Eight New Blog Features

now reading library pageSome readers might have noticed that I’ve added a few new features to the blog. Specifically (starting with left sidebar and proceeding to right sidebar):

  1. Flickr badge.
    The flash badge at left enables clicking through to my most recent photos at flickr.com. I like the way it’s not static. But will it start to look like the blicking, scrolling texts of the 1990s?
  2. Book of Days link
    It may only rank ninth among my pages (actually I think that’s because it’s really about 38 pages, so the hits are spread out–I’m certainly not going to take the time to add them all up) but I still have a fondness for the daybook, which was the first feature I added when I began to break out of resume website mode about ten years ago. Since I’ve discontinued the Book of Days RSS feed (as too much work) instead I’ll try to update this link to the page that includes the current date (in other words, about every 10 days).
  3. Social bookmark link
    I’ve had this on my html pages but only now added it to the blog. Saves a stroke or two in adding the site to your del.icio.us bookmarks, or wherever. (I don’t like the way some sites give you about a million icons with every post.)
  4. Now Reading
    This is an interesting plugin from Rob Miller. If you like it you can download it here. It’s a database program for storing books. When you enter a book it pulls a thumbnail of the cover from amazon. If you click on a book it takes you to the library page for the title, where you can post reviews and the like. It has a lot of features that I’m not interested in using, so I stripped down the templates. (I had trouble making the library pages work with my theme, so I just removed the right sidebar from those pages.) I’m integrating it with some of my book reviews. I keep meaning to post more of those but I hate doing that kind of mechanical stuff–plus back in the day I put them all on a zip disk that went bad, so it would involve a lot of key entry. Someday …
  5. Duly Quoted
    Links to one of my quotation pages (currently Ava Gardner).
  6. Moving on to the right sidebar we find, first, a link to my bio and my e-mail information (anti-phishing format). This is something every blog should have, right? I guess I just overlooked it until now.
  7. A big honking subscribe button
    (The search box isn’t new. It only searches the blog. The full site search is at the bottom of the sidebar–does that seem okay?).
    Some say bigger buttons get more clicks (try it). It sounds just stupid enough to be true. But I can’t deal with the standard orange color in my scheme, so I’ve changed it to rightreading blue.
    UPDATE: I’ve scaled this back a notch so it’s not quite as in-your-face.
  8. Top 10 Currently Popular Pages
    Based on my awstats reports, these are my most popular pages this month. Only number 10 is a surprise to me (but it’s a pretty big surprise). I’ll try to update this as it changes with future monthly reports.

So there you go. Have I added features of value or just cluttered up the page?

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1 Comment

  1. I like all of the new features, but I agree the subscribe button was too big.