Feature proposal: Notes

Oct 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Sometimes i would just like to post a short thougt or a simple note but don't want to make a real blogpost of it.

I would really like to have some kind Notepad on the blog, where i can just leave a sentence or two without much hassle. Probably a bit like a tiny private twitter.

A widget for example would be nice, so you could fit it to the side of the main posts.

And no, i explicitely do NOT want something external like a social media service.

Oct 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Hi Fenrir, what do you think to create the short post, add a category like thought / idea, remove publish and comments ?

Oct 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Well the whole idea comes from a certain attitude:

If i write an article/blog post i want to do it right. I take my time to get the words right and read it through to make sure it comes out the way i wish to have everything said.

sometimes though a thought crosses my mind, that i just wish to share. If i post that the normal way, then i feel it is below my normal standard, and then refuse to do it.

What i imagine is something like a public blackboard or even a Post-It-Note, quick and simple to use. Actually in all honesty, i am personally extremely cautious about the mentioned social networks, but this specific feature of quick exchange of unclean thoughts is something, that in my opinion should belong to the blogosphere. This kind of information should not be given freely to some giant company, but should remain under personal control.

Oct 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

I agree. By the way, there is "feedback" button in lower-right corner on "discussions" tab, you can add this to the list and let people vote on it. We'll try to add features that people want most.

Oct 28, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I have done that, thanks for the hint.

To eloborate a little: To keep this as easy as possible, the entire entry should be devoid of any editor options, just a basic text-input, probably a bit like a chat system. The control options in the admin panel or widget control, should probably only consist of the option to write as a guest, and maybe select a different font. Maybe setting the option for an automatic deletion after a certain period might be of interest as well.

A logged in user should be able to start writing or replying after no more than one klick.

Oct 30, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Edited Oct 30, 2011 at 11:50 PM

Fenrir:  So you need some one to make this Widget for you then?

Currently BE out of the box does not have this feature that you are requesting.

I see you already put it on the "Wish List" :)


So you need to promote your "Wish"  hopefully it gets voted up and some one will make it for you.

Post your wish to the social networks :)   Twitter,Facebook, Linkedin, and etc.

I Ping.Fm it for you.  :)

Also put my 3 votes in for it making it now 6.

Good Luck in getting the Widget made,

Brian Davis

Java Blog

Oct 31, 2011 at 12:42 PM


I find this feature kind of interesting and wonder if I might use such a tool too.  However, I'm having a hard time imagining how this "thought steam" will be displayed on the blog.  Could you elaborate a little more about how it would be presented?


Nov 6, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I am actually working on a widget like this right now. It displays notes for the blog and/or post in the widget bar. Adding a note causes a textarea and submit/cancel buttons to appear. I will try to incorporate some of your suggestions into it.


Nov 10, 2011 at 11:06 AM


That sounds pretty much like what i had in mind: a very simple system to input more or less plain text. The input area for new text should always appear at the top of the postings and should automatically get a standard tag by which it can be filtered one way or the other, so you can show blogs only or thoughts only, or both, with both being the default of course.


i imagine this as being displayed between blog posts, with no headline and just a time-tag. As i said above: it would be neat if there was an option to filter the posts.

In general this is meant to bring a bit more life to the blog so people feel less insecure about adding minor content.

Nov 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Two ideas just hit me:

This method would make "live blogging" a lot easier.

Secondly this could even be done from a smartphone.

Nov 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM


Thanks for helping me understand how it would show up int the UI.  The "no title" aspect makes sense, but if thought streams are a special kind of "post" then I wonder if they have to have a title since the title is used for the slug?  I also wonder if thought streams can be clicked on to go to their post page?

To provide foundation for displaying these using a unique set of css styling, I wonder if the post object for these should have a special property IsThought?  Then when generating the html via PostView.ascx one could use this property to attach different styles and generate special html for "thoughts". 

Also, I wonder, if it should be it's own animal and there should actually be a "thought" table just like a post table (and a corresponding thought class).  This could help keep the admin posts area from eing cluttered with "thoughts." Since there may be lots more thoughts than posts it could make sense to manage them differently.  Or not, maybe all that is required it to have the IsThought property on the post (checkbox in the admin UI) and then when in the admin area on the posts tab, have a drop down that indicates what to display. Choices: Regular, Thoughts, All.

Not sure if any of this is helpful, just kicking some stuff around for ya.


Nov 10, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Here is a list of features/description of what I have so far, I hope to have a demo soon.

In non-pages/post, "blog notes" are visible. In a page/post, the "post notes" are visible. The blog notes are also visible in the page or post and you can change if they are shown in the post list and/or pages/post and if post notes are visible at all.

In pages and posts, the blog notes and post notes are displayed seperate, appearing to be two different widgets. By changing the widget settings they can be made to appear as one widget.

