LonghornBlogs.com Admin

Notes from the Community Leader

Site Upgraded to .Text 0.95

Well, it's been a wild and crazy night, but the site upgrade is complete. We're now running .Text 0.95, and I discussed the whole process here. I will instead dedicate this post to what this means to you.

Blog Stats
You should notice two new columns in the BlogAdmin section, “Web Views” and “Agg Views” Web Views are the number of times your post was viewed in a browser. Agg Views are the number of times that your post as viewed in an aggregator. The latter is courtesy of a 1x1 image appended to the end of each post in your RSS feed. You you'll get a better idea of just how much exposure you're getting.

Post Editing
As Rob Releya and others will attest, FreeTextBox is a real pain in the butt when posting XAML/HTML. If you try to edit the post, there was a bug that unencoded the <'s and >'s. Well, I downloaded the source, and recompiled using the fix discussed here. I have made this build, compiled with version 1.1 of the .NET Framework, available here.

Accidental Navigation
Another big pain of .Text was that you'd lose your post if you accidentally navigated away from the page. This revision includes some nifty javascript that fires every time you try to navigate away from the Post Add/Edit page. This is my personal favorite, as I've lost many a good post due to fat-fingering on my part.

Friendly Post Names
Under the “Advanced Options” panel, you can now create a friendly page name for your post, like “AllAboutMe.aspx” or something like that.

Aggregation Options
There are tons of new aggregation options in the “Advanced Options” section. See this link for more details (note it has a friendly name ;-) ) These options will allow you to, among other things, post things to your own blog without them showing up on the main page. This means you can make LonghornBlogs.com your personal blog home as well, while maintaining the Longhorn-Only quality that the mainfeed has enjoyed thus far. You can also have only an excerpt of your post show up on the Main Feed, with the rest of the post showing up in your own blog home page.

Blogger Grouping
While preventing cool post deletion is my personal fav, this feature will be the most exciting for the site. Now, bloggers can be grouped into categories, using a nifty little bitwise math field that he added to the blog_Config table. I will be making heavy use of this in my next major upgrade, due out sometime next week. Should be fun.

Image Repair
Because some of the images were pulling from relative URLs, I was having issues with some pages not loading the images properly. I solved this by offloading the images to a separate image server. This should help me keep better track of site stats. A good portion of our hits are image hits, and I'd like to get some more realistic numbers.

Feedback Links
Thanks to Steven Schofield, the aggregate pages (yes I said pages, more on that next week) now have links to the Feedback section of each post. Now you can see how many comments a post has, right from the home page. Thanks Steven, this is an awesome enhancement (no recompile required).

I know there is more I haven't thought of, but oh well. Anyways, it's a new year, a new blog engine... and a new opereating system. So what are you waiting for.... go nuts!