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Welcome and thank you

Here we are. What a week!

Welcome to our new home. Still a work in progress. Forever a work in progress. But now the engine-room belongs to us, and we can tinker and change to our heart’s content.

Thank you for all the many suggestions and complaints. Keep them coming. We listen, and there is much here that Webdiarists have influenced directly.

For the design work, thank you so much to Carl Baker, who created this site, and then did it again, and again.

Thank you also to the technical team from Townsville, David Browning, Nigel Sim and Nigel Bajema.

Thank you to Michael Coleman and Jack Smit for further technical assistance, to Ian McPherson for the server space and to Kerri Browne for testing and saying, ‘what about this…’ a lot.

Thank you editors, for the many volunteer hours. I hope this new site will be better for us. Thank you Craig and David, fellow directors, for keeping spirits high during a tough week, and to Polly Bush, the unofficial director, for the same.

Thank you Webdiarists for sticking with us, and being brilliant. I have been moved many times in the past week by your emails of encouragement and support. Don’t think they haven’t helped.

If there are others I should acknowledge here, and I’ve no doubt there are, I apologise and thank you too.

Thank you Margo, for inspiring us. Your values and vision remain here.

And so begins a new chapter of this particular adventure in cyber-civics. Good luck to us all.

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Is it just my computer, or do others find pages on this site slow to load?

Still a few viewing glitches

All in all the new site is really cool! Just to update you about ongoing 'user end problems' Hamish the homepage is now looking good instead of all higgledy piggledy. However I still have blank under all the left hand headings except the Issues. I know as a mac user with an older OS (and using IE 5) I may have to lump it but I live in hope, especially given I had no problems on the old site. Haven't had time to search versiontracker for Netscape to try, so I can't report on that yet. I hope this works

Netscape 7.02

Ed. Carl: Hi Mardi, you can download Netscape 7.02 for Mac 0S 8.6 or higher from here.

Let us know how you go.


Font color & size

I find  the font size and colour difficult to read and concentrate on.

Please return to the previous font!

Richard Tonkin

Richard Tonkin, I do not normally write letters under pseudonyms and I have never written to the 'Tiser but around 14 July you might keep a lookout for a Malcolm B Dauphin.

The aim of TARP, Fiona, is to rebuild infrastructure by altering the tax base and funding sources. That does not necessarily involve change in the sense of something to which we are not used. It's fuddy duddy stuff like the three R's, Roads, Railways and Rivers; a literate population with adequate health services - you know like the country we grew up in not the Geckotown the place is turning into.

Change and present laughter

You “hate change”, Malcolm B Duncan? What, then, is the real aim of TARP? (Nice ad, by the way.)

First cut site statistics

Webaliser and Awstats both run on days defined by EST (NY) time, so the first full day stats for the new site are for 4pm AEDT Thursday through to the same time Friday.

Registered to comment: 197 people:
18 of you need to give a full name before commenting will be enabled. The change is human-made, not automatic, so it may take a short while for us to notice and put through the authorisation.

Unique visitors in December 05 so far: 4238
Visits in last 24 hrs: 2416
Page views in last 24 hrs: 17527
Comments published: 154
Comments not published: 3
77.5% of you linked directly to the site
10% referred on from the Typepad site

Screen space

On whether it would be better to display the 'parent' post to which comments are directed, in the recent panel - that would cut further into the available screen space. In the meantime, a work-around is to position the cursor over the comment's link, to display its URL (in Mozilla, anyway). The URL contains the parent node number, and repeating the exercise over the main panel will show where the comment belongs. OTOH, some may be attracted to flame-wars about Fascism, as moths to the flame, no orientation required. 


Searching Webdiary does not return any hits. Is it just a matter of waiting for Google to catch up, or can you do it from this side?

Hamish: the former, is my understanding.

Giving Google a Push

If you go into About Google, then Submitting Your Site.  you  save around 48 hours on the normal search and display process. The quickest I've achieved in this manner was a listing five hours after submission.

Hamish: apparently Googlebot did a fairly full crawl through the site late last night, and results are starting to come through. Jack Smit has given us some good advice on speeding things up as well. Thanks guys.

Commenting on submissions

Typographically Brillliant

Perhaps instead of "Submitted by...", "Comments by...", or "Contributed by..."

In these days of "shut up" the more me say the less the thought police will think of imposing their dishonest spin on things.


Thank you and feedback

Firstly, thanks to Margo Kingston for Webdiary as an idea and for her wonderful flash, sparkle and rasp in word and person.

