Site Update

yikes

April 12th, 2007

Talk about flinging a rodent into the cat show. (Thank you for that image, ladiesbane.) I’m very, very sorry to have upset anyone with my misguided attempt to corral the conversation. Let’s just consider the Open Thread a failed experiment, shall we? So far all I seem to have accomplished is to double the number of comments. I just made my way through the 63 on “clustr,” and can’t yet bring myself to look at the 84 on the Open Thread. I’m going to go out for a ski to brace myself. Later, I will compose a formal response.

clustr

April 10th, 2007

Thanks to everyone who’s been pointing out the malfunctioning Clustrmap. I finally figured out the problem. When you reach a certain number of hits, like 583,875 or so, you have to start paying for it. I’ll get on that soon, and hopefully all our globe-spanning red dots will be restored. The map was one of many things Katie and I discussed with our web guy Gahlord at a meeting last week. We’ll be inflicting various other updates to the site soon, now that I have some time and brain cells to spare on it.

One thing I’m giving some thought to is the way the blog has turned into a de facto messageboard. A poster named Cyan pointed this out recently, and I have to say it’s a good point. I’m worried that the familiar, in-group atmosphere here might start to have an inhibiting effect on new visitors, and I’m trying to figure out ways to avoid that. Also, I can’t always keep up with everyone’s comments. And that feels problematic since I’m personally responsible for the blog in the way I wouldn’t be responsible for a messageboard.

My first thought was to actually move the discussion to a messageboard, but that seemed a bit extreme. I like the conversations that go on here—I just don’t want them to become too closed or exclusive. So Gahlord had the idea of creating “open thread” posts at regular intervals, like Daily Kos does. This would be a way of leaving a forum in place for comments and conversations that may not be strictly germane to my posts.

I know this means sacrificing some of the our lovely discursiveness. But hopefully the digressions would continue to some extent on the Open Threads. In the interest of a more focused and accessible blog, I’m going to try this. Uh…heck, let’s just start now and see what you think. It might not work at all.

PS A very belated thanks to Anna for finding the typo in episode 507.

Open Thread (beta version)

April 10th, 2007

(Cake recipe swapping, Favorite Beatle discussions, Mary vs. Rhoda, or anything else slightly off-topic that you care to discuss.)

Pledge Drive

November 2nd, 2006

Okay. Here’s a long overdue post on the spontaneous fundraiser that “DTWOF Fan” set in motion on October 17th. (DTWOF fan, if you would please identify yourself to me, I’d like to thank you personally.)

I’m sorry I haven’t provided more feedback on how this was going. The whole thing began just a few days before I had to leave for Europe on that book tour, and I just haven’t had any time to properly respond until now. I thanked everyone personally who made a donation before I left on the trip, and I’ll get to everyone else asap. I’m really sorry I’ve been so behindhand with things, but Read the rest of this entry »

Site maintenance in progress

September 11th, 2006

Things might look a bit bent out of shape until 12pm today. Doing some site maintenance. Thanks for your patience.

Answers

September 5th, 2006

My flight’s delayed, so I’ll see if I can answer Straight Girl Fan’s questions (in the comments on my 9/3 post) about Fun Home before my battery runs down. (forgot to bring that crucial little piece of the $&%^ power adapter, the little white plug part)

“Mom, how come you never go outside?” “I told you, I’m a vampire.” Did this really happen, or is this you putting Addams family words in your family’s mouths?

Yes, my mother really said this. Often. She’s always been very averse to sunlight.

Why would putting a kid in an old-fashioned cookstove be less macabre than a modern oven?

Because in those old stoves the firebox would be, like, closed off from the oven compartment. And they’d have yet another compartment further from the fire where you could just keep stuff warm. Like a small child. I guess.

New Tour Dates!

August 3rd, 2006

While we’re on this updating spree, you should all know Alison’s new tour dates!

Atlanta:
Outwrite Bookstore, 991 Piedmont Ave, Atlanta, GA 30039. September 26, 8pm

Miami:
Books & Books, Miami Beach, speaking/signing, Thursday, September 28, 8:00pm
St. Louis, MO
Left Bank Books, speaking/signing, September 30, 7pm

Washington, DC:
Politics and Prose, October 2, 8:00pm

Details are forthcoming about Cleveland and Toronto– we’ll flesh out the information as soon as it comes.
These will be added to the tour schedule as well for your reference convenience. Hope to see you at these events!

Thanks for all the spam advice

June 30th, 2006

But I think I’ve got things under control now.