I Have A New Pet


If you happen to click through to my site from your feedreader (I know it is a huge sacrifice) then you will see I have a new pet in my sidebar.
He is actually quite a smart little guy, because unlike you, he knows which posts on my blog you might have missed over the last 3 months, based on the number of comments that were posted, or in this case, lack of comments.

This is a great way to bring some life back into older content which maybe was missed first time around, and is a nice supplement to the related posts and tag links to increase the internal linking.

It was created by Rob @ YackYack and does include a link back to his site, which is a great example of viral marketing with plugins.

Rob has a great explanation about how his “Tumbleweed Factor” is calculated, based on the number of posts you have which have no comments in the previous 3 months.
My Tumbleweed Factor is 7, signifying that my blog has received no comments on beteen 24% and 36% of posts. Not bad, but could be improved.

To make best use of the link in the sidebar, I suppose I don’t need to link through to him directly in this post, and you will have to click through to see it in action first.

Note: It is a WordPress Plugin – I don’t know of a similar solution for other platforms.

Update -my pet seems to have been scared off by the flash of a camera – I will have to have a chat with Rob about why he is so shy (might have found a bug)
Update2 – I am not sure what I have changed, but it appears to be working again

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  1. says

    Apart from the usual need to port the code to a class (lots of dollarsign this points-to prefixes and the nominal platform specific stuff WP plugs port quite well.

  2. says

    Don’t you just love these things when they behave exactly how you don’t expect them to?

    I’ve no idea why Andy’s new pet(love that descriptor) isn’t behaving itself; he is actually the second person to tell me it had misbehaved, so in view of that I’ve decided to pull the plugin until I can figure out what is up with it.

    Apologies for anyone who it may have frustrated the hell out of. I’ll let everyone know once its resolved.

  3. says

    Glad to see it back there Andy, I’m seeing it on your individual blog post pages here now, and am dead jealous of your TR7 :D.

    I’m learning that this plugin building lark can be quite a PITA especially when they don’t work as expected elsewhere. You get all enthused to see them doing what you want them to, only to feel incredibly frustrated when others recount problems and nonworkiness.

    I’ll be rewriting the thing as and when I get the time, but for now, Ive put the little critter back in its box.

  4. says


    This is a great idea, especially for newish blogs like mine, that are steadily building up readership, but have a lot of early post that may not have been read by that many people.