Pagination is supported, You can choose how many items are visible per page when viewing the blog notes in the post list, when viewing the blog notes in a page/post, and how many for the post notes.

Ajax/Javascript is used heavily so that page reloads are not needed. A separate asp.net Handler is used to serve note lists, add/delete/approve notes, as well as serve templates. I might make it so that this serves the javascript as well, removing unneeded admin functions from the script when viewing as a guest.

Adding a note is accomplished via a link a the top of the note list. When you click it, a box opens. If you are logged in, it simply contains a textarea and submit/cancel buttons. If not, and guest posting is enabled, the guest must also enter a name and email address as well as answer a simple captcha. When submitted, if moderation is enabled the box will change to say that the notes is awaiting approval by a moderator. If no moderation, the note is immediately displayed.

The "add note" box is templated so that it can be customized per theme.
The "list item" is templated so that it can be customized per theme.
Further customization is accomplished via css.

New Notes are added at the top of the list

You can set a maxiumum note size in characters

You can set an expiration for blog notes and/or post notes.

HTML characters are escaped. Currently no links allowed.

Ajax/javascript is designed to allow multiple instances of the widget, though they would all share the same server side settings and xml database. One use of this feature would be to set up a page where the widget can be shown large (It would probably also be visible in the side bar). I am going to make it so that pagination can be overridden via the script. (ie setNotesPerPage(15); ) Then you could show less per page in the sidebar, but have a dedicated page that could show more.

I like Rons Idea for stylizing the note items based on classification, but since I cannot think of every way to use a note list (or you could call it a thought stream, or daily announcements or whatever), I think if it would be better to allow the blogger to specify what they will call these display options as well as assign a css class for each option.

As for adding from a phone, the phone would need to support javascript/css. My Droid phone with stock browser seems to work nicel

At the moment, this ajax widget does not place the notes in html for search engines to find so I am working on a solution. In case someone does not want search engines parsing the notes, I will make it optional to make the notes search engine visible. 

When I get a chance, I will add a page to my blog for demonstration purposes.

- John

Nov 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM
John - Thanks for sharing alot more info about your note widget.  The note idea is intersting but I think fairly different than use case that fenrir is looking to address.  Notes as a sidebar widget that can be tied to a blog or post is kinda a cool idea.  But what I think fenrir is tryign to come up with is a kind of "mini-post" or "thought" for those times when you want to share something on the blog that is less formal and time consuming than a blog post. 
In my mind these two ideas are very different and I'm not sure that it would make sense to try to combine them.
Nov 10, 2011 at 6:28 PM

ah. I think I see. something that integrates with the post list, yet is not classified as a regular post. It can be posted to quickly without having to use the regular editor. It seems possible without BE core modifications. In the database, it would essentially be a regular post, but with some external way of classifying it as a thought. Perhaps a theme/extension combo.

I would be willing to look into it but I have my hands full right now. If no one has come up with a solution by the time I've freed up some extra time, I will give it a try. Are you already working on this rclabo?

Nov 10, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Na, I'm currently working on a very cool Related Posts widget with Andy McKay.  We should have it merged into the main system in a few weeks.  I think Fenrir is working on the "thought" idea.


Nov 11, 2011 at 6:19 AM

I'm afraid fenrir is only working on the idea, not it's implementation, since my programming skills are rather rudimentary and i am simply unable to do this myself.

The concept of putting this in a seperate table is probably a good idea for compatibility reasons, if you put it in the normal posts i imagine it might be quicker to implement, but could cause problems when trying to have it rendered differently.

I would like to have a text input field containing nothing but the readily blinking cursor, a "cancel" and a "submit" button, that appears in the place where eventually the text will be rendered, so it gives you a feeling of writing right into the page. Once you click submit, the field disappears, but the text stays. Alternatively a concept like the floating "Feedback" button on this homepage, with the window or layer that comes up after this would be ok too.

As for the name, i would propose Quick post, or QP or quip, since thought might suggest that there is none of which in the normal posts ;-)

Limiting the amount of characters sounds like a reasonable thought, since this is only meant to exist for short stuff, 1024 or 2048 should be sufficient in any way, otherwise the normal posts should be used.

I very much appreciate the work jpcr puts in this and the feedback that i get. I am rather excited about the idea and feel that it might help spread dotnetblogengine further.

Nov 11, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Fenrir - Thanks for the clairification.  Be sure to add it to the feature suggestion list. That way the idea doesn't get lost and as people vote, it moves up in priority.


Nov 11, 2011 at 12:42 PM

It is already on the "wish list":


Nov 11, 2011 at 3:54 PM

So far I'm liking this workflow:

1. Show simple text area with submit/cancel button, ready to type. Should be easily triggered by shortcut/absolutely positioned link etc.

