Just a quick administrative note to mention that I’ve been doing some housecleaning on the blog as far as widgets — and other plugins and add-ons, such as analytical tools — are concerned, because I’ve had a few comments from my faithful readership (thanks, Mom) about slow loading times, and the fact that occasionally the blog will just hang and not load at all.
I have a passion for widgets, and so I tend to load up on them whenever I come across one. If I’m reading a blog like Fred Wilson‘s or someone else who has a new widget or plugin — like Dead 2.0, which is where I came across the “democracy” poll plugin for WordPress — I have to download it and try it out. Unfortunately, though, some widgets are in beta or not hosted on robust servers, and so the blog will hang while it is waiting for a response.
I’ve removed the BlogMap widget and the Yahoo Finance widget for that reason, plus I got rid of the Swicki search I had because no one seemed to use it. I got rid of the GoodBlogs widget too, but then I put it back because I think it’s a worthwhile project so I’m going to cut them some slack when it comes to the response time from their servers.
I also axed the Google ads, in part because it was an experiment and in part because I only made about $2.50 in the past month or so (my friend Markus Frind of Plenty of Fish could probably tell me how to maximize that, but I’m really not that interested in the money at this point). I also trimmed the analytics that I had loading, like CrazyEgg — which is cool, but not really designed for a blog like mine — and Blogbeat, which was great but it has been bought by Feedburner and I’m waiting to see how that’s going to change the service. I still have Google Analytics and MyBlogLog and Statcounter.
If you notice the blog still loading slowly, please let me know — and if you come across any cool widgets, let me know about that too :-)