Public Service

Lunchtime Knowledge Drop: 12/19/11

It’s the holidays, and that means I got a wild hair in my basket, so I rebuilt the place with a new theme and new features. (Some of which are actually old features.)  Today’s LTP will explain all the new stuff, how to use it and ways to have extra fun here on Persephone. 

1. There’s a new theme! It’s a little cleaner (both on the surface and in the code) than our previous theme, and it uses tabs for the menu. I like tabs.  Pictures with captions and block quotes are prettier now, and I think as a whole it has better readability.

2. Your profile is expanded! You can add more information, and it’s easier to see everyone’s comments and activities. There are a handful of custom questions on your profile edit page, if you’d like to share a bit more about yourself with us.

3. You can make friends! On anyone’s profile page, you can click “Add Friend” and they’ll get a notification. There will be upcoming features that allow you to keep track of what your friends are doing on the site. We’ve tried this exact system before, but it’s been vastly improved. If you were around during the previous try and made friends, your number of friends will be higher. I don’t think I can fix it without breaking everything else, so we old-timers all have ghost friends.

4. You can send PMs! If you want to send a personal message to anyone, go to their profile page and choose “Send private message.”  IMPORTANT: As with any website, private messages are only as private as people with access to the database want them to be. I’m not a peeper, but for your own peace of mind, use email or another means for the really personal stuff.

5. Next to the “Send private message” button, there’s a “Send public message” button – that allows you to send a shout out in the Activity stream that everyone can see it.

6. The Activity Stream is a rolling record of everything that happens on the site. (There’s a tab up top for it.) Any time someone comments, makes a friend, changes a status message or writes a post for the blog, it will show up in the Activity Stream.

7. You can make status messages! It’s just like Facebook, but not really.

8. Points! You get points for everything, from leaving a comment to writing for us to making friends. The points accumulate and you move up a series of ranks with fun names. I went through the member list and gave points to everyone who’s here a lot (although I know I missed some – let me know if I missed you!). You can donate points to other members, and you’ll be able to unlock badges that go along with each reason you get points. Right now, there are only badges for number of comments – you can see yours in your profile.  You have to dig around, ATM, but I’m trying to find a way to make the badges more prominent. We’ll be doing other stuff with the points later on, and I like giving them out, so we should all be rolling in points soon.

We’re still tweaking the theme, so we’ll be cleaning up bits and pieces all week, until it all looks pretty and pro.

All of this is to encourage our wonderful members to spend more time with us, and as soon as I figure out how to make it work, we’ll have a discussion forum, too. (Like that other ladyblog.)

If you’ve got any questions, concerns or complaints, let me know in the comments, the activity stream or by PM and I will do my best to answer/soothe/fix the issue.

In short, have fun, get to know each other a little better and spend more time with us here at Perseph. Because we like having you around.


By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

27 replies on “Lunchtime Knowledge Drop: 12/19/11”

I love the new look and the new functionality! Just a few little quirks and questions:

On the Members tab page, it’s all squished to the left side in a really narrow column for me on a PC using Firefox. Haven’t checked other systems yet.

The username links in the “Recent Comments’ box and on some of the activity feeds point to (using mine as an example) which has a 404 message; the active profile page is

On a similar note, is there anywhere that, like the old members/username pages, has a listing of the posts for writers? Or can we request it if not? I know that I found that really useful for putting on other sides to have an easy way for someone to access my writing.

Thank you gals again for all the hard work you put into this site!

Take what I’m saying with a grain of salt, because I’m not Selena and I don’t know everything. BUT.

1. It doesn’t appear to be squished for me. It’s not as wide as the normal content area, but I wouldn’t call it squished. Are you talking 100 pixels or 500 pixels? The members stuff is run by a separate plugin, so its code is separate from the main blog code; that’s why you’re seeing the difference. I will look into it and see if I can fix it.

2. I think it’s a holdover problem from an old version of the plug in. I think it will be set to rights soon.

3. I’d imagine this is possible, but once again, I’d have to ask Selena :)

I went through and changed all the links in each writer’s account to point to the /members-2/ instead of /members/, I’m pretty sure that’s a holdover from the last time we tried BuddyPress. That link will take each of you to your profile page, which will have a (partial) commenting history. To go to all the posts you’ve written, you’ll need to hit your author page, which is always http://persephonemagazine .com/author/loginname.  To make it easy, the author bios on the bottom of each post have links to author pages AND member profiles, unless the writer has a personal blog they’ve linked to.

I’m seeing the squish, too, and I can’t figure out why it’s doing that. When I go to other pages in the member directory, it’s spaced normally. I’m all kinds of confuckled.


Hmm. I’m encountering a small bug. (Though it may just be me?) My browser isn’t at full size and when i go click on the search box, it’s ‘stuck’ behind the Persephone banner, as it were and i can’t actually click on the search box. Hope that makes sense!

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