Friday, August 29, 2008

The New Set Up

So, I figured I'd better explain the new set up of the page. Well, for one, I've set up a handy poll to gage reader response to the new look. Please vote.

And two, I loved my old page. It kind of felt like it fit the name, Art at the Auction. But something changed, recently. The names of the blogs in the blog roll used to be bigger, and in a different color, than the most recent post highlighted underneath. I have those blogs up there first and foremost for my own convenience (I'm selfish like that), and the change to the format both irritated me and made my eyes hurt. And so I began poking around for a new page. This is the one I settled on, for a couple of reasons. One, it is stark, so it isn't like I'll grow attached to it if they ever fix my problem with the old layout or if I find a great new layout. 

Two, I like the stretch of the writing. The little column I used to have made me worry about how much I was writing, if people would even bother to read it. I've read articles that detail how large blocks of text and forcing the reader to scroll down the page limits on-line readership. Apparently the way to keep people is by not writing very much, adding bullet points, bolding some text, and adding some hyperlinks. But at that point it is less like writing and more like just impersonally throwing up facts on a blank wall and seeing what sticks. And that isn't really what writing is about. Maybe I'm a writing luddite, but I like books. I like articles that explore the writer's ideas -especially on blogs- and I like turns of phrases. I like authors more than subjects. I like subjects too; but one of the things I learned in college is that a great professor, someone who truly knows how to engage students and impart information, is much better to take than an interesting-sounding class. Sometimes the two overlap. Existentialism with one of my favorite professors was a home run. But sometimes the two don't, and taking Chekhov's Plays with a bad professor was so much less enjoyable than taking O'Neill and Williams with a good professor -even though I hate Tennessee Williams. So, I wanted a blog to both impart information and articles that I found interesting and also to give -sometimes righteously angrily, sometimes wittily, sometimes bemusedly, sometimes hopefully- my take on said information.

So, please, vote in the poll. And if you have some time on your hands and want to help (or just really hate the new layout), scout out new layouts for me that I may have missed because I was underwhelmed at the selection I beheld.


MediaMaven said...

I know that blogger has been making some changes.

I thought your old layout did very much fit the title and you very well, whereas this one doesn't; it feels cold, not warm like orange.

First of all, I'd hate reading a blog that is all bullet points and one-note sentences, because it wouldn't feel like a condensed thought but just a bunch of notes. It's true that big paragraphs can be hard to read online, and since I tend to write in that fashion at times I check myself and try to insert a paragraph break if I can. You're a long-paragraph writer anyway, so I'd just stick with your style; if you're so worried about it, try to start small and see if you can slightly break up some paragraphs when you're finished with a draft.

John said...

Despite the fact that I use my gigantic flat-screen TV for a monitor and type from across the room on a wireless keyboard, I have no problem with a smaller page layout. There's no need to turn you blog into a glorified powerpoint presentation, which is what the addition of bullet points and larger type and inserted media would likely do. You're not trying to sell ad space in your magazine here, after all.

That said, we may be able to have greater creative freedom over at the Witwar meta-blog, once we get the server up and running at my house. Once we do, we can switch from to the wordpress toolkit and our own domain name, where we can pretty much make whatever we want in terms of layouts. No ETA on when that will be done yet, though.

jjfs85 said...

I love the new layout. The old one would be interpreted strangely by Firefox 3 at times. Also, I like the fact that the text with your new layout fills more of my screen real estate. As far as colors go, I did like the orange.