I may be liberal in politics, but I can be darned conservative when it comes to information technology. I'm still using Windows XP. I still set my Start menu to the Classic settings so it looks like the customizations I made on my NEC Ready 120LT when I got it eleven years and two laptops ago.
When it comes to blogging, I've stuck with Blogger for over five years and with the same basic three-column template ("Thisaway Blue" by Dan Rubin with three-column modification by Ashwini Khare, blogger beta templates) for over three years.
I approach I.T. change with trepidation... but I'm ready to do it. Here's what I will change:
- The Big Change: I'm going to move from Blogger to Wordpress. I still believe Blogger is superior to Wordpress.com for free blogs. However, as I look at Wordpress.org, the paid Wordpress platform, I am finding enough plugins, coding options, and keyboard shortcuts (yes, the ability to use the keyboard and keep my hand off the mouse is that big of a deal to me) to be comfortable with switching. Doing what I want to do with Blogger would also cost me a couple bucks more a month... and I'm darned cheap.
- Layout: I will keep the three-column layout, but I am going to move the main content to the left and put both sidebars on the right (see drawing). That layout lets the main content load before all the links and graphics in the sidebars. That allows you and search engines alike to get the main info first. If you're on a skinny screen, you're less likely to have to scroll to read the main content.
- More Layout: The template will change. Fonts, colors, and sizes may switch here and there.
- I'm still writing. My blog, my voice, my responsibility.
- I'm deleting nothing. You'll still be able to read over 4400 posts and over 18,000 comments right here. I'm also attempting to import the full content of the Madville Times into the new platform.
- I will still include South Dakota blogrolls and RSS feeds in the sidebars, as well as recent comment feeds, graphics, ads, the tip jar... probably more stuff than a good Web designer would advise. But I think of my sidebars as bookshelves, a South Dakota library for anyone interested. Maybe I'll clear some clutter by creating separate pages, but I still want to feature as much of the South Dakota blogosphere on the front page as I can.
Design, content, you name it—the comment section is open for your thoughts. Or you can send me a private note. Fire away... and stay tuned!