A Faster JayceLand

A month ago a friend of mine wrote a blog titled The real Killroys. In it she outlined how social media sites are, essentially, the nightmarish big brother we once read about. Basically, if you put a Facebook button on your site, whenever someone views your site, Facebook knows jee was there. In other words, Facebook has a dossier on every one of its users. And it doesn't matter if you log out of Facebook, you're still tracked. The same goes for Tumblr, Google, Digg, and all the others (but man, especially Google Analytics.) She noted that site owners either didn't know or didn't care that this was going on.

I also recall that Chris Guillebeau once wrote something about how when a website visitor sees ads on the site, jee naturally assumes that the site owner endorses (if not at least vets) the quality of the products advertised. I have been using Google Adsense which theoretically produced a few pennies of revenue, but I never got any control [well, technically, a little control] over what ads were placed.

And then there was the speed issue. I would often notice that although stuff from JayceLand.com would load quick, if the page stalled, it would be "Waiting for" digg.com, or google-analytics.com, or ecx.images-amazon.com, or pagead2.googlesyndication.com, or googleads.g.doubleclick.net — but almost never JayceLand.com.

So I stripped all that stuff off. I left the Weather Underground image. I know they also track, but at least it's something directly useful. So now it loads fast.

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Un Digging a Few Things

I didn't like the performance of Digg so I went ahead and took out the Digg badges from the JayceLand home page blog entries although I left the customized ones in the sidebar. You can still find the badges present on the blog pages, though since they integrated better into WordPress.

I also removed all but a text-link for the Amazon.com advertising. So in all, things should be just a little faster.

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Yes, Robert Lamm, you can digg it.

As you may have already noticed, I took one more step to modernizing this site: I added buttons to go to digg. It's a way to share site rankings between people so someone else can find something they want. I set it up to have links off the JayceLand home page and associated archives as well as to individual blog entries with the deliciously vanilla digg IT.

For now I'm not sure of the ramifications of digg aside from bragging rights when that "1 digg" I entered becomes 2 — meaning that at least one other person clicked the button. If this works out, I don't think it should be too hard to additionally include things like del.icio.us.

Of course, a major rebuild of the whole site is in order — that's why the digg links are positioned so poorly on the JayceLand home page. Although I like the idea of maintaining compatibility to the dark ages of Netscape 3 and such, I also have a rule that the site maintenance should be easy: this ancient compatibility is starting to get in the way. And besides, even I can't get my Mac SE to successfully access anything on the Internet anyway: neither MacWeb 2.0 nor NCSA Mosaic beta work anymore.

In related news, I added a more harsh Amazon.com advertisement to the right sidebar of the home page. I personally have the scripting for that feature blocked (using NoScript), but it seems pretty neat to be able to see the most recent "hot" deals. Then again, it's not like I really make any money that way so I wonder if it annoys people too much.

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