22 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2008 9:42 PM by AmandaS

    Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

      Right now, all Blogs live outside Spaces. Even if a Blog is aggregated in a Space, or even if it is the Primary Blog of a Space, it still really lives outside in Blogland.

       

      So when you make a private Space and want a Blog to be private and conceptually inside that Space, you must replicate the Permissions settings of the Space for the Blog. This is a pain (and was a surprise), but 90% of the time, you just have to do it once. I worry, though, about the permissions getting out of sync over time, which would be a hard-to-discover bug.

       

      How about some mechanism to inherit Blog permissions from a Space? Or even better, to put a blog into a space so it gets tags, etc., as well from the Space?

        • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

          hi John,

           

          Good points. 

           

          How about some mechanism to inherit Blog permissions from a Space?

          The easiest way of working around the two different permission structures would be to create a group and assign view permissions to the group for the blog and the private space.  The hard thing about making a blog inherit a space permission is that none of the space permissions apply to a blog (ie: view space, read document, create document, etc..).

           

          Or even better, to put a blog into a space so it gets tags, etc., as well from the Space?

          Yeah, we''ve talked internally about joining group / team blogs more closely to their parent space / community for awhile, there are some interesting ramifications we have to work through, but it''s definitely on our radar. 

           

          An aside: when we built out the blogging feature of Clearspace, the attitude was first making blogging useful for individuals and then we bolted on the ability to associate a blog with a space / community whereas our some of our competitors bolted blogs onto their site structure, but they didn''t make blogging useful (or easy) for individuals.  I''m very interested in hearing what you and others think about the specific features that a space / community would need for a blog vs. an individual blog.

           

          Cheers,

           

          AJ

            • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

              Aaron -- Understood re permissions. That''s how we''re doing it (with groups), but I just get the willies about having to remember to have the same permissions config two different places.

               

              We''ll definitely have some opinions about group vs personal blogs after we launch, but all at this point is pure speculation. I''m more concerned right now with how Blogs fit into Spaces, but I''m sure we''ll be glad Jive has made them useful in themselves. Saves us implementing a separate blog server, for one.

               

              I''m happy to start with the current implementation -- users blog off to the side, power users/admins can blog in the Space itself. We will likely add a sidebar to the main Space that is an HTML representation of the last 5-10 blog post titles from the "Recent Posts Feed".

               

              In the future, I''d like to get individual blog posts into a Space and not have to aggregate an entire blog. Most of our personal blogs will not map to just one Space. The way I envision it is that instead of picking a blog, then writing the post, instead you write the post and are given a checkbox panel of all the places you can post to, and you could pick one or more of them to aggregate this post to.

               

              Alternatively, maybe you could put a tag on the post, and the Space aggregator is set to only grab posts from certain blogs with that tag.

               

              Note that the blog post should show up in the space as from John Troyer''s Blog, not forcing my posts into some Space Group Blog.

               

              Otherwise, I''m going to have to create a Discussion in the Space with a link back to my Blog post, which kind of defeats the purpose of having integrated Blogs.

               

              And since I''m using this thread as a blog wishlist, how about creating blogs in Clearspace that are actually fed by RSS feeds? We have users who have existing blogs who may want to ''particpate'' that way. I also have an existing company feed that I might want to gateway like this.

               

              I''d also like blog API support (metaweblog, atom pp, whatever the cool kids are using these days) so that they could then use Clearspace to post to their own personal blog on Typepad or Blogger.

               

              OK, done hijacking my own thread.

              • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs
                dcarter

                Hey AJ,

                 

                IMHO, the current blog implementation is an orphaned pattern. Discussions and documents are related to spaces. Blogs are associated to people only and not to spaces. Why not follow the same pattern used for documents? A user can create a document, and it must be associated to a space. Why not make the same requirement for blogs? Personally, I don''t see a requirement for "personal" blogs. Since Clearspace is built conceptually around the idea of "spaces", blogs should only exist within a space.

                 

                Just my $.02 worth...

                 

                Doug

                  • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                    hi Doug,

                     

                    Blogs are associated to people only and not to spaces.

                    You can actually associate a blog with a space, the key word being ''associate''.  Go to admin console --> spaces --> settings --> blog settings and you can add as many blogs into a space as you want.  You currently can''t ''put'' a blog in a space so that it lives there, you can only aggregate the content of a blog into a space.

                     

                    A user can create a document, and it must be associated to a space. Why not make the same requirement for blogs?

                    Our thinking was that blogs are generally about people first... most blogs are written by a single person and are generally associated with that person, not with a department or a company or a product line. If we designed blogs so that they would live in a space, what happens to people that participate in multiple spaces? Would they have to have multiple blogs?

                     

                    Personally, I don''t see a requirement for "personal" blogs.

