Thanks to recent enhancements for WordPress, and to better serve the SL SAILING community, dotCOM is about to make a big move, and to offer great opportunities for SL Sailing with new tools. These tools will especially benefit SL Sailing bloggers, but also event organizers, and of course sailors.
What is it about?
What is multisite/blog network?
Who is it for?
- Non blogger yet? what about having your own weblog? No requirements, publish articles on your own, and participate in the movement…
- Already a blogger? What about joining this network? There are several ways to migrate easily from one system to another and keep all of your content, and layout. One can also imagine that some sites operate in “mirroring”, via RSS, so without any modification to your existing site.
- NEW PROJECTS: It is possible to quickly create weblogs dedicated to events such as Cups, Sail For Life … This enables better highlight the subject, with clear information, not lost in the mass, and also reducing the total flow supplied to readers (eg: do not saturate the forum during an event).
- NEW TOPICS: Same as for projects, one could imagine starting new blogs dedicated to particular topics, such as RRSSL, Rankings, Cruising, Destinations… All usual “roles” available in WordPress, from writer to administrator, may be used for such topics.
- … (your imagination is the limit)
Advantages for bloggers
- “Community minded”: what you may like about being in this network is that you may enjoy being a part of something larger than “doing-it-by-yourself” or standalone approach, and that the relationships with other bloggers will make the network experience most worthwhile. In a next future, we may add some sort of internal communication systems (forums, wikis, email lists, chat …) – all of which can take blogging out of a space that can be a little lonely into one that is much more relational.
- Have more connections to other bloggers or sources of traffic. Network blogs gather a readership much quicker. This traffic comes as a result of incoming links from announcement posts. The network also has ways of cross promoting blogs via highlighting top posts of the week or clustering related blogs together into channels that cross link within posts.
- More visitors: one of the big upsides of being in the network of blogs is that on the day your blog launches you are guaranteed to be linked to from each other blog in the network (eg: in a sidebar or footer). The benefits of this are twofold – firstly there is an element of cross promotion going on and some traffic will follow the links but secondly (and mainly) the benefits are that being linked to by other blogs on other domains is one of the best ways to climb the rankings in search engines – which of course leads to traffic.
- With this concept, we will handle all of the behind the scenes aspects of getting a blog up and running including help in design, SEO optimization, paying for and setting up URLs and hosting, choosing a blog platform (and administering upgrades and plugins), promotion etc. This leaves the blogger to simply write.
- Also, some other advantages: lighter sub-blogs, less need for writers, better and more referrals, …
Advantages for the SL Sailing community
As a consequence, the whole SL Sailing scene should get profit:
- from “inside”: for SL Sailors, advantages are multiple. Better and multiple sources of information, faster access to the news, better tools, multiple “points of view”, for all tastes, saving times in finding information … For example, “networked” tags/categories and search tools, network map, featured articles… will provide you a quick and accurate access to the information you are looking for: boat reviews, announcements, cruise report and so on.
- from “outside”: a better visibility, more traffic, more readers, and maybe “we” could be perceived as a more dynamic community, stronger, larger, and thus may get the attention of more people…
16 sites to start with
- ../ : the “root”. the homepage of dotCOM will be redesigned to bring more traffic toward each blog of the network (maybe with the picture above). The homepage may also display excerpts of last articles from each blog.
- ../blog : (formerly slsailing.com) is the new blog to post non affiliated articles.
- ../slsarankings: a new site dedicated to SLSA Rankings, with all information, current rankings and a forum to post results of graded races.
- ../livleigh: for demo purpose, to demonstrate as easy it is to move from a wordpress.com site toward a hosted wordpress installation, and thus contributing in a network of blogs intended to promote sailing in Second Life. This site works with “mirroring” mode.
- ../calendar: a new web site with calendars of SL Sailing activities, with different views, including one for each club or group.
- ../Connect2Sailing: a new site for a new project. More to come.
- ../LesGlenans: a new site for french sl sailors.
- ../HollywoodModelYachtClub: a new blog for RC sailboats activity in Hollywood.
- ../slsailingtv: a new site dedicated for sl video producers and video sailing news. It embeds Destopnews, SailTV and World Of Water, as well as a dedicated page for live broadcasting of SL Sailing events.
- ../Noodleqt: a site for demo purpose so far, and to gain experience in moving from a blogger site to a wordpress site.
- ../gotwind: a new site moved from a former blogspot installation, dedicated to the 34th AC and ACWS in SL.
- ../SimPreservationJournal: a new site formerly hosted on a google site.
- ../BlakeSea: all information regarding BS previously stored at dotCOM are moved on this new site.
- ../sail4life: under construction. A weblog dedicated to Sail For Life ACS.
- ../FizzCup: under construction. A weblog dedicated to the Fizz Cup with all archives from past edition.