Site Layout

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jul 26, 2011

Filed under: Notices 143 comments


As this site has aged, I’ve become increasingly reluctant to change things. When this was a new blog with 20 readers, I was free to change the theme, move stuff around, and generally go crazy. However, now with five years of archives, tens of thousands of readers, and a lot of complex functionality, it’s very, very hard to make changes without breaking something, for someone, somewhere.

Mobile users. RSS readers. New visitors. People using IE6. People surfing the web on their TV or console gaming system. Apple, Windows, and Linux users. Colorblind people. People who have disabled Javasript. People who block cookies. The site needs to be readable and usable for all of them.

I also have to keep a careful eye on CPU usage (which would be easier if I had some way of MONITORING CPU usage) on the server, because apparently this is a problem for my site. I have to use the “supercache” plugin, which means we can’t use the old theme switcher. (I used to have a system that let visitors select if they wanted white-text-on-black-background or vice versa.)


Despite all of this, I did mess with the site a bit this weekend as sort of an experiment. Wondering if some site features were ever used at all, I decided to remove them and see who noticed. Very, very few people did. But now that I’ve had my fun I thought I’d get some more general feedback:

I removed the category selector on the right. The categories are listed across the very top of the site, so that was slightly redundant. I think one person cared enough to complain about this. Do you miss it?

I removed my Twitter feed from on the right. (And just now restored it.) About a half dozen people cared enough to say something. (One of them was Josh.) I guess a lot of people who don’t use Twitter would still read my Twitter feed by coming to this site. (I’m sort of torn about Twitter. I like Google+ a lot better than either Facebook or Twitter, but it doesn’t always fill the same purpose or end up being used in the same way. But that’s a post for another time.)

Now: Is there anything on the site that needs to be more obvious / available? Do you ever find yourself looking for a feature or some information but unable to find it? I’m not promising any changes. I’m just gathering data at this point.


From The Archives:

143 thoughts on “Site Layout

  1. BeamSplashX says:

    I liked the side-categories, but otherwise you can twist this sucker left and right and up and down. I could care less, but I think I won’t.

    1. Gravebound says:

      I hated them…on the PSP at least. They would be one of the first things to load and then block the actual content while the page loaded completely. The larger, or more, images on a page the longer it would block. I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on them either (I use the top row).

      On a regular PC I never even notice they were there.

    2. nawyria says:

      As ‘the one person’ to notice the categories had gone, I kinda agree with this. I hadn’t actually realised the buttons up top were clickable and when trying to find your old D&D Campaign posts I had to use the archives/search bar, which was a serious pain in the backside. I’m still in favour of habing text in the sidebar instead only the icons above.

      I find the icons aren’t really a pleasant way to browse. Suppose I want to see the movie category, I’d be tempted to click the Aragorn, the Agent Smith or the Incredible Hulk button, but as it turns out the popcorn is the movie category while the others are DM of the Rings, Programming and Rants respectively. Same thing goes for gaming: do I click Pac-Man, Mario, Link, Duke Nukem or the SNES controller?

      Having a text-based interface makes it a lot more pleasant to browse categories for me, as I can more easily scan the list of categories and pick the one I want than I can mouse-over every icon. Also, it lets me see what else is there more easily than the icons do: I might not be immediately interested in the Pac-Man category, but would enjoy reading about Games Design.

      P.S.: I use a desktop to browse the website.

      1. Sydney says:

        I would be fine with the top buttons if the tooltips popped up instantly instead of after a delay. And while I think that’s a browser thing, not a site thing, it’s a browser thing I don’t have the savvy to change.

        If the buttons had rollovers that came up instantly instead of being tied to tooltips, that’d be perfect. Otherwise it’s a bit of a pain pausing for a second over each icon in turn. A little bit Hellgate:London-y, if you’ve played that and know what I mean.

        1. ccesarano says:

          The best potential option to be less redundant would indeed be to have a text space beneath, and each time you rolled over an image it would identify right below. It would be a fairly simple addition, really, but it does involve additional JavaScripting. While it’s a quick calculation, retrieving a script and doing the calls does add on load time after a while, and I think Shamus’ site gets just enough traffic for it to start being a bandwidth problem.

          1. Mike says:

            It can be done in CSS (with the :hover pseudoclass), or embedded javascript, and would probably require less than 10 lines of either. The CSS should work in any/all modern browsers, and you might even be able to set it up so on older browsers (I’m looking at you, IE 6) it uses Javascript instead, to keep a consistent interface. I doubt it’d add more than 1/2 KB total to the page size, and it could definitely be cached.

            1. Shamus says:

              I’ll look into this, although I’m always hazy on using the more esoteric bits of CSS.

              1. susie day says:

                a.category {
                visibility: hidden;

                a.category:hover {
                visibility: visible;

                you can use :hover on other tags, but not (consistently) in IE … which means you can’t use them without feeling guilty. … but it DOES work for links, which, conveniently, is what you are needing it for.

                1. Wtrmute says:

                  As a web developer who has to mind IE6, allow me to plug Peter Nederlof’s Whatever:hover, an IE-brand Html Component (.htc) which “fixes” the behaviour of :hover, :active and :focus pseudo-classes in IE6-8. Truly a godsend for my application.

            2. Abnaxis says:

              Why can’t you just have the image that loads when you hover over the picture have text in it? I.E. right now, when I move my mouse over the picture I just get a brighter picture. Make the pictures a few pixels larger and change the mouse-over picture to be slightly larger and have text.

              That doesn’t require changes in code, just some file editing. Is there some reason it wouldn’t work?

            3. Jordi says:

              It would technically work in all modern browsers, except on any system that doesn’t have a mouse. This is not a problem with the CSS per se, but with the entire concept of using/requiring hover/onmouseover effects to communicate (vital) information.

              Shamus, the images at the top are nowhere near clear or logical enough for them to communicate to what categories they actually link. You mentioned that you cared about people using every kind of platform. Most smartphones and tablets display regular (non-mobile) versions of websites just fine, but if you rely on these effects, you “break” that part of the site for them, because touch-screens generally don’t have a mouse. (Furthermore, I don’t think it’s the most user-friendly concept to begin with, because you have to hover all the images before you know where to click, but I admit it looks nice.)

