With the big announcement of the "Personal Contact Information" feature we announced two days ago, we figured we would hold off announcing a few small updates to the website... but now is the time.
The recent addition/chances we have made are:
Blog Entries Backlinks / Trackbacks:
Blog "Backlinks" (aka: Trackbacks) are now working again. A few months back we disabled them so we could revamp the system. We have just finished the revamp up and have re-activated the feature. So for those of you interested in knowing where folks are finding your blog at (other than from here at ChristianBlog.Com) you will be able to do so.
Two quick note about this feature:
You may start seeing a LOT of backlinks/trackbacks from "http://twitter.com". When you see these it is (99% of the time) a result of people who are following the Christianblog Account (@christianblog) account over at twitter.com and redirected via our Short URL service provided by 4CM Network (4cm.com)
We are going to be watching the referral links to try to weed-out a lot of "junk" links - but that takes a lot of time and manual labor on our part. We cannot promise that your backlinks/trackbacks listing is not going to fill up with junk links... but we hope we can make it so it won't happen to much. We really welcome feedback on this issue in the days ahead as the new backlinks/trackbacks feature goes into action.
Blog Comment Removal:
For those of you with Premier/Gold accounts you probably know you have permissions to remove comments from your Blog Entries.
As of yesterday we have now put into place a form that you will be required to complete in order to remove the Blog Comment you want to remove.
It looks nearly identical to the "Content Report" form - so don't get them mixed up.
We will be using this to track why people are removing Blog Comments, to be able to provide better reporting to Comment Authors, and to track possible abuse by Blog Authors.
It is a simple process and will take very little time to complete so we should expect it to run very smoothly for everybody.
A couple weeks ago (June 20th, 2009) we announced we had made a few changes to try to stabilize and improve the chatroom. It does appear this as worked very well for 99% of those previously having problems with the chatroom. We have not received any tech support notifications/complaints about folks constantly being disconnected - so that is a very good thing!
After a few weeks of not having Membership Levels show within the chatroom we have now gotten those re-activated. We know our Premier/Gold members enjoy them, so we have brought them back. We are thinking of adding a "donator" status... but, it is just a "thinking" at this time.
We have been noticing a lot of people who are joining the chatroom and than leaving the chatroom - yet they still appear to be in the chatroom, even though they left. This is an issue we are trying to figure out how to fix. It is usually a result of people using a specific browser (IE) and who do not click the "disconnect" icon (a little globe on the bottom of the chatroom) before they close the chatroom window. Even after a few hours they are still listed as being in there. Fixing this is high on our priority list.
We are moving along with our website redesign but we are still a long way from being done.
Next up will be the profile page and than the Blog view page. These are the biggest and heaviest pages of the website so we would like to get them done ASAP so we can get them loading faster and reduce bandwidth.
Our redesigned home page has reduced bandwidth by about 34% overall and is about 16-20% faster for most people.
Once we get the large majority of the website finished with the redesign we will be able to make some additional changes that will further increase the speed at which the website loads.
We do realize that the "profile" (bio) page takes a LONG time to load for very active people. This is our #1 priority at this time for the redesign.
That is about all for now. We do not have any plans to push out any additional new features over the next few weeks as we further our website redesign changes, so please do not expect any major announcements from ChristianBlog.Com for the rest of the month. (although it is not beyond us to throw in a surprise every now-and-than :wink: )
As one of the world's computorially and sometimes 'mentally' challenged, may I thank you on behalf of that great band of brothers and sisters for all the effort that you as a team go to in order to improve every aspect of the site.
I wanted to offer a 24-hour update concerning the "Blog Entries Backlinks / Trackbacks" feature.
In the last ~24 hours since we activated it there have been just over 500 visits from other websites that we have tracked.
I have also put together a page for everybody to [internallink=http://www.christianblog.com/referrals.php]view recent referrals[/internallink] for anybody interested in that kind of stuff. It will show the 50 most recent visits from other websites to ChristianBlog.Com, the blog they clicked into, the exact date/time and their ip-address. This will be a great tool for those interesting in analyzing the way things work.
I have also started blocking websites that are (potentially) abusing the ChristianBlog.Com Services -- I have always been able to do it, this just helps me a LOT in knowing the abuse in a more timely manner.
I have added a few variables into our software to try to weed-out those visiting ChristianBlog.Com from email service prividers (yahoo!mail, gmail, aol mail, etc). I will keep an eye on it over the next few days to see if there are any other email service providers I can weed-out. No need to track links from email... they are probably just folks using the "Blog Tracking" feature.
John B. Abela