Can I Kill The StoryADay User Blogs?

This post is a house-keeping one for people involved in the StoryADay challenge. I would love to hear comments from past and potential participants as I work to get the site ship-shape for the 2011 Challenge.

The Way It Was

Last year each user could sign up for both a member name and a blog at storyaday.org/membername. Some people used them, some people didn’t. Spammers snapped them up like nobody’s business, which put a huge strain on the sites’ resources and my time.

The good thing about user blogs were:

  • Having a dedicated place to post your Story A Day writing
  • Any posts you made at your StoryADay blog were automatically noted in the Activity Stream, so all members could see that you had posted.

The bad thing about user blogs were:

  • Spammers moved in by the metric ton and registered all kinds of blogs. This put a strain on resources and on my time.
  • A lot of people didn’t use them because they were posting at their own sites instead.
  • If a lot more people sign up this year, the back end of the site is going to need a lot more technical TLC than I am qualified to give it, and my host might shut me down if too many blogs get created.

So the questions are:

  1. Do I stop new members from creating new blogs?
  2. If you already have a StoryADay blog would you care if it went away altogether? (Assuming I give you fair warning and let you export all the content to somewhere else — I would provide instructions and help if this becomes likely)

Please do chime in, in the comments, if you have any thoughts one way or another.

I’ll have more questions about the design and functionality of the site in the weeks to come, but lets start with this one:

To blog, or not to blog?

12 thoughts on “Can I Kill The StoryADay User Blogs?”

  1. hm..? I’m new, and I’m looking forward to checking out this activity stream.

    Also, I assumed I’d be posting my story a day in May on my own free blog.

    Are there examples or an archive from last year in May to see what the activity stream looks like or how everybody finds the stories we are posting each day, and vise versa.

    1. Good points! I’m probably moving StADa to a new web host soon so I want to do that before I open up to new members. I hadn’t thought about the fact that you can’t see the old stuff without logging in.
      I’ll put up some screen shots and update the FAQ this week. I hope to open up registration soon. (Wish me luck!)

  2. Thanks for the comments Mark. I did love the way the blogs put everyone’s writing into the Activity Stream, with out anyone having to remember to do it — for those who did use them. But a lot of people posted elsewhere and just used the Activity Stream anyway.

    The spam issue is interesting. I don’t see much, but I activated a couple of the anti-spam plug-ins. I would recommend doing that (from the plug-ins menu on the left of your dashboard). It’ll at least filter them out a bit.

  3. I guess I’ll be in the minority — I thought the blogs were a critical piece of StoryADay. They provide the mechanism for the members of the community to share what they’re working on. Without the blogs as a part of the community, that sharing may not happen as consistently. If there’s another mechanism for sharing the writing, the blogs may not be necessary.

  4. I’m with Dorla on the idea that though the blogs were cool, they weren’t essential. Having the activity stream is sufficient and because we are looking forward to having more participants, it would take up too much website resources. I am excited about new features to come!

  5. I don’t think the blog is essential. I used it last year because it was there, but I crossposted all of my entries to my regular writer blog. If the blog feature hadn’t existed, I wouldn’t have noticed; I would have just been putting entries up on my regular writing blog. If you decide to kill this feature, I won’t be upset. It was cool, but not essential.

  6. I think you can get rid of them. I’ve already deleted mine. Too many spam comments. Besides, as Amanda said, it’s easy to make a free blog elsewhere.

  7. Just my thoughts… I think you should do away with the blogs. I think it’s important to have the activity stream so we can share tidbits from our progress (similar to Twitter) but I don’t think the blogs are essential. Most of us have our own blogs already and those that don’t, well, it’s free to sign up on WordPress or Blogger. What’s more important is keeping this site functioning well so we can all benefit from the support it offers.

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