        2. Reet says:

          I pretty much agree. For me, when I was going back and watching all the old spoiler warnings, as this site only became a regular in my schedual earlier this year, I found the sidebar was helpful in finding what I wanted. I did know that the icons at the top were clickable but it just took a bit longer to find the one I wanted so I usualy used the sidebar. Although in the end you’re right, it was a bit redundant to have both of them. Streamline the icons and it will be slightly less inconvenient (Don’t feel that you must on my part though. I’m still going to be here no matter how slightly inconvenient the interface is).
          Also as a side note, I’m not seeing the links sidebar anymore either. Was that intentional?

      2. Octal says:

        I feel the same way, but, I’ve used the categories list(s) infrequently enough that it’s not too significant to me either way.

      3. Jakale says:

        I’m pretty much here too. I used the side bar to go through the stuff on your site back when I first found it. I didn’t realize the top icons were buttons for the topics until a couple months later when I got curious enough to mouse over and saw they were click-able. Before that I had assumed they were part of the banner to showcase your range of topics.

        What I don’t see around in any other form are the links to other sites. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would use you to make my rounds of here, Chocolate Hammer, and Mumble’s blog rather than bookmarking all three.

      4. nawyria says:

        Also, please realise that people might not have complained about the missing categories bar because they didn’t need it at the time. I’ve said something about it because I happened to want to browse through your D&D Campaign, but wouldn’t have noticed until maybe a week or two down the line.

      5. Steve C says:

        Ditto on everything nawyria said.

        Also I’d like to add that if you have categories that allow for site navigation you =have= to have it in text, at least somewhere. The graphical banner at the top looks good and adds a nice bit of color at the top but it’s not navigation.

        But “somewhere” doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be part of every page. If a text list of categories is causing problems then unhinge it from layout. In the layout make it a single word like “Categories” probably up by the search box. That link would send to a page like this one that describes the categories and gives a reminder that the images in the header on every page are clickable.

        1. nawyria says:

          Or perhaps just a categories dropbox, similar to the archives dropbox.

      6. John Beltman says:

        I used the categories to find your tabletop gaming posts last week. I hadn’t noticed that the drop down box was missing because I hadn’t tried to use it since. I would have noticed it was missing the next time I tried to use it. I had no idea the icons at the top were navigation and never look at them due to banner blindness, although I do vaguely remember you mentioning them when you put them in (maybe?).

        I doubt that I would have tried clicking on them if they had not been mentioned in the comments here. When you said the categories were duplicated at the top I actually looked at the menu bar “About the Author | Best Posts | Ask Me a Question …” etc. I couldn’t see the categories I was looking for and so couldn’t understand what you were talking about. It was only after icons were mentioned that I went back and had a second look and tentatively put my mouse over the icons and was surprised to find they were links. Perhaps writing “Categories” over the top of them in the same font as the site name but at a smaller size would be good.

        I never look at the Twitter feed. I don’t use or follow anyone on Twitter and would think if anyone was interested in what you had to say on Twitter then they would follow you on it and so read those posts there.

      7. Chuck says:

        I noticed the missing categories, too. I liked them because I could tell at a glance when a new episode of SW was up, or if content had been updated, or if I wanted to re-read DM of the Rings.

        I asked a question about this on the last HL2 episode of Spoiler Warning, so it’s good to have an answer. I’m also glad I saw this after the links went away; I was starting to worry.

    3. x15360 says:

      I was also a fan of the side categories. I don’t really have a problem with the buttons on the top, but it’s not always very easy to guess which picture means what. On the other hand, they’re not that much harder so I won’t complain very loudly no matter what happens.

    4. Blake says:

      I’ve got to agree with most of these people, the icons up top look pretty, but they certainly don’t scream navigation.
      I’d wager most people coming to the sight wouldn’t initally realise they’re links at all unless they accidentally waved over one.
      I’ve never used the categories myself, but I think they make sense to have so a new reader can see what sort of stuff you have.

    5. I’ve used the side categories from time to time. Noticed they were missing but wasn’t sure and really thought it was just a glitch.

  2. redsoxfantom says:

    Love the article picture :)

    As for the changes, I’m alright with having the categories on top of the page now, but I wish it was easier to see which category is which. I’m afraid my feeble mind can’t remember which picture corresponds to which category, and I’m faaaaar to impatient to wait for the tooltip to pop up. Maybe a quick line of text underneath that lists the category as you mouse over the picture?

  3. Rayen says:

    did notice the twitter feed was gone but was reluctant to post a comment about it without something meaningful to say about the actual topic, lest it be thought of as spam.

    Didn’t notice the category sidebar gone because i use the top bar now. and i don’t really go through your archives anyway…

    And i’m sure you get two dozen comments and emails about it a day but i miss “a thing about stuff.”

    EDIT; also its been bothering me for a while and i haven’t been able to figure it out and i don’t know if anyone else is having the problem and what it means… BUT the little icon next to the name in the comments, for regulars and such they have certain pics (and i couldn’t care less ab out having one myself cause i like the dice faces) and then there are less regular readers/commenters with the little dice faces… however mine keeps showing up as a black block? any ideas about that?

    1. Tengokujin says:

      You, at one point, signed up for an account with (I forget who) that links several login info under one cookie. I think it’s gravatar. People who don’t have any accounts associated with gravatar via email or website get the random geometric shapes. People with any association with gravatar (par example: wordpress account) get a personalized icon. Like mine should be a chibi Vincent Valentine I drew a long while ago.

      (Above statements typed stream-of-conciousness and left unedited)

      1. Aldowyn says:

        pretty good for stream-of-consciousness. You actually, ironically, only misspelled consciousness itself :P

    2. Falcon says:

      I also noticed the twitter feed missing, as I do check it almost daily. That said I don’t check in *every* day, and I chalked it up to either an iPhone rendering problem or twitter being down. I’m sure after a week or so I would have said something as well.

      Please keep it. For the inane blather that twitter usually is**, yours occasionally has some info that is useful.

      ** inane blather not ever from you, referring to the common denziens of that site.

    3. theLameBrain says:

      I miss A Thing About Stuff!

  4. RTBones says:

    Well, as a non-Twitter user, I have always enjoyed the tet-a-tet you have with the Spoiler Warning crew outside actual episodes via your Twitter sidebar, not to mention your rants about whatever happens to be happening at the moment – be that a game youre playing, the weather, lawn mowers, armageddon (sp?), whathaveyou. Its a bit like a look behind the curtain at a theater. While I noticed it was gone, since I usually use multiple machines, with multiple OSs, and multiple types of browser – I figured it was just on my end, not that you removed it. Glad to see it back.

    Odd…I enjoy reading random tweets, but have no desire to actually use the service, or facebook, or social networking in general. Most passing strange.