                    Yeah, I can totally understand that... I think there are going to be a lot of companies that buy Clearspace and don''t want personal blogs at all, which is fine.  I believe that personal blogs are pretty interesting and in fact, on our intranet, personal blog posts outnumber group blog / team blog posts by a factor of probably 10 or 20 to 1 and most weeks outnumber the total number of discussions that are started.

                     

                    I do think that "personal blogs" get a bad rap because of all the live journal teenagers  writing about their cats and what they had for breakfast. I agree, those are useless.  But within a corporation, they do have value... in fact I blogged about it on our JiveTalks blog:

                     

                    http://www.jivesoftware.com/blog/2006/12/14/blogs-not-just-for-breakfast-anymore/

                     

                    and on my personal blog I found a bunch of other examples of companies using personal blogs (read: blogs written by a single person) with great results (including the NSA, FBI and CIA):

                     

                    http://cephas.net/blog/2007/01/15/blogs-not-just-for-breakfast-anymore-part-ii/

                     

                     

                     

                    Cheers,

                     

                    AJ

                      • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                        We looove blogs, and we''re going to give all 300K customers an option to have one in CSX. I wish we had CS internally for all the reasons Aaron mentions.

                         

                        People who participate in multiple spaces (and we have about 25 of them, which we hope to bring down over time as our community gets used to tags) need to be able to target individual posts to different spaces.

                         

                        Why we want personal blogs to do that is that I want the blogs to be a part of the conversation, and being in that "What''s New" list or Blog tab for each space will get them in front of people more than if they''re on the side.

                         

                        That way also seems to fit with the way I explain the content types: thread = question/discussion opener; blog = news/opinion/personal reporting; document = collaborative/reference material.

                          • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs
                            dcarter

                            I understand the design dilemma with blogs. In common use, blogs are ongoing diary entries that can be about anything, not just the space they''re in. On the other hand, Jive has made (what I think is) an excellent management model around the concept of "spaces". The only problem I have with the current implementation is consistency. Consistency is king. There is nothing that turns off users quicker than an inconsistent interface. The idea of using tags as an effective way to categorize and find data is awesome. The inconsistencies of using tags with blogs is frustrating.

                             

                            Again, just my $.02 worth...

                             

                            Doug

                              • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                hi Doug,

                                 

                                The only problem I have with the current implementation is consistency.

                                Good point, we think consistency is important too. One of the problems we face with ''consistency'' around blogs and spaces is that you can go one of a couple ways:

                                 

                                a) only space / community blogs, no such thing as personal blogs, blogs live in a space (we could have done this, but it doesn''t reflect the reality that most blogs are personal and not departmental):

                                 

                                Consistency: Yea!  You read a document just like you read a blog post. In a space.

                                Flexibility: Boo. You can''t have a personal blog that lives in multiple spaces (ie: documents can''t live in a more than one space, threads neither)

                                 

                                b) only personal / group blogs, no such thing as a space / community blog, but you can aggregate blogs into a space (what we currently have):

                                 

                                Consistency: Boo!  Click on a blog post from a community / space and you end up on  a blog, which is different from documents / threads.

                                Flexibility: Yea!  You can participate in one or more personal or group blogs which can be aggregated into one or more communities / spaces

                                 

                                c) personal blogs can be aggregated but live outside the space / community, space / community blog lives in the space / community, inherits permissions from space / community (I think where we''re headed)

                                Consistency: Boo!  Now we have threads, documents, space / community blog and aggregated blogs.

                                Flexibility: Yea! You can have private blogs that live in a space and personal blogs that live outside a space.

                                 

                                So consistency is hard..  

                                 

                                Cheers,

                                 

                                AJ

                                  • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs
                                    dcarter

                                    AJ,

                                     

                                    Yes, consistency can be difficult, but it''s essential for a useful interface.

                                     

                                    I understand all the trade-offs, the pros and cons. Your explanation is well thought out and completely understandable.

                                     

                                    However, I will stand by my original claim. The current blog implementation is broken. It is confusing to administer and is confusing for users. Tricking users into thinking that blogs are the same as documents or discussions is cruel. Users clicking a tag on a blog can send them down the rabbit hole, never to return.

                                     

                                    IMHO, you have two choices to fix this problem:

                                     

                                    1. Define blogs as true peers to documents and discussions. All capabilities, properties and use are identical for all three objects. What ever I can do with/to a document, I can do with/to a blog. Just because blogs on the Internet read like on-line diaries, written by one person, doesn''t mean you need to implement them in this way. What''s wrong with defining a new type of blog that many users can post to? You made a conscience decision to associate a discussion with a single space. Why not do the same with blogs. I''m sure there are discussion implementations on the Internet that differ with Clearspace. Why can''t Clearspace blogs be unique? There are plenty of personal blogging tools out there. You don''t need to (nor should you) compete with them.

