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Stack Exchange put per-site blogs on hold a while back because, among other things, WordPress was causing too many problems for them. (They also had concerns about usage.) Now that SE has migrated its own blog off of WordPress, can we reopen the question of per-site blogs? Specifically, may we have a blog for this site?

We have an active community. Holy cow do we have an active community; this is the most-active beta I've ever participated on. Some members of this community want to share worlds (or parts of worlds). Some want to share the products of those worlds -- stories, setting descriptions, and so on. And some want to write about the process of building all that. This is all great stuff to have on a blog, stuff that doesn't work on a Q&A site. I understand that the activity level on the per-site blogs was disappointing and every site thinks it's special, but I'm still going to say it: I think the Worldbuilding community has the interest to make it happen.

There has already been an attempt to set up an external blog. I can't speak for anybody else, but the reasons I haven't participated there are:

  • WordPress. I need a whole new set of stuff -- tools, account, workflow, RSS feed (to read) -- to participate there. I'm already here; demonstrably, going there is a hurdle for me. I think this is true of others too.

  • It doesn't feel like it's part of the site. This is through absolutely no fault of the fine folks who set it up. It's just that it's, of necessity, separate (and separately-owned), and to me that doesn't feel inclusive even though it's intended to be. It's the best tool available for the job right now, but... it doesn't have the SE name, URL, visual identity, or -- most importantly IMO -- integration with this site. You can't click on a "blog" link here and go there, and new posts don't get announced in the Community Bulletin and the weekly newsletter.

So, two questions:

  1. For SE: Would Stack Exchange be willing to try per-site blogs again, using the new platform, with Worldbuilding as a beta tester?

  2. For us: Are y'all interested in building an SE-integrated blog?

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    $\begingroup$ Good point. Most people are not even aware of the existence of the blog because (as you said) it's separated. Making it an integral part of the Stack Exchange would make things easier. Some people including myself, would be interesting in writing at least one entry to mark our first anniversary. if enough people the same with good content, it would be a good demonstration that maintaining a blog is doable. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Aug 25 '15 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ Did you miss meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/2503/29, or were you inspired by it? $\endgroup$ – a CVn Aug 25 '15 at 7:16
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling inspired by. That post focuses on timing and content; here I'm asking about platform. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 25 '15 at 12:41
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    $\begingroup$ I agree. I feel like the current/old blog somewhat failed because there wasn't an easy way to draw contributors from Worldbuilding to the blog. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Aug 25 '15 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, we have a lot of upvotes. Can we build it now? (Or should we wait until the birthday.) $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Aug 25 '15 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ I've raised the question with SE. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 25 '15 at 22:21
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If per-site blogs are ever coming back, it won't be for a long time. We love the enthusiasm, and we still think new ongoing blogs would be super cool, but site blogs are just not anywhere near the front of the line for resources right now. It'll be 6-8 something... but it definitely isn't "weeks".

I've suggested Medium publications as a solution to this problem before on other sites because I personally think they are a good fit and I'd love to see a community take them for a test drive. A Medium publication wouldn't be in the SE ecosystem, but then again, Blog Overflow barely is anyway. But publications work pretty well as a conceptual replacement: anyone can write a post, and a publication editor can invite them to contribute it to the "collection". You can keep collecting them on an ongoing basis, or just put together a compendium of 12 posts (or however many) to be a resource to point to going forward.

They're flexible, and you can even brand them if you want them to, but getting them set up requires no intervention whatsoever on SE's part. It's something you could easily use as a pilot project and come back in a year and say "See? You wouldn't give us a blog, so we made something awesome without you instead!"

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    $\begingroup$ Abby, thanks for the quick reply and the pointer to Medium. That does look like a good fit: it allows multiple editors (who can approve postings) and submissions, handles text and images, and from what I can see so far, it doesn't require Yet Another Login Credential. It's disappointing not to have something tied into SE (links, same user names/gravatars in posts/comments, etc), but if we can't have an SE blog this looks like a reasonable alternative. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 26 '15 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio, this doesn't refute your point but it might help take the sting out: blogoverflow blogs are barely tied to SE today. There's no username syncing, for example - Wordpress is just a whole extra ecosystem sorta bolted on. If you guys try this you might actually find it more elegant. $\endgroup$ – hairboat Aug 26 '15 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ Oh? So when people comment on the SE blog (before or after its recent migration) and their usernames/gravatars show up, that's something special about that blog that the per-site blogs didn't have? I had not realized that. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 26 '15 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio When you comment on the SE blog now, it shows whatever you've told Disqus to show. Before, it showed whatever you typed into Wordpress, and maybe the gravatar hooked up to that email. No association with your SE account at all - not even for those of us with WP accounts on the main company blog. $\endgroup$ – hairboat Aug 26 '15 at 0:21
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    $\begingroup$ You could set this up today if you felt like it. If you want the SE name on it, just make sure it's credited to "the Worldbuilding Stack Exchange community" - I think that's the verbiage we ask for to specify that it's community-owned and keep it from looking like it's run by SE Inc. $\endgroup$ – hairboat Aug 26 '15 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for anticipating my next question. :-) I've pinged the person who set up the current Wordpress blog to see if he'd like to take the lead on this. (Answer: yes. WB folks, stay tuned for more.) $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 26 '15 at 0:27
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    $\begingroup$ Awesome! Really looking forward to seeing what you guys do with this, @MonicaCellio. $\endgroup$ – hairboat Aug 26 '15 at 1:20
  • $\begingroup$ So am I. :-) Thanks for the help! Are we the first SE community doing this? If not, could you tell us who else we should be comparing notes with? $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 26 '15 at 1:53
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio WB is the pilot program as far as I'm aware. Magento will get the same suggestion from us probably, but they're starting from scratch just like you guys. $\endgroup$ – hairboat Aug 26 '15 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ Medium looks like an awesome choice. I'm excited for the move. Thanks for the suggestion and help! $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Aug 26 '15 at 17:38
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    $\begingroup$ @abbyhairboat we'll make a bigger announcement about this soon, but since you expressed interest, check this out: medium.com/universe-factory $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 2 '15 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Awesome!! $\endgroup$ – hairboat Sep 2 '15 at 21:10
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I say that an SE hosted blog is the way to go! Like you said, it really makes it part of the site. More importantly perhaps, it is under the control of the community when it is on there.

Upvote for yes to this.

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