Thanks to a bout of insomnia and a shot of motivation I was able to tackle a few improvements to the blog recently. Here’s a quick summary.
Out with the native Squarespace comment system and in with Disqus! I made the switch for back-end management convenience, to reduce issues readers had when posting comments, and to simplify the commenting process. Now you can comment via Facebook, Twitter, and Disqus logins. Plus, you can track discussions you’re interested in without revisiting the blog by subscribing to a post’s RSS feed at the bottom of the comment area. Like most bloggers, I value comments and want to make things as easy as possible for all who desire to engage!
Subscriptions to the blog are now powered by Feedburner. Feedburner allows me to customize the look and feel of the RRS feed subscription page, as well as the feed as it appears in RSS readers. Also, there are now options at the bottom of each post in the RSS feed to share posts via email, Facebook, Digg, and StumbleUpon without navigating from your reader.
For those who prefer to subscribe to the blog via email, there is now an email subscription option.
If you have previously subscribed to the blog’s RSS feed, you might want to unsubscribe and re-subscribe to enjoy the benefits of Feedburner. If you prefer to have new posts emailed to you, enter your address and click the “Subscribe” button in the right-hand column of the blog.
Links to Blogs and Other Resources
I’ve inserted hyperlinks to Internet resources in the “Links of Interest” section in the upper left-hand corner of the blog. The links are arranged into five categories: The Reading List Alumni, Blogs, Podcasts, News Resources, and Statutes & Other Resources. Clicking on a link will take you to a page of relevant links, each having a short description for your convenience. I have only included blogs and podcasts that I check into regularly and think would be of interest to readers of the blog. If you have recommendations you’d like to share, please either post a comment or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I set up an archives page that organizes past posts by category, topic, name of post, and month of posting. I put this page together on this recommendation of John Saddington, aka the Tentblogger. (John helped me through the installation of Feedburner via this amazing tutorial.) Having a separate archives page also allowed me to remove some of the clutter from the blog’s main page. I’m still mulling over whether to further reduce clutter by removing the listing of blog posts by topic.
I’m excited about the improvements and will continue to tinker. I’d love to hear what you think, so please take my new Disqus comment system for a test drive and leave a comment.