Blog Updates

There have been a couple of updates in the past few weeks:

  1. Our search box now uses Google Blog Search. The reason is that a$$-clown spammers were doing many searches to get themselves noticed in our activity log. This slowed down our performance. Using Google fixes that. But blog posts take a while to appear in Google – days or weeks, if at all – so we now use Google Blog Search. New posts appear in search results soon after their posting.
  2. The home page loads more quickly. Some slow JavaScript code was inadvertently placed in the wrong place in the home page template, so it was executing up to 15 times every time the page loaded. You might have noticed that the right-side widgets took a long time to appear. That is now fixed.
  3. In addition to the Frappr map link, the Map widget has been updated with the Map Loco map. (Although I’m still toying with the idea of using ClustrMaps.)
  4. The News Feeds widget has been streamlined to take up less space.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog…

8 thoughts on “Blog Updates”

  1. Still working on that one, Fred. I see that problem, too. But JP does not. The template has not changed so I’m not sure what the issue is.

  2. RE: blog posts getting indexed by Google – do you ping them with updates, and do you have a sitemap? Submitting one and updating it regularly can make a real difference – most of my stuff makes it onto Google within 24 hours, and you have a much bigger readership than Velcro City. Not sure what engine you’re using here, but it looks WordPress-ish; there’s a great WP plugin that’ll run a sitemap for you, updating and pinging every time you post, and I expect other engines have something similar available.

  3. I see that problem intermittenly — by that I meant that I noticed that it wasn’t happening the other day (I thought John fixed it) but I see it now. Perhaps, the expiration on the cookie is set wrong?

  4. Note that I intermittently see the problem as well. I also looked at the cookie and it looks fine from here (like now).

    Potential issues are: problems with the DST fix applied to the host? Problems with the year – I don’t know why 2007 would have a problem with 2006 didn’t, but maybe it does? Might there be some reason where the host identifies itself differently, preventing the browser from feeding it the cookie? I can’t see why the hostname would be wrong, but who knows?

  5. I switched to Google search a while ago, they’re the search experts so I let them deal with it! I ping google blogsearch (using the MT settings for pinging on a post), but haven’t done any extensive tests to see how long things take to get into the index.

    I’ve also managed to reduce spam to zero (nothing even junked), which is cool. Happy too share how.

  6. FWIW, when I hit the site today, my personal information is there. Go figure. Back to sliderules, rules paper and eyeshades! Bring back Nixie Clocks! Down with digital technology!

    :D

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