Salsa Scoop> How This Blog Is Built

How This Blog Is Built

Everyone wonders how we maintain a commanding presence among Technorati's top half-million blogs. When you've got it, you've got it. But you can at least feel like you're dope like us by cribbing from our blog toolkit. I. Drupal, of course, is the content management system for the entire DIA site, and our blogging tool as well -- yes, even though we have a blog tool of our own. Drupal is the base; everything else is superstructure. II. Drupal itself provides its own stats package, enabling us to see reads on blog pages (and other pages) at a glance, but we use three others in addition to that.
  • Google Analytics, the ubiquitous free tool that's become an NGO default, which we use across the entire DIA site, blog and otherwise.
  • SiteMeter -- a more venerable basic-free service that I mostly check in on every few weeks for the thumbnail traffic graphs.
  • My favorite of the bunch, Clicky, which costs $15 a year but gives very user-friendly numbers and (still, my heart!) RSS feeds of visitor data. Brand new and not yet played with: FeedBurner integration.
III. Comment spam is horrible. Akismet has relieved me of 99% of the need to delete it by hand. IV. Like seemingly every other feed in the universe, ours runs through FeedBurner, providing not only subscriber stats but a grab bag of nifty add-on features. Notably, I use it to post my daily links. You can also get to that page from ... V. ... the ShowYourself widget on the left nav. VI. Further on down, our grab-bag of DIA community links hails from BlogRolling. VII. A bit of manual intervention after a post goes up: iPings to ping a passel of blog search tools. I trifle with trackbacks little enough, but when the occasion demands it, I use the Wizbang Standalone Trackback Pinger.


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