Site Update

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jan 4, 2012

Filed under: Notices 221 comments

I’m tinkering with the site today, fixing long-standing issues and annoyances. (The bug where dates would sometimes not show at the top of a post should be fixed.) If there’s something broken or odd that you’ve always wanted to see fixed, then now is the time to speak up.

Also: I’m considering, and will probably experiment with, replacing my Google ads with Project Wonderful ads to see how they hold up. From talking to other people, I gather that my site is making a lot less than other sites with similar traffic levels. If that’s because I only have one ad and I keep it away from the content, then so be it. But I want to make sure I’m not just making some obvious mistake or passing up a better deal. So, ads may come and go, or move around, or whatever. Things will settle down once I have enough data to make a decent comparison.

So, heads up, basically. Try not to freak out. Let me know if something looks really wrong.

 


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221 thoughts on “Site Update

  1. DerBarchen says:

    To be honest I think the vast majority of your readership wouldnt mind if you put up one or two banner adds somewhere on the site. Sites like SMBC have atleast one or two more than you and theyre still pretty non intrusive

    1. David Armstrong says:

      Tagging onto the first post so Shamus sees this –

      I have ad block. I have always had it and plan to keep using it.

      But alright – you’ve won me over. I’m turning it off exclusively for this site.

      For the same reason I have a DVR (so I can fast-forward through commercials), I enjoy ad block very much.

      In my defense, the commercial advertisers and marketing people have only themselves to blame that what they do is so obnoxious to so many people – that a technology like the DVR or ad block would be produced and gain traction.

      I’m not pirating content. I’m not stealing anything. I’m just trying to avoid having my eyes gouged out by noisy or flashy banners. That those ads only promote shitty content is just salt on a wound.

      So alright Shamus, you’ve won this day.

      Edit: and just for feedback purposes, the current ad I’m seeing is for some Google Maps feature.

      1. uberfail says:

        I think most of Shamus’ fanbase are the kind of people whom use Ad-block. I do, and I turn it off for this site. Which is partly becuase I want Shamus to have more money and partly because I don’t normally look at that side of the screen anyway.

        A red and a blue fuzzball are currently attmpting to sell me some kind of cash card thing…

        EDIT: And now it’s encouraging me to get a job in hte middle of a desert.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I don’t use adblock on principle though I don’t blame the people who do, I am fairly good at filtering ads out of my perception as long as they’re not taking over the screen or playing sound. I actually didn’t even HAVE adblock until that time when the BSG online ads that played the “pilot chatter” cropped up everywhere over the net. And even now I’m keeping it off and only turning it on when I’m planning to spend a while going through many pages where these things show up.

          Oh, and I just went through a couple posts to check the banner and I’m getting mostly ads for games (no evony though) most of these in my native language, one is kinda cute because they did a typo and it displays something along the lines of “PALY OUR GAME FREE” in huge letters; two facebook ads, and the “brain training” one. I seem to remember getting a car ad or something but that might have been anytime in the past since this banner placement.

          1. Dragomok says:

            You know, we might be compatriots, because I’m seeing an ad (for a game Florensia) with the exactly same typo.
            And I thought Twenty Sided was completely obscure in my country.

            1. CTrees says:

              Interestingly, to the extent Alexa rankings are believable (which is lowered for a site like this), less than a third of this blog’s readers are from the US. Second highest is Italy, and “Other” actually has a higher percentage than any listed country.

            2. Sleeping Dragon says:

              Unless it’s their marketing strategy to draw attention with a blatant typo and they made it, or equivalent, in various languages, we most definitely are. And 20sided is obscure but not entirely unknown here, I remember someone recognized when I referenced “Rejs” some time in the past and I know of at least one more person who reads the blog on a regular basis though I don’t think he comments, I also imagine at least a few more lurk.

              1. Dragomok says:

                Oh, right. I should have remembered you’re Polish, because I was the one who recognized “Rejs”.

    2. X2Eliah says:

      I’ll be the jackass and speak against this suggestion.. banner ads running across the entire screen when the website is limited to a colum just really upsets me – it obscures vertical height, which already is smaller than horizontal length on all screens, it breaks the site’s visual style and structure (ignoring all site layouts), and, frankly, I’ve yet to see a banner ad that wasn’t gaudy and colour-wise off-putting.

      If shamus wants to add another stretch of ad on the site – under the donate button, for example, I’m all for it – but no banner ads, please.

      EDIT: To clarify, I understand “banner ad” to be the one going as a belt across the entire screen. If it’s not the right definition, then… well, consider my plea amended to say “no belt ads, please”.

    3. Alan says:

      Agreed.

      I think that project wonderful do small banner ads which would look great between the main article and the comments section.

      The thing that I like about those adverts is that they are actually relelvant to my interests – I read a lot of webcomics, but I don’t play so many online games, or may of the other things which Adsense decides that I am interested in based on my Internet usage.

      They are quite pretty too.

  2. Didero says:

    I noticed the message at the top of the front page asking me to turn off Adblock Plus.
    When I did, the first ad was for Evony.
    I turned Adblock back on, sorry.

    1. Shamus says:

      Damn it!

      I seriously have been blocking those assholes as I find them. This is ANOTHER reason I’m trying Project Wonderful.

      The problem with Google is that I can only block ads by domain. If I see one, I have to click through and see where it goes. I already have blocked the Evony sites, but they apparently have a new domain. (Like, instead of Evony.com maybe it’s evonythegame.com, or whatever.) The ad doesn’t appear in my region, so I can’t track it down to block it. It’s ludicrous that I can’t see what ads are appearing on my own site outside of my own region, and it’s stupid that I can’t block by company.

      Sigh.

      If anyone sees the Evony ad or knows where it goes, please post it here in the comments.

      Additional: Grrr.

      1. Didero says:

        I disabled Adblock again to check, and it goes to evony.com. I’m not sure what’s going on here then.
        Here is the DoubleClick URL of the ad, if that helps anything (On Pastebin so it’s not a link to the actual ad).

        1. Shamus says:

          Thanks.

          I’ll mess with the filters and see if I can make sense of this.

      2. Shamus says:

        Update:

        Google won’t let me block or (anything)evony(anything).(any), so these clowns can get around established filters with nothing more than a domain registration. I can’t believe Google is lacking such basic features. This is exactly the sort of stuff they normally do well.

        Grumble.

        1. SolkaTruesilver says:

          Except that (making money) is exactly the sort of stuff they strive to do better.

          Preventing cashcow adds like Evony from some websites just isn’t on their list of priorities…

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            I think it was google, though I am not entirely sure (doesn’t sound like PW and I know it was one of the big ones) so don’t flame specifically on them for that unless someone can confirm, but one of the big flash sites I frequent was pretty much flooded with political crap a few days before one of the US presidential elections (not the last one). Seriously, the stuff was all over the place: every single banner, adspace, preloader add, regardless of country (I’m in Europe and have nothing to do with elections in the US whatsoever). As it turned out the clause that allowed the site owners to pick the theme of ads had a fine print that said “unless someone pays us enough and then we will display whatever they want and not even inform you we’re going to do it.”

