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Matt





Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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Location: York-Centre

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:59 pm    Post subject: Blogging Tories Member Bar Reply with quote

I've got to say I'm not a fan. I like to go down the BT frontpage and open all interesting posts in a new tab in firefox. Having two dozen tabs that say "Blogging Tories Member page" gets quite confusing when you're multitasking. I try to brand my page with as much BT things as possible - the weekly referral counter, BTTV, the blogroll, the text "proud member of blogging tories" at the top of all of my posts, etc. Is there perhaps another way to promote BT without having that top member bar?
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is something we are experimenting with. We are tracking the number of clicks on it and if it is not effective it will be removed. It is important to keep in mind that we are not promoting Blogging Tories with this bar. We are promoting our member posts. Pretty much everything we do here is geared towards driving traffic to our members.

Certainly we appreciate the efforts you make to promote Blogging Tories on your blog. It is the collective efforts of our members that makes this site effective for everyone. Others are not pulling their weight. Some people place the blogroll WAY down on their blog so that you have to scroll forever to find it. Others don't show the blogroll at all.

We are considering excluding those who sufficiently promote Blogging Tories on their blog from this Member Bar.

Matt: I can change the code so that the title is the title of the blog entry being displayed. This will solve your tabbing problem in firefox. (DONE)

Thanks for your feedback! Give it a bit of time.

P.S. Another member suggested that the Member Bar was effectively forced advertising on their blog. This is absolutely untrue. The frameset resides on our server and we are framing member content in the frameset. We are advertising our membership's blogs on BT not the other way around.
Matt





Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 192
Reputation: 40.4Reputation: 40.4Reputation: 40.4Reputation: 40.4
votes: 3
Location: York-Centre

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:


We are considering excluding those who sufficiently promote Blogging Tories on their blog from this Member Bar.

[...]Matt: I can change the code so that the title is the title of the blog entry being displayed. This will solve your tabbing problem in firefox. (DONE)


BT sends me more than 90% of my traffic (and that's a conservative estimate) so I don't mind branding my blog with it. Would it also be possible to change the favicon.ico to that of the blog you're linking to (so in my case it would be the splat image instead of the Peace Tower)? Showing the title of the post is a great big step, but I often rely on the icon as well to help me traverse my list of tabs.

Regardless of my attempt at BT branding, do you feel my blogroll is too far down the blog? It's not at the top of the sidebar, but I feel it should come into the view for those reading most of my posts. I can relocate it if you'd like.

And finally, I'd be all for removing the top bar from blogs that comply. It doens't bug me that much to be honest, it was mostly that each tab had the same title and image (which you're working on now).

Anyway, glad to see you're still active in the BT community in some way. I offered Stephen my php skills if you were no longer coding as well as blogging :P
biggie





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the member bar is a good addition.

I don't know enough on coding, but is it possible to have the URL show as the actual URL? I know that I often cut/paste from the URL Bar.

As well, I'm curious if you feel my blogroll is located in a good place, or too far down...
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biggie rection wrote:
I think the member bar is a good addition.

I don't know enough on coding, but is it possible to have the URL show as the actual URL? I know that I often cut/paste from the URL Bar.

As well, I'm curious if you feel my blogroll is located in a good place, or too far down...


You do more than your fair share biggie. You are one of the good guys (most of our members are).
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've changed the code a bit. Now it will show the Member Bar for any blog that hasn't rendered the blogroll 1000 times in the last seven days. Since I only started tracking blogroll renders today it will take most of you a few days to pass that level (small dead animals is the only one that has past it already) after which the Member Bar will no longer show up for traffic we send to you.

I think this is a good way to do it...

1. Those who don't show the blogroll will always have the Member Bar.

2. New blogs that get all of their traffic from BT should have to show it (for people refered to from us) until they build up a better traffic base.

I think it is fair. I haven't discussed with Stephen yet so it may change but that is what is in place now. My php string parsing is a little rusty so it might not work perfectly but I will keep an eye out for bugs.

BTW: Someone posted some "frame busting" code today as a way to get around this. Implementing this code will result in de-listing from the aggregator (fair is fair - if you want to be listed then you must play by the rules).

More feedback is welcome folks. Now is the time to speak up...
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt wrote:
Showing the title of the post is a great big step, but I often rely on the icon as well to help me traverse my list of tabs.


I don't think this is possible but I'll look into it.