2. Clicking "save" button will do whatever it configured to do.

3. Configuration accessible through the link in the same form, clicking configuration replaces form with set of options.

Configuration would provide all the meat for functionality that can start small and be extendable in the future.

Entered messages saved on it's own (not as a post), private and not searchable.

In configuration, you can enable "publish as a post", "publish to twitter", "publish to facebook" etc.

Most common options can be included in the form to quickly override defaults.

We can add a lot of nice things to it later, like auto-short URL, add picture and alike. But start can be very simple, with just a form and "publish as post" option, so we can turn it in quickly.

Nov 11, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Rtur - I like summary of how it could work, especially the following two lines:

In configuration, you can enable "publish as a post", "publish to twitter", "publish to facebook" etc.

Most common options can be included in the form to quickly override defaults.

I think what you have outlines is a great spec for the feature.  I'm curious what name you would give to this item, i.e Quick Post, thought, blog tweet, jot, etc.


Nov 11, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Generic "note" or "quicknote" would do fine. It may never become a post or tweet or anything, just a text you delete next day.

Nov 12, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Nice, now it feels like we are all talking about the same idea.

Thinking this a bit further: If you would create seperate instances of blogs for your friends then combined with the note or quick post feature you would practically have a social network of your own.

I know i am exaggerating a little here, but i bet the thought of creating a decentralised social network over their own open source project without having to do anything themselves would put a smile (or grin) in several faces at MS Central ;-)

Nov 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Edited Nov 30, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I have now had some feedback outside this forum on the idea and it is interesting what ideas come up.

You could use this feature to insert an occasional MOTD, or you could fake a dialog between deceased or fictional people.

If other people like the idea, or know other things you could do with this quicknote, or quickpost feature, i would appreciate if you wrote this here or gave a vote for the project at:


Nov 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM


"fake a dialog between deceased or fictional people" sounds like a bad thing to me.  I'm curious how that idea came about and how you see that a selling point? :-)

Nov 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM
Edited Nov 30, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Oh, that came out of the idea: "What would xxx say to [some thought]? and how would yyy answer to that?"

It is a kind of game that i play with some of my friends, where we asume the personality of someone (or even something) else. A bit like a roleplaying dialogue if you will. Sometimes these turn out to be quite funny, sometimes they are interesting and sometimes they are neither ;-) . But this goes along with the idea, that the quickposts would allow a page that is more "alive".

I understand, that it sounds a bit odd the way i worded it, but i didn't know how to put that otherwise.

May 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I have now installed the 2.6 RC and i am very pleased with the way the input works, although it took me a little time to notice that small arrow.

I have noted some things, that are not exactly as expected:

- a user will only see the QN he typed himself, not that of others (might be intentional)

- the option to chose a default tag apparently isn't stored (might also be intentional)

- personally i would have preferred if a published note didn't have a title at all, or some standard title like QuickNote: or similar

- when publishing something containig ä , ö , ü these are transformed into something with a hash tag, probably some ASCII code

Still i am more convinced than ever, that you can create a decentralised SN with this version of BE, especially combined with the aggregate blog feature.

May 3, 2012 at 6:23 PM

The note is HTML encoded for security reasons, this is where those hash tags probably coming from. All the above intentional, notes are private unless you publish them. The social aspect was not on the radar, but as multi-blog functionality matures, we can also utilize notes as internal messaging system for blog users. Good idea :)

May 4, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Edited May 4, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Well some time ago you asked on the frontpage for people who want to spread the word and have visions. I have spread the word about BE all the time anyway, but here is my vision:

I actually want to have microblogging capabilities and i do honestly believe, that the now big names will slowly vanish. I believe that the futere for user generated content does not lie in the big SNs who come up, get hyped and then fade away again to make room for some new hype.

I think that decentralised systems are the way to go. Much more cloudlike, than any of the current offerings that use this label. I would like to see the QN evolve to a full grown microblogging feature.

As a next step after the simple posting on ones own Blog, which is not quite the way i expected it, but pretty close and therefore practically already existent, i see a QN-RSS which enables the possibility to link someone elses QN on your own blog. (So you are able to "follow" that persons microblogging)

Evolving from that i would like to see something like the ability to aggregate across different sites,so e.g. you can comment someone elses post on your own site.

After that it might be of interst to establish some kind of open standard for information exchange between private blogs in general and across different blogging software.

As stated, this is a vision, not a demand, and i understand that implementing all this would need lots of time and testing to get it all right, but i thought it was time to share this idea with you since i feel it is no longer something that can not be done.

May 4, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I'm with you on that one. It will take time and effort but yes we are moving very much in this direction.

Apr 10, 2013 at 1:20 PM
Hi All,

As of BlogEngine.NET the Quick Notes works pretty well.

Fenrir I like your ideas about a "decentralize" social network that has the possibility of being connected through multiple different blogs and websites.

Like an decentralized interconnected Web Peer-To-Peer platform.

