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Use this plugin to turn Vanilla into a blog

RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
edited October 2010 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.8
I just realized that you could use this plugin to make your Vanilla forum function like a blog. For example, change the number of words shown to something like 500, and reduce the number of discussions shown on the front page to something like 5.

Boom, you got Wordpress 2.0 complete with a non-widgetized sidebar. The only difference is that your "vanilla blog" is specialized for discussion whereas wordpress can only try to become better at discussion.

The rest of the tweaks are pretty straight forward. The categories are already listed on the right side of the forum. All you'd have to do is change "roles and permissions" so that only the admin (and other specified editors) can make the initial post. Very easy and straightforward to do in Vanilla, since the developers had the foresight to separate "discussion" from "comment."

Total epiphany moment right now, just blew the door open for what's possible with Vanilla.


  • edited October 2010
    Interesting idea! Is there any way to have images from discussions displayed by this plugin like in a blog. Or maybe in combination with another plugin?
  • RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    edited February 2011
    Anyone have a clue how to make images show up in the excerpt? That would be a good step forward
  • LincLinc Detroit Admin
    I realized about a month ago that the only difference between a discussion and a blog is formatting. The possibilities are endless.
  • RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    edited November 2010
    I definitely agree. I find forums to be more inclusive... anyone can start a topic as opposed to a blog where only specific people are permitted to start topics. It's obvious which is the more social and "open" format.
  • It seems like it would be a simple thing to get this to display images like a blog. It already shows links as clickable. This plus a working "magic" plugin would be a great combo!
  • It would also be nice if this would preserve CLEditor formatting. All formatting is currently removed, including paragraph breaks.
  • Would like to be able to specify how many 'articles' appear on the home page as well.
  • Pretty interesting thread. I have run forums and blogs for years and have always thought that the only thing that could make either better is some sort of meta-threading... basically like track-backs in blogs, but more intrinsic to the layout.

    Like, take my post (here) for instance... its not really on topic. I'd love for there to be some little "spawn" link that I could click from the thread itself or from a specific post in the thread that would basically open a new thread, but provide "to " and "from" connectors and maybe a meta comment.

    Layout could be toggled between "explicit" and "implied" threading to give a narrower or broader scope of the discussion.

    There could be a "head" feature as well for mods... this way they could "merge" a thread into another at a germane point without actually causing a merge in the model. It would be like pointing one thread at a certain post of another thread. Both threads would know about the connection, and the view would determine how or if the relationship would be displayed.

    Why do I bring this up? Well, Vanilla has this feature in a vestigial form already. This thread is an example, "This discussion is related to the DiscussionExcerpt2 addon."

    Anyway... please link your blog once you get it done. I'd like to see it.
  • I thought this was an interesting idea. Anyone moved forward on anything related to turning part of vanilla itself into a blog?
  • ddumontddumont ✭✭
    edited February 2011
    @viziona Please add the ability to apply this to only 1 category!!! (I have 1 category set up and waiting for this change: "Blog")

    I would also love to see features like
    • Show all contents up to a tag like <details> or an hr tag or something...
    • Show images

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  • ddumontddumont ✭✭
    edited February 2011
    @Lincoln PLEASE consider this for a sponsored plugin status :) It would be great if the Vanilla authors could work with @viziona to make this thing a kickass blog enabler :)

    Or if the author wants to only support discussion previews, please consider creating an official blog plugin that does something similar for a certain category.

    I would work on this myself, but I have very many other projects and I just don't have time. Looking for things to make my life easier and this would be perfect! Consolidate a blog and forum into 1!

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  • @viziona I couldn't help myself... I made the changes myself... :D If anyone is interested, please let me know.

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  • @viziona I couldn't help myself... I made the changes myself... :D If anyone is interested, please let me know.
    Me Me Me!
  • ddumontddumont ✭✭
    edited February 2011
    @Desmanthus @viziona

    @Lincoln I think something like this should be a core plugin for future versions of Vanilla... I would love to not have to maintain it :)
    It would be awesome if you could suggest a way to do strict post ordering of discussions in a category instead of by last comment time.

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  • RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    @ddumont thanks man! this is a very big step forward
  • I'm likewise convinced that Vanilla 2 would make a good blog.

    I went from Posterous (which in addition to the lack of control, can be slooow at times), to a custom microblog using Disqus, to Vanilla, which has the usability of Disqus with SEO out of the box and the full control one requires. We're just using the default at the moment ( but I'm convinced it has potential.

    The only downside is the google/facebook/twiter logins aren't working, and Disqus also had very good support for Anonymous comments and excellent email notification & moderation facilities. The major downside was that it was 100% SaaS, the SEO had to be completely custom (though their new API is superb), and you had to pay a significant monthly fee to theme it. I think Vanilla is absolutely on the right track for those who want a blog-like site but with more visitor interaction (not just 'comments') and full control over how it is presented and integrated.
  • @Desmanthus @viziona @Raize

    I haven't heard from the original author of this plugin at all... So I've set up my own with the express purpose of turning a category into a blog.

    If any of you want to contribute, especially around adding blog specific CSS or cool new features, please let me know and send me a pull request with your changes

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