Blogging in Reverse

This might sound silly, but I was thinking about setting up an "Ask Brad" column on my site. Not that I have a lot of wisdom to share about life and what not, but who knows -- there might be someone out there with a question for me that I'd like to entertain. There are a number of blogs that I'd love to see this on.

I thought about how I would pull this off. With Movable Type as it is today, I'd have to basically set up an entry where people could leave their questions as comments. Then I would pick and choose and answer them in a new "Ask Brad" blog.

I guess that would work. But it would be interesting to have the option to let MT do a lot of this for me. Perhaps I set up an "open mike" style blog, where anyone could post an entry (much like anyone can post a comment, as long as they provide name and e-mail address). The entries would default to 'Draft'. I would select ones that I wanted to answer, set them to 'Publish', and I would add my answer as a comment to that entry (but in this case, it's a closed comment system where only authorized MT users can post a comment). Upon adding my answer, the author of the entry would get an e-mail to notify them of my response. It's basically just how an MT blog works, but in reverse.

Does that sound weird? Would you use an "open mike" blog like that? What would you use it for?

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» gniggolb from spoonful of antimatter
.. which is, of course, "blogging" in reverse. (couldn't resist, sorry.) Seriously though, nifty idea.. Here's a tiny variation: why not have it so more than one person can answer the questions too? Kind of like an inverted community blog. Anybody can ... [Read More]

» gniggolb from spoonful of antimatter
.. which is, of course, "blogging" in reverse. (couldn't resist, sorry.) Seriously though, nifty idea.. Here's a tiny variation: why not have it so more than one person can answer the questions too? Kind of like an inverted community blog. Anybody can ... [Read More]

6 Comments

Eduardo said:

I would love to be able to set up a blog like that for my co-op's Web site. At the moment, we have a static FAQ page and a discussion board (not MT) that is almost never used. It would be great if I could include a simple "Ask a Question" button at several strategic places throughout our Web site, which would make the MT Bookmarklet pop up and the person asking the question could ask away.

Is there a way of passing the "username" and "password" for the "guest author" (i.e., the visitor) as a hidden form variable or as a URL string--from the MT Bookmarklet? The bookmarklet template itself could be modified to exclude the Post Status drop-down menu (how?), and the blog could be set up to default to "Draft," so that the guest author would only be able to submit a draft. The guest author would also be given permission only for posting, but no other permissions. They wouldn't be able to edit the posts or change it from "Draft" to "Publish."

But then how would you keep the guest author from actually loging onto the MT console? They should have access to the blog only via the special Bookmarklet.

Brad, I think it's a great idea, and would love to see a solution one day.

Dylan said:

Are you God? Are you listening to my prayers? heh

I recently posted on the forum about something like this.

I am making a site which is based around interactivity. I want people to be able to post reviews, articles, stuff like that.

After searching for something that could accomplish this task, I had no luck. I was just going to do this with comments. However, I wanted something that could be screened for junk and could be commented on itself.

I really need something like this, I really hope you're inspired to work on this so that I can use it! heh. It's a great idea I think alot of people would take advantage.

paul hammond said:

You could create some kind of webform to movable type api gateway. This would keep the username and password hidden from the world whilst allowing anyone to add an entry.

I've been meaning to create this for months - hopefully someone else will get there first...

(btw, comment previews are broken)

chris said:

Hi. I have also been banging my head against the wall looking for the best way to do the same thing.

I came up with this. I am waiting for Ben to implement email posting. Then I will set up a form that uses a simple cgimail to always post as guest. I'll put the form on the site, and that'll be that. Of course I need to wait for Ben. There is probably a pretty easy way to use the MT API to make a form that does the posting directly, but I don't see how you could prevent users from logging into the control panel.

I had a guest account set up for a few days, username "guest", password "guest" kind of thing. I encouraged people to log in that way. Then, when a good friend figured out a way to go in and edit previous posts and change authors and stuff, I disabled it. Therefore, I do not trust the MT control panel security.

larcher said:

Many apologies, Brad -- my TrackBacking experiments went awry and I accidentally sent 2 pings for one post.. Is there any way to 'retract' a ping? :)
Anyway, neat idea .. seems like it'd be useful on a lot of sites.

lashlar said:

Awesome idea. It sounds really interesting. Are you sure you're not God? Because every time I visit your site, I come away aware of some new use for MT that I had never thought of before. :-)

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This article was published on November 12, 2002 10:36 PM.

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