Saturday, April 16th, 2005
A Fresh Coat Of Paint
And here we go. Version 6.0. Looks an awful lot like 5.0, doesn’t it? Yeah, shut up. Sorry if you were expecting something more grandiose, but the reason I stuck with the old layout so long was that I liked it. Really. It takes me forever and a day to come up with decent designs, so when I find something that works, you bet your sweet bippy that I’m going to stick with it for a while. I call it a fresh coat of paint, and it is – it just happens to be the same colour. I realize it’s a little odd rolling something new out on the day of the week I have the least traffic, but this is the only day I’ve got the time to get it set up and debug anything that comes up.
Revisions this time around are of the more pragmatic sort – the layout is wider, obviously, so there’s less scrolling and more overall real estate. In fact, I’ve got so much more space that I don’t know what to do with all of it – case in point, the little Loveless abstraction up in the top right. That’s just… there. If I have banners or announcements or something, I’ll post them there, but for now, it is what it is. I’ve eliminated pop-ups for reviews and photos (thank God) and made some marked improvements in the concert photo albums. My MP3 of the week will now update itself automatically, instead of me having to do it manually, so I can load up tracks months in advance and at the stroke of midnight on Saturdays, bam – new selection. The links section has been updated and expanded, things are hopefully easier to use and navigate, and I think the overall look and feel is less cluttered, more usable.
The site’s not done by any stretch of the imagination. What I have done is gone in and thoroughly cleaned up all the backend code – I’ve reduced the amount of code in the backend by maybe 30%. Dear God, I’m a much better programmer now than I was two years ago. It’s much much faster, leaner, and cleaner now, and more scaleable – meaning I can add to the site more easily than before, if I so desire. And I do, really. I’ve got some ideas that I will try to put into action in the near future, either here or elsewhere, barring any extreme bouts of sloth on my part. I’ve got a couple of annex-like servers that I’m spreading my hosting and bandwidth usage across, so running out of space or tranfer quotas shouldn’t be an issue. You probably wouldn’t have noticed it being an issue in the past, but it was always a concern. Now, hopefully less so.
You’ve probably also noticed the big ol’ empty column down the right-hand side… well, that’s was going to be ad space – nothing horribly sinister, just those Google AdWords and BlogAds things that are becoming ubiquitous, but I’m having second thoughts. What do you think? Are they horribly annoying? Would I be “selling out”? I’m truly on the fence. If I do try them out, I’ll more than likely pull them if they don’t actually net any sort of revenue. If it can’t pay for, say, a concert or a CD a month, then nuts to it. Nuts, I say. I’ll fill up the space with corn bread recipes or something.
I had a moderate-length discourse about why I would feel compelled to seek advertising money or solicit donations, but have decided not to bother with it. The reasons and rationale should be self-evident and I can’t be bothered to write it up. There will be no hard sell, no cajoling, none of that. Yes, this blog takes a helluva lot of my time and a modest amount of capital on my part, but I’m not doing this for the money. I certainly won’t turn it down if offered, but I do this because it’s fun for me. Exhausting at (most) times, but fun.
But to take this to a slightly higher level view, I have been giving much thought to the future of this site in recent months. Not IF the site will have a future (though I admit that wasn’t necessarily a given), but what that future will entail. This site has been a success beyone my wildest imagining since I started it two and a half years ago, not that I actually had any sort of yardstick for what constituted “success”. I’m quite proud of it and don’t want to tamper, but am wary of treading water as well. Grow or die, right? I’m still not sure where this train of thought will lead me, or even what I’m trying to say. There was supposed to be some sort of profundity here, but I seem to be unable to string together more than a couple coherent thoughts in a row, here. It’s been a long week and I’m tired.
So… that’s it for now. Regular programming will resume tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.
np – Douglas Heart / Douglas Heart