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Due to the lack of participation about how to handle old blogs, I decided to work on this myself. A few blogs got deleted but most were marked as inactive.
The deleted blogs were typically short "hello" blogs, they asked a question that had been answered, or the blog was a single-sentence opinion such as "I like Ferb". A lot of these were by people who were here for a few days, then left and haven't been back since.
Blogs that didn't have any comments in the past four months were moved to the Inactive blogs category and commenting was disabled. That category was also added to the blogs we had to shut down because of problems they were creating ("SpongeBob is evil", name calling, etc.).
By doing this, it has a few benefits:
- The blogs that are in the Blog posts category are immediately identified as being an active blog.
- It keeps the conversations fresh for those who like to peruse blogs for interesting topics.
- It keeps the Blog posts category from getting cluttered, so it's easier to find an active blog.
- It archives older blogs, especially those which have show or community news.
- We can reactive an blog if there's a need to restart a topic.
Reactivating a blog
Since there may be cases where we do need to reactivate a blog, the person who created the blog can turn commenting back on. If you want to comment on someone else's blog, but it's inactive, it's best if you create a new blog under your account.
However, before commenting is turned back on for a blog, I do ask three things:
- Really consider whether the discussion needs to continue. No one was participating in over four months before commenting was closed, so will people start commenting again on the blog?
- Would it be better to start a new blog?
- Will you keep your blog active? On many of the inactive blogs, the person who wrote the blog didn't do anything else. Basically, they made the blog and then left.
Blogs that were shut down by an admin due to problems they were causing cannot be reactivated. If this is attempted, the blog may be deleted. These typically state that commenting is being closed and/or it is marked in the edit history of the blog.
Keeping a blog alive
If you have a blog and you don't want it being marked as an inactive blog, then you need to participate in the discussion. If you notice the number of comments is starting to dwindle, see if you can add something new to the conversation. However, if all you have to offer is something along the lines of "me too", especially if it's coming up on four months since the last comment, then it may be time to let the blog end.
Remember, you can start a new blog, even if it's about the same subject. You also get the benefit of it showing up on the Recent Wiki Activity page.
A better place to chat
As you know, we set up the Community Message Board to provide a place where people could chat as much as they want to. We have always tried to encourage people to go there rather than use the blogs because it's much more flexible for conversations than blogs are here.
Some of the advantages are:
- Easier to navigate through the pages of replies to a message.
- Messages with the newest responses are always at the top.
- Better organized: over a dozen different types of topics, as compared with three for the blogs here. (Most of the blogs are just in the Blog posts category. The other two are Community News blogs and Show News blogs.)
- Pages load faster.
- You can read the message board on your cell phone. You can't see blog comments on a device like a BlackBerry.
- You can preview your replies before you submit them. You can't do a preview on a blog comment to check that it's right first, so if you're trying to include a picture, template or anything else that has code in it, you have to save your comment to see what it looks like, then re-edit it if you have to change it.
- Easier to quote previous messages, so you can target your reply to a specific person.
- It has a private message function, something that is no longer available on this wiki.
Cleaning up the blogs was something that needed to be done for a while. Some of my own blogs were amongst those deleted or marked inactive. As we continue to do maintenance on them, we can keep the conversations fresh and move as many as we can to the message board, which really does work better than the blogs do. I have started participating more in the Message Board and have added it to my list of places to check each week. I hope to see you there soon.