DashBoard Editor: Changing your Dashboard in WordPress

Sometimes as a blogger, I get tired of the traditional feel and look of the Administration Panel, and the slow loading of the WordPress feeds drives me nuts. I’ve already tinkered with the Administration page before on more than one occasion, but recently, I’ve been trying two plugins that are pretty neat: DashBoard Editor (this post) and MyDashBoard (Thursday).

DashBoard Editor
The first is Dashboard Editor, which is a simple panel that adds a dashboard configuration switch under the Dashboard editor. Currently, I can’t get the website to load but you can try again later.

dashboard-clean

It’s very simple to operate. And, most importantly, it works in a non-destructive way, so you can simply disable the plugin, and everything’s back to normal.

At the top you will see a text area that you can type in. This text will appear in the dashboard. Formatting is very similar to the bb-code style of posts and pages. If you used to blog in WP1.0+, you will already be familiar with the switches.

Below that area are a number of check boxes, all of which are self explanatory. They will allow you to remove the feeds, incoming links, news and so on. Of course, you can simply clean everything and start from nothing. One of the neatest features is that you can use Plugins, too. If you look at the last switch entitled “Use Sidebar Widgets”, this will create a separate column under your Presentation >>> Widgets menu. Simply create, add or move any widgets you want to show up on the Admin panel.

There are some limitations that you may wish to consider:
1. There’s no obvious way to have a widget in two places, though, ie. in your Admin Sidebar as well as the general sidebar(s). Also, the Admin sidebar is only available to those who login.

2. If your blog has many users who can register and login, you may wish to think carefully about the information you enter. For example, putting passwords for your email account in there may not be the wisest thing to do! Currently, there is no way to change the Admin area for different levels of users.

Overall, it’s easy to implement, easy to use, and easy to remove. We are looking forward to the developer adding features in the future!

When Google got rid of the Spammers, I remained silent…

When Google got rid of the Spammers,
I didn’t object; I wasn’t a Spammer.

When they threw out the affiliate marketers,
I breathed a sigh of relief; I was not an affiliate marketer.

When they ‘zeroed’ in on the Text Linkers,
I thought it was okay; I didn’t use Text Links.

When they went after the PPP Posties,
I was glad; I wasn’t a postie.

When they removed the ‘Do_Follow’ers,
I double checked my links; I used a ‘no_follow.’

When they banned my blogspot blog,
there was no way to appeal.

Editorial: Readers, we live in a digital age, and with the increasing amount of control that is being exercised ‘for our good’ on the Internet and Media in general, I felt it appropriate to ‘borrow’ the basic poem to highlight how the Internet is becoming not a place of freedom, opportunity and enlightenment; but rather a place where the will of a few (without legal basis) can be exerted for economic reasons on the people who ‘use’ the Internet daily, yet there is little oversight, control or democracy on those very entities other than market forces. Is this what we want? How much will our rights have to be diminished before we make the Internet a constitutionally protected area?


*This poem is written ‘after’ the original composed by Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892 -1984) in response to the continuing NAZI pogroms of the 1930’s, and expresses his frustration that so few people realized what was going on. It in no way diminishes the suffering experienced by the various groups of people who were savagely discriminated against by the NAZIs. There have since been a number of variations written and published in many countries. For those who suffered mightily in World War I, the 1930’s (In Asia and In Europe) and World War II, let us not forget their suffering. But be reminded that if we make the same mistakes again, that their suffering will have been for nothing.

Is Google Treating All Bloggers Equally… Oh, really?

I was following an interesting thread about TechCrunch, and Michael Arrington’s discussion when I began to wonder: does TechCrunch really use no_follow in his tags? True enough, he does, sometimes. But then I looked at one post which you can find here.

TechCrunchSponsors

And I couldn’t find a no_follow anywhere in this segment. Yet each link is outbound to a sponsor… So the obvious has to be asked: Is TechCrunch passing page rank? It looks like it…

<ul>
<li><ahref=”http://www.pageflakes.com/community/?source= 34d267a2-990a-4b76-bc35-324e790b56d2″ onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.pageflakes.com’);”>PageFlakes</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><a href=”http://www.idrive.com” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.idrive.com’);”>IDrive</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><a href=”http://www.ourstage.com/go/tc” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.ourstage.com’);”>OurStage</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><ahref=”http://www.wildapricot.com/?utm_campaign= TC&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=techcrunch.com&utm_content =MM20_GYSB”?utm_campaign=”TC&utm_medium=referral&utm_source =techcrunch.com&utm_content=MM20_GYSB” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker  (‘/outbound/www.wildapricot.com’);”>Wild Apricot</a></li>
</ul>
<ul><li><ahref=”http://www.operamini.com/?source=techcrunch” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.operamini.com’);”>Opera</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>< br><li><ahref=”http://www.filitrac.com/Click.aspx?fltrid=  JCDQ8A%2fUGD%2bz2SFhEapgkjHX%2feNtLHx4VayaKBei1pw%3d&sid =tech+crunch+home” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.filitrac.com’);”>Text Link Ads</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><ahref=”http://www.ads-click.com/blogger.html?utm_source= techcrunch&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign= promo%2Bwidget%2Bblogger” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.ads-click.com’);”>Ads-Click</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><a href=”http://www.leweb3.com/leweb3/2007/08/index.html” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.leweb3.com’);”>Le Web3</a></li>
</ul>
<p>And thanks to <a href=”http://www.mediatemple.net” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.mediatemple.net’);”>Media Temple</a> who handles our hosting.</p>

(ed: spaces edited to make the width better) Then Andy Beard set me thinking:

http://andybeard.eu/2007/11/wrong-reaction-from-techcrunch-on-paid-links.html

…yet many prominent bloggers post quite blatant pagerank passing links to their advertisers every chance they get.

Not only do they mention their advertisers in “Thanks To Our Advertisers” posts, but they also name drop them every chance they get as a form of disclosure.

So, thanks to Matt Coutts page, I found the reporting page on Google and filed a report promptly with the following information:

This website is blatantly abusing text linking which are paid for by sponsors, and there is no ‘no_follow’ tag in the pages anywhere. Here is a sample from the post with links included but no no_follow tag: etc etc.. Please note the details.. I have already noted, copied and photographed the page for blogging. Naturally, we expect that Google will treat ALL bloggers who don’t use no_follow equally.

It will be very interesting to see what Google does or doesn’t do… And by the way, you can download the html from the page yourself before it is changed.

While I’m not so worried about TechCrunch passing PR, I am wondering: “Does Google treat all bloggers equally? Or just some? Over to you Matt.”

[ed. some wording clarified]