Subtle Changes

hammer_saw.pngKate‘s comment last week regarding content “above the fold” reminded me of my posts from last year on making an impact in less than 30 seconds and tools for more effective blogging. I realized that I hadn’t evaluated my own blogs in the intervening 18 months since I wrote those posts.

Much to my surprise, bloat had occurred on both blogs. Google and Amazon scripts plus my own CSS code had taken their toll; both sites had balloned to over 100K each. Now 100K might not sound too bad, but Google’s main page is a mere 10K and I’m not nearly as useful as Google :-).

Early last week I decided to take my own advice, so I implemented several changes to both blogs. On this blog the main change is fewer posts on the first page. I also revised the CSS to be more efficient, but you shouldn’t notice any real difference.

The photoblog had a pretty severe re-design, but for some viewers the changes will be invisible. The roll-over effect that presents more information about each photo has been changed to pure CSS, instead of the hybrid CSS/Javascript solution I had been using. While this is a really positive change and I’m happy with the leaner, meaner implementation of that feature, users of Microsoft Internet Explorer will no longer see the roll-over effect.
As it happens, the effect had been broken for some users of IE anyway (I think those who had certain Office components installed), so the loss bothers me less than it might have otherwise. Additionally, this frees me from having to support Mcrosoft’s constantly broken implementations of web standards.

Those of you still using Microsoft Internet Explorer to surf the web should really switch Mozilla Firefox, it’s standards compliant, fast, flexible, and free.

I’ve managed to get the pages cut down appreciably, and I’m going to continue streamlining as time allows. If you have any suggestions (I do plan on moving the HTML to 4.01 strict eventually) or tools you like, please let me know!

4 thoughts on “Subtle Changes

  1. I’m not sure that fewer posts on the front page is better. I guess there are some people who will notice the extra bytes, but most blog readers are on fairly high-speed connections. The downside is that people don’t get much of any idea of who you are or why they might want to read your blog. Right now of the 5 entries on your front page, 3 are basically meta-content, 1 is a just-for-friends entry, and the last suggests that you’re a photo-geek. Overall, it doesn’t convey that much of your personality. If you went back to 10 or 15 entries, visitors might find more of interest.

  2. Ah, but Kevin my theory is that people won’t even read *that* far, unless they already know they want to read my blog. Also, the meta blogging will probably stop once I get through with my proposal.

    (also it’s not clear that the meta-blogging isn’t my best contribution to the web).

  3. If it’s all there, I’ll read it. I don’t like clicking around tooo much. 😛

  4. Well, I’m certainly not going to claim to be representative of most people, but what usually happens for me is that I follow a link to a particular article of some person’s blog, and if it’s particularly interesting I read their front page, and if I find a couple interesting articles there I may subscribe to their feed. If there’s not much on the front page, I’m unlikely to subscribe. (The extreme example of this is people who have only the most recent article on the front page. It’s just way too much work for me to figure out if I like their writing in general.)

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