Audience Participation

Hey you! Yeah, you. I need your help. I’m seriously contemplating what it might be like if I considered the possibly of maybe or even potentially pondering the notion that it could conceivably be a good idea to revamp this blog. Rebrand it, if you will. In order to make that happen some time during this presidential administration, I’m going to need input from you, my loyal readers. What I’m looking for are the following design ideas.

Should I keep the current title? I’m thinking about making this an eponymous blog. So many refer to this blog by my pseudonym already. Why not just go with the flow?

I’d like some ideas for new quips (the snarky line just below the title). I get bored easily, so I’ll likely be rotating them (as usual), so throw as many at me as you can think of. Be creative (and PG, please). What sentence, phrase, or other collection of words sums up this blog to you?

I’m slightly colorblind. As a resent, my aesthetic tastes tend to differ a little from others’. Add to that fact my rather eccentric personality and you get a parchment background horked from the Vatican with a coffee-house color scheme. If you could rebuild this blog from scratch, what colors and/or patterns would you use?

The Latin’s staying. Deal. Now that you’ve accepted this fact, help me to make it less intimidating.

Three columns? Two columns? One column? How would you organize things around here?

Lastly, do any of you fine folks know of some good pro bono blog template designers (ala Eris Designs)? Blogging’s fun and all, but I’m not throwing any more money into it.

Comments 11

  1. Rob wrote:

    1. There are many advantages to 3 column. I’m currently in a 3 column mood. You’ve actually got awards to show.

    2. Do what they did when they bought out DeRoy jewelers. It becake Kay DeRoy jewelers for a while, and then finally Kay jewelers. If you do the hard switch, you’ll lose people.

    3. No offense, but Funky Dung…I don’t want to read dung. Eponymous doesn’t quite work, since it’s not only you — you have other bloggers. Ales Rarus is distinctive. It’s also bird-themed, and I may not be trustworthy on that topic!

    4. I would not mind the background color changing. If I can remember to think of it as parchment, it’s ok, but the font doesn’t match.

    5. Slightly stronger divisions between the three columns would be better, although it’s fairly well defined. You cram a lot into a little, which I like.

    6 You are absolutely kicking everyone’s butt in, as well as Technorati, Blogpulse, and TLB’s Ecosystem. Especially mine. You shouldn’t be listening to the author of Technorati’s 32,631st blog. Ask Boing Boing.

    7. Of course, Boing Boing makes me think of vibrators, so maybe you want to choose another blog.

    8. 24’s on, and I’m Geschichte!

    Posted 24 Jan 2006 at 1:59 am
  2. Funky Dung wrote:

    I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for the “little people”. 😉

    Posted 24 Jan 2006 at 2:36 am
  3. howard wrote:

    Speaking of the little people, here I am with a couple thoughts:

    1. No name change; I’ve just finally broken myself of the habit of calling this “Scribble Lines” — and, unlike those days, vast numbers of netizens probably know you now as “Ales Rarus”, even if it isn’t the pseudonym under which you’re writing. The brand recognition issue alone should keep you on track (just look at me, I’ve been trotting out one of the worst title of all time for two and a half years now — I’m sure it’ll catch on someday).

    2. Font change, yes. I’d go with something a bit more modern, and while you’re at it, I’m still not crazy about the coloring here (which, I should assure you, makes it a testament to your overall quality that I’m still reading you).

    3. Don’t know of any good pro bono template designers for this, but I remember hearing a while back that there was supposed to be some sort of conversion tool to migrate existing blogs to a more customizable, easy to use platform (say, WordPress, which is free and also heavy on free designs). Does Fahim still keep up with this kind of stuff? He was always helpful when I needed help, right up until I unwittingly blasted my Blog databases into oblivion…

    That’s just a couple thoughts. I might have more, but it’s late right now.

