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You might have noticed that after a rather large pile of consideration about how I could best advertise edublogs.org through each edublog… I ended up with the only really feasible option being the little grey bar you’ll now find at the top of your blog. I’ve tried to keep it as innocuous as possible and am very keen on feedback as to how I can make it as low on the annoying stakes as I can so but what with my realtively simple design skills I’m very up for feedback, so fire away!

The other options (badges, link manager stuff, sidebars) all turned out too painful and inflexible in the end and I really do want to (and see the need to) grow edublogs.org to get support and make good things happen and this is one of the best ways I can think of doing it. Let me know if it messes up your theme too much and I’ll see what I can do.

On a brighter note, you can now simply search the whole of edublogs.org using the google search facility in the sidebar… so happy surfing and re-finding those posts you can only remember 2 words from :)

About James

James Farmer lives in Melbourne, Australia and spends most of his days chained to a computer while being harassed by tiny pixies insisting that he try to improve edublogs.

13 Comments

  1. I think a much more low key notice at the very bottom would be better. Edublogs will keep growing to the extent that people find it a useful service – it doesn’t need this kind of in-your-face branding. In fact, the URL itself may already be all the branding you need.

    My feeling is that when sub-communities start forming on edublogs (as hopefully will happen), those who participate in them may want to add brands of this sort to their blogs, while others may want to continue without explicit connection to communities.

    So I suggest that you make edublogs branding optional, and work towards facilitating sub-community branding. Let people who want to prominently advertise the fact that they belong to edublogs or to some sub-community do so.

    If you do keep the bar, please try and make it flush with the top of the window for all themes. For some it takes up a whole lot of space at the top. On my and Kevin’s blog (knowledge2go.edublogs.org) it looks particularly messy.

  2. Hi Martin,

    Thanks for the heads up on the theme problems… I’ll try and sort all of these out today.

    I agree that this is certainly less than optimal and would dearly *love* to have a simple option built into the backend which allowed you to select if and how you wanted to advertise edublogs and other communities, this is, to be honest, a result of lack of technical aptitude! As soon as I can get some help / figure out how to do it better I will do.

    In the meantime I might see how / if this impacts of sign-ups, use and how many people it annoys / the negative impacts of it on users. I’ll probably do a poll in a few weeks too.

    So it’s definitely not a definite… thanks for sharing your opinion.

    • James
  3. Alrighty,

    Have gone through all the themes and when I can’t fix ’em have either used an alternative or just got rid of it.

    Thought of another problem with the ‘optional’ thing… it’s almost impossible with themes at the moment.

    What I need is some sort of plugin for the sidebar which gives a range of ‘How to Promote’ badges and allows additions for sub-communities… will see if I can persuade someone to write it.

    Also, at the moment I figure that probably the best thing to do is to try different solutions to this, see how they go down / what people think… do some polls down the line and then decide, much better than just pontificating.

    More ideas / feedback is very welcome!

    • James
  4. I think the bottom would work better – or on the left / right w/ the comments. The top looks too much like it’s not part of the site. I’ve seen a few templates where it looks quite goofy on the top.

    My only concern for the advertisement is that it would like back to something that would take the student to a real add, or somthing that’s not appropriate. On blogger, for example the “Next blog” feature might take you to a blog that’s not appropriate for a 6th grader. I’d love to use this for my classes, but the grey bar and search feature raises the concern – is this safe for kids? What’s preventing someone from using this as a tool to reach kids. Nothing, of course, but the isolation of individual blogs made it safe. I knew that my kids wouldn’t see anything but my blog. Will there be any way to make sure that blogs are, in fact, blogs created by educational professionals?

    Ok – that’s my adminstator speaking through me. I’m not quite so worried about it, but I supposed it’s a valid concern that is raised with the link back to the home page.

    • Jeff
  5. Hi Jeff… yeh you’re probably right.

    Don’t worry about the kids though, there’s no way I’d put this on http://learnerblogs.org

    In terms of edublogs being edu professionals blogs I do a ‘moderate’ filtering of blogs and new content so as long as things don’t *really* kick off I’m pretty in control of that. Same for uniblogs / learnerblogs.

    In fact, I’ve just added ‘recent posts’ to http://learnerblogs.org and am not really sure if it’s a good idea or not. I like the idea of some interconnectiveness but feel, similarly to you, that the isolation of individual blogs is a kinda safety feature.

    • James
  6. Thanks James. I think that’s great. Oh, and I think this will *really* kick off. ;) It’s fantastic. My wife teaches Blogging workshops to Librarians and Teachers here in upstate New York, and this was a hit. :)

    Anyway – it sounds just as secure as one could expect. I think a real turn-off would be the idea of “next blog” if someone goes to they blog awards or to the main page and then find their way to a goofy site then that’s one thing, but ending up there from a single click is more of an issue. Thanks again.

    • Jeff
  7. TBH, I didn’t pay any attention to the little grey bar at the top. I mean, I knew it was there, but it just didn’t bother me. Since students really have no business here, I don’t see the problem. Maybe I’m just blind.

    • daughter9moons2001
  8. > Since students really have no business here,

    They see it when they view your blog, don’t they? A good number of the blogs I’ve seen are written for a student audience.

    • Jeff
  9. No *next blog* – ever! Promise :D

    • James
  10. > A good number of the blogs I’ve seen are written for a student audience.

    Come to think of it, I had noticed that. I thought those were for student teachers or people interested in becoming teachers. Most of my students have no internet access except at school.

  11. I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum – I work at a virtual charter school and all of my kids have internet acccess … but no school! So, we’re always looking for new ways to connect with kids, but have some pretty strict guidelines on how we can use other sites as we the teacher is not in the room, monitoring student activity. That’s why edublogs / learnerblogs is ideal. That’s why I’m quite pleased to hear “next blog” won’t ever be there. Thanks ;)

    • Jeff
  12. Am I missing something, or is there no way to moderate comments before they are posted? Without that sort of safety net, my school district would never approve of this idea.

    • Chris
  13. Yes, in options>discussion

    • James

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