Some site stuff

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I've been meaning to do a post like this for a while. A couple of months ago when I added some more support for mobile I thought I'd post. Then, last month on April 4th marked the 2 year anniversary of the first post on Fight For Iowa...a perfect time to post. Finally over the weekend I noticed that the comments weren't working properly. I fixed them and that's what prompted me to finally post.

Two years old

This is somewhat belated, but back in April was the two year blog birthday of Fight For Iowa. It's hard to believe that I've been doing this for two years already. Year two was drastically different than the first. A good part of that had to do with the fact that the two football teams had very different seasons. It was much more difficult to write about the disappointing losses last year than the thrilling 9-0 start to the 2009 season. But I feel last year was still more successful.

Unlike after year one, I don't have a lot to say about my journey this past year. Some small things though--this past year I was more focused on what I wanted to do and more organized. And, as a result I was able to spend more time on some of the more fun things, like updating the design and adding extra functionality to the site while hopefully still providing good content.

For fun, here are some interesting bits from the past year:
  • Number of posts: 287
  • The most viewed post: Be Bold, Wear Gold, Blackout, and Stripes?
  • The highest traffic day: August 18, 2010
  • The most common search phrase that ended up on the site: Iowa Football Roster 2010
  • Percent growth in visitor between year 1 and year 2: 319%

Comments are working again

I have an email alert set up so that when anybody comments on the site I get notified. Over the past 2 months or so I haven't gotten any of those emails. I just figured nobody was commenting...it is the off-season after all. That was not the case though.

People were commenting! However, about 2 months ago Disqus (which powers the comments on this site) made a slight change to how to implement their commenting system. I totally missed that and the comments were not tying correctly to the site. As a result, I was not getting emails and the comments were not showing up in the "comment count" or in the "Recent Comments" widget.

I finally realized this yesterday and fixed the problem. Unfortunately that fixed resulted in all the comments over the past two months being lost. So if you left a comment during that time period, I am sorry. Sorry for both missing your comment (I try to respond to most comments) and sorry that it is now gone.

Going forward, comments should be working again. I'll try to do a better job of keeping up with any changes to Disqus to avoid issues like this in the future.

Some more on Disqus
While on the topic, there are some cool new features with Disqus that I thought I'd share. The first is the ability to upload pictures. So, if you have an applicable picture you'd like to share in the comments, you can now upload it straight to the thread and Disqus will host the picture online for you. You can also still just post a link in the comment box and it will automatically pull in the image (you can do that for YouTube videos too).

Another cool new feature is using @mentions ala Twitter. You can link to a person's Disqus or Twitter account. This probably isn't too helpful right now since there isn't a big commenting community on this site, but could still be helpful.

Here are some other features of Disqus.

More mobile

Fight For Iowa Mobile
Currently mobile views make up around just 8 or 9 percent of the views on this site. That number has been trending up as you'd probably expect. To accommodate the higher mobile traffic I've tried to make changes to the site to be more mobile friendly. If you are viewing on a mobile browser that support media queries (which would be most anyone with an iPhone or Android phone and maybe some others) then the site should reformat to an easy to read 1 column view. I've also tried to do some things that make the site load a little faster on a mobile devise and I'm continuing to do work on it, but it's still kind of slow.

I'd be interested to hear how it looks on devises other than the iPhone. I have an iPod Touch so that's what I've been testing on. The most hits actually come from Android phones, so I'd like to know the experience on those devises.

If you are looking for a bare-bones version of the site there is a Blogger provide mobile version. It should load faster and is basically just the posts. Here's a link you can bookmark on your phone: http://www.fightforiowa.com/?m=1

I have also started playing around with a truly mobile site that is not just specific to this site. It is located at http://cheerforiowa.netne.net. It is still in very early stages. The posts don't seem to update when they should and it's still kind of buggy. As time allows, I plan on continuing to make it a better site.
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