Once again, this month I’ve had more hits than ever before – more than 500 extra hits per day, taking me to just under 130,000 hits this month, from a total of sixteen different countries (one fewer than last month). Almost 10% of you are now using Firefox – up from 8% last month – and the proportion of IE users has fallen slightly. Just of 97% of you are running Windows.
Enough about you, now let’s talk about me! This month has seen quite a number of aesthetic changes to the site. These have been introduced to make the site easier to understand as well as easier on the eye, as shown particularly by the retirement of the little icons that used to symbolise ‘permalink’, ‘trackback’, and so on, and introduction of a more straightforward approach to printing content. You may also notice that the advertising on the site has moved about a bit, instead of being stuck in one big column in the sidebar. I’ve tried to make them look as unobtrusive as possible, whilst also trying not to hide them away where no-one clicks them, and many pages now have fewer adverts than before. Let me know whether or not you think I’ve got it right… I certainly think I’ve got it right, since the revenue from advertising is over twenty times greater than last month, which is astounding considering all that’s changed is the position of the ads, and reduced their number.
In order to reduce loading time, each archive page on the site now displays seven days’ worth of posts. Therefore, if you go into a monthly archive page, you will only see the posts for the most recent seven days on which posts were made – you can then take yourself to earlier posts using the appropriately titled ‘earlier posts’ link at the bottom of the page. Once there, you’ll be able to come back again using the ‘later posts’ link. Note, however, that these links will only navigate you through the subset of posts you’ve chosen – so if you’ve chosen April 2005, you’ll only be able to navigate through April 2005 posts – you can’t get to March 2005 posts by repeatedly clicking ‘earlier posts’. It’s really not as confusing as it sounds. Just give it a try, and appreciate the better loading times.
Also new this month is the ‘Possibly related posts’ feature on all posts’ individual permalink pages. This section highlights other posts which the computer thinks are about similar topics, and so may also be of interest if you liked the particular post you were reading. It’s not always perfect, but it’s often pretty good, so take a look.
In another major new feature, you can now access this site on the move via your WAP enabled mobile phone. Simply point your phone’s browser to sjhoward.co.uk/mobile, or text ‘sjh’ to 60300 and the link will be sent to you. Texts cost 25p.
Yet another new feature for this month is audio posts – you can now access all posts filed after 12th July 2005 in mp3 format, simply by clicking the ‘audio’ link above them (or, on individual post pages, below them). A podcast of the most recent fifteen posts is available, so you can now take sjhoward.co.uk wherever you go, both on your mobile, with the new service described above, and on your mp3 player. Why not give it a try now, and listen to this post?
For more information on any of the changes and new features, you can look at the regularly updated site guide.
Looking forward to August… I’m going to be parted from the internet several times during August (the first of which begins tomorrow), so posts will be a little more sporadic than is usual. Normal service will be resumed at some point in September, though when in September will depend on how quickly internet access arrives in my student house. The next ‘This Blogging Month’ update is likely to come at the end of September, rather than August, because I’ll be away at the end of August. I’ll make September’s a double-edition extra special version for you. I can tell you’re looking forward to it already. Anyway, in the meantime, why not browse some old posts? Do check back for new posts, or subscribe to the RSS feed, and enjoy your summer.