    EDIT: The side categories can stay gone. Since you installed the current banner bar, I havent even noticed them.

    1. Tengokujin says:

      Long short: “tàªte à  tàªte”

      “Armageddon” is spelled correctly, however.

    2. Daniel says:

      +1 to “noticed the Twitter feed was missing, missed it, but thought it would come back on it’s own after a bit”

    3. Hitch says:

      Add another one to the count of people who noticed the twitter feed was gone and missed it, but didn’t want to be the guy on the internet saying, “Shamus! Fix your site naow! Gorsh!”

    4. Mike says:

      I too enjoy watching the twitter feed, and noticed it was gone but said nothing. One minor modification I’d suggest is to make the title “Twitter” a link to your twitter account. With twitter’s new(ish) interface it makes seeing an entire conversation much easier.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        oddly, I think I might actually see more of Shamus’ tweets on here than I do on Twitter, despite being on it ALL the time. I think it’s cause he just doesn’t tweet that much and gets drowned out.

        1. X2-Eliah says:

          It’s because on this feed, you also see everything Shamus sends to direct persons (e.g. @rutskarn ….. ), which you normally don’t actually see on twitter itself unless you follow both Shamus & rutskarn. On these feeds, however, the only thing that counts is Shamus having sent it.

    5. Daimbert says:

      Add one, as I do tend to follow the Twitter feed despite being not being on Twitter at all, but just thought it was down for some reason and that it’d come back. I also couldn’t think of a good way to ask about it, with the previously stated issues with E-mail and not wanting to jump into a comment thread for a post with “Hey, where’d Twitter go?”.

      I also liked the side categories, but can live with either. Didn’t notice because I wasn’t browsing back posts this week.

  5. Cerapa says:

    I actually started coming to this blog by reading DM of the Rings and then skimming through the categories till I found Spoiler Warning and became addicted to it.

    It took me a bit of time to figure out that the pictures up there were categories, at which point I might have already left if there werent categories on the sidebar

    1. Destrustor says:

      I, too, found this blog through dm of the rings. high five!

  6. Riesz says:

    … there’s a twitter feed?

    … oh! Apparently it’s only on the main page. Well, I always visit this site via the RSS feed, so if something is only on the main page, I will never ever see it.

    1. StranaMente says:

      I too use the rss to check this site (thank you firefox livefeed button) so it took me a while to see that Shamus had a twitter on his site.
      About the categories, I thought that the icons were just part of the theme for a long time, until once I rolled hte mouse over.
      Even though they’re cooler, they’re hardly identifiable as categories’ links, I think, instead the text links, even though they were a bit cluttering, were more clear and immediate (although I never used them).

    2. Kacky Snorgle says:

      Right. The twittything has always appeared on only some pages, and I haven’t paid enough attention to know which ones exactly. So when I didn’t see it for a while, I didn’t realize that that meant it was gone.

      The side categories on every page, on the other hand, are pretty essential to site navigation. If you’re worried about redundancy, drop the all-but-useless category icons at the top. And if you’re worried about the length of the sidebar, don’t be; there’s nigh-infinite open space below it. (I’ve always thought that all these websites with layouts like yours look very odd–a big long main column, and then a short stubby little sidebar next to it. Is there some obscure technical reason why it’s hard to make the main column expand to full-width once it clears the bottom of the sidebar?)

    3. Blake says:

      Same here.
      I’ve never seen this twitter feed everyone has been talking about.

  7. Abnaxis says:

    The problem with nixing the categories on the right is that it is a feature that I seldom use, but I will REEEEEAAAALLY miss it the next time I feel like searching through the archives for a binge or to try to reference an old post. While I like the style of the buttons on the top, they are almost impossible to use because the category corresponding to each picture is not immediately apparent, relegating me to going through them in series and waiting for a tooltip.

    In short, I never ever use the buttons at the top, and I rarely use the list on the side, but that list is what I need when I want it.

    1. nawyria says:

      but I will REEEEEAAAALLY miss it the next time I feel like searching through the archives for a binge or to try to reference an old post.

      In short, I never ever use the buttons at the top, and I rarely use the list on the side, but that list is what I need when I want it.

      This is more or less what I wanted to say.

      1. Mak says:

        +1. I seldom used the category list on the side, but on the few occasions that I did use them, they were super useful. The majority of times, that was where I directed new visitor to the site – because they could clearly choose things of interest for their consumption. As a returning user, I’d already viewed the majority of that content, so had less need for it. The buttons at the top, while neat, are, as others have pointed out, less than revealing that they are buttons (and not just some pretty graphic). Having to mouse over them to see the alt-text to find out if it’s the button you want slows down browsing as well.

  8. Sean Hagen says:

    If you’re running on a shared host, then getting your CPU usage ( or any other hardware stats ) can be an immense pain in the arse.

    However, if you’re running your own server ( or using some sort of cloud based solution ), stuff like Cacti and Nagios can be invaluable. I use them for personal sites and sites that I am server admin for. They’re very handy.

    Cacti is a graphing tool that can graph stuff like CPU utilization, memory usage, number of Apache threads, just about anything, really. Nagios is a monitoring tool that can let you know when something starts to go wrong ( like Apache is taking too long to respond to a request, or MySQL has too many open connections, etc ).

    If you’re using Dreamhost, there’s always this:

    Otherwise, if you’re on shared hosting, you’re kinda outta luck =\. Hope nobody complains too much about the new layout! I like it.

    ( Also, I find it oddly appropriate that the banner ad I see is for Rackspace hosting. They’re what I use for all my stuff. )

    1. Nathon says:

      There’s also always top, if you’ve got a shell.

      1. sab says:

        I remember Shamus saying he doesn’t have shell access. That way I think it’s reasonable to assume that it isn’t a dedicated server either.

        Unless he meant by no shell access “I’m so terrified of the commandline that I burned the paper that had my login info”.

  9. General Karthos says:

    I noticed the category selector on the right was gone, but didn’t care enough to mention it because I pretty much only use the category selector along the top anyway. The twitter feed, I did not notice, even though I tend to check it when I come on the site. I don’t use twitter, but I check the feed anyway.

  10. Adam says:

    It’s not at all obvious that those pictures on the top row are links. I know, because I’m here every day. But I don’t know that somebody who’d just arrived and wanted to, say, watch the older seasons of Spoiler Warning, would have any idea where to go.

  11. Lintman says:

    I don’t usually pay any attention to twitter feeds people have on their blogs – the majority what’s there usually seems to be responses to other people’s tweets (which I can’t see). It’s like listening to just one side of a group discussion where any participant can only speak for 10 seconds at a time. It’s just too frustrating to read without the context.

