Link Love?

I have a site admin question for you. Since the inception of this site, I’ve maintained a long list of outbound links in the left-hand sidebar pointing to manufacturers, blogs, advocacy groups and the like. For some time now I’ve been contemplating ditching the links, and I recently removed the list. The reasons are many, and I won’t bore you with the details, but among other things, they’re related to the not-insignificant effort to keep the list fresh and up-to-date, and the desire to keep the search engines happy.

So, my question for all of you is whether or not you miss the links? Depending upon your feedback, possible outcomes include ditching the list permanently, creating a “Links” page that links from the header menu, or putting the list back in the sidebar but in a more concise form (perhaps 100 links, as opposed to the over 200 we had before).

Do you miss the sidebar link list?

  • A "Links" page sounds good. (66%, 102 Votes)
  • I want my sidebar links back! (19%, 30 Votes)
  • Ditch it! (15%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 155

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**UPDATE**: It appears we have a clear consensus, so I posted a new “Links” page and added a link to that page from the header menu at top right (it’s there now if you look). I went through and cleared out about half of the links. I looked at how often links were being clicked, as well as how frequently (or infrequently) sites were being updated, to determine whether to keep or cut a link. If there’s a site missing from the list that you feel would make the collection more useful, just drop me a note here in the comments or through our “Contact Us” form and I’ll consider adding it back. I’ll need some justification because I’m going to try and hold the list to around 150 or less.

Thanks for your input!

New E-Mail Notification System

We’re moving to a new e-mail notification system. If you’re currently subscribed to the EcoVelo e-mail notification list for site updates, your e-mail subscription is about to expire. If you’d like to continue receiving once-daily digest e-mail notifications, please go to the following page and enter your e-mail address to be added to the new system.

http://www.ecovelo.info/subscribe-via-e-mail/

This new-and-improved system delivers higher quality notifications and should eliminate some of the issues we had with the old system.

Notification Changes

I hate to do this, but managing our WordPress-driven mass email list has become problematic, so we’re going to close down our current system. The issue is that WordPress does not include a notification system built into its core, so blog owners like myself have to rely upon third-party plugins. Many plugins are developed free of charge, but consequently, they’re only partially supported and the developers don’t always keep up with the latest versions of WordPress. Also, as our list has grown (and grown, and grown), managing the undelivered e-mails, address changes, and general errors of every sort has become too much of a time-suck.

For those who would like to continue receiving notifications via e-mail, I’ve set up a new system with Google Feedburner. The notifications will be essentially the same, but the system should run much more smoothly. If you’d like to opt-in to the new system, visit this page: Subscribe Here

If you’ve been receiving e-mail notifications but you’ve been thinking about trying a newsreader, Twitter, or Facebook, check out the links in our left-hand sidebar at the top under “Subscribe”. There you’ll find 4 ways other than e-mail to track our post updates.

So to be sure everyone understands, if you’ve been receiving e-mail notifications about new posts, those are about to cease. If you’d like to continue receiving e-mail notifications, you’ll need to opt-in to our new Google Feedburner system on the following page: Subscribe Here

And if you already subscribe via RSS, or you follow us on Twitter of Facebook, this won’t have any effect at all on your daily updates.

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Response time for EcoVelo: Last 30 days

Our server swap is complete and we’re already seeing greatly improved response and load times. According to tests run at Pingdom, our full page load times have dropped by one half! We hope this boost in performance makes for a better user experience.

It looks as if a few comments were dropped in the transition. If you submitted a comment over the past 24 hours and it didn’t appear on the site, feel free to re-submit if you’d like.

EcoVelo on Facebook

We’re in the process of consolidating our Facebook presence onto a single page. If you’re on Facebook and you’d like to track our updates from within your Facebook News Feed, visit the following page and join us!

EcoVelo on Facebook

The Endless Summer Photo Contest

We’re down to the last few days of the photo contest. If you haven’t submitted a photo yet, now’s the time! The deadline for entries is November 20th. Click here to view details about how to enter, and click here to view the entries that have been posted so far.

Sponsors
The following companies have generously donated a bunch of cool prizes for the Contest. The goodies are still pouring in; we’ll post a complete list before the entry deadline.

AdventureCORPS

Please welcome our latest sponsor, AdventureCORPS. From their website:

AdventureCORPS, Inc. is an athlete-run firm producing and promoting ultra-endurance and extreme sports events, lifestyle, and media. Adventure is our way of life.

AdventureCORPS’ world-class events for athlete-adventurers include epic races such as the Badwater Ultramarathon and Furnace Creek 508, muiti-day cycling lifestyle adventures known as CORPScamps, plus several endurance cycling events in Death Valley, on and around Mt. Laguna, Mt. Tamalpais, and beyond. We also host and develop our adventure-related websites and blogs and provide a variety of adventure-related services.

Founded in 1984 by Chris Kostman, this group effort is dedicated to exploring the inner and outer universes, seeking adventure, energy, and insight both in daily life and “out there.”

AdventureCORPS


 
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