15 December 2004 by Published in: meta No comments yet

So in addition to the upgrade and the comment spam blocks, I’ve also added a couple of other features to the blog. First off, the hit counter is gone. You probably never saw it since it was way down on the left side of the page. I had reason to think (after comparing it to our website stats) that it wasn’t terribly accurate. For the curious, it had recorded about 75,000 hits since March 25, 2003. It’s gone now, both because I didn’t think it was correct and I was tired of it. Now that I have a full text RSS feed, I imagine there’s a number of people who read the site without hitting the site at all, so even an accurate count of hits wouldn’t have told me all that much. I also added a plugin to ping blo.gs as well as weblogs. This should supposedly be redundant, as blo.gs claims to crawl weblogs but weblogs has been intermittent for me, so maybe this will help with my blog visibility. I added a plugin that gives you the handy dandy mail to a friend link (yet another reason that hits don’t equal eyes or reads). I may add a printer friendly link too. Not sure if that would ever be used by anyone and it’s a lot of work (I have to design the printer friendly template for the printer friendly page myself) so I’m not sure I’ll put that into effect, but I’m thinking about it. I’ve also added a couple of plugins that may have far-reaching implications for my “At the moment” column on the right. I have one that will let me tag posts with what I’m listening to/watching/reading (but I haven’t tried it yet, and I may hate it) and also an AudioScrobbler plugin, which will be really super cool if I can get it to work. I fiddled with it to limited success yesterday, but I failed to get it functional. The cool thing about the AudioScrobbler plugin is that it would automagically note what I was listening to when I posted, which means extra information for you with no effort from me. A formula for success if I ever saw one! As for the Current Media plugin (currently reading/watching/listening to), I like being able to note what I’m reading as I post, and hope that if I do that, I might be better about telling you what I’m reading. For example, right now, the “At The Moment” column says I’m reading Dark is Rising aloud, which we finished about two weeks ago (and what an excellent book to be reading around Christmas, let me just say). It also never said I was reading Threshold, which I’ve also finished, and doesn’t now tell you I’m reading the The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 14. It’d also be a snap to pull this plugin into Sophia’s blog, where I could note some of the books she’s enjoying (a current favorite for her is Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina) without working too hard. Changing the file that displays under “At the Moment” isn’t difficult, but I think it’s a better place for some of my less quickly changing hobbies, like computer games and noting what movie I saw last and what books I’ve given up on. I’ll experiment with the new plugin and see if I like it. Comments, opinions and directives about the site are welcome.

Now I’m going to plug several products that I think are just wonderful. First of all, I’ve officially switched to Firefox as my browser and it’s incredible. Secondly, a while back I was listening to Last.fm, a really cool (but not as cool as the defunct Shasradio) online radio station. The folks at Last.fm are the same folks as the ones at AudioScrobbler, which is another nifty cool thing I highly recommend to anyone who has a large and oft-listened to music collection on their computer. Since moving I had been so avidly following my local public radio station – KWMU – (which completely rocks, by the way!) that my music listening habits had fallen by the wayside, but I’m trying to get back into that and you can see what I’ve been listening to lately by visiting Anarkey’s AudioScrobbler page. Hang in there, folks, I’ve just got a couple more things to rave about and then I’ll be done. Earlier, I mentioned RSS feeds and Firefox. If you use Firefox, then you should also be using the Sage extension. It’s an RSS aggregator that works with your browser. It has a clean display, is easy to use, and – best of all – tells you when pages you follow have been updated. This works best for pages that update erratically or infrequently, pages that annoy you to check daily because about 70 % of the time they haven’t changed, allowing you to forget about them until there’s something new there. If you’re like me, you have a number of cool links that are forgotten as soon as you bookmark them. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ve bookmarked a number of different things on about seven browsers on about four different machines and end up rediscovering things all the time, things that you needed but forgot where you had bookmarked and so had to search for again. Enter del.icio.us, a web-based bookmark station. As with all things web, this adds the dimension of community, by telling you what other people have bookmarked the same things you have and allowing you to browse their bookmarks. You can see mine at del.icio.us / Anarkey. Bookmark submission is easily accomplished through a toolbar javascript applet. Easy, convenient, always there. A different sort of bookmarking community can be seen at StumbleUpon which is a way to rate pages and find pages of cool things. It uses a set of interests that you set up when you create an account to decide what pages to show you, and whenever you are browsing and hit something extra cool you can click the thumbs up icon on your toolbar and add it to the pool of things for people to stumble upon.

And that is what I’ve been up to on this here internet lately.


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