Wednesday, August 06, 2008

TKC BLOG TINKERING!!! CRAWLING TOWARD A BETTER LOOKING BLOG!!!



There's always been a bit of a design problem around here . . . The blog format has a weakness, it is organized by TIME and not IMPORTANCE. Wordpress bloggers are already finding their way around this weakness with more folks using themes that look like magazines but so far blogger has proven far more reliable and easily tweaked for my purposes and it's really a software that I enjoy using.

BUT SO OFTEN SOME OF MY FAVORITE POSTS GET BURIED UNDER CONTENT THAT'S STILL IMPORTANT BUT NOT STUFF I WANT TO SPOTLIGHT!!!

The solution I had implemented earlier was either keeping the feature/EXCLUSIVE(!!!) posts up top for longer periods of time and then hoping people would scroll down for newer stuff AND using the widget on the sidebar to spotlight some of my recent greatest hits. Both solutions worked to an extent but they weren't elegant and they didn't solve the main problem:

THE SECOND THIS SITE LOADS I WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THE TOP FIVE THINGS I THINK ARE IMPORTANT ON TKC ALONG WITH THE NAME OF THE BLOG!!!

So, after looking at a few other software solutions, add-ons and even more widgets I discovered that the answer to my question was right there in front of me . . . As always.

WITH SOME AWESOME ADVICE AND A BIT OF HELP FROM I,SHANE (!!!) . . . I decided that I would simply tweak another blogroll in order to help readers more easily navigate the best content on this blog.

WITHOUT A DOUBT BLOGROLLING.COM IS ONE OF THE BEST BLOGGY ADD-ONS I'VE EVER USED AND DEFINITELY WORTH THE YEAR LONG SUBSCRIPTION!!!

I simply used the "URL to Image Translation" function in order to display some of images from posts that I wanted to highlight and then filled in the appropriate information into the link fields that they provided. An image blogroll was ready in no time . . .

However, by default blogrolls display vertically and I was in a bit of a quandary as to how I would get the thing to appear horizontally on my page. I was racking my brain with solutions that involved CSS, XHMTL and even tables. Again, the solution was right in front of my face and in one of the preference sections which blogrolling.com provides.

It's called "Optional Linebreaks" here's what it looks like:



Following their simple instruction, selecting this option added a space after every link which in turn removed the line break function and caused the blogroll to display horizontally!!! It wasn't hard to size the image link squares and I settled on 128 x 100 pixels. To finish off the display I added a quick bit of code to center the new horizontal blogroll.

The top two advantages of this strategy is that it not only provides a way for me to highlight content that I think is most interesting in a quick and somewhat efficient manner but also allows me to continue blogging more content without being worried about the most relevant posts getting buried or not being spotlighted on my blog.

I'm sharing this information with folks so it'll be easy to find on the web for anyone else who would like to implement this fix. Also, I've noticed that the local blogging scene is full of social events and glad handing among a variety of closed circles but lacks a lot of resources to help other bloggers. So often, links are only passed among a small cadre/clique of people that don't have anything at all to do with the this town or the real world but really just represent another manifestation of privilege among people who can afford to cross the digital divide . . . It's not a criticism, it's just a fact that most Internet denizens like to ignore. Hell, even I am surprised by how many Latino households have failed to invest in a high speed connection. In the final analysis, this small bloggy suggestion is just part of TKC's mission to type about this town and link as many bloggers as possible when they have something, anything to say about life in Kansas City.

Here's hoping that this small offering will inspire other bloggers to not make blogging just about socializing but also an opportunity for folks to contribute whatever they can to the discourse in Kansas City.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eh, still needs some tweaking