It’s been a wild couple of days with the database update — BIG THANKS to Chris Lea, Media Temple Director of Technology, for personally upgrading our server and making sure everything here sings the best and fastest possible tune.
Here’s what else has been happening:
The speed and responsiveness of our MySQL server feels faster, better and stronger. If you are experiencing any strange happenings here when you create a post or contribute a comment, please let me know.
I have been working hard behind-the-scenes to get everything ready for the new Urban Semiotic where more than one Author can publish a post. I spent most of yesterday getting everything working and our new Authors page and Writing Tips page both look really great. I am surprised at the level of interested and enthusiasm for participation and I thank you!
I will spend today fixing things and testing stuff as well as reading post pitches and submitted articles for publication here.
I learned several things yesterday. First, I no longer appear in a blue box when I place a comment in a thread in which I did not author the post! Harumph! Also, I learned if I want to get the comments emailed to me in a comment thread from a post in which I did not write I actually have to check the box to subscribe to the comments! Harr! It took me all day to figure out why I wasn’t getting any notifications on the comments for Chris’ excellent post on bussing which then leads us to a question for you…
I can set “Subscribe to Comments” to default to having the subscribe box checked instead of unchecked. Do you prefer to leave it as it is where you have to check that box to get comments sent to you if you comment or would you prefer to have that subscribe box checked by default? Please let me know your preference here in a comment. Majority will rule.
Scott of Scott-O-Rama is a wonderful blogger and I was disappointed to learn he is closing his Discuss It forum. His reasons for closing the site are understandable and those elements could threaten the livelihood of our Author expansion here as well if we are not careful. I think our philosophy of moderating comments helps a lot as does requiring Registration in order to comment. There is one other thing that should help prevent a similar demise here that Scott experienced over there…
The official name of this blog is “David W. Boles’ Urban Semiotic” and I chose that full title for a reason: People know who, what and why this blog was created. When I opened up Author posts I considered condensing the title to just “Urban Semiotic” — that’s how most people link to us anyway and that’s fine — but then I thought, for now at least, that keeping my name in the title provides protection for Authors and Commenters because I will take the heat if there are any fires. A lot of time and energy has also been spent on linking and branding this blog and to change the title now is to start all over again in search engine ranking and brand identification.
You get big credit in search engines for longevity and stability and to change the title now is to gamble what has already been hard won. I also like being on point. Fresh publication is ultimately my responsibility and desire so if there are no new posts I must create new posts. I am responsible for what happens here and for the quality of publication. I decide what comments get published and which comments never make the air of consumption. We may not be The Huffington Post but the idea that drives that blog and its title is the same energy that has always driven what you read here.
If you have any thoughts to share on what might make this blog better, please let me know! I was tempted for five seconds to start another blog for Urban Semiotic “Staff” only that would be entirely private where we could discuss publication plans and other issues but then I was quickly taken back to my Team Toshiba days on CompuServe.
The private discussion area for Team Toshiba staff was always the most interesting and vibrant place compared to the official support and lounge chat sections and I found it unfortunate the most dramatic conflicts, joys and brilliant stuff happened privately beyond the public eye. The staff forum regularly had 100% more messages than 95% of the support threads and that was always strange and a warning to not repeat that misuse of unique genius and genuine intimacy in a place where only the select few could partake. If we have things to discuss we can do it right here in the open where everyone can feed at the trough of our thought.