    Posted 25 Jan 2006 at 6:45 am
  4. Funky Dung wrote:

    parchment purged

    Posted 25 Jan 2006 at 3:32 pm
  5. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Funky, I don’t get the navel-gazing. You’re acting like a compulsive object-oriented programmer who can’t stop trying to make his code even more “perfect”, even after it’s been tested bug-free and effective. Is the design perfect? No. Is the parchment “too much”? Maybe. I think it’s a trademark part of the look here, and would hate to see it go completely, but maybe less of it would be okay. Would more color be nice? Sure. Fonts? Who cares… they can be overridden (usually to disastrous effects) by the end user anyway. But the design is fine… It’s the content stupid! (And of course you know I mean that in the best possible sense 😉

    Posted 25 Jan 2006 at 3:46 pm
  6. Funky Dung wrote:

    First of all, the navel gazing comes from a desire to shake things up once in a while. I do it in other areas of my life as well, such as the livingroom furniture. Secondly, my training may be scientific, but I’ve always had an interest in aesthetics. I took art major classes in high school and would still consider myself decent at drawing. IOW, not only have people complained about certain design elements, but I also have an internal drive to make things look better. Lastly, it’s not just about the content. There was an article recently (anybody have the URL?) that showed that people make judgments about web pages at a subconscious level in less than a second. Image matters. Does that mean I’m going to obsess over it? Heck no. I think designing stuff is fun. Tweaking a template is part of the fun of blogging for me. So stop being a stick in the mud and join me in my fun. Humor me, and tell me what you’d like to see changed. 🙂

    Posted 25 Jan 2006 at 4:52 pm
  7. Quote wrote:

    “If the gospel message is foolishness, it can only be conveyed by those who can die to the American Dream and become fools to the world.”
    –Vinoth Ramachandra

    Posted 25 Jan 2006 at 8:48 pm
  8. Funky Dung wrote:

    I found the article.

    Web sites judged in a blink

    Posted 25 Jan 2006 at 8:58 pm
  9. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Do you really want the kind of reader who would otherwise be turned off by a vatican-esque parchment look? … or the fact that the boundaries between columns are not well demarcated?

    Changing things around, fun? Drench me in molten lead any day! I’m glad I didn’t marry you… you’d have me up on the roof changing shingle color every 6 months 😉

    Okay, no more Mr. Stick N. Mud for me then… Here’s what I think. The whole blog is a bit too busy… okay WAY too busy. Look at Jimmy Akin. He’s got one award showing. I find it hard to believe that’s all he’s gotten. He puts up the one that (presumably) means the most to him. You could do the same: put up the one (1) award that means the most (or perhaps is the most recent), and stick the others behind a link “For Voyeurs Only”. Same thing with the quotes, put up one, perhaps the most succinct or the most valued or the most funny, and stick all the others on the Voyeurs’ Page.

    And I like the parchment at least in the reading space, center column. It is true that the sans serif font looks too modern for parchment, but it is also more readable than more stylized serif fonts. My vote would be, if the incongruity is intolerable, stay with the parchment and choose a MORE old-fashioned serif-style font. You may wanna consider doing solid color for columns 1 and 3, as this will also make for cleaner boundaries betwixt columns.

    But on the whole I’d say the blog needs more simplicity, not less… you already have the longest-loading page of any of my regular reads, and my fear is that someone who considers “tweaking the template” as part of the fun, is not going enjoy tweaking in the direction of simplicity. I could be wrong…


    Posted 26 Jan 2006 at 10:24 pm
  10. Funky Dung wrote:

    Actually, I do aim to make things simpler. Unfortunately, I’m a victim of entropy. Every time I make things simple, more cool stuff comes along to make a mess. 😉

    Posted 26 Jan 2006 at 11:10 pm
  11. Funky Dung wrote:

    Another point: I’m interested in losing the parchment background because I’ve been told it makes the text difficult to read and for no other reason.

    Posted 27 Jan 2006 at 3:28 pm

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