Site admin contact member blog owners?

What is the best method for the site owner to contact member blog owners? I want to send out helpful tips and helps about maintaining member blogs and offering support for the site. How can I send that info through the admin area? Would that be best?

Idea: A Blog Basic How To that would explain to new member blog owners the do's and don't's of the admin area. This could be a pop-up or an admin note area of each site owner? Maybe create a plug-in that allows a note to either all or some of the blog owners (can be a check make beside each name) sends a simple email explaining that they have an admin note waiting from the Site Administrator?

  • drmike
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Really depends on how many blog owners we're talking about, what you;re current setup is, and the policies of your host. Many hosts restrict the number of emails their clients can send out within an hour. That's usually the limiting factor. On my own servers, there's a limit of 100 an hour with social sites and forums set higher.

    Take a look at the mailchimp plugin from the Plugins section for a start. It's an outside service that may be what you need.

    Can we know what hosting software and server OS you're running please? (ie CPanel on a CentOS box. Direct Admin on FreeBSD.) I ask because what you have in front of you to use depends on what you;re host uses. You should also check with your host about hourly email limits as well. Getting their permission ahead of time and having them make a note of them approving the mailing of such a list is always a good idea. You know someone's going to call 'spam' on it.

    Roughly how many clients are we talking about as well please.

  • energyrater
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I guessI was thinking in more terms of a dashboard widget that allow a site admin the opportunity to speak with all the blog owner through the admin. The email option could be set (with in the plug-in) to only post (some #) of emails in a particular period (an hour?).

    I'm using hostgator for a server.
    EDIT: my limit with them is 500 emails in one hour.

    I only have 4 blogs, but if I have 50 or 100 blogs online, I can see where that might become an issue??

  • drmike
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    For 50 to 100, I don;t think it would be an issue. I even think the mailchimp is free at that level.

    If you would have go the admin route, there's two options. You can either use this plugin that will display a single notice to all users:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/admin-message

    Or you have an options on the Site Admin -> Options -> Admin Notice Feed to display the title and the first few words of the most recent post on any blog you setup. For example, blog.mymuinstall.tld is the admin blog on an install. If we put the rss url for that blog;s feed in that field, it'll show up on all of the blogs along the top of the dashboard. The only problem with that though is all users can dismiss that at any time.

    And just to throw two more plugins along these lines that may interest you:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/admin-panel-tips - Displays a random message out of a group
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/automatic-follow-up-emails-for-new-users - Actually sends follow up emails after 'x' 'y' and 'z' number of days to the blog admins.

    Hope this helps,
    -drmike

  • energyrater
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    The follow up email thing might be of use...

    Set to 3 (or upon the first email??) days after a new member starts a blog it sends an email to that user explaining all the tips for creating your first post, how to place the widget, etc...

    Then after so many days, *something else*. Could also be an email that advertises another blog owners product/service.

    Etc.

    Good thinking...as always, thanks for the support!!

  • drmike
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Set to 3 (or upon the first email??) days after a new member starts a blog it sends an email to that user explaining all the tips for creating your first post, how to place the widget, etc...

    The concern I have with that is with spammers getting ahold of the sending email. While I realize that's probably either a server email address (if you;re on a box that sends php email as the server) of your support email, new stuff may start coming back to that.

    Maybe that should be set to a dummy address?

    I've seen too many servers with root inboxes filled with thousands of spams. (That reminds me. About time again we went through and cleaned those out again.)

    i can always upgrade and start monkeying around with my email program...

    That's another option if you don;t have that many folks. Just import into your local email program. I don;t think a service like gmail will allow you to do that though. Too open for abuse.

  • energyrater
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I just wanted a way to connect with my member blogs in an effective way. What about creating a "site admin" blog from the front end? The blog could be set up so that my blog owners could comment and I could set up sections of the blog (via categories) to offer tips on everything from adding widgets to simple post writing.

    Can you think of a way to improve on that idea?

    On another thought pattern (I may need to start another thread)...

    Can a member blog owner customize a theme he has chosen? Like maybe add his own logo? Etc.??

  • Sue
    • Recruit

    How about if I explain some of the different ways we support our blog users on Edublogs as it might help give you ideas.

    We use the admin message https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/admin-message for situations where we want the same message displayed on every page when they navigate through their dashboard.

    Then we use admin panel tips for a series of helpful tips that change to a new message as users navigate through their dashboard - https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/admin-panel-tips . The admin panel tips is displayed below the admin message (shown in the images on this page - https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/admin-message )

    Normally we link the admin panel tips to either posts on The Edublogger ( http://theedublogger.com/ ) or to posts on our Help and Support site ( http://help.edublogs.org/getting-started-with-edublogs/ )

    Our users find it helpful to have a blog like The Edublogger because they know they can use leave comments and ask questions on it or they can use our forum ( http://edublogs.org/forums/ ).

    On our Campus sites I recommend that they set up their main homepage so that it can be used as hub to support their users and provide features that help their users manage their blogs easier. You can read more here - http://thecampus.edublogs.org/

    We also use plugins to send out emails.

    Re-Can a member blog owner customize a theme he has chosen? Like maybe add his own logo? Etc.??

    Yes alway best to start new thread.

    I assume you mean on the theme not on their login page? If so yes they can customize their theme provided it is a theme that has customization options such as ability to upload custom headers.

    WPMU-Dixi , WPMU-nelo: and WPMU-triden are all highly customizable themes/

  • Patrick
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Very helpful to me Sue. Thanks.

    I am looking for something like energyrater and maybe I'm missing something but I'll ask again for clarification... Can I have a forum where only blog owners have access? Is there a way to link/connect to the blog owners accounts or would there just have to be a separate forum with its own signup credentials?

    Actually, just like this site. I couldn't post until I joined and paid. Also, maybe a way to hide the forums from public view.

    Thanks again.

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