Friday, September 22, 2006


I use Citation Machine all the time, mostly to cite images and other sources for my blog. A problem that has pestered me over the months is that the CM window is so large. I'm constantly having to move it around on the screen so that I can find the information on the web page that I need for the citation.

So to solve the problem, I've installed a new button in the top menu, [Shrink]. This button will remove the top banner and the left menu (assuming that you've already chosen your citation style, and reduce the size of the window so that it doesn't cover up as much of the digital document you are citing. Google Ads remain. I have to pay for my children's college somehow.

An additional link will appear, [enlarge], that will pop the window back out to size with the banner and the main menus.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Site Down

My apologies for Citation Machine being down over the last couple of days. I have moved the pages over to my new dedicated server, and there was a glitch in moving the domain name. Dreamhost released it, but there was a problem in my configuration that prevented Rackspace from catching it. Cleared up now, over a phone call from my breakfast table in Asheville yesterday. I love phone support.

There's obviously a lull in citation machine usage right now and I'll be spending part of this time featuring Son of Citation Machine out. I think you'll be pleased.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

SOCM 2.1

I have been reading all of the suggestions. Many have been kind and constructive suggestions, and others expressions of frustration with Son of Citation Machine. I understand completely. People use Citation Machine to alleviate the frustration of navigating complex style manuals, and to have to figure out how to navigate a new CM... -- well I understand.

I also understand the frustration among educators about the presence of paper mills in the Google Ads. Brenda has been blocking those companies as we run across them, and the list is surprisingly long. I wrote about this (It Doesn’t Solve the Problem) in 2¢ Worth the other day, and I suggest your reading.

We have also been working on another strategy to diversify the Google Ads. I have installed three RSS aggregators in SOCM 2.1, that will display news feeds from three sources:

  • BBC World News

  • Internet Movie Database (IMDB) Studio News (movie reviews)

  • iTunes top selling songs

Again, I know that folks do not come to citation Machine for casual reading. But the main purpose of the feeds is to provide more varied content for the Google Adsense spiders to find and to issue more varied ads on the site. Our test site already indicates much more diversity in the ads.

We hope to have 2.1 up by the end of the week.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dedicated Server & More Editing

It seems that citation machine has settled for the time being. I have written an ad hoc load sharing program that sends everyother person to two citation machine sites. That said, we are now looking for a dedicated server. Going through this each semester, and putting you through this each semester is not fair to any of us. Plus, I have other web tools that need better performance. So we're listening to sales pitches now, and will likely be selecting a service in the next couple of days.

Also, I have continued to add some multiple author templates, mostly in the APA format. I'll catch up with the APA format later today and tomorrow.

Have a great summer!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Multiple Authors

Many of you have constructively suggested that I make it easier to cite resources with multiple authors. I figured out a way about 3:00 yesterday morning, got up, and added a feature that provides, for MLA folks, templates for 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 authors. For the time being, this is only available for books. This morning, I got up at 4:00 and added templates for 1, 2, 3, & 4 authors in APA.

I'm on the road this week, speaking at conferences across four states. So early in the morning, is the only time I have to work on this.

Please stay tuned for more happenings with Citation Machine.

Welcome to Son of Citation Machine

First, I want to welcome you to Son of Citation Machine (SOCM). It's been exciting to finally get this baby out, and, as is often the case, it's birth has been rocky. At the same time, it happened at exactly the right time. It's the end of the semester, and Citation Machine is serving more than a half-million page views a day.

So what's different about SOCM that helps with all this traffic. Mostly the software is much simpler. I reprogrammed most of the site so that the information involved in a citation comes from a database, so that Citation Machine just simply gets the format, plugs in the information, and then displays it for you to copy and paste.

Even with these economizing efforts, Citation Machine is threatening to bring down many of the other sites served by my hosting company. So I have been further economizing, at the same time that the technical folks at Dreamhost (my hosting company) have also enacted (heroic) measures to keep the service going.

I'm going to close now, by saying that I appreciate all of your suggestions. You have given me new ideas for further enhancing SOCM. More about that later.