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When the going gets tough the tough outsource!

How annoying are spam comments? How annoying is it that if I set the drupal commenting system to moderate all comments there's no option for it to email me when I get a new one? How annoying is it to have to log in and screen my comments each week? How annoying is it when I forget to do that and discover an important comment has got missed?

Ok it's not really all that annoying. This isn't what you would call a high traffic blog.

I found a nifty solution though. Outsource your comments to Disqus. They will look after it all for you and provide a foolproof user friendly interface! They also provide MANY different ways of logging in you can connect with facebook, twitter open ID and even Yahoo!! Most importantly you can be emailed whenever you get a comment, which is important for me. I discovered them when I was setting up my 365 blog and when I discovered there was a third party drupal module for it I thought I would give it a go.

Install was plain sailing, but then I realised I still had all the comments on the old system. So I started looking for an import solution. This method by Daniel Maclaren looked promising so I gave it a go. I should have read the comments first. As it stands there does not look to be any way of importing drupal comments into Disqus, which is depressing. So the old comments are still visible, but arent merged into Disqus yet.

I am pestering Disqus on twitter so I am hoping they will get back to me and provide some sort of support, but its a free service so I'm not holding my breath. This guy looks like he works for them too so I may as well pester him as well!

Comments now live!

Ever since I set up the new contact page I have been thinking.

Why not set commenting back up?

I had comments enabled early on in the history of this site but I disabled them fairly quickly as I got robo-spam. But now they are back! New and improved with reCAPTCHA authentication. All blog posts have commenting enabled on them now so feel free to trawl the archive to make your point.

Changes To The Website

You may have noticed that the website has a slightly new look. Gone is the old 2 column layout and in comes a brand spanking new 3 column layout. I've been wanting to do it for years but never had the skills to do it. That all changed when I spotted this on the drupal page for the theme I use.

This third column has allowed me to add a nice little flickr widget which you can see over there on the right. I have also tweaked the CSS of the site so the twitter updates look nice and are all spaced correctly.

The final tweak was to the contact page. I used to have a contact form but it got spammed horribly and I tooki to down. Today I reinstated it but with a reCAPTCHA, so now any spambots should be foiled. To do this I used the Drupal modules Contact Forms and reCAPCHA. A big thanks to Erin Clerico who posted how to do this on their blog.

Now. Go send me an email.

Photo section fixed! Kind of.

Thanks to James McNeil who posted a fix to the drupal picasa module problems, over at the drupal Pucasa pages. The photo section is up and running again. There has been a little change though, when you click trough from the photos page you will get an automated slideshow! How cool is that!

So thanks again James.

New! Photo Section using Picasa Drupal module

Just found a drupal module for Google's Picasa photo sharing site. It integrates he web albums I have stored there into my own peronal site! Woo! Thats some good integration going on there! I was using flikr, but they have annoyed me by crippling the sevice if you dont sign up for a paid for pro account. So I'm deleting my flikr account and moving to Picasa. I'll probably do a full write up about my experiences between the two later.

Anyway the Photo albums can be found here.

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