Maintaining a blog – Part 2

A few days ago, I wrote about how many spam comments I had received on my blog. It has not been fun sifting through them to determine which should be deleted permanently, or which ones to approve. But the exercise has proven to be useful. Because whether the comments were entered with intention by an actual human blog reader, or generated by some automatic blog comment maker, there were a few comments that indicated difficulty with subscribing to my blog.

Subscribing should be easy – there’s a SUBSCRIBE link in the top navigation menu. But maybe some do not know how to subscribe to RSS feeds, and that’s the only option provided. But I do know that subscribing to an RSS feed is only good as your willingness to manually check your feeds, when you have the time. And who has the time anymore? I certainly don’t. I subscribe to a number of RSS feeds, but never remember to go read them.

So tonight, after (oh my god!) three hours of searching for “just the right” WordPress plugin, installing them, testing them, deleting them when I didn’t like how they appeared on my blog, I finally found one. It’s called Subscribe Widget (in case you’re interested), and it allows you to add and configure icons that link to RSS feed, Comments feed, Twitter, Email Subscription (powered by Feedburner), and Facebook. I put them in in the SUBSCRIBE widget on the left side bar. The Feedburner email subscription required that I create a Feedburner account, configure some options there, and enable email subscription. Enabling email subscription configuration was not intuitive, and I had to go searching for help on how to do that via Google search. After I enabled it, the Email Subscription button reported that the service was not activated, and after some poking here and poking there, I finally determined that I had copied only part of my Feedburner account name into the button configuration.

What a frustrating experience this has all been, but now that it’s done, I am happy and I like how they look.  Please go give the subscription options a try, and send me your feedback by entering a comment below.

Oh – I also added a Featured Image widget to the sidebar on the right. Because one of the spammy comments suggested I needed more photos to spice up the blog a bit. But… I’ll have to upload some more photo galleries for variety. I have only one gallery uploaded, of the photos I took at last year’s Salmon Run (see Salmon Run at Adams River, British Columbia). But, that’s an exercise for another time. I’m hungry and I’m really late for my evening meal.

The SUBSCRIBE link in the top navigation menu will just have to sit there for now. To remove that requires that I dig into and edit my theme XML files. I know nothing about XML, so that exercise will be another several hours. I just don’t have the mental energy to tackle that tonight!

Thanks for visiting and reading, and please do come back!

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