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Blog Structure & Guidelines Proposal for Discussion

Blog Structure & Guidelines Proposal for Discussion

Background / Context

Status has a new blog portal. The initiative was started for the following reasons

  1. Centralized, proprietary silo censorship.

  2. To enable an autonomous slack -> -> blogpost -> pipeline, so that:

    • We can enable and amplify the many diverse voices of our core contributors
    • Products (mobile, desktop, embark, dapps, incubate) have a blog home w/ consistent brand identity / url structure that scales
    • Swarm (community, developers) content is more granularly consumable and measurable for impact.
    • Which can then be leveraged / amplified by marketing & communication staff by crossposting on the old medium blog and other social channels,
  3. To prepare for future decentralized hosting solutions (ipfs / swarm / etc),

  4. To enable native SNT token supported in-app blog feature for users, a la steemit

It is proposed that content is posted first to , and that marketing then curates the posts appearing on the front page by setting them to “pinned” status, and that “pinned” posts are additionally posted to medium, with the link text “originally published at”.

Why Ghost?

We have chosen to use a ghost hosting plan rather than to self host in order to:

  • Minimize the attack surface on existing infrastructure
  • Take advantage of the ghost cdn / dns services (they use cloudflare) for uptime, backups, etc
  • Minimize man hours in setup / backups, maintenance, etc.
  • Our plan allows for fifty publications with multiple users, we can easily create for other countries / languages.

Content Structure

Ghost’s CMS design does not allow for a menu with submenu items, it only allows for menu items to link to pages of tagged posts (posts can be set to be static pages though and be linked to). After participating in and observing activity in slack and discourse i’ve done some thinking about how best to organize

  • which types of content will be posted
  • by which groups
  • for which purpose.

It’s a corset that forces a certain paucity and minimalism for visual clarity and simplicity for both posters and readers.

I’ve made a stab at creating the following top-level category tags, which are up for discussion:


These top level categories do not preclude the creation of additional category tags (ie, #stateofus, #bravenewmemes, etc) which would also have their own page URL, and posts can of course have multiple category tags, and belong to multiple categories. Tag archives are like dedicated home-pages for each category of content with their own pages, their own RSS feeds, and can support their own cover images and meta data. More info on ghost tags

The only limitation here is which and how many top level menu categories we want to have.

I think it would be meaningful if additional tags that are created by authors come from existing tags from either discuss or slack, for continuity and ease of use across properties.

User Permissions

  • Owner: Can create any user / Make theme changes / edit, delete posts any user’s posts

  • Admin: Can create users / Make theme changes / edit, delete any user’s posts

    • It would be practical if Rajanie Henry, Jonny Zerah, and Jakub Sokolowski had Admin permissions to create users. It would be nice to have an additional Admin from design for theme changes.
  • Editor: edit / delete any user’s posts

    • In order to enable and support collaborative editing and publishing of posts that all contributors have Editor permissions. Posts can have multiple authors. This way, every contributor to a post will have the post listed on their profile. Content can be product / tech related, editorial, or personal. It’s up to you!
    • Marketing to have an non-individual named user account for “company” postings, currently the user name is set to “Us”. Additional product or content based users could be created for things such as “developers”, Embark, Incubate, Community, etc, if needed.
  • Author: edit /delete only own posts

    • It is proposed that status offer Author accounts to trusted partners such as Omise Go, etc, with whom status has deeper working relationships, or to Community Members outside of paid staff, who are seen as trustworthy content creators.
  • Discourse Bot

    • Ghost has integration with Discourse for post commenting. When someone wants to comment on a post, the bot creates a first post on under the category “blog-posts”.
    • Do we want to have commenting on posts, and if so, do we want it to happen on the instance of discourse, or an additional instance such as

Posting Guidelines

  • It is proposed that there is no Editorial Control / filtering of what an Editor can post, the assumption is that everyone knows what’s relevant to communicate based on their roles / interests.
  • It is proposed that the only “Editorial Curation” take place for what appears on the front page of the blog. Currently, the theme displays six “pinned” posts. Posts are pinned by a check box at the bottom of the settings tab in post-editing mode. The Marketing Admin (or an appointed Admin Editor) would select the posts for the front page, and to push further to Medium for the eyeballs.
  • Staff who want to have an Editor Profile with banner image, short bio & social media links should be committed to post at least 1-2 times per month. Obviously there are people at status who will post more prolifically :-)

What’s needed to take this live?

  • Consensus on Top Level Categories

    • I think the simplest method would be a Polly poll in slack, with the categories i've suggested with number emoji, and a final emoji for suggestions / changes? Of course the dialog can also happen here in discuss...
  • Header Images for the agreed upon Categories (i’ve created some placeholders)

    • Ned, Maciej, someone from design?
  • Editors & Content

    • If you want to be a blog contributor with a profile, let me know & i’ll create a user for you & help you get set up if you need assistance. I'm also available to assist non-native english speakers in cleaning up their content for publication, & i'm happy to catherd & encourage blog post creation based on things i read in slack & on discuss :-)
  • A rollout deadline

    • In my discussions with Jonny Zerah, we’re looking at an August 1st Launch with announcement.
  • Additional Wishlist

    • It would be great to have someone to collaborate with with some code chops i don't have for feature updates to the ghost theme :-)