Saturday, August 14, 2010

Help With My New Blog Design

OK, I have made a decision. I am going have a complete redesign of the blog and finally make the move away from Blogger. The new blog will either be designed via Wordpress or as a bespoke website using the IntenseDebate comments system that I use on my West Ham blog. Guido and Dizzy use it too. At last I will be able to ban miscreants if they persist in abusing the comments system.

Anyway, as the wisdom of crowds is better than the wisdom of one, I thought I would ask my readers for suggestions as to how the new site should look and which features should be included - or definitely not included.

Feel free to leave comments here, but I have created a short survey/questionnaire which I would be grateful if you take a couple of minutes to answer.

Click HERE.


chris. said...

A "most read" box or something like that would be good. Or "most commented" to see if there's an active discussion going on somewhere that readers might have missed?

Otherwise, don't change too much!

Anonymous said...

I've done the survey.

IntenseDebate is an interesting choice for a commenting system. You might also want to consider something like Disqus.

It's actually made me think about whether I need to have a plugin for my comments, instead of the default system you get with a Wordpress installation.

Anonymous said...

Make it more compatible with mobiles? ie so can make a comment.

I hate the time it takes to open with all the adverts. And the twitter wotsit and your name title take a lot of room.

Glad if you use wordpress - that occasional pearl of wisdom that is Trevors Den uses it; cheap and cheefull.

Keep it simple - no crazy colours.

The Grim Reaper said...

I suspected this day was going to come eventually for you, Iain. You've been on Blogger since the blog started, haven't you? It's an excellent blogging platform, but it does seem to have its limits. I don't like the default comments system on it, for instance. There's no way of finding out where your comments are coming from, which does have its potential for abuse. I've seen many a blogger - Old Holborn, Dizzy, Tom Harris and so forth - adopting the Intense Debate system. It's one I'm planning to use on my own blog when it launches - real life keeps getting in the way, but I digress.

The design of the blog is pretty sound at the moment, so I wouldn't change it too much. The only thing I would definitely get rid of is the graphic blogroll. What's wrong with a good old blogroll that uses text links? I've never understood why you have the graphics one, to be honest. I'd also advise, if you decide to go with Intense Debate comments, not to add on too many widgets or extra features. Speaking personally, I find it just slows everything down and adds nothing to the blog. I think there are better ways of getting people to spend more time on the blog. Obnoxio The Clown, for example, runs a feature on his Twitter feed called 100 Years Ago, where he links to posts he wrote in years gone by. I think that's a great way of doing it.

As for the questionnaire, time's a little pressing at the moment, but I will be happy to complete it in a few hours time.

Anonymous said...

make it Kindle friendly!

Janner said...

My advice is spare us the fancy graphics and endless downloads.

Not everyone is accessing the blog with a broadband connection, or from outside corporate firewalls!and most of the gimmicks just slow things down

After all it is meant to be a blog, not some entertainment website

It would be nice if the comenting system is not too lengthy - again not evreryone has cookies etc enabled and an overlong identity/verification system is a real pain

Good luck with the redesign

scotch said...

Iain, hi. I greatly look forward to you banning "miscreants if they persist in abusing the comments system."
What would be the terms of such abuse?

scotch said...

clock started at 15.52. tick, tick...

scotch said...

Hello Iain. 24 hours now and you haven't answered to my question.
When should I expect an answer?


Iain Dale said...

Scotch, lovely to have you back to do some stirring.

I wouldn't for a second dream of calling you a miscreant. You don't swear - which is what I meant by the comment. Happy now? Thought not.

scotch said...

Hi Iain
"which is what I meant by the comment".
It wasn't a comment though was it? It was an editorial and you, sir, should know the crucial difference.
Leaving that aside, and your little attempt at demeaning me in your first sentence, why, because I comment and ask something, am I "stirring"? Seriously?
For a moment there I was intrigued by the premise. I thought you might be proposing cutting down a wee bit on sock puppets, anonymous pit bulls and the like. Why just take the piss out of me? You're such a great and noble writer after all.

Iain Dale said...

"I'm seeing how this goes: "

That meets my stirring criteria. And thereby means I don't wish to engage. No further comments will be approved no matter how much you scream.

bye for now