Is Community Blog a Good Idea?

Some readers suggested me to open a community blog section on my blog. That is, a blog hosting service that enables active community members on this blog to post their own experience in Shanghai on this blog and share with other Shanghai expats, visitors or travelers.

With this the MovableType 4, I have the ability to offer every blog reader the same blog hosting service and everyone can post to this blog using the same interface as I am using and manage the comments as I do. I believe it will be under different URL though, like http://wangijanshuo.com/<username>, where username is a name chosen by the poster. That means, everyone’s blog is still separate but can be presented on the home page after aggregation.

I know I have the best community about Shanghai so far. Although I didn’t implement any community features like user registration, or profile, or BBS (there is a not so working one), the community feeling of Wangjianshuo’s blog is very strong. Sometimes I feel it is hard to believe to run a community with such a simple way – just anonymous comments, and most commenter didn’t abuse the freedom to be able to post freely.

I there is a community blog feature, I can ask those who plan to visit Shanghai to start to write a small blog during their trip in Shanghai, or those who just relocated to Shanghai to describe their lives, or local Shanghainese to share their favorites or tricks about this city – it is a much more powerful community than the current one man show.

I know everyone has wonderful experience about Shanghai. There are a lot to share. So this can be a good idea.

To make this idea more solid, we have to ask the question: why blog here, instead of thousands of blogging hosting sites? I will try to answer this question this way: It is not about a hosting service. It is all about the community, or who are the readers. Here there are many people interested in Shanghai and the same interest will gather people together as a community, instead of the same tool, isn’t it?

I also have concerns about the idea. I posted Shall I Open a Shanghai BBS before, and then opened a Shanghai BBS at http://bbs.wangjianshuo.com. This actually didn’t work, and I am thinking about shutting it down sometime. The key problem is, I don’t have the bandwidth to manage it, or generate content or answer every question there in a more timely manner than for the comments on blog.

Hmm… Let me think about this and postpone actions. Do you have any idea about this? Whether it is good or bad idea?

OK. Let me do it this way. Let me do a short survey with just three questions:

1. If I offer a blog hosting service that you can own a Shanghai blog at http://wangjianshuo.com/yourname, will you consider that? (I think I will only accept people who don’t have a blog somewhere else, since I know it is almost impossible to maintain more than one blog. Trust me. I know how hard it is).

2. If you think it is a good idea, what kind of writers do you think is the best choice?

3. Any other thoughts about this ideas?

Please post your answer in the comment section. Thanks a lot.

2 thoughts on “Is Community Blog a Good Idea?

  1. AussiePB

    Hi Jian Shou – just to let you know that at 3:57pm today Singapore time, we delivered a healthy baby boy – Jaime Zheng (and then my surname)… weighed in at 3.61kg… and he looks like a real mix between his Shanghainese mum and me (Australian dad)… so happy and excited!!!!

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