        2. Lazlo says:

          Nah, it’s not what google normally does well. Think about it, if you go to the google search page, you can’t do any kind of glob-style query, and actual regexes are right out. Google is the fgrep of the internet.

        3. Fat Tony says:

          I wouldn’t mind Evony if it was, you know, a good game, but apparently it’s absolute pants. Which means they’re only trying to sell you on the specific basis that, they have tits in their ad/game.
          That is just desperate and sad, to be honest.

      3. rofltehcat says:

        Happy to see you switch.
        Personally, I don’t mind about seeing some boobs online but I reported a few of those adds in the past because I know that you don’t want them on your site and I really respect your opinion and agree that those cleavage-ladden ads aren’t the right ones for many serious websites.

      4. Abnaxis says:

        Hey, maybe you should put report buttons by your banners? If you can’t see the offending ads on your own, give us a link that will snag a little snapshot of the offending banner, and that way you can get the domain (maybe even an image) even if you aren’t in the right region?

    2. CTrees says:

      I get cookie-related stuff. Since I work in procurement, it’s an interesting mix. Don’t think I’ve seen Evony here in quite awhile.

    3. TehShrike says:

      I actually have a whitelist set up in Adblock specifically for Project Wonderful, because their ads just tend to be less stupid than other internet ads (and potentially something that even interests me!).

      I don’t currently see any ads on TwentySided, but if any PW ads show up, I’ll see ’em.

      1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

        This will be added to my whitelist as well! Thanks for the idea.

    4. silver Harloe says:

      I’m kinda puzzled at how or what adblock is doing that allows the site to detect that I’m using it. It seems like adblock is broken if everyone can just say “oh, you’re using adblock, no content for you!” (Shamus doesn’t do that, but Escapist started doing it)

      1. Paul Jones says:

        The methods involve exploiting the way adblock works. It blocks files in a blocklist, so you can set CSS that you can assume that normal visitors will run but adblock users will block.

      2. Shamus says:

        It’s a really primitive trick. Here is how it goes:

        You make your CSS file default to hide content. Then you have a bit of javascript in a file called “advertisement.js” that will override this CSS and show the content. If you’re using noscript, the javascript won’t run. If you’re using AdBlock, it will see “advertisement.js”, assume it’s an ad, and block it. Either way, content ends up hidden if the javascript doesn’t run.

        I’ve taken this technique and inverted it. There’s a box of, “Don’t block me, bro” that is visible by default, and the javascript hides it.

        1. silver Harloe says:

          Eh. Fair enough. Your very polite and friendly version reminded me to turn of AB for your site again (different computer from last time I did), though no amount of seeing Flo will induce me to care about car insurance since I don’t have a car :)

        2. Jabor says:

          There’s also the even-more-low-tech solution of having a “don’t block ads please” spiel located in the exact same spot an ad would show up – people who don’t block ads don’t see it because the ad is covering it up, while people who do block ads see the message.

        3. Deadfast says:

          Unfortunately that NoScript alert does not really work. It runs under your domain while ads come from googlesyndication.com. Because I have your domain whitelisted I don’t see the warning. No ads show up either thanks to blacklisting Google Ads though.

          While we’re on the subject of NoScript, is there a way to allow googlesyndication.com only on this page? As Shamus does his best to keep the ads reasonable I wouldn’t mind allowing them here, but with the crap it tends to display everywhere else I do not want to allow them globally.

          1. Volatar says:

            Eh, just wait until he switches ad providers.

      3. BenD says:

        Escapist’s fancy CSS is broken if you’re behind any particularly broad firewall, so I get content but no stylesheets from them with or without ABP and its kin. Escapist without its CSS is unusably bad.

        I understand the accepted solution for this is ‘can your firewall,’ but it seems like if the site isn’t triggering the firewall to say ‘this site is a nono for you’ that it should otherwise just plain work. CSS isn’t that interesting… or shouldn’t be.

    5. Joe says:

      I thought AdBlock stopped blocking non-intrusive ads? I don’t know if they did or didn’t as I stopped using adblock years ago but I remember there being a hubbub on reddit recently about it.

      1. peter says:

        yup, but non-intrusive can have different meanings for different people, i think it still blocks animated ads.

        have it disabled for this site, much as i hate them myself. somehow it’s still blocking though, but that may be another errant plugin. should hunt that down.

    6. potemkin.hr says:

      I too saw the notice in the header, then I turned AdBlock off for this site. As an unemployed sysadmin it’s the least I could do :)

    7. Kdansky says:

      A box of text wastes my time just as much as an ad, and I do not appreciate if the ads are shoved down my throat by guilt-tripping me. And neither do I like that sites have started to try to circumvent adblock. I’m not clicking the damn things anyway!

      1. Roll-a-Die says:

        If you actually use adblock, right click it and you should get an option to block it. Simple as that, just blocks the requisite div.

  3. Skeletal says:

    Anyone who spends any reasonable length of time on the internet (i.e. your tech/gamer audience) has blinders to ads as long as they’re not blinking or making noise at me. I’m more than happy to see a website with a few banner ads if it supports the people who produce content for me.

    1. sab says:

      To be honest, the reason I block ads isn’t to prevent distractions, but to maintain performance. Nine out of Ten times that a page is stuck in loading (and blocking the queue for the actual content to be downloaded) is because of ads or stat-trackers.
      That’s why on my websites, those things don’t get loaded until After the main content is completely ready.

      1. Nick says:

        This is precisely the reason I block domains, specifically googlesyndication and googleanalytics.

      2. BenD says:

        This. If ads and ad systems didn’t suck so much bandwidth and contain such monstrously stupid code they’d be less hated.

  4. SolkaTruesilver says:

    YOU WILL CHANGE SOMETHING?!

    Shamus, you dirty sellout! You betrayed everything you ever stand for!!!

    ;-)

    1. evileeyore says:

      EVERYONE REMAIN CALM!

      DO NOT PANIC, RUNNING IN CIRCLES WAVING YOUR ARMS, FREAKING OUT!

      ATLEAST NOT UNTIL WE SEE THE ACTUAL DREADED CHANGE!

      1. WysiWyg says:

        DID EVERYONE REMEMBER THEIR TOWELS!?

        1. SolkaTruesilver says:

          THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!

          1. tjtheman5 says:

            YES, SACRIFICE THE CHILDREN TO SHAMUS! IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE!

    2. uberfail says:

      DO NOT PANIC, THE SITE IS NOT ON FIRE. over

      1. Milos says:

        THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO THINK! ANYTHING ABOVE ABSOLUTE ZERO IS ON FIRE IN MY BOOK.

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          AAAAUHHH! AAAAUHHH! I’M COOKED!

