Slightly Smarter

I am currently toying with some new features on our website. We are now sending and requesting a client-side cookie. This is a little bit of information that is stored on your computer, and it allows us to remember who you are. In our case, we’re using it to display a greeting message on the blog, and to keep track of the most recent blog entry you have read. On each subsequent visit to our site, you will see a notice informing you of whether or not there are any new blog entries since your last visit, and if so, how many there are.

Since this is brand-new, you are initially going to see that there have been, well, a plethora of new blog entries. Next time you visit, though, everything will be set up, and you’ll see the proper information.

You may have heard bad things about some cookies, especially those that keep track of your information for advertising purposes. I can assure you that the cookies we serve here at World Wide Wood are quite safe, and I hope that you will find them delicious! So if your browser is set to block cookies, be sure to enable cookies from the domain. If you have cookies turned off entirely, then there’s not much I can do for you. In that case, you will see the same first-time greeting message every time you come to our site. Sorry!

In the future, this feature could be expanded to keep track of other things, like your name, or maybe even your choice of color schemes!

For the technologically inclined, I did this using PHP’s setcookie() function, the $_COOKIE array, and some SQL queries directly to the Movable Type mt_entries table in MySQL.

On an unrelated note, I have made a few tweaks to our site’s left hand navigation bar – hopefully more people will see and take advantage of our RSS feeds. These can be used in news readers like Bloglines to keep track of our recent posts. Just another way we make it easier to get all the World Wide Wood goodness you need.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this new feature!

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