Site Plans

Some may have noticed some performance issues with the site recently, as well as some down time and connectivity issues. There were at least two de-platforming efforts, but most the trouble here has been technology related. Part of the problem is the traffic, which keeps ticking up despite my best efforts. The server this site lives on is just not up to the task so it results in downtime. There’s also the problems that come with using WordPress, which is fine for what it is, but it is not without its problems in terms of reliability.

After many hassles with broken plugins and comments systems not working, I’m now committed to looking at alternatives. I have the move to a bigger, better server ready to go, but I want to do it when I do the site redesign. That way, I can work out issues with the new software before going live with it. Conversions are always full of surprises, so it is best to measure twice, covert once. The domain is not going to change, so the only change for the user will be look and feel, and I hope better performance.

With that in mind, now is the best time to solicit suggestions for features of changes in the new system. Number one on my list is a better comment system. One option I’m considering is a system with an integrated message board. This will mean commenting is for registered users only, but you can use your social media account to register. This means that the character you play on Twitter of Facebook can become your character on this site. It also means more commenting features as well as granular privileges.

Another thing I want to do is make it easier to get around corporate firewalls. What I’m learning is that many companies just block anything running WordPress. I found this out the other day, when I sent a link to a business to someone. I did not notice that the business was using WordPress for their website. My client tried to o`pen the link but his firewall blocked it. Using something like Joomla or Drupal would get around that, but there are other less complex options that may be better and require less work on my part.

Another item on my list is a better way to organize posts. I write a lot so not every post is going to be a winner, but some are clearly better than others. Organizing posts by popularity seems like a good idea. New readers can look at the greatest hits selection and see if they should stay or paddle back over to normieville. The ability sort and search by subject matter could be useful too. I have over 2300 posts now. I’ve written something about almost everything. Organizing by subject matter strikes me as useful.

With that said, the floor is now open. if anyone has suggestions, demands, desires, whatever that they would like to see in the next version, post them up. Obviously, I’m working with a limited amount of resources, so I will not be building a site to rival Facebook, but there is a lot that can be done for very little. Developing a community around the content posted here is certainly possible. Adding the ability to start a premium service, if I ever decide to go full on Dinesh D’Souza is also a possibility.

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UKer
Guest
UKer

I like that you measure twice and covert once, hehe. I am sure there is a great truth in there.

Other than that, whatever you do is fine by me, providing you keep doing it. Good luck.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

“covert” ?

Member

He meant “covfefe”. Grow up.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

haha good one!

CaptainMike
Guest
CaptainMike

Everyone knows.

Never go full D’Souza. 😉

Keep up the great work Z!

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Zman, I am a software engineer and would be happy to help you anyway I can (gratis). Do you have any specific high level goals for your site, vis a vis design, features, etc? You list a grab bag of features, which is fine, but it isn’t clear what your overall goal is. ============================================================ One thing I think would be easy to implement, and very useful, is to allow users to sort the posts by different criteria. For example, you currently list them by date, in descending order (older posts are further down in the list). You could allow sorting… Read more »

Member

I love the clean spare look of this site. Please keep that.

Babe Ruthless
Guest
Babe Ruthless

I second that.

FellowDissident
Guest
FellowDissident

Turded. I’ve witnessed other sites’ respective traffic diminish substantially because GUI was unfriendly and over-featured.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Zman wasn’t talking about the look and feel of the site (at least I didn’t take it that way).

Moe
Guest
Moe

Concerned about needing to “log-in” using social media and leaving a digital trail when commenting. Getting the Kanvanaugh treatment later in life…

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

my thoughts exactly, but that’s why i have a fake social media account specifically for this reason. maybe also an internal membership feature, so people still have to login to comment.

FellowDissident
Guest
FellowDissident

I’ve never logged in here, although I do so at other places complete with offsite access and burner phones. Just use your customary ID here along with a fake email address. You’ll need to input a captcha code but then you’re in.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

I don’t use any social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and just post directly when I have a mind to. On other sites, the Disqus thing asks for my social media preference and I simply dump my comment.

Chaotic Neutral
Guest
Chaotic Neutral

I like with the voting on the comments, and yes the clean, uncomplicated look. I hate paywalls, but yeah, yours is actually one of the only podcasts I might pay for! FYI. And it would undoubtedly motivate the quality, so yes do that!

