The New and Improved Wall of Shame

The New and Improved Wall of Shame Featured Image

One thing I really enjoy doing is changing up parts of my site to improve user experience. This time around I decided to up my Wall of Shame game. Here’s that story!

Table of Contents

What Is the Wall of Shame?

For the uninitiated, the Wall of Shame is a page I kicked off awhile back to pay homage to all the nasty comments I get as a writer. Overall, it’s really fun to put together, and it helps me process some of the criticism a bit.

Generally, the comments come from all over the place. For example, I used to share my content on Google+. While that was a nice way of getting traffic, it was also an absolute cesspool. I don’t think I really get ripped into as hard anymore.

That said, now most of my comments come from slightly nicer pedants on, Twitter, and other places. Fortunately, I haven’t had any nasty comments on YouTube, but I suppose just give it time.

At the moment, the Wall of Shame features 15 comments that range from little jabs for being an America all the way up to bangers like “This is the least useful insight into a programming language, ever.”

Hopefully, you won’t find yourself there as well. If you do for whatever reason, you probably deserved it.

History of the Wall of Shame

Originally, the Wall of Shame was a gallery of photos. Back then, I had Jetpack which would let me do fun things like share the photos in a carousel. If you ever clicked on the photos, you could read a description about the photo as well as comment on it.

Then, I got rid of Jetpack to speed up my site which eliminated my carousel. Around the same time, I also ditched my theme and picked up Acabado to further speed up my site. Unfortunately, as a result, I had to find some new way of displaying the images.

If you’re familiar with WordPress, you know it has this weird quirk where every image gets its own attachment page. In fact, that’s how the carousel worked: it displayed the attachment page over top of the current page rather than redirecting you to the attachment page.

In other words, it was possible to send users to the attachment page directly. However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the attachment page in Acabado. It looked more like a post with a really tiny version of the image at the top.

In addition, there were a lot of things not to like. For example, all my images are loaded in with my admin account which I try to keep hidden. Unfortunately, my theme displays a profile for the admin as well as the two latest attachments at the bottom of each attachment page. Likewise, if comments are turned on, there’s a space for that. So what do you do?

The New and Improved Wall of Shame

Ultimately, here’s what I did:

First, I turned off comments, so there’s no way to do that. In addition, I used CSS to hide both the profile and the links to the two latest attachments. After all, the attachments rendered terribly, so I wasn’t a huge fan.

With those out of the way, I also cleaned up the preview by centering it and applying my usual background and border for images. At least that way, even with a super tiny preview, it looks somewhat clean.

Now for the fun part, every single image comes with a transcript. There were basically two reasons I did this:

  • It allows people to read the comment without having to open the image
  • It makes the Wall of Shame significantly more accessible as folks don’t need to open the image at all to read its contents

After the transcript, each page includes my short (and sometimes very long) commentary. Then, I include a couple links to help people navigate. For example, at the bottom of each page, I link to both the previous and next pages. In addition, I link back to the Wall of Shame.

Here’s a sample of what one of those pages might look like:

Wall of Shame Sample Page

Naturally, the Wall of Shame has changed a bit as well. Ultimately, if you don’t want to click into any of the images, you don’t have to. I converted the gallery into a single column which blows each image up to full size for your viewing pleasure.

Plans for the Future

Lately, I’ve been trying to engage in Twitter discussions a bit more than I normally would. Unfortunately, this has the effect of attracting a lot of troglodytes with their terrible opinions. No doubt will we be seeing the Wall of Shame grow over time.

That said, I don’t have any explicit plans to start growing the Wall of Shame. After all, this is sort of a sad project, right? Ideally, people would treat each other with respect. Instead, tech bros are out here trying to assert their dominance. It’s gross, and I can’t stand it.

So, I suppose we’ll see what happens. For now, I’m going to keep grinding on Python content. At the moment, I have about 9 articles in my backlog, and I’d like to double or even triple that before the end of August. Otherwise, this semester is going to be even harder than I can imagine.

In the meantime, I’d appreciate it if you took a moment to support the site. One way you can do that is by visiting my list of ways to grow the site which includes links to my newsletter and YouTube channel.

Likewise, here are some other maintenance related articles:

Otherwise, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it.

Jeremy Grifski

Jeremy grew up in a small town where he enjoyed playing soccer and video games, practicing taekwondo, and trading Pokémon cards. Once out of the nest, he pursued a Bachelors in Computer Engineering with a minor in Game Design. After college, he spent about two years writing software for a major engineering company. Then, he earned a master's in Computer Science and Engineering. Today, he pursues a PhD in Engineering Education in order to ultimately land a teaching gig. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, playing Overwatch and Phantasy Star Online 2, practicing trombone, watching Penguins hockey, and traveling the world.

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