Tr0 to TR10 in 90 days – Simple plugin for blog measurement and motivation

I looked at my sidebar today and noticed I’d made it to TR10. 😀

Yay me! Thanks to all those who have commented, without them I’d still be on TR0.

I’ve had the tumbleweed plugin on my blog now for about 3 months. Over that time I’ve noticed a steady increase in the comments on my posts.

Whilst this can probably be attributed to the blogs steady growth and readership and of course the fabulous quality of post and content 😉 – it may nevertheless have been aided by the little fellow with the cross eyes and the number on his chest reminding me of my progress, ensuring that I worked that little bit harder to stay on track and keep a focus.

If you have a wordpress blog, and want to revive old posts or keep yourself on your toes then it could be just the thing for you. Download the latest version of it here.

Kickass plugins for your WP blog and why you should use them

WordPress Plugins for you blog

Wordpress plugins are legion, there are 1000’s of them out there. Here is a selection of some of the ones I use with a little paragraph on some of the reasons why.

Adsense Injection

Inserts Adsense into your blog without a log of f**ing around. By Dax “The Hammer” Herrera.I’ve used this plugin for a while now. Its highly configurable and enables you to inject adsense ads into your blog. You can randomise them, set the number of ads to appear, the types of pages they are to appear on too.

Buy Me a Beer Allow your blog visitors to buy you a beer by sending you money through PayPal. A special BlogClout plugin By Sherief Mursyidi.Outputs a little link at the end of each post or into your sidebar with a link to your paypal account. You can specify an amount or leave it blank so users can enter an amount themselves.Also allows you to specify when writing posts as to whether or not the link appears. Good plugin that enables your readers to reward you, should they feel so inclined Dean’s Permalinks Migration

With this plugin, you can safely change your permalink structure without breaking the old links to your website,and even doesn’t hurt your google pagerank. By Dean Lee.

I recently changed my blog configuration and was looking for an easy way of migrating my old permlinks to new. This one does just that, giving a 301 moved permanent response header to the new, allowing for a relatively painless transition from old setup to new. No need to contact anyone linking to your old style documents as referals will automatically be recognised and redirected to the revised url structure. Damn handy.

Digg Dugg

Syndicates all kinds of stories from for specific users, friends, topics, digg search, and the Popular/Upcoming sections of digg to display them in your blog. By Tim Isenheim.

A great plugin for showing your users related content from Digg. Forward thinking monetisationists could do very good things with a plugin like this.

Digg This

Adds Digg story link on detection on digg referer By Aviran Mordo.

Great way of showing your users ‘dugg’ stories and encourage interaction. Also acts as a little visual prompter for your friends to digg your stuff.

Feedburner Feed Replacement

Forwards all feed traffic to Feedburner while letting through some important User Agents. By Steve Smith.

Andy Beard – Niche Blogging officiando alerted me to this plugin. Very handy way of pulling together the various WP rss feeds and links into a single unified url. Requires a feedburner account to work, but definitely an asset

Get Recent Comments

Display the most recent comments or trackbacks with your own formatting in the sidebar. By Krischan Jodies.

People like to visit active blogs. Show your users recent comments as they have arrive. Configurable too, with various options that enable you to debar your own comments, trackbacks, set numbers of comments to be shown, grouping of comments that sort of thing.

Landing sites

When visitors is referred to your site from a search engine, they are definitely looking for something specific – often they just roughly check the page they land on and then closes the window if what they are looking for isn’t there. Why not help them by showing them related posts to their search on your blog? This plugin/guide lets you do that, works with a long list of search engines.

This is a neat little thing. I’d been meaning to do something with SE query strings for some time, so to see this saved me a lot of faffing about coding it myself. As described above its a cool way of honing in on that search engine query and offering up alternatives and calls to action.

Math Comment Spam Protection

Asks the visitor making the comment to answer a simple math question. This is intended to prove that the visitor is a human being and not a spam robot. Example of such question: What is the sum of 2 and 9? By Michael Woehrer.

Damn handy little simple effective anti spam measure. Isn’t perfect, but has drastically reduced my comment spam inbox. Also has configuration options that enable you to change the form objects that help break those smarter spambot attempts.


This plugin allows you to add avatars to WordPress comments. By Andrea Micheloni & Napolux.

Users like to put a face to a comment. Add a human dimension to your blog by showing mybloglog avatars of your commenters. Where a commenter doesn’t have a mybloglog account then it will produce a standard sillouette. Not an ideal solution, but a definite plus for the active blogger/blogging community.

