to the punch to save him the trouble.

Offline Asellith

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Re: new SoR blog service?
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2010, 01:37:10 PM »
I'm not much of a blog person but for me I find learning from a blog annoying for the most part. I don't want to watch you build a robot I want to learn from what you learned. The forum works because its an interaction system where you can have input but I kinda think a ton of Blogs for each robot build would be a nightmare. It would also cause less people to write tutorials. I would rather read an article or tutorial on a topic then follow a frantically written blog with missing information and a ton of corrected mistakes.

What I think would benefit SOR better would be some editor positions to clean up some of the already written tutorials and a blog roll sort of system that would allow members to post what they are working on and have it update on the landing page of SOR or something like that. Something more along the lines of http://www.codeproject.com I like that system. I finish an article and email them a .doc and a few days later its cleaned up formatted nice and posted.
Jonathan Bowen
CorSec Engineering
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