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Thread: Blog feedback

  1. #1
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Blog feedback

    Ok. So I've got my blog up and running with a rather lengthy post.

    A few issues that have come to my attention while doing so:

    Is there no way to format the text a bit more than just selecting a font? Things like paragraph spacing and line height would do wonders for the readability of posts. Being faced with a badly formatted wall of text can be rather intimidating for any reader.

    Also, I can't for the life of me figure out how to add line breaks into posts? It takes away additional lines that I've put in using Enter, it also doesn't accept HTML code and the BB code [br] doesn't seem to work either. I've had to "hack" it by adding something with a white text colour to give it the appearance of a blank line.

    One last issue - is there any way to change the colour of the post heading? Most other things within the content seem to be customisable, but certain things aren't able to be changed. This lack of uniformity makes it look a tad ugly.

    One other suggestion to promote the Blog functionality of TFSA. Wouldn't it be a good idea to give blog posts the same sort of exposure as forum posts. From what I can see, people will only find new blog posts by specifically navigating to the blog sections on the site. If new blog posts showed up on the home page like forum posts, for that initial exposure, it might add a little bit more incentive for bloggers. Am I missing an obvious reason that wouldn't allow this?

    I will keep going with the blog posts. Already got 2 more scheduled to post a week apart from each other.

    If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go have a quick glance at my blog to see what I mean regarding all the abovementioned points. My first post was a long one, and even proofreading it bugged me a little bit.

    Anybody got any other feedback/suggestions?
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  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Mark, I have to say I was looking forward to seeing what you'd get up to when you said you were going to blog here. I just knew you'd be testing the functionality of the blog system

    (Which is a good thing, just in case anyone got the wrong idea on that comment).

    I think the first comment I need to make is although blog functionality in vBulletin 4.x is a lot better than it was in the 3.7 series, it's still got a long way to go. However, although still fairly basic, it does have most of the critical tools to perform reasonably as a blog. It isn't that far off Blogger, for example.

    From a vBulletin admin panel point of view, about the only group permission I've got available to enable is to allow HTML code, and in broad terms this is discouraged as a security risk. If we can't find work-arounds for some of the issues, I could introduce a power blogger group and open up HTML permissions on a manual permission upgrade basis, but let's see if we can't work around some of the problems first.

    Is there no way to format the text a bit more than just selecting a font?
    These are the styling options per the admin panel

    Click image for larger version. 

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    and they're all enabled.

    Also, I can't for the life of me figure out how to add line breaks into posts? It takes away additional lines that I've put in using Enter, it also doesn't accept HTML code and the BB code [br] doesn't seem to work either.
    [br] isn't BB code available in vBulletin.

    I know the editor does strip away extra blank spaces no matter what you do, but it shouldn't be taking away extra line returns....




    see

    This could be a blog zone specific issue, or perhaps the editor version you are using. I know the WYSIWYG editor is buggy as heck, which is why I tend to use the standard editor (where you can see all the formatting code like [QUOTE], [B] etc.).

    I'll take a look at it, although I should mention that vBulletin is expecting to have a new text editor (CKeditor) out with the next upgrade. Feedback I've read suggests it will be a big improvement.

    One last issue - is there any way to change the colour of the post heading?
    I'll have to get back to you on that. I do have an idea about getting a header image into play, though.

    Anybody got any other feedback/suggestions?
    I did a few things in business lessons from surfing that might be worth considering.

    Wrapping a key phrase in the [QUOTE] tag really makes it stand out and helps break up that wall-of-text problem, and getting an image into the post using [IMGL] or [IMGR] which features text wrapping helps some too.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Mark Atkinson (18-Apr-11)

  4. #3
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    One other thought/question?

    Which HTML tags would you find useful? If you give me a list, I could develop some custom BB codes to do the job.
    (and please don't ask for <iframe> as a refusal might offend )
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  5. #4
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dave. Glad I could help. I guess being involved in the design industry, I tend to want things to look good all the time.

    I'm well aware that I shouldn't expect extreme functionality from vBulletin. There were just those few things that bugged me, particularly the line break issue. (HTML code <br /> please! )

    With regard to the line breaks, I've never had a problem in normal forum posts.




    See. It was just something with my blog post. No matter what I did it wouldn't let me put in any extra lines. So definitely a blog zone specific issue I'd say.

    These are the styling options per the admin panel and they're all enabled.
    I figured as much. No worries.

    [QUOTE]I did a few things in business lessons from surfing that might be worth considering.

    Wrapping a key phrase in the
    tag really makes it stand out and helps break up that wall-of-text problem, and getting an image into the post using [IMGL] or [IMGR] which features text wrapping helps some too.
    I did think of these things. At first I didn't like the idea of using the quote tag because it means I need to completely isolate a phrase and in my opinion it's to the detriment of the post's "flow". I do see how it can be effective, though. Perhaps in my new post.
    I normally include images in my blog posts but I was just putting out the actual post in a hurry (perhaps why it's not one of the best) so I didn't take the time to source/create some decent images.

    Which HTML tags would you find useful? If you give me a list, I could develop some custom BB codes to do the job.
    (and please don't ask for <iframe> as a refusal might offend )
    Ha ha. I will not ask for iframe Other than the line breaks, there isn't actually much that the BB code doesn't do for me with a bit of effort. Generally we use a lot of <div> and positioning to get things how we'd like them to look, but seeing as the blog is not on our actual website, I'm not too phased.

    It would be awesome if I could drag and drop images but, since that's not really possible, I'll just keep on dreaming.
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  6. Thanks given for this post:

    Dave A (18-Apr-11)

  7. #5
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    One other thing. Is there no way to edit blog posts once they've been posted?

    I may be blind, but I can't see it. I often go back and see things that could be better, or want to include more images etc. Please tell me there's a way?
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  8. #6
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Atkinson View Post
    One other thing. Is there no way to edit blog posts once they've been posted?
    That was one the one I was most worried about. Editing is enabled, but I've got a sneaking suspicion it's using the time limit set for general posting.

    I agree it's critical that the blogger is free to edit posts without a time restraint. I'll add it as an issue to my growing list of blog related functionality that needs to get resolved.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  9. #7
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Haha, sorry, it seems as though I've opened a whole new can of worms here for you!

    What is the time constraint for editing on general posting?
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  10. #8
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Ah hold on! It seems I've found it.

    I can still edit my post from Sunday so I'm pretty sure you can scratch that off your list.

    Sorry about that. I'll look a bit harder next time.
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  11. #9
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Whew!

    Actually, thinking about it, I guess it's not obvious what to do, so let's cover that for everyone else. You need to hover your mouse over the blog title and a pencil icon appears to the right of it. Click the pencil icon.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  12. #10
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    You can't edit the images/attachments, though?
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