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Some suggestions for GI Online

Now that I've been blogging and interacting  on GI Online for a while, I've noticed a few things that could stand for improvement on the site. 

I do love the site, and the community we've built here, but there are things that would make navigating and participating a *lot* easier.

1) Allow subscribing to blog comments.

One thing I hate is leaving a comment and then not being able to tell if anybody has responded to it. You have to manually go back and check every blog you've commented on in order to do this.  This is ok for the first couple of days because you can just check your activity log, but even doing that requires you to revisit every blog.

But once you've continued doing stuff on the site, your previous activity disappears anyway.  What if somebody responds to your comment a couple of weeks from now?  You'll never know.

You can "follow" a forum post, but you can't do that with a blog post?  That needs to change

Which leads to...

2) You should receive notification when somebody responds to your blog post.  Or at the very least, the option to turn on this subscription (for those of you who get dozens of comments already and may not want all of those emails).

Again, you'll never know if somebody comments on an old post of yours because who wants to go back through all or your blog posts to see if the comments number has changed?  More recent ones, sure.  But once you've accumulated a few blog posts, that will get tedious as well.

Yes, you can get into the "Manage your blog" section and see new comments that way, but right now that's very tedious as well.

Which leads to...

3) Make accessing the Advanced features of blogging much easier.

Unless I'm missing something, the only way you can access all of the cool tracking stuff for blogs on GI is by starting a post and then clicking on "Advanced Editor."  That gives you access to the comment tracker, post tracker, and all of that good stuff.  Of course, that's not intuitive at all.  I didn't even know all of that stuff existed until I clicked on it just to see what it was.  That should be accessible from your main page.

Plus, you should be able to bookmark the "manage your blog" area, which right now you can't because...

4) Too many parts of the "Manage your blog" section take you to a "sign in" screen that doesn't allow you to sign in, including if you have a direct link to your "Manage your blog" page itself!

You click on "Dashboard" and you get "You're not a system administrator".  WTF?  What is this dashboard supposed to do, that it would require administrator access?  If you click on "Change how your blog looks" and other aspects of this area (like the "Mirrored Feeds" tab), you get sent to a sign in page with nowhere that you can sign in.

It's all very frustrating, and it took me asking Saint about this to find out that I'm not alone and I wasn't missing something.  These things just aren't working right now.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't want to see all of this stuff if I can't access it.

Also, along the notification front...

5) You should also be notified if somebody leaves a comment on one of your reviews and, I assume, for guides and other postings as well.

I only have one review, for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and I just happened to check it to see how many views it had.  I saw it had a comment from a couple of days ago.  Good thing I checked!

All of these notifications don't have to be done through email, as that could get annoying after a while (that's why I don't subscribe to the super-long threads in the forum, despite having contributed to them). But there should be a way *on-site* where you can see if there are responses to stuff you've done.

One way to foster community is to reward those who are busy building that community.  Sometimes we're so busy building that community, so widespread in our contributions to the site, that it can be a nightmare trying to respond to everybody who responds to us.

An efficient way to keep tabs on that sort of thing would be very helpful.

I know GI may be working on all of this stuff now.  I assume, since we have the tabs for them in the Advanced Editor, that they will be implementing them in the future.  That's my hope, anyway.

We'll see.

Also, if I am missing something and there is a way to do some of the stuff I describe, please let me know.

What do you all think?

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