I’ve made some changes in the right-hand sidebar.

First, I’ve made the picture smaller in response to people who’ve had trouble with the sidebar sliding under the main posts (this happens if your viewing window is too small relative to teh (fixed) size of the picture).

Second, following the lead of Crooked Timber, I’ve replaced the list of the most recent 10 posts with a list of the 10 before that (thanks to Kieran Healy for advice on how to do this)

Third, I’ve replaced the 10 most recent comments with the 10 most recently-commented-on posts. (thanks to James Russell for advice on how to do this)

The main idea is to overcome the “top of the page” problem, by which attention is focused on the most recent two or three posts. I’d like to think that, as we get better at this kind of thing that we can maintain discussions running over weeks, rather than, as at present, a few days.

I’d very much appreciate your responses and suggestions

6 thoughts on “Improvements?

  1. Seems like good thinking to me. It’s amazing to watch blogosphere sort itself out, so to speak, before one’s eyes. Over at Troppo, we’re also thinking of a ’10 most-recent most-commented upon posts’ to allow the bigger debates to keep running post archives. The font of this inspiration, Ken Parish, is also mulling about the possibility of a ‘sledgers corner’ to syphon off this often amusing but also often useless pastime.

  2. what would be really useful is next to the comment count, the name of the most recent poster then you could see if you were the last. for example, this post would now have “2 comments, last by c8to”

    im sure this is possible, i just havent got around to it.

  3. For reasons unknown to me (complete net novice) I don’t see either picture nor sidebar! Taken the picture over as far right as I can and get a vertical dotted line with considerable white space to the right of that, presumably where picture/sidebar ought to be. As for keeping debates going over a long time – beauty. However, after something like a month of visiting this site, posting comments, and following up links, feel a sortof lack of closure. Like I could be sitting out the back thinking thoughts with no followthrough. Aware that this is probably a frustration associated with relative isolation as well as of character – I tend to be a problem-solving ‘what-if-er as is perhaps reflected in some of my posted comments. I wonder if it might be possible to set up a ‘what-if…’ corner something like the Monday ‘have your say’ section. In any case, happy to have dipped my toes into these waters – maybe some months or years hence, I’ll actually be able to swim or surf in them!

  4. These all seem like good ideas to me — I have been thinking about adding comments and thought when I do so, I might sort the posts by time of most recent update or comment rather than by time of posting.

  5. Not being a narcissist like c8to, I don’t care whether I was last or not, but he is right that it’s nice to know whether there have been more comments since last I looked. Therefore his suggestion is good if it’s feasible. I guess the problem is space.

    Apart from that, the current setup is superior to the short-lived previous one, which suffered from the problem that if a topic was really hot it would push all the others off the screen.

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