Tag Archives: Blog-Software

Was it something we said?

Our ranting has become notably less authoritative recently. (Odd, as I feel at least as authoritative as I have ever been. i.e. not at all.) And consistently less visible.

Maybe somebody has an explanation. The whole blogternet can’t have (slightly) broken, can it?

  • A week or so ago, I tried to post a comment on a student post on Pharyngula – to be told repeatedly, in the face of the evidence – that I needed to have a name and an email address. Checked. Yes they were definitely there. I copied and pasted. I rewrote them several times.

    The helpful message (I paraphrase here, and use leaden sarcasm while I’m doing it) said I was probably being blocked as spam, but that I could try enabling javascript or cookies or allowing/ deleting the science-blog cookies. Tried them all. My comment stayed unposted. It wasn’t a great loss to twenty-first century thought, to be honest. Still…

  • This blog has been leaking Technorati “authority” like an authority-leaking sieve. Over the past month, we’ve been dropping a few links a day, according to Technorati.

    One day, it was something like 40 down today from the previous day. I’m pretty certain I would have noticed three months ago, if the blog had suddenly accumulated 40 links in one day, . So how could we lose them all in one day?

    Oddly, firestats and feedburner show that blog hits are much higher than they were when we had twice the “authority”, three months ago.

  • We’ve been intermittently vanishing from the Atheist blogroll over the past few weeks. This now seems to have become a permanent affliction. I hovered over the blog’s name on an Atheist blogroll site that has a static list. It said the the last post was on Friday at 12:38. Well, no. There have been a good few posts since then.
  • When the blog has appeared on the blog roll, over the past few weeks, it has taken at least an hour to appear. If the posts are queued somewhere for an hour, where is that please? Because it doesn’t seem apply to other posts that just appear after they are posted.

    When we’ve looked at the time stamps of blogs that appear long before ours, we find they’ve been written later. And magically appeared without falling into some warp dimension on the way. Maybe it’s crossing the Atlantic then? No, that doesn’t work either. There are UK-based blogs that pop up seemingly almost as soon as they are posted.

    We were even testing an ongoing hypothesis that the blogroll would only display this blog name when there were another more recent three blogs to put ahead of it. We never managed to falsify this.

    However, being ungrateful at being consistently fourth started to seem a bit churlish when we vanished completely.

  • TW has tried pinging the blogroll, in various ways, without any effect. Pinging Technorati seems to have an effect, in that Technorati will usually list a post within a few minutes of a ping. Or even respond to the auto-ping function and find the blog posts, all by itself.

As a side-effect, an increasing proportion of visitors are coming directly from search engines. There is a fair amount of entertainment value in working out how some of these searches would have led to here, unless every other blog in the known world had already been taken straight to heaven in the Rapture.

Anyone with any ideas about what’s going on?

Upgrade Stalled

It looks like not enough people made the correct devotions to Hermes and now we are not going to try and upgrade the blog this weekend. Heather has been sidelined by a cold and a fair amount of work and my internet access time is approaching the bare minimum. When we have more time we will look at what is required with the upgrade and give it ago. Please, keep making sacrifices to Ukko though.

WordPress blog themes

Contast WordPress Theme ScreenshotBit off the normal track here, but there is a new theme available from Compuskills which I think is really pretty (although I am biased) and if it wasn’t for the fact I like this theme, we would probably be using it here.

Have a look, let them know what you think (I took the photo they use, in case you are wondering..) and if you think it looks good use it on your own blog. They are willing to modify or create themes to your specifications as well, so if you are looking for an overhaul give them a shout. For non-WP users (you weirdos) they may also be willing to accommodate your system.
[tags]Blog, WordPress, theme, webdesign, compuskills, Site Admin, Blog Software[/tags]

Theme Change

As mentioned previously, the site has undergone another theme change. Hopefully this one should address the problems people had with the older one, and present a nice, pleasant look and feel to the blog.

As with last time, all comments and feedback is more than welcome. Please let us know if you find anything wrong so we can try to fix it!

