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Blog Updates

I have made several updates to the blog functionality, so that this blog is beginning to look a bit more like a blog.

  • The blog index page now shows full posts.  It will show the last 5 posts.
  • There is a topic list on the blog index page, which shows all of the topics and the number of posts in each topic.  Clicking on a topic name will show a list of those topics only.
  • Behind the scenes, the author of a post automatically gets an email when a comments is added, unless it's identified as spam by Defensio.
  • I built a simple tool to review comments.  This allows you to identify spam that Defensio missed, and also to go through comments that Defensio marked as spam to make sure they are, in fact, spam.  If Defensio misidentified anything, it is reported back to Defensio so that Defensio can learn how to do better.  I have not dealt with enough volume in Defensio to have any idea how well it learns, but it's good to give it a chance.

There are still a number of things that it would be nice to do, for instance:

  • Implement pingbacks -- this uses a protocol developed by Wordpress to exchange links between blogs when one blog mentions another blog.  Seems like a nice system and a good way to improve the reach of a blog.
  • Allow users to subscribe to the comments on a page.  I think this would be important to foster communication in the comments.  Without this, someone who leaves a comment is unlikely to notice if anyone leaves a response to his comment.
  • Allow users to reply to specific comments.  I see a lot of blogs that don't have this feature, but I think it's a nice thing to have.  Makes it easier to follow who is responding to who if the number of comments gets high.
  • Provide a search box to search within the blog.  This would essentially be restricting a search to pages that are children of the blog index page, and so this would be a general feature not just applicable to blogs.

I'd be interested in any ideas anyone has about what features they'd like to see in a blog.  What do you think?


David Hammond's Globally Recognized Avatar I totally forgot to mention the avatars that appear with comments. You'll see there is a picture of me next to this comment. I never specified an image to use for this comment or for this blog. The image is provided by This site allows people to upload pictures and associate them with their email address, and then any site can display that picture. It's a nice and very easy to implement feature.

Posted on July 7, 2009 3:27:31 PM EDT by David Hammond

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