new theme and features

Hi Everyone,

In order to implement a new feature request we had to upgrade MSP to a new theme. It’s not all that different from the old one; we know how everyone on here hates change! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, the new feature request is related to the comments. You should now see below the “comments” box the option to “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.” Several people had asked for this feature, so it is now implemented. Basically this will allow you to follow a specific thread more closely as you’ll be emailed as soon as someone responds on that thread. Please let us know if there are any problems with the feature (e.g., it doesn’t work or you can’t unsubscribe).

In order to add this feature we had to upgrade from the very old theme we were using to a newer theme that interfaces better with the latest version of WordPress. We kept the three column layout with all the features in the same place. The differences are mostly behind the scenes but there are also minor cosmetic differences. Even so, if you see something that is amiss or something is no longer working, please drop me an email: profxm -at- gmail.com.

profxm

I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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111 Responses

  1. chanson says:

    Chris — The more the merrier! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Chino Blanco says:

    By the way, it looks like the “Sir Thomas More (or Less)” blog needs to be removed from the Post-Mormon Blogroll. For some reason, it’s always bumped up to the top, but when you click through, there’s nada. FYI ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Andrew S says:

    Same thing is the case with Dissenting in Part for the TBM blogs.

  4. Chino Blanco says:

    Jon Adams over at USU SHAFT photoshopped this and I’ve cropped it to size and am leaving it here as a potential alternative masthead (click through for the 650x218px version):

  5. chanson says:

    That’s cool!

    I wonder if we could do like nine moons and have the masthead vary at random when people load the page…?

  6. Chino Blanco says:

    What I’d really like is a button that allows me to choose a masthead according to my mood. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But something like what Nine Moons has got going on would be cool, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and I’ve decided what I’d like to see in that white space below the big “Main Street Plaza”: an mp3 player so I can listen to tunes while browsing here. Har har.

  7. profxm says:

    Random mastheads would be cool, but that would require something like flash or someone who actually knows php (and not someone like me, who just tinkers until he gets it right). I may be able to include an mp3 player, but I’m not personally a fan of music players on sites unless they are OFF by default. Also, who gets to choose the music selection?

    Oh, one other thought… There are some plugins for WordPress that convert the site into a different format for people surfing on mobile phones (much easier to browse). Should I add that functionality as well?

  8. Chino Blanco says:

    It’s Friday night on my side of the planet, so pls make allowances for any inane suggestions.

    Re mastheads, at the end of the day, I’d be just as pleased if someone could simply manually switch ’em up every now and then. First step is probably collecting a batch of properly-sized images. While we’re on the subject, here’s another:

    I’m also not a big fan of gaudy MP3 players, but since everyone seems to be clamoring for one, here’s my suggestion: just embed the playlist from Radio Deliro.

    If setting up the mobile version is easy, that’d be awesome. I’m able to navigate the site on my iPhone pretty easily now, but a mobile version would sure make it easier on the ol’ eyes.

  9. Chino Blanco says:

    Further to my previous comment, here’s a first batch (I’ll contact Matsby and discuss permissions in due course):

  10. chanson says:

    lol, those are great!

  11. Holly says:

    I have a photo I took on Main Street Plaza last January of a chain blocking an entrance with a sign saying “For Your Safety PLEASE KEEP OUT.” It’s pretty funny, I think, and I’d post it here if I could figure out how…. Chino Blanco, I just took your email address from your commenter info on my blog and sent it to you. You’re welcome to add it to the mix if you want. Let me know if it doesn’t come through.

    p.s. All the images above are funny, but I especially love Frodo with the CTR ring. Brilliant.

  12. Chino Blanco says:

    I don’t know, Holly, you seem to be taking us to a bleak place with this one ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Holly says:

    what can I say. It was a real scene–repeated several times over–on the physical Main Street Plaza during the winter.