        2. ehlijen says:

          DUDE, YOUR BOOK IS ON FIRE!

      2. tjtheman5 says:

        OH MY GOD THAT MEANS THE SITE IS GOING TO FREEZE!!! SOMEBODY SAVE US!!

        1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

          Guys don’t panic… The site is not on fire or freezing! It’s the perfect temperature for biologica-FUNGUS! FUNGUS EVERYWHERE! IT’S EATING EVERYTHING!!

          1. Destrustor says:

            SSSPPPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

            1. tjtheman5 says:

              IT’S VAULT 22 ALL OVER AGAIN!! THE MANTISES ARE EATING MY FLESH OFF!

  5. Darren says:

    I never knew you could turn adblock off for specific sites. Makes sense I guess. Considering all the awesome content you turn out I’m willing to risk seeing an occasional ad for evony.

    1. CTrees says:

      Yeah, I leave adblock on by default, but I turn it off for sites I like (like this blog!). If anything specific annoys me (see: Evony), I kill that specific ad. I feel good about this policy, personally.

      1. Timelady says:

        Pretty much this. Twentysided got put on my whitelist a long time ago. And it’s not so much annoying ads that get me, though, it’s the harmful ones. Evony is fine, but Antivirus 20whatever can go die in a fire. And believe me, I’ll be the first to let you guys know if those show up. ;)

        1. CTrees says:

          Oh man, my fiance’s laptop got hit with Windows Antivirus 2012. Took hours to clean up the mess that caused. Hate

          1. Abnaxis says:

            Huh. I picked it up from a hijacked wiki. It’s what made me decide to install NoScript. It was indeed a pain in the ass to pry out of the system–it actually managed to disable the security I had running and overwrite it.

            1. Mari says:

              Yep. It’s evil. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to clean it up (for the extremely reasonable fee of only $30/hr) and I never stop hating it.

              1. Trix2000 says:

                I’ve had two encounters with it in the last week or two. The first surprised me and managed to get on my system (through Reader I think, since it popped up randomly before the infection took root). Took me a few hours to remove but I was thankfully in a patient mood at the time.

                The second time I saw Reader pop up again and decided I wasn’t going to let that silly thing tell me what to do, and manually shut off the computer immediately. Best defense ever!

            2. tjtheman5 says:

              I have gotten that windows security virus twice, both times caused a ton of headaches.

              1. Rosseloh says:

                It’s funny: at the shop where I work, it’s easy to tell when a new Fake Antivirus has been released, because we’ll have 5 or 6 customer machines show up with it in the same week. I believe “System Fix” was the most recent one we’ve seen. That one was nasty because it also marks your entire drive as “hidden”.

                1. tjtheman5 says:

                  Yeah, my brother got me the windows virus three times in this week. THREE TIMES IN ONE WEEK!!

            3. guy says:

              System Restore is your friend. It’s a magical button that makes everything installed in a given time period go away.

              1. Volatar says:

                I disable that on my own systems for performance reasons, but then again, I never get anything on my systems anymore.

              2. Mari says:

                Yes, but as with many of the more useful techniques for avoiding or reversing the damage done to your computer, it relies on users setting it up and using it properly. So it’s great in my household (which is handy since one of the kids seems to have not gotten the ‘computer savvy’ gene) but pretty much everyone else I know doesn’t have it set up properly and therefore I can’t restore their systems when they inadvertently infect themselves with the latest virus because they’ve turned off the anti-virus protections I’ve installed on their computers (“because it makes things too slow”).

                1. Abnaxis says:

                  To be fair, the vast majority of security software systems out there are massive resource hogs (I’m lookin’ at you, Norton), especially when they’re running a scan–which, incidentally, can take a patently ridiculous amount of time (I was troubleshooting one coworker’s computer that was unresponsive. Turns out, a scan started two days prior still hadn’t finished yet).

                  I don’t understand why security software designers can’t figure out how to make their product not get in the way of the normal operation of the computer. Do they think it gives them more brand visibility to slow systems to a crawl? Or is it because security is just expected to get in the way of normal operation, so few companies bother improving that aspect of it? (kind of a “well, at least we’re not making you encrypt all your files, so be happy” sort of attitude)

                  1. some random dood says:

                    This.
                    I’ve lost more of my life to anti-virus products than I have to viruses (so far anyway).

                  2. guy says:

                    It does kind of run checks on the entire contents of your hard drive and RAM. That’s just not ever going to be not resource intensive.

                  3. ehlijen says:

                    Security always gets in the way of convenience. It takes time and effort for the program to check that the exe you just launched is actually allright.

                    Security software that doesn’t get in the way is an oxymoron. It’s like a security guard at a border crossing point that doesn’t actually look at the people crossing the border there. The whole point of him is to stop people and ask to see their papers. If he’s not doing that, you might as well fire him.

                    That said, some programs are clearly better than others in this regard and Norton should go away and leave us all alone for ever.

    2. rofltehcat says:

      I have it turned on everywhere except on an extremely small number of websites. Shamus should be proud he made that list :)

      1. GM says:

        i just use noscript

        1. Wes1180 says:

          I use noscript, adblock and ghostery.

          (disabled on this site)

    3. McNutcase says:

      I have similar feelings. A lot of cases, it’s actually because ads actively attack my computer. If that happens here, it’s going back on, but for the moment, I’ll keep it off, and hope the ads actually become relevant at some point.

    4. Nick says:

      I tried disabling the Opera content blocker for this site, the Facebook icons showed up, but no ads.

  6. Abnaxis says:

    How much of an undertaking would it be to make the Edit link work on a handheld device? As it is, any retarded auto-complete I don’t catch my droid churning out is embarrassingly permanent.

    1. Sumanai says:

      I don’t know if this is actually necessary, but just in case: Can you say what OS and/or what browser you have?

      1. Abnaxis says:

        Android OS 2.3.4 (if I am reading this right)

        I’m using the browser that comes lumped in with Android OS by default. My understand is that it is “the Android browser,” though it is based off of Chrome.

        I think the main problem is that editing is done through a pop-up script, which isn’t compatible with mobile browsing.

        1. Volatar says:

          I have the same problem when posting from my iphone.

        2. Graham says:

          I don’t know if it will support it, but you might try Dolphin Browser HD (my Android browser of choice), or even Opera for Android. The stock Android browser (at least before Android 3 or 4) is somewhat more limited than those are.

          Could be worth a shot, in any case. And they’re both free.

  7. Exetera says:

    I would suggest at least putting two banners side-by-side in your banner slot. I mean… the sidebar is wide enough for two banners already, and you’ve already used up one banner’s worth of height, so it’s not like you’re wasting any more space.

  8. CTrees says:

    I actually kinda like the Project Wonderful ads. The Giant in the Playground forums recently added them, and not only do they not bother me (except with a few counterexamples), they’ve tended to be relavent enough that I click though and check out the advertised page surprisingly often. This compared to normal banner ads, which I never click through.

