We figured with it being 9/9/9 on our calendar today that would make it a great day to release a new update to our website that we have been working on for the last few months!
Ok, ok, ok... there is nothing special about 9/9/9 (at least not that we know of - lol) but any day we release an update to the website HAS to be a great day, eh!
Ok so if you are reading this blog from the ChristianBlog.Com website you are probably already seeing some of the changes we have made - unless you have never been to ChristianBlog.Com before!
We have done a major revamp of our "Blog" page... from the ground up... with over three weeks of work leading up to today, and over four months worth of R&D to develop and test some of the features!
The first thing you will see is that we have switched back to the "graphical" design of the website. Thanks to our new server we have been able to handle the additional load on our server so we are going to be moving away from the non-graphical design throughout our website and getting back to our nice graphical design!
The second thing we would hope you notice is that the blog page is now ALL ABOUT the Blog and the Blog Author! We have remove all website navigation and none-related stuff on the right-side of the blog page - with the exception of advertisements - so we can help visit know more about the Blog Authors and maybe not so much about the website itself. Primary navigation is still at the top of the website, of course!
We have kept all the normal feature: blog tracking, reporting, printing, backlinks, permalinks, views, category, similar blogs, blog tags, voting, and of course the share feature! However we have now moved all of that information to the bottom of the blog - including the blog author usersname and posted date/time - so that we can help blog readers focus on the blog message itself and not a bunch of non-pertinent data.
We have also gone with a new design for Blog Comments! No longer are Blog Comments stacked right on top of each other. We have placed each Blog Comments in its own little box - which we think makes reading Blog Comments a million times easier!
We have also kept the "add a comment" right where it belongs - on the bottom of the blog entry, along with the "receive email notification" and "post a twitter message" feature (for those of you with access to them).
Interestingly we have placed a "minimum word limit" on all Blog Comments. We figure if folks cannot write at least 10 words, whatever they were thinking of saying probably was not worth saying in the first place. So, take a little time and try to write out at least 10 words :-d
The Big New Feature:
Ok everybody here is where it gets really fun!
We have now added the ability for Blog Comments to have direct "replies" to each comment!
If you are logged into ChristianBlog.Com, at the bottom of each Blog Comment will be a gray bar with two or maybe three options!
The first one is "Reply To This Comment" - and this is the big new feature!
When you click on the "Reply To This Comment" link a form will drop-down where you can write a REPLY to the specific Blog Comment -- Not the Blog itself, but the Comment!!
This is a great way to keep things from getting off-topic, and to keep from having to use the dreaded "quote bbcode" which we know most of you hate or just do not use!
We know this new feature (which we call "Comment Reply" or "Blog Reply") is going to take some getting use to, so we invite you to play around with it within this blog entry!
The second feature you will see in the gray bar, and on the right side, is the standard "Report This Comment". This works identical to the rest of the ChristianBlog.Com Reporting System. If you feel something that has been posted is in violation of our Global Policies we request you submit a Report so we can investigate the matter!
Now the third feature you may see is if somebody has posted a "Comment Reply" to a given Blog Comment! If there is a Comment Reply than you will see a third option which says "Expand To View xyz Replies".
When you click on the "Expand To View xyz Replies" link, a drop-down will appear with all of the Comment Replies that have been posted for the given Blog Comment!
At the bottom of each Blog Reply will be a link that says "Reply To This Comment" and when you click on it a drop-down form will present itself so that you can quickly reply to the Blog Comment -- please note that this Reply-Form does not directly add a reply underneath the given Comment Reply. In the future we may add the ability to have this feature, but for now we would like everybody to use to how this new system works, without further complicating everything.
Ok that about explains our big new feature. This is probably a rather poor explanation of this new feature, so just start playing around with it (preferably in this blog so you don't bother others) and we know most of you will quickly pick it up!
As always we highly value feedback from our members, especially when we push out such a major new feature as we have today!
So if you have a question about any of the changes please share them and we (or somebody else) will try our best to answer it.
Likewise, if you encounter something that does not seem to be working, let us know and we will look into the matter.
I think I get it. And I have to say I do so love the space between each and every comment, makes it so much easier to read.
But I am sad that I must have a minimum of ten words in my reply. Not being one to be lost for words, there are times when I am so amazed at a blog that all i want to say is AMEN, for there are times when I think to add anything else takes away from the beauty of the particular blog.
Im sure though that with another visit to the blarney stone I will be able to find something else to add.
I really like this layout, Thank you!
Thanks for always improving Christianblog. I am personally happy about the changes and the effort that go with them. I just noticed that my blogs no longer appear on the new blog or recent blog feature. I recently wrote one, and I did not see it appear on the section for new blogs. I'm wondering why? I do not know if I have done something wrong or what? I hope you can enlighten me. Thanks.
Excellent job! Like all changes, it will take time to get used to this new stuff, but in the end it will be worth it. These new boxes are super sharp and are a much greater blessing to look at.
Thanks for all the cool stuff and for continuing to make this site the very best it can be.
What's in store for 10/10 and 11/11? LOL
John, you just keep on stay ahead of the game.
I see that when a reply to a comment is added, the original blog writer receives an e-mail notice. I assume that the writer or the comment receiving the reply does as well. EXCELLENT! Otherwise they would be like the tree falling in the woods when no one was around to hear it.
I hope as people read through the blogs that they will also read the replies to comments. Often they will also have relevance to the blog itself, with a different slant.
I'm mixed on whether the replies should be counted as blog comments. The original, in most cases, would have generated the reply as well as the original comment. Justathought.
I also really like the new format on comments. Neat, clean and easy to follow.
This is John and like everyone else I love the individual boxes for each comment and reply to comment. Having the comments in blue back round and the reply to comments in white back round is a great idea and makes it easy to distinguish one from the other.
As for the 10 word limit - well I have to agree with Bethy on that one - but I'll get used to it - maybe she'll loan me her blarney stone.
John, you did it again! Nice! I agree that this is much easier to read and it's such a nice feature to be able to comment on a specific comment. I have noticed that we have a tendency to forget the original blog's thought/point.
I have noticed though that we not longer have the fun little faces and BBC codes that we use to have. Are they gone forever, or was that a mistake? For what it's worth, I liked them. They seem to help get across the feeling you have at the time.
By the way, I also kind of liked having the "Website Navigation bar" on the side of each blog as I use to go to the "Recent Blog Entries" rather than "Home". Now I have to go to the home page and then click on "Recent Blog Entries". (I know, just another step is all.)
Good stuff John, I think this new look is super. I've always preferred the black text on white because it is just much easier to read. Thanks again for the work and you deserve a big hand - - in appreciation of all your labour and the constant improvements you've brought to CB! Come to think of it... a few more wouldn't hurt -
I have made a couple of changes to the way that Blog Comment Replies are displayed.
Rather than having them hidden by default I have switched it over to them being displayed by default.
This is an experimental change to see how the ChristianBlog.Com Community prefers this method over the previous method, so please provide feedback so that I can have an idea of which everybody likes better.
John B. Abela