Feature Proposal: Foswiki ought to blog about itself using Foswiki software but...


We are missing some critical core features for successful blogging. Kassandra Project in Rules to be a good blogger says:

"We use “The first 7 days of blogging” written by Neil Patel on October 17, 2006 in Blogging:"

Many people launch a blog that is not fully setup; the design may not be complete or the RSS feed may not work. Before you launch your blog make sure that your design is complete, RSS feed is working, you are setup to ping the blog search engines and your blog is optimized for the search engines. Day 1 is the most crucial day because without launching with all these things in line it can hurt the future success of your blog.

We are currently blogging in two places, and it's confusing for everyone, especially the user community.

Description and Documentation

Lets identify and categorize exactly what is needed before we can make the Blog Web the official blog.

Requirement Priority Status Description
Full text RSS Feed
Recent Posts RSS Feed
SEO Metadata
Topics need specific metadata for search engine optimization.
Separate archives by date, and by category
Related Posts
Search for similar posts and display alongside posts
Recent Posts
Sidebar showing recent blog posts
Guest Posting
Don't required registration to post
SPAM Controls
Detect and block spam postings
Top Views
Show a list of postings based on most hits
Comment Moderation
Update Services
Integrate with xml-rpc services like http://feedshark.brainbliss.com/


Full text RSS Feed

Recent comments RSS Feed

This and several other requirements would probably need comments to be recorded in MetaData. Is it worth exploring merging of MetaCommentPlugin and the new trunk CommentPlugin?

Update Services

From MichaelDaum

The other big problem is integrating update services to the blog like http://feedshark.brainbliss.com/. Without, the impact / visibility of any posting will be significantly lower. Update services are xml-rpc endpoints to be contacted automatically when a new posting is out.

Here's a list of some more: Wordpress is configurable to notify all or a subset of them automatically. That's why wordpress postings pop up so quickly on google and everywhere else. This needs a plugin of its own most probably adding it to the staled PingBackPlugin.

Just my 2cent

-- MichaelDaum - 03 Feb 2012

Guest Comments

Would absolutely require the SPAM protection. Latest trunk CommentPlugin can be configured to allow guests to comment.

SPAM Protection

This is something that we need on foswiki.org. There are a couple of possibilities.


There is an old TWiki plugin - PingBackPlugin. It needs to be updated and converted to Foswiki.




-- Contributors: GeorgeClark - 29 Feb 2012


The wordpress temporary measure has been in place for.... 3 years: day one has long gone.

That is long enough.

I think we are mixing things up (and I'm to blame for this). http://foswiki.org/Blog might not be ready as a Marketing 'platform'. It is however ready to be a community microblog especially with the added functionality provided by twitter and the newsletters I'm compiling.

other points:
  1. the blogs web makes it possible for everyone registered on foswiki.org to blog - its a microblog.
  2. If Marketing has other needs, they should not stand in the way of the projects needs
  3. is there any concrete evidence that our wordpress blog is highly valuable wrt driving adoption to foswiki over time?

http://foswiki.org/Blog is about getting foswiki regulars talking to less regular users / contributors, and to each other. I'm slowly building the micro-blog commitment using it. http://blog.foswiki.org is intermittent postings aimed at PLEASE UPDATE (I'm not really sure we have a consistent audience there either)

I'm raising a concern specifically to this proposal with the following suggestions:
  1. Blog isn't trying to be the official Marketing blog now (I had hoped we could, but its not an important thing for now)
  2. I suggest we rename the web to WaterCooler - a foswiki community micro-blog which:
    • fosters more communication avenues - coffee break style
    • feeds the newsletters
    • can be used to feed the marketing blog too

I'll move this to better refined info to FoswikiMicroBlogging

-- SvenDowideit - 01 Mar 2012

I think we all agree that we should eat our own dog food more than most of us do regularly. In that sense using foswiki as a blogging system is important, and not just a proof of concept. It needs a real blog build with foswiki.

I don't like wordpress either and I fully subscribe to the reasons Sven listed above: it adds an information silo to the list of tools we are already using, like http://trac.foswiki.org. trac as well as wordpress are some highly specialized web applications, trac even more.

I do have lots of concerns wrt the current activities on the blog web. However, I have no concerns at all to set up a decent blogging system using foswiki at all, of course.

In principle foswiki has got 90% of the technologies required to run a blogging system on par with wordpress technically. However that requires additional plugins. Bare-bones-foswiki is not enough for that unfortunately.

So using foswiki for blogging would actually be very nice from multiple perspective, not only from technological reasons.

Now, the current effort don't seem to have reached that goal yet. That's in parts because it doesn't use the right (foswiki) technology to do the job.

What is a lot worse is that it adds confusion to the users out there: "wtf is blog.foswiki.org vs foswiki.org/Bog?" This sux.

foswiki.org/Blog isn't a microblog by far. Microblogging is based around the concept of activity streams. Blogging and microblogging are two very different web applications. Users approach it very differently in what kind, quality and frequency of information is emitted using them.

The most important requirement for every blogging activity is being visible out there: via proper SEO per blog posting, Update Services as listed above and proper RSS feeds. Blogging systems significantly improve their impact and ranking on google using these. Without, you just have to wait for google dares crawling your site again some day. That's far too late. Even more when doing microblogging.