The worth for her effort is reflected in the goodwill of her departure and in the work of the Webdiary crew to keep the ship afloat and move the engine room at the same time. Hats off!

Feedback: please...please...change the dashed date format. dd/mm/yyyy is the most widely used here. Save us all confusion and go back to that, I plead.

Hamish: both here and off-line so many people have said this. I agree. We'll get there! And thanks for the well-wishes too.

Date is fixed

Bloody yay! Thankyou to David Browning for that one!

Re: Date is fixed

Cool that the date format is fixed - and while on fixing/including elements, I'm particularly pleased with the inclusion of the Recent Comments box on the front page, and I miss it on many other pages. Is it an idea to include the Comments box also on other pages - perhaps in the left hand column UNDER the calendar - because there is heaps of spare space there.

It probably would also be relatively easy to include the article name/link in small font and cropped under each comment - placing it in context of what item the comment was made to.

I agree with Jack

I agree with Jack about the comments. Can we have the poster's name as well? I probably wouldn't hurt to lose a line of the text if space gets to be an issue.

Dolphins and Purposes

There was letter writer in the Advertiser today signed by a Malcolm B Dolphin. Was that you, Mr D, or a fan?

On another slightly more serious note, I can understand, given changes in personnel , numbers of guest columnists etc why the roll call might change. However, it would have been nice, good manners even, to have been told personally so that I wouldn't have found out by coming to the site. Guys, don't forget you're dealing with people, and in this case one who would have appreciated the contact given the ethos you aspire to continue. There are others much more worthy than I, but a friendly warning of my demotion would have done no harm.

Hamish: You're right Richard. I'll look into it, but whatever happened, my sincere, humble apologies. Your reminder that we are dealing with people is forever prescient.

Authentic User

Hi David Roffey. When registering, I actually put in csaliba68 as my username. I thought it was like when you registered for your bank or what have you. Then the penny dropped and I changed my username to my name proper. If only I'd known you were listing me as a suspect at the other end! Cheers...


Well done Hamish and the rest of the team. You've done a great job.

Date Format..

Is there a way to make it Oz format (dd/mm/yy) rather than US?



Trying to post a comment but the page keeps refreshing and I lose what I have typed.  Is it me or is there a trick that I'm not aware of?

What am I doing wrong?  I am technically challenged, I admit to that. Help.

Hamish: Goodness Denise I don't know. Is anyone else having this problem?


Thanks Hamish. I just tried again and the same thing happened. Can I type in another program and cut and paste?


I've managed to import from

I've managed to import from blogspot (where I draft) into this site, which has made me wonder about the possibility of a story draft section, open for comment or not at the choice of the author, where attempted "piece in progress" might be open to suggestions.  I know I'd appreciate help on a few things, and  no doubt so would others.

All it would take would be a "work in progess" section and an "advice" (enable or dis-) button to give contributors a space to develope a piece (with or without 'advice) before it was published on Webdiary/

A last question.  It would be assumable that to you, Hamish, are sent submissions for a piece, wouldn't it.   I've missed that bit somewhere... 

David: on the last bit - send submissions to editor-at-webdiary.com.au

It's not your fault

You shouldn't have the problem now Denise. There was an, um, experiment going on, so your technical proficiency is innocent.

Thank you

I'll have another crack at it today.

Thanks Hamish, team and Margo

Just testing - taking me a while to get the hang of the new Webdiary.

Hamish: take your time; tests are fine.


Hamish, does this mean I no longer have any excuse to not use bold for names?

Hamish: that's right mate. The convention is only Webdiarists - not mere politicians, journalists and acadmics - and only the first use in a post.

Webdiary's baaaack

Webdiary's baaaack!

Having registered this morning at an incredibly (for me) early hour, I was chagrined to find myself totally challenged by actually posting a comment.

 However, I've been exploring, and have just found this cute little area called "categories". So - sorry to disappoint some participants - not only is Webdiary back, but so am I!

Congratulations, Hamish and the dream team on a delightful new (sandpit) site. Margo, the dream continues. In the meantime, best wishes to the latest incarnation of Webdiary and all who sail in her. We are in for an exciting voyage.

Hamish: indeed Fiona, and thankyou for your encouragement along the way.

Extra-good lucky fortune double happiness feature

I'm back again because I have to say that this feature that works out which comments I haven't read and takes me straight to where I'm up to in the thread (whether the oldies are on top or underneath) is particularly impressive and particularly appreciated.


Well it seemed like that's what it was doing a few times.

