New Look For the New Times

Well I’ve been really excited about some of the new changes Shawn and Ben have been doing on their blogs, so I thought I’d change things up as well. I haven’t gone the whole “tumblelog” route just yet (it is another form of blogging) but I have changed the look of my blog to reflect some of the changes happening here. My site is better prepared for shorter blog posts, links and posting pictures easily. In fact, I’ve made the column size of the blog match a common flickr image size. Using the Grid Focus Theme that I’ve been sporting for awhile I hacked around enough to get it into a single column look, and changed some of the features etc. Check it out and let me know what you think. I suspect there will be some more tweaks and changes as time permits.

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Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

14 thoughts on “New Look For the New Times”

  1. @Fernando – thanks! And hey I haven’t forgotten about the post you tagged me with recently. I am looking forward to doing it ASAP.

    @Janelle – I use Textmate it’s a program for Mac. A good free alternative is text wrangler. I know enough HTML to get myself in trouble and not much more.

    @Holly – I agree and that’s a good song as well!

  2. Hmm.., it’s most a different philosophy, right? Just shorter posts. The design flows from that. I’ll keep the sidebar for now: I use it mostly to form a base for people just visiting. It would be interesting to throw more photos up though and I’ve been thinking of integrating my still mostly-secret podcast onto my site and I guess Twitter could theoretically go into the main column…. Why not integrate Del.icio.us as well…. Uh-oh.

    So is all done with some sort of API code into WordPress? Or is the homepage just a pulled-in collection of feeds? If the former you don’t get search (which I see the Openswitch guy mentions as a concern).

  3. Yeah, the point for me was not shorter posts, nor was it a design that followed. I’ll still be putting up long posts on occasion. The point was to somehow reflect all the different things engaged during my time spent in life and online. It is an attempt to mash-up different media, if you will (e.g., video, quotes, links, quick thoughts, notes, conversations, photos, art, etc.). The only thing in the way was the limited post format of my CMS. Tumbleblogs opened my eyes to a totally different way of publishing, and inspired me to try to “stream my consciousness” rather than continue putting up essay-like posts. Now, I wasn’t about to dump all the stuff I wrote, so I couldn’t go to full-blown Tumblelog. So, I tried to convert my already existent weblog into a hybrid sort of thing. I think I – and Ben – did so. There is much more going on at our sites beyond shorter posts.

    I also wanted more time to live, commune, and read. Working on all those posts was beginning to steal my time from real world activities like those. So, rather than just hit delete, I went this route. It is much more fun too. That’s the reason I won’t be spending my time at things like Twitter, Del.icio.us, etc. I have just enough free time to do my own version at my own site. That’s my own personal thing, and everyone can go in whatever direction they wish. I just don’t see much value in spending all that time on other sites just so I can then splice it all into my own site.

    Back to the topic: your place looks great Wess! Good work!

  4. Thanks guys! It is a lot of fun and Nik, Martin, Ben and Shawn, you guys all make me jealous because you make your own themes all the time – I think it’s great. Anyways I can see why, it’s fun to do it, almost like opening the hood of a car and getting your hands dirty…almost.

    Anyways — I would like to figure out how to plugin an API into wordpress’ loop where I could feed delicious, twitter and flickr into it using tags etc. I already have tags I use with delicious and flickr to publish with in various areas of like (Martin you were the one who showed me how to do that) and I’d like to add it into my blog mainly for the reasons Shawn gave. But I will still be writing, I just know it’s going to be a lot less than I am used to or known for.

    If anyone knows how to hack RSS feeds into the loop and make them show up like posts I would love to know how.

  5. Hey Wess,
    Down and dirty, not done right at all but check out this alternative to my homepage, built on this Pipe. If I had a free week I’d pull each feed in, customize its output, surround it with the proper DIV tags and then find a way to feed it back to Movable Type, ideally with categories based on the source. The current blog would become just another feed that I might not even display. The philosophy behind this is a little mind-blowing (to me at least) as it makes the blogging software into just a RSS display.

    If some VC wanted to fund all this, we could make specialized Yahoo Pipes for all the popular services and bundle this altogether as WordPress and Movable Type plug-ins or perhaps even create a new meta-blog kind of service. Kind of like a Netvibes for our personal universes…

  6. @C. Wess: Well, Alex King’s Twitter plugin allows you to take each of your tweets and convert it to an actual post in your blog. That’s what I’m doing for all my “thought” posts.

  7. Martin, I am glad we’ll be hanging out on Friday because I need to talk to you about what you’ve done. Looks great! And I think I am ready to try some of it out.

  8. Ben, thanks for the tip. I will have to give it a shot. I also need to figure out some RSS stuff like you’ve done for cutting out some of that stuff from the feed. I will dig into this more in a week.

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