Nov

15

About This Renovation. And Advertising.

Written by

Dear readers,

As you may have noticed over the weekend, Bwog has received several much-needed upgrades to its publishing software. The renovations will allow us more flexibility in the site’s configuration as well as increase Bwog’s compatibility with third-party applications and search engines. Things you’ll particularly notice: Google Reader and RSS feeds will no longer have strange characters; comment threads will now be nested (fear not, the “track comments” button will return soon); and the anti-spam filter is no longer a test for color-blindness.

We are also excited to announce the introduction of advertising on Bwog. With more than 2.5 million pageviews from its core of regular visitors each month, Bwog is an excellent way to get your message to the Columbia community, and we would be glad to help you make that happen. You can contact us at [email protected] for more information, but otherwise, you can see a screenshot of the new ad setup after the jump.

Sincerely,

The Bwog Staff

bwog-ads-mockup

For those of you without eagle eyes, the ads are above the “Events” and “About Us” boxes.

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30 Comments

  1. i like it  

    I think it's silly to require an email cuz it's just one more pointless thing i've gotta invent here, but all in all, the changes seem like good ones

    • Advice  

      You don't have to provide *your* email address.
      Recommended list:
      [email protected]
      [email protected]
      [email protected]

    • hey bwog  

      My RSS feed no longer displays strange characters when reading Bwog. It no longer displays ANY characters, because FeedDemon (which is powered by Google Reader) and Chrome won't load it.

      Seriously, this has to be fixed!

  2. i hate it  

    can we go bakc ot the old one

  3. How Long  

    Until we get HAXXOR YOUR P3n15! ads?

  4. ...  

    One small criticism: what happened to tags? Those were hilarious.

  5. ...

    the new comment system sucks. and seriously, the old antispam filter was an enlightened implementation as opposed to inferior to best practice. it wasn't annoying to deal with and it stopped spam. just because everybody else uses recaptcha doesn't mean it's actually better. in fact, it's a right pain in the ass.

    finally, what happened to "our favorite comments"? that was a fun game. if you don't bring it back, i might just have to march into kent and demand a refund. sure, they have nothing to do with it, but it was a key part of the columbia experience, which now feels empty and hollow.

    ...and what's with all these people using my pseudonym? i step out for five minutes and everything goes to hell. christ.

  6. A few things  

    1. There should be a more visually pleasing way to separate comments. The previous design, though flawed, had large spaces between which made it easier to tell when one comment ended and another began. A simple rectangle around individual comments should do the trick, though there are other ways to do this. Gothamist (http://gothamist.com/2009/11/15/house_cat_terrorizes_family_in_dram.php#comments) has a nice color scheme.

    2. This design plays well with Google Reader, way better than the last one did. One thing though: the image in "Something's Missing" (http://bwog.net/2009/11/14/somethings-missing) is larger than the view area; while it may auto-resize on the website itself, you might want to fix it for RSS feeds.

    3. I think anonymous comments, inappropriate as they sometimes are, do add something to Bwog posts. It would be nice if we could still have the option of commenting anonymously, alongside an option to comment with some sort of credibility (perhaps with a Facebook log-in), instead of the weird middle-ground that's currently being taken with the required (but not verified!) email address that is needed at the moment. SF Curbed does a good job of this, allowing both Facebook log-in and anonymous commenting, and greys out the anonymous comments to incentivize people with something important to say to log in so their comment doesn't get lost: http://sf.curbed.com/archives/2009/11/13/comment_of_the_day.php#reader_comments . I am not at all well-versed in the area of blog publishing software, so I don't even know if it's possible to adopt a system like that, but I think it fits well with a college blog, since most of us have Facebook accounts.

    4. Though I hate almost everything about IvyGate (http://www.ivygateblog.com/) and have stopped reading it because it's just so bad, one feature I do enjoy is the "Recent Comments". When Bwog's being slow on content, sometimes I check the comments on recent posts to see if anyone has added anything interesting to the discussion; adding this feature would be really helpful for other people like me who like to keep tabs on who's commenting on what.

    Well this was a pretty long-winded and not-well-organized post. Hope it helps.

    PS: I think the audio captchas are hilarious.

  7. track button  

    where is the track button? that thing was so useful

  8. annnnd whaaaaa?  

    A few things:
    1) Why the hell do you need my email? If you're gonna do that, at least let me have a log-in or something so I don't have to re-type my email every damned time I comment. But seriously, why do you need it?
    2) reCAPTCHA is death. At least you guys have made it big enough that it isn't complete death, but for the most part, it can take up to 5 tries (or refreshes) until you get the goddamn thing right. Give me an option: colorblind, or recaptcha. One of the things that made bwog comments great was that it was pretty much stream of consciousness: type a name, type a comment, type a color, done. Now there is thought involved: type a name, type the email that you don't care if bwog spams, figure out what "website" means, type the comment, then figure out that goddamn recaptcha.
    3) Bring tags back
    4) Bring "favorite comments" back
    5) "Website" is pretty damned uninformative. Do you want us to put our website there? Or a link? What the hell?

  9. the guy from before  

    Has the ship sailed on the p3n15 haxxing? Just checking since I haven't seen anything more about it.

  10. Lara

    I think the updates are great. Yay for switching to WordPress! Good choice.

    Instead of the CAPTCHA you may want to consider just using the Akismet plugin that's already installed in WP. This way, no captcha (colorblind or not) is required. It's truly a great and sound service as well.

  11. maybe  

    Is there some other way to prevent spam? I'm terrible at CAPTCHA. Maybe you could have "what shape is this?" Easier than looking at scribbly words and colorblind friendly.

  12. sad  

    I miss Our Favorite Comments :(

  13. Harmony Hunter  

    Sure, this new comment system is good and stuff, but the important thing is - where's Harmony? I've been looking everywhere for it? Is it on 125th? I'm so confused.

  14. Hooah  

    Agree with so much:
    -Favorite comments gone? WTF.
    -Track button now.
    -Bring back the old spam blocker but update it to block the Harmony Hunter too.
    -Bring back the crown for on campus posters!

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