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Blog Update – Just in Case You Hadn’t Noticed

Published May 24, 2012 - 2 Comments

I’ve been working on the look of the blog again.  When I think back to how it used to look on the old Blogger platform, and many many different variations on WordPress… well… it’s quite amazing, actually!

I stumbled onto a brand new blog tonight.  I was clicking randomly through twitter links, and notice someone posting that her blog was now live, so naturally I went to check it out.  There was a single post there.  No comments.  When I say a brand new blog, I mean a brand spankin’ new blog!

As I read through Katching Kayte I wondered whether the blogger would follow through with her current passion, or whether she would eventually succumb to writer’s block, and Katching Kayte would become yet another addition to the dead blog wasteland…  Only time will tell.

What’s new with WhatAboutStephen?  The blog is still running on the Thesis WordPress theme.  (Remember when I was so frustrated switching to Thesis?)  I moved from the free Thesis Sharp skin to the premium Thesis Blogskin.  I think that it’s a little crisper than Thesis Sharp.  I hope that you agree.

I’m making better use of the teasers on the front page, including thumbnail pictures with them.  Thumbnail and post pictures have always been a little tricky for me, but I think that I’ve finally managed to figure it all out.  Unfortunately this change makes my previous posts look rather sloppy. If a post is not configured properly, it will show a missing photo link… I would have to go back and correct each post manually, and that’s about 3 years worth.  I don’t foresee that happening.  As new posts continue to push the existing ones off the front page, it will become less noticeable.  Oh, curious about those smiley faces?  Those are default thumbnails and get placed there automatically if I chose not to include a photo within the post.  Think of them as a placeholder.  I will probably end up changing them, but for now they work.

I’ve removed some of the more annoying widgets from the sidebar.  In fact, I went on a bit of a cleaning spree and removed A LOT of plugins that I’ve installed over the years.  Most of those are things that you would not notice, but hopefully it provides a little cleaner interface, and fewer 3rd party plugins reduces the chances of a conflict.

So other than a couple of cosmetic things that I want to test out (I really would like to have a proper banner graphic, except that I’m artistically-challenged) I think that I’m pretty much settled on the way things are… for now… and will turn my attention to updating some of my other projects that have been neglected over the past few months.

Thanks for reading!

500th Post… Who Would Have Thunk It?

Published November 2, 2010 - 4 Comments

I’ve been holding off on this post because I believed that it would be the unveiling of a completely redesigned WhatAboutStephen.com.  The idea was to hire a professional team of web designers to do a complete overhaul, and make it look… well.. pretty!

Guess what?

As often happens in life, things didn’t go as well as planned.  After settling on a development team, it was brought to my attention that the scope of work required was far beyond the budget I had allocated for the project.  Now I understand how businesses and governments get stuck with cost overruns.  But rather than suck it up and increase the budget three-fold, I opted to cancel the project, and take a much smaller financial penalty for backing out.  (This money goes to the employment finder website… not the worker…)  At the end of the day, there are no hard feelings on either side, and I learned a valuable lesson in preparing for outsourcing projects.

So, for now, I’m flying solo again.

Which brings me up to the topic of the day.  This is my 500th published blog post!  Who would have ever thought that I would reach this point?  Sure, there are many blogs with far more (and better!) content… but that’s not the point.  Most bloggers have a tendency to lose steam after their good intentions run dry.  Yes, there have certainly been periods of inactivity with this blog too, but I always seem to come back to it.  And somewhat more surprisingly… so do many of my readers.

WhatAboutStephen.com has undergone many changes since it first debuted.  Some people may remember that it used to run on the Blogger platform.  I upgraded to WordPress last year and have been extremely happy with that decision.  My only disappointment is in losing the posts that I had already published as a Blogger site.  Had I kept those, I would have reached the 500th post long ago.  More importantly, it would provide a complete picture of how the blog has evolved over time.  Not much I can do about that now.  They’re gone, and they’re not coming back.  It’s time to carry on…

I’m curious to see what happens in the next 500 posts!

Before I sign off, I want to post a picture of a comic that I stumbled onto very recently.  I’ve mentioned the artist’s blog before.  The comic is called Happy Sad.  I really wish that I could meet this guy because everything that he comes up with… well… just read this…

Is Blogging Contagious?

Published August 6, 2010 - 1 Comment

As a blogger, it’s nice to know that you have an audience.  I’ve always said that even if only one person reads the blog, it’s worth it to me.  Obviously I prefer that more people do, because hey… I know that my mother will read it, so there’s my one person!

Even better than people reading, is when people comment on the posts.  As much as it’s all about me (yes.. get over it.. it’s all about me), blogging is really about community.  People come.  People go.  But at the end of the day, their comments make a lasting impression on the blog… and I appreciate every single one of them.  (Well maybe not one of them)

But what I discovered quite by accident is this.  Even better than people commenting, is when people ask me “How do I create a blog?”.  I’ve been asked that question by 3 readers of WaS!  Two of them have since created their own blogs.  One only asked me today, but I’m hoping that she follows through and starts one.

Of course, starting a blog is the easy part.  I’ve used Blogger and WordPress… I much prefer WordPress now, but in the beginning I found Blogger to be better because it was easy.  I’d still suggest to people that WordPress is the way to go, but it’s a personal preference.  The hardest part isn’t creating the blog.. it’s maintaining it.  When a blog is as general as this one, you can write content on absolutely anything you want.  What you lose in focus, you gain in flexibility.  For me, that was the way to dip my foot into the blogging pool.  There are still days that I don’t write anything, whether from a lack of time (unlikely) or a lack of desire (more likely).  Then there are periods of days or sometimes weeks that go by with hardly a blog entry posted.  But I always come back to it.  Always.

If you’re looking for something new to read, here are two blogs inspired (somehow) by WaS.

Feed the Homeless to the Hungry

Catou2010’s Blog