You might have noticed that Blue Virginia looks a bit different today than it did yesterday. Well…you’re right, it does. The main reason is that Soapblox, which has hosted dozens of progressive, state-based blogs for years now, is pulling the plug on October 15. So, we’re all going our separate ways — in the case of Blue Virginiia, to Blogger, a part of the Google product suite. So what’s changed from the Soapblox version of Blue Virginia you’ve gotten used to? A few things.
1. The commenting system is now Disqus: “a blog comment hosting service for web sites and online communities that uses a networked platform. The company’s platform includes various features, such as social integration, social networking, user profiles, spam and moderation tools, analytics, email notifications, and mobile commenting…Disqus ranks #1 in Quantcast‘s U.S. networks with 144 million monthly unique U.S. visits. Disqus has been featured on many major publications, such as CNN, The Daily Telegraph, and IGN, and about 750,000 blogs and web sites.” To log in and comment, you can use a Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or Disqus account. As usual, the Blue Virginia rules for commenting apply: no profanity, personal atacks, bigotry, or “trolling” allowed. Other than that, happy commenting!
2. No more user diaries. Honestly, I don’t see this as a great loss, as most people and organizations weren’t using the feature (for whatever reason) anyway. Plus, while some of the user diaries were excellent, many were spam, one-or-two-line non-diaries, etc. So…not much loss there if you ask me. If you’re interested in submitting a blog post, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll take a look. If you’re a good writer and a progressive, environmentalist, etc., we might even make you a “front pager.”
3. The search bar for now is on the right side, underneath the ads. At some point, I might move that bar up to the top, but for now, we’ll try it where it is.
4. I saved a bunch of content from the “old” Blue Virginia on this blog, which you can access from the archives on the right side/down the page a ways. As you can see, there are 314 posts from 2014, 291 from 2013, 322 from 2012, 203 from 2011, 686 from 2010, and 3,006 from 2009. I’m working on getting the entire Soapblox blog translated into WordPress as an archive, with ALL the posts and comments, so hopefully that will work.
5. Regarding advertising, if you are interested, we’re no longer using Blogads, which I’m not a fan of at all. If you are intersted in advertising on Blue Virginia, or in sponsoring our work in some other way, please email me at email@example.com Thanks.
6. Also, please check out the donate button below the search bar on the right. If you like waking up and getting the top news of the day (from a progressive perspective), as well as all the other content we provide, please consider supporting the work we do! Thanks again.
7. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our social media feeds, by clicking on one of the buttons on the right side under the “donate” button.
8. Social media integration is MUCH improved on this blog compared to the Soapblox version, which was not being maintained or upgraded. In the current blog, you’ll notice when you click on a post that at the bottom, there are several options for you to share on your favorite social media platforms. Please do, as this is an important way to get more people reading our content.
8a. Note that there’s now a “share” tool for comments as well. You can also edit your comments, by the way, which is another big improvement over Soapblox.
9. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but I think that’s mostly all for the moment. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please let us know. Other than that…enjoy the blog!