One of the things that initially attracted me to this site was that you often talked about economics, trade policy, and money, which seems to have fallen off somewhat. I wish you would bring that back a little bit. Understandably this is difficult bc it requires specialized knowledge.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Ditto (economic stuff)

Member

Agree on the economic stuff also. I’m reading the mystery of capital right now by Hernando de Soto which I think was recommended on this site. Also I enjoy book recommendations

Chaotic Neutral
Guest
Chaotic Neutral

Me too, when a site causes me to buy books, I know it’s a good site

Member

As long as the commenting system doesn’t require a social media account, I’m good with it. I’m on Disqus, but Twitter and Facebook will never have me as a customer.

Member

Go to Gab. You’ll be protected and respected there.

Member

Twitter and Facebook will never have me as a customer.

Oops. I misspoke. Twitter and Facebook will never have me as a product.

odg48793
Guest
odg48793

Join Unz.com. I’ve really grown to like what they’ve done there with their commenting system.

If not that, then WordPress + the disqus plugin.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

ugh on Unz like comments. It’s like going back in time to 1985 or there avbouts.

JEB
Guest
JEB

I disagree — I think Unz has the best comment system on the web. It keeps everything in chronological order, so you can jump to the end to see what you’ve missed, but it still allows you to follow threads that you find interesting. Whose system do you prefer?

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Disqus is fine.

Tax Slave
Guest

If comments are only available through faceplant then I’m permanently gone from here.

Tax Slave
Guest

Also, dispense with the upvote/downvote feature.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

If it’s between you and the up/down voting…

Member

Make sure we can also register using our Gab account.

Many of us will help you with donations should you request it.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Double ditto

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus
Whiskey
Guest
Whiskey

He will never spend a day in prison. His father is a big time donor to Dems as a billionaire developer in CA.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Want to bet? He threatened to doxx the medical records of the senators’ children. He is going to prison, will most likely die there. Most likely his dad is going to get an IRS colonoscopy.

Tim of Angle
Guest

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Square Space.

You need a darker font with serifs for your text. I have to run your posts through Outline in order to be able to read them.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

most browsers have a way to change the fonts and colors for a site

John Badger
Guest
John Badger

Well, I would recommend the same thing I’ve been hoping for for YEARS with Derbyshire and Sailer: some kind of anthology series for binge-reading. Either organized chronologically or by topic or popularity. I tried to binge read your whole back catalog, but because of the reverse chronological order, dead links, dated shitposting, etc., it was kind of a mess. My recommendation: do anthologies by time periods and/or topics and/or popularity, take out the dead links and dated pieces, and convert them into downloadable epub (or similar) files so that people can throw them on their e-readers and just plow through… Read more »

Member

Premium service? I have to choose between you and Dinesh, that is going to be difficult.
Ok, made my choice. You.

As long as logging in with Disqus would work, I would be happy. I am sure many here don’t have Twitter or Facebook accounts.

It is satisfying to see the increasing influence your work here is having.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Z there are plugins that will hide that your site is using wordpress. First you gotta get rid of the /wordpress in your site design (a simple redirect for bookmarks will be needed) but then getting rid of anything hiding in the metadata like this: meta name=”generator” content=”WordPress 4.9.8″ Plus all links that show up in your WP generated html that contain wp-… have to be scrubbed. good plugins will hide this for you. I also noted you have at least one plugin that has wordpress in its name that the plugins might not be able to hide when loading… Read more »

RWinNoVA
Guest
RWinNoVA

Zman, you say you’ve experienced two de-platforming efforts?

Do you have a contingency plan in the event that you (we) cannot post as you currently do? If there is a list of readers for the Dark Times I would like to be on it. I’ve never registered here but would do that in a flash if it puts me on the samizdat list. Register on Gab?

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Zero Hedge is a commentary mess (many of those commenting are completely unhinged), but they have a nice feature. You can click on a commenter’s name, see how long he has been registered, and sample his comments. Bring a Trailer tallys upvotes next to a commenter’s name. Useful for discerning the regulars from the people parachuting in for occasional volleys of comments, but people do tend to troll for upvotes.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

Yes. I’ve been on ZH for many years and love the way that site works. Perhaps it’s different for new people to sign up — before, it required no information.

