Enhancement Wishlist for the Engrave Blogging Platform
I have been using Wordpress since version 2. I really like it a lot and almost of my websites are powered by Wordpress. I witnessed how it evolved from a simple blogging platform to a multi-functional content management system that powers almost a quarter of the world's websites. It has all the bells and whistles for most of the functionalities any website require.
When I learned about Steem being a blogging platform, I then thought of Wordpress when it was just starting to be popular, as well as the other old-school blogging sites like LiveJournal, Blogger, Multiply, and Tumblr. One thing I wished though, that it will provide each user his/her own space to blog, in this case a subdomain, not in the format STEEMIT.COM/@USERNAME Still, I signed up as I believe that Steem is a great platform and it offer unique opportunities for content creators.
And then I learned about Engrave from a friend and Steem PH founder @chrisrice. It is a Dapp for your Steem blog and it can give you your own subdomain as a blog address. Better, if you have your fully qualified domain name (FQDN), you can use that domain to display your Steem blog, which I did. I believe that Engrave provides a good blogging interface for Steem users that I even wrote the reasons why Steemians should use it.
Social media is a major factor in delivering traffic to a website. Even if Engrave works around the Steem blockchain where rewards are primarily expected to be generated by content, still, it is better to provide more exposure for the content by integrating social media icons at the start and/or the bottom of each post.
Engrave is still in its infancy and while I can say the system is really good, there are still lots of improvements that can be done to enhance the blogging experience. I wrote this post so share my views on what may be done for further improving the Engrave platform. Take note that I am these suggestions are made from my own perspective as a user, and may not reflect what the rest of the Engrave community may find useful as far as individual preferences are concerned.
I had this draft for a while and NEW THEMES were actually part of the earlier drafts, then Engrave added three new themes even before I published this one, so I am updating it to have color schemes instead. That will make blogs look a bit different even if they are using the same theme. What's better than this one is it will be possible to use custom CSS to fully customize the blog layout and design. I am on the assumption that all the themes currently available on Engrave are powered by the same code and just display differently on the screen by using different CSS. (I haven't checked the actual HTML codes my assumption could be wrong)
Engrave has proven it can work out of the box from the "default" Steem blogging interface when it enabled users to have post categories on their blogs. As such, I am optimistic that it can further offer more functionalities like this. One of such is by being able to use widgets on the blog sidebar like what Wordpress and other popular blogging platforms have. As to what types of widgets to enable, there are a lot of options to start with like most recent comment, recent mentions, mostly used tags, etc. Having the ability of adding custom HTML (just basic tags) will be awesome too!
When you create a new post through Engrave, it automatically assigns @engrave account as a beneficiary which is pegged at five (5) percent. It will be a good feature if users can be allowed to set their own beneficiary up to the remaining 95%. Sometimes I am thinking of creating a post which will reward my readers or commenters by setting them as a beneficiary on a future post, unfortunately, there is no way to do that. It will be also good if the percentage settings for those other beneficiaries can be "saved" for future posts.
I love using tags, particularly my interest in participating in other SCOT Tribes in the Steem blockchain. When I published my post in Engrave, after a minute, I will open that post in BUSY.ORG just to add more tags and my signature. Currently, Engrave only allows five (5) tags just like SteemIt. Some users already told me that using more than five tags will decrease the visibility of my posts which I have taken note of. However, as I want to maximize cross-postings of my posts, I usually take advantage of BUSY.ORG's 12-tag allowance, that's why I use the platform to edit my posts. I was even told that Marlians allows up to 15 tags, but I think one needs to be a certified ulogger in order to be allowed to use the Ulog platform. For me it will be good if Engrave can do the same to allow more tags. It can display a warning after the user enters the 6th tag to say that putting more tags on that post may affect its visibility across the blockchain.
Still on post tags, I think you cannot add a tag if it starts in a digit. I tried using the tag "2022challenge" when I wrote My 2022 Challenge post and it didn't allow me to add that time. I needed to spell out "2022" to "twentytwentytwo" to be able to add the tag. With this, I hope it will support tags that begin with a number.
That's all for now folks. I will create another post should I think of many other things that I believe will make Engrave better. I know updating the system will cost time, money, and human intellect but I am hoping these things will materialize in the future.
I am not in a way affiliated with Engrave as an entity nor paid to do this post. I am impressed with the platform but at the same time I believe that there are still doors for improving the system. If you are a Steem user and have more suggested improvements in mind on the Engrave platform, feel free to share them by commenting below. Thank you for reading and I appreciate your feedback.