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Adding blogging to the Tank

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Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby daniel_ream » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:54 pm

Over in this post I commented that much of the Tank, being about user-generated static content rather than discussion threads, would be better served by a social publishing model than a discussion forum model.

A wholesale migration of the Tank to something like Drupal is probably never gonna happen, but there is an add-on Mod for phpBB3 (the software that runs the Tank) that adds user blogs - each user can have their own blog integrated within the Tank.

If you stop and think about it, this is the model that a lot of the content in the Tank already uses: the Roll Call forum is basically just a bunch of individual creator blogs. Kit's media updates in the Sidekick Lounge are actually social bookmarks, but they fit a blogging model somewhat better than a discussion thread model.

Is this a feature that you would use? Is it a feature you'd like to see others use?
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby Taliesin » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:54 pm

I think it's a good idea, and for the Roll Call threads in particular, the organizational structure of a blog can help separate the user-generated content from the comments.
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby daniel_ream » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:18 am

That was the big issue - in a threaded forum topic model, all replies have the same hierarchical equivalence, making it difficult to sort out the "here's my character build" from the "yay! awesome!" posts.

The downside is that currently it's easy to go find all the current character build threads because they're all summarized right there in recent post order, but splitting the Roll Call topics out into individual blogs could lead to fragmentation and isolation - it needs to be easy to go find the blogs one wants to find, and to just go browsing looking for interesting ones. Some kind of facility for bookmarking one's favourite user blogs from within the Tank itself seems like a necessity.

I'm looking into Lithium's User Blog Mod to see if it handles these kinds of issues, and if enough people respond to this thread I'll make a more formal pitch to SassyRonin.
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby Paragon » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:14 pm

The idea seems good in theory, but I'm not sure it'd get used consistently enough by the user base to justify itself. But that's just my perception.
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby daniel_ream » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:37 am

There's a very large amount of inertia in place to overcome, and the only way that's going to happen is if a very large proportion of the user base stands up and says, "yes, we want this now". Hence this thread.

So far, not looking so good ;-)
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby Entropicurity » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:48 pm

If anything I'd be rather inclined to use such a feature. For a lot of people its not so much discussion as it is about posting their character and setting details, rule interpretations, and discussion research that they've found on various aspects of the game. I've seen the blogging deal work in such a manner before, as people could tag their posts appropriately to make finding key posts a lot easier to further push the point of making searching easier. Having to browse through 9 pages or more on posts that share key words is one thing, but browsing tags on posts that are associated with a particular topic is another.
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby daniel_ream » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:32 pm

I'm currently researching the feasibility of migrating the ATT lock, stock, and barrel to a Drupal-based social community site.
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby RedBstrd » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:40 pm

I'm not sure exactly how you envision the blogging, but I would like it if it involved the possibility of adding a journal function to the User Control Panel. With an MnM journal that is easily accessible to everyone, we could post if we are going out of town, ask for feedback on games, post house rules, etc. Anyone responding would have their same user name (the reason why I don't just add a linked website) which would be a big plus.
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby RogerWilco » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:20 pm

I'm new here, but I like the idea. I was already getting all kinds of ideas about my own universe and the characters in it. I then realised that depending on the subject, I'd have to split that between art, character builds, stories and universe building. Having your own corner where those combine would be a good idea.

daniel_ream wrote:The downside is that currently it's easy to go find all the current character build threads because they're all summarized right there in recent post order, but splitting the Roll Call topics out into individual blogs could lead to fragmentation and isolation - it needs to be easy to go find the blogs one wants to find, and to just go browsing looking for interesting ones. Some kind of facility for bookmarking one's favourite user blogs from within the Tank itself seems like a necessity.


I see the danger of fragmentation. I think it just means that you need to be able to put notices on the forums when there are updates in some form, and probably stickied threads with lists or something.

It's not an easy thing to do right, and then I'm not even talking about the coding involved (even when using existing phpBB modules it's rarely a 1-1 fit.) Good luck with it if you go though with it, I'll look forward to the result.
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Re: Adding blogging to the Tank

Postby daniel_ream » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:51 am

I was working with SassyRonin for a while on improving the ATT in various ways, but he's since kind of dropped off the face of the Internet. Given how quiet GR has been lately and the slow decline in forum participation by the company principals, I'm currently assuming that GR is not devoting any resources to their online presence.
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