Blog Update (Mostly) Complete

I’ve made a ton of changes to my blog over the last few days, and I’m curious whether others see them as improvements or annoyances:

  • The home page Category pages show excerpts instead of full posts (example), so you can quickly scan the headlines looking for articles of interest (similar to how FeedDemon works by default).
  • Each post includes a Technorati link count widget which displays the number of external links to that post.  This has enabled me to get rid of trackbacks, which sadly have become far more trouble than they’re worth due to spammers.
  • The sidebar includes a category cloud, and each category links to a page containing all posts in that category (for example, this page lists all my posts about software development).
  • A Google search of my blog is now available in the banner above each page.
  • A monthly archives page has been added.
  • The comment form has been widened, so you no longer have to type lengthy comments into a tiny box.

Of course, most of my readers rarely see my actual blog since they’re subscribed to my rss feed, but hopefully these changes will be useful to stragglers who still read via a web browser rather than an RSS reader ;)

14 thoughts on “Blog Update (Mostly) Complete

  1. Nick,
    I can appreciate your frustration with trackbacks, but relying on Technorati to track your links means that new voices may go unheard.
    I guess they can always leave a comment, though.

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  2. Usability-wise, major step backward.
    Before, one only needed one click (e.g. in my bookmarks) and I could see the whole blog entry, or as many as were displayed…
    Now for each entry it requires an additional click.
    Leave the weird things in a row under each blog entry for the geeks, but for normal / non-geek people, please lose the ‘read more…’ part.
    I’ll come back to see if you took note of this, then maybe I’ll stop reading…
    I’d rather scroll than click, click, click, click…
    Thanks, :) tom

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  3. I like the overall look of the site, especially the blue sidebar;
    However, the main page?
    To quote Antoine and Dwayne from “Men on Film”:
    “Hated it!”
    I agree with tom – I tend to read everything at once, and hate that “more” link – it slows me down(yeah, this is the same reason why I never use excerpt or headline views in FD :) )

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  4. Although I typically read all of your entries in FeedDemon or NGO, I agree with tom and critter42 about the main page. A nice solution, though, would be the same solution available in FeedDemon. Make the “more” link a javascript function that shows the rest of the post inline.

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  5. I didn’t exactly hate the front page, but cannot say it seems to be much of an improvement. Like others, I dislike clicking on “More…” links. However, as you say, I normally only read your blog using FeedDemon, so there’s no problem.

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  6. Thanks for all the great feedback, guys! OK, so it sounds like the [Read More] links on the front page aren’t too popular. I’m wondering, though, whether I need to show the full text for every post?
    For example, what if I showed the full text of the first (most recent) post, and then showed excerpts for the next nine posts?

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  7. Sterling, I definitely get what you’re saying about trackbacks. I hate to dump them since Techorati will miss some links, but it’s just become such a pain to manage trackbacks that it’s not worth it.
    Anyone know of another service that provides an inline count of external links, like the Technorati widget?

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  8. OK, I’ve just changed this. I’ve stuck with excerpts for category archives and other lengthy lists of posts, but the front page now shows full posts instead of excerpts.

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  9. Glad to see you got rid of the ‘more’ links on the home page, Nick. The categorised ‘cloud’ system works well, and use of ‘more’ links is logical on the category pages.

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