    As has been stated, those who have been online long enough have developed blinders for advertising. Get a PW ad at the side of the main page and at the top of the pages for individual articles, and I very much doubt many people would mind, let alone be put out at all. Just… please don’t put a banner ad between your articles and the comments sections – that just irks me, for some reason.

    As to the other point, the two forms of spoiler tags seem quite buggy – I never can remember if it’s {s} or {strike} that works, and honestly I’m not even sure it’s consistent (or at least, it doesn’t seem like it is). It’s gotten to where I specifically avoid writing anything which might need spoiler tags.

    Oh, and you should totally add a forum. Though I reckon that’d be a good bit more work.

    1. Abnaxis says:

      I would also appreciate some alternate mode of spoiler tags. Preferably some kind of link you can click to expand, instead of horrendous text that needs highlighting. Also, sometimes I actually want to use strike-through text, but it isn’t available.

      Man…have I made enough work for you yet?

    2. Volatar says:

      Adding a forum would be awesome (and is actually rather simple these days from a sysadmin point of view). Only real problem is moderation.

      If you do add a forum Shamus, get a moderation team together beforehand.

      1. tjtheman5 says:

        I’ll bet there are tons of people willing to part time moderate, and it doesn’t seem like these comments need much moderation.

        1. mac says:

          I think it seems that way because Shamus works hard at moderating here.

          By the way, I had ABP on – had it off on the old computer, forgot to make exceptions when I got the new one – turned off for this site now. Thanks for all the entertainment!

  9. Abnaxis says:

    It’s not an issue for me any more, but I noticed other people having troubles: if I connect through a proxy server (my old job had one), it plays hell with comments. The security bot eventually comes to the conclusion that I am a hackbot and won’t let me add any more comments. I left comments to that effect after I got home when it happened…

  10. webrunner says:

    I don’t see anything really wrong except the icon on this post shows this hideously ugly beast instead of- oh, that’s you? Sorry.

  11. swimon says:

    I’m trying to post a comment on the errant signal post but the comment wont appear. The site acts as if I’ve posted by blocking reposts but no result appear. The weird thing is I waited 8h and posted a slightly changed post again. It got through the double post filter but neither have appeared. Even weirder is that if you can read this, then this obviously went through and an earlier comment on the same post went through.

    1. Shamus says:

      Found it. Your link-closing tag was missing, which turned the whole comment into one big link, which made the spam filter think you were one of the Bad People.

      I’ve restored the comment, but I didn’t mess with the HTML.

      1. swimon says:

        oh, that’s kinda embarassing ^^ Thanks for the help tho

  12. Rick says:

    Like Skeletal said, most people have blinders and don’t even see ads. I got lost on a site once because the menu looked like a banner ad and I was ignoring it without realising.

    I agree with the double banner ads side by side… why not? Maybe even another ad or two (maybe the square ones this time) underneath the sidebar content. Pages on this site end up quite long so you’ve got plenty of height to play with.

    Also, “in-content” ads that appear in the body content may be annoying (I agree completely) but they definitely get more attention. Maybe consider making ads show within the body content of posts older than two weeks? I’m sure your archives get plenty of traffic and this could be a way get some more ads in without disrupting day-to-day visits.

    How does your ad revenue work? Do you get paid by impressions or click throughs? I know I try to click the ads at least once a visit when I can but unfortunately I mostly visit from work where the firewall blocks all sorts of stuff, including your ads.

    1. Shamus says:

      ” Do you get paid by impressions or click throughs?”

      Both. Always both.

      Clicks are worth a LOT more on Google. I don’t think clicks are worth anything on Project Wonderful, other than it will make more people want to buy space on my site.

      1. Gary says:

        That is correct. A click has no intrinsic value on Project Wonderful. But more clicks increases your visibility and the likelyhood that people are going to want to spend money on your site.

        Since Project Wonderful is an auction model, the price tends to go up the more popular your site is, without you necessarily hiking the price yourself.

        Also, it has a very nice system for banning/blocking ads.

        On my comic I had it set up to only allow Safe for Work Ads, and I blocked specific sites I didn’t like.

        It also gives you the optionto auto-approve certain types of ads, or to require strict approval every time.

      2. evileeyore says:

        Does “right clicking” and opening a new window or tab accomplish the same for as clicking the link?

        i ask as that’s how I generally go to advertised sites. I see the ad, think “Hmm, I’m interested, but I’m not done reading here and I’ll forget this by the time I’m done” so I open the ad into a new browser or tab so I won’t forget I wanted to check it out…

        1. Sumanai says:

          My impression is that the link itself has the data that announces where you’ve come from, so it should work normally. Unfortunately I can’t say for sure.

          In my limited experience clicking on an ad usually opens a new window/tab (depending on your browser settings), so if no-one has actual knowledge about right/middle clicking you could try left clicking in the future.

    2. Neery says:

      I know I try to click the ads at least once a visit when I can

      Be really careful with this, because depending on the advertising system used, this can be bad for the site owner. If clicks cost the advertiser money, they will naturally start tracking the ratio of people clicking on the ad to people actually making them money (by buying content, signing up for their freemium game,. etc.)

      If advertisers detect that a site is sending them a lot of expensive, useless traffic (high percentage of people who click on the ad but never buy anything), they’ll usually pull their advertising from the site. Google ads can be configured to do this automatically, and as far as I’m aware, a lot of people use that option.

      So if Shamus uses a system where people are paying him by clicks, you may actually be scaring off his advertisers by clicking and then not buying (downloding/playing/whatever). It may be more helpful to only click on ads where the content actually interests you – for example, I recently needed to reinstall Chrome, and I remembered that it comes up on Shamus’ site for me a lot, so I figured I might as well grab it the next time it shows up here as an ad.

      Shamus, could you chime in on whether this is a real concern for your system? I don’t want to dissuade people if this is actually working for you.

      1. Shamus says:

        I always encourage people to click on stuff that interests them. Begging for links is bad for the advertising model in general. As you pointed out, it poisons the well and might drive advertisers to buy space at the BIG sites (IGN, FilePlanet, etc) and away from indie sites like this one. That’s my thinking anyway.

        The more effective advertising is, the more companies will want to do it. I dream of a world where content producers can just make cool stuff and earn a decent living.

  13. Praelat says:

    I just noticed I saw no ad even with ABP turned off. I forgot about NoScript :)

    Fixed. Seeing ad now.

    1. Abnaxis says:

      Yeah, I jump from computer to computer a lot, and only sometimes remember to disable ABP/NoScript for Shamus. The little nagging message at the top reminded me that I hadn’t unblocked ABP (I remembered NoScript) on my work laptop :)

  14. Matt says:

    I keep trying to disable adblock on your site, but I just can’t stand animated ads (they’re distracting to the point of not being able to concentrate on the content), so I keep turning it back on.

