Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Whoa! Werner's Got a Face Lift?

Not me, but the blog got a face lifr. For me to get one, that's gonna take large cash donations alongside any e-mail requests. heh So yeah, though. I actually started work on it ages ago, got stuck (it looked like crap and some of the features started giving errors), and so gave up on it and left it alone. But then when my Twitter feed mysteriously died, I went back into my secret Test version of this blog and got stuck back in. Now I've finally fixed the problems I got held up on and have brought over the changes to the live blog that I'd actually been planning to implement for a while.

So it's not a huge graphical overhaul or anything. I didn't want to change the basic look, feel or classic Bloggery style. It's really about functionality and improvements. So what's now?

The third column: That's the big, in your face change. I'm sure some people would suggest I just get rid of the cumbersome, ever-growing link list of all the artists I've blogged about. But, no way! I love it; I love that it keeps growing, and there's such an exotic list of hip-hop artists on there, from the great to the seriously under-appreciated..You'll have to pry that out of my cold, dead hands. But giving it its own column does take some of the ridiculous length out of the page, which is nice. Also, if anyone's concerned, the main blog column hasn't gotten any narrower. It might look that way, with two columns alongside it as opposed to one, but no; it's the exact same width, no encroachment. I've just widened the whole blog to accomodate the new column.

Editorials - That extra width allowed me to add another button to the navigation bar I'd actually had in mind when I first created it (the nav bar): Editorials. That's basically for all my posts that aren't write-ups of a particular record or movie, like the majority of my posts are. This post is an, "editorial," as is - just for examples, my video talking about the Lord Finesse v Mac Miller lawsuit or my post about digital download cards being packaged with vinyl releases.Since they're not necessarily posts about a particular artist, it's just a handy little way for keeping them from getting lost into the ether.

New Gadgets - Now that I've got a whole third column, I don't have to keep that stuff so pared down. So I've stuck in a few things that are fun or maybe handy, and easily ignorable for those uninterested. Let's see, we've got:
  • New Twitter - This one's better than the old one I used to have, because it also features the retweets I make of compelling links and articles from other twitter folk. My twitter handle there at the bottom is also a direct link to my Twitter page.

  • Search Box - It's back! I took it away years ago because it didn't really work. If you searched for, say, "Outsidaz" it wouldn't even bring up all the posts I'd written about The Outsidaz that were specifically tagged "outsidaz." But it seems like Google's improved it since then, so from some quick initial tests, at least, I think it's working as you'd expect now. Plus again - there's more room so why not? Even an imperfect search might be handier than none at all. Though of course, I still prefer the huge list in the middle.  ;)

  • Popular Posts - I'd always stayed away from this option because it seemed a little cheeseball, but I tried it on the test blog and I dig it. I like the look with all the little thumbnails, and I've never been one to look at my "google analytics" and all that stuff, so it kinda blows my mind which posts have been determined to be numerically the most popular. The Father MC one I know, because of the insane comments that have been going on there for years, but that Treacherous Three post? I think it was a pretty solid entry, but really, why? I wonder how often that list will change. And Wanda Dee is number one - go, Wanda!

  • Other bits - I've also enabled direct links to the RSS Feed for the blog and its comments, plus the "Subscribe by email" option. Is that really useful for anyone? I dunno, it might be, so what the heck. I'll probably be tweaking what's floating around the bottom of the last column for a bit, so if anything seems a bit goofy, it'll probably get fixed.

So, I don't expect I've blown anybody away with what I've done here. I didn't go all fancy flash design or anything. But I you generally agree that they're changes for the better.

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