While the hamsters were out for a run, I made some changes to the blog -- I'll start with the changes that readers can see when they log in, and then go below the fold to mention those that contributors can see.
I added some blocks to the right hand sidebar. Log in, and start from the top:
1. Note the Blogroll. Finally. This block lists 10 randomly rotating blogs from our blogroll (of which more below).
2. Now try out the Chat Box. We tried this chat module before, and though it was popular, it was also buggy. So I'm hoping with updated modules, the bugs have gone away. UPDATE: I've made the box refresh every minute or so. Hopefully that will stop it from being confused about users, too.
3. And at the very bottom of the sidebar, we have a Random Term from our vast arsenal of liberal invective.
To make room for these new features, I moved the masthead down, and moved Recent Comments and Recent Posts to the middle sidebar. UPDATE: I'm still tinkering the sidebar arrangement. It's looking a little cluttered, now.
Next, the top menubar has been changed:
4. The Calendar menu item now leads to a monthly Calendar -- though it needs events! (See below. Mad as Hell Doctors?)
5. The Glossary menu item now leads to a neatly formatted page with terms broken out by letter.
6. The Blogroll menu item leads to the complete blogroll (from which the rotating blogs in the sidebar block are taken).
In posts, as you see:
7. Glossary is working again: Moran, DFH, FKDP, and VRWC. However, a lot of the definitions need to be updated, since many of them date from 2003-2006, before it became evident that many behaviors we thought were unique to Republicans were common to Versailles.
8. Likewise, devils can quote Scripture to their purpose once more: Genesis 1:1.
9. URLs turn into links -- http://www.correntewire.com/ -- though please use links, it's better for style
10. twitter names turn into links: @correntewire
11. twitter hash tags turn into links: #singlepayer
Now, here are the changes that posters will see:
The first set of changes pertains to items under "Post Other Content" in the middle sidebar:
12. Advertisements. I'll have more to say about a Corrente "Tag Sale" in the near future -- business model! --- but for now, perhaps people could just experiment with it? I've put up a My Ad Sandbox menu item, so if you post one, at least you can see what it looks like and find it again.
13. Events now work. There's a nifty little widget to add the dates with. I'm hoping that when people put up single payer events, for example, they use this content type, since it will go on the Calendar. But hearings, local actions, book salons, anything could go here. (Why use Google's when we can make our own?!)
14. New Blogroll Link. Post a new "Web Link" to get a blog on the blogroll. But please -- let's stay one or two degrees separated from Versailles! Let's give the traffic -- to the extent that a blog everybody hates and nobody reads has any traffic, of course -- to the other blogs that need it, and don't already have it. (I use Alexa to check circulation.) Since we can't go vertical, through Versailles, lest we catch what they've got, we'd better learn to go horizontal.
15. Private Message announcements will now be made every hour or less, so I hope people find this great feature more useful. (The next step would be to protect the messages with P
P, get it now?) Before I made this change, you'd only find out that you had a new message when you logged out and then logged back in, which didn't help our most frequent posters at all, since they never log out!
Finally, there are some small changes to the edit form for posts:
16. All posts can now be announced on twitter; I set up a generic Corrente account* for this. In the edit tab, look for "Announce this post on Twitter" below the "Body" box where you enter your post, make sure that the check box is checked, and select "correntewire" for the account. When you Submit, the headline of the post will turn into a tweet. (Remember how I keep saying headlines are important?) UPDATE: This doesn't seem to be working. Posts ought to show up at the general account. My posts are showing up, so there's an issue with the general account....
17. All posts can now be scheduled to be published and/or unpublished at a future time. In the edit tab, look under the post box for "Scheduling options" and enter a (future) date and time in the text field (sorry, no nifty widget, but you can copy the "format" under the field and then alter it). NOTE: It will take up to an hour for a scheduled post to publish.
* * *
Not yet done: Getting the logo to rotate again, and doing some clever things with RDF. Perhaps tomorrow night.
So, if you need anything fixed, please comment here.
NOTE * The twitter module permits tweeting to individual accounts, but the administrative interface where the accounts get set up is slightly broken, and I don't feel like fixing it right now.