Announcement: the blog feature is being deprecated

Discussion in 'Site Announcements' started by sothis, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    Posted by sothis on Apr 30, 2014
    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.
  2. Anudevil13

    Anudevil13 Guest

    Sad to see them go :c
    Some of them are really good and helpful .
    Looking forward to new stuff
  3. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    Posted by sothis on Apr 30, 2014
    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!
  4. randomredneck

    randomredneck Well-Known Member

    I haven't made a blog post since June 2012. Can't say I'll miss it.
  5. Drahken

    Drahken Cross-eyed Cyclops

    Posted by Drahken on May 1, 2014
    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.
  6. MrTripStack

    MrTripStack New Member

    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!
  7. Kari5

    Kari5 Database Moderator Silver Supporter

    Posted by Kari5 on May 1, 2014
    80% of my blogs were from 2009. :p While I liked the idea of them, I won't be missing them.
  8. Sianeka

    Sianeka Well-Known Member

    Posted by Sianeka on May 1, 2014
    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

  9. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    Posted by sothis on May 1, 2014
    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.
  10. Mangina

    Mangina Member

    Ah... sad to see this go but I'll easily move the stuff from my blog into my bio ^_^
  11. sothis

    sothis Forum Moderator Anime-Planet Founder Developer

    Posted by sothis on May 1, 2014
    Cool :)

    We're hoping that the heads up gives people a long enough time to move the content elsewhere ^_^
  12. Madoka

    Madoka Silver Supporter

    Posted by Madoka on May 1, 2014
    i never really used it either so personally i wouldn't miss it, though i do understand how others will feel who did make use of it.

    I think the only blog i ever really noticed to be quite detailed was Etue's which fair enough was well put together and detailed and some fun to read but other than Etue i think at best i only ever found 3 or so which was enjoyable over the years but yeah. (i actually checked most profiles/blogs of common forum users i see around, *stalker mode*).
    I think a lot of users who made use of the blog as a extended profile and nothing more will be okay, others who used it will be sad but i myself have wondered just how often or not the feature was being made use off. So don't get me wrong i feel for them who did use it but for others i think it's no skin of their shoulders.
  13. Mangina

    Mangina Member

    Well, if you add an external blog to the "Blog RSS Feed:"-field in your profile, I guess that works pretty fine as well... I didn't use the blog much; mainly checked through other ppls blogs at times, made it easier to get to know some ppl ^^;

    I think the only "productive" thing I used my blog to was to explain my username but I've moved that part to my Bio now anyway... will edit my forum sig in a min as well to link there instead of the blog :sweat:
  14. BlaizeV

    BlaizeV Active Member

    I use blogs to create lists of certain shows and types I want to watch and finish. I cross them out as I go. Currently the actual List feature doesn't support this and is a plain static list.

    I would plead that if blogs are to go then make the lists much better and more interactive. Right now the static lists are quite shallow.

    Obviously what would be better is tying in the ratings I've given personally to Anime for others to see. Along with sorting features as not every list has to be a countdown.

    Right now I have an OVA list in my blog I use to keep track of what Old School OVAs etc I've seen and still would like to see. It's pretty primitive but Isn't possible using the current list feature. < just for reference
  15. dkjiji

    dkjiji New Member

    Posted by dkjiji on May 1, 2014
    I liked using my blog and I planned to use it more... Oh well, I've still got Tumblr I suppose.
  16. Drahken

    Drahken Cross-eyed Cyclops

    bvincent- Why cross them out instead of deleting them? What purpose does it serve to keep the completed series in the list?
    While you can't do things like crossing out entries, it is easy to add/remove entries in a custom list. If you really need to have finished shows remain listed, you could make paired custom lists: Have a "need to watch" and a "Need to watch (finished)" list. As you finish a show, delete it from the first list and add it to the second. Granted, it's a bit awkward, but not too bad, and it at least gets the job done.

    Personally, I would like to see the custom lists gain an ability to add notes next to individual entries, this would be useful in a number of situations. It could be used in place of crossing out an entry (just jot down "completed" or somesuch next to it), it could be useful in lists of owned media to specify which volumes/dvds/etc you own out of the whole series, it could be used to jot down brief notes such as "I really hated this" or "this had great artwork" or "I watched this dubbed", etc. Obviously any long comments should be posted on the forum or as a user review, so it'd be a good idea to give such notes a hard limit of 250 characters or something.
  17. r18

    r18 Ojii-san

    Posted by r18 on May 1, 2014
    general discussion is my blog....
  18. Aranneas

    Aranneas New Member

    personally, I'm going to be rather sad to see this feature go. posting things on the forum is not at all the same as attaching them directly to your site profile. but I suppose I can understand if the spam is truly that prevalent.
  19. Drahken

    Drahken Cross-eyed Cyclops

    I finally got around to recreating my site blog elsewhere & adding it to my sig and profile. I still need to tweak the appearance, add/change a few things, etc, but at least the hard part is done.

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