A few minor changes have been or will be made to the Dept. site, and I wanted to let you know what was happening. Some of it is basic Housecleaning, some is accommodating my Sloth, and some is merely practicality.
A. Commenting: A few of you miss the Comments section being called "Brainstorms." Well, me too! One morning, I devoted hours to my template, trying to troubleshoot it, googling like crazy and trying to learn some HTML coding on the fly to fix it. Ever since Google bought Blogger, they aren't too interested in servicing the platform at all, so we are left to our own devices. Anyway, after noodling about forever, I happened upon a notice that this is what GoogleBlogger calls "An Outstanding Issue." In other words, it's still broken, they don't know why, and they aren't fixing it thus far.
Next, I had changed my Comments policy to accept Anonymous commenters. A few people had contacted me to let me know that they wanted to ring in, but for some reason, they had been unable and did not want to bother setting up a shadow GoogleBlogger account. I am so sorry to say that I Will No Longer Be Allowing Anonymous Commenters. Every day since the exact moment I switched (and, no, I am not kidding), my blog has been flooded with junk comments which are simply commerce bots hawking their crap. The built-in spam filter has been doing a great job, but all the comments come to my private email inbox, and it's a pain. So, since the larger concern is outweighing the few people who claimed they wanted to join in, I've scotched Anonymous comments.
B. Sidebar Elements: I usually change my sidebar elements every time I do a new post. It's very time-consuming, and I wonder if anyone really pays attention. Could you let me know if you do, and if you actively engage with any of the elements? Then I'd know which to keep and which I can let go or keep static.
C. Email Subscriptions: Google also now owns Feedburner, my subscription service facilitator. It's--in a word--erratic. As with Blogger, Google isn't really interested in maintaining or servicing Feedburner, and it shows. I will be switching email service providers soon. Those of you who experienced the glitches in March with my daily postings know how badly the email service screwed up. It's all very frustrating, and it takes a lot of time and effort. I have time, but I detest mucking around with this sort of thing because I fear that everything I do could have fatal repercussions, to what I've already done, to my blog, to my subscribers/readers, to my computer, to the world. Each keystroke is fraught with peril. So. Fraught.
D. Feedback: In Comments, please offer any suggestions you have for anything regarding the Dept., whether it be color scheme, content, or layout. Sometimes, I can't get a fresh view on it because I'm consumed by the work of it. What do you like, dislike, want more of, want less of? I can't promise I'll act upon it because, after all, I have to love it, whatever it is that I put here.
As always, Dearest Readers, thank you.