[tags]blog, Blog Software, Compuskills, Downloads, Site Admin, Technology, Style, Themes, WordPress, Webdesign, Web Design[/tags]

Technorati links mystery

Technorati gives this blog a level of authority that could be considered pretty generous,given the unauthoritative nature of most of our posts. However, for the uninitiated, in Technoratispeak, “authority” refers to how popular you blog is, determined by how many other blogs link to it, not by how authoritative your content is (mercifully…).

But, links to us from the Atheist Blogroll that I can actually see on my screen – and that send visitors to us, according to FireStats – haven’t been listed for months.

I’ve tried researching the reasons for this, unsure whether the fault lies with our code (that would hardly be a first), our recent attempts to restyle the site (not an unmitigated success, yet), Technorati or the Atheist blogroll’s code.

I am none the wiser. This appears in Technorati’s explanation for why links may not get picked up.

If the link was in a blogroll, you may want to check to see if the hyperlink to your blog is located in the blog source of the blogroll. Blogroll links that are generated via a tool or script are not seen. The blogroll must reside in the blog home page as well. If the blogroll is in a subsection or directory of the site, it is not seen or picked up

On an experimental basis, I visited the most recent posters (at the top of the blogroll list on the left.)

onegoodmove.org doesn’t actually show the blogroll, nor have a link to Technorati that I could have used to check if it picks up the link from us.

Sans God has us on the Blogroll, on the index page and not below the so-called jump (other Technorati forum reasons for not seeing links) When I looked for blogs that link to Sans God, I see: “Why Dont You Blog? by Admin Istrator · 44 days ago ” Well no. It rather looks to me as if we linked to them today and yesterday and the day before and so on. When the 6 months from 44 days ago is up, we will disappear off their list of linked blogs.

God is pretend has a scrolling blogroll. Maybe that’s why our blog – which shot itself in the listing foot by starting with a letter as close as dammit to the end of the alphabet – doesn’t appear to be linked to from here. But, wait, God is pretend has only 3 inbound links and Whydontyou doesnt appear in the three. Maybe that’s because they are using a script.

We get lots of links from visitors to Gratuitous common sense and I can see us quite clearly on their blogroll, on the index page, not below the jump etc. Ahha. Technorati thinks this has links from whydontyou, but dates them as 35 and 50 days ago…..

I am getting bored with this. You get the picture. The only links that keep getting consistently
updated are from Parabiodox (ffs :-D) and content-scrapers. Any ideas?

New Style

As you may see from the site, we have taken the plunge and gone for a whole new style here. This has been designed for us by Compuskills and as far as I am aware it will be made available for free download from the compuskills blog site in the very near future.

This theme has also been tweaked a little to try and address some of the issues this blog has been having lately. Hopefully you should now find the site faster and more responsive. If you have any questions or issues with this theme please let us know. We are genuinely interested if you have any problems with the navigation or find the style is broken in anyway.

Thank you for your patience.

[tags]Site Admin, Style, Themes, Compuskills, Blog, Blog Software, WordPress, Downloads[/tags]

Plugin Admin

In a previous post, I wrote:

Secondly – I will be getting rid of some plugins and experimenting with new ones. Your feedback is welcome, if one annoys you or breaks your feedreader or what ever, then please tell us. I think the “Sphere It” plugin will have to go, as it looks like it is slowing down the pages by a considerable amount now.

Following that post (and it was only a few hours ago), I removed the plugin but it did not help speed things up with the site. Add to this a couple of comments made which drew my attention to the problem still being there and I have had a ruthless clean out of plugins.

It does seem like the “Sphere It” plugin was innocent but I have no removed so many other plug ins I am far from happy about saying it was any of them causing the problem. I removed ones like the popularity contest, the duplicate social bookmarking plugins and some obscure ones which rarely seem to have been used. In my testing here, the site is now loading in about 20 seconds so it seems to have cured the problem. I would appreciate it if people could let me know what they are getting (estimates and approximations are fine, it is what I used :) ).

