On 1 March 2017, after much consultation with its communities, Stack Exchange announced that We will no longer be hosting Blog Overflow:

Instead of hosting [the Geographic Information Systems Blog] on a separate WordPress instance, these posts will instead be moved to a series of static pages directly on our network. There will be some modifications to things like the "About" pages, explaining that these are functionally archives as opposed to ongoing blogs. The process for setting these into static will be beginning shortly after this announcement is posted on Meta.

Below is the original discussion from 2011 when the blog was first proposed.


Action is required if GIS Stack Exchange wants a GIS Blog.

13th September 2011 GIS SE Blog is here http://gis.blogoverflow.com/

Some help with layout and css and replacing (*http://gis.blogoverflow.com/wp-content/themes/stackexchange/sites/gis/images/logo.png) required.

Authors and Editors will be contacted shortly.

We do need content - style in alignment with the main site and any help is welcomed.

Important update 8th September 2011:

Good News we have a GIS Blog coming very soon! Well done to all with suggestions and building community spirit for the Blog.

Now the real work starts - 1st posts due next week - thinking caps on please!

"Excellent! I'll try to get that created today, but it should definitely be by early next week. Feel free to go ahead and start coordinating and planning those first few posts! (:" Rebecca Chernoff

update: 7th September 2011 - submitted our points, views, schedule and authors to StackExchange Staff for a GIS Blog, now waiting response. +requested a voting mechanism for good blog posts

update 23rd August 2011: Waiting response from StackExchange Employees feedback (we have to prove there is enough interest and all 4 actions are met).

Looking into setting up a GIS Blog

Existing Stack Exchange Blogs:

StackOverFlow Blog http://blog.stackoverflow.com/

SuperUser Blog http://blog.superuser.com/

Server Fault Blog http://blog.serverfault.com/

Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange. http://scifi.blogoverflow.com/

We are required to do 4 actions:

  1. Raise the idea on the child meta. A community blog needs the involvement of community members. Action done
  2. Who/or who wants to be the contributors to the GISse Blog? (we want more than moderators..they have plenty to do)

So far Kirk Kuykendall, Chad Cooper, Dan Patterson and Mapperz have shared interest in certain roles for the GIS blog.

If anyone else wants to contribute they are more than welcome. (We need to accommodate that blog contributors have vacation and other interests that will need to be covered in their absence)

If you want to contribute please add your name to the comments below.

(Recruit contributors. Who will write entries for the blog? Starting a blog is a bit like going through the buffet line. Be realistic – don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. Think seriously about if and how often you will be able to contribute a blog post, including research/prep time.)

We are at this point: 3) Define the scope and purpose of the blog. Is the blog about the site? Is it about the site’s topic? Is it about the industry around the topic? * GIS, Cartography, Technology, Database topics (an idea only subject to community input) (Keep in mind the audience of your community and their interests. Another generic blog about may not be all that interesting.)

topics are looking towards: popular/reoccurring topics on GIS.SE, events related to GIS and the GIS.SE community. (thanks to underdark) and a random collection of posts by different authors would be quite good (thanks to Mark Ireland)

4) Plan a schedule. Given the results of steps #2 and #3, think about a rough idea of a schedule for the blog. Will there be one post a week, posted Mondays? Will there be posts on Tuesdays and posts on Fridays? You don’t need to be pushing out posts daily, but I would say at least one post a week.

Weekly would be good - even if it is a round up of the best/top viewed posts that week on GIS Stack Exchange.

http://blogoverflow.com/getting-started/

15/08/2011 Response:

I see that you posted the list of things that need to be done, but did those things actually get done? In other words, is there a discussion about what the scope of the blog would be? Is there a discussion about who wants to write for the blog? There was an initial discussion awhile ago that kind of fizzled out:
Stack Exchange-GIS Blog?. I'd love to set up a GIS blog. Those 4 requirements are things we want to see before we set up the blog. We want to make sure that the blogs we set up are going to succeed, and wanting to see these discussions happening is part of that.

