I’ve been working on a lot of back office stuff here on the blog, and I’d like to let you know what I’ve done so far. I’d also like a little help from both my fellow bloggers and my regular commenters to ensure what I’ve done works, and to fill in some gaps that I’m not sure I can do perfectly on my own. Some of the changes are to help me out, and some are to help you. The SPAM stuff I’ve done is to help all of us. But in the process, I’ve noted more I can do to help my fellow bloggers as well.
First, the main thing I have to ask of you relates to my Blogroll. I haven’t worked on maintaining it for a long time, and it is woefully out of date. I know there a lot of cocktail bloggers who read me but aren’t on my roll. Figuring out who they are would take more time than I have, thus I’m crowd-sourcing it. So please do me (and yourself) a favor, take a few seconds to check the left sidebar and drop me a line if I don’t have you on my blogroll. Make sure you give me both your URL and your RSS. The main address is for the blogroll, and the RSS feeds the “Recent Discussion” widget on the right sidebar. I’ve examined both the SEO literature and my own traffic logs. While people don’t pay as much attention to them as they used to, Blogrolls still help with Google-fu and actual hits. The RSS-fed links on the right in particular generate a pretty significant number of out-clicks for me.
I’ll also humbly ask that if you read this blog, check your own blogroll. I’d like to be there!
The next stuff is all complete, I hope.
That means he is both unable, and too lazy, to test out everything himself. Please squawk if you see something that doesn’t seem right.
Yeah. If all you do is read this blog, you won’t notice any of the rest of this. If you ever comment, you will. And I really want you guys to comment more! Comments on a blog are like furniture in a house: They make it look lived in.
Now, I recently added Captcha technology to the comments. The SPAM was starting to get out of hand, and I knew I’d get too far behind of stomping it when the next great roadtrip begins. It seems to be working well so far, but I know it is a pain in the ass for you when you comment. And that defeats my campaign to get you guys to actually say something about what I write!
To fix this, I’ve opened up user registration. You will see a link in the comments section of each post that will send you to the registration page. In return for doing that, you not only won’t have to screw with the Captcha anymore, you also won’t have to fill in your name, email, and URL in the future either!
There. I saved you 30-60 keystrokes, so now you have no excuse not to comment.
For bloggers, there is an added tiny incentive to registering. Both the link back to your own website you provide at registration, as well as any links you embed in your comment, will have the noFollow attribute removed. WordPress automatically removes all reader-created links from search engine consideration (noFollow) to discourage spammers. While it doesn’t actually discourage the bastards of course, it does reduce their ability to screw with the quality of search engine results. But it also means that a blog community like the Cocktailosphere doesn’t help each others’ PageRank, etc. when they comment.
With user registration, I can keep screwing the SPAMmers while no longer denying our community a benefit. So, the more you comment, the more pages will show to Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. as linking your blog! You’ll rocket up the search engines! Men will want to be you. Women will want to be with you. Heck, men will want to be with you! It’s a floor wax! It’s a dessert topping!
Seriously, it’s a minor benefit, but it does have an effect.
I’ve got other ideas to enrich the commenting experience, but I’d like to hear from you, too. If you’ve seen any cool stuff on other sites that you’d like to have on more blogs (including this one), tell me in the comments.
Did you see what he just did there?