After a trying week in which it was necessary to effect many changes to our new WordPress-based website on an urgent basis, we're happy to report that the situation is improving, the website is relatively stable, and long-promised enhancements to the site's functionality are finally coming together.
GUEST EDITORS ARE BACK: One of the biggest challenges we faced after conversion was setting up a system for our elected front page guest editors to carry out their duties of authoring and promoting user content to our front page. It was necessary to very precisely configure their access permissions, and significantly modify the WordPress user management system to give them this power without compromising the privacy of our thousands of anonymous users. As of now, our front page guest editors ProgressiveCowgirl and Voyageur again have full authority to promote content, with important new features:
1. Guest editors have the ability to edit posts, BUT an archival record is kept of prior versions that administrators (us) can override. Editors may assign posts to the homepage using the "Front Page Posts" category, and toggle posts to appear in the top two highlighted spots using the "Make Sticky" function.
2. Guest editors now have the ability to moderate, edit, and trash (remove but not fully delete) comments. Editors can also send an email to comment authors. Please be aware of this important new capability! Remember, you can access your profile to change your email address at any time. If you don't want administrators to see the email attached to your comment, change it to a fake address–we don't care, folks. You can always send us an email if you need help. The system will only attach the email address in use by the user's account when that account is created, and your IP address is no longer recorded in our system.
As part of this upgrade, we have permanently deleted all historical associated emails and IP addresses from the approximately 500,000 comments currently hosted by our website. Going forward, the system is configured to not log your IP address at all, and only attach your user account email to comments to allow administrators and guest editors to contact you. At Colorado Pols, we are absolutely committed to protecting the anonymity of our readers. Contact us with any questions.
ALL CONTENT RESTORED: In the first few days after relaunch, a significant amount of content, both posts and comments as well as all of our historical images and upload documents, was anomalously missing. This has been corrected; please contact us if you find any remaining holes.
COMMENT EDITOR: One of the first of many new enhancements from our old platform we're exciting to roll out is a full-feature WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") editor for both blog posts and comments. This editor will allow users to use all the standard text markup functions available to them with no knowledge of HTML.
UPLOADED AN AVATAR YET? Click "Profile" to add your thumbnail image to every comment and post.
STILL TO COME: The highest remaining priority remains implementation of a better system for users to track and reply to their own comments on blog posts throughout the site. This was a function in Soapblox that, as it turns out, many users relied upon, and we are working hard on a replacement–including the possible development of a new WordPress plugin to do this if an off-shelf example cannot be found. Please be patient while we continue to work on a solution.
Based on feedback and experience with the new site actually hosting content, we will be making minor changes to the overall layout and color scheme of the site in the coming days. If you see anything out of place or broken, please contact us.
We have rolled out the ability to upload images and standard document types to our front page guest editors! We are evaluating making this function available to all registered users.
Thanks again for your patience while we complete this messy but necessary process. As we've said, our previous software platform, Soapblox, served us well for many years, but was no longer subject to new development. With such a huge body of valuable historical content, and ongoing as the most-read and discussed political blog in the state, we take our responsibility to deliver the highest quality user experience possible very seriously. As always, please let us know if there's anything we can do better.