BH Tech changes (Strange things are afoot at the Circle K)

Blue Hampshire Plans Transition to WordPress Platform

From our first diary and first comment Blue Hampshire has been running on “SoapBlox”. SoapBlox is a custom developed web application built by one man’s passion to recreate Daily Kos type functionality for community blogs like BlueHampshire.

A custom platform is good in many ways but also has some major drawbacks. Long time readers will recall a time a few years ago when the original developer of the software essentially walked away from the the platform after the system was hacked. All of our content, research, and history was very close to going away for good.

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Since then another company (WareCorp) has taken over the codebase and offered support and hosting. They too have found that maintaining a platform unique to just a handful of websites is difficult. Thankfully they have developed a reasonably priced data conversion process that will move our site to the widely used and supported WordPress.

Long story short, next week (scheduled for Wednesday night) WareCorp will take a snapshot of our our existing diaries, comments, etc. and move them to a WordPress based platform. If everything goes right all 15,170+ Diaries, 131,477+ Comments, 4,836 User, etc. will be transferred over.

It’s possible that we well be offline and/or static for a few days while things are transitioned and we configure plugins to recreate SoapBlox functionality.

Some functionality may end up changing a bit in the process (hence the “strange things are afoot reference). You may end up having to reset your password, (it’s probably a good idea to make sure the email address associated with your acct is current & accessible) writing diaries and comments may be different (easier!) but at the end we will have a much more control the functionality and future of BH by using this nearly ubiquitous publishing platform.

One area that I’ll be looking at in particular is comments/commenting. Many current publishing focused sites use and or allow Facebook and Twitter for comments on posts or use third party commenting systems that allow you to use the same profile across a variety of sites.

Embedding Tweets for further comment will be as simple as pasting “https://twitter.com/deanbarker/status/274474230060548097″ rather than having to use embed code to get this

Videos from YouTube will be as simple as pasting the short URL e.g. “http://youtu.be/1DsFMJQHbMs” or rather than having to put the iframe code in.

Our archives and history will be more readily accessible and folks that are publishing on other sites and cross posting here should be able to do so more easily.

While I’m excited by the improvements the technology will allow, I am also aware that BH needs some “Editorial” attention as well. I hope to be able to post some plans in that regard soon. If any one is interested in being more involved with the day to day running and editorial direction of BH Hampshire now is a good time to contact me.

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4 Responses to BH Tech changes (Strange things are afoot at the Circle K)

  1. cblodg November 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Mike, a HUGE thank you for keeping us informed on this transition.  I look forward to the new format and ease it will bring to all of us.

  2. susaninrindge November 30, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Thanks for keeping our platform current, Mike!

  3. The Money Magician December 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    It was always hard to figure out exactly what markup was valid in Soapblox.  With WordPress the huge community will help in many ways, many probably unforeseen.

    Thanks, Mike.

  4. Douglas E. Lindner December 6, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    Won’t know how I feel about the new platform until I see it, but I appreciate all the effort you put into this.

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