Blogimmuniqué – 2nd March 2011

By Grant Jacobs 04/03/2011

Blogimmuniqués are communiqués–of sorts–about my blog.

My 100,000th visitor

My blog doesn’t get huge numbers of visitors. My 100,000th visitor finally rolled up some time ago – a Singaporean visiting Notebooks capturing your thoughts and plans just past 9pm (local time) on Wednesday 19th January. To whoever you are–thanks!


Some of you will have noted that our administrator has added CAPTCHA sign-ins to our commenting.

My blog doesn’t require you registration, just dive in.


If you find the CAPTCHA code words in front of you to tricky, press the refresh/recycle button (shown to right) to get new code words. It’s the top of three buttons to the left of the word ‘reCAPTCHA’ with it’s big white arrow.

This change dramatically reduces the amount of spam I have to moderate, but a side effect thus far is one or two spam comments are (unexpectedly) coming through. I’m generally on-line for most of the working day, so any that are present should be cleared away soon enough.

The blogroll

Now updated and should be up-to-date provided none of the bloggers move again!

The Other science blogs list has had a few updates, e.g. the addition of TelescopeFeed for astronomy fans, but otherwise remains in a ‘mixed’ state. Readers looking for further science-y reading are encouraged to check out if you haven’t already.

Updates – add to articles or as comments: what do you prefer?

Regular readers will know that I currently append news about an article after it is written in the form of comments. An alternative is to place them in an ‘update’ section within the article.

A recent example of this is my ‘rolling’ thread for the February 22nd earthquake near Christchurch, where initially I updated the post and once updating became less frequent moved to providing updates via comments.

It is a little easier to add brief news as comments – no need to get into the WordPress editor, but other bloggers elsewhere do not get notified if I link to their site if I write in comments, whereas they do if I add a link to the article itself with the effect that links in comments effectively stand outside of the network of bloggers.

Related to this, I feel uncomfortable at ’polluting’ the comments list on the top page of sciblogs with too many comments from me. For one thing, it looks obnoxious! If I add a stream of comments on an on-going event, it crowds others out from the comment stream on the top page, which I dislike doing.

A problem with posting updates within the articles is would reader see or care to check for updates?

Do readers have any preferences. My current thought is to do as I have recently done, initially update the post while updates are frequent, moving to comments once updates become infrequent.

Move to syndicating?

I have for a long time considered moving this blog to a stand-alone blog that I would syndicate back to sciblogs, as many others here already do.

I’ve nothing against sciblogs and those visiting the sciblogs site should find nothing much changes.

My reasons for this idea are far too many and would be too boring for readers, but mainly it’d let me fiddle with plug-ins and settings that might suit me and readers.

The main hurdle is that ever in-demand thing, time. It’s been repeatedly delayed… I was to try tackle this later this month, but it seems it can’t happen until at least April. Then there’s the time to manage two comment streams (although in principle I could have all comments on the syndicated blog).

Do readers have any features that they’d like to see? (Bear in mind that there is a fair to good chance I will run out of time and delay exploring this further!)

Use of subtitles to indicate content

I’ll post this later as a separate post as the issue will mainly appeal to those who think about writing issues – I mention it here briefly as a heads’ up for those that might want to dig into it.

Basically it deals with how to clue readers into the nature of the article near the top of the article, particularly given I cover a fair range of topics and ‘levels’ of writing.

Finally: The undying to-do list

I’m fighting a losing battle with my to-do list. Does anyone have an app for that?

Other articles on Code for life:

Who blogs on what, and why

Find a home for your research paper, authors, related papers — ask Jane

How long does it take you to write a science blog post?

Science-y reading and open book thread

Blogimmuniqué — comment policy

Coiling bacterial DNA

0 Responses to “Blogimmuniqué – 2nd March 2011”