A few upgrades

You’ve no doubt noticed recent changes here already, implemented in the weeks since we switched to WordPress as our blog provider, but I may as well walk you through a few modest upgrades to our home page, all visible on the right-hand side.

Up top is a search field. You can enter a name and find previous posts about it, if any.

You’ll see a link for my columns on dailybulletin.com, months’ worth. There’s also a link to email me and a link to the newspaper’s home page. I haven’t posted a photo of myself (there used to be one of my sitting on a curb with a 909 on it), thinking a little semi-anonymity might not be a bad thing for my restaurant writeups.

Below that are feeds from my Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can sign up for either page or simply monitor what I’ve posted. A lot of what I post are links to blog posts or columns, which you see already when you’re on my blog, but I do post other things from time to time, especially on Twitter.

Below all that, there’s the blogroll, with links to other sites of interest, mostly local blogs. Below that are category listings for my blog, making a search simpler. Neither of these is new, but they weren’t here when we moved to WordPress and now are back. We’ve eliminated the month-by-month archives, since nobody is likely to search for, say, August 2010 blog posts as a group.

Overall, the blog looks good to me and handles fairly well from my end. The number of comments is down, which is a concern to me, and there are issues with blog posts no longer accepting comments, which I can’t explain but which I hope to address with an expert in our office soon. It’s important to me that all posts accept comments forever.

Any comments, likes or dislikes?

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  • DebB

    There have been at least two times when I tried a restaurant you had reviewed, wanted to go back and post a comment, but found that the comments were closed on that post. Other than than, after a little initial confusion about signing on, I think your new blog is just fine. Not better than the old one, from my standpoint, but just as good!

    But maybe I’ll use this space to gripe a little about something new that’s been happening when I follow the link to read your articles. It seems we progressed from banners to pop-up ads, then to ads that open up and dance across the screen, and now lately to ads that take over the whole screen, covering your article completely. It’s almost enough to make me avoid reading the articles, except that I enjoy them so much.

    • davidallen909

      I realize you probably have better things to do with your time than police my blog, but I’d certainly encourage you to drop me an email if you find a comment thread closed. Since writing the above, I’ve been told how to open a thread again, but as to why it’s closed to begin with we don’t know. Because you say it’s happened twice, I’ll pass that info along. Do you recall which restaurants they were?

      Apologies for the annoying ads. Generally you can close them by clicking an X in the upper right-hand corner. I hope the money is helping keep us afloat because they’re too obtrusive for my taste too.

      • DebB

        I think the two I wanted to comment on were Union on Yale and Escabeche, both of which say the comments are closed. I just noticed that your last 3 restaurant reviews from Claremont say this (I didn’t look farther than that). I suppose it could be because I go there from the categories links at the bottom right of the blog instead of directly from the blog roll itself.

        But I assumed it was a time thing – I just looked at the “Books” category. While the most current reading list is still open for comments, the December list is not. Then I clicked on “Around Pomona”, and while the “Geico money man” post is still open, the “Looking west on 2nd Street, Pomona” from Jan 15 is not. Don’t know if this will help!

        • davidallen909

          I appreciate the help, Deb, and have just sent a note to someone higher up for assistance since this seems to be a widespread problem.

          • It might actually be a feature. Perhaps Disqus is configured to close comments after a few weeks or something. My Disqus comments on my blogs don’t do this, but perhaps mine is configured differently.

          • davidallen909

            It does seem to be a Disqus problem and a timing problem. And sometimes it’s more of a problem than others. There was one post that was up for two days when comments closed.

      • SAWZ

        The ads seem to be a necessary evil everywhere, and yet, so many of the news sites are putting in paywalls. I don’t think that is a positive things for the respective advertisers.
        Microsoft is driving me crazy with ads on my e-mail and there is no X to wipe them off. They have something called Ad choices. I chose to opt out on the ads–then a message came up giving me a new set of directions on what I had to do to get rid of them. I resent it.
        As far as your new commenting system is concerned; I was happy to see you on Disqus because I already had this screen name with it. The downside is that once you have a screen name, you can’t change it unless you change your e-mail address.
        I never finished my registration with Face Book and they are bringing friends for me all the time. I think Face Book must be like AOL. Once you join–its like the Roach Motels–you can sign up but you can never leave.

  • Regarding your attempt at semi-anonymity – has the Daily Bulletin taken down all of the “show me the funny” billboards that they used to have?

    • davidallen909

      You have a long memory, John. I don’t remember when those came down but it’s been a decade at least. Might not even have been up during the 21st century — if we want to be sticklers and say the century began in 2001.