Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

To beBee or Not to beBee, That is the Question.

ad61ab14...png.

When Javier, Juan and John first started talking about beBee's publishing platform, I got excited. I figured these guys could put together the type of platform that would please readers and writers alike.

I’ve been looking forward to today for a long time.

So, it stands to reason that, today, the day it's announced, I'm drawing a blank!

I didn't have a clue what I should write about. What a time for me to get my first case of writers' block. Yes, this would be my first. I'm usually a blabbermouth.

Then it hit me.

The purpose of my first post here is to put the publishing platform through its paces. How does it compare to others?

Is it good? Better? Best?

That's the subject of this post!

This will be my first look and I'll give my honest opinions. They will be unvarnished. You will get them warts and all.

I'm writing this on the fly. I won't even edit it. (Don't try this at home)

Some things I may not notice right away. Some things are probably still in development.

I am at the very beginning of the learning curve, here.

Then again, so is everyone else.

To my mind, there are certain things that a publishing platform needs to do and do well.

  • It needs to be easy to use
  • It needs to offer enough formatting options to be useful, but not so many as to make posts look crappy.
  • It needs to use images effectively.
  • Ideally, one should be able to write directly in the platform. This is a requirement even though most writers prefer to paste their work in
  • It needs to be intuitive

Images

It’s still early, but there is no documentation about the size of images to use.  I looked around and found that Javier’s post used a 930X620 sized image. It looked good. That is what I use here. 

It’s a fairly conventional 3:2 ratio so that’s good news. The bad news is that it adds another image size to create.

That’s a minor issue.  I find the 3:2 ratio provides good balance and is a good choice.

No complaints from me.

I also found another post that used a 2909X958 image. This leads me to assume that beBee has implemented an open image specification. The optimum size may be different.

Whatever, I’ll stick with 930X620 for now.

There’s another issue that is potentially more serious. 

beBee decided to place headline text above the headline image. It’s an unusual treatment. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s just a surprising thing. 

Headline images usually come before headline text. Why? I don’t know. But, there may well be a good reason for it. 

Or maybe that’s just the way it was always done. Time will tell if that becomes an issue.

Inline images

ad61ab14.
I don’t usually use inline images. I find they distract from the message unless the message needs illustration. This in-line image is completely useless except as a test. 

I just wanted to see how beBee treats it. It was easy enough to do.

BeBee probably has the best inline image handling.

Great thing: Click on an image and tools show up. You can resize to pre-set percentages and decide how or if text flows around it.

Not so good thing: The image needs some padding between itself and the text. See how text sticks right up against the image? That's easily fixed.

Bad thing: As soon as the image was inserted, my browser slowed to a crawl. I deleted the image and continued on. 

I don't think this is a problem really. It's more a sign of growing pains. This is not the type of thing that will show up in pre-launch tests. The issue may only be on specific browsers having specific extensions installed. 

Score on image use: 9/10 (I removed a point for the doubt in my mind about the text-first thing. Padding and browser slows are fixable things)

Formatting

Formatting has a very limited pallet. That’s a good thing. Sometimes people use all available formats in one post.

That’s not a good idea. Limiting the pallet makes good sense. But, did they go too far?

You can choose paragraph headlines in two formats, H2 or H3. 

I find H2 to be too big, but that’s just me. I wish there was another one, say H4. While I'm wishing, it would also be nice to be able to choose colours for headers.

I also find that there is too much space after a headline. It's personal preference, but I prefer to see more space above the header and less between it and the paragraph it describes.

Okay, I'm being picky.

You also have access to unordered lists a.k.a. bulleted lists. The ordered (numbered) list is missing and would be nice to have. It’s not absolutely necessary.

The comment/quote format is well done. It’s not as obtrusive as LinkedIn’s. I just might start using quotes.

Paul Croubalian likes our quotes: Paul from right here

It would have been nice to have a “View as HTML” button like in WordPress, but that would be a lot to ask.

Links

This is effing brilliant!!! beBee has the ability to accept long links. That may not seem Earth-shattering. 

Trust me, it is.

Any power user who builds social links, source tracking links, or any other such things is annoyed when he/she needs to run over to Bitly to shorten them. I know I am.

Here, we don’t have to. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Formatting score: 9/10 (lost points for overly simple formatting, gained for big link capability)

Social Share Buttons

Well, there aren’t any. That’s not a big deal to me since I like to build my own Twitter links. Other publishers may be more affected. I assume they are in development. Let's reserve judgement for now. CORRECTION: The social share buttons are visible in the reading view. 

Authors: You can edit an existing post from your Author's Page. There's an icon that looks like a pen and paper on the top right of each post

Pasting Text

I had some issues pasting text from Word etc. The text pasted as H2 but insisted it was paragraph text. Then, about half-way down it fixed itself. 

More growing pains. That's certainly not enough for me to refuse to use this platform.

