It's already mid-August and I just finished a round of BlogEngine.NET updates to take advantage of the new features in 1.4.5.x.  For a lot of folks, the need to Blog is what makes this platform so valuable.  But my clients, and my own interests also include adding Extensions and Advertising.  Now that there's  a Text box Widget, I can add simple ads like an Amazon link, Google AdSense, and affiliate links right in the Widget Zone without any special code.  Maybe this can be improved to target this medium, but I have to admit, if it works, I'm going to use it as is.  But there are a few things I'd like to see sooner than later.

Multiple Blog Support

What if I had 15 Blogs on different topics and some of them included overlapping authors?  I would like to support this configuration with One code base, One server or service layer, connecting to a Single SQL database or SQL Server farm.  I know I'd want this because I want it now and I have 8 Blogs, with 8 Web Apps, 4 AppPools, and 8 sets of XML Data.

SQL Server Express wouldn't cut it since my server started running into resource issues.  Not because of SQL Server but because I need 8 databases the way this configuration is setup.  Even if I upgrade my server (or hosting platform) to allow for more capacity, it doesn't scale.  Also, I will spend more time maintaining Blogs than writing for them.  So more Blogs = Less Blogging.  That's not a positive goal for me. :(

See BlogEngine.NET on CodePlex: Multiple blogs in one BlogEngine.NET instance
See Also: SQL BlogEngine.NET and Multi-Blogging

I'm following the instructions from "Setting up BlogEngine.NET 1.4 to use SQL Server" so I can review the Provider and see if this seems practical.  I'll have to report back and add on here when complete.

Advertising the manual way

Anyone can now use a BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5 compatible theme and add a Text Box widget to the Widget Zone.  Then you can place and ad within, so long as it fits the box cleanly.  Don't forget colors, borders, iframe constraints., etc.  But this is still very clean compared with the alternative.

Using AdsenseInjector should place an AdSense ad within each blog post. I'm having problems when more than one AdSense block is configured on a page.  I still need to debug my specific issues, but it may stem from the fact that I messed with the Master file in the theme to place AdSense "elegantly" where I wanted it...of course this was just for testing the theory.  So, AdsenseInjector is a good start so I can't knock it.  It's certainly something I thought about but did no think through so now I have the benefit of someone else's labor.  However, I still would like to get it to work along side other Ads on my page.

Hacking various themes to produce Ad Friendly pages or posts may be the only way to get what I need.  Another way of looking at this could be to use the Widget or Webpart approach to building and organizing themes.

This was merely an exercise in describing what one blogger needs, but at the same time, setting in motion my attempts to achieve this and report back my R&D results.


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