Inkthinker Announcements: Sidebar, Tip Jar, and More! — Those who were visiting the site between 9:30 and 11 last night probably noticed some strange things happening, namely random widgets popping in and out of posts and things mysteriously moving around in the sidebar.

It’s still a work in progress (will it ever stop being a work in progress???), but here’s what you’ll find now that probably wasn’t here last time you visited:

  1. Faster page loads. There was an Amazon script slowing things down. Instead of it automatically linking to things in the Amazon catalog, I now have to do it manually — but it’s worth it for you to have a more pleasant Inkthinker experience. Also, there are fewer blinky things, and it will stay that way. Blinky is good sometimes, but jeez, advertisers, cool it already!
  2. A better blogroll. When I moved Inkthinker away from Blogger, I also moved the blogroll out of the sidebar because it was so long that I couldn’t find a good spot to put it in the template. My Blog Picks are now back in the sidebar and appear on every page of the blog! If you want to be added to the blogroll, e-mail me. Reciprocal links are very much appreciated, but not required. Only writing-related blogs are included, so if it’s not about writing at least some of the time, I definitely will not add it. Nothing personal, just my policy.
  3. Bookmarking tools. At the bottom of each post is a little Share This icon. If you like a post, please take a moment to Stumble, Digg, or otherwise bookmark it so others can enjoy it, too! Anything you can do to spread the work about Inkthinker is always appreciated.
  4. Topspots. Topspots is part tip jar, part advertising. If you like what you see on Inkthinker and want to support the blog (eg, offset blog costs, show appreciation for a job lead or useful guidance, tell me you think I’m cool, etc), please consider making a modest contribution. (The amount is currently set at $5, via PayPal.) As a thank you for your support, you’ll get a primo placement link on your favorite writing blog to promote whatever you want (except porn — no porn). You stay in the top spot until someone else bumps you. For an example of this in action, see Deb Ng’s Freelance Writing Jobs, where I am in spot 3 as of this writing. FYI, they’re working on a narrower version for me.
  5. Tip your waitress. At the bottom of each post is a link to make a contribution of your choice if you feel so inclined. You can do fifty cents or fifty dollars, whatever you want. As always, contributions are completely optional. This is not a high-pressure sales pitch, just a heads up that if you want to give something, there’s a way to do it. All your choice. Seriously.

In the works:

  • A Digg This! badge for each post… Still trying to figure out how to do that.
  • Links to my — and your — favorite posts
  • Inkthinker polls

What would you like to see on Inkthinker? Leave a comment and I’ll add your suggestions to my to-do list.

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Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

8 comments… add one
  • Kara Feb 6, 2008

    So, are TopSpots considered “paid links” in the eyes of google, and is this a good or bad thing when it comes to pleasing (or not) the google gods?

    thanks for faster loading. that slow load was getting old!

  • admin Feb 6, 2008

    Great question, Kara. Here’s what Topspots has to say about that:

    Do My Links Pass Page Rank?
    They do not. Every single link, including the link back to Scratchback, in the TopSpot widget has a “nofollow” hard encoded in them. The code is delivered in Javascript format as well. That means that Google and other search engine spiders “won’t follow” the link. It doesn’t mean your link isn’t clickable, it is.

    You cannot remove that code, nor should you attempt to as per the user agreement every publisher and advertiser agree to upon registration. Google has made it perfectly clear that “selling page rank” is not something they believe in. We don’t believe in it either. This system is built for fun. There are plenty of other solutions out there you can use if you want to “pass Google juice”, just not this one. Did you hear that Google? :)

    Will Google Penalize Me For Using This?
    Nope. See above.

  • Dick Margulis Feb 6, 2008


    I’ve been reading the feed for a long time and only click through to check the blog itself once in a while, so I don’t know when you settled on the new color scheme, header, and general layout; but I have to say, I think you’ve got a winner now. Very sharp looking. Nice work.


  • admin Feb 6, 2008

    Thanks, Dick! I can’t remember when we made the switch. The summer, I think, once I moved away from the Blogger URL. But I love it, and I’m glad you approve! :) I say that without even the smallest bit of sarcasm. I trust your judgment.


  • Abra Feb 7, 2008

    Thanks for including me on your Blog Picks!

    I can be very lazy about learning new tools online, but you keep raising the bar on blogging. Thanks for homework assignment.

  • Harmony Feb 7, 2008

    You have been busy! Great additions to your blog.

    I would love to be added to your blogroll :)

  • admin Feb 7, 2008

    @abra – you’re welcome!

    @harmony – sorry, I thought you already were! I may have take you off when you were quiet there for a while. that’s the only thing I can think of!


  • I’m not sure how I missed your blogroll (being a fellow KK and all) but I’d love to be added too!

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