Great question… while the majority of changes really impact and affect the blog writers and authors, there are some changes you, the blog reader will see. Let’s get into them…
- Home Pages – the home pages have been updated to reflect the current MSDN and TechNet site home pages. Menu’s, graphics, navigation etc. will all be the same.
- Home Page Content – Rather than just a rolling list of blog posts (which we’ll still have), you’ll also be offered the ability to search content, search for blogs, view site activity and be connected to the larger MSDN and TechNet sites via cross-promotional events.
- RSS / ATOM Feeds – we know our RSS feeds have been slow. Not minutes slow, but hours and occasionally days slow. RSS feeds will now be far more up to date and timely.
- More RSS Feeds – not only for the site, or for a blog, or for comments but for blog authors, friends, and community activity.
- MSDN and TechNet Blog themes – for the majority of blogs you visit, what you’ll see will also be in line with the MSDN and TechNet site design. Many of our bloggers though have built a custom design and brand over the years so you’ll still see those too.
- Integrated Site Search – in the platform today you search using a pop-up Bing window that sometimes gets you what you want. In the new platform, the search is an integrated solution within the platform. One search will let you find content across all the MSDN or TechNet blogs and allow you to then subscribe via RSS to those search results so you can be informed of the content at any time.
- Friends, activity and profiles – the profile system has been overhauled. You can now follow other people, track your activity and others and build a community of people in the blog sites.
- Captcha – we’ve been criticized for the Captcha on the current site. You’ll find that experience to be much improved on the new platform…
- Better content – we are enabling our blog authors to directly embed videos, Silverlight and other dynamic content into their blog posts.
- Less HTML hacks – we’ve brought the site up closer to HTML standards and our blog authors can more easily manage the source that is being output.
- Built-in Social Syndication – standard on all blog posts will be the ability to share the content to your favorite social sites such as facebook, twitter, digg etc.
- Translation Control – we are working to enable machine translation on all blogs so that readers from all countries and languages can keep up with the blogs.
- Breadcrumbs – across all blogs there will be breadcrumbs to allow you to navigate up through posts to a blog home and then to the site home overall.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the overall platform changes. Hopefully these are welcome additions and help make your experience on the blogs a great one!
More information tomorrow!