Observing the Blog Creation Process

I find it really cool seeing parts of the creation process through mugshot. Sometimes I see brad upload videos to youtube, behdad put photos on flickr, and jdub add delicious links before they create a new blog entry.

Some people upload everything at once just before blogging it or they upload things and a while later a blog entry comes along. They are all different and unique in their process and it makes them fun to see in action.

I am Jack’s Geek Photographer

Yesterday I joined the ranks of many other geek photographers when my Canon 400D arrived. Thanks to the recommendations of many I’m really happy so far and can’t wait to take more!

And if you were on Mugshot you would have already seen my creation process in action as I added new albums to my Picasa. I can’t choose which service to use, Flickr or Picasa, so I’ll just keep juggling between them as I have free space.

I am Jack’s Web 2.0 Blogger

I recently switched over to wordpress, as much as I loved pybloxsom I wanted blog comments and web access to writing new entries. I could have done that all with pybloxsom, but I was moving hosting providers and I’m lazy and knew that wordpress has those things in by default. Sorry Will!

So I’ve been in the process of getting my blog into shape for this brave new world of blogging. Going over each of the Twenty Usability Tips for Your Blog and trying to make sure that I have them covered in mine. I covered the sections that apply to my blog interface and not really my blogging style.

1. Topic

Interaction Design, though I don’t actually do much blogging about the topic in the general sense as much as I blog about the experiences and designs I’m working on. Perhaps my topic should be My Interaction Design…

Screenshot of Bryan Clark blog title

2. Encourage Comments

I spent a good part of last night getting my comments system up to spec. I have the math plugin and the subscribe to comments plugin enabled. Most of the time spent adding these things is actually spent mucking with your theme afterward. Why aren’t these themes incorporating these kinds of plugins?

My Blog Comments


All that time spent and it still doesn’t look good.

3. Easy to Subscribe

I personally doubt that adding the RSS button to my page will make it easier for anyone to subscribe to my blog. I think anyone who wants to subscribe to blogs needs to use an application that knows how to find the RSS links in the blog page.

RSS Icon My RSS Feeds Links

4. Include an About Page

I don’t have an about page yet, but I’m working on that. I’m probably just going to finish up my portfolio and use that as an about page since I don’t think I could find enough interesting stuff to say about myself that would fill a whole page.

10. Archive By Topic

I’ve got Categories and a Date Archive, a bit of a cop out but I think they both have their uses. I made sure my categories are listed above the date archive.

My Current Blog Categories

11. Include a List of Related Posts

The related posts plugin is a little too manual for me, but at least it does a nice job of adding in related blog entries near the bottom of each entry. I’m not looking forward to going back and adding keywords to all of my posts though, perhaps this will be a thing I do from here on out.

Related Posts List

12. Allow People to Contact you Offline

Adding an “Email Me” blurb to the sidebar is a really simple way to solve this, though I think my future About Me / Portfolio page should have the contact information instead of cluttering up the sidebar with it.

bclark email address

15. Include a Top Posts Section

I like the WP-PostViews plugin for listing my most popular articles. Though since I haven’t been running it for very long it doesn’t really reflect the actual popularity of the articles.

Popular Articles

16. Provide an Index

I’m not sold on the Index page, a classic feature where I don’t have a strong objection. But just because I don’t feel like it will hurt doesn’t mean it won’t have a positive effect; my gut says the likely effect would be clutter.

18. Recent Posts Section in Your Sidebar

I don’t really understand the point of adding a list of recent posts to my main blog page. It seems that if my main blog page is showing all my most recent posts that displaying just their titles in the sidebar would be superfluous. I did want to add this element to the single post view sidebar. My thinking is that if you’ve arrived at an individual entry in my blog you might be interested in the latest entry as well. I found a recent posts plugin from the wordpress plugin repository.

Related, Recent, and Popular Articles

Usamagility

Now that I think I’ve improved the blog reader experience for my site it’s probably time to do some testing of all my assumptions. In the mean time I’m looking at Luis’ post on codes of conduct and trying to keep up with that.

aboot

This is the blog personality of Bryan Clark. I'm a designer in a world of open source. This blog reflects mostly writing about Design, Open Source, Economics, Beer, Wine, and Dogs. There's more information about me on this site or you can contact me directly at clarkbw@gmail.com.

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