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Blog Categories

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,899
Thanks: 179
Fixes: 4
Registered: 04-04-2007

Blog Categories

As part of the reskin we did of the Community site we restructured the way the blogs work, merging them into one.
The idea was to allow us to more intelligently present the blogs for people to read.  This works on categorisation.
Check out the image attached.    The area circled in green is what we call 'announcements'.  Anything we categorise as an announcement will remain in this space.  Orange is 'Tech News'.  This we've relegated from the main strip to being a separate section so that it doesn't get in the way of PlusNet news/posts.
Now, the highlighted in purple is were we are running into trouble.  At the moment, anything we categorise as being 'PlusNet News' appears here.  However, that means that anything we don't consider to be news (the Festive Faults as an example) won't appear on the front page.
This presents us with a challenge:  How do we get visibility of all of the posts that we don't want to call 'PlusNet news'?  It gets worse when you add the End of Days into the equation as their frequency and current placement within the PlusNet news category means they very quickly push any other content out of view. 
In fact, because we appear to be producing so much blog content (that we are reasonably happy with publishing) that having everything on the front page like a normal blog just doesn't work.
Our current theory is that we need to develop the categories to allow people to browse the content better.  Like on the beebs news page, categories effectively direct interested readers to the content. 
Our categories are currently a mess due to how we used to use them as tags.  The upgrade to a more recent version of Wordpress has given us tagging functionality so I've been able to begin to  clean this up, but it's apparent that we need to review the categories to allow people to find posts they'd be interested in.
Here was my first stab as a category/subcategory list:
CategorySubCategoryNotes
NewsAnnouncements Appears in announcements section
General NewsAppears on front page news section
New FeaturesAppears on front page news section
Residential ProductsAppears on front page news section
Business ProductsAppears on front page news section
Industry and Technology NewsAppears in the Tech News section
New FeaturesAppears on front page news section
Inside PlusNetEnd of Day ReportsVisible somewhere on the front page
Incident ReportsReports of when we blow something up
Life In PlusnetGeneral posts about working here.
Customer Satisfaction ReportsUpdates on our monthly customer sat results.
Traffic ManagementSpecific category for Tommos pots.
Guides and TutorialsHuhTo cover things like this post
Web TechnologyInnovation and the InternetCovers the posts by Dean/Matt/Dan
CodingTechie/geeky posts from our developers
Web DesignTechie/geeky posts from our web designers
Huh?more techie categories as necessary

This gives us 4 top level categories, with sub categories if people want them.
So, what do people think to that idea?  Would you be able to browse those categories and find what you were interested in?
Each category and subcategory can be bookmarked/subscribed to with RSS/atom feeds so if you are only interested in one after, or some of the areas you could control that.  We'd also allow a 'subscribe to all' feed as well.

9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,372
Thanks: 629
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Blog Categories

Guides and Tutorials - would this be a good slot to integrate all the tutorials on Usertools? Many of those need some reviewing!
How have you got it in mind to present these categories? I quite like the way Google Reader shows you one line for each post which expands when you click on it - just showing the first paragraph or so with a link to the full post. Perhaps four boxes with the latest post in each expanded by default and the latest 8 or ten listed.
I also think there is a case for treating regular posts such as EOD specially so that only the latest is shown with an easy link to get to the full list of EODs.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,899
Thanks: 179
Fixes: 4
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Blog Categories

Guides and Tutorials would be a holding category for any support like blog posts, until we got the customer driven support pages created.  it could then lead to a home page for that sort of thing?
We aren't sure about presentation yet.  They exist right now on the right, albiet in their untidied categories.  HOwever, these don't really jump out as a navigation element.  We could put it on the left as a nav menus, which when you click in opens up subcategories.
All to be explored really!
snozboz
Grafter
Posts: 384
Thanks: 2
Registered: 27-07-2007

Re: Blog Categories

Re your categorisation heirachy, "Industry and Technology News" sticks out as possibly not fitting in with the rest that is more plusnet centric.
I think I'd want to see different sections & prioritised thus:
a) single line links to active & most recent announcements and news of any sort from PlusNet,
b) the most recent EOD's first para and link to listing of old EODs,
c) and first paragraphs of more in-depth articles like Industry news, Coding, Web design, etc.
A thought: why not use the categorisation used in the forums?  We're familiar with it, and it would help new users of the site too.
BBFN
Martin
ChrisL
Grafter
Posts: 733
Thanks: 2
Registered: 13-12-2007

Re: Blog Categories

The BBC beta works with "widgets" so the user can choose which categories regularly appear on the home page. Any chance of doing something like this?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Blog Categories

*thump*
^^  That was the sound of Colin hitting the floor Smiley
B.
N/A

Re: Blog Categories

I would profess a dislike for news which isn't new.
If there isn't something thats less than x days old, the latest news should not be there - the space could be better used by other content IMO.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,899
Thanks: 179
Fixes: 4
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Blog Categories

Chris, one of our web designers is playing with some ideas.  Once he's got something he's happy with, I'll show you guys Cheesy
ChrisL
Grafter
Posts: 733
Thanks: 2
Registered: 13-12-2007

Re: Blog Categories

Hope I didn't kick this work into a deep pit!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,264
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Blog Categories

Nah, he's been off ill unfortunately.