Member

Z: “This will mean commenting is for registered users only, but you can use your social media account to register.” I knew some would freak their shit over that sentence. lol. As others said, improve it, but by God keep it simple and clean. Like it already is. Upvotes/downvotes are good. One isn’t always in the mood to type “Hey, great comment. You really stated that well.” Or “Though we’re on the same team, you’re an embecile, please die”. A simple click is useful.

Wildman
Guest
Wildman

Perfomance? Try looking at an network adapter for the server that offloads ip processing from the cpu on the motherboard. Consolidate web pages that use multiple gifs into a single gif. Multiple gifs require multiple packets rto be sent and acknowledged.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

He’s not running the site out of his home..are you?!

DLS
Guest
DLS

Mark Steyn went to a premium site for some functions. I really like him, but I have not signed up because he spends more time on TV than producing in-depth content. I would definitely sign up for premium Zman. I can’t believe the volume and quality of output. I almost feel guilty getting it for free and without ads.

Severian
Guest

I for one love the sense of community here almost as much as the content. I don’t do social media (except Gab, as it seems to be the default fallback for when the thought police finally deplatform our blogs), but the login feature here seems to get around that. If you really want to test the Libertarian “self-organizing community” thesis, it might be fun to institute a ranking system for commenters (I don’t know how this is done, or if it is a huge pain in the ass, but it’d be fun to see how that shakes out). Just please… Read more »

Arthur Sido
Guest

Maybe some better categorization of your Epistles, Theory of Everything and Essential knowledge is it is easier to figure out what it there and how it is organized.

Whiskey
Guest
Whiskey

Please no social media. I avoid them and I think many on the right do as well. How about Rails and Comfortable Mexican Sofa for a cms and commenting system?

You could also have a match section for coffee mugs and t shirts that are obscure enough like a Masonic handshake to allow recognition only by those in the know. Might make a few extra bycks.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Shop at Zmart

Joachim
Guest
Joachim

Small “Zman” lapel pins. “It’s for the fishing products company,” wink, wink. Then again, as Severian wrote, lets stay far, far away from personality cults.

Member

Great idea actually. This shirt cracks me up. It’s so…perfect. I think I’ll get it.

https://www.zmanfishing.com/cms/products/z-man-ss-t-shirtz/

Joachim
Guest
Joachim

It looks like one of their t-shirts, and several of their hats, say simply “Zman”, with no reference to fishing and the like. Maybe send them some requests for more “Zman” merchandise, on condition that they say nothing but “Zman”. It could work, until they start getting phone calls from the SPLC and ADL, and bomb threats from Antifa.

Auntie Analogue
Guest
Auntie Analogue

1) Present page design is excellent: uncluttered; legible font & type size (serif vs. sans serif: a battle none can win & none should fight) 2) Comment upvote/downvote: yes 3) Comment & Reply system is good, but each reply would be more informative if each comment and reply is headed or footed with a date/time group, e.g., 06OCT18-1625HRS 3) Posts best organized chronologically (the present reverse chronological order is optimal); a keyword or a sidebar word-cloud feature would largely relieve you of having to reorganize by subject/topic 4) Podcasts: consider using just one consistent theme music selection for podcast intro,… Read more »

Member

“Podcasts: consider using just one consistent theme music selection for podcast intro…” I disagree. It’s kinda neat hearing what Z comes up with every week. Did you hear the intro to the last podcast? Maiden’s dual guitar lead was killer.

PawPaw
Guest
PawPaw

Hope you guys realize that to a lot of us your talking freaking Greek. I personally am so out of date that my cell phone has a rotary dial.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Feel free to ask questions 🙂 Or lookup terms and concepts using a search engine.

Lance_E
Member

Some thoughts on the overall structure and comment system: 1. Don’t try to change everything at once. I know it’s tempting, but the only thing worse than trying to put out a fire is trying to put out 10 fires at the same time. 2. The combination of comment voting, threading, and sorting can be explosively damaging to quality, especially if the default sort is by score. This is the Disqus model and it sucks, due to everyone’s primary incentive becoming either (a) being one of the first to reply, or (b) attaching their reply to another high-scoring reply. The… Read more »

Member

Good comment Lance. ” a sewer of rapid-fire, trite nonsense”. That’s what I like about this forum. Quality comments and little BS. I checked out another forum today and the guy had like 500 comments. I’m like, how did he get that many? Then I read the comments and it’s a bunch of one-liner inside jokes.