    1. Clint Olson says:

      I’d have to agree with this. Pretty much any kind of static ad I can stand, but animated ads immediately cause me to go for my block button, as I find it very hard to read text while there’s something moving elsewhere on the page. Luckily, I’m using a finer-grained adblocker that can block single ads, so usually it just results in me killing that one ad rather than turning them off completely for your site.

      1. SoldierHawk says:

        A thousand times this. Animated ads make me crazy. I have zero problem with static banners as long as they aren’t obscuring content.

        1. Matt K says:

          Same here. I actually had ABP off but turned it back on since I’m now getting video ads and it’s super annoying.

          1. peter says:

            ditto.
            text based ads, and depending on how much i like the website static images are fine, animated ads however, are really really annoying.

            1. Sumanai says:

              Installing FlashBlock might help. It would be nice if everyone had moved to using png for static gifs, so it would be easy to block animations on websites, but alas, that’s not going to happen. I also dread the aPNG.

  15. Eldiran says:

    I actually have had AdBlock Plus disabled for your site, but I’ve never been able to see any ads. I think AdBlock is not properly disabling? Anyone else have this problem? (Never thought I’d ask for help to see more ads…!)

  16. ToastyVirus says:

    I think I speak for a majority of the community here when I say that a few more banners here and there wouldn’t do any harm. Theres still a good bit of space down the right hand side there, make use of it ;)

  17. Dovius says:

    I don’t think many people would mind some more adds as long as they aren’t noisy or otherwise annoying, especially considering the sheer quality of content we get from here.

  18. RTBones says:

    I can say, I have not seen an Evony ad here in a long time. Google Engage, yes. Find Window Repair, yes. But not Evony.

  19. Dante says:

    I see something wrong…..a complete lack of Spoiler Warning updates! :P

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Seconded.

      1. guy says:

        Indeed, that needs to be repaired ASAP.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            This sounds familiar. IIRC, that happened at the end of F:NV.

            Probably the same thing. Trying to figure out what to cover next. Personally, seeing Josh play Skyrim would be hilarious, but I also haven’t seen Deus Ex: HR yet…

            1. noahpocalypse says:

              I’m pretty sure Shamus is pushing hard for Deus Ex. He really enjoyed it, and Skyrim is too new and (dare I say) too mainstream(?) at the moment. Mumbles will want Arkham City; Rutskarn… He just wants everyone to decide so he can figure out a few random puns. No idea about Josh.

              1. X2Eliah says:

                Skyrim might also simply be too large to cover.. Main quest? the game isn’t really about the main quest, as many people will point out. The guilds? Again, that’s just a fraction. In that sense, Skyrim is different from the Fallout 3s, which were comparateively more plot-driven and focused.

                That said.. Arkham City and Deus Ex would both be great to see, imo.

                Along with SR3 (lots of chances to compare with the gta games, with previous sr games, think on what they did right and what they didn’t, etc.) *nudge nudge wink*

                1. Abnaxis says:

                  Shouldn’t they do Arkhanm Asylum before doing Arkham City? It’s older (more likely to not spoil it for someone).

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                “Mumbles will want Arkham City”

                After what they did to bioshock,I doubt she wants any of the game she likes to be on the show.Though I would like to see batman games played by Josh.

            2. Jeff says:

              DE:HR is amusing when you try to sequence break:

              “Jensen, what did you just do?!”
              “I just *spoilers*, why?”
              “Hmm… interesting.”
              “Pritchard? What happened?”
              “Talk to you later, Jensen.”

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Hehe,I stumbled across this by accident,because I wanted to explore the whole area before leaving.I reloaded though,because I wanted to find out when exactly this pops up in the story.Still,I appreciated the little nod to sequence breaking.

  20. Raygereio says:

    If there's something broken or odd that you've always wanted to see fixed, then now is the time to speak up.

    1) The edit function sometimes glitches out at times and refuses to allow you to edit your post immediatly after posting. Though I haven’t experienced that in a while, so maybe you already caught that one.

    2) Speaking of adds; they often don’t show up for me when using IE:
    http://i.imgur.com/tZ6Wo.jpg
    They do reliably show up if I use Chrome.

    3. Also about adds: As comment threads grow in lenght, you end up having a lot of empty space over in the right column underneath the donate button. Having only a wee bit of HTMl knowledge, I have no clue how feasible this is; but if you get more revenue for more individual adds on your page, you could see about filling that space up. For each X ammount of comments posted, an extra adds is loaded, or something?

    1. Kdansky says:

      I would like it if the content column was a bit fatter. I still have so much space going to waste on my 16:9 screen.

      1. X2Eliah says:

        Seconded. Seconded SO HARD.

        1. Kdansky says:

          And I want to add something: While smallish columns are easier to read, the most entries on this page are LONG. And I really would like to not spend so much time scrolling. I’ve long ago stopped browsing fullscreen.

        2. tjtheman5 says:

          That sounds wrong somehow. “Like dude, this chick just got seconded SO HARD man, it was crazy.”

  21. Nikos Saripoulos says:

    The only kind of ads that annoy my are the flash kind…
    that keep following you as you scroll the page… or that expand if you accidentally hover the mouse on them… or the ones that play music…

    Other than that… i believe that no-one would have a problem with any kind of ads… yes, they are annoying but the content makes up for it… and i’m sure that everyone here would like to support you

    On a similar note… could you write an article about how the advertising works from a website publisher point-of-view… i found really interesting the comments about the google ads and how they work… or the different options of Project Wonderful… not the technical stuff… but the way they affect our internet experience and how they work to “make money” for the publisher

  22. Vlad says:

    I don’t mind the ads, I don’t even have any ad blocker program on.

    However, I may be a bit thick here, but what do you mean by “keeping ads away from content”? I see the ads on all pages of your site, to the right, under the search bar. Both on the main page and on the individual post pages, even when searching through the archives. Like I said, it doesn’t bother me, but what do you mean by the ads being hidden?

    1. Raygereio says:

      Sure, the add is there, but it’s not in your face there (for a lack of a better term). It’s placed to the side where it doesn’t draw attention.

      An example of it being within the content would be flash adds that move over the text or horizontal banners after each paragraph of Shamus’ post.

      1. Trix2000 says:

        Man I hate those. Anything that interrupts/blocks content, especially in the MIDDLE of something, just annoys me. Maybe they just want my attention, but in that case all I think of is “get out of my face!”

        Banner ads like Shamus has are nice because my eyes draw themselves over to look when *I* feel like it. If it’s something interesting (Project Wonderful is often a source of this for me), I’ll easily check it out.

    2. Abnaxis says:

      I take “away from the content” to mean “not shoehorned into the middle of a post.” Many sites will shove and add in the middle of a page, between two paragraphs or (my new favorite to hate) make the entire background image an ad, so if you click anywhere on the screen it takes you to an advertiser’s site. I’m very glad Shamus does neither of these–off to the side is the ideal place for the ads, IMO; where I can see it, but it is not in my way.

