Taking Chances

>> Thursday, January 7, 2010

Well, even I can't pretend the holidays aren't over and dieting season hasn't begun anymore. I've put off realizing this situation until what I think is the absolutely last possible moment, and that moment has arrived.

In the meantime, the Idea-O-Meter for this blog is running about as close to empty as I've ever seen it. If something doesn't change soon, I may resort to regaling you all with potty training stories. (Yikes!)

So, I'm thinking we need a change of pace around here. (Pay attention, this is important.) I want to know what your favorite posts have been, and why you keep coming back to read more. If you are brand new here, feel free to read back a bit and catch up, then participate when you can. Heck, I'll even take your suggestions. Now, to be clear, "take your suggestions" is one of those phrases that works a lot like, "I'm listening." It means I will pay attention to what you say and think about it. Nowhere does it say I will do what you are talking about. (Of course, if you send me a suggestion, understand you are granting me any permission to use the idea in my blog as I see fit, without any claim whatsoever on me, the blog, or the meagre earnings it produces annually, whether or not I give you any credit for the inspiration -- got it? Aw, nuts. I "lawyered" again. I might need to seek counseling for that knee jerk reaction.)

Speak up, post your comments, tweet me, email me, let me hear you. If you don't, you may find that I have returned to talking about sports ... and if you thought college football season was dry fodder, you do not want to see me talk about the combine and the pending NFL draft between now and April. For those of you reading this late (and where have you been, by the way?), feel free to join in at any time. I do go back to older posts to see if there have been comments, so don't leave me hanging.

As a general rule, I am open to suggestions and comments, which brings me to the second new thing I want to try. My dear friend @sneakapeekatme (who writes a pretty mean blog, I must say), has made some observations on my blog layout. She observes that reading white letters on a black background is hard on the eyes. She kindly suggests that perhaps a new layout is in order.

Well. I had to think about this for a bit. I love my layout. It took me a long time to find it. I don't even want to talk about how scary it was for me to actually upload it to the site and how crushed I was when I thought I lost my map and list of followers for good.

But I'm over that now, and far be it from me to cause anyone eyestrain.

So, with a little bit of emotional hangup that makes you love me so much (right? am I right? why aren't you saying anything?), I've decided that @sneakapeekatme is right. I need to be ADA compliant and reverse the coloring on my blog.

The problem is ... I cannot do that without a whole a new template.

Yeah.

So here is the deal. Take a gander around the internet and send me some ideas for a new blog layout. If I pick your idea, maybe I'll send you a prize. (I said, "maybe". Think of it like a sweepstakes where no one you ever heard of actually wins.)

Here are the parameters:

1. I don't do "cute." If there are stuffed animals on it, I don't want it. I only allow "cute" decorations in my house if they sing cheery holiday songs, preferably with a a barking dog alongside.

2. I like bright. I don't do flowers, or at least not flowered wallpaper. There is such a thing as too bright, but that more to do with sheer glare on the viewscreen and less to do with amount of color.

3. I hate pink. Okay, that isn't exactly true, but there will be no all-pink or even mostly-pink layouts on this blog.

4. HTML is not my strong suit, but I muddle through. This change may be beyond me. If the layout is too customizable, someone smart and clever like my friend @sneakapeekatme needs to agree to help me fix everything when the whole blog site crashes. Given that she lives an entire continent away, this agreement could be difficult for her to fulfill, so I encourage someone local to volunteer. I strongly encourage. Strongly. Coffee will be provided. Possibly beer.

5. Per conventional wisdom, the text box layout needs to be light or white, with dark (or customizably dark) font.

6. The layout must be free to download and use. I want everyone's ideas on a level playing field, so I am setting the price factor to zero.

So ... what do you think? Will you do it? Tell me your favorites and send me some blog backgrounds?

Will ya? Will ya, huh?

3 comments:

Heather January 7, 2010 at 9:38 AM  

I had a very similar layout to yours for awhile, and realized pretty much the same things...it was time for a change...

This is what I used. It's fairly simple to do, and I had it done in an hour or so. Plus, it's free--and there are a ton to choose from. I know some people spend all kinds of money getting fancied up, but for now, I have better uses for my moolah!!!

http://www.freecsstemplates.org/

hope that helps you some. :)

Susan January 10, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

I'm in the same position. I've had a blog redesign on my to-do list for a year. It was okay when Ainsley was a baby, but I'm tired of it. It's just hard to make the time. I need my husband's help and he's been gone too many hours most of 2009.

I don't mind the white on black of your design as much as the bright spots on the side next to darkness of the black can kind of hurt the eyes. One day the spots weren't there and it was easier on the eyes. Good luck!

ASK January 14, 2010 at 1:10 AM  

First - I have no issue with the layout and colors of the blog.

Second - I find that the posts I like the best are to ones where you are putting your spin on the events happening right now in your life. You seem to be very sensitive about stepping outside a certain box that you have created because of feedback given in the past. I say, write what you see, hear and feel on a weekly basis. If that happens to be football, so be it. If that happens to be potty training, so be it.

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