Grab bag: Communication by any channel necessary

Redirecting away from lost comments

I thought I had linked to Urban Giraffe’s great Redirection WordPress plug-in, but there was a glitch between Ubiquity and Delicious and the link didn’t get saved. Ah well. The point is that Redirection makes it dead simple to do two things: track 404s (dead links) that users hit on your site, and create redirects so that people coming to that link get served valid content.

I’ve been going through the process of reviewing the 404s for the first few days, and have found three general types of 404:

  1. Old Manila stories that were part of my old site structure but didn’t get published in the same way on WordPress. This is easy to fix, because WordPress lets you edit the “pretty URL” for these pages directly.
  2. Attack URLs. These tend to look like /inc​/cmses​/aedatingCMS.php?dir[inc]=http:​/​/​/test.txt?? and represent bots trying to exploit known software vulnerabilities. I generally am ignoring these right now.
  3. Permalinks to comments.

This third one is the sad part. Somewhere along the way, whether when I turned off comments on my Manila site or at some other point, all the old comments on my posts were lost. So there’s nowhere for me to redirect: the content’s gone. Comments ranging from the banal to the friendly, from Dave Sifry of Technorati pre-announcing link voting to the late Anita Rowland reminding me to follow up on a post on universal remotes.

I’m now going through the sad task of removing those links one at a time on this site. I guess entropy is alive and well.

But the point is that Redirection is a great WP plugin.