New MLBlogs features

You’ll be noticing a couple of new features in MLBlogs, as we roll them out system-wide. They’ll be showing up in blogs as new entries go live.

The first is a ratings system for blog entries that will be displayed at the bottom of every entry. You’ve seen this elsewhere on the Internet undoubtedly. It’s just a way for a reader to share his or her rating for a particular entry, with all the user ratings for that entry then averaged together.

The second new feature uses an advanced formula of content analysis and user ratings to present related entries from other blogs. You’ll see a box entitled “You might like:” with links to four other entries from MLBlogs recommended by the system.

Here’s a screenshot of how it will look:

550-newmlblogsfeature.jpg

One of the main goals of this is to make it easier for users to find blogs of interest to them in the MLBlogs Network. We hope you enjoy these new features and take full advantage!

28 Comments

Hi, Mark —

I would like to add a traffic counter to my blog. I see others have one in their header. Is it possible to add one to the side bar? Either way – I would like to know what I need to do to add one.

Your help is greatly appreciated (as always!) —

Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

PS. I used a great traffic counter on one of my other blogs on Blogger. It is from Feedjit. It shows where the traffic is coming from – in real time – which is kinda nice. Just fyi.

Hi, Mark —

I would like to add a traffic counter to my blog. I see others have one in their header. Is it possible to add one to the side bar? Either way – I would like to know what I need to do to add one.

Your help is greatly appreciated (as always!) —

Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

PS. I used a great traffic counter on one of my other blogs on Blogger. It is from Feedjit. It shows where the traffic is coming from – in real time – which is kinda nice. Just fyi.

Is there a way to count traffic on mlblogs? I’d like to see how many (or few) visitors I’m getting!

Adam
http://phanaticalramblings.mlblogs.com

The stars were replaced because many of us complained that spammers were entering many “1” ratings to drive down our scores. I’m happy with the “Recommended”, any system that does away with a flawed system that can be spammed.

why did the ratings stars get replaced by the recommended thumbs-ups? And does clicking on “recommended” actually do anything to recommend the entry to other readers, or does it just add to the count of people who recommended it next to the little thumbs up?
-Todd
http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com

How exactly does that “related articles” thing work? Like, what’s the formula? I mean, I probably won’t understand it but can you kind of dumb it down or something? Thanks.
Thanks for the additions, though. They’re pretty neat.
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

I’m loving these new ideas. They make the blogs more fun and easier.

Jenna (Thunder)
http://bleedcubbieblue2.mlblogs.com/

Hi Mark. I wondered if you have any thoughts on what myself and my fellow MLBloggers have written above? The ratings thing seems like an interesting idea but could be open to abuse, and evidently folks are concerned, so it’d be nice if you could perhaps address some of these worries. Thanks!

Twins Limey

I’m not a huge fan of the new rating feature either. I’m new at this and haven’t yet developed the thick skin I need to not be affected by some random person giving me low ratings because they don’t like the fact that my Angels kicked their butts. I’m afraid this feature may drive me to drink. 😉
Lori
http://luckylori.mlblogs.com

I have a couple issues myself with the new features.

One, I don’t like the ratings either. I put a lot of work into what I write and if some miscreant comes along and spams me with 1-star ratings, he’s basically taking a crap on my work and other people will see that, think I’m a poor writer and not read or comment anymore. Who wants that? I think we should absolutely have the option of turning that feature off, because as someone else above me pointed out, I write to be read, not ranked. If someone doesn’t like what I wrote or does like what I wrote, they can leave a comment and tell me.

Two, I’ve been noticing a lot of the blogs/posts being linked to my posts are ones I’ve written. Very few have been posts by other bloggers here. That’s kind of silly to me. I mean, how is that garnering me more traffic or exposure if 80% of the posts that are similar are already mine? I don’t have a problem with other blogger’s posts being linked to mine, the more the merrier. It’s just that one sticking point that makes me go……I don’t know.

http://yankeeschick.mlblogs.com

I don’t really care about links or no links, but I’m gonna go down with the “boo ratings” people who want them to be able to be disabled. I write for people to read, not to rank, either good or bad. I admit I kinda hate the feature even more than just dislike it. Goes against the feeling of my blog, which is very inclusive and non-judgy.
http://pickmeup.mlblogs.com/

