Saturday, February 24, 2007

This IS NOT a request for comments

Or is it?
I am still new to blogging--less than 1 year at it, and less than a month since I joined 2 blog rings. I have been going round the rings, and seeing what I like, (and don’t like) about various blogs.

I Don’t Like the image/button with “Would it kill you to leave a comment?”

I have sort of made it a new year’s resolution to read more blogs and to add more comments, -and have been commenting, on new (to me) and old friends blog’s more.. (not daily, but at least 2 or 3 comments a week) --(and find I get a few comments in return) I like getting comments--but I recognize, I often am not moved to make a comment, and expect lots of others feel the same, (and don’t need to be nagged, no matter how cutesy the nagging tries to be. )

I LIKE uncluttered sidebars.
I think buttons Yarn Harlots offers --to link to her bog is cute, as are many others, but some blogs are so cluttered with buttons the side bar has becomes a chore to navigate.

I might, eventually make a button for others to post on their blog.. But I don’t want to have buttons and buttons and buttons.. I want to have a single link or two (to hidden lists) --I’d rather mention a specific blog in a post, with a link, than have a meaningless list of hundred blogs or sites.

First a list of the 100 favorite books, followed by 100 movies, followed by 100 blog’s, and then by another list of another 100 odd links.

Does any one really consistently READ a hundred blog’s? Or do they just glance at them, and read occasionally? There are blog’s I check out on a regular basis, but I skip all the posts about babies, and animals. It’s not that the babies aren’t cute--but I just am not interested in reading paragraph after paragraph about babies, and I am less interested in animals.

I LOVE blogs with photo’s.
WIP, or FO, or UFO, be they knitting or other crafts, or vacation photo’s, or fun images of your wall paper or couch.. Stashes and storage solutions, (or lack there off!) are fun too. Even a photo or two of your daring (be they human or animal!)--Photos are good.
Even cliché images of sunsets, snow storms, babies or pets are better than acres and acres of plain text with no images! --Unless the text is a recipe.. I love recipes.

All this ring surfing has helped me decide what I like or dislike, and how I want to shape and manage my own blog.
I’ve been making small improvements to my blog.. I put up some crumby buttons (better ones are in the works, but these will do for now) to make it easy to find free patterns I have posted, or recipes I have posted.

I've upgraded the links to my photo gallery (photo bucket) --with links to sub albums, (quick shortcuts to Hats or Socks, or other categories.)

And some more Title Buttons to go along.. But not to many!

The plan is for Title Buttons/headers that actually make navigating the side bar easy.
As I go round the rings, I find navigating some sites to be frustrating and cumbersome. There is so much information, (calendars, lists, buttons, WIP and On the needle gauges, Knit Along’s, blog rings and what not --though I am attracted to the phases of the moon chart--some have both right and left side bars, crowding the blog text and photo’s like a vise.

My goal is to use what I need, but to be somewhat minimalist. Too much information causes overload, and is actually less helpful.

Header/Title Buttons are useful--but used to excess, they make as more problems than they solve. I am deciding what I need, headers for Recent posts, for Archives, for Favorite Links (to blog’s /and other sited I find interesting) to Rings and other blog related activities, for Free Patterns (my own), for Technical tips (I haven’t posted any yet.. but…) for Recipes, and for Patterns for sale (again, none yet, but coming soon) as well as a photo gallery link.

That is 9 already --I don’t want more than 10.. Ten is plenty!

Right now, as a work in progress, the side bar is a mix of styles, Recent, and Archives are ‘fancy script’(a template default) and free patterns and recipes are poorly done bit maps, Links is just plain text.. A real mishmash.

A single /coordinated style will be an improvement --and it’s coming. Not anytime real soon, (like a week) but eventually (by the summer) . I am sure as I work my way around the rings, I will see design elements I like, and will want to emulate, (just as I will see things I want to avoid!)
In the meanwhile, I am beginning to organize the links, so that when I find/develop the style of header/title button I like, I can just replace them. (the changes I've made to the template code is all anotated with comments so I can quickly go in and organize the template.)

I think I want to organize them in alphabetical order too, Archives, then Blog Lists, then For Sale, then Free Patterns, Photogallery links, Rings, Recipes, and ending with Technical tips.--I need to find the font size code, too, since right now, I think the text is too large.

and now, I have to get back to my knitting.


sulu-design said...

Oh, my dear, you crack me up! I agree with a lot of your opinions about blog design, but I have to laugh. You LOVE photos but include not a single one in this entry, and you are trying to be somewhat minimalist yet you have here one of the longest posts you've ever written. You know I'm not knocking you - I would never leave snarky comments on a blog, especially not on the blog of a woman who is being immeasureably helpful to me as I'm learning how to knit. I think all of your analysis of blogs is great (and I agree with most of it). I actually think it's cute that your inner instincts are fighting some of your "blog resolutions." I'm all for trying to make change for the better, so I wish you luck in your pursuit of a better blog (although what you got ain't bad!).

Unknown said...

Well, you've cretainly drawn me out of lurkdom! I read lots of blogs (including yours), and comment once in a while. Here's what I like in a blog: open layout, not too many buttons, useful/interesting links, good photos, and of course something interesting to read. I agree that memes and lists and too many WIP bars and stuff are distracting. I read yours to see what fantastic thing you're creating and how it came to be. Now, I wonder what you think of my blog? ;)

HPNY KNITS said...

more pictures! I love to see WIP and of course FO!
naturally, like everybody- we all love comments!

Hannah said...

How nice to discover your blog! Thanks so much for your kind comment on mine.

I go through phases, both in reading and posting. Sometimes I post lots of pictures of my knitting and talk about the issues I am having with it. Sometimes I write a lot about whatever issues are on my mind that day. It makes the blog meaningful for me--although since some of my readers want one and some want the other, nobody else is always satisfied. But it keeps me posting....

Nice to meet you!