Feedback Requests – Ongoing Changes

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Hey guys, a couple of things:

1. Since the comment spamchecker math wasn’t working for some folks on Mac/Safari, I changed it to a captcha security code system. Let me know if it’s too tough to use and I’ll install a different one. I tried going naked with just a basic spam firewall in the background, but some of the spambots were getting through that so I had to bring it up a notch.

I could sit here all day and moderate every comment to catch the spam, but it seems like that would get in the way of going backcountry skiing (grin).

2. If you browse websites on your mobile, let me know if WildSnow displays in any usable way for you. I made some changes in that area as well.

3. Are any of you guys using the email “subscribe to comments” function? That’s just another plugin that slows things down, if it’s only being used by a few folks I think it should be turned off. But if it’s popular I’ll leave it up.

Comments

36 Responses to “Feedback Requests – Ongoing Changes”

  1. cjw October 24th, 2009 6:02 pm

    Nice work on the mobile. Loads fast, skipping all the graphics.

    Posted from /dev/iPhone

  2. Lou October 24th, 2009 6:17 pm

    Thanks CJW, I’ll add in some text links for the advertisers, but it sounds like it’ll be good and actually improve quite a bit as I convert all my old website pages to WordPress pages that’ll get picked up by the mobile theme…

  3. RobinB October 24th, 2009 6:38 pm

    I’ve always been partial to this captcha system, since it’s actually doing something useful:

    http://recaptcha.net/

    Didn’t even realize you had a subscribe to comments function… and I don’t think I will sign up now that I do know.

  4. john Gloor October 24th, 2009 8:11 pm

    Lou, I love the notification of other comments feature. I am not sure if I have used it here since I just noticed it the other day, but I use it on other forums. It keeps me from checking in on heated debates if nothing has changed

  5. Lou October 24th, 2009 8:31 pm

    John, go ahead and see if it actually works. If it’s used by just a few of you guys I have no problem leaving it. Thanks.

  6. Lou October 24th, 2009 8:37 pm

    Robin, that looks excellent, I’ll give it a try when I have time for yet another itteration…

  7. Bar Barrique October 24th, 2009 10:06 pm

    Just a test, I am one of those Mac users. I enjoy your site

  8. Fernando Pereira October 24th, 2009 10:13 pm

    The new mobile layout works very well on my Android phone. Two comments:

    1) The title wraps around wasting some vertical space, you might consider shortening it.
    2) If you do that, you could insert a thin top ad above the content, helping your monetization without getting in the way of the reader.

  9. Lee Lau October 24th, 2009 11:55 pm

    Lou,

    I like the subscribe to comments features if only because it notifies me if I write an entry or review and someone has a comment or question – then I’m notified. Otherwise I invariably miss it

  10. Paul s. October 25th, 2009 4:42 am

    I like the mobile version! All the info, bur loads quickly. Surfing on safari w/ iPhone OS 3.x

  11. Lou October 25th, 2009 5:43 am

    Cool you guys. Thanks. I’ll be tweaking the mobile theme. I have to do something for the advertisers in the mobile theme (we did have them in the last one), but we’ll keep it tight. I’ll probably do some stuff on it later today. Main thing is, it looks like my spam blocking is working 100%. Some of the human spammers will probably slip through, but they’re easy to deal with. Main thing is that the spambots are 100% blocked, as those things eat up hours of time.

    I’ll leave the comments subscription feature. It seems to be pretty benign.

  12. Lou October 25th, 2009 9:17 am

    Mobile theme is evolving today, hope to get back to regular blogging tomorrow!

  13. Clyde October 25th, 2009 9:28 am

    Can barely read the Captcha, had to refresh 3 times. Do keep it all numbers though, I hate the ones that use upper and lowercase alphabet.

    I do like the subscribe feature but I only use it on particularly interesting threads.

  14. Ali E October 25th, 2009 9:59 am

    Hi Lou

    Not sure if its anything to do with the changes you’ve been making, but using the Safari browser on my Mac, I’ve recently been getting garbled pages which don’t load properly. This tends to be on archived items and not on the home page. Firefox is OK. I’ve emailed you a screenshot.

    Ali

  15. harpo October 25th, 2009 10:03 am

    Lou, the subscribe feature is good.

    I have been unable to use the search feature on your home page for the last two days.

  16. Scott October 25th, 2009 11:16 am

    Lou,

    as usual the site is fantastic. I use a Mac w/ Firefox. I check here most days in the winter, but dont use my mobile phone for this site. I think that the more stringent spam filter you have the better. I enjoy not seeing nike shoes and ED pills for sale here.

    I also commend you for you moderation, I don’t look at many sites like TGR etc… because I cant stand the attitudes and general nastiness displayed there.

    Keep up the good work! It’s refreshing to see someone with a rational spiritual connection to the outdoors do well. Your mix of environmentalism and appreciation for jeeps and snowmobiles is much needed in today’s world.

    Scott

  17. Dave B. October 25th, 2009 1:09 pm

    I really like the comments subscription feature. Relieved to know the problem with the old spam catcher was my Mac and not my (admittedly) dismal math skills.

  18. Lou October 25th, 2009 6:11 pm

    Ali, from your attached email image it looks like somehow my server thinks your browser is trying to hotlink the site background images. Do you have a fairly standard browser and web connection? Or something different that could be trying to build a cached version of the site or something?

