Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated - Anime-Planet forum

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Old 04-30-2014, 10:35 PM   #1
sothis
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Default Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

Hi everyone,

Here at Anime-Planet, our goal is to continue to bring up awesome new features, or updates to new features. It's never fun to remove a feature, as even unpopular features have some diehard users who would hate to see them go.

Today we're announcing the deprecation of the blogs feature. In the few years that the blog feature has been up, it's seen very little use by only a handful of site users (in relation to how many users the site has). It's a time-sink to maintain, and takes away from our ability to add new, really awesome features and functionality you love (like the video integrations, or the upcoming redesign). It's a hard decision, but one that's being made for the greater good.

What kind of content gets posted in blogs, and where should it go?

98% of blogs posted are spam (which we try to delete in a timely fashion, but get flooded with it daily anyways), and the remaining 2% tend to be topics that could easily fit elsewhere in the site:

-Reviews - some people post reviews as blogs; they can and should be added as reviews instead.

-Episode discussions/thoughts - now that we have integrated discussion links in the anime entries, and given in the future we'll have integrated site/forum accounts, these conversations can go into the forum discussion threads. The bonus being more posts = more people joining in on the discussion, and more people around to read your thoughts on the episode

-Daily personal activity - such as 'episodes I watched today'. The personal feed contains date information about when you mark anime, and we plan to upgrade the feed moving forward to make it even easier to view your history.

-Assorted thoughts about anime or manga or anything - all of this could be posted in the forum

-Suggested viewing order info - This is some of the best info we've seen in blogs, and info we're really hoping users won't lose access to. For now, ideally these would be moved into the forum, and we'd build a way to integrate this content into the entries themselves in the future.

Can I still access my blog now?

Blogs are still accessible, and will remain accessible until the redesign launches (we're aiming for 2 months from now, if all goes well). That gives you a few months to sift through your content and move it into reviews or the forum.

In the very near future, editing blogs and adding new blogs will become inaccessible, and we'll post a notice on all blog pages that they are being deprecated (all of this within a few days). Blogs will not be removed until the redesign launches in a few months.


Moving forward

For the few of you who have used the blog feature over the years, your support is not forgotten and is appreciated! We're looking forward to getting the redesign out the door and focusing on awesome new features you'll love.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

Sad to see them go :c
Some of them are really good and helpful .
Looking forward to new stuff
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

Not really a feature i'll miss since the only blogs i ever read with Chii's ones that had links to anime shorts in them. And i never used it personally.

And deprecated is a really weird way to word that, seems like more of a programming term to me than one for a site announcement!
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:58 PM   #4
sothis
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

Maybe so, but as a programmer it's the word that came to mind :)

The idea being it's not deleted right away, but is going away.

One piece of good news is that with the youtube integration, much of the video blogs are now integrated into the site itself!
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

I haven't made a blog post since June 2012. Can't say I'll miss it.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:56 AM   #6
Drahken
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

I disagree with the part about everything that's non-spam being able to be placed elsewhere on the site. Sure, technically anything can be posted on the forum, but many things that fit perfectly on a blog would have to be awkwardly shoehorned in on the forum, even moreso with a number of forum sections having been removed a while back.

FAQ-like stuff: I have a number of faq-like blog posts, yet the faqs section of the forum no longer exists. The bugs/requests section is the only remaining section where such things would really fit, but that section is supposed to be for temporary threads (a question gets asked & answered, then the thread gets moved out. a request gets made, accepted/deined, then the thread gets moved out, etc). Any long term faq type threads would A) quickly get buried and/or B) add to the clutter. With no blogs & no appropriate forum section, where would those things go?

Personal non-anime lists & stuff: Some could argue that such doesn't belong on ap at all, others would argue that it could go on the forum. While there are valid points on both sides in regards to the former, the latter is a perfect example of shoehorning. 1) The forum is a place for interactive things, static lists or posts would either get distorted (with "my pet photos" becoming "everyone's pet photos", or "books I own" degrading into some long debate & the original post getting forgotten/ignored) if people post in it, or falling to the back page if people don't. 2) There's no ability to keep a static list of forum threads, short of making a blog post to list them (oh... wait... nvm...), meaning that you have to search for all of them any time that you want to share them with anyone. In contrast, any time you want to share your blog posts with anyone, they're all right there on your blogs tab.

