SteemPress 1.2 Update: New logo and design, curation, work on a new front-end, new features
Hello steemit! This is the official STEEM account for SteemPress, the WordPress plug-in built and operated by @fredrikaa and @howo to allow automated posting from any WordPress blog to the STEEM blockchain! (You can find more information about SteemPress on the wordpress.org plug-in store here or read our previous update post for v1.1 here).
It's been a month since our last update post about SteemPress. Since then, we have been working on a lot of exciting stuff essential to taking SteemPress to the next level! Most notably, our recent focus has been to create a new design, visual identity and logo , to test and improve curation and establishing solid voting guidelines, to develop and improve a dedicated front-end for content discovery meant primarily for curators, as well as implementing other features requested by our users. This update post is meant to bring you up to date on our progress and is also an invitation for you to give your feedback. Please note that all updates are work in progress.
As of today, more than 24 500 articles have been posted by 435 bloggers and we are currently posting 690 articles per day. We are really happy with this growth and with all of the support from you guys so thank you ! However, with 70 million WordPress blogs out there, our goal is to grow much, much bigger and we believe our current work will make that possible.
New design, visual identity and logo
Over the past weeks, we’ve been fortunate to work with a very talented designer on the STEEM platform, namely @foundation. As we prepare to launch our first rounds of serious marketing for SteemPress towards WordPress users everywhere, having a professional looking logo, design and brand identity is one key objective to complete first (the other being curation, which we’ll come back to later).
Therefore, we are very happy to share with you our newly updated design!
A blogger-centred design
Expanding beyond our first early adopters of people already on the STEEM blockchain, our target audience will be WordPress users looking for new tools to monetize their content and reach new audiences with their content. Our visual identity from the logo, general design and marketing material should therefore communicate the core value propositions we believe we provide to WordPress users out there. This regardless of their prior knowledge of steemit.com or crypto currencies.
Although we steemians are still the early adopters of blockchain and crypto-based blogging and content sharing, many people out here will have heard at least 2 things:
- There is money to be made in crypto currencies
- There are new opportunities for innovation using blockchain.
We therefore believe that the idea that a cryptocurrency can help bloggers make money, or that a blockchain can take their blog to the next level, is easy to sell. We therefore want to communicate those promises in our design.
- SteemPress helps you monetize your content.
- SteemPress helps you to reach new audiences with your content by displaying it on numerous front-ends.
We've gone through a handful of iterations of our logo to arrive at something that is not too STEEM or steemit-centred, but rather has an appeal to people anywhere. We are still in the process of gaining user feedback on the designs to see what flies. If you have any preference as to which ones you like the most, or don't like them at all, please let us know!
These are the versions of our new logo we have considered, please tell us which one you prefer and why!
We also have an updated banner which we hope helps demonstrate the core idea: By using SteemPress, you can take your content to new places to be seen and monetized.
The current SteemPress banner illustrating how a blogger can earn money by connecting to the STEEM blockchain to also take their content to man places on the web.
To help illustrate the idea we're trying to sell, we like to think of SteemPress as an entry point for current WordPress users to access people and engagement through the many front-ends and decentralized applications built on STEEM.
Illustrating how content to uploaded to the blockchain can reach new audiences through different front-ends.
A dedicated website for content discovery
Tools for more convenient content discovery on the STEEM blockchain is something we all want. As SteemPress benefits from the success of our users due to benefactor rewards, helping our users be discovered by curators is a high priority to us. Therefore, we are building a dedicated website to discover content published with SteemPress. We are currently working with manual curators and STEEM communities to understand the challenges they face finding content as well as new users. Our first example is the opportunity to search purely for users who made their first ever post in the last 6 days. This to allow curators to discover new users without relying on tags such as #introduceyourself, but because it is actually their first post.
We’ll be looking to implement unique search alternatives benefiting curators and communities make the life of a curator more convenient and also to ensure that the best wordpress bloggers we onboard are discovered and rewarded. Our mission is to provide seamless integration between a wordpress user’s content and the STEEM ecosystem, which involves more than just the blockchain but also the communities and people on STEEM. As such, we want to collaborate with communities to support their growth while also introducing SteemPress users to the most relevant and engaging communities.
