New Additions to the Site

by Ed Lau on March 14, 2007

You’ll probably notice that I’ve recently added a few features to my blog lately and I thought I’d give you folks a quick run-down, especially for anyone thinking about starting their own blog. WordPress is incredibly customizable and there are numerous plug-ins that not only improve cosmetics and functionality but also improve your traffic and integration into the blogging community.

Brian’s Threaded Comments

Not only does this plugin keep your comments organized to make it easier for both you and your readers to communicate, but I’ve noticed a significant increase in the actual number of comments I’ve received after installing it. People who want to add their two cents into the mix are quite likely to want to check back and see if anyone noticed what they said and the responses they receive.

One of the most important things in keeping your blog fresh with new content is communication with your community and with other bloggers. Threaded Comments is especially helpful for answering questions from your readers.

Show Top Commentators

This plugin is like crack for comment whores like Michael (although Leo is currently winning by a mile for the month of March). Along with Threaded Comments, the Top Commentator plugin is a great way to encourage communication with your community since it automatically gives the top five commentators a free link to their site.

I know John holds a monthly (or…weekly?) contest for the top commentators and I think I will do something similar in the near future. I just have to find a worthy prize since I don’t want to insult my community by giving away crappy watches.

MyBlogLog

Another great community tool that puts a face to the folks that visit your site. Think of it as a sort of Facebook for bloggers. Clicking on a MyBlogLog portrait brings you to that user’s page, where you can see who is in their community as well as what sites they run. MyBlogLog also offers a wide variety of stats (and even more if you upgrade to the Pro version).

It only really works if you add an avatar that will show up when you visit any blog that runs MyBlogLog. Mine is the BAPE X KAWS “Sta” character since I couldn’t find a decent picture of myself and this one seems to stand out when you’re only given a 48-pixel square.

MyAvatars

This plugin works with MyBlogLog to put the 48-pixel avatar in your comments. When used in conjunction with Brian’s Threaded Comments, your comments look almost like a forum. However, it does take a bit of work and some trial-and-error to make it look good. By default, it aligns to the right but I happen to like it on the left so it’s more like a vBulletin style.

Bookmark Me

I added the links to five popular news sites to the bottom of each post yesterday to make it easier for readers to submit posts. Of course, you can always do this manually by simply editing your index.php file but I’m totally inept at that sort of thing. That and this looks better with the logos and such.

A big thanks to Nomar of kingnomar.com for this plugin.

in Tech and the Net

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Kwan March 14, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Is this deja vu? I swear I saw this post before.

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Ed Lau March 14, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Nope. I barely ever talk about Wordpress stuff.

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Michael Kwan March 14, 2007 at 11:37 pm

I must have seen this somewhere else. I thought the phrase “I’m totally inept at that sort of thing” sounded really familiar. Maybe you were commenting on something else that you’re useless at. :)

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Ed Lau March 15, 2007 at 12:07 am

I’m useless at not being awesome…ergo…I’m awesome at being awesome.

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Leo March 14, 2007 at 10:16 pm

Nice changes. I’m working on the avatars thing myself and I also like the threaded comments. Stephen is working on making it fit as it doesn’t always work well for every template.

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Stephen March 15, 2007 at 9:21 am

Well, it’s working now. Small tweaks required for your template.

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Nomar March 15, 2007 at 12:05 am

Good to see the plugin is working great !! Nice changes

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Stephen March 15, 2007 at 9:24 am

Those watches were crappy. They were sitting in a pile and barely anyone looked at them. If they were that great, Moto would have grabbed more than a few ;)

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