Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blog lists

A few months ago we ran into a problem with the updating blog lists along the right-hand side of the blog. The lists would lock up after a certain number of entries - how many seemed to vary - and after that you would no be able to add a new entry without removing an existing one.

So I created a second list. This was an imperfect solution: what we wound up with was two lists where the most recent posts would rise to the top. The problem was, the most recent post on list 2 would come after the oldest post on list 1.

Today I discovered that this limit seems to have gone away. I found I could add new blogs to the old list without locking up. So I began the tedious task of transferring blogs from list 2 to list 1.

I didn't run into the locking-up issue again. But what I did notice was that after a certain number of blogs had been added to the list, the list would begin mangling  blog feeds - both for newly-added and some currently-listed blogs.

So I went to plan B. List 1 would contain only the most recently updated blogs. List 2 would contain blogs whose most recent post was two months or more ago. A third list, "Non-Updating Blogs," would include all the blogs that had not been updated in a year or more.

It's still an imperfect solution. Blogs from list 2 could go to list 1 if  they updated; on the other hand, non-updating blogs from list 2 could fall off and onto the non-updating list. Even blogs from the non-updating list could jump onto list 1 with a single post. Also, newly listed blogs would go to list 1 by default, but might be moved to list 2 or even the non-updating list. And eventually list 1 will "fill up" again, unless the problem is resolved.

As of this writing list 1 contains 240 blogs, all updated between eleven minutes and one month ago (give or take a few days.) List 2 contains 88 blogs updated anywhere from two to eleven months ago, and 104 blogs count as "non-updating" for having not updated in over a year.

These bugs and limitations are a major part of the decision to look into other platforms to host NEPA Blogs. Michelle is actively exploring these options, while I will continue to try to resolve the problems with the current platform.

UPDATE: I think I'll follow these rules:

1. New blogs will be put onto list 1 provisionally, even if their last update was more than two months ago.
2. Blogs from lists 2 and 3 will be promoted to list 1 as soon as an update is noticed. (This already happened today.)
3. Blogs from list 1 whose last update was more than two months ago will be moved to list 2 on a monthly basis (more or less). (Two blogs that were showing a last update of "one month ago" yesterday just crossed the two month threshold today. I'm not going to shuffle them on a daily basis.)
4. Blogs from list 2 whose last update was more than a year ago will be moved onto the "non-updating blogs" list on a monthly basis.

Remember: the best way to have your blog seen is to update it frequently!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the hard work you put into maintaining this site! I know it must be frustrating at times, but it is well worth it! Woof!

Mrs. Walter J. Katsellas said...

I am enjoying all of the other bloggers like myself on your website. I find that blogging helps me heal...I didn't realize there were so many others on the super information freeway.