BritBlog now has over a thousand members (woohoo!), and I’ve been planning some exciting new features for the service. If anyone has any suggestions or input, I’d be pleased to hear from you. Either use the comments form below, or drop me an email.
The main goal of these features is to maintain the quality of the data in the directory. We need to identify blogs that have been abandoned so that the directory doesn’t just become a collection of broken links.
- BritBlog Bot - The bot will visit all the member sites and perform the following tasks:
- Check that the blog is still online
- Locate the blog’s RSS (or similar) feed (to help keep an eye on the frequency of updates)
- Look to see if the blog links back to BritBlog (there will be benefits to those who do )
- Annual Renewal of Membership - I plan on sending out renewal emails after 11 months of membership with a ‘click me to renew’ link in it. This (along with the first task of the bot) is to ensure that member blogs are still active, and that the owners still wish to be listed. If I don’t do something like this, there is a risk that the directory will get full of junk blogs.
- Implement a Ping Service - When member blogs are updated, I would like them to be able to ping us so that we can maintain a recently updated blogs list. This could also be used to detect stagnant blogs.
- Blogs Near Me Widget - I want to have something a bit like the Blog Browser over at London Bloggers that people can put on their site. When clicked, a pop-up list of bloggers based near the current one will appear. (Any DHTML gurus out there?)
- Improve the Admin Console - I’d like to get more people involved behind the scenes with BritBlog, and one of the first places this will happen will be in the reviewing of new member blogs. We’re starting to get some silly people sign up, and this degrades the overall quality of the service. So if I could get some folk to help out with this process it would be rather handy
That, I think, is about it for the mean time. I’ve no idea when I’ll actually get ’round to implementing any of it though, but it should be good when it’s done. Watch this space for an update!