Please give your thoughts to the process - if we get all 4 actions done we can have a GIS Blog for this site - very useful and can provide good up-to-date information on up and coming events and rounds-ups of conferences attended.

This post is in response to Any followup to "What questions should attendees of ESRI UC be asking?

  • bug tag had to be added to post this (a bug) – Mapperz Aug 15 '11 at 14:37
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    I'm kinda surprised stackexchange blogs lack a voting mechanism. Votes would be a good way to gauge audience interest when choosing future topics. – Kirk Kuykendall Aug 16 '11 at 21:16
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    Kirk Kuykendall would you like to be one of many contributors/authors of the blog? Just trying to move Actions 2 'to done' listed above - We need more contributors/authors please. – Mapperz Aug 17 '11 at 16:38
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    I could do one blog post per month. – Kirk Kuykendall Aug 18 '11 at 13:47
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    +1 for Kirk - thanks for that. Need more authors.. (4 authors once a month = 1 per week) - that is a good start. – Mapperz Aug 18 '11 at 13:55
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    I could contribute once a month max. I think we would also need editors, which I would definitely be willing to do on a regular basis. – Chad Cooper Aug 19 '11 at 13:19
  • +1 for Chad - yes editors are more than welcome too. – Mapperz Aug 19 '11 at 13:48
  • For item 3, I was thinking I'd try to tie together questions that have come up into a common theme. I'm hoping that a link to the blog post will appear in "Linked" panel for each question I reference. – Kirk Kuykendall Aug 23 '11 at 19:38
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    Kirk a tagging system like on the main site would be good - it does exist - posted August 19th, 2011 under community, design, reference, stackexchange - blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/08/the-future-of-community-wiki – Mapperz Aug 23 '11 at 20:12
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    @kirk Re: suprised no voting on/for SE blogs. Yeah, me too. I remember a slashdot-alternative a few years back that was organized around the principle of having an editors' bullpen. Prospective articles were posted by whomever to the bullpen, the editors (e.g. users with enough karma privs) would make suggestions for making it worthy, the article would get rewritten and reposted. Lather, rinse, repeat until done, at which time it would be posted to the front page, or in our case "the blog". – matt wilkie Aug 30 '11 at 16:38
  • I'm pretty new to the GIS stack exchange, and I would be interested in contributing occasional blog posts. I would take more of a quality over quantity approach, meaning that I wouldn't make any commitments to posting at specified time intervals if granted the opportunity. I would say that with a busy schedule I would like to post at least one entry every 4-6 weeks as long as the content was meaningful by my opinion. – Allan Adair Sep 9 '11 at 8:06
  • Allan thanks for volunteering the more people contributing the more diverse the blog will be. – Mapperz Sep 9 '11 at 14:35
  • So how does the workflow go ... will bloggers post drafts to the blog, then once other bloggers have had a chance to review/comment/edit the blog gets published? – Kirk Kuykendall Sep 9 '11 at 17:05
  • Kirk all to be confirmed once the site is up and running. soon hopefully. – Mapperz Sep 12 '11 at 19:07
  • Well done on getting the blog up and running Mapperz. Look forward to seeing the posts. – geographika Sep 13 '11 at 9:22

If we want/need at least one post per week, we'll need more content than upcoming events and summaries of past ones.

I like the idea of extending popular questions into a longer articles. Also, similar questions that keep popping up in slightly varied form, could be provided with one big, summarizing answer.

It shouldn't feel like our blog is just a random collection of posts by different authors like in a news aggregator that collects posts from a list of blogs. Therefore, I think it would be useful to not make it a blog about "GIS, Cartography, Technology, Database topics" but a blog about "popular/reoccurring topics on GIS.SE, events related to GIS and the GIS.SE community".

I'm not sure about how the recruitment process is supposed to look like. Do we just wait for volunteers? We could have a list of possible topics authors could "adopt" or propose different ones.

