Over the weekend, I had a chance to do some updating and spring cleaning around the site.
The first task was updating the local links sections on the right sidebar, with extensive revisions to the "Bands and Musicians" and "Concerts, Clubs and Festivals" categories. This (finally!) takes care of a big backlog in links to be added, and I also went through and deleted any dead links in those sections.
(If you've sent a link to be added in recent weeks, and it's not up there now, please re-send, as your request may have fallen through the proverbial cracks.)
Next, I got rid of Sphere, a plug-in that, for any given post, was supposed to pull up related stories from the web, but that never really worked all that well.
It's been replaced with LinkWithin, another plug-in that is supposed to serve up links to relevant related posts from within StLJN's own archives. So far, the selections it's pulling up seem to be somewhat random, but the software's authors say that after installation, it takes a while for it to crawl a site's archives and index everything. The plan is give it a couple of weeks, and see if there's any improvement in the relevance of the links.
Also added is what Facebook calls a "like box," which links to and shows how many people "like" StLJN's Facebook page. It also let readers "like" the FB page from the main StLJN site. I've also changed the mix of ads on the site, getting rid of some, adding some others and moving some things around on the page.
There may be some more small changes to the layout as additional tweaks are made, but even if things look a little funny for a short time, basic functionality should still be fine.
UPDATE - 5:30 p.m., 4/3/12: Almost forgot to mention that the old "AddThis" gadget that lets you easily share StLJN posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media has been replaced with a newer version. It appears at the bottom of each post, and also includes icons to let you email and/or print the specific post with one click. To avoid redundancy, the "email a post" function built into Blogger has been disabled.
Lastly, updates of the StLJN calendar for April and beyond are underway, and should be completed in the next day or so. If you're a jazz musician, band, venue or presenter, you can get your gigs on the calendar just by sending your information via email to stljazznotes @ yahoo . com.
Brian Simpson @ Pizza Express, London
4 hours ago