Quote:
Regardless of my attempt at BT branding, do you feel my blogroll is too far down the blog? It's not at the top of the sidebar, but I feel it should come into the view for those reading most of my posts. I can relocate it if you'd like.


I look at it like this. If the blogroll is way down on your blog then you should put the BT icon near the top. You do WAY more than enough Matt.

Quote:
Anyway, glad to see you're still active in the BT community in some way. I offered Stephen my php skills if you were no longer coding as well as blogging :P


We might just take you up on that offer if anything substantial comes down the pipes.
Matt





Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 192
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votes: 3
Location: York-Centre

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig, I noticed that your solution to the title issue was to pass a string variable in the URL. In order to get the favicon.ico file correct, you could approach it the same way. For each blog, get the icon file that you display on the BT front page when they post, and pass that as a string as well. You can use the following code to manually set the icon:

Code:
<html>
<head><title>Blog Title</title>
 link rel="shortcut icon" href="http://www.splatto.net/favicon.ico"/
</head>


Put the link rel tag in <>, I had trouble getting it to display right
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good Matt. It may be a day or two before I do it but I will certainly do it.
mr_cheevus





Joined: 13 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sorry. I have tried to see if the bar would prove useful or annoying. The answer is annoying. I like to blog, but framing the content linked to from bloggingtories.ca just frustrates me because I then have to dig for the url of the link in order to blog about it.

The content of the bar does nothing for me. I know what the top posts on the aggregator are because I always have bt open in another tab. If I want to know what is going on in the forums I will open that up in another tab. It is superfluous actually causes me to not want to use bloggingtories.ca as my starting point for blog surfing.

Sorry, but there it is.
biggie





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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votes: 10
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr_cheevus wrote:
I am sorry. I have tried to see if the bar would prove useful or annoying. The answer is annoying. I like to blog, but framing the content linked to from bloggingtories.ca just frustrates me because I then have to dig for the url of the link in order to blog about it.

The content of the bar does nothing for me. I know what the top posts on the aggregator are because I always have bt open in another tab. If I want to know what is going on in the forums I will open that up in another tab. It is superfluous actually causes me to not want to use bloggingtories.ca as my starting point for blog surfing.

Sorry, but there it is.


I agree with the digging for the URL point... I think thats the only annoyance though.

Remember, it is only fellow bloggers who feel this pinch really... With the 200+ hits that come my way every day from BT, the bar on the top is a small price to pay. Since I started monitoring my traffic with Google Analytics in December(I notice the numbers on G-A are significantly lower than on other traffic measuring sites... anyone else notice this?), 33% have come from the Blogging Tories website - and when I count referals from other blogs, mostly due to the blogroll, I would peg that at more like 60%.

Pulling the links can be a bit more work, but I often feel like I don't pull my own weight, and I don't mind having the bar at the top one bit. In the long run, I would say everyone wins; we get even more exposure, and on top of that, so do our friends around the BT.
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 4415
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votes: 36

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr_cheevus wrote:
I am sorry. I have tried to see if the bar would prove useful or annoying. The answer is annoying. I like to blog, but framing the content linked to from bloggingtories.ca just frustrates me because I then have to dig for the url of the link in order to blog about it.

The content of the bar does nothing for me. I know what the top posts on the aggregator are because I always have bt open in another tab. If I want to know what is going on in the forums I will open that up in another tab. It is superfluous actually causes me to not want to use bloggingtories.ca as my starting point for blog surfing.

Sorry, but there it is.


Our traffic is up 20% since implementing it. Which means the traffic we send to our members is also up 20%. I think it is worth the minor inconvenience. We are also thinking about adding some other things to bar (not make it bigger) including the ability to rate the post you are currently reading (out of 5 stars) and then showing the rating on the main BT page.

Your feedback is welcome though. BT is constantly evolving and the menu bar is certainly not set in stone.
biggie





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 1738
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votes: 10
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:


Our traffic is up 20% since implementing it. Which means the traffic we send to our members is also up 20%. I think it is worth the minor inconvenience. We are also thinking about adding some other things to bar (not make it bigger) including the ability to rate the post you are currently reading (out of 5 stars) and then showing the rating on the main BT page.


YES, do that! I'd love to see that.
Stephen





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

any other ideas for the member bar?

I think that a search field (for BT posts) and a "random BT blog" button would be fun.
Len





Joined: 14 Feb 2007
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Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen wrote:
I think that a search field (for BT posts) and a "random BT blog" button would be fun.


Sort of like Blogger has at the top of their blogs. That could be cool.
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