Change is a good thing. Mostly.

March 2, 1999: It really seems strange to call 85 new poems a "partial update" of the web site, but that’s exactly what it is. I have hundreds more to add, and hope to have most of them ready to post by this coming weekend.

But the new poems, while certainly the most important thing, are only part of the story. You’re going to notice a few differences in the web site today, and while they’re very minor differences, they are also harbingers of things to come in the next few weeks.

Notice, first, that the sort order of the poems has changed. Instead of going from the oldest to the news within each category, we now go from the newest to the oldest. That’s because some of our category pages were getting so long that it took our regular visitors forever to scroll to the new stuff. Now they’ll find it right at the top. And while that seems like a pretty minor thing, it turned out to be a can of worms once opened. Remember that little button that allows you to easily navigate to the Next poem? Yep. All the logic behind that had to be changed when I changed the order of the poems. Seems like nothing is ever easy, uh?

The change that will make the most difference in coming weeks, though, is the menu. Notice anything different?

There is no longer a category off the main menu for Poems on Beauty. Don’t worry, it’s not gone. It just moved. The Poems on Beauty category has now become a subcategory off the Poetry Buffet page. It was never one of our most popular areas (which surprised me), and by removing one of the graphical buttons it makes all of the pages on the site load a teeny tiny bit faster.

No big deal. Except – if this works it means we can soon have subcategories under all of our main categories. For example, I have been dying to put together a section specifically on Cyber Romance. And, thanks to the ground-breaking of our lovely PoetDeVine, we really need a section devoted to Erotic Love poems. In the next few weeks, with your help and feedback, it should be much easier to find exactly the poem you’re seeking at Passions.

‘Course, that only touches the proverbial surface of the changes that will soon be coming your way. Don’t go away, folks – things are just starting to get exciting!

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Busy, busy, busy!

February 17, 1999: It’s been all of two weeks since our last update, by far the longest I’ve ever gone without adding new poems to the web site. Now, before you get out the horse whips, let me explain.

Part of the problem has come from an unexpectedly wild response to our first issue of Digital Passions. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it posted off this page, and if you haven’t subscribed yet – well, please do so before you miss the next issue. In our first issue of the free magazine, I threw out a few ideas for enhancements to Passions – and the response was tremendous. A lot of my time has been spent trying to make good on those promises. And, yes, the next week should see some really remarkable things happening on your favorite poetry site. So, stay tuned!

Another part of the problem has been the result of our rapid growth. Remember when we moved from the old URL, back in January, and I explained we had been dropped from the Excite search engine? Well, we’re back… Couple the traffic we’ve been getting all along from Yahoo! with the new traffic from Excite (and a few other great links), and we’ve been very, very busy. I’m sure not complaining, mind you, but the increase in the number of poems submitted has risen just as sharply. As has the email I answer every day. It’s a wonderful problem to have, but it has kept me away from the database too much.

Finally, I spent an inordinate amount of time this past week sorting through the votes for January’s favorite poems. There were certainly a lot more of them than during December, and I’m afraid it was one part of the database system that had never been automated. So I had to sort and enter each one by hand, a task I will not have to do again, I promise you. It is now entirely automated. But be that as it may, we do have a list of the favorite poems for January. And, yes, there were a few surprises…

But, in spite of the recent problems, the web site now has over 100 more poems than it did yesterday, and I think you’ll agree there are some real gems in the new bunch. We’re attracting some wonderfully talented poets, people with both insight and beauty to share. I think you’ll agree it was worth a two week wait.

Okay, guys and gals, am I forgiven? A little bit? Hey, would you put those whips away, please? You’re making me nervous.

I promise — it won’t happen again!

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More Poems Added

February 2, 1999: It’s hard to believe it was only a month ago (tomorrow) that I registered the domain name with InterNic, and slightly less than two months (Friday) ago that we received our first poem submission on the old, shared web site.

As I write this, in preparation for updating Passions, I find there are over 70 new poems being posted to the site this time, more than double the last update. And, of course, our list of resident poets is growing just as rapidly. There are now ninety-something poets represented here, and the number seems to increase every time I check the dropbox. Who is going to be the landmark 100th Passionate poet? I suspect we’ll know this week.

Our first historic issue of Digital Passions will be going out this week, too. And I think you’re going to find a new surprises there, and a few hints of things to come. If you haven’t subscribed to our free magazine, yet, there’s still time. Resident poets, by the way, are automatically added to the list now; thought I’d just save them a step, don’t ya know.

With any luck, and assuming I don’t need to sleep this week, our next update will come a little quicker – and will likely offer a few new features as well. I’m currently redesigning the database, extending the focus for the Poetry Buffet so we can more easily add new categories.

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