[tags]Admin, blog, Blog Software, Feedburner, Feeds, plugins, RSS, Site Admin, Sphere, Sphere It, Technology, Upgrade, Web Design, Why Dont You, WhyDontYou, WordPress[/tags]

Site Matters

Just a few “site admin” comments to make, so I thought I would make them all in one post.

First off, WordPress 2.2 has been released. Normally we would follow the generic Compuskills advice and wait a while before upgrading but, following some off-line playing, it seems this blog could upgrade sooner rather than later. For this upgrade we will have to delete all the existing files and upload new ones, so there could be a period where this site becomes unavailable or unusable. As, recently, we have been having a fairly continuous run of traffic (around 360 visitors per day) there seems no “low traffic” time to do this. All I can offer is an in advance apology if you get funny page layouts and the like.

Secondly – I will be getting rid of some plugins and experimenting with new ones. Your feedback is welcome, if one annoys you or breaks your feedreader or what ever, then please tell us. I think the “Sphere It” plugin will have to go, as it looks like it is slowing down the pages by a considerable amount now.

Lastly, as I am about to move house there will be a significant interruption of service. Hopefully Heather will be able to hold the fort, but given VirginMedia’s abysmal service there is no guarantee. Please, feel free to continue to comment or email us. They will be read eventually.

On a related note, if any one is a Sky Broadband customer I would love to know what the service you have had is like and how reliable it is – also is the service really uncapped? (Sky Max). I have my doubts over the veracity of Sky when the broadband thing gives three options – Base (£40 set up, no monthly charge, 2MB bandwidth, 2GB cap), Mid (£20 set up, £5 per month, 8MB Bandwidth, 40GB cap) and Max (no set up, £10 per month, 16MB bandwidth, no cap) – all of which seem amazing value for money.

Worryingly, when I put in the telephone number for my current address, I am told the only broadband option is Sky Connect (not one of the above) which is 8MB bandwidth with a 40GB cap (looks suspiciously like “Mid” above) but this will incur a £40 set up fee and £17 per month. Why on Earth does it cost over three times as much as “Mid?” Does this imply Sky have headline services and rates (which are very good) but in reality customers can not get them? (Would this even be legal?)

Still, I will for a while give Sky the benefit of the doubt and consider it as an option- unlike Virgin Media which I would, now, only consider if it was free and uncapped…

[tags]Site Admin, Why Dont You, WhyDontYou, WordPress, Blog, Blog Software, Admin, Web Design, Broadband, Cable, VirginMedia, RSS, Feeds, Plugins, Feedburner, XML, Technology, Virgin Cable, Virgin Media, Internet, ISP, Upgrade, Sphere, Sphere It, [/tags]

Site Admin

As mentioned previously, we have added some new plugins here and it seems they have broken the theme quite badly. This leaves us with two choices, and as the theme itself has become a bit annoying (second thoughts over the sponsored links, for example), it seems it is time to try out a new theme. The last time we tried this, there were problems in the old versions of IE so I would appreciate it if people can let us know what you think of the layout of the site now.

In addition a “struggle” is ongoing (offline) against the CSS files but when it is won (and by Toutatis it will be WON), we will be moving (again) to a bespoke theme. Thank you for your patience.

Pink Flower

StourheadFlower

StourheadFlower,
originally uploaded by etrusia_uk.

Today, I added a new plugin to the blog which is designed to change the way Flickr posts are blogged.

In the past, as soon as I pressed on “post entry” the post was available on the blog, and I had to quickly do any editing required – things like adding tags / categories or tidying up the oddness of Flickr.

Hopefully, the installation of The Flickr Blog This to Draft plugin will change things and now I can make sure it is exactly as I want it before it publishes. If you can see this with Technorati Tags (and in the Photos category) then it worked.

Normal Anti-Religion service will resume soon!

Site Traffic

Amazingly, even though this month is only just half over, this blog has generated 10,068 unique visits this year. Wow. To put this in perspective, while there has been a steady increase over the last six months of 2006, the highest monthly total was around 9,000 unique visits. If the current trend continues we should break the 20,000 mark before too long. Thank you to everyone who visits!