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3 years of blogging; thoughts on comment boxes
So, this blog is exactly 3 years old today. A quick Windows file string search in my post folder shows a count of 878 total posts since the first one on November 12, 2006; that would mean an average of 0.8 posts per day. (All old posts are still linked on the archive page.)
This blog is and always has been completely manual-HTML based, updated in raw code with Wordpad. I've toyed around with some content management systems like WordPress and Joomla, but never have liked the control I have to give up with those, not to mention having to make CSS concessions and risk the security vulnerabilities. Right now, each new post takes me about 45 seconds to add to the blog (not counting the time it takes to compose the content and gather/crop/resize images). I've worked with HTML so long (since 1994) that I'll always be able to do the hand coding faster than I could with any content manager.
The one new feature I'm trying to develop is a script that will allow me to make new posts and add photos via my cell phone. I have a script currently that will allow me to make running updates to an existing post via the phone (which I will use for big storm observation days), but it can't create a new post altogether and can't upload photos. It basically needs to automatically create the files I currently do by hand, then edit the index page, recent post list and archive page. It shouldn't be too difficult to pull off, but I still need to find some R&D time to work on it. For now, I can't see me actually needing to compose full posts from the phone that often, so it's not a huge priority.
Comment systems on the way out?
Are blog comment boxes becoming a relic of the past, in leu of Facebook? I added my comment system to the blog back in January of 2008. But in recent months, it's seen almost no activity - being nearly completely replaced by comments on the Facebook 'Note' that is generated by the automatic XML feed import there. This means the only ones who see the comments are those who visit my Facebook page. Which I guess I don't mind, except it makes the actual blog pages resound with crickets chirping.
Maybe someone will release a Facebook app that allows a feed of Note comments to be imported to pages, similar to what you can do with Twitter feeds. I'm not a fan of adding cumbersome third-party 'widgets' and apps to my pages though - and it would mean that only my Facebook friends could comment on posts. I guess since my Facebook friends are becoming the only commenters, it might be a moot point anyway.
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