Considering a Site Enhancement + NYC Meetup

Dear patient readers,

It may not be obvious to you, but Kristin our WordPress jockey/coder has been making more changes to site plumbing, which so far have been mainly for the admins’ benefit. We’ve also been told our ad service is rolling out changes to how they serve ads that should greatly improve loading speed.

One thing readers have asked for, and we’d like to implement if we can figure out how to do it, is a way to get to some of our best historical posts more accessible. Since we have created so much room in the right column, we would add a block that has “Current Hot Topics” which would be 2-5 things we’ve been following for a while. For instance, the list right now would include “Trade Deals,” “Obamacare” and “Private Equity”. We’d have another section of “NC Classics” and that might include “Financial Crisis” “Securitization Fail” Mortgage Fraud/Settlements” and a couple of other topics to be determined.

The problem is if I have to do much of this it will never get done. I am seeing if Kristin can create a “view only” access to our backstage, so some helpful readers can sort through our backstage (much better for searching old posts than Google’s site specific searcher) to identify possible candidates for each topic.

Separately, diptherio asked about having a meetup in April when he is in NYC. I forget what his dates are. I was hoping the 25th (a Friday) would work. Martine, who attended the last NYC meetup, said she might be able to arrange for a room, which would be in many ways preferable to meeting at a restaurant (biggest is ease of mingling). The downsides are no food, just munchies, and someone(s) will need to organize drinks and nibblies (as in figure out what to get, how to procure it, and what to charge). On a Friday in the spring, a room is likely to be the better option, but we need a couple of people to volunteer to handle logistics. Let me know…

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    1. MikeNY

      I’ll be back on the East Coast by then, so I may be able to attend. (I promise not to kiss you, dip — unless you ask more than once.)

    1. Trinity River

      I went looking for something I had read the day before and eventually realized that it had been in the comments section of one of your posts. No comments in the archives. This may be too hard.

      1. different clue

        “No comments in the archives”. Are you recommending that all comments be deleted and none stored in archives with the posts that inspired them? Or am I reading this wrong?

        By the way, thanks to our blogmasters for having created a Permaculture topic area.
        If others have not seen and noticed this, it is there to be seen and noticed.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      With nearly 500,000 comments and WordPress, it is.

      You can search for comments using Google: “site:” and then write the commentor name and key words.

      I often use that when searching for content. With nearly 500,000 comments, the searches we do in the backstage (which is what we’d be able to replicate for readers) work on stuff like searching by IP address, but DO NOT work reliably when trying to search on content. So anything we build would be based on a search capability that we find already to be not working.

      We used to offer a Google comments search, but I found it was terrible, it would deliver results according to what Google thought was the best fit which was almost always wrong. I preferred having them ordered by date but you can’t get that. I don’t know why the external search works better (well, I do, Google wants to keep its best technology for Google searches on Google, not Google searches on non-Google sites) but it does.

      1. ChrisPacific

        Thanks for that trick – as obvious as it seems, I’d never thought of doing it. It will be helpful.

  1. Christia

    I’ve long envied the people who could attend the meet ups in NYC. I just moved to NY from Los Angeles – now I too can attend. How wonderful! April 25th is perfect.

  2. duffolonious

    Also, can you add a recommended book list. Usually they are buried in posts and I forget where.

  3. Elliot

    Excellent idea for the Classics list! I often send people here, and would love to be able to send them to say, a history of the whole sordid mortgage fraud mess; I know it from reading here (THANK YOU YVES) but a tidily branched list would be super.

    And speaking of commenters, what became of From Mexico? Am I being blind in not seeing his comments?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, From Mexico (and this happened with him once before, and he disappeared for 18 months or so after a previous reprimand) started getting overly aggressive in comments, and on some topics, would engage in persistent dishonest argumentation. We told him about it privately and he didn’t change behavior. So we put him in moderation to show him we were serious, the rules apply to everyone, and no one is so special that they have the right to abuse other commentors. After only one comment went into moderation, he quit commenting.

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