The New Delve Blog

My Office 365 tenant just got a new profile update in Delve that has the new blog. It’s, uh, neat? It’s sort of a blog, with a nice but limited editor, and definitely some version 1 functionality. Or version .9.

The editor is similar to what’s used for Sway. So on one hand, everything looks quite good with minimal effort. On the other hand, you don’t get much control. Here’s the toolbar that appears when you select text:

delve blog toolbar

From left to right:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Link – currently uses a JavaScript “prompt” function, which is a bit primitive.
  • bullet list
  • number list
  • Convert text to a heading – this does more than apply a format, it inserts a new heading section right above the current section and moves the text to it. There’s no button to click to undo this. Users can manually move the text back, or ctrl-z sort of works. (ctrl-z puts the text back in the original location but leaves the new header, the user will just have to manually delete it)
  • Quote – This moves the selected text to a section right below the current section and applies formatting to it
  • Remove formatting – Removes any of the previously mentioned formatting from the selected text

A few additional notes:

  • If you copy and paste text in from other sources, it will lose its formatting. (this includes things like bulleted lists: paste in a bulleted list and it becomes normal text with line breaks.)
  • You can add a video, but oddly it doesn’t prompt you to select one from an Office 365 video site or OneDrive. It just displays another JavaScript prompt dialog:
javascript prompt

This is sad

  • There are no options to change formatting other than what was already mentioned. So  no changing fonts, and no changing the ~450 pixel high image / header at the top of each and every blog post.
  • There is no standard blog view: you can’t scroll down through recent blog posts. Instead, the blog home page displays a set of Tiles, with the more recent blog post at the top.  Though, once you’re viewing a post, there are some nice looking arrows that appear that let you navigate to the next or previous blog post
  • There is no calendar view of posts to easily see what was posted 3 months ago, for example.
  • It does show you the count of views, which is nice.
  • Like Sway, it automatically adjusts for different sized screens.
  • You can insert documents from OneDrive. They appear on-screen courtesy of Office Online.
  • There is no RSS feed. In fact, there’s no OOB mechanism to find out when someone else has posted something new to their blog. It’s no longer just in a SharePoint library like the old blog, so alerts are not available. The quick solution (?) to this is to set up a search part on a page somewhere and use the following query to return all blog posts. Just sort it by date modified:

path:”https://tenantname.sharepoint.com/portals/personal” ContentTypeId:0x010100DA3A7E6E3DB34DFF8FDEDE1F4EBAF95D*

Or, to display one person’s blog, just put in the more specific path.

Of course, this is a work in progress, so by the time you read this something will have changed.

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