Blogging

Twelve Months

I’ve just renewed the lease on this site for another year.

As some of the more astute of you will have noticed, I haven’t actually posted on this blog in almost six months. This, despite the fact that this blog is the one I pay for. Creative Splurges has been my baby, having, as it does, the most followers, and it’s where most of the content I’m currently creating is destined for.

This place has gone to wrack and ruin a little bit. Elements of the backend have broken, making adding links and images difficult. All of the widgets and stuff down the righthand side have been trundling along regardless. 

In other words, work needs to be done. I have this webspace, but I don’t really utilise it that much, and that should change. Otherwise, what’s the point in having it?

So consider this post my twelve months’ notice. If I haven’t turned it around and aren’t making any even remotely worthwhile use of it, I’ll shut this site down, and consider what to do with it’s existing content, because there’s no point in paying for this site to just sit around and do nothing.

So, either I turn this blog into something useful, or in twelve months’ time this site won’t be here.

If there’s anyone still left in this desolate corner of the internet, comments are of course welcomed.

Cheers,
Rob

Finding A Place

Picture: unrelated. | Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As of late I’ve struggled a bit with this blog. Since last summer I’ve been concentrating mostly on Creative Splurges, which isn’t doing all that badly (it has over 300 followers). This blog, intended for the most part to contain personal rants, anecdotes and the odd amusing discovery, has slipped into the background quite significantly over the last few months.

This is partly because Creative Splurges is taking up a fair chunk of my spare time, in terms of processing images and writing posts, partly because the inspiration is lacking (this time last year almost anything turned into a blog post in my head; as of late this hasn’t been happening), and partly because some of what used to constitute content on this blog has become tweets and been left at that. Currently most of my stray observations end up expressed in 140 characters or less.

It’s not just rob-howard.com that has suffered. Outdated by Lunchtime, my fledgling technology blog, hasn’t had a post since January. It’s not like I haven’t been keeping track of technology news, far from it, but for some reason the urge to write about it has been lacking.

Something happened last October. I don’t know what that was, but most of my blogs fell largely silent around that time as I became distracted or unmotivated on the whole blogging front. It was late November before I managed to kick myself back into rhythm on Creative Splurges, but none of my other blogs really followed suit. Since the start of 2012 Creative Splurges has published 45 posts; here has posted six, and Outdated by Lunchtime only two. This should give an indication of where my priorities lie.

I want this to change. That said, I still see Creative Splurges as my priority. In many ways I have to, since it has approximately infinity more followers than this blog (this blog, technically, having none, and Splurges having over 300). I’ve managed to keep a post a month on this blog (which, I admit, is a big reason why this post exists), and I have over two dozen drafts in various stages of completion, of which some could still conceivably see the light of day. I’ve made a couple of half-hearted attempts at working on some of these over the last month or so, but these haven’t really gotten anywhere. I have some time off coming up; maybe I’ll be able to find the time to have another look.

Outdated by Lunchtime is a touch trickier. I could just return to what the blog was doing from time to time, and parrot breaking technology news, but that’s not particularly satisfying, even if it does drive hits to the site. What I would far rather do is comment more objectively on the technology rumours and stories. I’d done it from time to time – and contributed some to apparently-now-defunct tech blog GrindGadget – but if I get Lunchtime going again it will contain predominantly if not solely this sort of commentary. It won’t be quite as simple to revive the blog compared to rob-howard.com simply because the content on ObL is far more topical and the few drafts that I had been gradually working on are now mostly obsolete.

I’m not making any promises. Life is pretty busy at the minute, and I’m still enjoying working on Creative Splurges too much to consider dialling it back just yet. But never fear; its siblings are still on my radar.

Anyway, I’d better go. I took 360 photos yesterday and I want to try to get them processed, edited and posted on Creative Splurges before the week is out.

Ta ta
Rob

The eternal search for the right look

One of the shortlisted options.

Things are, once again, looking a little different around here. I’m still not entirely satisfied so don’t be surprised if things end up changing again. In fact, since I wrote that, they’ve changed twice.

The problem is this: the ‘look and feel’ of WordPress blogs are dictated by the theme, which sets the style of the blog, and, to a lesser extent, some of the behaviours.

There are numerous themes available for download. The theme that was used on this blog up until today worked very well, but I was never really very happy with the look of it (and I’ve had a few complaints about its small white text on a black background).

For months now, I’ve been looking around for a suitable replacement theme. Ultimately, however, themes always seem to fall into either one of two categories: ones that look good, and ones that work properly.

I have thus far found a few that look really good, but they are both let down by how they deal with my all-important Photography page. For some reason, they display the individual images too small, and don’t let you navigate through the gallery without clicking back out to the main page and back in again. Unfortunately my knowledge of CSS is far too limited to be able to solve the problem.

For now, I have decided to live with the problems on my photos page (grudgingly) in order that the main page looks presentable, and will hopefully figure out how to fix things in time (if anyone knows anything at all about stylesheets etc that might be able to lend a hand, let me know!)

In the meantime, I apologise if you refresh this page and find it looks totally different again. I’m fickle like that.

In other news, Creative Splurges has a new theme, and has now passed over 2,000 hits. Just in case you wanted a reason to visit.

Keeping up appearances

Oh yes, and a quick note about the appearance of this site. A friend of mine mentioned that the look of this blog was making his eyes bleed a little. Not a lot, but enough for it to be a problem – something I was also beginning to feel at times. The theme on this site was, to be honest, a little hard on the eyes.

I spent some time yesterday and today looking for a new look that was perhaps a little easier to view, whilst – as a bonus – adding a little extra functionality. I tried a few on in the mirror, but nothing really had the simplicity and style of this current theme.

So, I’ve changed the background colour. Or rather, I’ve added an image to the background. I find the blue is easier on the eyes than the dark brown we used to have. However, let me know how you feel about it (and if there’s any image over at Creative Splurges you’d rather see as the background, let me know!).

.

Rob