I previously made several suggestions for blog improvements and most have been implemented. Brian suggested a while back that I create a new post for the other items so they don't get lost. If I did, I can't find it, so I'm reposting and adding a few new suggestions.
1) Allow more customization.
a) Let us apply different themes to blogs so that our blog can visually appear different than our default community theme.
b) Add in the capability to edit certain areas of the BLOG module only (header/billboard/title) to allow us to brand our blog with a name, imagery, etc. Even better would allow us to apply different themes/titles/names to each blog collection.
c) Give us the choice of which thumbnail to use. (e.g. check mark to select which image should become the thumbnail.) Right now, it defaults to the first uploaded image. If you make any changes to your images, you have to start all over again with deleting all the images and uploading "in order" to get the thumbnail you want on your blog page.
2) Improve SEO and User-Friendliness.
a) Give the Blog collections a description area. (It could be exactly like the Forums Directory; but just have a Blog directory where we could add a description and thumbnail image for each collection.)
3) Make Guest Blogging more appealing
a) Add rel=author to each post so we can credit bloggers and connect their Google Authorship.
4) Keep readers reading.
a) Add a splashy way to promote "next" and "previous" blog posts. This could be at the bottom of the post or at the top.
Or, if we could edit somewhere "above" the blog, we could add our own sliders, splash, etc.
b)Another option would be to promote "Popular Posts" at the bottom of the blog and showcase the thumbnail and title of popular blog posts (ranked by likes, views, etc.)
5) Enhance the blog widgets to include "tabs" on them so we can condense certain widgets into one. e.g. to promote other blog posts, if the widget can tab between "Featured" and "New", it would save space by using up only one widget spot in order to offer both options.
Thanks for your consideration of these suggestions~