  14. Chino Blanco says:

    No disrespect intended. I freely admit that it wasn’t a surplus of mental fortitude that led me to run away to a subtropical island. It was a good move and the schadenfreude makes watching Fargo all that much more fun.

  15. chanson says:

    It looks OK from my mobile, but it’s a smartphone.

  16. profxm says:

    Okay, the banner now changes over time (every 20 seconds or so). Not the best banner rotation plugin, but it will work. I also added a plugin that makes the site mobile phone friendly. I can add a radio/music widget, but the site is already slow as hell loading (mostly from the blog post updates). Thoughts?

  17. Andrew S says:

    I say the music/radio widget isn’t necessary.

    music on sites is the bane of the internet anyway.

  18. Chino Blanco says:

    I second Andrew S. and retract my earlier (lamebrained) suggestion.

  19. Alan says:

    This is minor, but is there any way that Page 2 of comments can begin with #51 as opposed to #1?

  20. profxm says:

    Took some doing, but it should be continuous numbering now.

  21. Alan says:

    Thing is, there’s now the possibility to reply to specific comments as opposed to just the post (e.g., yours is 71.1 and not 72). This might be fine. Guess we’ll see.

  22. profxm says:

    I can turn that off if you’d like. I like the idea of threaded comments so people know to whom they are replying.

  23. kuri says:

    I hate threaded comments. It can make it really hard to find the latest comments.

  24. profxm says:

    Nesting is off.

  25. Chino Blanco says:

    I’d like to submit a suggestion for a new feature: How about a section that allows us to post links? For example, I just noticed this new podcast: Economics Professor Michael McBride on Religious Free-Riding and the Mormon Church and I don’t really want to post about it, but it sounds interesting enough that I’d love to see a link in a sidebar somewhere here at MSP.

  26. Andrew S. says:

    Yeah, there are generally two ways to do some kind of sideblog/notes from all over.

    The one I use at Irresistible (Dis)Grace is to have a widget feed for an RSS feed…and the RSS feed I use is my del.icio.us account, so whenever I add something to del.icio.us, it goes on my sidebar.

    This is also what BCC uses, for example.

    However, what many of the blogs use (Mormon Matters, Mormon Mentality, Feminist Mormon Housewives) is a Notes from All Over Plugin that DKL at Mormon Mentality developed based off a really old plugin, “WP Recent Links.”

    I have the file for that Notes from All Over plugin, but it needs a little configuration out of the box (since DKL did not originally make it widget-friendly, it is hard-coded into MMentality’s site, for example.)

  27. Chino Blanco says:

    Hey, thanks for the tip. That del.icio.us for WordPress plugin sounds like just the thing.

  28. chanson says:

    That is a great idea!

  29. Chino Blanco says:

    If this feature ends up being implemented, pls note this del.icio.us account can be shared among those who’d like to contribute to the linkroll: http://www.delicious.com/mainstreetplaza

  30. profxm says:

    Okay, I’ll see what I can do.

    FYI, while I’m at it, I’m probably going to do some reshuffling of the sidebars. First, I think I’m going to split the blogroll again. This time it’s going to be into: active blogs and inactive blogs (taking a cue from LDS Inc.). I hate how long MSP takes to load. So, I’m going to move blogs that haven’t been updated for more than 30 days into an “inactive” category and turn off the “update” function on them. Hopefully that will reduce the load time on MSP pages. They’ll still be displayed, but they’ll be ordered alphabetically, not by how recently they were updated. And I think I’m going to take the “update” feature off the TBM blogs entirely. Who comes here to find out what is going on in the TBM blogosphere anyway? Removing those updates should reduce load times dramatically.

    Also, there are hundreds of broken links. I’m going to fix them.

    Finally, our tag list has kind of gotten out of control. Anyone interested in cleaning it up a bit?

  31. Andrew S. says:

    Something to think about: can you find statistics on how often people use the links to the tags?

    If not used often, they don’t have to be listed at all. Posts can still be tagged with tags, but the tags just won’t be shown in a sidebar widget.