  12. As long as your posts continue to appear on the RSS feed, I’ll continue to read them. :)

  13. Dave says:

    Yeah, I only visit through the RSS feed. Since I finished the archives ages ago after reading all of DM of the Rings, I don’t use the categories either.

    It’s not how I would ever think to navigate the site. I’m the type that tries to find the oldest post and start there.

    So, while it doesn’t matter to me, I can see how having an immediate text indicator for categories would be useful for people that don’t like to wait for tooltips (which seem to take awfully long to load when I just now checked them out).

  14. Fede says:

    AHA! so the Twitter feed disappeared for a reason! I thought it was a weird glitch with my browser.
    Anyway, i’m happy to see it back.
    Oh, and yes, i did not notice the categories missing.

    1. krellen says:

      I like the Twitter feed when it’s expanded and I can read the tweets; not so much when it’s just a link to Twitter. I’m not really sure why I sometimes see it one way and sometimes another, unless Shamus plays around with it frequently.

  15. Rosseloh says:

    I did notice the twitter feed and category bar were missing. I’m just of the opinion that you can do whatever the hell you like with your site and I shouldn’t stop you. I thought the twitter feed thing was a bug or something, though. Wouldn’t surprise me, since I’ve been fighting with Fedora 15 on my laptop for the last few weeks and had lots of fun.
    (tangent: gnome 3 sucks, but the other options I’ve found for desktop environments are not nearly as friendly as gnome 2 was).

    I do feel that the next time I want to do an archive check here, It’ll take forever to find the category I want to read. Maybe a small dropdown box at the bottom of the page?

  16. Jeff says:

    I never noticed the category selector. The only time I’ve even followed the categories is when I initially read DMotR, and the time I reread the whole thing.

    I don’t use Twitter, there’s nothing worthwhile on there. I’m not about to follow people babbling, and I’m not prone to babbling.

  17. Sagretti says:

    I’ll add my voice that I did notice the Twitter feed was missing, and ended up going to Twitter itself to see if maybe there was a problem with their site. Also did kinda miss it, as you occasionally link some interesting stories (like Bulletstorm bombing in sales currently in your feed).

    As for the rest, really didn’t notice it was gone.

  18. X2-Eliah says:

    I’ll chime in that the top-row of icons has always felt a bit redundant to me – if I wanted to, say, find a rant by you from ’08 about drm, I’d have no ide what icon to click.. A text-based selection box at least makes the options clear.

    As for new stuff.. Hmm. Would a 1920-wide website layout kill you? You could ditch the IE6 support for it (seriously… IE6?!)

    Oh, oh, another thing. Get rid of those damn anime-girl icons from the top! Seriously – your blog has nearly 0 anime content for as long as I remember; moreover it’s not even a pic of a generic… wait.. no, it’s not even a pic of an unmistakably acceptable animation drawing, it’s a close-up of a ‘cute’ ‘girl’ ‘face’ with an ‘expression’ – to be plain & frank, it looks a hell lot like a clickable link to a more shady area of the internet. Not that it’s of any import to people who read stuff here, but for newcomers, seeing that on top row, first from left, might leave a bad impression.

    1. Jason says:

      I’m not really sure what you’re getting at here. Who could possibly misconstrue that innocent image of an anime girl holding an Xbox controller near her open mouth?

    2. Gravebound says:

      “Would a 1920-wide website layout kill you?”

      Some people (read: ME) are capped at 1360. And I’m sure a few poor souls might still be 1024 (more likely 1600).

      1. Sumanai says:

        1280 horizontal here. I’m going to update to 1680 or 1920 sooner or later, but even then I’ll be using a tree-view on the side, meaning that the actual browsing area is smaller. In fact it’s taking up horizontal space right now.

        And it’s questionable if a mainly text-based content actually gains anything by going wider. Pillar-shape tends to be better for reading comfort.

        On the other hand, according to my knowledge serif typeface should be better for reading comfort as well, yet sans serif is used everywhere.

        1. sab says:

          I remember that serif typefaces work better on paper, and sans-serif work better on screens. Don’t know if this is absolutely true, but it does seem to reflect reality pretty well.

          1. Rosseloh says:

            It’s one of those things I hear a lot, doing graphic design. And there seems to be something in it, from personal research.

            Also, I hate serif typefaces, so if we’re voting, I vote against switching.

          2. Sumanai says:

            I’m pretty sure it’s something about the dpi.

      2. X2-Eliah says:

        I think both shamus and those poor souls are aware of scalable layouts. I didn’t ask for ONLY 1920 layout, I asked to ADD 1920 layout to the current ones.

  19. ccesarano says:

    Even though I already follow you on Twitter, I miss a lot of your Tweets by being away from my computer and such. The feed on the front page often lets me see little musings, including the disbelief that Mumbles could have gone through her life without having ever seen Die Hard.

  20. NonEuclideanCat says:

    The heck, so the ads are supposed to be THAT obvious? I made sure to disable Adblock for this whole domain and there’s nothing about Nancy Drew anywhere.

    Also, I just noticed that search results are now ordered newest-to-oldest. So there goes the one thing I could have suggested. :)

  21. Mari says:

    I noticed the changes but didn’t complain because I assumed it was my crappy OS again. Sometimes it does weird, inexplicable things like web pages not loading fully or games that worked just fine 10 minutes ago suddenly not loading anymore even though nothing has changed.

    As far as it goes, I never use your side categories or monthly archives. Your site has become too sprawling for me to use anything but the search feature to navigate through the past. I do kind of miss the Twitter feed. I HAVE Twitter, but never actually y’know, open it up in my browser. Because I’m stupid like that. But every once in a while I would spot something interesting in your Twitter feed that made me go open up Twitter and find out what the heck you were talking about. Usually 2 days late, but at least I knew. But I’ll survive without it if you decide it’s mostly in the way. I’m easy to please, though. *shrug*

  22. David says:

    A seperate RSS feed for project frontier would be nice. So that I can follow it easily with goodle reader. No offense, but I do not like reading / marking as read the spoiler warning messages. Otherwise great blog!

  23. asterismW says:

    I mostly visit this site from work, where Twitter is blocked, so I didn’t notice the feed was gone. However, those times that I visit from home, I enjoy reading the tweets.