                                     

                                    2. Define blogs as a unique object. They are personal/group things that are site wide and do not share any document or discussion behavior. That means no space associations, no tagging, nothing. Declare that a blog object is completely different from a document or discussion object. BTW, there''s nothing stopping someone from making a document or discussion reference in a blog.

                                     

                                    Right now, blogs appear to be the same as documents and discussions, but they''re not. How and why there different is confusing on many levels. I''m having flashbacks to Integrated Server. An attempt to combine two completely different products into one. You''ve been very successful at combining these two products in Clearspace, you should integrate blogs in the same way that makes them intuitive and easy to use.

                                     

                                    Lastly, I think option "c" is a bad compromise. I think it only adds to the confusion.

                                     

                                    Best,

                                     

                                    Doug

                                      • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs
                                        RobAlexander
                                        dcarter wrote:

                                        <div class="jive-quote">

                                        IMHO, you have two choices to fix this problem:

                                         

                                        1. Define blogs as true peers to documents and discussions. All capabilities, properties and use are identical for all three objects. What ever I can do with/to a document, I can do with/to a blog. Just because blogs on the Internet read like on-line diaries, written by one person, doesn''t mean you need to implement them in this way. What''s wrong with defining a new type of blog that many users can post to? You made a conscience decision to associate a discussion with a single space. Why not do the same with blogs. I''m sure there are discussion implementations on the Internet that differ with Clearspace. Why can''t Clearspace blogs be unique? There are plenty of personal blogging tools out there. You don''t need to (nor should you) compete with them.

                                         

                                        Lastly, I think option "c" is a bad compromise. I think it only adds to the confusion.

                                        </div>

                                         

                                         

                                         

                                         

                                        I think a good compromise between AJ's option "c" and Doug's choice "1" would be to define space/community blogs as true peers to documents and discussions (living within a space/community), and have personal blogs live within the user's profile (like private messaging). Personal blogs could be turned off by default in Clearspace X and on by default in Clearspace.

                                      • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs
                                        RobAlexander
                                        ajohnson1200 wrote:

                                        hi Doug,

                                         

                                        The only problem I have with the current implementation is consistency.

                                        Good point, we think consistency is important too. One of the problems we face with ''consistency'' around blogs and spaces is that you can go one of a couple ways:

                                         

                                        a) only space / community blogs, no such thing as personal blogs, blogs live in a space (we could have done this, but it doesn''t reflect the reality that most blogs are personal and not departmental):

                                         

                                        Consistency: Yea! You read a document just like you read a blog post. In a space.

                                        Flexibility: Boo. You can''t have a personal blog that lives in multiple spaces (ie: documents can''t live in a more than one space, threads neither)

                                         

                                        b) only personal / group blogs, no such thing as a space / community blog, but you can aggregate blogs into a space (what we currently have):

                                         

                                        Consistency: Boo! Click on a blog post from a community / space and you end up on a blog, which is different from documents / threads.

                                        Flexibility: Yea! You can participate in one or more personal or group blogs which can be aggregated into one or more communities / spaces

                                         

                                        c) personal blogs can be aggregated but live outside the space / community, space / community blog lives in the space / community, inherits permissions from space / community (I think where we''re headed)

                                        Consistency: Boo! Now we have threads, documents, space / community blog and aggregated blogs.

                                        Flexibility: Yea! You can have private blogs that live in a space and personal blogs that live outside a space.

                                         

                                        So consistency is hard..

                                         

                                        Cheers,

                                         

                                        AJ

                                         

                                         
                                         
                                        Aaron, 

                                         

                                        I vote for option c! That is exactly what we're seeking. Because of the current implementation of blogs in Clearspace X we have decided not to use them at all for our December 1 launch, which is disappointing. I agree with Doug that "the current blog implementation is broken. It is confusing to administer and is confusing for users. Tricking users into thinking that blogs are the same as documents or discussions is cruel."

                                         

                                        Looking forward to option c above,

                                        Rob

                                          • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                             

                                            None of our public communities wants a blog.

                                             

                                             

                                            Every one of our private communties wants a blog.

                                             

                                             

                                            +1 on Private Blogs, please!

                                             

                                             

                                            Workaround: we're about to set up a admin-posting-only community inside a private community, so we can have admin-only announcements you can subscribe to via rss or email. A private blog would solve this problem entirely.

                                             

                                             

                                             

                                             

                                             

                                              • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                                hi guys,

                                                 

                                                I'm totally on board with option C, it's definitely something that's on the roadmap. In the meantime, you do know that you can set permissions for individual blogs just like you can for a community right? So basically you have the ability to create private blogs today, it's just that you have to set the permissions on the space and on the blog, whereas in the future you'll be able to set the permissions once for a space and the space blog will inherit the permissions.

