A Few Little Changes

I’ve made a few minor changes to the site this morning – hopefully all for the better, but let me know in the comments…

  • Turned on the ‘Popular content’ block by default. This shows the most read pages of all time (top 10), and the most read pages today (top 5), so you can get some idea what’s popular around here. Hopefully this will make some of the most popular content easily available.
  • Turned off the Aggregator. This is the module that provided the ‘from outside’ content – it was bringing in content from other people’s RSS feeds. We’d mainly set this up in order to use it for picking up del.icio.us feeds, but we stopped using that a while ago, and I suspect nobody is really using the aggregator at all now – if you were, let me know in the comments – it can be enabled again by just ticking a box.
  • Moved the ‘recent posts’ link that was a bit hidden in the right hand side up to the top, where it’s now called ‘Tracker‘ – this gives nice quick access to all the most recent content, including stuff like our blogs that don’t go on the front page. The other advantage of this listing is that things bump back to the top when they get commented on, so it’s really a view of the most recently ‘touched’ things, not recently posted.
  • Moved the ‘home’ links and RSS links to the top bar, so they’re a bit more accessible, without taking up so much space.
  • Compressed the three lines for the ‘bored – stuff to do and stuff to see’ things into one line. The only thing that’s lost with that is that there’s no link to the alphabetical listings, but I figure this isn’t the sort of content anyone wants to look up a specific article for anyway – it’s supposed to be there for mindless browsing when you’re bored.
  • Moved the search box to the top bar. I’ve recently replaced the search engine behind PigPog with a much more powerful one, as I found out that quite a few people are actually using it. The new one lets you do all sorts of useful things, like limiting searches by category. It also should be a bit smarter about finding the ‘best’ result – gives more credibility to more popular pages, and to pages where the search term is in the title.
  • Enabled the more advanced statistics module. This is mainly helpful to me, letting me see where people are coming from, and such like, but it has the useful upshot of adding the little ‘Reads’ count to the bottom of each page, which is then in turn used by the ‘Popular content’ block to show you what’s had the most visits – bring us right around in a circle 🙂

Oh, and in response to the spam eater eating even more comments, I’ve turned down the filtering a bit – so for those of you that keep being punished for having links in your signatures here, don’t give up – I’ll get that spam eater tamed one of these days.

Oh, another one I forgot – turned off the captcha (you know the things – ‘enter the horribly mangled letters in this picture to continue’) on the sign-up process. It might have to go back on again if we start getting spammed, but I really would rather not have one. I don’t like the idea of putting up hoops to jump through to get signed up, and it’s a really big problem for anyone with eyesight problems.

And another thing – we’re playing with our own little IRC channel. I doubt it will take off as an idea, but we’ll see – I just couldn’t resist the sheer geekiness of having our own IRC channel, especially on SlashNET. So, if you have an IRC program, feel free to drop by #pigpog on irc.slashnet.org and see if anyone’s around. If you don’t have an IRC program, Trillian isn’t a bad option – it does all the main instant messenger programs and IRC, and it’s pretty nice to use. That’s what I’m using at the moment. If you use Firefox, then ChatZilla isn’t bad, and it’s under 300k to download.

Anyway, as I said – let us know if any of these changes cause any problems…