    One thing I would change is the order in which posts are displayed when you click on a category link. I’m of the reverse chronological mindset, because I will usually browse by category when I’ve missed something, and it’s kind of a pain having to scroll all the way to the end to find posts I’ve missed. But for some categories, like DMotR, this would be bad, since I go there to re-read the series. So maybe a link at the top to give the option of sorting by newest first?

  24. MyName says:

    I like having your twitter feed on the site

  25. Jason says:

    I sometimes wish I could browse through a series of posts like Project Frontier without having to browse the whole programming category. Not often a big deal, but Let’s Play and Spoiler Warning seem prone to having a series in one game interrupted by an episode or two from another, as just happened with the Half-Life 2 miniseries. Also would be nice to have this reflected in the previous and next article links at the top (i.e. show both previous in this category and previous in this series).

  26. Herrsunk says:

    You should, in the future, always publish your articles in recursive mode.

  27. Deadpool says:

    Don’t use it much (or at all, really) now, but the category on the right was VERY helpful to me when I first showed up. I wanted to check the archives, but I didn’t care about EVERY SINGLE POST you ever did (btw, I kinda miss the anime stuff… And thanks for the recommendation on a few of them), the quick to use links were pretty nice.

  28. Mark says:

    I mostly read your site over RSS, unless I want to leave a comment, so for all I care you could apply a Tribute To Geocities theme.

    That said, skimming the concerns of some of the commenters preceding me, wouldn’t a tag system for post sorting be somewhat more functional than a category system?

  29. Your site is one of the cleanest I know so I can’t really think of anything drastic beyond the following:

    For the categories it’d be nice to have the ability to change the post listing to show the latest posts rather than earliest.

    If possible, I’d say move the ad to the left side so it doesn’t push all the functionality down the page.

    Oh and yeah, I tend to forget your twitter musings are even there, but I do appreciate them when I notice them.

    1. Blake says:

      Noooo don’t move anything to the left side!
      My browser window tends to take up a small corner of my screen, I currently only need to scroll up and down.
      If something was on the left side I’d need to scroll right first THEN scroll up and down!

      I’m sure a great many mobile browsers would behave similarly.

      1. Fine, then push all the functionality above the ad. Point is ads shouldn’t take precedence over navigation.

  30. SoldierHawk says:

    I don’t mind the side bars one way or the other, as I navigate categories with the top bar. However, PLEASE keep the search bar at the top whatever you do–I can’t abide blogs that hide the search feature under their side bars.

  31. Entropy says:

    Please bring back the side categories bar. The top one simply isn’t obvious. If anything, get rid of that one.

  32. Gavin says:

    You get Nancy drew game ads? I get “EFT for your online business” :(

  33. Klay F. says:

    I can’t be the only one who misses the Chaotic Evil theme can I???

    1. Gravebound says:

      No. No you are not.

    2. siliconscout says:

      Not at all my friend, not at all.

  34. Jokerman89 says:

    gotta say, i liked the categories on the side….can see them all without having to scroll over the pictures at the top to see what they are

  35. Ramsus says:

    Hey, what happened to the little things on the right side with the funny graphs and such? I was going to ask for like…somewhere they could be found outside of reloading pages….only to notice they’re just plain not there at all.

    Also I think the link to the Spoiler Warning site should be somewhere where I can find it.

    1. acronix says:

      I`m more worried about the links to other blogs/pages. Believe it or not, I used those to get to those pages. Unless my computer has gone psycho and murders them every time they try to load or something.

      1. Inyssius says:

        This too. Please put them back.

  36. blizzardwolf says:

    I liked the side categories as well, and until you mentioned it, I didn’t even know the top buttons were links to the various archives. I think having the side categories laid out makes it a lot simpler to navigate the site for newcomers. I’ve had a lot of friends I was able to direct to your blog and set them about exploring because the various categories were plainly listed and easy to find/navigate. Those people spent hours in the back archives and some still check this site regularly. I don’t know if they would have had the same interest if they’d needed to figure out the buttons above the top.

  37. Inyssius says:

    I really, really miss the side categories. Knew the icons were there, never used them. Being forced to use them makes the site as good as impossible to navigate, because I simply don’t have the time or brain needed to decipher and memorize your microscopic, cryptic, ideographic thumbnails.

    You literally might as well remove categorized archives from your site altogether.

    I also like reading your tweets. They are humorous. I do not interface with social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook as a rule, so if you decide to remove them from the sidebar once more I will never see them again.

    And I miss your blogroll. You know some insightful and funny people. I don’t have most of them bookmarked or RSS’d because my own blogroll is crowded enough, but I enjoyed having the ability to visit them on occasion. Why did you remove it?

    Miscellaneous other stuff, also missed. The little image graphy things were amusing, and the theme selector made your site usable when I have a migraine headache and great expanses of white are physically painful to look at.

    These changes make me sad and make your site noticeably less enjoyable to visit, and I really don’t understand why you made them. Did you really need those blue and black pixels for something else? I could lend you some, if you want.

    Please, put back the things you’ve removed.

  38. Hitch says:

    I wish I could get away with pretending to be British and claim Shamus left the “H” out of this entry’s title.

    (Yeah, I saw the post earlier in the day, but didn’t notice the bad pun until just now.)

  39. Ben says:

    Here’s a common use-case of mine when reading the site and other blogs: After reading the article, I like to go through the comments for things that you, Shamus, have yourself commented on. Both to read what you have to say, and because these are generally going to be more interesting threads (indicated by the fact that you bothered to comment). Currently I ctrl+f search for Shamus… then I have to distinguish at a glace which comments are from you and which are just people addressing you. Then I have to scroll up to see what you are responding to… it works but it’s not very clean, and it’s something I bet a lot of people do.

    This actually used to be slightly easier when there was a “>” before every comment author name, since searching for “>Shamus” would go straight to your comments and skip the addresses.

    I’m not sure how worthwhile or feasible a solution would be, since the search method is already pretty effective… the best I can think of would be a system with collapsable threads, where you click a button to collapse everything that doesn’t lead to a Shamus comment.

    Alternatively, I’ve seen on the Blizzard forums a system where you can, at the start of a thread, click a button to jump to the first post from official Blizzard staff, then THAT comment has another button on it to jump to the next official comment, and so on, so you can quickly get to the comments most people are going to be interested in.

  40. says:

    Add the RSS Icon, I barely noticed the RSS links on the third look at the page, the icon really catches the eye when you’re looking for it.

  41. Dev Null says:

    I never really used the category icons up the top either, but I DO use the previous / next in category links up the top of a post. They appear to still be there, but now they’re just showing up as previous / next (no “in category”) even though they still seem to be actually linking to posts only in their category. That seems a little unnecessarily confusing, if you haven’t been here long enough to expect them to work that way.