The second most important requirement is design: it requires a blog-like look and feel. There's no way around it.

Third most important requirement is a properly crafted sidebar navigation. It must list at least the following sections: "Latest postings", "Latest comments", "Archive", "Categories". Category pages and blog entry pages might vary in sidebar navigation.

Fourth most important requirement is a decent coment system: easy to add comments, easy to reply on comments, rss on comments, moderation of comments.

And so on....

-- MichaelDaum - 01 Mar 2012

i will reinforce Michael's point about the distinction between a microblog and a blog. When people started talking about "microblogging" I went looking for our new microblog; I couldn't find it. Why? Because i was looking for microblogging, and all there is to find is conventional blogging. Please let's be very careful about use of language here, because old people like me get confused easily.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 01 Mar 2012

Yes, I keep hearing can't, isn't and no.

All I'm saying is, yes I'm working towards a goal, using that which is. I don't intend throwing out the bath, or the baby.

If you want change, help - at this point, I'm doing what I can to fill a hole, and will continue to do it.

Arthur's Blog work is a beginning, this is a wiki, and I'm trying to work towards a somewhat vague goal that you have helped refine - I did assume that we should make this the only foswiki Blog, but I don't anymore. I think its actually more useful to move towards.

-- SvenDowideit - 01 Mar 2012

Sven how about using BlogPlugin instead of reinventing the wheel.

-- MichaelDaum - 01 Mar 2012

How can we? It's never been released.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 01 Mar 2012

We did try BlogPlugin and the large number of Michael plugins once before on foswiki.org and it was removed pretty quickly (outch, it still depends on NatSkin, DBCache, GluePlugin!).

As you pointed out, BlogPlugin is also not a microblog - its not where we want to end up - so development would be needed - and so I'd like to use an ecosystem that many foswiki developers and users understand and are able to modify.

BlogPlugin isn't that either.

ok - to respond directly to reinventing the wheel - Foswiki is a development environment in which we try to get users to participate in developing applications, reinvention is part of the game!

Then again, the author of BlogPlugin isn't actually using it - last blog post 3 years ago? on TWiki?

So the challenge is: why is blog.foswiki.org not a foswiki running BlogPlugin? Presuming that its ok to have more than one host (as we have now), why are we running wordpress and not BlogPlugin? If you set it up (as a separate foswiki - so that we don't have the problems we had on foswiki.org last time), I'll move the DNS......

-- SvenDowideit - 01 Mar 2012

"requires a blog look and feel" - to me this is the most elusive. I mean, there's an article and responses and a comment form, plus related content alongside.

At work we develop website for clients and while functionally a blog is a blog, how would you describe a required look and feel.

For example: thkn.org has a blog with articles, but does it look like a blog? Should it? In other words: don't get hung up on what's presumed to be a blog.

As an aside: although Wordpress is used as CMS for that site, the client preferred Facebook comments.

-- ArthurClemens - 01 Mar 2012

Dependencies on GluePlugin have been removed. Support for PatternSkin has recently been added to BlogPlugin. Results will still be best using NatSkin as it comes with blog-like look and feel layouts and improved usability out of the box.

We never used BlogPlugin on foswiki.org. We did start with NatSkin. I then got flamed up to the point I had to leave foswiki temporarily due to the quality of quarrels that I wasn't willing to stand. Then people reinvented the wheel doing this foswiki-site-skin package as they didn't want to wait for NatSkin being ported from TWiki to Foswiki. Now, 3 years later, how about approaching this all a bit more fruitful so that we actually get some job done.

What I can offer is the technology to do all the things planned right now and even more. And I stand to my offer to set this up on foswiki.org.

This excludes microblogging of course as this is a totally different beast.

-- MichaelDaum - 02 Mar 2012

I am very happy with the implementation that Arthur has done now. We now need to help Michael getting the Marketing need covered.

It looks quite OK to me. It looks quite like a blog within a website to me.

Remember that a real blog site is a website where the whole site is built around the blog concept. Such a site needs to look like most known blogs to send the right message.

The Foswiki site is a wiki. It is not a blog. But we want to have a simple blog feature on our site so we can post stories related to our project and product. Not a microblog because stories can be long. But not a full blog site either where the stories is what the site is all about. This also means that many of tbe features for making a blog a success are not relevant. Most popular posts is irrelevant. Guest comments not very relevant either. Those that want to comment on a posting are most likely Foswiki users and find it natural to register. We want to tell about our releases and development progress and we want to share success stories and advice to existing users.

I think we have the right level of blog look and blog feature when it comes to the stories and comments themselves.

What should be added for marketing reasons are the features that pushes the postings out to the world so people comes to us. And the RSS feeds which should be easy to implement using out of box Foswiki formatted search.

The most important thing is that now the blog is in our own turf it is clearly being used. No point in a blog with 1000 features but noone posting anything. I am currently in Malaysia working on the project that takes my time so I have no battery left for Foswiki development. I return in a few days and I will post something in the blog then.

-- KennethLavrsen - 02 Mar 2012
Topic revision: r13 - 27 Jul 2015, GeorgeClark
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