Posts you may have missed

5 you may have missed By Robwatts.

Outputs 5 posts that haven’t received any comments. Similar to my tumbleweed plugin, without the icons and %’s

Post Teaser

Post Teaser generates a preview or “teaser” of a post for the main, archive and category pages, with a link underneath to go to the full post page. It includes features to generate a word count, image count, and an estimated reading time. By Jonathan Leighton (Turnip).

I like this plugin because it snippetises all of my posts and is a great time saver. I dont have to insert a more tag to denote a cutoff, i just set a number in the options page and it does it for me. I can also configure the message too. By showing your visitors that bit of extra info on your post (number of words and estimated time to read it) you make your blog that little bit more user friendly and focused. Not everyone has the time to read a 3000 word post 😉

Related Posts

Returns a list of the related entries based on active/passive keyword matches. By Alexander Malov & Mike Lu.

Another very good plugin that lets you output related posts at the foot of your blog posts. Users might read your post and think cool, I liked that and then notice your 5 related links and read those too. Damn handy for mixing things up and adding value genereally.

Show Top Commentators Follow and Nofollow (modified)

Modified version of the top ten commenters plugin by Nate Sanden with added nofollow version for internal pages. By Rob Watts based on an original work by Nate Sanden.

Self explanatory really. Rewards top comenters with a home page dofollow link as well as (for qualifying particpants) a site wide nofollow link too. Requires a little work with your theme layout (creation of a new sidebar option or is_home function) but definitely worth the effort. Reward your commenters without excessively draing your blog juice.


Automatically add links on your posts to popular social bookmarking sites. By Peter Harkins. Modified with nofollow to external links

Great plugin. Social networking sites like digg and stumbleupon are fantastic traffic generators. Visitors with social media accounts might like to share your stuff with their friends and other net users. Plugins like tis, make that process a whole lot easier

Subscribe To Comments

Allows readers to recieve notifications of new comments that are posted after their own. By Jennifer – Scriptygoddess.

This plugin is very useful. If your readers drop comments on your blog, then its a good thing to give them an option to respond. By using this plugin they can be notified when someone follows up a comment of theirs. I’ve changed the default to auto subscribe people to comments they’ve made, they can always deselect the subscribe me box should they so wish, most don’t which stands to reason. I figure that if people engage in a conversation then it follows that they’d like to be kept informed. You should too.


Whats the TR for your WP blog? Shows an icon with a number and outputs random non commented posts that your visitors may have missed By Robwatts.

A handy little way of showing yourself and your users how busy your blog is. A well commented blog shows that your posts are of interest to your readership. By seeing your tr rise and fall you get a quick one look glance at how you are doing. Also outputs any missed posts, indicated by those that have received less than 3 comments.


Provides phpMyAdmin from the WordPress admin console By Christopher Hwang.

A neat little plugin that helps you to manage your database from within your blog backend.


Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog. You can also easily add a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page. By GaMerZ.

People love to see little polls and opinion numbers. This is a neat little plugin that enables you to do just that. Has a number of configuration options that let you specify when polls should appear and for how long they should run.


The wpSEO plugin rewrites your blog title, META-description, META-keywords and META-robots so these are more user and search engine friendly. By Sergej

An interesting little plugin that as shown above lets you tweak and lay with your title and description and keyword tags. Lots of options to allow experimention with densities word placement and more. Definitely worth a little mess around with.

<!– ckey=”6CE9D64A” –>

WP Forum Plugin – Trialing

I’m trialing a new wp plugin called simple forum. Its pretty cool, I see lots of uses for it on quite a few blogs that I’m running.

You can see it in action over at my Blog Forum page 😀

Read gems like

  • Getting dofollow links on a no nofollow blog by: robwatts on: June 8, 2007
  • Join my mybloglog community by: robwatts on: June 8, 2007
  • Join my BLogcatalog neighbourhood by: robwatts on: June 7, 2007
  • Need a stumble? by: robwatts on: June 7, 2007
  • Need a Digg? by: robwatts on: June 7, 2007
  • Promoting your blog in web directories by: robwatts on: June 7, 2007
  • I don’t really have the user base here yet to really see this thing fly here, but its good to kick around and experiment with.

    If you play with it at all let me know what you think.

    Maybe you’d like to see specific forums added, or maybe you just want to go in there and make a little noise and cause a rumpus 😉 .

    Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your views.

    Akismet made defunct by math comment plugin

    QSP (Quick Short Post)

    Since installing the math comment plugin my spam levels have fallen off of the planet. Akismet hasn’t had a comment now for weeks, which is a prety good show I think.

    I’d recommend installing it, its saved me from a chore of checking the mod queue daily, a chore that used to bore me silly.

    5 Posts you may have missed plugin

    In a recent thread, Andy talked about building a ‘posts you may have missed’ plugin.

    5 recent posts you may have missed
    # 5 Posts you may have missed plugin – 2007-04-18 10:45:07
    # tumbleweed plugin – 2007-04-18 10:21:14
    # Run a local business? Get directorified! – 2007-04-03 11:31:57
    # Discontinuing MyBlogLog visitor tracking – 2007-03-25 18:05:17
    # NOYDIR wordpress plugin – 2007-03-01 12:59:59

    Whilst building my tumbleweed plugin, I found myself stumbling on the sql for the code required to pull the info, so decided to save Andy the trouble and anyone else for that matter and build the thing myself.

    You can download it here and see it in action at the bottom of my homepage.

    Ill jif it up soon so that you can use it in your sidebars too, but i’ve got to do a little work on it to curtail the post lengths 1st.

    Enjoy, and keep an eye out for improvements as time permits.

    Similar plugins


    Tumbleweed Plugin – Get more comments on your blog posts

    Last updated:July 3rd 2007  Download it here Ok as promised in a prior post Ive put together a little plugin to calculate your TR ratio.

    The measurement is worked out a little like this

    It counts your last 3 months number of posts and then subtracts the number of posts that were commented on. With the remainding number, it calculates what this is as a percentage of your 3 month post rate.

    So, in my case – during the last 90 days I made 35 posts of which 16 received less than 3 comments. My blog therefore is currently TR6 (45% of my blog posts received no comments)

    If your % is between

    0 – 9 congrats you are a TR10
    9- 16 not bad, TR9
    16-24 TR8
    24-36 TR7
    36-46 TR6
    46 -56 TR5
    56-66 TR4
    66-76 TR3
    76-89 TR2
    89-100 TR1

    It also outputs 5 posts from the last 90 days that haven’t received comments. It pulls these out randomly, so your visitors get to see different titles they may have missed. It’s similar to the 5 posts you may have missed plugin, with the added bonus of a TR score 😀

    How does this help?

    Lots of people make really good posts yet don’t have the readership to see them. The blogosphere is a huge sea of millions of voices with something to say.As your readership grows, and your blog gains traction, your new readers might not be aware of some of your previous kick arse posts. This plugin helps them to see these, and also gives you a fun little way of measuring your post to comment ratio metrics. The higher the number the better you are doing. It could also act as a useful reminder that you need to work harder on your blog and get out there and promote it. It would also be interesting to see how this thing could pan out across the WP community too.Anyways, hope you like it and find it useful.

    disclaimer:Some server set ups are fairly restrictive, for most WP users there shouldn’t be any problems, someone contacted me earlier to advise that they had an install issue. If this occurs for you, then I will try and help you out, but cannot promise anything. Ive tested it on 2 servers thus far and it works fine. I am using the latest copy of WP, do ensure that you are doing the same. You are reminded that this is free and you use it of your own volition 🙂

    Get it here Last updated (22nd April 2007 10:50 GMT)

    Installation Instructions

    1.Unzip the tumbleweed-plugin zip file
    2. FTP tumbleweed.php to your plugins directory
    2.FTP the tumbleweed images directory to the root directory of your site or blog
    if your blog is of the structure then you would put the images in the blog directory otherwise you’d put it in
    3. Activate the plugin
    4.Put this code in your sidebar (the file usually named sidebar.php) whereever you want your posts to appear.

    <?php if (function_exists(show_tumbleweed)) {show_tumbleweed(); }?>

    That’s it.

    Similar plugins

    NOYDIR wordpress plugin

    Inspired by Joost de vaalk’s noodp plugin for wordpress and the recent Y! announcement, I decided to provide a NOYDIR plugin.

    You can download it here. Unzip it, put it in your plugins folder, and activate it. It then adds the following line to the section of your theme:


    For those who are wondering what this is for, you can check out the Y! searchblog.


    So there you have it. If you do not want them to use your directory title and description in their SERPs you can now opt out by inserting either of those tags.

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