      1. Josh H says:

        Make the entire background image an ad? That’s so deliciously evil I can only imagine website designers laughing maniacally while doing so, like some kind of James Bond villain.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          The Escapist comes pretty close, or it used to. I’m not used to the new layout yet, I usually just skip to Miracle of Sound lately. Need to catch up on… gosh. Unskippable, ZP, LRR, Feed Dump… (notices that’s almost all LRR stuff. Of course it is.)

        2. Bubble181 says:

          You can see it on quite a lot of free porn sites these days – any first click, no matter where, will open up some paysite banner. After that, you can navigate around normally.
          I’m sure there are “legit” sites too, but the only ones I can recall with this mechanic are those o_O

          1. Abnaxis says:

            Oh good lord, not porn sites.

            Nuklear Power used to have a Warcraft ad that took up the entire background. They seem to have gotten rid of it now (at least, I don’t see it when I turn off NoScript and Blocker). That’s the only place I’ve ever seen it.

    3. Shamus says:

      On some sites, there is an advertisement between each post, and between a post and the comments. So the content gets “mixed in” with the ads.

      1. rofltehcat says:

        Which is very annoying.

        1. Rick says:

          The forums that show ads in between posts (like they’re posts) bug me. At home I don’t block any ads, but I wish I could block just those ones.

          1. CTrees says:

            A lot of times you can block the iframe, rather than the image. At least with Adblock Plus.

      2. Trix2000 says:

        When I read/watch things, I don’t like to be interrupted by someone going “HEY! Look at me!”

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          Just like your comment in this discussion thread. Or this one, for that matter.

    4. Vlad says:

      All right, everyone, thank you for the explanation. I wouldn’t mind the paragraph jumps either, it would just remind me more of news website than a blog. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blog do this though, or can’t remember any right now.

      However, I completely agree that clickable whole-page background ads are the spawn of ad-hell and should burn.

  23. Chard says:

    This is the only website on my whitelist. Incidentally, it’s the only blog I regularly read. So, Shamus, bring out the ads. Let’s see if we can’t get you some more cash, you deserve it. :)

  24. Wes1180 says:

    The comment about ads in this post made me realise I have ad-block enabled, so I disabled it on this site, I feel bad about having it on before now.

  25. Mari says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Shamus. I’d forgotten to whitelist you when I got the new ‘puter two weeks ago. As far as the ads in general go, I have some other blogs I visit that have two or three times the site space devoted to advertising that you have and it still doesn’t bother me. What I despise is flashing or talking ads. So long as you don’t do that, you won’t hear complaints from me.

  26. TSi says:

    Hello,

    Here are some improvements I believe would be nice :

    – I’d love to see the page numbers when browsing “older posts” or “newer posts”.

    – Some categories have dozens of posts, it’s quite tiresome to have to scroll down that much to find a given post. An alternate list would be much easier to read through. For example, remove the picture in front of each subject and put the title, category, author, date and comment link on the same line (category is useless when browsing a chosen category ).

    – It should be possible to order posts by name, date and author

    – Add some commands to the search form so we can search by title, author, date AND commentators names.

    – Add a link on commentators names to get a list of all their comments (see above as this goes with the ability to search their comments).

    – The category list at the top of the site isn’t very explicit for the newcomer. I thought it was some add banner for a few weeks until I accidentally moved the mouse over that sexy anime character ( … what ?, yes, it was an accident, I didn’t mean to click on it … ).

    – Not sure if it exists but it would be nice to have a notification by mail when someone replys to your posts with a link to it.

    Hope this helps.

    I love your site and work.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So many comments and this is the first one that mirrors what I wanted to say.

      Anyway,to add to this:The dice mark the number of the comment,but only for the original post,and not for the ones that replied to it.Could you make it so that every comment was marked with a number(by dice,or by plain numbers,doesnt matter),so we could search through them in that way.

    2. Abnaxis says:

      I’d like to second #2. Post titles take up WAY more room than they need to in the archives. The others range from kinda ‘meh’ (don’t care to sort through comments) to “I’d rather you didn’t” (I like the categories at the top, even if I was initially against them)

    3. sab says:

      I was just about to write a comment about the category pages. Another thing that bothers me is that the picture in front of the article on the categorylist, link to the categorypage itself. So instead of going to the article, you end up at the top of the page you were already on.

      It should be possible to order posts by name, date and author
      I recommend to do this client-side, with javascript. Just google for ‘javascript table sort’. With such large datasets, it’s better to make the client sweat a bit, than cause a lot of stress on your server. Not to mention that it will keep your server from having to send the same few hundred KB of data, just in a different order.

      About the mail notification… I’d be very cautious about implementing this. This can easily turn into a ‘reverse mailbomb’ – Before you know it, your server is spewing out e-mails non-stop because a thread got popular and people wanted to receive notifications. I’ve seen it happen.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        An e-mail on a reply is nice, it’s hard to find sometimes. I would say only once per comment/post in an hour or so, though, to limit that reverse mailbomb effect.

    4. Rick says:

      A good way to do this is to have less detail the further down the list you go.

      Eg for the latest 15 entries have category image, title, picture, tags, author, date, comment sentence. (what is currently used).

      For the rest show the category name as text, title, author, date, comment count. (Slimmer and more compact for skimming).

      You could step this further or adjust what’s shown where. Even remove the category image/text if you’re browsing one category’s archive.

    5. Teldurn says:

      – Not sure if it exists but it would be nice to have a notification by mail when someone replys to your posts with a link to it.

      This, please.

      1. tjtheman5 says:

        Seconded.

  27. Abnaxis says:

    Is there a way to use cookies to store how many comments were on the page the last time you visited, then if comment # > previous total, highlight it? I like following comments on posts I am interested in, but once the count gets higher than 40 or 50, it’s a royal pain in the ass to sift through and figure out which ones I haven’t read–a consequence of having threaded comments, I think..

    1. GM says:

      i just wait a few hours and read it all over heh.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        Yeah, but it’s hard to have a conversation in the comments that way.

        1. Rosseloh says:

          I always end up doing a ctrl-f for my name. Would be nice if there was an easier way, but I don’t have a clue what said way would be (never was good at the whole database efficiency thing).

          1. Trix2000 says:

            I look for my gravitar :)

            1. Destrustor says:

              I scroll down while looking at the date and time of posts to see any new ones, although for that I need to keep in mind the last time I checked. I also look for my default triangle dude to follow discussions I’m in, and the golden comment boxes to see what’s up.
              It does get tedious when there are over 200 comments.

          2. Aldowyn says:

            I do the ctrl-f for my name, too. It’s plenty effective at finding replies, but as for other people’s new comments, not so much.

          3. Paul Spooner says:

            Same here. Still, it would be great to be able to follow a thread without commenting. Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say, but I’d like to follow the discussion anyhow.

