New plugins, new widgets, new other stuff

In addition to the new theme and the new social bookmarking links, I’ve been making some changes behind the scenes to this blog that you might want to know about.

  • Added the Math Comment Spam Plugin to the comment fields. Now, when you want to leave a comment, you have to do a small arithmetic problem correctly. Hopefully that won’t disqualify too many people. And hopefully it will eliminate some of the spam that somehow is leaking through the Akismet filter at the rate of about 3-5 per day.
  • Completely rewrote the About Me page and included a picture. (If I look tired, it’s because that was taken the morning after Doodlebug had been up 2-3 times.)
  • Removed the date-based archive list from the sidebars. Nobody uses these, and it was just cluttering things up.
  • Added a Similar Articles plugin that displays a short list of related articles with their permalinks at the bottom of each article.
  • Added a WhoLinked? widget which — supposedly — shows the sites that are linking here in real time. However, most of the links it’s displaying now are from 2006. Maybe it will be more accurate once it runs for a little while.
  • Added a Top Commentators widget that shows the top 5 commenters at CO9s of all time, with a link to their blogs (if they have one). Want your name up in lights? Comment! All you have to do is comment 40+ times and you’ll be #1.

As always with this new theme, you can drag-and-drop the widgets within their respective sidebars if you want a different look.

In the near future, I also plan to add a Top 10 Articles list (tried this plugin but couldn’t get it to work as a widget); trim up the space between article text and Technorati tags; and add a link for the RSS feed for individual comment threads. Right now you can subscribe to the feed for all comments, but that might be more than some people want. You used to be able to do that in the old theme, but not on this one.

Got anything else you’d like to see, design- or functionality-wise here?



Filed under Blog announcements, Blogging, Social software

4 responses to “New plugins, new widgets, new other stuff

  1. Jackie

    Just wanted to let you know, I like the changes. Also, I just had to post a comment to see what constitutes “a small arithmetic” problem! If this shows up, I guess I was able to solve it. If not, I guess no one will ever know!

  2. virusdoc

    Ha! I’m the number 1 commenter! Everyone else is just a wanna-be!

    Substantive comment: the link for comments should appear at the end of each post, not the beginning. Ergonomically and practically, you want to add a comment after you read the post, not before.

    Oh, and your math spam protector doesn’t specify which base the arithmetic should be performed in. I assumed base ten, but then again I’m a scientist who is heavily influenced by the metric system…

  3. virusdoc

    Base 10 it is…

    (top commenter job security)

  4. I don’t think I have any control, in this theme, as to where the comment link goes. I could play with the PHP I suppose. I agree it’s a little ergonomically incorrect.