    (For me, a vibrant search features and archives are generally more helpful for finding posts)

    The changes you propose are all sensible. Go for broke!

  32. profxm says:

    Delicious plugin is working. I would have added a link, but I don’t have the username/password.

    I moved the side panel widgets around a bit.

    I also changed the upper limit for a blog being inactive – if an outer blogness blog hasn’t been updated for 60 days, it’s getting moved to the “Outer Blogness – Not Hot” list that doesn’t include when it was last updated. If you want to be on the “Outer Blogness – Hot!” list, you need to be actively posting.

    I also converted the tags/categories and archives into drop-down menus. I’m guessing no one uses those anyway, but now they are out of the way.

    Any other requests?

  33. Chino Blanco says:

    Wow, nice work. I’ll send the del.icio.us login details by email.

    A few nitpicking suggested changes for side panel widget titles:

    MSP on del.icio.us

    Outer Blogness

    Outer Blogness – Inactive

    Bloggernacle

    Stuffing ‘Categories’ and ‘Archives’ into drop-down menus was a great idea.

    ETA: And the dynamic blogroll seems to be loading much faster now that it’s been pared down.

  34. kuri says:

    Nice. I suggest “Active” and “Less active” instead of “Hot” and “Not hot” though.

  35. wry says:

    I am so not hot.

    This place looks effing fab, well done all of you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. profxm says:

    kuri (#86): While those terms are, maybe, a little less offensive in a regular context, given that we’re primarily a former-Mormon community, I just can’t bring myself to use them. I’ve spent too much of my life thinking about “active” and “less-active” Mormons. I’m open for alternative descriptors, but I gag when I hear the phrase “less-active”!

    Other suggestions to distinguish between the regularly updated blogs and the others?

  37. Andrew S says:

    profxm,

    I can understand that the gag-reaction is perhaps too strong to suppress, but that is the point — we re-appropriate the patronizing terms used in Mormon contexts to poke fun at those terms.

    I don’t have much else. I was thinking keep “hot” but change “not hot” to “lukewarm”…but old blogs don’t need to be spat out.

  38. profxm says:

    Lukewarm… Now that I like. I’ll go with “hot” and “lukewarm” if people don’t object to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. kuri says:

    What Andrew said, but no biggie. I appreciate all the work you’re doing to make the blogroll better.

  40. Chino Blanco says:

    “Lukewarm” causes a delightful burning in my bosom, too. No matter what ProfXM decides, I’ll be raising my arm to the square and sustaining him anyways.

  41. chanson says:

    Yes, I agree too — great improvement!

    I’m still finding and adding blogs to the list constantly, so if ProfXM is willing to sort the blogs by temperature, that’s great!

  42. chanson says:

    p.s. I think the faithful blogs naturally should be labeled “the Bloggernacle”.

  43. profxm says:

    RE #94: Doh! Of course it should! Fixed.

  44. Chino Blanco says:

    Note to self: This site ( http://www.imagesoftherestoration.org/blog/ ) is chock full of potential exmo masthead and other art.

  45. Chino Blanco says:

    Here’s a fresh masthead banner that can be added any time:

    X-Mormon Olds

    h/t cromulent742

  46. Chino Blanco says:

    And another potential masthead banner, courtesy of canadianjohnson

    Friberg Parody #1

  47. Chino Blanco says:

    I like the new view count that automatically displays with each post, but I’ve noticed there’s a missing space between the number display and the first letter of the post. For now, I’m simply adding the HTML code for a blank space as a workaround.

    And yet another potential masthead banner, courtesy of canadianjohnson

    Friberg Parody 2

  48. Chino Blanco says:

    And here’s another new banner addition:

    The Mormons Band

  1. August 24, 2010

    […] or anything, but isn’t it timely that after I nudged some people gently at Mormon Matters, Main Street Plaza, Seth Payne‘s blog, and probably a few others I have yet to think of, shortly after, the […]

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