Friday, November 4, 2011

Blog Layout, Content, and Such

I've been "enhancing" the contents and layout of this blog in recent months.  Enhancements include:
  • adding "Pages" for "Route Maps" and "Cycling Tips" and "Abbreviations", and 
  • there was a page with a link to the P-B-P progress stats when that seemed appropriate.  
  • adding the "Search This Blog" function; 
  • changing the idea behind "A Favorite Photo" to "Photo of the Month", with a link (via clicking on the photo) to the story from which the photo came; 
  • adding the "Some Popular Posts" gadget to keep Robert's very well written P-B-P story visible; 
  • discovering a use for the "Labels" one can attach to each post, and 
  • adding the "Label Cloud" gadget so that one could find all the posts on the same / similar subject, 
  • click on "IvaHawk" to get a special compilation of all posts by Iva -- including the posts he wrote as a "guest blogger" before becoming an "irregular" contributor, 
  • click on "Range Road" to get a compilation of all posts about rides on the "Range Road Rover" route, 
  • click on "Triple-L" for a compilation of all posts about the rando Permanent L-L-L, 
  • you get the idea; 
  • adding "Some Links" and "Some Blogs" gadgets so that this blog would serve as a "bridge" to some other blogs and to some websites, 
  • I used to rely on "Research Trailer Park" for most cycling bridges, but Andy's "RUSA Blogs" blog eliminated the need for some of that, and
  • during P-B-P, I learned that the various list-serves had "information" on a particular newsworthy event, so I added the links to some of the rando list-serves, 
  • that seems to have been more useful than annoying so far; 
  • adding the "Pageviews" gadget months and months ago so I'd have an idea of how many readers there were and from whence they came, and
  • also to help convince some skeptical Irregulars that the blog has more rando readers than Irregular readers (probably get more "automated trolling robot" hits than real hits), and
  • adding the "Cluster Map" to again show some skeptics that the readership was not just local, but at least country-wide and sometimes international; 
  • changing the color-scheme to one I like. 

That about sums it up. 
The blog seems more useful than before.
I am glad that I decided to make the enhancements ... for several reasons.

But this week, there was added a new and unexpected reason: 
MikeD decided to go to the new "Magazine" format for "Research Trailer Park". 
I've scouted around over there since the change ... intriguing. 
Also, being a linear thinking-type, somewhat confusing at first. 

But I continued to scout around enough to conclude that the "Magazine" format is probably a good thing for a blog with a lot of photographs -- photos are what seem to drive the "Magazine" format.
"RTP" has lots of photos.

I did notice that all Mike's links to other blogs and cycling stuff seem to have disappeared.  I don't know if he eliminated them, or if the links did not "translate" into the Magazine format.  Either way, I'm glad I built some of my own bridges on this blog.

If you haven't seen "Research Trailer Park" in the last week, I encourage you to go visit it ... be prepared to be momentarily shocked ... until things start to settle in your brain.

As for this blog ... I don't do many photos, I don't want to lose the links to the route maps, I just figured out a useful thing for labels and spent some time making the label-feature useful ... so I figure to stick with this traditional format ... for quite a while.

See you on the road ... 

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