Saturday, November 13, 2010

Spring cleaning the blog

I’ve begun changes to this blog to kind of streamline things, remove some clutter and to kind of personalise it a bit more.

The most obvious change is the background photo: It’s now one of mine, a photo of Auckland taken from North Head in Devonport—and no, I didn’t manipulate the colours apart from ordinary brightening. This view may seem familiar: Another version of it is at the top of my podcast site, and it’s also in my first video (also available for download from my podcast site). It made its debut in a post four years ago. I quite like it.

Also, I’m adding pages, accessible through tabs at the top. The first one is “Resources” "Links"*, which includes my extended blogroll and also my list of links to podcasts (“podroll”?); eventually I’ll add other links I think may be interesting or useful. I’m trying a different blogroll listing on the sidebar; titled “Blogs I read regularly (listed by most recently updated)”, it’s a list of four blogs I always read, with the title of their most recent post and when it was posted. There are only four sites because I’m just trying it to see if I like it, and I may add more later or scrap the thing entirely. We’ll see.

These changes have been on my agenda for a while, but some of them have come from advice other bloggers recently gave me. Still to come, I plan to add more pages, including about New Zealand and Auckland to answer the questions I get asked most frequently.

Longer term, probably during for the holidays, I’m going to work on that sidebar: I want to streamline my tags (there are way too many), get rid of a few things that are no longer necessary and maybe add a couple useful new things.

Aside from that, who knows? I’m open to suggestions!

Unlike so many other bloggers, I hardly ever change anything here, and that’s on purpose: I don’t want to confuse anyone. But I do want to make it more “reader friendly”, so suggestions are always welcome (apart from “shut the thing down,” because I’ll ignore that…).

*Update 15/11/10: I've changed the page's name from the original "Resources" to "Links" to more accurately reflect its purpose. Also, the other pages I mentioned adding will all have lists of relevant resources, so "Links" seemed like a better name.


d said...

Love it! Looks similar to our new format - really cool to see a picture of Auckland. :)

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Funny you should say that: I was re-emboldened to change the background picture after I visited your site (I actually hadn't realised you'd resumed blogging until then…).

Anyway, when I first switched templates, I tried to change the background photo and couldn't. But Blogger has updated their controls and it actually works now, so this is the result. This summer I hope to take a new photo at a higher resolution (this was taken with our old digital camera).

I'm not sure what template you're using, but they are very similar. In fact, they may be the same: I manipulated my layout's sidebar and the width of the area for posts, among other things.

Apparently, I can't quite stop tinkering with the blog layout; I just try and not do it too often.

d said...

Yeah, we took an afternoon and tinkered with the new layouts - one in particular allows the blogger to upload the background picture. I was going to change our picture over the weekend, but forgot. :)

We want to blog more often - I get at least one idea each day, but life gets in the way!

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I landed on this template by accident when I was trying out the "New Blogger" and couldn't go back to my old one. That's all there was to it!

DO keep blog more often—I enjoy it! :-)