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Site relaunch (4)

Corrente is almost absurdly rich in authoring tools, but from history and the nature of open source, the user experience of those tools isn't necessarily consistent for writers or for readers. I've tried to address that with the coming upgrade -- and also to toss in a few more kitchen sinks! So herewith:


The green arrows point to features that authors use when they are creating content. The blue arrows point to features that readers can use (and which I hope will connect writers to readers, since that's one thing all writers want, after all). Some exist today, other are new, all have been improved in one way or another.

Clockwise from the top:

User help: Because we will now have more content types (incident reports, for example), each type is now documented for users.

Bible links: I'm not a believer, but that doesn't mean that I can't cite scripture for my own purposes, not only because the King James Version is a foundational text for English today, but to epater les Christianists.

Tweet URLs: Paste in a tweet URL, get the full tweet, and permanently archived at Corrente. (At twitter, tweets disappear from public access in a few months)

Footnotes: Enter text like [fn]This is a footnote[/fn] , and the site will automagically add the footnote numbers, move the text to the bottom of the post, and create the two-way link between text and note.

URls: Paste in a URL, and the site will turn it into a link, and shorten it so a long link doesn't break the page layout. (Personally, I believe that all links should be intergrated into the exposition using HTML A tags, but not everybody does, so....)

Up rating: People can say they especially like a post. (All posts, of course, are presumed to meet a baseline of excellence, which is why everything is front-paged. There's no way to say "thumbs down." This is not Kos, gamed by gangs of downrating enforcers.

Social media sharing: Lots more of it, consistently formatted, and including the newer Pinterest and Tumbler, as well as the stalwarts twitter and Faceborg.

Personal donation link: This is a reincarnation of the existing "Buy me a beer" link. I always intended this to be for everyone, but ran into an implementation problem. In the new site, I've fixed it. (People don't have to accept donations, but and they can direct the donation where they want, based on their user profiles.)

Subcription: Readers can now subscribe to a post, an author, or a content type (like all blogs).

Other functionality: Printing, messaging, bookmarking, marking as spam, etc.

NOTE If you want to play around with the post from the screen shot, here's the link.

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athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

btw, how does the groups thing work?

Submitted by lambert on

I was going to abolish it. I could be argued out of that if you had something in mind, though.

Really, what it is, is a way for a "group" of users to only see each other's posts. But that doesn't seem to go anywhere really, and if there is a requirement for private communication, Corrente Mail can do that. Plantidotes roll along beauitfully without any extra apparatus, so....

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

or argument for it, but I can see one use it might fulfill.

For bloggers (diarists) like myself, it might be a good idea. With the exception of posting weekly to biweekly music videos, probably a "pet" or dog diary occasionally, I'm someone who writes on relatively "narrow" range of topics, which probably get a bit "boring" for some folks. And honestly, that won't change after the Fiscal Cliff, Grand Bargain, whatever. My background makes these topics the ones that I'm naturally interested in.

The formation of groups would probably make me a bit more comfortable. IOW, it's a bit worrisome to continue posting on such a narrow topic as "the social safety net," in regard to posting it for the entire Correntian community.

I wouldn't have a bit less reluctance to continue posting Social Security diaries, if "group" posting was available, since I would know that the only folks who would be "exposed to it," would be those who would want to be.

Now, I don't know if that's the reason that "groups" are usually established, but I'd imagine that it's for a reason like that.

Anyway, I'm perfectly happy with the opportunity to post here, period. But sometimes I worry that for folks without the same interest level that I have in the social programs, it may be getting "a little aggravating."

But, of course, I would hope that groups are "open to everyone." Certainly I'm not into restricting sharing thoughts, in any way.

Just my two cents. :)

Submitted by hipparchia on

if you're a single issue blogger, then there's a good chance you're also an expert on your issue and the rest of us could learn a lot from you. segregating yourself off into a group means that the people who come here for plantidotes or lo-fi blogging or mmt or [fill-in-the-blank] likely won't stumble across the information you have at your fingertips.

write to your heart's content, i say, and publish it to the front page where everybody can see it. if anyone is bored by your subject matter, they can just skip to the next post.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

and your point is well-taken.

To some extent, I see what you mean that things sort themselves out. So, I guess until either Lambert or bunches of regulars (or irregulars) start howling, it shouldn't be an issue.

As you pointed out, people can (and I'm sure do) just skip posts that don't interest them.

See, I'm not really that familiar with "blogging," so truthfully, I'm not certain how the groups even function. IOW, I don't know if you can post a blog to a group, and then post it to the "commons." Or, does posting to a group, preclude the option of posting to the front page? [Or just render it useless, to use a group, if you post to the front page at the same time.]

Really, no more than I know, I probably should have "keep my mouth shut." LOL!