Best wishes

I hate change.


I've now been  a member for 3 min and 13 seconds, well that was about 20 seconds ago, so now I've been a member 3 min. and 33 seconds, hey but was was abot 30 seconds ago (I'm a very slow typist).

Seriously, this all looks pretty kool.

Thank you David, Hamish, Craig, Carl, Ian, David, Nigel, Roger, Michael, Jack, Kerry and Polly.

Did I leave anyone out? Just kidding, and of course a very big thanks to Margo.

Now I've been a web diary member for about 30 minutes and 27 seconds, told you I was a very slow typist.

Cheers all.


I confess here, I'm really just giving the new comments box a whirl. It's faboo! I had a few probs at first though:

Firstly, after successfully registering my details, it would automatically log me out everytime I opened an article to look at it. Then it would say down the bottom of the comments section, you cannot comment on this piece.

After that, I tried changing my username details. Then the whole page packed up and said there was an error. Then I knew it wasn't me being stupid and making some type of mistake.

Decided to turn off computer, go down the shops, come back and try again. Now it seems to be working for me. Fingers crossed this posts.

Congrats again on the site. Nice and neat looking.

David: Hi, Chris - I may have been part of your problem, as I marked a number of users who hadn't given names as "suspended trust" - which means you can't post comments. Once you'd put your name in I marked it back to "authenticated user" - but changing your permissions while you are logged in may have crashed it. I guess it's a rule for IT systems that you don't really find out what happens until they're live with a hundred users on ...

The newest face of sedition

Egggscellent! (drumming of fingers in readiness a la Montgomery Burns).

Just mucking around with the oldest/newest comment first function, I noticed that Bob Wall has been working on the Irises thread since 1970! Yet more evidence of the hard work that goes into Webdiary! (These buttons are really cool - can't wait to try uploading some piccies from Sunday).

Seriously,  this is all good and we are very grateful.

Feels like it

Robyn,  when an incompatibility causes the rejection and wiping of one of my posts when I try to review it - it seems like a very long time. So a bit of trial and error to find the offending character and away we go.

Speaking of piccies ...  there is a very appropriate one here. Down the page a little.

Congrats and many thanks to the staff for all the hard work.


Ahoy! Well done, Webdiary crew!

From a new recruit's point of view, the signup process is relatively painless, but I'm still finding my sea legs around the rigging of this vessel.

So here's to the good ship Webdiary and her long voyage ahead!

Re Navigation. Hope this helps

A quick bit of research and this came up:

Xinha Example

Note: You should open this in a new window or tab, a bug in Firefox particularly makes going back from pages containing the editor a bit of a pain (duplicate pages are inserted in the history).

 So it looks like this is related to a known problem with the editor.

Does it work

Had trouble getting here - seending this to see if it goes.

wow !

Lookin good. I hope Margo can be enticed to write an occasional piece.

Teething troubles - My teeth I think!

Hamish, I know you’re busy so sorry to bother you but I notice my posts once published are different from others inasmuch that the font is different (at least the post on this thread was; do you have a preferred font?) and that my posts have an ‘edit/reply’ facility at the end of the post whereas others only have ‘reply’. Do I need to switch something ‘off’ or ‘on’?

Hamish: prefer a standard format, but so long as it all works, times new roman is fine. If something stuffs up I'm likely to strip your font codes that's all. You'll notice this note is different (it's the default).

David: an added note on the "edit | reply" thing - unsurprisingly, you cannot edit other peoples' comments. You can edit your own comments, eg if you see an error.[Editing published comments to add in material that we would not have published under the Editorial Policy will get that privilege withdrawn ... David: and then an update/replacement of my previous added note: the "edit your own comments" feature now withdrawn as too hard to keep track of ...

Three Cheers for the Tech Team

The Tech team have done the hard yards to get us a place to continue the conversations here on this excellent new site. They've had their collective nose to the grindstone it is their hard work that now deserves three cheers:

Hip hip hooray

Hip hip hooray

Hip hip hooray

Love the look

Hey Hamish and all behind the scenes,

Really do like the look of the site, very professional and comfortable. It should reduce the editing workload I would think even if it takes us all a while to adapt. Screaming is allowed OK, for you guys that is.

Hope you get a chance to relax soon, all of you.

Reporting a problem of course. It's actually similar to what happened at YD for me.

I logged in using the password given and had a problem, email sent to Hamish. I probably went the wrong way though. What's new, dummies are the bane of any system I know.