    Everyone, I got the mobile version pretty much where I want it. Nearly all is text till you drill down to the posts. Only thing that doesn’t work that well are the sub-page menus, but I’ll get that fixed eventually. Will also do some kind of top banner so it’s a bit less plain…

    I’ll leave the comment subscription feature in there.

    Agree that the captcha is too hard to read — nearly impossible on mobile. I’ll change to something with larger images.

    Thanks everyone.

  19. Lou October 25th, 2009 6:12 pm

    Harpo, I didn’t change anything to do with the search feature… anyone else having problems with it?

    Also, all you guys should always remember you can use the “site” operator with Google to do a specific site search. For example, the following string searches Wildsnow.com for Scarpa if you enter it into the regular Google search box (not the box on Wildsnow).

    site:wildsnow.com scarpa

  20. BigD October 25th, 2009 6:27 pm

    Lou,

    On a Mac using both Safari and Firefox. Keep encountering error 404 when using Search Wildsnow. Could easily be an issue at my end, but entered Dynafit as a test and encountered the same results. Seems like I should get some results with such a wide search?

    No big deal really. Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same problem.

  21. Lou October 25th, 2009 6:46 pm

    Big D, it should work for any test search, even for the word “test.”

    I just remembered that I’d changed my SEARCH page to a “draft” to prevent it from showing in an automated menu system I’m experimenting with. That seemed to work well in Windows Firefox and IE, but might be the problem on Mac…

    I changed it back to a “published” page, please test for us if you don’t mine.

    Thanks.

  22. BigD October 25th, 2009 6:56 pm

    Problem solved. Thanks for the quick response.

    Best,

  23. john Gloor October 25th, 2009 7:00 pm

    I am on a Macbook Pro (Mac OS X 10.4.11) and just logged on to Wildsnow from both Safari and Firefox.

  24. Lou October 25th, 2009 7:13 pm

    Thanks ‘D! Huge help. Last thing I need is a Mac sitting around here just to test my website, but then, perhaps I do?

    John G, please test the search function, and is the page holding together (three columns with a header and footer, little to no overlapping of text or graphics?)

    BTW everyone, when I’m working on a lot of websites or hacking hard on WildSnow I subscribe to browsercam.com for testing, but it gets expensive. So thanks for the informal help…

  25. BigD October 25th, 2009 7:20 pm

    Give it shot. You may never go back to your PC.

    Keep up the good work.

  26. Lou October 25th, 2009 7:29 pm

    Oh, I know they’re good (unless you’re running Safari on WildSnow, grin). But when you do web development it’s not a bad idea to just be on a PC for better or worse, since most other folks are as well… Also, PCs work a LOT better than they used to, and you can get a lot of computer for your money. At any given time we’ve got 4 or 5 PCs running around here, 6 when Louie is here, and they’re all fine (though the one junker we have has gotten pretty slow.)

    But whatever, if you get a box full of wires and it works, so be it. People make too big a deal of the Mac/PC question. Like debating telemark vs AT ?

  27. john Gloor October 25th, 2009 7:33 pm

    Lou, the search function works fine and the page looks good.

  28. Lou October 25th, 2009 7:39 pm

    John, GREAT! Thanks!

  29. BigD October 25th, 2009 8:54 pm

    Touche’, Lou. What ever works best for each of us. Kinda like the backcountry experience, eh?

    And they ALL get slow way too soon. (Gotta keep those wheels of commerce turning.)

  30. Matt Kinney October 25th, 2009 10:55 pm

    Sitting here tonight with a spanking new MacBook Pro setting my bookmarks with WildSnow at the top of my Ski Folder. My iMac was actually 10 yeasr old and will converted to an aquarium. I am a diehard Mac fan so I am testing the waters..

    BTW … Also bought a …..SNOWBOARD!!!(used burton) . I am jazzed to learn a new way to turn. Self instruction….. or destruction likely…dudes.

  31. Pete October 25th, 2009 11:32 pm

    Lou, I must commend you on staying relatively current with blog/Internet technology. Most people your age are clueless! Keep up the good work

  32. Lou October 26th, 2009 6:53 am

    12 to 15 hours a day of working with computers (when I’m not out skiing, and even some days when I do ski, as in who needs sleep?) since the first Tandy Radio Shack PC that wasn’t a toy, in what, 1983 or something like that? I’d better know something after all tha :blink: t!!

    Back at it again this morning, fixing the Google ads that are blocking the site load sometimes…

  33. Bruce Edgerly October 26th, 2009 7:27 am

    Thanks for fixing that Spamblocker, Lou. I couldn\’t post anything to your blog with the old one. And it wasn\’t my poor arithmetic!

  34. Lou October 27th, 2009 9:40 am

    Had one of our biggest days ever yesterday (Monday), so something must be working! Thanks everyone!

  35. Chris October 28th, 2009 12:08 am

    The photos are cut off on the right margin with my iphone.

  36. Lou October 28th, 2009 6:31 am

    Chris, that’s strange, we’ll see what we can do but it may be that way for a while… are you seeing banner advertising or just text links for the advertisers? If you’re seeing banner advertising you’re not seeing the mobile version.

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