While I've been traveling about, I've been thinking about blog design and the future of this site.
(We were in Seattle for the SF Hall of Fame inductions and the Locus Awards. We converged with much of the rest of my family at Apollocon in Houston. Then we made a quick trip to upstate New York. We couldn't stay long because we had reservations at a Massachusetts beach motel. Now we're in Burlington, MA at Readercon, one of our favorite conventions.)
Every once in a while I get into a blog redesign frame of mind For example, on April 6, 2006, I wrote:
Every once in a while, I get in a mood and I want to radically reconfigure what my blog is and does at the information architecture level: the mood I described previously as "being tired of writing on a roll of paper towels."
But up until now it's pretty hard to make blog software behave differently in any really meaningful way. Yes, I can tinker with CSS, but the ease of writing in the standard blog format is a strong current to swim against, so despite possibilities offered by CSS, I have tended to fall into the path of least resistance and so despite my several attempts at a major overhaul, things haven't changed that much. However, Typepad recently introduced a feature called Type Pages which may allow for changing habits.
This evening I will be on a panel on online criticism and reviewing:
9:00 pm ME F&SF Reviewing in the Blogosphere.
John Clute, Kathryn Cramer, Jim Freund (M), Ernest Lilley, Tom Purdom, Gordon Van Gelder.
A guide to what's online, and a discussion of the ways in which online reviewing differs from the print variety. What are the good and bad aspects of the more personal and informal tone of much online criticism?
On the panel, I will once again take the position that the big difference in quality between online and print reviewing is that people tend to spend a lot less time composing reviews and essays for online publication than they do for print venues. I find that blog software pushes me in the direction of shorter composition time, so the redesign I have in mind is a format for longer wavelength thoughts. I think this can be accomplished through the Type Pages interface.
Such messing about -- as well as the composition of actual essays -- will have to wait until I'm home and unpacked. But meanwhile I'm thinking about it.
I have looked around for blogs doing interesting things with Type Pages, and haven't yet found any really good examples. Anyone seen good examples of what can be done?