I can also see this being used in websites in general and not just a "blog" or BlogEngine.net.

I think we can use some sort of a Web Service like:

or the best option now:


Which ever method used it needs to be universal.

Thinking of a button like "Connect to this website" or something like that.

User clicks that and enter in their url to their website.

The website stores that url and the system then connects to that website using some kind of a call.

On that user end on their website there is a control page of all websites that they are connected to.

In that page they have the option to select many different options. Like share only posts with website A and don't share any posts with website B but only share comments about C#"

This would be sort of like a "website" sharing profile.

Picking what,when,how and who you share your data from your websites.

Then you can also have "website" friends and groups where you can group these websites into and have general settings just for those groups.

Also another option is to auto connect to websites that are in your friends or groups "website" profile if they are accessible.

Another one is to "craw" websites to connect to based on the sites you are already connected to.

and many other different options.
Apr 10, 2013 at 5:15 PM
Edited Apr 10, 2013 at 5:18 PM
I think our thoughts are heading in the same direction.
SignalR does indeed look very promising, and i agree that it is vital to make this technology, project, idea or whatever you want to call it, easily accesible for all kinds of websites and platforms.
My initial thought was, that for a start there should be something very basic as some kind of proof-of-concept, which, i think, is the current state. From here on the next major step of course is the cross-website connection and after that there are so many things you COULD do, that it boggles your mind. If it is possible to establish this connection without compromising one sites or users security, then i am pretty sure this new option will attract other projects.
I truly hate marketing blurb, but this idea has all the current buzzwords attached to it, therefore this might really become something great.

EDIT: If this project takes off, i assume that development will most likely never end, with the sheer amount of what might be done.
Apr 10, 2013 at 5:35 PM
Hi Fenrir,

Thanks for your reply :)

I agree this should be taken in small steps first.

Building one element up at a time.

I was thinking even before this about a "portable" social network where everything can be exported in to some export format like xml in the event a major site go belly up and no longer in service for some reason you can just pick up your things and move it some where else with out having to start all over. Having an some type of export method. Real life example of this is MySpace was once the major thing and then every one move to Facebook. From moving from one network to the other you had to redo everything that was on MySpace and do the steps again in Facebook. What would be a better option is some sort of an export function so you can import it into facebook with out redoing any thing.

Then you came up with the idea of a "decentralize" social network and I believe is a better option because you have control over your own data and you are just P2P with other websites.

So you are free to "move" around :)

I think the first move would be to connect websites to share posts.

Then the next one live chat with connected sites.
Apr 10, 2013 at 5:45 PM
Upcoming release is all about site aggregation - multiple blogs sharing posts within same site. Next step will be improving collaboration - messaging, asset sharing (public/shared/private posts, files etc.). Then we can think about connecting sites together. BE has underused micro formats support - this probably can be used with some kind of subscribe/discovery service, similar to pings/trackbacks. So yea, moving there with a speed limited by resources :)
Apr 10, 2013 at 6:10 PM
Hi Rtur,

Sounds good so far.
"Speed limited by resources"
I know we are short on resources.

Another thing I was thinking is having applications, games, and etc too like with the other social networks :)

Maybe those in 2016?
Apr 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM
Edited Apr 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM
The more important point for me in that sentence was the
moving there..

Still it probably can't hurt to think a bit in advance. If this should become a bigger project with more people involved one might think about stating some principles in advance as some kind of ethical guideline for the future. Although these might never have practical relevance it could be a good idea to state things like, we never want this technology to support the suppresion of thoughts or to be used as an espionage tool, or something like that.

If it works it will be something that comes out of the blogosphere, which is all about free speech, isn't it?
Apr 11, 2013 at 6:29 PM
Hi Fenrir,

You are right we would need written policies and etc for the service too.

I have also been thinking we really need to do some serious planning on this.

If we do the planning first before development it can help in getting it done.

I find in my experience in Project Management with proper planning helps out greatly when times come for the actual development of the

With this in mind I think it is best we do some planing.
  1. I think you Fenrir need to write down in a document format like in word or pdf or something everything you have in mind for this product/ service.
  2. Others who are also interested in this type of product/ service can do the same.
I think we first need to define:

What is it?

What will it do?

What is the main reason for it?
  1. When creating these documents need not to think in the current state on what we currently can or can't do in terms of technology and methods.
Just think if anything can be done what would you like to see it do?

Once we collect all of the information on what we need, we can then work on how to get this things done.

But, the first step is to figure out everything we want this to do.
  1. Once documents are complete upload it some where and provide the link to it here in this post for now I guess?
Other documents needed would be:

Process Diagrams
Network process diagrams

Showing the relationship between websites and how they connect and what they will share and etc.

But, for now we need to focus on collecting information on what it is what it will do and etc.

I will submit my information too :)

I am interested in this and will do what I can to help.