Hi everyone and welcome to the new BFM. We have migrated the site from Soapblox to WordPress, and we’re basically starting over here. It’s a very exciting time for me personally because WordPress is a very powerful and empowering piece of software. BFM was born on WordPress, and we are happy to come home to our favorite blogging software.
That being said, let me run through some of the things you can expect with this migration …
The transition is not a “true” migration. It’s primarily a platform change. The Soapblox content is read-only archived at www.bloggingformichigan.com/archives. I had originally wanted to migrate everything over but Soap isn’t open source and I couldn’t get my hands on the database. We were excited to move to WordPress and I made the decision to move forward with improving the site rather than investing more time in trying to migrate archives. We will make the archives as user friendly as possible but for the most part that material is accessed via search engine results anyway. There’s a link in the upper left corner of the site so that users can visit our archives at any time.
User accounts will be migrated over time. If you have not received an email welcoming you to BFM WordPress, then you can go ahead and register for a new account. It doesn’t cost you a thing, but it has tons of street value.
Diaries are now posts or pages. For the most part this is just a matter of semantics. Soapblox refers to content as ‘diaries.’ We had user diaries and front page diaries. On WordPress we have pages and posts. Posts are what you will use most of the time. On BFM’s version of WordPress we’ve grouped all of our posts into a category called “articles,” primarily for purposes of site navigation. Check out our posts on blogging for more information on how to use WordPress and our cool new features.
Registration is not required for commenting. Oy, the trolls. Nevertheless we felt that it was time to open the playground up a little. We have some anti-spam mechanisms in place, and we have user moderation in the form of like / dislike voting. If enough people like a comment it will be highlighted in a different color. If enough people dislike a comment it will be hidden and only accessible by clicking on a link. It’s similar to YouTube style community moderation.
Images and other files can be uploaded with posts. Now when you want to add a picture or a pdf to your post, you can do so directly from the blogging interface. Unlike commenting, you will need to register and sign in if you’d like to blog. The new system also includes a feature called Zemanta which offers suggestions on pictures and external links, based on the content of your posts. We have some tutorials on how to use these features in our blogging category of posts. As always please be mindful of copyright and usage restrictions; obviously we won’t intentionally participate in the violation of copyright.
Mega awesome 3.0 design. Let’s be honest, BFM 3.0 has big fat sidebars. I like this. It gives us room to play. However you might find it irritating. If you find that our design doesn’t work for you, you might be interested in our vanilla site. You can access this design here or at any time from the link in the upper left corner of the site. Fair warning: It’s a very plain site, not very pretty, and you won’t see much other than articles.
We have many other features planned to roll out this year, and we’ll announce them as they come up.
As always, please chime in, leave your feedback & questions in the comments.