A Preview of Community Blog 1.1

      A Preview of Community Blog 1.1

      The previously announced update for the blog plug-in to version 1.1 is nearly ready so that we would like to give you some first impressions of the new functions. We will walk through the new functions with the help of some screenshots.

      Global categories
      Users already have the option to set up categories for their blog articles and sort them by those. With the update to version 1.1 we will introduce so-called "global categories". Admins will be able to set up those in the ACP e.g. as a range of subjects for their users to sort their articles in, additionally to their own categories. Readers may filter the articles on the overview page by those categories to better find the articles they are interested in. Articles which are asigned to a global category can also be subscribed to by RSS feed.



      Overview page
      The blog overview page has been subject to a major overhaul. There is a brand new side-bar, providing an overview of the newest or top-rated blogs and their articles. The side-bar also offers a bunch of useful filtering options to be able to find interesting articles more efficiently. You can now filter by category, or find the most-read ones for example. All filters may be subscribed to by RSS feed. The side-bar is most flexible, all boxes can be moved and disabled by the admin and even be extended by plugins.

      There is a new overall statistics box at the bottom of the overview page like the one you already know from the forum.

      Here's the general view:

      "Viribus Unitis"

      Harald Székely
      Designer
      Drafts and scheduled Publication
      Blog-articles can now be saved as draft similar to private messages to continue to edit or publish them at a later date. Furthermore articles can be published scheduled. If you choose to publish an article at a later date, just activate the scheduled publication and enter the date and time you want it to be published.



      Multilingualism
      Multilingual content is already possible in the forum. With the update this handy function is brought to the blog-plugin. Here's how it works: When you write an article in the blog just select the article's language (e.g. German), similar to selecting a language for forum posts. This blog article will only be visible for users which have chosen to (also) be able to see german content in their profiles.
      "Viribus Unitis"

      Harald Székely
      Designer
      Search Engine Optimization
      One of the most-wanted functions for the blog-plugin is the option to use search engine friendly links. To achieve that we have extended our existing seo-plugin with additional interfaces which our new blog-seo-plugin uses to offer search engine friendly links for the blog.

      You'll find the same feature set well known from our forum software, to customize links individually (see the screenshot). By the way, the new interfaces are open to all developers, so the seo function is much more extensible than before.

      "Viribus Unitis"

      Harald Székely
      Designer
      Reworked sidebar for the profile-blog
      The sidebar for the user profile blog has been reworked completetly. There's a new archive-function, which lists all articles of a user sortet by year and month, which offers a fast way to find older articles and jump to them. To build the function with good performance the list of articles for individual months will be loaded dynamically by AJAX.



      Also new is the so-called blogroll display. Users may optionally display the latest activity on their friends blogs. Only one article per friend will be displayed, always the latest of course.



      To keep the sidebar compact we decided to combine the boxes "Latest articles" and "Latest comments" in one box called "Most recent". In the hole the new user-profile looks like this:

      "Viribus Unitis"

      Harald Székely
      Designer
      More Interaction
      Blog articles can now be rated by other users. This function works similar to the thread rating function in the forum. Ratings are furthermore a new means to sort the overview page, the top-rated articles are being highlighted on the overview page. In the course of blog update development we have also developed an abstract implementation of the rating function, which can now be easily used for plug-ins by us and also third-party developers.

      Also new is the counter for the blog article visits. This counter is also the basis of a new filtering and summary option for the overview page.

      More Comfort
      The blog has been extended with some comfort-functions. Now you can go to previous or following articles of a user's blog by a simple navigation below the articles. The blog optionally gathers all links contained in an article and creates a list of them below the article text - this is very useful especially when reading long blog-articles.



      Sidebar Configuration
      The sidebars on the overview page and in the user's blog can now be configured separately by the administrator. Each box can be enabled or disabled. The sorting of the boxes can also be modified.

      "Viribus Unitis"

      Harald Székely
      Designer
      Social Bookmarks
      Social Bookmarks are very popular. We have developed a general function to use Social Bookmarks with the WCF and the blog will be the first application to make use of the new function. It will be available in other parts of our software (e.g. gallery, forum). Social bookmark providers are being managed in the administration control panel (ACP).



      Trackbacks
      The blog is now capable to send and receive trackbacks and pingpacks. Incoming trackbacks are being shown below the blog-article (see screen shot).

      "Viribus Unitis"

      Harald Székely
      Designer
      Price
      Since October 2009, we offer the Blog plugin for an introductory price of USD 29.99 including 19% VAT. With the release of the finished version 1.1 of the Blog plugin, the price changes to USD 39.99 including 19% VAT. Until then, Community Blog can be purchased at the old price. This price is has to be payed only once, as usual. All further updates are included in the update access of the associated Burning Board license.
      "Viribus Unitis"

      Harald Székely
      Designer