Site Update: Presentation, Focus, Functionality, and RSS Feeds

[IMPORTANT: UPDATED ON FEB 7, 3rd PARAGRAPH] The powers that be (by which I mean my muses) decided it was time for a tune up to this site. Although I’ve updated the way the site looks–it now has a clothy look to it which makes it a bit more comfortable to read–that’s not where the biggest changes are. Those would be presentation, focus, and functionality.

Let’s start with functionality: Gone is the massive RSS button, the endless list of bookmarking site options, and extra widgets like Blogrush. Instead, the sidebar now features the latest featured articles as well as the latest articles from all other categories. Depending on where on the site you are, you may also see the top 10 articles by number of visitors and my personal favorites. On the front page, under the featured article, you’ll also see an automatically updated list of links from my Google Reader Shared bookmarks. Honestly, if there’s one reason to check the front page it’s to check that right there, otherwise you can check out the page directly.

Now about that RSS button: you’ll notice that it’s been replaced by 2 (considerably smaller) RSS buttons, 2 mail buttons, and a link to my Twitter account. The link to Twitter is obvious if you know what Twitter is. The RSS feeds, on the other hand, are where some of the new changes in the site’s focus are seen. The site now features 2 types of articles, Featured and everyting else (general). Categories still exist, but mostly for organizational pruposes. The Featured posts will be the only ones that make it to the front page from now on. These will focus more on memories and personal observations. The other feed includes not only these articles, but also all other blog posts written, regardless of whether they make it to the front page or not. Here’s what this means for you RSS folks: If you’re happy with what you’ve been seeing, then you’re set. If you’re interested in memories and personal observations ONLY, and have no interest in anything else I write (like site updates) then grab the Featured Article stream [EDIT: THIS WAS INCORRECT BEFORE. LINK CORRECTED ON FEB 7, 10:45AM EST.] or sign up for the Featured Article stream via Email. Note that the Featured Articles feed will update less often than the regular feed, because not every article I write will be a “Feature”. (That means not every article I write will be seen on the front page, at least not the content. The titles will be there, under the section “Other Recent General Blog Entires”.)

On the navigation front, you’ll notice that the front page and the archive and categorie pages are completely different now. While there’s only one post on the front page, all archive pages have exerpts from a number of articles. That’s because, in my mind, if you’re looking at the archives, you’re probably scanning. Of course, the argument could be made that it’s better to just lay it all out there, but in cases where things like self-starting flash videos are included this can be a problem. Frankly, this right here’s my favorite part of the new design.

Other than that, the site’s pretty much the same. A couple of new textures, a simplified interface, new access to feeds, a new general focus, and a more useful navigation. Here’s hoping you keep enjoying (and recommending it to your friends.

By the way, in case you’re wondering why I’m doing this: Ive come to the realization that this site won’t ever be more than my personal blog. That’s how I like it! So I’ve stared to put together a plan for a more business-focused site, something I’ll be writing about later. That’ll mean some of the content from this site (not much) will be moved to that new site.

4 thoughts on “Site Update: Presentation, Focus, Functionality, and RSS Feeds

  1. I really like the cloth look!

    Surprisingly, it is very easy on the eyes and increases readability.

    I’m sticking with the all feed, but I’m actually thinking of doing something similar on my site. I’ve started including short link-focused posts, and want to provide a way to desperate those out from my more elaborate “feature” posts.

  2. Hey,

    Glad to hear you enjoy the look. I’ll probably write a short post showcasing the code I used to get this theme (Grid Focus by Derek Punsalan) to do everything it’s doing.

    By the way, awesome to see you around again.

  3. Thanks, Chris. There were unfortunately a couple of technical issues which prevented me from doing what I really wanted to do with the sidebar (these involved changes to the WP core files), but I’m happy with the result. Very glad you like it, and I appreciate your input.

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