Is This Thing On?

By Jason Priestas on August 30, 2010 at 2:59a
All done!Your website is done!

Welcome to Eleven Warriors 3.0!

It was a long and painful Sunday (thanks, .htaccess and cron!), but we're finally living large on Drupal. While there are quite a few differences between the old rig and the new, we tried to keep as much of the look and feel the same to minimize the impact of the change. You should still be able to find the poll, figure out how to comment on a post, and whatnot.

So what's different? Allow me to enumerate.

User Registration: No more handle-jacking or troll assaults, and as users you will be able to do cool things. Said cools things include, but are not limited to: rich commenting, including the ability to upload and place images into comments, and the ability to publish to a user blog. You'll use the same tools and styles we use, other users will be able to comment on your work, and if your post is solid, it will get promoted to the front page.

User blogs were important1 because, there are a lot of great writers in the Buckeyeverse, and not all of them have the time to maintain a blog of their own. Brian Cook put it best when announcing his jump to Drupal:

There is a species of Michigan blog akin to the mayfly. Inspired by this, that, or the other, a reader gets the idea he'll add his voice to the Michigan blogosphere, puts up a couple good posts, and then disappears once the overwhelming feeling of talking to himself is just too much.

These are invariably sad occurrences. Other times people just email me cool stuff, or leave excellent comments that really deserve a wider audience. When I miss these, they die on the vine.

If you're wondering what may or may not make a good post, here are some examples. To start with, all new user blog posts will be highlighted in the sidebar, but as that space gathers momentum, we'll implement charting to recognize the most popular posts or the posts with heavy commenting.

If you'd rather not register at this time, you may still comment, but you'll be limited to plain text and no ability to submit a name, instead becoming "Person from the Internet". Slashdot kind of pioneered this approach, labeling their anon commenters "Anonymous Coward", but it's a bit ironic for "SupBrah48", "tekgoblin" or anyone else with a slightly less anonymous handle to ever be hurling coward bombs, so we opted for the more diplomatic moniker.

[UPDATE: Anonymous comments are currently disabled until we can figure out a clever enough spam strategy.]

As for the nature of anonymous comments, we'll kind of play it by ear. If the noise ever exceeds the signal by too much, we'll move to nix them, but for now, we're going to roll with them.

Forums: If you have something to get off your chest, but it's not the stuff of a full-blown blog post, or would be off-topic to a comment thread on a blog post, the forum is the place to put it. We've gone ahead and created a handful of starter forums covering football, basketball, a ticket exchange, and an off-topic bin. Active forum topics will also be displayed in the sidebar to your right.

Other Features: Polls now support comments. We also finally have a poll archive, if archives are your kind of thing.  Good Shizzy was renamed "Buckshots", and they will support comments as soon as I can fix a bug with a feed API. Finally, we incorporated a Twitter widget displaying the latest from our "Buckeye News" list.

The Future: You should expect a 3.5 release next summer (though some features will go online sooner) as we were more focused on migrating content and initial configuration with this pass. The punch-list:

  • Karma system, so users that consistently post the best stuff are recognized (and given elevated rights and permissions).
  • Structured content! This will allow us to create player and team pages, among other cool applications.
  • A universal tagging system meshed between stories from the staff and user blog posts.

If you have any requests for features, we'd love to hear about them. A thread in the forum has been created for you to report these. Likewise, if you run into any bugs (and there will be some), please let us know about them here.  Finally, if you are a Drupal pro and have tips on what we could be doing better, we're always interested in what you would have to say.

If you're so inclined, you can go here to register a new account. Once there, you're just 90 seconds away from publishing insightful posts to thousands of other fans or starting this site's first great forum rumor.

  • 1 MGoBlog calls these "Diaries" but male Buckeye fans keep no such thing.
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