    2. sab says:

      Well…. when you’re going down this road, it would be even better to keep a list of actual read comments. That way you can do an exclude on the total set of comments, and have a list of unread comments. Which you can then use to highlight those unread comments, or put a little ‘unread’ text next to it.

      “But gee, sab, that sounds like waaaay too much data to put in a mere cookie!”
      Absolutely! That’s why you should html5’s localstorage for that. It’s like cookies on steroids. The browser has 5mb reserved for each website to use for key/value storage. Also, unlike cookies, they don’t get sent to the server with every request, thus saving on overhead.

      All in all though, I’m afraid this isn’t really Shamus’s area of expertise, so I doubt we’ll come to see these features. I hope to have inspired/enlightend some people though.

      1. Abnaxis says:

        And you would add comments to the list…how?

        If you’re adding comments as soon as the page is updated, you might as well just store a single number and be happy with it. If you’re trying to flag comment as read as the user scrolls, that takes WAY more work than implementing a simple flag list.

    3. Rick says:

      That would only show if new comments were added, not where in the nest they were. An easier way would be to store a timestamp in the cookie and flag each comment after that timestamp with a colour strip down the side or something.

      1. Abnaxis says:

        Same darned thing. My understanding is each post has an sequential ID that tells you which one it is (first, second, third, one-hundred-fifth). There’s no difference between comparing the date of the post to the date in a cookie and comparing the ID of the post to the number of posts present the last time you loaded the page (except some minor inconsequential performance issues, I would guess) . And we’re both talking about highlighting them so they stick out from the crowd.

        1. sab says:

          You make an excellent point, sir. I’m gonna see if I can whip this up in a few lines of code this weekend. Should be doable.

        2. Rick says:

          Sorry, I thought you were talking about post COUNT, not ID. My bad. ID sounds more reliable (and smaller) than timestamp too.

  28. Cezar says:

    Hey there Mr. Young. I don’t know if you still read these but I was wondering: Why don’t you replace that one big banner ad with two smaller square ads?

    Wouldn’t that turn a bigger profit from you because you get 2 views/pageview?

    (Hope that makes sense).

    1. Abnaxis says:

      I think they base some of the money they pay on ad “visibility.” So the more centrally located and the more area taken up, the better the profit. I could be wrong though.

  29. Blake says:

    I have you whitelisted in ABP, but it looks like FlashBlock is still blocking the flash ads by default.
    I have shamusyoung.com added to the Flashblock whitelist and unchecked the ‘Whitelist should check the source of flash objects as well’ option, but I still keep seeing a little play button where an ugly flash ad should be.

    1. McNutcase says:

      That would be because the Flash ads aren’t on shamusyoung.com, they’re on the ad provider’s server, wherever that happens to be. Shamus is merely providing a space in which to display the remote content, and because the web can do that transparently, you don’t notice.

  30. Retsam says:

    As someone who regularly reads the comments (or at least skims them), the roughly 1/3rd of the screen is fairly conspicuously empty, once you get past the donate button. Would it be possible to do something with this space? Either put a few ads here (I wouldn’t want to see an unbroken chain of ads, but wouldn’t mind a few spaced out), or would it be possible to otherwise make the comments expand to use the full width of the page?

  31. Scott Richmond says:

    Turned off AdBlock after seeing your banner message. Hope it helps.

    Suggestion: I really dislike the commenting system here. You’re popular enough now that almost every time I view one of your posts it has 100+ comments within a few hours. I feel I cannot comment anymore at that point as it’ll never be seen.
    Personally I’m a big fan of Reddit style comments – Threaded like you have now, but comments can be up/down voted to be pushed to the top. In the right community it can be a real boon to help make sure the best discussions/comments float to the top. I’m sure there is a WordPress plugin for this. I’d love to see you do some testing around it and see if it works well for this community.

    1. Aldowyn says:

      It’s better than most comment systems. The pyramiding thing is a heck of a lot better than quote-pyramids, IMO. Shamus actually RTed me once saying that on Twitter, that made me happy :D

  32. Rick says:

    As for tweaks, can I suggest adding some slight padding to the content area of your posts? And maybe a small right margin on your author icon?

    When viewing on a small screen (eg a phone) your post text goes hard against the left edge. A simple 3-5 pixel left padding would make a nice difference for mobile users.

    #main would be the most obvious element to do this on but then that would require adjusting it’s width and potentially breaking any content that was specifically crafted to the current 605px width.

    Just throwing ideas out there.

    1. Nick says:

      Well, a separate mobile browser CSS could fix that. I’m viewing this on a widescreen monitor so there are huge chunks of greyspace on either side

      1. Zukhramm says:

        It would be good for other users too. When running my browser at half of my screen. It wouldn’t have to waste any space for users with higher resolution if it just shifts everything a couple of pixels to the left.

  33. Rick says:

    You could look at having part of the sidebar, including ads and donate button, scroll with the user as they scroll as per this link

    Maybe Search, Archives, Categories, Donate and ads.

    Edit: It seems that when I post multiple comments, only the most recent shows the edit timer, and it appears to be the timer from the earliest editable comment. Just guesses at the moment, but a bug none-the-less.

  34. Paul Spooner says:

    Now that there are (deeply) nested comments, I feel like they should be broken into pages by total number of comments instead of number of “root” comments. Clearly, you shouldn’t split threads across pages, so it might be harder to implement than I think. Still, it would be nice to have the comments broken into more digestible segments.

  35. SoldierHawk says:

    So I’m having an issue.

    I saw the notice up there too, and realized I have been blocking your site. Not out of spite (I only use it to block animated, flashing or otherwise distracting ads), but I saw I did have it in place for your site. I wanted to fix this.

    So I went into adblock and checked “disable on shamusyoung.com” However, no ads appeared even after refreshing. It’s only when I disabled adblock entirely (which I would rather not do), that any ads appeared. Anyone know what I might be doing wrong?

    EDIT: Never mind. Problem solved. For anyone with a similar issue, my problem was that “exception rules” was not checked under Filter Preferences.” I am now seeing Shamus’ tasteful banner ads. All is right with the world. :-)

    Thanks for the reminder, Shamus!

  36. asterismW says:

    I may be booed out of the comments for suggesting this (and if someone already has, my apologies; I just did a quick search for “subscription” because I can’t be bothered to read through all 100+ comments), but here goes:

    Have you ever thought about doing a subscription service? I for one would gladly pay some yearly sum in exchange for zero ads. The ads are not nearly as intrusive as on some sites, but I love it when sites are ad-free. I’m quite happy to pay for content I enjoy so much, especially since I never click on ads. And yes, there is a donate button now, which I’ve used, but I’d love to have the option of having no ads.

    1. Scott Richmond says:

      Whilst not a bad idea, the framework he’d have to build to achieve isn’t small. Alternatively you could just donate him some money and then adblock the site.

  37. Atle says:

    I’m happy just blocking flash. Ads run the internet, and doesn’t bother me much in general. But flash ads are generally intrusive and bothersome, and eats too much CPU time.

