Am I the only one who wants the old personal blog system back? Why should the "Personal page" be linked to a big public forum? The older system seemed vastly better.
I liked it, even if it had some flaws. I honestly don't see the incentive to purchase a membership until I decide to release a game, other than to support BYOND.
Actually I bet most of the people purchased a membership just for blogs. I doubt most people would think of supporting byond as a good enough reason to spend money on something that might not be of use the them. heck most people dont do that.
The reason blogs were removed was because they were far too much of a pain to moderate. The only way I'd like to see it back is if the front page was removed entirely and people were left to link to their own posts manually (followers would get a notification).

However, I'm quite happy without them at all, a lot easier to manage things.
In response to Nadrew
Has there been any discussion of features similar to blogs that would be member-only?
Not really, everyone seems pretty happy with how things work now -- as far as the staff and moderators go.
That's a mighty small perspective.
That's just in addition to Tom's feelings on the subject, and his feelings on the subject are the only ones that really matter. Blogs were a hassle, to moderate and maintain on the back-end. Removing them cleared up a lot of trouble and eased a lot of stress.
I just think the system is cleaner without them since basically they were segregating similar discussions in different locations and formats. People can still post personal stuff in the "off topic" forum if they want. I understand some people didn't like the loss of CSS and maybe we could add some customization back at some point.

We did lose some Membership revenue because of this (it makes sense since it was the main perk). However, we weren't making a lot before or after the change so it's somewhat inconsequential.
In response to Tom
Css customization would be a waste of time at this point, in my opinion [unless you were to re-instate blogs]
There are countless sites, free or not free, that provide blogging capabilities. Considering this, and that most blogs were personal; I see no reason to add this back.

I think a much better idea would be to add a small "Networking" box on members site page, and include the ability to show things like the members FB, twitter ID, and blog as simple links. Heck, this could even simply be added right below the website field.

This would pretty much cover the same thing, and if CSS and such needs to return, which was indeed nice, a simple about me box could be added above the list of the members posts or in a new tab that the page defaults to when people view it. Naturally, this would replace the description box which I would suspect has a very small text limit or looks bad with a lot of text.

I'm well aware this is not a social networking site, but I carefully considered these features and feel they offer both personal, and development friendly purposes. FB is debatable, but twitters are often used for talking about what the developer is working on, and an about me could tell a bit about the person as a developer or list their qualifications.
The blog was the only reason I would ever buy membership myself.
I agree that I did enjoy having a blog, but I definitely think the forum system is just plain overall better. Everything is centralized around this single forum area now. For the moderators, I imagine this is so much better. For us, we see everything we need in one place from game update posts to development talk to bug reports to regular discussion like this.

Not to mention, the only revenue that they lost was probably from non-developers. Those were the kind of people making the blog page hard to moderate in the first place. Now all the perks are for developers, as they should be for a website about game-development software. Now as the software advances and we get more attention from more developers, they'll buy memberships for these site perks and to support BYOND.
I wouldn't mind it back, it was nice to have a blog without ads (which yes, you can pay for elsewhere however;) which also fit in directly to the content I was blogging (ie, my games).

I'm sad its gone, but accept its reasons for disappearing.
I believe they should be brought back, and all hidden from the front page if need be, or just make a small section that can only be navigated to if you want to go there, and not moderate it entirely. Until then I see no incentive to purchase a membership, and I had 2 of them.

This new layout makes it tougher to find some content, I really liked the old one from 2004 where you could just click unpublished and find a treasure trove of games in-development that nobody even knew were on the grid. But enough of that, guild systems helped people keep updated on their games and going ons. With blogs I knew what was going on in the community, I felt more involved. I mean sure, you guys did stop a troll warzone, but in doing so you killed the few active BYOND guilds, the pixel art guild, numerous fan-clubs and programming guilds, and several community-oriented clubs that just seemed better to have.

It feels like this whole thing is just the developer forum now, but a large portion of byond are players and not developers.

^ I agree with this statement, i don't see how moderating the blogs is any different to moderating the game updates section on the forum you still have to hide those pesky trolls or swearing ...
I'm actually generally of the opinion that moderating blogs would not be that troublesome, if the system was set up correctly and the purpose was well understood.

I think the initial problem came about from adding the blog feature, but not really having much of an understanding of what the blog front page (which was the problem, not the blogs themselves) was meant to be doing, what it's purpose within the community and game development / game experience process was. When this happens, you'll find moderators being a bit hands off, and then the feature develops a life of it's own, and the community grows it's own expectations for what the feature is meant to be about. In that particular instance, we grew a rather interesting expectation that anything goes, for the blog front page, I think. So by the time a moderator actually got around to trying to install an idea of purpose other than that, you were met with some seriously entrenched views.

I do think there's a gap that blogs could fill, in the current community environment. I'm not sure how I'd want that to work, exactly, because while I know what developer needs a blog could solve, I guess I'm a little more struggling to understand the non-developer needs I'd want to solve with a blog?

I guess what I'd be wanting to ask, is why do you feel non-developers require / would want a blog, and how do you think that would make BYOND grow, overall?

I find the layout VERY boring... but again that's only my opinion.
I could see blogs working out again as long as two things happen:

1. We don't have the trainwreck that was the yea/nay system. From what I understand it was supposed to help moderators cut down on bad posts but it ended up becoming abused because trolls thought it was funny to nay everything.

2. Blogs actually have a focus on game development. I really don't know why people want a BYOND blog for personal use when many, many free alternatives (WordPress, Tumblr, Blogspot) exist. The massive amount of posts that revolved around "hey look at my new base/css/title screen/lolcats" and the huge sense of entitlement of "I PAID FOR THE BLOG I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT WITH IT *berates SilkWizard*" didn't help anything.

Though perhaps if the blog feature did return, there could be two separate sections for blog posts and you could check if your post is either a [] Personal one or a [] Developer-related post.
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