For-fun posts: These would be a decent fit for the forum, but some can fall prey to issue #1 of the aforementioned personal lists/etc, and all of them fall prey to #2 of the same.

Certain anime/manga related lists: With the current personal lists sytem, there's no reasonable way to add notes to an item (such as "anime I own: 1) naruto: discs 1,3, 7-10"). The closest you can get is to make a list of all the appropriate anime, then add a long description which details each. The problem with this approach is that you're listing everything twice in the same list. In blog posts you can easily add such notes beside each item in the list.

Every blog post I have fits into one of the above categories. While some of the personal and for-fun ones could be posted in a user's site profile, they tend to be long & even just a single one would create massive clutter, let along trying to post multiple ones. My faq posts can be found by clicking the "common questions" link in my sig, the rest can easily be found via the categories list there.
The only viable solution to much of this is to post them on some other site (like geocities, or whatever is filling it's shoes now) and link to those in one's forum sigs and/or site profiles.


All that being said though, I suppose these drawbacks are outweighed by the massive ammounts of blog spam & the time/effort required to minimize such. While I'm unhappy about blogs being removed, their loss seems to be the lesser of 2 evils.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

I've been trying to find a few ways to make the blog useful lately, but I'm not really upset about it being removed. I'm all for gettin rid of the blog spam and that seems like the easiest way to do so.

The only blog I currently have is one explaining how I use the rating system here and that's only there because it was taking up a lot of bio space, but I can always just make a Google Docs document (or something similar) for that and link it in my bio.

Honestly, I would've been willing to help deal with all the blog spam, but the decision to remove them is already made. Still really looking forward to this redesign though!
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

80% of my blogs were from 2009. :p While I liked the idea of them, I won't be missing them.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drahken View Post
I disagree with the part about everything that's non-spam being able to be placed elsewhere on the site. ...
FAQ-like stuff: I have a number of faq-like blog posts, yet the faqs section of the forum no longer exists. The bugs/requests section is the only remaining section where such things would really fit, but that section is supposed to be for temporary threads (a question gets asked & answered, then the thread gets moved out. a request gets made, accepted/deined, then the thread gets moved out, etc). Any long term faq type threads would A) quickly get buried and/or B) add to the clutter. With no blogs & no appropriate forum section, where would those things go?
Drahken, you are sooo very helpful on the site with answers to "How do I?" questions.

Blogs are great for this, but limited in their accessibility, since most members do not view or participate in blog using on the site. The answers from you that I've found most useful are the answers you posted in the forums. The forums are seen by many more people in the site and are more searchable than the blogs.

There IS a place for these types of notes: The Help Center section of the site! (Name change pending - I've submitted the name changes for my clubs to sothis, but she hasn't yet gotten around to making the changes; she's busy with many more important things on the site. Hopefully with the new site re-design, neither (real name TBD) club will have that notation: the Help Club will become the Help Center and THIS is the place for you to add your FAQs and site info! Please check out the Help Center: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) topic -- I'm always looking to update this with new and helpful information.

Also, I have created the Resources for New Members topic in the A-P Welcoming Committee club's section - currently listed as Welcome Club (real name TBD) but hopefully this name change is also pending.

Both sections cross-reference each other, so any member that visits one of these locations will be able to see that there are more answers available in the other topic.

Resources for New Members - a topic to help new members to the site find their way around and to teach them how to do things on the site
Help Center: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - answers to commonly asked site questions

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Old 05-01-2014, 10:22 AM   #10
sothis
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Default Re: Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

While I fully understand that some content is personal in nature and wouldn't fit in the forum, it's also not a feature we're going to be able to support moving forward. To be clear, the main reason we're deprecating this feature is because it's very timely and costly to main the code, and with so little use (and so much content that does fit nicely in the forum), we're making this decision so that other more important features can be prioritized.
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