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Kegger party at Brett’s!

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

When does the rapping start?

ArtHouseForOurHouse
Guest
ArtHouseForOurHouse

Write in Word. Use spellcheck and grammar. If I have to sign in, I won’t.

Rod Coffman
Guest
Rod Coffman

It would be nice to have transcripts of your podcasts.

thud
Guest

I like it as it is.

Billrla
Guest
Billrla

How about wideninig the margins for both the main body of text and the comments? Wider margins means the eye can “take-in” more text per line, thus making for easier reading and less scrolling.

Member

I’ll just wait and see what you do, and then decide if I can adapt to it. If I can, great. If I can’t, too bad.

Member

I don’t have, and refuse to get, a Facebook account. Will your proposed changes to the comments function prevent me from contributing my invaluable opinions?

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

yes, sorry. also, I created a facebook account in your name. 😛

Tax Slave
Guest

A little celebratory entertainment.
comment image

Tax Slave
Guest

And another.
comment image

PapayaSF
Guest
PapayaSF

Joomla might be a good alternative. It’s very robust. I would not recommend Drupal for such a small site, and there’s a much smaller base of templates, extensions, and knowledgable users.

Wang Wei Lin
Guest
Wang Wei Lin

Keep the minimalist look. It has worked for Drudge all these years. I hate seeing a perfectly good website screwed up with a pile of add-ons that generally reduce the pleasure of the visit. If the server side needs work I understand, but The Z Man front web page is great as is. It’s so you.

CNN is a perfect example of website that sucks. Zerohedge comes to mind also, but at least they have interesting content.

Alien
Guest
Alien

Some of us eschew social media, of any stripe, so using those criteria for “registration” will exclude us from the commenters’ ranks. Whatever comment control methodology is employed, I’d suggest making it simple. I comment little, believing most of my opinions are probably worth less than the asking price, but when I do elect to chime in and encounter a site offering a draconian punishment scheme for commenting, my comment rate drops to zero. If that’s the goal, make the barrier as formidable as you wish; if varied opinions are preferred, it might be worthwhile to opt for a simplified… Read more »

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

If in your own words, you have so little to say, then why have the site cater to your personal preferences? Also, you might want to go back and re-read what Zman actually wrote about his ideas for using social media accounts here.

Burner Prime
Guest
Burner Prime

Nah, just retire. You’re beginning to sound just like the geezers you complain about at National Review. Especially when you go on about respekting the whamens, opening doors and calling them Mi’ Lady. Premium service? Don’t make me laugh. Sign in using Facebook. Wait, you actually said that? Out of touch. Your comments about Roosh and the PUA movement, totally out of touch in your worlds of theory. Yup, you’re one of the Cloud People. Detached from the trenches. Sipping brandy, insisting on validity of your solutions based on a botched understanding of the current situation. You’re one of the… Read more »

Auntie Analogue
Guest
Auntie Analogue

Two excellent Unz-dot-com comments features: 1) Commenters can create a pseudonym and use it under a fake e-mail I.D., so that commenters need not log in or do CAPTCHA each time they care to comment (this works, I think, in a somewhat different way on the Z-Blog – I’m old so I’m about as tech savvy as a sheet of looseleaf paper, so I can’t illuminate the difference in those comment sections’ workings) 2) Let’s say I visit Unz at 10 AM and read comments, then I visit again at 8 PM and Unz conveniently shows “New Comments” highlighted in… Read more »

Grandpa
Guest
Grandpa

Whatever platform you choose, please do something to check the speleng, er spelling.

n/a
Guest
n/a

You _could_ switch to a static site generator like https://jekyllrb.com/ (Moldbug, aka Curtis Y. used this on his first iteration of Urbit.org). However he has a PhD in Computer Science. Static sites with correct caching settings cannot be beat for speed, but you have to run a compile step to actually publish the results. If you don’t want a static site generator, but one with a nice editor interface, wordpress is where its at. ~30% of all websites are wordpress. They’re open source, so you can’t be de-platformed as long as you can host it on a server. WordPress has… Read more »

n/a
Guest
n/a

Good heavens. I just looked and you’re not gzip’ing the page. This is likely a lot of your problems..

See also google’s pagespeed https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthezman.com%2Fwordpress%2F%3Fp%3D15216

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

“Developing a community around the content posted here is certainly possible.”

Cool idea if possible.