BC: A guide to recognising your constraints

Brockley Central has been going since 2007 and was built on blogger as a place to post the odd article. Since then, the amount of content has mushroomed and we’ve bolted bits on to it here and there, using third party software and a few cheats to create something a little less linear than a blog. In the process, the design has become a little confusing, so here’s a guide some of the key features on the site:

1. Along the top bar, we have some buttons that take you to some of the key “sections” of the website. These include a map of the area with some of the places in Brockley we recommend; a photo stream which takes shots from the Brockley Flickr group; a Classifieds section that features adverts from local businesses (ranging from builders and chartered surveyors to gardeners and guitar teachers) and tabs that link to all the articles tagged with Lewisham (meaning they are of borough-wide significance) and Review (local businesses).

2. Down the right-hand column, we have a link to our forum South East Central, which has around 2,000 members, posting whatever local news they are interested in (so you don’t have to wait for BC to cover something, please use it to raise awareness of whatever you like). We also have a list of important pages – useful stuff that people revisit over and over again, like a place to find or plug a home to rent, a list of recommended tradespeople, contact details for recommended places, childcare search and advice about local doctors.

3. There are also links to our various social media channels – including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

4. The newest addition to the site is a map of local Greenspaces, which is currently being added to, but which already has links to more than 20 public spaces in the area.

5. And finally, you can use the blog archive and search box to access any article ever written on BC, plus some links to other relevant sites right at the bottom of the right-hand column.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any plans for an upgrade of the site?

Brockley Nick said...

Possibly. Possibly a mobile version.

Anonymous said...

I got a guy - bricklaying chap, from the 'classified' section - to come round to look at my brickwork with a view to repointing - he never got back to me - no contact whatsoever - quite disappointing - so I think these people should be moderated - in the case of this chap - have his listing removed.

Brockley Jon said...

@Anon 1, and for anyone else who is interested, there are vague plans for a layout revamp, just to tidy things up and make it a bit more modern. We are somewhat limited by Blogger, and moving to a different platform (like WordPress) would mean a lot more involvement from us in terms of migrating the [huge] database and then maintaining it going forward. Blogger is super-low-maintenance, but is a bit neglected by Google (the owners). The latest templates do allow for a few more features though.

@Nick, we already run a Blogger mobile version (you knew that, didn't you! ;). I'd be interested to hear what people think of it - I have heard reports of people not being able to post comments using it, though I think it depends on your login. Chances are, if we carry out said revamp above, we'll ditch the Blogger mobile version.

@Anon 2, it would be hard for us to personally moderate everything here. I suggest you check out the Recommended People & Services forum on South East Central - that way you'll get a personal recommendation.

Anonymous said...

As there are only 9 classifieds on here at the present time I don't think not would be too much to moderate them - but the bricklaying chap seems to have gone anyway - and the South east Central forum is so archaic as to be almost prehistoric in it's usefulness, well, to my eye anyway.

we've all got jobs to do, well, except Nick and Lou that is

;)

Brockley Nick said...

The forum uses the best, most-sophisticated platform we could find. Let us know what alternative platform you recommend.

Brockley Jon said...

Maybe anon means the content is out of date, which is tricky for a forum that is less than 2 years old!?

As for the format, it's simple, post a thread, get replies, as happened in this thread at the weekend.

Even if you're an anon, you can still browse the content, so I really don't get how it isn't useful?

pip said...

anon@14.37 - maybe you could check them all out and let Nick know of any problems?

If you don't have time, then that probably gives you your answer as to why no-one else does it either....

Mb said...

Yep, the mobile blogger doesn't allow me to post comments. I have to revert to the desktop version for some reason.

Anonymous said...

we have something to thank the mobile version for then Mb

david said...

Mobile version works fine on the Blackberry... Perhaps it also depends on your browser/hardware?

Dex said...

And in contrast to some of the previous comments, want to say thanks for putting so much work into the site. It's a great resource. We moved to Brockley last year and it's been a great way to hear about what's going on.

Brockley Nick said...

Cheers Dex.

Teatowel said...

Well said Dex. I don't often comment, but I catch up on local goings on by reading the blog most weeks. I think Brockley Central brings to Brockley and the surrounding area a real sense of community that I am unsure would be here without it. I believe even the most cantankerous of the comment makers must feel like they are a part of something. You have given our community a voice and it's people people a sense of belonging. That is really important - thank you!

Anonymous said...

Yeah that's so true. Without this site I wouldn't know what was Broccoli was.

Only a psychopath wouldn't love this site and everything it does for the community.

Mike Hall illustrator said...

I completely agree with Dex and Teatowel. People in Brockley are very fortunate to have such an informative, well-written and user-friendly local blog. Hardly any other neighbourhoods in London have this. Despite having moved away last month I still like to have an occasional quick read to catch up with what's happening! Keep up the good work, BC team.

Anonymous said...
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