New look for Esrati.com

Just letting all our loyal readers know, with the advent of WordPress 4.0 our old theme wasn’t allowing comments, forced us to do a quick presto changeo to a new theme.

Good news is it’s fully responsive- so, your mobile experience should improve.

If there are any problems- or you notice anything wonky- leave a comment or drop us an email please (contact on side of page).

Thank you for your patience through the switch.

 

Full disclosure file: DPS hires The Next Wave

Some may think hell hath frozen over. Others may scream, rant and yell. But, to be fair- I’ve never been elected, I’m not a public figure, and believe it or not, my firm is damn good at what we do.

Dayton Public Schools- the Superintendent Lori Ward with the approval knowledge (update) of the School Board,  has hired The Next Wave (my small ad agency) on a one-shot P.O. to provide “Marketing and creative services to improve enrollment process for DPS including redesigning forms for digital completion, brochures, posters, direct mail as needed strategy and website”

The amount is $5,000 and the work is to be completed by June 30th.

I’ll post the PO if asked- it’s public record.

Will this bias my reporting of the Dayton Public Schools? Honestly- it’s difficult to do both, but since you don’t pay to read this- I don’t really care. My interests are in improving this city- and the city schools first and foremost. It’s why I’ve probably spent thousands of hours writing on this site- going to meetings, running for office, etc.

I’m not clearing this post with the superintendent or the school board. During the time that this is in effect- anything else I’ll write about DPS will be either commentary on published reports, or public information that I don’t feel is getting out about DPS. I will talk to the superintendent about the posts before they go up. I will also disclose my relationship with DPS in any post mentioning them.

And, again- remember, you read it here first. The DDN missed this.

Let the screaming begin- and bundle up (btw- it did get noticeably cooler this week- didn’t it….)

Now you can + 1 posts

Just added a Google “Plus 1″ or +1  link to the site. This is a way to tell your friends about the post- and if you think they should check this out. It also works on the site (which is where I think you should start).

The idea is that when you search for things- you will see if anyone in your circle of influence (friends, contacts etc.) has already liked something in your search results.

Watch this short video about Google Plus 1- and then give it a try.

Sexy new interface for Esrati.com on iPad

For those of you reading the site on the iPad, WordPress just released a new plugin- onswipe- that allows for a magazine style format on your device.

Of course, if you are still not a wordpress or website wizard, think about joining me for my next Websitetology seminar on Wed April 13th.

I’ve installed it- and it looks really sexy cool. Let me know if you like it or not.

Cheers.

Site updates: new features

The old dependable Spam Karma II plugin was deprecated with version 2.5 or so of WordPress- it was doing an admirable job of managing spam (about 40K messages a year) and screwing up very little- unless your name was Josh, Jesse or Brad (sorry guys).

The new one has a Captcha- let me know if you hate it- there are mods I can make. UPDATE: apparently it grants full access to trackbacks- so I’ve had to add yet another plugin to deal with them. Sorry for any emails to prior commenters for the spam.

I’ve also added a “subscribe via e-mail” for those of you who want an e-mail with each new post (if you don’t follow me on Twitter, or friend on facebook or use RSS). It’s in the sidebar at the right.

Time for a new header too- not sure of what I want it to say yet. Tagline suggestions for this site welcome in comments.

Thanks to all of you who have participated-  your comments make the time spent researching and writing worthwhile.

The rules of Esrati.com- goodbye Gene

I’m pretty ok with almost anything on this site- as long as you don’t attack each other personally- or, misrepresent yourself.

That means no posting under multiple names.

Frequent commenter Gene has of late chosen to sign as a variation on my name- or Gene…..

I’ve warned him twice- he’s continued- so I blasted away 20 comments. He does it again- it’ll be 40- until he’s gone.

Thanks to the rest of you- most of his comments were being thumbed down off the comments anyway- so, it shouldn’t be a big loss.

Thank you all- for continuing the discussion.

Debating adding IntenseDebate to esrati.com

I’m thinking that my comments about the comments on the Dayton Daily News lame comment moderation system is making a hypocrite out of me. I moderate to the best of my abilities and try to keep it civil- yet allow all viewpoints on this site.

Yet- while I advocate for comment moderation tools- I don’t use them. Intense Debate is another production of Automattic- the people who develop WordPress. You create a central profile and it’s used across all kinds of sites. Sort of like Disqus only different.

Commenter Profiles
Commenter profiles let you and your readers learn more about each other. Watch the conversation go to new levels once you and your readers are able to get to know each other. Don’t forget, their universal profiles can be used on any site with IntenseDebate!

Reputation Points & Comment Voting

Your readers will start to build their commenter reputations when they create an IntenseDebate account. Their reputation score is based on the quantity, and more importantly the quality, of the comments they've made across all sites with IntenseDebate. Bring the quality comments to the forefront.

via IntenseDebate – Features.

Both IntenseDebate and Disqus have their pros and cons as does the default WP system that I’m using now.

How many of you have accounts with either? Disqus is used by the Dayton Business Journal for example.

Would having a profile scare some of you away?

Does the ability to rate comments and having comment threading improve the experience here?

I’m asking for your opinions- since there are more comments on this site than I’ve got posts- it really belongs to you.

Update on esrati.com

For the last few days I’ve been battling a site that had hotlinked to the picture of the Ohio License plate on this site. It was a site of oxymoron photos- I guess the words “beautiful Ohio” and that plate design make people laugh.

The hotlink was running bandwidth up- and making stats mean nothing (just remember when you see the Dayton Daily News bragging about visitors to their lame site). When I enabled “Hotlink protection” it broke the pretty URL structure by taking a line out of our .htaccess file. Even shutting off the “hotlink protection” didn’t replace that line of code- so the site regained some functionality- but not all.

I’ve had my head somewhere else, and didn’t investigate it fully- so a lot of you couldn’t click through to posts, or comment. It’s fixed now. I’d really like you to take a look at the post about the “Middle Class Task Force” and my thoughts.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I’ll try to get back on our normal posting schedule. Thanks.

New look to Esrati.com

Testing 1-2-3?

We’ve updated the look- want to make sure you can still read it, and if you like it.

More to come soon, including a twitter feed on the header and an easy way to subscribe to the blog for those of you who still don’t know how to use RSS or a reader.

And, unlike the new redesign of the Dayton Daily News- I’m still trying to give you more news, not less. Substance over style.

Thank you for your support.