Agreed with Zack. I’m all for adding things as options, but I have to admit I hate the ratings boxes, and the concept. They look cheesy to me, and I can easily see the potential for abuse. And I’m not at all happy about the notion of links being added to my blog posts that I didn’t choose to put there myself.
Kelly O’Connor
http://sittingstill.mlblogs.com/

I love MLBlogs overall, and I’m glad to have been blogging here since (virtually) the beginning, but I’m not happy about this new rating system. If certain people like the system, then fine, they should be allowed to keep it, but we gotta have the OPTION to disable it. I feel even more strongly about other people’s entries that are automatically getting linked at the bottom. As far as I’m concerned, this is nothing more than visual clutter. I try to keep my blog layout as simple as possible, so this is not good at all. And also…I want to be able to choose who gets linked to me. I hope something can be done to change all of this.

-Zack Hample (aka “The Baseball Collector”)
http://snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/

Noni raises a valid point. There are some fan sites out there (none on MLBlogs) that I would never help promote, because of their general misbehavior, their taking my content to pass off as their own, etc.

Just as with the ratings system, each blogger should have the option to disable the related articles. For my blog, I’d turn off both, but others may view them as an asset.

I agree about the ratings. It’s unnecessary and people are bound to abuse it.

But what concerns me more is MLBlogs deciding that other blogs are worthy of being linked from my blog. If I want to link to someone else, I will. I don’t like the idea of it being forced upon me. Already, there have been links to other blogs on MY blog that I wouldn’t otherwise link to.

Why should we be giving other blogs traffic without having any control over which blogs we promote?

I’m disappointed with the path that MLBlogs is taking. There’s no consideration for the bloggers just for the promotional aspect.

An update on the “star wars” … In the days since this feature began, I’ve noticed that inevitably someone comes along and posts a few “1” ratings, then others will post “5” ratings to balance it out.

As it once was on the message boards, it ceases to be about the content of the post. It’s now about using the ratings to attack or defend someone.

When the feature was finally disabled on the message boards, on the Angels board the overwhelming majority were glad to be rid of it. There were actually people who were writing scripts to run overnight that would post a “1” rating, delete the local cookie tracking the rating, then post a “1” again. Others were creating multiple e-mail accounts so they could post “1” or “5” ratings.

The inevitable outcome is that blogs will be written to provoke a certain rating, positive or negative, rather than simply being about a particular subject matter. Just my opinion, but I would really like to get rid of it on my blog.

It’s a nice feature, but as futureangelsdotcom mentioned, a method of ‘controlling’ the posts and removing/editing the stars in case of spammers (like we can do with comments already) might be a useful addition.

PS – FREE VIAGRA PRESCRIPTION TO ANYONE WHO RATES ALL MY POSTS WITH 5 STARS

TwinsLimey

Glad I came over to find out what was up with the new ratings feature. I thought I was on Amazon!

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Wow, that is really cool! Thanks for letting us know, cause I thought it was just me who was seeing all this. Very very cool!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Great new features, Mark. Couldn’t be happier.

Steve T.
http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

genius, absolute genius.

http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

I would like to have an option for disabling the ratings feature. BAM used to have this on the fan boards, and all that happened was people were spamming threads with hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of low ratings to wage war on each other.

I’m already seeing this happen on the FutureAngels.com Blog, someone is spamming my posts with low ratings.

So I’d like to turn it off for my blog if possible.

Thanks Mark! I just noticed the changes in the ITD blog! Very cool!
.
Greetings from Nashua, NH!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

Sweet. Love it =)
– V [ http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com ]

Wow, that is really cool :O) Just saw it live on the Zo Zone…very nice!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Cool. We’re gettin’ fancy here at MLBlogs. I like it.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Thanks as always Mark for all the things you do for us bloggers. It is greatly appreciated!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I think that is a perfect evolution of where we need to go Mark.
Kudos to all of you at MLB for coming up and implementing these cool new features.
That might also help keep some of the fanfare down from people wondering about the Latest Leaders almost everyday from your mailbox.
Newer users on the site might not have seen all the changes in the last year, but us older(to the site) bloggers have noticed and have applauded your efforts to make it more enjoyable for everyone.
Looking forward to the new features, and as always, tahnk you Mark, MLB.com, and MLB Advanced Medis for our special forum online to chat the greatest game in the world.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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