August 2 2018 Editor Assistance Newsletter
Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope you're having a lovely summer.
I've just finished making some tweaks to the BellaOnline forums. Here's what I did.
1) Right sidebar latest posts listing
I updated that right sidebar so it once again shows the site name that the post is in. That provides a bit more information about the post so you know if it's something you'd want to click on or not. We've always had that feature and I just hadn't rolled it out to this latest version of the forum code yet.
2) Site Latest Forum Post is Updating
At the bottom of every article there's a promotion for your forum with the latest 3 posts in your forum. That is now updating again.
3) Mail Alerts TURNED OFF
As I've mentioned, I know a few editors liked the forums sending them an email every single time someone posted in their forum. However, we get a LOT of complaints about this from visitors. Also, that stream of outgoing repetitive email triggers anti-spam alerts in everyone from gmail to comcast to AOL and so on. We end up getting blocked by those mail servers for everything we try to send (including our newsletters). So we just have to have those alerts turned off. Try to poke in your forum once a week or so to see if you have any new posts and to make a post about your latest article.
I know the forums are fairly quiet now. It's the same for most forums out there. People now use Facebook and Twitter to talk rather than random internet forums. Still, posting a link to your article in the forum creates an "incoming link" for it which Google finds valuable. And we do get a lot of people reading the forum threads even if they don't post. So it's still worth it to make that weekly post. You might want to add a quick friendly comment on another editor's post while you're there. Even if it's just us talking occasionally with each other, that creates traffic that Google sees and therefore raises the ranking of our articles. It helps us get external traffic.
FULL THREAD DUMP - CHANGE NOT MADE
We used to have a feature where you could put a dump of an entire forum thread at the bottom of an article. So for example if I had an article about low carb lunch ideas, I could have it connect to a forum thread about low carb lunch ideas. It would show literally the entire forum thread on that topic below the article itself.
The problem is we now have forum threads which are 2,000 posts long. When a person adds a new post to the end of that, the forum would have to write all 2,001 posts out to a text file which took eons. And then when the article was drawn it would have to show both the article and then 2,000 posts below it which also took eons to draw. A page that takes that long to load is given up on by visitors. So it was hurting our forums and hurting our articles as well.
I'm pondering what to do. What I think would work best is if we just put a great comment or two from the thread into the actual bottom of the article and then linked to that forum thread. That way we could choose ourselves which comment best represented the thread. If I do something automated like always choose the first comment or always choose the last one it could end up with something atrocious. Especially if a spammer came on and added something. It's probably better if we choose, ourselves, what we want for text to represent that forum thread.
Other than that, I think the forums are now set. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions, ideas, or thoughts on the forums!
Lisa Shea, owner
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