  42. Kdansky says:

    I’m still in favour of a wider column (it has bothered me for years now, and it gets worse every time I buy hardware and get more pixels). Especially with multiple comments or quotes, it quickly gets to the silly point of not even using 20% of my screen estate any more, and insufferable amounts of scrolling for the comments. Let me choose a width myself, by going for relative size. I am not using browsers in full screen on a 16:9 screen much anyway, because that’s just too wide for any other page with a dynamic layout.

    If you take a look at anything else (Slashdot, Ars technica, anything that’s not Twitter or Facebook, basically), you’ll see that they do not arbitrarily force their users to only use 400 pixels at a time, but they scale well, from small windows to 2500 pixel Apple displays.

    This would also solve the phone issues: If you’re not fixed width, it just works.

    I have started to use readability for your page, because that allows me to resize it properly. It breaks the comments, but I’d rather miss comments than having to hit myself over the head so I can forget how you are trampling on Scott Meyer’s future grave (read “The Keyhole Problem”).

  43. Dwip says:

    I can’t believe that, having been a lurker for years, I’m coming out of the woodwork for this post of all things, but since you asked, I have opinions.

    tl;dr: The site layout you’ve been using is mostly really good, and why are you changing it except for things I wish you’d change, also why are these kids on my lawn.

    – I actually do a fair amount of rereading or linking to stuff in your archives, and solely used the category links to get there. The image links across the top look cool and all, but they’re completely unusable to me, and IMHO would be even with better mouseover text. Your output is varied enough that you actually NEED the category links or search, the date-based stuff just doesn’t work very well unless I happen to remember the specific date.

    – Speaking of, why is it that your search results and date-based archives return newest posts first, and your category archives return oldest posts first? Obsessive archive-comber that I am, I can pretty much tell you that not once have I said “Man, I’m really glad this thing from 2005 is at the top instead of that post from 6 months ago on that game that I now have and want to read and comment on!”

    – I’m not sure I could tell you where to do this, but you could probably use some more categories, or at least some tags. Big multi-post series like Project Frontier are the obvious one, I suppose. Were this my blog, I’d just make a Project Frontier category and stick those posts in that category AND the programming one, but probably hard to do with the images, as I think you said at the time. A limited set of tags FTW, perhaps.

    – I may be a minority here, but I actually mostly read your Twitter posts through the blog sidebar. You post there infrequently enough that it’s not really a problem, and I can make checking Twenty Sided a one stop thing rather than having to mess around with the Twitter interface. That said, a link to your actual overall Twitter account would be really helpful, as clicking individual posts -> clicking out to Twitter -> navigating is more steps than it really needs to be.

    – I miss your links section, too. It’s how I got to/get to/initially started reading Rutskarn, for one, and every so often it’s how I get to Chizumatic. Probably way too reflective of your anime phase, and I’m a little confused as to why, say, Michael Goodfellow and his excellent project don’t have a link, but.

    – Along the same lines, I’ve been reading/lurking on this blog for years, well before Spoiler Warning. Like, it has its own page? With all the episodes and seasons and stuff? Why did it take me until the very recent linking of it to know that it existed? Why is there not a “Hey, check out my really cool group Let’s Play series!” link to that page somewhere on the front page? Stuff like DMotR (I know it has a category, but), Pixel City, Project Frontier similarly. Like I say, I like to comb through the older stuff with some frequency. Moderately difficult to do so.

    Hope that helps. Also, thanks for giving me cool stuff to read every day. Spoiler Warning especially saves my life at work.

    [edit] Oh, and on the column width battle. I like the current width just fine, nevermind that I have a 1920 resolution, but I do all of my browsing in half-width browser windows so I can keep two open at the same time. Site fits wonderfully in that format. Also, I have yet to see a variable width site that actually looked ok to me, but I fully expect that I’m just too strange here for my own good.

  44. Jonathan says:

    I miss that thing about stuff.

    1. Blake says:

      I too was a fan of the thing about stuff.

    2. says:

      Now that you mentions it….we want it back! :D

  45. swimon says:

    :/ it ate my post it seems, I tried to repost it because I thought that was what happened but wordpress claimed I had already made the post but that was a few hours ago so…. whatever.

    You should have a link to the spoiler warning site. It’s a lot nicer to use than the lets play list and since you already made the site it’s essentially effortless right? Other than that change it around as much as you like the last design change was great I’m sure the next one will be too.

  46. Incidence says:

    I’m another person that mostly reads your blog in RSS feed form except for the Spoiler Warning posts were I read the comments.

    I do miss the blogroll now that I’ve seen its missing but the major thing I want is a better way to browse through the Spoiler Warning archive. Many, many moons ago someone posted a link to the nice page you had set up listing all the videos grouped by seasons but I haven’t been able to find it since and I really miss it when I’ve wanted to go back and re-watch one of the earlier seasons. Especially now that the link from just goes to the YouTube page.

      1. Incidence says:

        Yes, that is exactly what I was looking for, thank you much.

        So maybe just change the link on to go to that instead of YouTube?

  47. Low-Level DM says:

    For the record, I used to use the Other Sites links on the sidebar a fair bit, to get to Chocolate Hammer and Escapist, but that’s just because I’m lazy. I’ll just go bookmark them.

  48. Thomas says:

    I’ve noticed none of your articles are in Welsh. From now on it’d be great if all your articles were written in Welsh os gwelwch yn dda.

  49. AMRIV says:

    Not sure if this is truly related, but I have noticed that the past few days sometimes the page would get stuck loading and need to be refreshed.

    I browsed through the comments and I did not notice anyone else mentioning it so it’s entirely possible that it is just me. It’s a fairly minor problem, so I’m not particularly bothered by it, but given the timing I thought I’d bring it up.

  50. James says:

    Personally i’d like the archives drop box to be on the top of the side section above search, as for me i have the Lets Play site set in my Chrome new tab window thing and i’m used to that, but as i read everything else, well mostly everything. and i think it’d be convenient for everyone if the drop box and search box where next to each other, rather then having one below the ad.

    on a different note have you thought about running pre-roll ads on your YouTube vids, i have no problem with ads on YouTube vids and the money you get could go toward eSports or to keep you at home making us free entertainment that we obviously deserve (that last bit was sarcasam you do great work)

  51. SAJ says:

    Frankly, I don’t understand the twitter/facebook fad, and will not look at nor go to any link on either system.

