Blogging Archives

Blogging about blogging, how meta.

End of an Era: Google shutting down Reader

I’m getting evicted from another feedreader. Maybe this is a sign.

Google Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013

It was less than two years ago that I finally, begrudgingly made the switch to Google Reader after shut down Bloglines (which I’d been using for an incredible five years). That time the alternative was clear. This time…this time I really don’t know what I’m going to do.

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Code Confusion

I received an email from an editor at Fabrikzeitung, a monthly magazine published in Zurich, Switzerland by Rote Fabrik. They were planning an issue about QR Codes and asked whether I would write an article expanding upon my post, Why does that QR Code go to Of course! As an aside: I believe this is the first article I’ve ever been commissioned to write—and got paid for.

Well, they sent me an actual physical copy of the issue, and it looks very cool.

Front cover of Fabrikzeitung #285 Quick Response
Front cover of Fabrikzeitung #285

Here’s my article.

Code Confusion by Justin Watt, from Fabrikzeitung #285 Quick Response
Code Confusion

For those who might be curious, you can read the full text here:

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Adjacent Archive Links for WordPress

WordPress logoEver since I adopted the current design for my monthly archive pages (one that lists all my posts for that month by title, rather than paginated excerpts—Matt blogged about this approach back in the day), I’ve wanted a convenient way to page back and forth through my archives by month—without having to blindly hard-code links for $current_month−1 and $current_month+1. I discovered a few people asking for the same thing, and I found an out-of-date plugin that had attempted to accomplish it, so I decided to write my own from scratch, as part of my recent redesign. Here’s how it looks in context:

Screenshot of adjacent archive links
Screenshot of Adjacent Archive Links

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Long overdue for a redesign

The last time Justinsomnia went under the knife was 2007, and the web has changed a lot since then. Allow me to impress this upon you with a single image. The graph below represents the percentage of mobile browser traffic to my blog over those last 5 years. Hello iPhone and Android users!

Percentage of all mobile traffic to Justinsomnia from November 2007 to October 2012
Mobile traffic from November 2007 to October 2012

In the span of a single year, mobile traffic jumped from almost nothing to nearly a third of my total traffic (before settling down around 15% this year). Given that there’s now a significant global audience of people browsing the web with smaller screens, I decided it was time to get up to speed on responsive web design. (If you’re in the same boat, I highly recommend checking out Apple’s developer docs on Configuring the Viewport. It was eye-opening.)

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Redirect Editor plugin for WordPress

WordPress logoI was looking for a WordPress plugin to manage a list of post redirects, but what I found was a little over-engineered for my tastes. I just wanted a simple web-interface to something resembling an .htaccess file. So I built it. It’s called Redirect Editor, and it provides a single textbox to manage a list of redirects, one per line, consisting of a relative URL path to match and an absolute URL destination to redirect to, separated by a space, e.g.


Blank lines and lines that start with # (hash) are ignored and can be used for spacing and comments.

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