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.
Glyn Thomas has discovered a series of monthly talks about Pepys, given at St Olave, Hart St, London. Here’s a PDF flyer with the full information and here are the dates and topics for the rest of the year:
First of all a big “thank you” to those of you who voted for Pepys’ Diary in the 2007 Weblog Awards for Best Literature Blog. It was a close-run thing toward the end. The day before voting closed we were 3-400 votes behind Neil Gaiman’s Journal but on the final day we’d caught up and got nearly 100 votes ahead. So thanks to all of you who made the effort, and particularly those of you who emailed many more people asking for their support (and thanks to all the friends and colleagues of mine who voted and encouraged others to take part too).
I have added a bit of extra contextual information in the sidebar next to every diary entry. You can now see:
The average temperature for that month (daily data isn’t available until 1772) as recorded by Gordon Manley of the Royal Meteorological Society. You can view the full dataset on the Met Office’s website.
Links to the relevant daily Journals for the House of Commons and House of Lords from British History Online. These will hopefully give some context to Pepys’ more political activities.
My thanks to Terry Foreman for finding both these sources of information that help bring Pepys’ world alive. If anyone can suggest anything else, do let me know.
I updated the Movable Type software this afternoon, which meant shutting off annotations for a short while. Everything should all be back to normal now. If you see notice anything not working quite right, do email me or post a message below. Thanks for your patience!