Introducing a new commenting system

The annoying thing about maintaining this site myself is spam management. A normal day sees around 20 spam comments, and I go through them to make sure legitimate comments didn’t get caught in the filter before emptying the folder. Every now and then, though, over a hundred comments show up in the spam folder in less than 24 hours. This takes a lot more time to go through, and some days I just delete without sifting through the disgusting.

So I decided to give a new commenting system a try. Enter Livefyre, a commenting system that’s designed to be social. It’s currently in private beta, and if you like what you see, you can get in on it. You can create a Livefyre account or sign in with Twitter or Facebook. I’m really hoping OpenID commenting will be coming in the future since that’ll make signing in a lot easier for a lot of people. So try it out and see how you like it. I’ll be doing the same.

Sorry about the slight downtime

I thought that updating WordPress at one in the morning would be a great idea: one part because I really did need to upgrade from 2.8.4 to 2.9, another part because I was suddenly excited over all things WordPress, and yet another because I long needed to change the file permissions in order to use WordPress to its fullest. All the entries should be back up, along with the comments. I haven’t gone back and checked all of them, but the ones I did check look fine, despite the scary messages I was getting when uploading (something I couldn’t do before–curse you, file permissions!).

To test this theory, let’s upload a picture.

Cat pooping rainbow

This picture validates my existence.

It worked! Thank Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content, an awesome and hilarious webcomic. The above drawing does in fact validate my existence.

Disclaimer: No cats were harmed in the upgrading of this WordPress install. Thanks, Azurelunatic.

Some interesting tidbits courtesy of Google Analytics

The folks at NaNoWriMo wrote about their surge in web traffic over the last few days. I couldn’t help but check my own Google Analytics stats after that. While this site gets nowhere near hundred of thousands of visitors every day, I was highly amused to see that this site also experienced a significant increase in traffic over the last few days. In fact, yesterday experienced the highest number of visitors by a wide margin. Here are some other interesting facts pulled from Google Analytics, most of which will be of interest only to me.

* The vast majority of visitors are from the United States. Not surprising, given that I am from the US. North Carolina sent the most visitors, followed by my home state of Georgia, followed by California.

* No one from Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, or Alaska has stopped by. At least they’re not a hundred miles away from this site like you can be a hundred miles from a McDonald’s if you’re in South Dakota.

* Over the last month, the top cities to send visitors are Raleigh (NC), Pine Lake (GA), New York (NY), Decatur (GA), and Atlanta (GA). I do not live in any of these cities, though I have lived in one of them and know people from all but one of them.

* Only one person from my hometown has visited, which tells me a lot of things.

* Western Europe has actually visited my site quite a bit, though sadly, no one from Luxembourg has visited. Luxembourg residents, where are you at?

* The top ways people have reached this site are NaNoWriMo, directly (just typing the URL), LiveJournal’s friends list, and Twitter. Okay, so the LJ friends list is mostly through one person. Fun fact: I send my entries to Facebook. Only seven people have clicked through to read the whole entry. I am completely unsurprised.

* Of the people coming from NaNoWriMo, 74 of them came through the link in my user profile, telling me that at least 74 people have viewed my user profile. I also post a lot on the forum, and a link to my site is in the signature.

* The typical visitor is a Firefox user on Windows with a cable Internet connection, 32-bit screen color, 1280×800 or 1024×768 screen resolution using Flash 10 with Java support.

* There are 21 visits from someone where that visit was visit 51 through 100. I don’t think I even have fifty pages on this site, so let’s hope that’s a shared connection. Say, on a college campus.

How typical are you?