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Yesterday I was contemplating calendar heatmaps which are probably best known from the user interface of GitHub which relatively shows how active someone is on the website. I’ve discovered that JetPack for WordPress provides a similar functionality on the back end (in blue instead of green), but sadly doesn’t make it available for display on the front end of websites. I’ve filed a feature request to see if it’s something they’d work on in the future, so if having something like this seems useful to you, please click through and give the post a +1.
Today I saw a note that led me to the Internet Archive which I know has recently had a redesign. I’m not sure if the functionality I saw was part of this redesign, but it’s pretty awesome. I’m not sure quite what to call this sort of circular bar chart given what it does, but circular widthmap seems vaguely appropriate. Here’s a link to the archive.org page for my website that shows this cool UI, screencaptures of which also appear below: http://web.archive.org/web/sitemap/https://www.boffosocko.com/
Instead of using color gradations to indicate a relative number of posts, the UI is measuring things via width in ever increasing concentric circles. The innermost circle indicates the root domain and successive levels out add additional paths from my site. Because I’m using dated archive paths, there’s a level of circle by year (2019, 2018, 2017, etc.) then another level outside that by months (April 2019, March 2019, etc.), and finally the outermost circle which indicates individual posts. As a result, the width of a particular year or month indicates relatively how active that time frame was on my website (or at least how active Archive.org thinks it was based on its robot crawler.)
Of course the segments on the circles also measure things like categories and tags on my site as well along with the date based archives. Thus I can gauge how often I use particular categories for example.
I’ll also note that in the 2018 portion of the circle for July 11th, I had a post that slashdotted my website when it took off on Hacker News. That individual day is represented as really wide on that circular ring because it has an additional concentric circle outside of it that represents the hundreds of comment URL fragments for that post. So one must keep in mind that things in some of the internal rings aren’t as relative because they may be heavily affected by portions of content further out on the ring.
How awesome would it be if this were embed-able and usable on my own website?
Last night I got some last minute tickets to the Los Angeles Dodger’s 11th game of the season against the Reds. The stadium was celebrating Jackie Robionson Day! As a result the give away for the night was a custom white Dodger’s jersey with Robinson’s 42 emblazoned on it. So in addition to all the fans wearing 42, all the players on both the Dodgers and the Reds also wore their respective jersies, but with the number 42! It made the game a lot harder to follow and score, but it was a fantastic way to honor Robinson’s career. All I can say is that #42 had a particularly spectacular night on my score card.
I also had some pretty spectacular tickets for the game. I had tickets in the Lexus Dugout Club in Section 1DG, Row GG, Seat 8 which ostensibly meant that I was in row 6 immediately behind home plate. I’ve been in rows 2 and 4 in the same section before at Dodger’s games, but they still don’t rate as impressive as the below-field-level tickets I had for a Padre’s game right next to the dugout were if I put my arm straight out, my finger was literally touching the dirt on the field and my yelling as a fan was able to cause a spat between the home plate umpire and the visiting team’s coach!
If you’re personally using WordPress as a possible solution to those problems, I’m happy to help point to some quicker ways for people to rapidly implement them without struggling as much as many others have along the way.
(If WordPress isn’t your thing, the wiki has a plethora of other pathways depending on your CMS or programming language of choice–just search. It is abundantly clear that no single CMS is going to dig us out of the hole.)
I was particularly impressed with Brent Simmons’ post yesterday explaining how he was using his particular talents to further the cause. Though some may feel overwhelmed at the apparent size and scope of the problem, many diverse hands chipping away at small pieces can help to make a major dent in the problem.
Jen Simmons has indicated a useful paradigm structured around making resolutions with simple concrete steps and deadlines.
Ok, here’s the deal. Tweet your personal website plan with the hashtag #newwwyear (thanks @jamiemchale!):
1) When will you start?
2) What will you try to accomplish?
3) When is your deadline?
Improve an existing site. Start a new one. Burn one down & start over. It’s up to you.