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    I agree, especially if the "popular topics" weren't entrenched in any particular platform, but could put forward multi-platform solutions for their examples, or be generic in their description. – user681 Aug 15 '11 at 22:11
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    Dan Patterson would you like to be an author for the GISse blog? – Mapperz Aug 16 '11 at 2:48
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    Isn't "popular topics" really what the community wiki is about? I'm not a blogger, but it seems to me that most blogs say things like "I discovered this cool feature..." or "I had this problem and this is my workaround..." More like the inverse of SE in that a post starts with a solution and invites questions. As underdark rightly points out, this could just descend into a random collection of thoughts, but that does seem like what blogs are really about. So do we really need one at all? – MerseyViking Aug 16 '11 at 11:12
  • Well I never intended to start a blog - but 1500 posts later and still get positive feedback most days. (The ArcGIS tips and tricks still the most popular and is 4 years old)- It's more sharing knowledge that is a random nature. – Mapperz Aug 16 '11 at 13:56
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    This seems really interesting. I wonder if we could have a cartographic element in it as well? :) – Emily Aug 16 '11 at 14:58
  • @Mapperz depends on how this unfolds...academic term is approaching, so it might be interesting to wait and see what my students would like to see in a blog – user681 Aug 16 '11 at 18:07
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    GIS-SE folk are similar to a bunch that work together at the same workplace but later hangout after work to talk about work issues. For scope, I think topic based discussion related to the tags work best. For example, numerous individuals here develop GIS tools for a wide range of platforms using different stacks. Others, like myself, are not GIS gurus, rather use GIS to solve our problems (transportation and traffic in my case). WRT recruiting, I think, it is best done through targeted invitation based on tag usage or experts in certain fields, such as Arcgis-dev, QGIS, Grass, hydrology, etc. – dassouki Aug 16 '11 at 18:32

It shouldn't feel like our blog is just a random collection of posts by different authors... [it should be] a blog about "popular/reoccurring topics on GIS.SE, events related to GIS and the GIS.SE community".

Allow me to be Devil's Advocate and say that I think a random collection of posts by different authors would be quite good. I think there would need to be an "editor" in charge, but I like the idea of reading lots of different opinions. And after a short time no doubt the same author will have contributed several posts which could be a separate category.

Plus I don't see that a collection of different authors would mean it shouldn't be about popular/recurring topics. In fact the authors could be picked on the basis that they are expert in something that is popular.

The main difficulty - to me - is whether the blog would be market-related, technical, or a mix. Too technical might turn off some users. All market-related wouldn't really hit the target audience. So a mix, but being careful to create the right balance.

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    I totally agree that we should have posts by different authors who are specialists in their fields. I wanted to put the emphasis on the "like in a news aggregator that collects posts from a list of blogs" part. – underdark Aug 16 '11 at 20:18
  • fair enough - I can certainly agree with that! – Mark Ireland Aug 17 '11 at 19:44

I'm not very interested in a blog, where blog means there must be a post every X days/weeks, and the contents may or may not be.... worth reading.

I am interested in having a place where certain often occuring or just plain interesting topics could be covered in greater depth. Something more along the lines of magazine or newspaper articles.

I'd also like to contribute to said blog thingy but will not commit to any schedule. Rather I'll write something when I have something significant to say, and have the time to craft the expression of it properly.

  • matt wilkie I agree with your non-schedule (that's the basis of my own blog) though to complete stage 4 we need a schedule - but thank you for volunteering for being an author to the blog. I will push SE employees the progression once again. – Mapperz Aug 30 '11 at 17:37
  • The idea is that because the blog is run by the community, multiple users, it isn't the responsibility of one person to come up with a post every week. The schedule can be much more flexible. We just look for a goal of something like "a post per week" – Rebecca Chernoff Aug 30 '11 at 19:44
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    Thank you Rebecca for clarification. – Mapperz Aug 31 '11 at 14:19

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