  38. Phoenix says:

    Actually there’s one annoying ad right now, blipping and flashing, it’s hurting my eyes to read this while this thing flashes in the right.

    Anyway I mostly read from feeds, clear and nice.

  39. Spammy says:

    If I could make a suggestion, is it possible for you to separate the games in the LP section? Sometimes I want to re-read Josh’s Shogun 2 series and I then have to sort through the Spoiler Warning videos. While I can just search for “Josh plays,” that feels inelegant. Or when I just want to watch your Half-Life 2 videos, I again have to search for the title or resign myself to scanning through the episode titles. I’m not sure how you would implement this(and if it’s impossible feel free to let me know), but I would like it.

    1. Indy says:

      A possible solution to this would be to find the “Let’s Play” link at the top and scroll through the list. That saves you loading through the pages.

  40. WysiWyg says:

    A Twentysided shop would be nice. Between the fact that I read most of your post in my RSS-reader and the fact that I have it zoomed in so far that I never see any ads anyway when I’m here, I just don’t contribute.

    I would like to buy a T-shirt or two with your logo on it, that would be nice.

    (And no, I don’t like to “donate”, it feels weird when it’s not to some charity.)

    1. somebodys_kid says:

      I would consider buying some twenty sided swag…I love swag!

  41. Eruanno says:

    I actually turn off Adblock for sites I like (such as this one and the Escapist), sadly there aren’t very many ads I’m interested in clicking on. I have a feeling they are somehow region-locked and I get crappy ones (or rather, the same ones over and over) because I’m in Sweden…

  42. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I see that one of my comments awaiting moderation has passed,while the other slipped by you.So it brings me to this:

    Enable us to at least delete these comments,or give us a button to notify you that the comment is awaiting moderation so that we dont have to clutter already huge commentary threads.

    1. X2Eliah says:

      Shouldn’t Shamus be notified by default of all the comments awaiting moderation, given that he is the one who moderates them in the first place, though? Having an additional function to notify about something that should auto-notify seems, well, redundant.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        He is notified,but seeing how many of those happen,some do get missed,which are the ones I am referring to.

        1. Shamus says:

          Well, I have email notifications turned off, because that would just bomb my inbox. I actually dislike the moderation tools in WordPress. I have a queue which shows me all comments from all threads. Ones held in moderation are shown in very pale yellow. So pale that if I’ve got glare on my monitor, I won’t notice the yellow. So once in a while I’ll read a comment without realizing that it’s held for moderation, and it will stay that way. I suppose I could dig down and find the bit of CSS that does this and make it more visible, but its part of the wordpress core. That’s a needle in a haystack. A needle that will be re-hidden the next time I update. Arg.

          On the other hand, comments marked as spam are whisked away to the spam queue, where I am unlikely to look for them unless somebody says something because the spam queue is so huge.

          So… Was I answering a question? Where was I going with this? Why did I just type this all out?

          Oh well. Hopefully you found this informative.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Well,like others have suggested,opening a forum and hiring a bunch of moderators would probably solve that problem(and a few others).

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              And considering amount of people that frequent this site, and how out of hand (by amount of posts) some of discussions get, that might not be a bad idea.

              1. Cezar says:

                And there are so many great forums out there for free like myBB or SMF! Or paid like vBulletin.

                1. Rick says:

                  Forums have been suggested before but Shamus has said before that he simply doesn’t have time to moderate them himself.

                  1. Cezar says:

                    What about adding moderators that are long-time viewers? There clearly are a lot of regulars from what I’ve seen in the comments.

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Not to mention that he already is moderating everything by himself,and that the number of topics with 100+ comments has increased dramatically.

                    2. tjtheman5 says:

                      Daemian Lucifer, Sab, and X2Eliah are the people I see in the comments most often.

            2. X2Eliah says:

              And then you need a whole another layer of security systems to keep the password/login data secure, keep the spambots away, keep good moderators around, etc. – frankly, it seems like an awful lot of effort for very minor (if any) gain.

  43. noahpocalypse says:

    I just realized a horrible problem-

    I see a complete lack of Project Frontier! But the first step is to finish your book and publish it, I know and understand. This is merely a reminder that someone out there enjoys that work. =D

  44. Jeysie says:

    I would love to see Project Wonderful ads here. I use a HOSTS file for adblocking, so I can’t make per-site exceptions, and Google scripts are too annoying on other sites to turn off for here. But PW I don’t mind leaving unblocked all the time because it’s a good ad service which tends to serve up safer, on-topic ads.

  45. Zombie Pete says:

    Dude! Order of the Stick is now updating faster than your site!

    (Not that you owe us anything; I’m just saying…)

  46. The only thing I’d love to see is an option to sort comments by time/date. I end up doing a ctrlf and searching for the last time I checked the post to read new comments, and it’d be nice if that was a bit easier.

    Other than that, looks good, and I have no problem with whatever ads you decide on. I figure you provide so much great content for my entertainment, you deserve ad moneys (ooh, and if you had swag (and I had a job), I would buy some).

  47. Cuthalion says:

    It seems the category is broken on your “About the Author” post. The pic is for the D&D category, and there is no category text label.

    I’d also like to say I agree with TSI @26’s suggestions. Looking through all posts in a category is especially time-consuming, given that they’re listed oldest first they each take up a lot of space.

  48. Doctor Satan says:

    dear shamus (i’m still confused about your name. Is it like Sean/Shaun Seamus/Shamus?),
    1) don’t make appeara(/e)nce changes.
    2) shift archive, etc on the sidebar above the ads.
    3) add few more ads below that ad(though keep them in the sidebar only).
    4) ????
    5) Profit! (hopefully)

    also in some websites the ads get DLed first and then the other content.(i’m not sure if this is really what happens or that IEs download the content that way.)
    avoid this if you can^

    k, thanks!

    1. X2Eliah says:

      Seamus with a bit more shhhh, basically.

      1. Sumanai says:

        “Alternative spelling” mainly. But I suspect typos run in the family.

  49. Paul Spooner says:

    Just noticed the new super-tall article titles. Nice!

    1. Moriarty says:

      well those are… tall.

      The titles sure are more noticable with the new font. Altough it doesn’t really help readability imo, as the large parallel lines in the font mesh together too much when you’re glancing or scrolling over them.

      1. Dwip says:

        This. Tall and squished together is pretty tough on the eyes. Also takes up a pretty epic amount of screen real estate and doesn’t match any of the other fonts, but hard to read is the main issue.

        1. Caffiene says:

          Agreed… They look shiny, but especially with longer titles such as the most recent “Deus Ex Human Revolution EP1: You All Asked For This” they take up a lot of space that Id probably prefer to be the actual content.

          1. Dnaloiram says:

            Here’s another vote that the titles are too tall.

            Not only would it be more readable, but it would look just as snazzy if the titles were smaller and had a better height to width ratio.

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