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This Blogging Month: February

Another exciting blog update bulletin – this time for February.

First, the stats. I surpassed four hundred posts this month, which could be either exciting or depressing – I can’t decide which! I’ve had more hits and more unique visiters this month than ever before, so it really is a record-breaking month. I’ve had visitors from sixteen different countries, as diverse as Japan, Australia, Israel, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The most popular post (according to the number of hits on the individual post parge) was my little observation about political party websites. Advertising and Amazon referrals have performed strongly this month, with a 29% profit over and above the cost of maintaining the site.

Now for what’s happened this month. First and foremost, I’ve had a major software upgrade. I’m still using WordPress, but I braved the upgrade to version 1.5. This creates no inherent changes to the ‘look’ of the site, but it means I can do a lot more behind the scenes – for example, you should notice that the ‘Beyond the Blog’ pages are now much more closely integrated with the main site.

In terms of changes that I’ve made to the look of the site, you’ll have noticed that we now have bilateral sidebars, which allow for easy access to more content, with the useful side effect (pun intended) of shortening the post line length slightly and thus (theoretically) making it easier to read. I’ve also tweaked the header bar, so that the design is slightly less abstract, which has also led to the colour scheme having the tiniest of tweaks. The picture in the header bar will probably be updated as time goes by, to keep the site design looking fresh without it looking disorientatingly different.

I’ve added a whole load of new links, including ones to lots of my favourite sites; I’ll be trying to add to these regularly.

I have made feeds of each post category available individually – just click the ‘RSS’ after the category name, and a count of the number of posts in each month or category has now been added next to the link as well. As with the individual post comment feeds, category feeds are only available in RSS 2.0 format; the whole site feed will continue to be made available in RSS 1.0 and Atom formats, in addition to RSS 2.0.

The MakePovertyHistory white band has been added to the site – see this post for more information on that, and so has the Red Nose Day button (see here).

In preparation for the upcoming General Election, you can now access all Election posts via a special page at sjhoward.co.uk/election2005. An RSS feed exclusively for election news is now available. You can also find a new Tsunami retrospective page (‘retrospective’ seems a poor choice of word, given the on-going crisis and potential for new posts, but I don’t know what else to call it) at sjhoward.co.uk/tsunami2004. You can find links to both of these new specials under ‘Special Coverage’ in the sidebar.

The Search function has been vastly improved, so that it outputs proper results instead of just a page of posts containing your selected term – unless, of course, only one post contains your terms, in which case you’ll be taken directly to it.

My Medical School work has been cut from the site this month – for more details as to why, please refer to the relevant page.

Finally, you should also find that using File -> Print on your browser now works properly again, too, instead of including the left-hand sidebar.

And that was February.

This 401st post was filed under: Site Updates.

Email blunder sends AIDS patients’ names to 800 staff

The government would like to know why some doctors are not keen on the idea of computerising medical records. Here’s a good example of why they are less than happy.

This 400th post was filed under: Technology.

Fathers group in Downing St stunt

It is exactly this sort of thing that makes me uncomfortable with the idea of the proposed new terror legislation. The security services could detect that they were planning to ‘attack’ the foreign office, but clearly would not have the necessary proof of this being a destructive attack. Without the burden of proof being upon them, the police could have then placed these men under house arrest, without trial, and not even telling them why this measure has been taken. This would have a huge psycholigcal impact on the individual and their family, and would, now we know the full facts, have been completely unjust.

And this news is too conveniently timed for most people. They tend to think that Mr Blair has annoucned this because there’s an election round the corner. Which is either a reflection of the cynicism people feel towards the Blair government due to their extensive spinning in the past, or just a true reflection of a dishonest and deceitful government. Either way, they shouldn’t be elected again this time round.

This 399th post was filed under: Election 2005, News and Comment.

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