Screenshot from our demo website displaying posts made with SteemPress by new users.
If you have any suggestions for tools or search functions that would make content discovery more convenient and effective for you, then please do provide them in the comments! Please bear in mind that our website is the very first iteration and that so far we’ve only implemented the function to discover new users.
Curation with @steempress-io
To incentivize further use of SteemPress – and also to showcase to our adopters that we bring into the STEEM ecosystem for the first time that there is money to be made sharing content on STEEM – we will be upvoting content with @steempress-io. Since our last update, we have been testing voting with the account based on the 2000 Steem Power delegation we have invested in it ourselves. We are still working on defining and optimizing the curation guidelines in order to responsibly allocate our votes.
We have begun curating content uploaded with our plug-in based on different voting criteria that are still under development
We are currently in the process of writing a comprehensive SteemPress curation policy brief and voting guidelines paper. We believe that as a decentralized application whose profits grows with the value of the STEEM token, voting responsibly and contributing to improving how good content is discovered and rewarded is of the highest priority. Expect a more detailed update on this soon.
Other new features and updates
Every week, we engage with our users to understand what new features they would like to see on SteemPress and also how we could make their blogs more successful in general. Here's an overview of the new updates and added features since our last update:
One of the most frequently asked questions we have received from our users is how cross-posting to the STEEM blockchain might hurt their blogs SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The issue is that with steemit.com becoming an increasingly popular website, google will often consider it as the main source for content that is posted simultaneously to a blog and to steemit.com. While we are working on many solutions to this issue, one easy fix is to simply set a delay for when a blog post is uploaded to the blockchain. This means that the content will first appear on your blog and then uploaded to STEEM after x minutes. Beyond helping google understand that you and your blog is indeed the original author, this may also allow you to keep your wordpress blog more exclusive whilst still adding your content to STEEM to also share it with your followers on steemit.
Optional posting checkbox
When you are writing a blog post on WordPress you may not want to submit that story to STEEM. And the only way to prevent that was to disable the plugin, post and then reactivate the plugin. So we added this checkbox (checked by default) to allow you to do that more easily.
Featured images support
If you include a featured image to your blog post, we will now add it at the top of your post.
You can see an example of it here :
Removal of spaces on tags and conversion to english letters
We had some issues with tags, first there is no support for spaces in tags for STEEM, so if a blogger were to write "mario bros" on STEEM it would appear as "mario" and "bros" for the tags, so we removed the spaces in the tags, now it'll post "mariobros".
Next we saw a lot of non-english content come to SteemPress(chinese and hebrew for instance) and these bloggers will obviously use tags in their non-english alphabet, but non-english tags are not supported by STEEM, so we now convert them to english. for instance if you write "Федерaция" (federation in russian) as a tag, SteemPress will convert it to "Federatsiya".
Default tags can now be set at the beginning of the post tag
If you make non english content, it's very common to use the community tag as the first STEEM tag "fr" for french "kr" for korean etc. But on your wordpress blog it makes no sense to always add that tag. So we added the possibility to always append the default tags to the STEEM tags.
for example if your make a wordpress blog post in french about sport your tags will be "crossfit sport healthy" and since your default tag is "fr" on STEEM your post will have the tags "fr crossfit sport healthy"
Edit the title if it's too long
Another issue with internationalization when you are writing with non-english characters is that they take more space on the blockchain : The maximum size for a title is 256 bytes, an english letter takes one byte, so that's about 256 letters, but in practice an international letter (japanese for instance) can easily take 2-6 bytes per letter. So we saw some bloggers failing to post using SteemPress because their titles were too long.
So if they are too long, we remove letters until they fit and add "..." afterwards.
- If you set no tags and no default tags, "SteemPress" will be used.
- Switched the domain name from steemgifts.com (legacy from our other projects) to SteemPress.io
- Fix a bug that caused the shortcodes not being stripped completely.
More shortcodes are removed :
- Nextgen Gallery : [ngg_images]
- ad shortcodes : [ad_1] and [ad_2]
- Visual composer : [vc_row]& [vc_column]& [vc_column_text]& [infobox]& [dropcap]