    So you can drop those features without any complaint from me.

    I read TS for the deep content.

  52. Ander the Halfling Rogue says:

    Until about two weeks ago, I exclusively used the side-bar category selector. I started using the top recently, so I guess the change just didn’t even register with me.
    I could probably make the switch because I’ve read here long enough to get a feel for which icon links to what. Earlier, it was easier to READ what category it was than to wait for the little white whatevere-you-call-it box to pop up next to the mouse. Now, I have a better handle on what does what.

  53. GiantRaven says:

    Personally, I think the ‘archives’ section is far more redundant than the ‘categories’ section. I don’t really see why anybody would want to see results from a specific month over seeing results about a specific subject.

    Also, the search bar looks awfully lonely up there above the advert with nobody to hang out with. =(

  54. bit says:

    I typically read your twitter off the feed on the blog, not being a twit myself, and am patient enough to use the icons at the top in the rare event that I need to look for something. Also, I miss thing about stuff.

    I’d also like to chip in for variable column width; Being the sort of person who enlarges the margins on every single document I write. And though I wouldn’t personally use them, having some weird perfect memory of my internet usage, better links to the Spoiler Warning, Experience Points and Stolen Pixels, as well as easier access to the entirety of things such as Project Frontier would be nice.

  55. SubmarineBells says:

    I do actually use the Categories for navigation here semi-frequently, and I’m with all the other folk saying that if you have to choose between the icons and text list for the categories, better to drop the icons. “Mystery Meat navigation” (i.e. you don’t know what you’re going to get until you click it, or at least until you mouseover and wait for the text to appear) has been considered poor web design since the 1990s. One needs the text to know what the categories actually are with or without the icons; why not just skip the icons, and go for the simpler (and more accessible) option.

    Also I’m in agreement with those who mention the column width issue. I’m viewing this on a screen 1920 pixels wide; the actual page content occupies maybe a third of that if I’m lucky. Add in the sidebars, and I’ve still got half of my screen empty.

  56. SatansBestBuddy says:

    Twitter feed should stay, and maybe keep it there for posts as well as main page; I don’t have twitter myself and you actually do have some worthwhile things to say in less than a hundred letters so it’s presence is missed. (I thought it was just a glitch when it was missing last time, as this site has been glitching out for me for a while now (I’m an Opera user, though, so I’m used to sites simply not liking my browser and doing odd things on occasion))

    Other than that, well, I like the design well enough, it’s useable and easy to work your way around, finding specific posts that I want to read again but only half remember is a pain but that’s true of every site ever.

  57. Kizer says:

    The only complaint I have is the one you can’t do anything about: the long lost theme selector. I greatly miss the old Lawful Evil theme, though this current off-white grayish color is certainly better than plain white. Having read this blog for close to 5 years now, though, I have to say that I’ve never had a problem with any of your changes, and I feel like you always make them for good reasons. Please continue to make this the best blog I read!

  58. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ive noticed the twitter missing,but I dont care about that,so didnt comment.

    What I do miss is the evil theme.I liked it very much,black was so soothing for the eyes.

  59. Thor says:

    My 2 cents worth:

    In all this time I didn’t realise that the images at the top were category links. They look great, but I found the list in the sidebar was better because you didn’t have to wait for the tooltip to appear when looking for a category.

    I don’t use Twitter but I did occasionally read your feed on the site. I totally wouldn’t miss it if it went.

    I also used your Blogroll quite frequently.

    Finally, I vaguely remember that your site had ‘book style’ navigation (right for older, left for newer). Everyone knows that this is the only correct way to navigate a blog :D

    Great site, and I hope you’ll keep entertaining us for many years to come.

  60. EightDeer says:

    One of the things I really want to see return is the old post-tag system. I liked being able to find all your posts mentioning a game just by clicking a link at the bottom of a post.

  61. LazerFX says:

    Kinda late coming to this one, but I primarily read through RSS (Google Reader FTW) anyway, so – doesn’t really matter to me.

  62. Alan says:

    “I bet you won’t even read all 109 comments before leaving your own.”


    I did see and miss the twitter feed, as I don’t use Twitter, but enjoy reading your missives, and sometimes click through to see responses etc. Doesn’t Twitter ‘foot the bill’ for the CPU and bandwidth on that one?

    I come on here pretty much every day, so I agree that the categories are a little bit redundant.

    If you are talking about adding things, since you have said that this site represents a large chunk of your income, why not have a small advert such as project wonderful between the article and the comments section. This would give you a bit of a monetary boost.

    Use the same kind of feedback to see whether anyone minds.

    Ooh, and how about t-shirts with things similar to those false ads you made for the Escapist?

  63. Cthulhu says:

    The side categories were great for trying to find old posts to show to people. I didn’t use them often, but they were really helpful when I did. I won’t miss Twitter though.

  64. One thing that you’ve had for as long as I can remember is the link directly to the Youtube videos underneath wherever you embed them. This makes viewing them on mobile devices much easier (it just loads the app). Great feature.

    I agree that the category images along the top aren’t the most user friendly option (I always have to wait for the hover hint to find what I want). But I can’t think of a much better solution sorry.

    I also usually come to your website from Google Reader. I’ll get half way through a post and decide to open up the page because I’ll want to read the discussion underneath. Have you considered adding ads to the bottom of your RSS posts for those that don’t come through to the site?

    Edit: If you’d like the twitter feed back then there are twitter widgets that require no server-side processing… you can make all of our browsers do the work instead.

  65. Rack says:

    Yeah, I missed it. Not enough to go out and ask “where have these gone” but I didn’t know how I was going to dig up past content without them. No I know the top bar is navigation I can use it, but the icons aren’t that intuitive.

  66. AngyPanda says:

    I miss the links. And I read your Twitter. In fact your Twitter window here was what got me to use the real thing at all.

  67. Gary says:

    Can you not have a category drop-down like you have a month drop down? I rarely use the top image links. They are pretty, but not where I generally go first.

  68. Shamus check these out.
    That shows a quick “trick” to get CPU info.

    Alternatively there is

    And for MySQL (I assume your db backend is MySQL) there is

    I use the explain option a lot to tighten mysql calls, find bottlenecks or whether using a extra index or not would help.
    But in your case since you are using a CMS you have less control of that.

    But still I hope the php links provide you with some help,
    getting some load stats would be nice.
    In fact if you do collect stats I know that I would be interested in what part of wordpress is the resource hog.

    oh and I found this, a php profiler

    1. Shamus, I tested xdebug’s profiler.
      And used Wincachegrind as mentioned on
      I haven’t tested Webgrind so I can’t say anything on that, but Wincachegrind is awesome so far.