After that I logged in again and got a different screen to the first attempt. Selected My Account as suggested to change password and got a blank screen with the word "Done" at the bottom. I thought I was but am still logged on but couldn't get that page.

A question. I couldn't get line or para breaks in the filtered HTML mode. How do I do those if using the filtered mode?

Really great to see your Mum supporting the kids, excellent!

We are still here!

It's good to be back.

Over on Irises I've been making references to Garrison Keillor's most famous line: "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon". I just had a look at my library, and three of his book titles seem apposite:

  • Leaving Home
  • We Are Still Married
  • Happy to be Here

Now the feedback:


  • Someone commented on the Back button. It's also the Forward button, and it seems they are disabled when inside a thread. This is high priority! For a lot of people these are essential navigational tools.
  • Spell-check is looking for a spell-checker at webdiary.com.au, and timing out. It should find one, but should it try locally first?
  • This edit box is clunky, particularly the hyperlinking. I'd  strongly  recommend using a good word processor then cut and paste.
  • The comments copied over from the old site have lost their formatting. Can it be restored easily? If not, we can live with it.
  • Can the dates in the comments be changed to a rational format (dd/mm/yyyy)?
  • If you don't put in a subject, it uses the first line of the post and truncates it to about 24 characters. Could it use the first sentence, with say 64 characters if it can't end the sentence?
  • Can we have an icon for bookmarks and the tab in Firefox. It's a small thing, but can look good, and it helps with ready identification.
Hamish: agree with every point. We'll get there. Thankyou!

Congrats to all

Just testing and I love it so far! Looking forward to being a part of the Webdiary community.

New site issues

Hi Hamish,

Two concerns about the new website. There appears to be no RSS feed unlike Typepad - this was good for having Live Bookmarks in Firefox.

Also, I have trouble reading whole stories on my Windows Mobile. The 'read more' link doesn't seem to work on my portable device. The site layout itself works great.

Otherwise this new site is great! A very well designed and professional site. Congratulations!

Thanks Alex, for the feedback as well as the good wishes.

Yes There is an RSS Feed!

Point your reader to:


(I had to find it on the Drupal site)

But it's not obvious. Hamish, perhaps you can get a link on the homepage with an icon.

Great look (and I'm glad you've finally got some Google ads on here as well.)

Sidebar, etc

Using Win95 and Mozilla - have to scroll across to view the righthand sidepanel (with the ads). Could be an issue with my outmoded operating system, but if you restore the 'latest comments' section in the sidebar, that would be an inconvenience, though a trivial one.

The Latest Comments feature under the previous model was good. Not that I wanted to see my name there, but if, for instance, 'Kurt Scapin' was busy, I'd know that thread was doomed. OTOH, if the Deported Woofer dropped one in, I'd go straight there for a burst of restorative craziness.

Another little thing - the 'post new comment' button was not visible under this topic. 

Also, the Back button (Mozilla) seems paralysed on at least some pages - will experiment and report back.  The problem with the Preview box could be OS related, too, I guess.

All up, it's a BG effort.

Hamish: keep the feedback coming. We'll work on one thing at a time. Thanks Trevor.



Welcome back, after that short break in transmission.  This looks great, and its obvious what you have been up to over the past few months.  Congratulations on the new site, its a credit to you all, and certainly has a much more professional and civilised feel about it. 

Once again, Webdiary sets the standard!

From Day One to Year One?

Nice work folks, here's hoping that Webdiary keeps churning over with lots of "Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent" spirit. My name has vanished from the line-up of webdiarists in the left hand column though, as it was at the typepad site: .. and the item I wrote on Margo's request "write from your emotions please" as the introductory item when she asked me to become a Webdiarist "with your name at the top, you know" back in March, when she was part of our forum in Perth together with Andrew Wilkie, is also gone.... A blooper on Day One?

Hamish: relax Jack. You told me about this last night. Appreciate that there's a lot of ironing to do. See here. You will be there very soon. Looking forward to your first post on the new site.

What do I write here - 'Welcome and Thank you'?

Congratulations on getting the new site up and running. I have to confess that I’m not really much of a computer person so this new way of doing things may take some getting used to. I’m writing this post in my usual way whereby I write the message on Word where I can do all my editing and spell checks, etc., then cut-and-paste it to the comments box.

I guess once it’s in the comment box I can re-edit for bold, italics and links a bit like on the blog bizzo. Is that about right?

Hamish: yep, works for us.

Anyway, congrats all round.

Great Stuff

Congratulations Hamish et al. Looks great!

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Recent Comments

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