Site Spring Cleaning (Southern spring starts soon)

A few minor site tweaks, amigos y vecinos. Please let us know how you like/hate/”meh” them in our comments section below. Especially if anything seems “broken” to you now when you visit our site. (Unless you’re still using Internet Explorer 8 or older, or any other outdated browser. Even Microsoft doesn’t want you to use old versions of Internet Explorer.)

Here’s what’s new!

A. New spiffy non-popping-up Share Buttons!

Sharebutton set of rounded buttons, with rectangular Save for Later buttons below.

 

Notes in the image (click to see and zoom it).

  1. Simply put, the top 5 social networks, in order, start off on the left, easy to find: Facebook, Google+ (yes they’re ahead of Twitter), Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. The FB, G+, and Tweety-box buttons will show counts of how many people shared this post to those networks, even if they didn’t share it from these buttons.
  2. Two “discovery” networks for getting info out there and talked about: StumbleUpon and Reddit. Go ahead, reddit us… (We’re on Google PageSpeed Service, we can handle it!)
  3. Next, a big add: Other blogs! If you have your own blog, based in WordPress (at WordPress.com or self-hosted like us if you use JetPack), just click the “W” WordPress logo button to reblog what you like here to your site! Followed by Tumblr and Blogger.
  4. Last two buttons are a whole lot more ways to share: The black stack of sheets is Buffer. It’s a site/app/tool many people use to schedule sharing of all the cool stuff they find on the web, without having to do it right now. The green share button is from Shareaholic – who we use for all those buttons, but they have dozens more popular, unpopular, and downright bizarre services too! Don’t see where you want to share or save? Click the green button, it’s in there. For example, you can find Evernote and Hootsuite. But you also can find Izeby and Diigolet, whatever the heck they are! (Diigolet fans, I apologize for any disrespect…)
  5. Under it (under the “You may also like” related content samples on actual article posts), is a set of buttons to save our articles for you to read later. You can even send them right to your Amazon Kindle – whether you have a Kindle e-reader, a Kindle Fire tablet, or just use the great Kindle apps for Android and Apple iOS smartphones and tablets, the Kindle Cloud Reader that works in any modern browser (and “There’s An App For That” for Chrome and Chromebooks to make it even easier), or the traditional download-and-install programs for your Windows or Apple MacOS computers. The other “save for later” buttons are for your Digg social bookmarks, for Pocket, a popular service for saving web clippings and much more, an email button to mail it to yourself or a friend, and a print button for “prettyprinting” it.

B. More power to the wee bairns in the Engine Room, Captain!

  1. Did you notice the mention of Google PageSpeed Service I made above? Yes? Did your eyes glaze over? No worries, you don’t have to understand it. I do, and I just tweaked the heck out of our settings. We’ve been running on it for months – when you go to UruguayExpat.Info, it’s not really coming to you from the website hosting company where we have it, it’s coming from deep inside the GooglePlex. Actually, deep inside the dozens of GooglePlexes all around the world, whichever one the Massive Brain of Google decides is the fastest one for where you are located. (You do know that they know where you are, right?)

    Though we’ve used it for months, during the overnight, I turned up a lot of their most aggressive settings, to really up the speed and crunch down the size of what has to get sent over the (in)famous inter-tubes from us to you. For example, if you know how to do a “View Source” in your browser (press CTRL-U in most), you’ll see that our HTML doesn’t look much like your HTML. It’s even more of a mess than that you’d normally see – a Machine-optimized mess, with all traces of Humanity stripped away! (OK, just all the comments for other developers, “whitespace” to make it readable, separate files for images and stylesheets to make it manageable – we’re not talking the Matrix or Terminator here. Not quite…) I do still have appropriate comments, things are structured properly… but Google then rips all that apart and puts only what is really needed back together, without anything to make the code easy to read for us puny humans. Which makes it wicked fast for modern web browsers!

Published by

Mark Mercer

Site co-owner Mark Mercer. AKA Marcos Cristoforo Mercer, AKA the Fuzzy Wanderer. Expat from USA living in Uruguay as of mid-2012, after "test-driving" it for a few months in 2011 and early 2012. Married to Lisamaria, AKA well-known travel and fitness writer Lisa Marie Mercer. Follow Mark on Twitter @mcmxs and his many other sites, which you can find at http://about.me/MarkMercer. I write and engage about many of my other interests, on Google+ at https://google.com/+MarkMercer