Monday, August 3, 2009

Moving (soon). Do you have suggestions for TBJ?

I bit the bullet and put things in motion, I'm going to move my blog to my own space (sometime soon), which will give me more control over the format, and make it less of a "dear diary" blog and more of a helpful and informative resource. That way I can have static pages that I can keep updated - rather than links on a sidebar to old posts that slip away into the void. Side bars are nice, but I prefer tabs. I see side bars as incidental info - a place for things like your blogroll highlights, some icons/banners, a quick blurb about something, your recent achievements. I don't like having my guides sitting in my sidebar, getting lost.

Anyway.. I was going to do this all in secret, revamp the site, and then say, "TADAAAA!" but I realised that this is probably the perfect opportunity to ask if anyone has any particular suggestions. It would be an opportune time to squeeze things in and make changes now, since I'm working with a new template and whatnot anyway.

So.. are there particular things you'd like me to add in? I'm looking to add things like recent/featured/related posts; a list of categories.. and I've just added a chatbox.. what else is missing?
What would you like to see?
What would be helpful to you?
Content wise - would you like to see more articles about (XYZ)?
Are there things you've seen on other blogs that you wish I had on mine?
Have you seen cool widgets that I probably have no idea even exist?
Is there anything that bugs you about the current site, that you hope won't be duplicated?

It's difficult to know what to change without knowing how other people see the site. For example, back when I first started, I think my blog was only allowing comments from registered members. Some bloggers prefer that - but personally I would rather open the floor up (while still having control). I get frustrated when I have to go through all sorts of hassles just to send a quick comment to someone. The point though is that I don't comment on my own site, so I wouldn't have known there was a problem until someone said so!

Have you noticed any annoying niggles like that about my site? Do you have any display issues with the text or graphics? Any and all suggestions and (gentle) criticisms are welcome. :)

I can't make any promises - any suggestions will still have to fit into the template I have chosen, obviously.. but I'm really keen to make my blog into less of a diary and more of a resource - so now is the time to ask what it's missing - and get it right from the start! I'm not sure how long it will take me to put everything together - I want it to be very polished before I open the new one up again, and I'm super busy (in real life, in the game, and blogging), so it may be a project over a number of weeks. I love projects.

One of my goals will be to be diligent in setting up and using categories, and then each week try to do at least one piece that fits into one of those categories - for example, Technical (UI, mods, macros, etc), Community (new blogs, interviews, links), Theorycrafting (talking about healing).. so that I have a reliable and constant stream of meaty articles mixed in with the other random bits of news, my characters, and non-druid posts. I haven't made use of Categories before and I am regretting it - so that is definitely one thing I want to implement. It would be much better to be able to click "Technical" and see a list of all of my UI/mod related posts, instead of relying only on keyword searches.

This kind of hindsight is great; now that I am revamping, I have an opportunity to fix these kind of problems.. but I know I'm probably blind to other things that I should be doing on the site. My blog hasn't even been around for a year yet, so I am still learning some of the basics.

Maybe you've noticed something missing, or there's something you would like tweaked or added?

Thanks in advance for your help! :)


Notabear said...

You should focus yourself into sections. When you want to inform people about healing on fights, BAM into the how to section. A section for theorycrafting, since that needs to be updated with every new version, it seems. A section where you talk about your own experiences. An armory page for yourself that is linked to your page and not to the actual armory so when it is down, you don't get people all huffied yelling at you.

A guides section, where you can teach people how to do things beyond actual healing, i.e. farmings spots, the best quests in game, how to lead a successful pug, how to dress like an innkeeper, how to RP, things like that.

Maybe just take everything you ever wanted to say, put them into their own spots and work your site from there.

We're gonna read it regardless (^_^ )y

Keeva said...

I've really been thinking a lot lately that I haven't used sections/categories and it was a HUGE mistake.

Once I move over, I'm going to be really careful to put things into their proper categories - always assign each post a category (or more than one) so if someone wants to look at all the theorycrafting posts, they can just visit that category - instead of having to try to do searches (which is difficult). It will also make it easier to come up with post ideas, I think, because I'll be able to say to myself, "hmm, I haven't done a Tech entry for a bit.." and go from there.

I would say that neglecting categories is probably my #1 mistake. :( But I'm going to fix it.

I haven't played with the new template yet, but I also want my comments to be in a different colour, if I can do that. I'd like everyone to be able to see easily when I am replying to them :)

Blublub said...

G'day Keeva

I've been meaning to get my blog going for ages, and for hosting I settled on Yahoo Small Business. Mostly because it came with a pre-installed and fully maintained Movable Type backend.

Looks like it's 8/mth now with unlimited disk space and bandwidth.

Blublub said...

Oh and what I'd like to see more of on your blog is articles about raid healing. So you better do some raiding.

Pretty sure I know a server-leading guild that would look at your application. ;)

Keeva said...

You are very persistent :P

Malstram said...

Persistence, although annoying at times, is usually a good thing. Go Keeva Go Keeva!! :)

I like the idea of separating the blog entries by content. I remember setting up grid and having a tough time searching for all your grid posts so that will definitely be helpful.

I can't think of anything else off the top of my head (I guess this means your blog is near perfect??? :) ).

Shayzani said...

Are you planning on using something like wordpress to power the blog or are your web creation powers able to make a site from scratch?

Keeva said...

I'm going with WordPress; I've used it before (to make a guild website) and really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately I'm having some issues with the 2.8.2 install at the moment; I get to the install.php part and it returns a 500 error. I've installed and uninstalled and reinstalled, following everything to the absolute letter... I even used my host's auto-install tool.. no go.

Very, very frustrating - I want to get started putting everything together, and I'm stalled at the very beginning.

I've tried every "fix" I could find, and nothing has worked :/

Keeva said...

... and the frustrating thing is that I've had WordPress before, on the same host.. so I don't know if it's something I'm messing up, or because it's a newer version of WP.


Keeva said...

Oh, I've just noticed they've released another small update, 2.8.3.. maybe that will help. I'll try it when I go home today.

Getting a bit desperate.

Shayzani said...

I haven't had any issues with the last few versions of wordpress, that sucks that its being so problematic for you.

I'm sure you already know but Kestrel posted about some really amazing plugins for wordpress recently and they're really quite awesome.