A technical glitch, followed by my lack of attention, has prevented Pepys’ Twitters from appearing since Wednesday. Sorry about that. Rather than flood Twitter with the missing updates, here they all are, and things should continue as normal from the last one… (All times are UK time, and approximate.)
Ever one to keep up with the latest technologies, Samuel Pepys has now started twittering regularly. He’ll be updating around three times a day, so feel free to follow him if you want to keep up with what he’s doing before he gets round to writing his diary at night.
Just a quick one… I recently added links next to diary entries when there was a letter written between John Evelyn and Pepys. The links take you to the text of the letter at this site. You can see examples on the entries for 9th or 13th December 1665.
This weekend I’ve added two new types of graph to the site, to help visualise some information. One shows Pepys’ increasing wealth during the diary period and the other shows how often an Encyclopedia topic has been referenced in the diary.
As I feared, spammers have found the form for flagging annotations and have begun submitting spam through it. These days spammers just send spam through any form they can find, whether it does them any good or not.
I’ve put together a Pepys family tree as an alternative way of accessing Encyclopedia pages for all the Pepyses. It’s also hopefully useful as a way of getting an overview of how everyone’s related — it’s a big family!
Keeping the annotations tidy requires occasional tending. Despite all the spam filters a few spam annotations get through occasionally, and these only get deleted when someone notices them and emails me. And occasionally there are accidentally duplicated annotations which need tidying up. Also, an unfortunate number of annotations have been truncated during past database moves.
A long time ago, possibly last year, I promised to round up some statistics about the site, such as the number of visitors. Sorry it’s taken so long, but here it finally is. As a point of comparison, here’s the first and possibly last time I wrote about this stuff.
You’ll be pleased to read that the Recent Activity page is now back. Sorry it’s been away for so long, but my time is short at the moment.
An unfortunate side effect of the recent upgrade to Movable Type seems to be that suddenly more spam is getting through in annotations (and on the comments on my other sites). I’m not sure why this is at the moment, but I’ll keep my eye on it and delete them as soon as I can. The next (very imminent) update to the software promises a new method of stopping spam, and there are other things we could try, such as requiring people to log in before posting annotations.
If you see any spam that’s older than a day or two, please do let me know, otherwise assume that I’ll remove it when I’m next online. Thanks for your patience.
I’m sorry for the continued lack of the lists of recent annotations on the Recent Activity page. The database queries that were generating these were taking a few seconds each to run and I’ve been trying to cut back on my sites’ use of the database. I’ve had a quick attempt at making these more efficient but haven’t had any joy yet.
In June the Society of Historically Informed Performance are holding three concerts of music from Pepys’ time interspersed with readings from the diary. There’s more on their website and the dates and locations are are:
Tuesday, 10 June 2008, 8:00pm: St. Peter’s Church, 320 Boston Post Rd, Weston MA
Wednesday, 11 June 2008, 8:00pm: The Chapel At West Parish, 129 Reservation Rd, Andover MA
Thursday, 12 June 2008, 8:00pm: Lindsey Chapel, Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St, Boston MA
I’m not really sure what to call this. Tool-tips? Hover help? Anyway, you should now notice something new if you hover your mouse cursor over any of the linked words in Diary entries. Here’s an example:
This weekend, probably Saturday afternoon or evening, UK time, I’ll be moving Pepys’ Diary to a new webserver. My hosting provider is gradually moving all websites to new machines and our time has come. The benefit will be that if the server crashes in future it should be back in action very quickly — it can currently take over an hour for the sites to reappear.
In order to avoid losing any annotations during this process I will, as usual, be removing all the annotation forms on the site before I make the move. Sorry for the slight inconvenience. I’ll post another message when everything is moved over.
The site has been mentioned favourably a few times in the press recently, mainly due to its inclusion in Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web by Sarah Boxer (Amazon US, UK). Here’s a quick summary for those who are interested.