You may or may-not have noticed a subtle shift in the layout of Sffarlenn.net, however there has indeed been some improvements made (in my opinion) to the site overall. This comes as my ideas and motivations for this site are ignited by possibility and the drawing to a close of my other blog, It Takes 10 Years To Become An Orphan.
One of the main changes that I’ve made is not to start writing shorter posts, because that just isn’t me. No, the improvement to my site layout is one that I hope is adopted across the blogosphere, and that is the inclusion of a “TL;DR” summary at the head of each blog post.
TL;DR is an online abbreviation of “Too Long; Didn’t Read” – it’s popular on forums and message boards like Reddit, etc. Basically, you write a bunch of stuff and then provide a summary, typically a one-liner, about what you just wrote (almost like a moral, but not).
I had the idea to summarise my posts when I wrote my last big update which worked out to be just over 4000 words long. It’s generally accepted that peoples’ attention spans are quite short, indeed most people wouldn’t have even gotten to this line I’m writing now, so it is with these headline-skimmers in mind that I split my posts up into two sections: TL;DR and Full Blog Post.
One the home page, I’ve provided an alternative to the standard “Read More” link in the way of three links: One to the summary or TL;DR, one to the Full Blog Post and one to the Comments section. Makes a lot of sense, right? Well, I think so. We’ll see how successful it is over time.
Aside from the post-related updates, I’ve also got plans to re-write my “about” page as well as adding an “I Recommend” page, similar to the one that Jade Craven has on her page. It’s a great idea and is one she’s not touchy about people replicating, so I figure, why not?
There’s several other things happening, but I’ll write about them in a moment.
Changes Summary & Examples:
• Home Page Layout
The home page has had a couple of major changes.
I’ve cleaned up the Categories that I allocate to my posts to align with my vision for the site. They may change over time, but for now I’m pretty happy with those that I’ve chosen. You can find them above my posts and sidebar, floating in the centre of the page. They’re pretty self explanatory, so I’ll not go into any detail about them here – have a look at the posts within each category and you’ll get the idea.
• Post Formatting
I’ve rearranged the layout of the post area on the home page and the actual post page to include a smaller thumbnail image, larger title text and a cleaner excerpt (homepage only).
Once in the actual post area, I’ve included a floating social sharing toolbar from GetSocial that sticks to the screen as you scroll so there’s little chance that folks cannot share.
On the sidebar, I’m conceptualising a few different ideas for call-to-action things, including a feature that I’ve seen on a few blogs that seems to be a really great idea.
There are still some things that I’m planning to tweak but even I don’t know what they are :P
A Purpose For Sffarlenn.net
As you could probably no doubt tell from my site’s categories, I’m moving this blog to being more of a personal-style blog, writing about things that really matter to me. So, the plan is not to monetise this site beyond the occasional affiliate review post or something.
Writing about causes, web design / development stuff and general ranting is something that, I believe, I need to do. The causes thing is going to fuel a lot of the content on the blog because I’ve got a lot to say on a lot of the causes that need attention.
Causes, however, aren’t limited to signing petitions and raising awareness for upsetting or terrible things going on in the world but also about awesome things like The Badass Project.
So there’ll be some crossover between the “causes” category from time-to-time with my Spotlight category (Badass Project post coming soon!). The rest of the time, the blog will be my general ranty-ramblings about whatever captures my interest.
The posts aren’t going to be that frequent, due to the nature of my lifestyle and general lack of time management skills, but it all should pick up once I finish the blogging stretch of the 10 Years Project.
Life After The 10 Years Project
With the end in sight, victory within my grasp, the sweet taste of completion washes across my tongue before I remind myself that there’s still three weeks left, damnit!!
At the time of writing this post, I’ve completed writing posts that will stretch up until the 13th of February, which happens to be the 10 year anniversary of my having being kicked out of home. (If you want to know my feelings about that, hop on over to the 10 Years blog on Sunday 13th – the reflective blog post goes live then.)
I haven’t given much thought up till now about what I’ll be doing once the blog has finished or even what I’ll do with the blog once it’s done. I mean, there’s plenty of ideas of where to take the Project after I’m finished with this story, but I’ve not given any of it much serious thought.
I’ve got a number of things that are floating near the surface as plans for what I want to do once I “get my life back” from writing this blog (cos it has taken up SO much of my time, esp. in the last few months)
So, for now, “life after the 10 Years Project” is on hold until I actually finish writing it and find out where my time goes and where the chips fall.
Still No Concrete Ideas For Laneth.com
Mostly because I’m not trying to think beyond the end date of the 10 Years Project, as mentioned above, I’ve really got no idea exactly what I want to use Laneth.com for.
I’m actually rather happy with it being the information node that it is right now, linking out to my two (current) blogs and the social / site services around the web that people can link up with me on. So, for a while at least, it’s going to stay like it is until I can really figure out what to do with it.
I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that it’ll be one of my main “branded” sites, simply because I am Laneth and it’s a fairly easy-to-remember word / name / site.
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