Now Indexes 1,000 Blogs

Posted on Thursday 27 December 2020

We added the 1,000th blog to the aggregator today. Wow, the blogosphere, and the personal finance niche in particular, has certainly expanded in the past two years. There are some new features that I’ve been working on, and some already exist that you may not know about. For example, you can use the RSS tools built into WordPress to publish a list of the top popular articles on your blog. This is already implemented on FiveCentNickel (on the center bottom of every page) and Consumerism Commentary (on the bottom of the right column of every page).

You don’t have to be a Friend of in order to take add this feature to your blog. For example, to pull the most popular personal finance articles into your blog, use the URL with your RSS tools. The links on these feeds are redirected through so we can count any visitors towards an article’s popularity ranking.

webmaster @ 10:39 pm
Filed under: Blogs
Moving to a New Server

Posted on Wednesday 21 November 2020

Increased instability at DreamHost, even after upgrading hardware, has forced us to move to a virtual dedicated server elsewhere. You should no longer have any problems accessing the website once the changes have fully propagated throughout the Internet. This will also improve viewing the feeds and using the blogroll on your website. Thanks for sticking with us. You can expect the development of new features to start picking up again.

webmaster @ 6:59 pm
Filed under: Admin Financial Literacy Challenge at DonorsChoose

Posted on Monday 8 October 2020

You may have noticed a conspicuous thermometer gracing the pages of and a number of personal finance blogs. This thermometer is measuring donations within a campaign to fund personal finance lessons in public schools.

HC at One Big Mortarboard has organized a campaign to raise a total of $1,500 out of about $1,900 remaining to fully cover four projects focusing on bringing money management skills to the schools. Teachers have personally submitted these projects to DonorsChoose to find funding. Here are the details on the four programs searching for funding, which have been selected by personal finance bloggers. Four more programs are waiting to take the place of this first set once it is fully funded.

For more information, see the posts on Consumerism Commentary, One Big Mortar Board, Mapgirl’s Fiscal Challenge, and An English Major’s Money.

webmaster @ 9:47 am
Filed under: Admin
Install the Blogroll

Posted on Saturday 18 August 2020

One of the best ways for Friends of to share links and ensure they are getting the most out of their small membership fee is to install the Blogroll on their blog and encourage others to do the same. Chances are you already have links to blogs you like. The Blogroll uses JavaScript, so if my understanding is correct, you won’t be spreading your PageRank any thinner by adding the Blogroll or risk sharing your PageRank with sites not controlled by you.

The Blogroll is a great way to see who has updated their blog recently, with priority given to Friends of The more we encourage use of the Blogroll, the more valuable membership in the Friends of will be.

Starting today and for the next two weeks, any current blogger who currently has or adds permanently the Blogroll, will receive a three-month extension to the end of their membership. If the blogger is not currently a Friend of, they will receive free membership for three months. Just leave a comment here with a link to your blog or blog post where you mention the Blogroll. Though no specific post about the Blorgoll is necessary, it is encouraged.

Please note. This offer is only valid for non-commercial blogs, those blogs not designed to sell or in support of a product or service.

webmaster @ 10:56 am
Filed under: Friends
Further Improvements

Posted on Thursday 16 August 2020

In the last week, I’ve made some programming improvements to which should improve speed when viewing the site directly. I’m still looking for a MySQL “expert” to assist. If you know of anyone, please send her my way. More enhancements will be on the way in the next few months.

There is one issue that Friends of must be aware of. If you have a subscription through PayPal, make sure you keep your information updated with your latest credit card. If your credit card expires, PayPal will cancel your subscription, likely without warning. This has happened to a few people over the last few weeks, and for those who have a yearly subscription, you may not even notice until it’s time to renew several months from now.

Please check your credit card on file with PayPal if you have a monthly or yearly subscription for the Friends of

webmaster @ 11:01 pm
Filed under: Friends
Server Stability

Posted on Monday 16 July 2020

This weekend, our web host, DreamHost, moved as well as a number of other servers to a new location. Since that move, the fetching software has become unreliable. I’ve devised a temporary work-around until it is feasible to move the aggregator to a new location.

If you have the ability to help with this project, it would be greatly appreciated.

Update: The server is now as stable as it was before the move, and blog posts should be fetched as normal. If you have any problems in the future, email the webmaster. We’re still looking for anyone willing to assist with getting onto a dedicated server or two.

webmaster @ 3:48 pm
Filed under: Admin
Renew Your Membership in the Friends of!

Posted on Wednesday 28 February 2021

Maybe you joined the Friends of during last year’s annual campaign. Perhaps you were an early adopter and got your gold star when it was a free option. If so, your membership may be expiring in April.

If you do not have a monthly or yearly subscription, email the webmaster to find out when your membership in the Friends of is expiring. If you were an early adopter, you’ll qualify for a very low rate.

webmaster @ 9:47 pm
Filed under: Friends
New Free WordPress Blog Hosting Service

Posted on Wednesday 7 February 2021 is supporting a new WordPress blog hosting service located at This will be a great way to start a new blog with reliable software or move a current blog from Blogger and BlogSpot. Here are some of the features.