                                                 

                                                Cheers,

                                                 

                                                AJ

                                                  • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                                    No, I did not know that. For the last 6 months, I've only seen the Admin >

                                                    Blogs > Permissions, which are global blog permissions, and I've never

                                                    noticed until I just checked that each blog has a little "Edit Blog

                                                    Permissions" link on it. This is not how space/community permissions work at

                                                    all.

                                                     

                                                    Bad UI Designer! Bad dog, no bone!

                                                     

                                                    Now you'd really make my day and make me stop saying bad words about you

                                                    (which I am right now if you could only hear me) if you tell me an admin

                                                    could edit or delete individual blog entries. I've got a guy who posted on

                                                    his blog a license serial number that as far as I know, I'm going to have to

                                                    dip into SQL to delete.

                                                      • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                                        hi John,

                                                         

                                                        Bad UI Designer! Bad dog, no bone!

                                                        We have a really really great UI designer, unfortunately he had nothing to do with this page. So it's actually 'bad programmer!'

                                                         

                                                        now you'd really make my day and make me stop saying bad words about you (which I am right now if you could only hear me) if you tell me an admin could edit or delete individual blog entries. I've got a guy who posted on his blog a license serial number that as far as I know, I'm going to have to

                                                        dip into SQL to delete.

                                                        You can't edit a blog post via the admin console, but there's nothing stopping you from adding yourself as an author on his/her blog and then you can go to the front end and edit the post yourself.

                                                         

                                                        Cheers,

                                                         

                                                        AJ

                                                          • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                                            >> Bad UI Designer! Bad dog, no bone!

                                                            We have a really really great UI designer, unfortunately he had nothing

                                                            to do with this page. So it's actually 'bad programmer!'

                                                             

                                                            Oh, I remain a big fan, but I'm just mad I've been telling people we have no

                                                            private blogs.

                                                             

                                                            You can't edit a blog post via the admin console, but there's nothing

                                                            stopping you from adding yourself as an author on his/her blog and

                                                            then you can go to the front end and edit the post yourself.

                                                             

                                                            That's twisted and wrong and a hack. Thanks, I'll use it!

                                                        • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                                          Hi Aaron,

                                                           

                                                          It seems like you are getting a lot of unecessary heat in this thread--I'm sure you guys are doing the best you can--you are, after all, a rapidly growing company.

                                                           

                                                          So, I created a private space and aggregated a restricted blog within that space and a user without the private space's permissions was able to get in when we tested it..  Did I miss anything?  Any help would be appreciated.

                                                           

                                                          Thank you,

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          Chris

                                                          • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs
                                                            AmandaS

                                                            Hi -

                                                             

                                                            I just wanted to cast my vote for option C also!  That is what we need as well.

                                                             

                                                            We use spaces for project work and the project leaders use a blog in the space to post information on project status and "what's going on" among other things.  What we've found is that if one of the leaders who's been blogging on the project leaves, all their blogs disappear!  Since the blog is tied to the person, not the space, it goes away when the person goes away. 

                                                             

                                                            We already use groups to manage who can view blogs in order to tie them to a space.  It doesn't help with the blog authoring issue that we have.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            Thanks.

                                                  • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                                    AJ,

                                                     

                                                    Feasibility question. My goal would be to get all blog posts from all users with certain tag(s) aggregated into a community -- but just those posts, not aggregate the full blog.

                                                     

                                                    You can already get a feed of all blog posts with a certain tag.

                                                     

                                                    I was wondering if, just using templates with no core code customization, we could get those same blog posts to display inside a Space on the Blog tab? What about the All Content tab?

                                                      • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs

                                                        We don''t currently have this functionality, but it would be relatively easy to do with a plugin. You''d remove the blog content type from the space and then write a plugin that adds a tab to the space / community and in the plugin action you could use the API to get all blog posts in the system that have a specific tag.  Sounds like a good feature at some point too.

                                                         

                                                        FWIW, a Clearspace Developer Site is coming soon, which will have a ton of examples of macros and plugins.

                                                         

                                                        Cheers,

                                                         

                                                        AJ

                                              • Re: Join Blogs to Spaces? Private spaces need private blogs
                                                AmandaS

                                                I was curious to know if there has been any more thought on this or plans for the future.  A number of us were casting votes for option C above as we have the need for both personal blogs and space blogs.  One thing I noted in another discussion thread is tha, for us at least, the "space blog" doesn't really have to be a "blog".  We use that feature for leaders to disemminate information about what's going on in their space.  We need the information to remain with the space as part of it's history.  In this case it is not a personal thing so maybe it shouldn't be a blog, but if so, we need some other facility for doing this.