I do like the Corrente mail feature, now that I realize there is one. :)

Submitted by hipparchia on

I don't know if you can post a blog to a group, and then post it to the "commons."

sure, you can post the same top post in both places, but whatever discussion happens in comments on the private post is also not part of the commons. in some cases that's not a loss :) but, with a few exceptions, pretty much everything that's part of a community blog ought to be available to the entire community.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

She wants the community to grow?
But doesn't want to muddy up the front page with LOLcats and stuff? Or whatever other stuff she finds interesting?
(I know that's how I feel. Not that I literally like LOL cats most of the time.)

Like, I wanted to post this earlier:

(TRIGGER WARNING, do not click if you're Jewish or otherwise traumatized by fake human or even animal carnage)

...but I didn't want to detract from the overall macro blog theme.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

You'd be one of the first folks (And lambert, and Hugh) I'd add to my group. But I might say something there that could be used against me by the Other Team. And while I could survive that to fight another day, it would be unpleasant.

There are malevolent lurkers/posters here. Any steps we can take to protect ourselves from them is a good thing.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

from my experience (relatively brief), unlike some blogging communities where there's quite a bit of, let's say, "tension" between "longtime" members and "newer" members of the Community--I can honestly say that I haven't seen that here.

And that's wonderful! :)

Seriously, I don't think anyone here need's a group, for that reason. But, I've observed places where the Community was consumed by squabbles between the old and the new. Eventually, those blogs will fail, IMO.

Anway, it's great to see you jump in, and so enthusiastic and invovled. Believe you'll see that while there are "disagreements" over issues (which is how it should be), they're basically issues-based, not personal or ad hominem-based.

Personally, I'd probably try out "group blogging" if it becomes available, but can easily function without it. Won't miss it, since I've never used this function anyway.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

I really would guess than lambert has been a mod/admin over/at at a few forums over the years. And has learned a LOT from those experiences.

Lam really really really seems to understand, in a humble way, what it takes to grow an internet community.

I was 15 when I first joined a chatroom online, back when AOL was so dooshy it was unreal. That was 20 years ago (WOW!!).

I'm not really part of the facebook generation. I'm part of the "NEVER EVER PUT YOUR REAL NAME AND LOCATION ONLINE BECAUSE YOU WILL BE KILLED BY A SERIAL KILLER"" generation.

Submitted by hipparchia on

you can always get your own blog.

i think the nonviolence discussion lambert mentions should have been public instead of private, but lambert does all the hard work around here, including curating the trolls, so his establishing a troll-free space for a discussion that 1. he translated into his rl activism and 2. i hope he will someday translate into his writing here was probably warranted.

additionally, also being a child of the bbs/usenet age, i can relate to wanting to use your blogging to springboard your rl activism, where you might indeed end up revealing your rl identity but still need to keep it separate from your online identity. mostly, i don't mind whatever money or time or writing i might donate to corrente being used to support something like that.

but just plain mooching off of all the writers, commenters and peoplewholurkbutdonatemoney so that you can have your own private discussion group to which only a few select participants are invited? no.

and no, i wasn't complaining about people cluttering up the front page with lolcats in my earlier comment. i was obliquely suggesting that alexa should not worry about cluttering up the front page with posts on social insurance and social policy.

Submitted by lambert on

... and all good writing is good regardless of topic. So, so-called narrow topics don't bug me. I figure people can always learn.

NOTE Granted, "good" can seem pretty elastic, but once you define "good" as meaning "reasonably free of bullshit," vast swaths of our political discourse simply disappear.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

As long as nobody lies about the fact that said groups exist. I think it (groups) might be necessary almost. WE actually are playing 11 dimensional chess. I'd like to open up a lot more to some of yáll. But no, not all lurkers/posters are to trusted. There's still the issue of "NOTHING on the internet is EVER guaranteed to be private", but I'm ok with that.

Please don't abolish the groups thing. It sounds easier than just using PM/email.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

sort of cool to me, also.

The Corrente mail is neat, if you're looking to communicate with someone in private. Maybe that would be an option for you to consider.

I've noticed the Group option, but didn't understand what it really was all about. Sounds like an organizational tool, in a way.

But, again, the mail option works well. And it even gives the option of an email "alert."

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

Hope you have a nice trip!


Submitted by lambert on

.... that on the whole the negatives outweigh the positives.

I did, in fact, set up a private forum where several of us did research and thinking on non-violence and we felt (since it was a very volatile issue at the time) that it would be best to do it in private. I'll write something about this in the near future, and it did have a good outcome, but the effect for me and the blog was that I put immense amounts of energy into work that were not visible in any way; I ended up doing a good deal of writing that never showed up anywhere. I just don't think that' s a good practice for a blog of this scale. If we were ten times as large -- which would be great -- maybe, but not at the size that we are. I don't want a blog of a few silo-ed groups. Also too, if there's no writing there are no hits and if there are no hits than there are not readers and so what is the point? So the work needs to be public.