  • MyPFblogs uses the popular WordPress blogging software.
  • The websites have excellent uptime, unlike other hosted options.
  • You will qualify for a discounted membership in the Friends of
  • The personal finance blogging community is close-knit, and MyPFblogs is a great way to get in the midst of the activity.
  • We have over 60 themes to choose from, and more will be added.
  • Your site will be protected by the latest Spam-Karma 2 plug-in.
  • You can easily import all of your posts if you’re migrating from another service such as Blogger.

Take a look and sign up. More questions are answered at

There are many new features coming to this year, so now is a good time to join or renew membership in the Friends of Many who were with the site from the start will be seeing their first year of membership end in April. Contact the webmaster to make sure your membership doesn’t expire.

webmaster @ 11:23 pm
Filed under: Blogs
New: Most Pages Are Cached Every 10 Minutes

Posted on Thursday 11 January 2021

The load on the server has been very high, so we have instituted a 10-minute cache on most pages on In most cases, you shouldn’t notice anything other than fewer server errors and hopefully a marked speed increase in general. The click counts for entries will be delayed, but still recorded in the database.

The time has come to look for a new, robust hosting system which will cost us some money. If you’re a Friend of, please consider making an additional donation. This will help us add features and stability.

webmaster @ 1:47 am
Filed under: Admin
Some Blogging Statistics on, New Features Coming

Posted on Thursday 7 December 2020

If you’re interested in top ten blogs lists, then you should check these out. Flexo has posted the Top 10 Blogs by Total Clicks and Top 10 Blogs by Clicks per Post.

Here’s a little bit about what we have in store for 2007. (more…)

webmaster @ 1:19 pm
Filed under: Blogs
Technical Difficulties

Posted on Saturday 25 November 2020

It seems that over the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties. The fetching software hosted at MediaTemple has stopped functioning properly. I’m flying back in to town tomorrow, so I should be able to fix the issues over the weekend. In the mean time, I’ve been running the fetching program manually when I have a chance.

Pinging still works properly, so if you are a Friend of and you’ve configured your blogging software to ping our server, then you won’t see any problems.

Sorry for all the problems; looks like we’re (still) gonna need a better host.

webmaster @ 1:53 am
Filed under: Admin
Stability in Fetching and Something New on the Horizon

Posted on Friday 17 November 2020

DreamHost hosts the web server and database. I’ve been a customer of theirs since 2001, and the last two years or so have been rough. We’re sticking with them for now, but the fetching software will not run. The RSS parser seems to use significant CPU power, and Dreamhost kills any process that uses more than the average CPU load.

For this reason, the fetching process is now performed on a grid server hosted with MediaTemple. Their support has been very helpful, but they automatically kill tasks that last more than 15 minutes — even shell tasks. Thanks to the growth in the number of blogs, the fetching process is now split to last under 15 minutes each time.

Four times an hour, for about 8 minutes each time, half of all blogs in the database are fetched. This has been working very well for the last twenty-four hours or so. This way, each blog is fetched twice an hour. This is above and beyond the pings allowed for the Friends of, which are still being performed by the DreamHost server.

Now that we have more stability, we’re working on a new feature: free hosted blogs, powered by WordPress, for anyone who wants to start a personal finance blog. Blogs hosted on the new service can join the Friends of at a discount, but must stay somewhat active. The service is being tested as I write this, and we hope to release it to the public within the next few weeks.

webmaster @ 11:11 am
Filed under: Admin
Advisory Panel: Getting This Party Started

Posted on Tuesday 7 November 2020

I sent out the first email to those who expressed interest in the Advisory Panel. We could still use a few more voices, so if you’re interested (and you’ve been involved with the personal finance blogging community for a while), send an email to webmaster at this domain.

Update: Thanks to everyone who responded! The Advisory Panel team is now in place.

webmaster @ 8:11 pm
Filed under: Admin and Advisory Panel
Expanding Real Estate and Investing Sections, New Server Added

Posted on Wednesday 1 November 2020

I’d like to focus on expanding the real estate and investing sections of during the month of November. The real estate section can include blogs about the housing bubble, Realtors’ blogs, real estate investing, purchasing a home, etc.. In the investing section, we will include blogs about the stock market, other investments, trading, commodities, brokers’ blogs, etc.

Don’t hesitate to add a blog to the massive aggregator!

Speaking of the aggregator, we are now dually hosted, with one shared server at Dreamhost which serves the website to visitors, maintains the database, deals with pings, and is the backup 30-minute fetcher. The other is a “grid server” at MediaTemple which functions as the main 30-minute fetcher. As we further test how the servers manage loads, responsibilities may move around.

webmaster @ 5:48 pm
Filed under: Admin and Blogs
More Pinging Changes

Posted on Wednesday 1 November 2020

This will hopefully be the final change to the “pinging” process for a while. When a blog pings to let us know that there is an update to be fetched — a feature available only to Friends of — there is a two minute delay. If the blogger who owns the pinging blog has registered with us a Feedburner feed, the delay is increased to ten minutes to allow Feedburner time to fetch the new entry. It is strongly suggested that the blogging software be set up to ping Feedburner as well as

Feedburner may still not fetch your newest entries within ten minutes. If this is something that happens often and you’d like the behavior to change, allow to fetch your local RSS feed rather than the one hosted by Feedburner. This may take some extra work depending on your configuration.

webmaster @ 1:43 am
Filed under: Blogs and Friends