Almost 5 years back I started Blogial along with couple of friends. We wanted Blogial to be a single place where anyone can come in and read and write quality content about any topic that interested them. No need to maintain a separate blog which most probably will end up being a zombie with no updates.
We thought when we reach critical mass with Blogial, there would be enough content published everyday that even occassional writers will want to write something. And the readers would also be able to subscribe to just the topics that they are interested in.
The way we setup the blog was by using the multi-site option in wordpress and a separate sub-domain for every topic that we were interested in. So we started by creating programming.blogial.com, india.blogial.com, oz.blogial.com, etc.
We did write blog posts, but whenever we wanted to write about a new topic, it was a pain in the ass to create a new blog, map a subdomain to it and make sure that there were enough content published in that new blog regularly. Soon we ended up having more number of blogs than contributors.
Things went into zombie mode on blogial as all contributors stopped contributing and spam commentors started flooding the posts with medicines which can make your body parts grow.
I wanted to solve this and began writing a custom blog application using Django. I designed it so that a blog post will be published into separate sub-domains which are based on the tags it is posted into. So if you tag a blog post as programming and web apps – it would be accessible from both programming.blogial.com and webapps.blogial.com.
I didn’t get a chance to finish the application as I ran into a problem of avoiding duplicate content being indexed by google which may decrease the search engine rankings.
Recently there has been a few other similar social publishing platforms like Medium or Svbtle which provide a common platform for multiple contributors to publish their content. I prefer the way Medium has solved it and makes it a great place to publish even if you will write only one or two posts in your entire lifetime.
Thinking about all that has happened the first mistake we did was not to continue blogging and creating enough content, as good quality content is what brings in visitors to a blog. And in the later half, I was too fixed on designing the perfect blogging platform instead of writing more posts.
Second was not marketing it properly and bringing in more quality contributors. At least with a few more contributors and a good community, we would’ve made sure that we didn’t let the blog go brain dead.
Anyway, I am going to reboot Blogial and have setup a very simple plan for it. I will post about it in the next post.