      Setting up the xdebug profiler only took 2 or so min. The xdebug site even has a tool for windows based serves, just paste in the phpinfo ad it tells you which .dll extension to download for your php.

      In my case I just added:

      and that’s it, enabled.
      But in your case you might want to use the cookie trigger method so you can test single pages when you want, instead of accumulating huge amounts of logs.
      In my case it’s a local test server running a duplicate of my live server so I won’t have issues with users generating logs.

      The cachegrind tool was easy too (zero install). just run and then drag’n’drop the log on it.
      Stats like the amount of ms a function/procedure/call takes. What line it is in, number of calls etc.
      In other words a proper profiler.

      For example I found that my mysql_connect actually uses 15ms in a page that takes 35ms.
      Now since mysql_connect is a PHP API there is not much I can do, nor speed up mysql response during connection (just connection, not query, queries are lightning fast actually).
      but it’s good to know my code is tight enough that db connection is half the time.

      I do however see very high use of strcmp and explode in my code,
      and although they barely take any time, accumulative they actually add to the cumulative time of the page.
      (not time on these, it seems anything less than 0.1ms is not timed, which is not a surprise) but still, over 80 strcmp seems a little too high.

      Who knows Shamus, maybe you’ll be able to find a particular module or whatnot of the site that hogs cpu etc? or something that sticks out.

  69. Torsten says:

    I didn’t notice the changes until I read this post, but now that the side bar is not there I am missing it. Personally I used the links to navigate the categories because they were faster and more clear than the icons on top. Also because I use this site to navigate to Rut’s and Mumbles blogs and to the Escapist I liked the links at the right side too.

    As for the Twitter feed I liked that it was on a location where I did not have to look for it specifically, rather it can be read quickly while scrolling for other stuff. The best part of the feed is that it shows several messages, we could sort of follow how your thoughts evolve.

    So yeah, a bit of a long post that basically says that I liked the layout the way it was.

  70. Dazdya says:

    I would like to add 2 things:

    – I used to click on the comments line at the bottom of the post to go to the comments. This hasn’t worked for about a week now, I don’t know if it is related. I click the title of the post instead.

    – I would like a link or category or something that would like me directly to chainmail bikini.

    Otherwise, everything seems ok to me.

  71. ngthagg says:

    I like seeing your twitter feed on the right. I don’t like following twitter, but I still like to see the occasional witty/sarcastic comment.

  72. Warstrike says:

    If you are going to permanently remove the links, could you please put up a blog post with them in it saying something like “Last Chance”? I always used it to navigate to those sites. I also used to do 90% of my webcomics reading by following Schlock Mercenary’s links. When he removed the links area on his last site redesign he posted the last of them so I could bookmark the ones I wanted to.


    1. Shamus says:

      The links will be back.

  73. Cybron says:

    I do like having the twitter feed back.

    Don’t miss the other stuff though.

  74. Lord Honk says:

    Hey, I thought I’d chip in some thoughts:

    Add the category name directly to the images at the top to not make (especially newer) readers have to wait for the tooltip. I’m using one o’ those fancy tablet’y things that I like to view my blogs on and haven’t found a way to “hover” over something to wait for the tooltip, lucky I know my way around your images (dice for “random”, dice for “tabletop”, kinda prone to getting mixed up, if you know what I mean).

    I’m another one of those folks who don’t like to partake in the twitter/facebook activities, though having the twitter feed is kinda nice for those short spurts of intellectualism.

    “Links will be back” clears up that issue, so that’s all from me. In general, most points were made before, I’m just another number to be added :)

  75. randomguy says:

    This has kind of already been said.

    I was looking for the New Vegas Spoiler Warnings the other day. I remember thinking it was weird they don’t seem to be grouped by name of game or something like that.

    I think I ended up doing a search for fallout new vegas finding one, and then stepping back to the first episode.

    I don’t usually follow spoiler warning so I had no idea it had it’s own site.

  76. Domochevsky says:

    Wouldn’t it be more sensible to remove the header categories and add them to the sidebar? Would decrease the height by just a little bit and not increase the width at all, due to the current width being not even remotely close to widescreen formats.

    (I say this because i’ve been using the categories in the righthand bar, not knowing that the pictures on top were clickable categories. They don’t stick out enough for that and don’t say what they are without hovering over them.)

  77. The Ultimate D says:

    I for one liked the category side bar. It helped me easily locate and find older posts and or find posts specifically instead of having to use the search bar, find them in the archives drop down bar or any other way to search(If there is a more efficient way to search then I have yet to find one). I used it almost every time I wanted to read the blog. I would have otherwise not noticed it if Shamus didn’t say anything though. My excuse is that I haven’t used this site in a while and just wanted to check on some updates.

  78. Falling says:

    Oh that where the categories went. I thought I was going crazy. I was trying to find two particular articles and had a heck of a time finding them as I couldn’t remember when, but I could remember what category it was in. But I didn’t think to comment at the time as I tend to blame all such problems on my aweful computer.

    So I’ll say it now- please have some form of categories or thematic way of finding articles.

  79. X2-Eliah says:

    Really late on the suggestion, but this literally just occurred to me..

    We could use a ‘new comment’ indication – to show, on a glance (maybe through intensity of the background colour of the comment), which comment have been made since you last viewed the page/site, something like ‘unread posts’ indication on phBB forums..

    Edit: I wonder what did I do to deserve moderation flagging, though. Ah well, not up to me to judge ^^

  80. Kat says:

    As someone who has read most everything you’ve posted for many years now, but is usually about a year behind (as I’m currently demonstrating), I’d love an easier way to read your posts chronologically.

    Currently I select the month I’m up to from Archives, then scroll down to click on Older Posts, rinse and repeat until there aren’t any more older posts, then gradually work my way back through to the end of that month, and so on.

    Am I being a complete idiot by missing the bright red flashing “CLICK HERE” button you’ve created just for people like me; does your software make creating a better option an exercise in masochism for you; or am I the only person in the world who likes your site enough to want to read everything, but doesn’t lurk waiting to pounce on every new post within seconds of its creation?

    And since I’m here, finally, after being this close to posting an only slightly exaggerated thousand times previously: great site! Yours is the only blog I even attempt to keep up with, since I only have time for one. (And it mostly gets read while waiting for my LOTRO char to finish riding to the next town…)

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    to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

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You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

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