Intuition

Tagging hives on posts is not all that intuitive. Maybe that's because my browser is running so slow from the images. I originally thought I couldn't tag. Then, poof, they showed up. You need to start typing a name. Then the list populates. Now you know.

What I would like to see going forward

Nobody asked me, but what the heck.

I'd like to see some features that help authors get their jobs done. Some, like social share buttons, are no doubt in development. Others, probably not.

Top among my List of Wishes is a sign-off file. Basically, it would be like the signature that gets added to emails, but for posts. I guess the technical name for it would be a generic footer. It would be great to put a blurb in somewhere and have it appear automatically on every post.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Overall Impressions

Overall, I am very impressed. Great Job, Javier, Juan, and the gang. This publishing platform is starting off much better than I expected. It can only get better from here. I'm sure many of my comments and suggestions are already on your radar.

I fully expect to transition my writing to beBee in the near future. I suggest you consider doing the same.

Right now, I think I'll change my sign-off image to add beBee VIP.

FURTHER NOTE: Browser slow-down does not occur in post editing.

Cheers


ad61ab14.
Ghosts that Write Hive: Get Writing Help from Pros

Follow me on Twitter

Follow me on LinkedIn

"""
thumb_up Relevant message Comment
Comments

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

4 years ago #45

#60
A post (Producer) or a Buzz (update)? You can edit Producer posts by just clicking the little pen icon in the top right corner. Buzzes can't be edited. You can copy the text, delete the buzz, paste into a new buzz and edit that. You only have a half hour before it' becomes permanent. Maybe the new version will address this

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #44

Interesting. This is my first post on beBee. Now I see that I posted it 22h ago. It's more like 22 days ago. Is this a glitch, or is there some sort of auto-repost thing happening? Or, did I accidently repost? Federico \u00c1lvarez San Mart\u00edn?

Louise Smith

5 years ago #43

#56
Yes thank you Paul Croubalian that's good I get the idea of making an image for a table. I think the tags have improved since this post was written as I had a lot better luck recently. Yes I do the same separate browser thing(for lots of reasons) (& on LI too).

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #42

#55
Louise Smith Sorry, I missed your original comment. No, you can't change text size etc. You'll need to figure out how to work with a limited pallet. TABLES: Ditto. If you absolutely need them make them into an image and add that. TAGS: start typing a hive name and a list will pop up. I like to keep a separate browser tab open where I search for the hives. UNDO: What do you want to undo? You can erase, re-write, edit even after publishing

Louise Smith

5 years ago #41

#46
How do you fix it Paul Croubalian?

Louise Smith

5 years ago #40

HEY Paul Croubalian, I got with it and wrote and published my first post. You can see it here: https://www.bebee.com/publisher/@louise-smith-state-of-queensland/no-can-bebee-about-it-they-are-where-s-need-bebee NOW this is what I learnt - I'd like to be able to choose my own font and text size - PubB doesn't do tables - the tags are almost completely unmanageable in the general sense maybe a bit too Spanish for easy manipulation ! and most important I WANT AN UNDO BUTTON ! Apart from that I think it's pretty damn good! regardz Louise

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #39

Catalina G\u00e1lvez Urrutia Nope no editing, not a comfortable way to write, though. I usually prefer to just let it all fall where it wants. Then I go back, clean, trim, and make it pretty. Final copy is often only 75% of the length of the original but says more.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #38

#49
@Louise Smith Given the way comments and replies are all bunched together, I'm not sure what you are asking or to whom. Commenting and interacting here takes some getting used to. A "post comment" button would help format replies. Also, assembling comments, and replies into a thread , while counting all in Comment counts, would also help. This platform is still in its infancy. THAT'S GOOD NEWS. We can help shape it. Javier C\u00e1mara Rica are willing to listen

Louise Smith

5 years ago #37

#46
How will you fix it?

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #36

#31
Dean Owen there is a serious lag in browser responsiveness here in Canada too. There is no such lag when editing a post, only on the initial creation screen. I'm not sure why that would be so. A temporary fix may be to write, publish, switch to editing, then add images.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #35

#35
Teresa Salvador Thank you

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #34

#40
Yes I too have to re-program myself. I like to use short paragraphs but can't here. The enter key posts the comment. Not a major issue, but it is a fairly easy fix

Louise Smith

5 years ago #33

I realised my previous comments are not specific to the publishing beBee but the general site... hope that's not too confusing.

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #32

Good take Paul , one thing sometimes the UI shows up in Spanish sometimes in English now I understand both (most of the times:) ) but this needs to be adressed. Overall probably the most serious and together alternative to LI and Medium. As a customer I reserve the right to be on a fence but will definetely follow closely the development of the platform.

Louise Smith

5 years ago #31

Another thing I am wondering about is that if I want to read a Spanish language post, sometime the translation happens automatically. Sometimes there is a button to click and the translation happens. Sometimes there is no translation button. Why is this so JSM?

