I am no longer the sole regular contributor to this site, so I really ought to discuss things with my blogging roommates before I make any sweeping changes. But I didn’t. I guess I figured it was easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
Changing the site theme is always controversial. I don’t think I’ve ever made a change that didn’t get at least some push-back. But this is a big one, and I expect we’ll have a bit of a shake-out period.
- We’re down to a single-column layout. On one hand, I’ve always hated the clutter of the second column and the way it eats up screen space with stuff you rarely need. On the other hand: When you need that stuff you really need it. The upside is that the mobile and desktop versions of the site will be very similar.
My plan here is to kill the sidebar, move its contents elsewhere, and see if people have trouble finding them.
EDIT: This seems to be working out.
- Serif font. Over the past few weeks I’ve been posting Batman stuff where I talk about Ra’s Al Ghul while also writing about Borderlands Pre-Sequel where you rescue an AI. It really bugged me that I couldn’t tell the difference between AI and Al with the sans-serif font we’ve been using. So we’ll try serifs for a bit.
EDIT: The people have spoken. The people apparently REALLY hate serif fonts. Not one person jumped in to defend the poor little serifs. So now I’m experimenting with sans
- Wider main column. I like how nice this looks, but making the column wider means making the images wider, which also makes them taller, which means the images really devour a lot of screen space. We’ll see how people react to that. Anything is better than the early days of this site when I was using 320×200 images and a 600 pixel column width. There’s pretty much no way to fix that except to manually edit those hundreds of posts by hand.
This also means the comments section will be wider, which means I have more room to make the nesting clear. There’s still no way to make the nesting deeper without crawling down into the guts of WordPress, but at least it will be visually more comprehensible.
EDIT: I’m getting conflicting and confusing reports. Some love it. Some dislike it. Some say it works well in mobile and others have to scroll and zoom.
- Rotating background. The background image will change daily. There’s a different image for every day of the month.
EDIT: We’re obviously going to need more time to see how well this works.
- The cluttered list of stuff at the top is now a carousel.
One of the problems I’ve faced is that there is a lot of content on this site. Shit, I think a lot of multi-writer commercial sites would have trouble keeping up with my output in terms of wordsAlthough I guess if we include stuff like “repeating press release as news” then they’ve got me beat. Still, I write a lot of words for one guy. And that’s before you take into account that Rutskarn is also giving us over 1k words a week.. I’ve got traffic coming from YouTube, Twitter, TV Tropes, and the Escapist. All of those folks arrive looking for something different. I need to make it so they can find what they want, while also letting them know there’s a lot of other stuff here.
EDIT: It still needs visual tweaking, but this seems to accomplish what I was hoping.
- No search box. I really hate the WordPress search box. The automated formatting tools in WordPress are a little too eager to “help” you. When you tell it to create the search box, it wraps it in extra <div> tags that don’t have any class or id info so you can’t control them directly.
This means the search box is always out of line with other content, and trying to put it where it belongs means making global changes to related tags and then UN-doing those changes on a case-by-case basis. And then somewhere along the line one of those overrides doesn’t take because it’s overrided elsewhere, or there’s a browser inconsistency, or I just get lost ten levels deep in some tenth-generation inheritance and I start thinking there are better ways I could be spending my life.
Worse, the built-in WordPress search function SUCKS. Whenever I need to find an old post, I always go to Google rather than using my own search box.
EDIT: The search box is back. So is the twitter feed.
Welcome to the new theme. I’m sure you’ll let me know if something doesn’t work.
 Although I guess if we include stuff like “repeating press release as news” then they’ve got me beat. Still, I write a lot of words for one guy. And that’s before you take into account that Rutskarn is also giving us over 1k words a week.