Lots of improvements to Finer Things social links, now allowing affiliate links in post submissions


I spent my Labor Day morning making quite a few improvements to some key pages throughout the site. I know, I'm a party animal. The rest of my weekend has been pretty busy with friends and some other things so I welcomed today as a day of downtime and personal projects.

A little more social

The Follow page that lists all the social accounts for the site and sub-sections is much prettier. I added actual service icons and created a basic button for App.net. I also revamped the sidebar widgets using the official WordPress JetPack plugin's new trick of widget visibility. Long story short, you can now specify whether a widget should be shown only for specific pages, categories, authors, and tags. It's great.

Now you'll see a Follow Finer Things in Tech widget in the sidebar of the homepage and most other pages, like /about and /submit, but a Finer Things in Mac widget on all Mac posts, a Finer Things in Web widget on all Web posts, and so on.

Podcast love

Some readers have told me it's a little difficult to figure out how to subscribe to the Finer Things In podcast, and I think I nipped this one in the bud. Previously, each individual episode post had big subscription links for iTunes and the direct feed, but the podcast page itself didn't. This morning, I added large iTunes and feed buttons to the top of the page, above all the individual posts; they should be pretty hard to miss now.

Submit a Post using affiliate links

Lastly, I added some polish to the Submit a Post page that anyone can use to get a post on this site. I added some clarity that you don't have to use your real name and I encourage you to include your social, website, or project so I can thank you with a link.

I am also now experimenting with allowing you to use affiliate links for an app, product, or service that you write about. For example, if you submit a post about an App Store app, you can use your Apple affiliate link. If you write about Dropbox, use your referral link to get some extra space. Amazon's affiliate program and links for individual companies like WPEngine and ThemeForest are fair game too. Remember, this is an experiment right now, so I'll see how things go. But I want to use this as another way to say thank you for submitting a post.