Sunday, June 27, 2010

SW Oregon Architect v2.0

You’ve probably noticed that SW Oregon Architect has a new look. I hadn’t changed my blog’s appearance since its debut 2½ years ago. That’s an eternity in blog years. It was time for a change.

I prefer simplicity and legibility, so I’ve arranged the page components and selected the font style and colors accordingly. My emphasis will always be on my blog’s content, so I’m keeping things uncluttered with a minimal use of widgets and no advertising. Though the bones of the layout belong to one of Blogger’s standard templates (called “Awesome”), there is plenty of customization possible. I even used one of the standard iStockphoto background images offered with the Blogger Template Designer.

Other changes:
  • I dropped Life Without Buildings from my blog roll. As I wrote in my June 6 post, one of the criteria for inclusion on my list is that a blog must post with regularity. The most recent Life Without Buildings post was on March 17.
  • I moved the RSS web feed links closer to the top of my blog layout, “above the fold” in newspaper parlance, so that they’re easy to find.
  • I consolidated some of the labels to reduce the size of that list.
  • I removed the AIA-SWO monthly program sponsor widget. I'm no longer in charge of finding sponsors and consequently am not always aware of who the sponsor is in advance of each chapter meeting.
Ultimately, I’d like to learn more about how to increase traffic to my site. However, I always intended SW Oregon Architect to be read by a small and focused audience. This gives my blog a purpose and distinguishes it from the countless other blogs about architecture out there in the blogging universe.

This will be the last meta-blogging (blogging about blogging) post for the foreseeable future. Most readers of blogs are not bloggers themselves, so it stands to reason that they are not amused, entertained, or informed by a stream of blog entries about blogging. I simply felt it was necessary to acknowledge the obvious changes to my blog and explain my reasons for making them.(1)

I welcome any comments that you may have about my blog’s new appearance. Let me know how I can further improve SW Oregon Architect so that you’ll want to come back regularly.

(1) Jeff Atwood compiled a list of thirteen blogging clichés on his blog, Coding Horror, effectively a set of rules for what not to do with your blog; the number 10 cliché was “Blogging about Blogging.” Ironically, Jeff’s list of clichés stands as an example of what not to do: his cliché number 12 is “Top (n) Lists.”

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