Louise Smith

5 years ago #30

I have noticed when I leave the main page, to come back I need to click on the back arrow next to the bee image top left hand side. This arrow does a somersault before the page changes. I am unsure about this action. It seems a bit mesmerising and hypnotic. I find I am watching it turn which takes my focus away from the time it takes the page to change. This could be I am oversensitive as I practise hypnotherapy or a clever ploy by beBee to distract me. Still unsure about it.

Louise Smith

5 years ago #29

Another difference I have found is that on beBee, I actually have to click on the notification bell button to read them. Whereas in LI it is simply a mouse over which I prefer as it is faster.

Louise Smith

5 years ago #28

This is different to LI where my comments are not entered unless I press the Comments button so I am finding I have to try to remember to unprogram myself. I often delete my short comment and start again.

Louise Smith

5 years ago #27

One problem I have with commenting on beBee is that I keep hitting the Enter button to go to new line and it adds it to the post immediately.

Louise Smith

5 years ago #26

Great post Paul Croubalian !

Louise Smith

5 years ago #25

Paul Croubalian and Everybody !

Louise Smith

5 years ago #24

John White, MBA RE: @Jeff Halfen an account with a VIP badge is beBee's designation of influencer. But where will he pin it ?

Louise Smith

5 years ago #23

#26
John White, MBA But where will he pin it ?

Dean Owen

5 years ago #22

Great write up Paul. I have experienced serious issues with the publishing platform in terms of browser responsiveness, for example, as you said, after uploading an image, and choosing 3 tags etc, but I put that down to being in Shanghai, China. For a social network to operate smoothly in China, they need servers on this side of the fence, and to have servers here, they also need to incorporate here. Still, I can't complain as I can still access beBee in China where I cannot access Google, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter etc etc (without a VPN). I also have some issue with their comments section, which are oldest at the bottom, newest at the top (and that includes replies to comments which should be interspersed). All in all, agree with your assessment. Great job to all! Teething pains I am sure, but they are well on their way to numero uno!

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #21

Just a question to satisfy my curiosity: Why is the view count by 100's? Why not an actual count? Just curiosity not a complaint.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #20

#25
@Jacqui I rarely double-dip on my posts. More from laziness than fear of Google. I rarely think of SEO and work more towards building a readership. It may take longer but works better.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #19

#23
Juan Imaz Your platform is among the top three or four right now. In a week I expect you will have it ranked even higher. Within a month you should be at #1

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #18

#24
Jeff Halfen I guess I'll never live down that bikini shot, huh? The sacrifices I make for my craft (sob) You know, I had to look at hundred of bikini pictures before I found the right one... maybe thousands LOL

John White, MBA

5 years ago #17

#7
Jeff Halfen an account with a VIP badge is beBee's designation of influencer.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #16

#9
To further comment on Javier C\u00e1mara Rica and he fixed it in about 6 minutes. Compare that to my Linkedin ticket open since January 3rd! Sheeesh.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #15

#20
Jeff Halfen it may mean the VIP logo some of us early adopters were granted.

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #14

#16
thanks Paul Croubalian. This is a first release, but we are going to improve it quickly ;)

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #13

#12
yes ! We have to car

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #12

#3
@Andy No, one superimposed face on an image is my limit. I'm starting to think you just like the bikini shots. Kinky

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #11

#4
@Javier YOU DID SUPERBLY WELL. Bravo. To be completely honest I expected much less the first time out. I repeat, you and your Teams did a wonderful jobs here.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #10

#5
@Mamen Thanks... You know what they say, when life throws you lemons, make lemon meringue pie!

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #9

#6
@Cory: Thanks for that. I agree it may be a touch too small, but I can live with it. Thanks for pointing me towards Brigette Hyacinth. I just started following her

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #8

#8
Deb: Yes, there are still Spanish remnants on the English side. It's to be expected. I got a Spanish error message that I needed to choose Hives to publish to. No worries, Google Translate to the rescue. It will take some time for all the various message to filter through and be translated.

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #7

#7
@Jeff: I don't think so... I hope not

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #6

#7
I don't think so.... I hope not

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #5

#8
hi all !!! Any bug please report to Federico \u00c1lvarez San Mart\u00edn falvarez@bebee.com

Mamen 🐝 Delgado

5 years ago #4

Just as well you were drawing a blank... Hahahaha... ;) It's been a really great post, congrats!!

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #3

Thanks Paul Croubalian ! We will work to improve it ! It is just a starting point ! Thanks again !

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #2

There we go, they're back!!

Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

5 years ago #1

I may have spoken too quickly about those images

More articles from Paul "Pablo" Croubalian

View blog
3 years ago · 6 min. reading time

MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating: Coco, the epilogue and last WTF

Many of you · are curious about what happened · be ...

3 years ago · 3 min. reading time

MisAdventures in Mid-Life Dating: The Male View

I sort of hijacked Nicole Chardenet's "Adventures ...

3 years ago · 7 min. reading time

How To Build Your Own No Bullshit Zone

This is the follow-up to "On Love, Relationships, ...