redesign warning

I am redesigning the crap out of this site my friends.  This week, you will meet a new Greek Tragedy.  I haven’t figured out what it will look like just yet, except for drastically different.  Those google ads are going to now be in the center of my content… sorry.  I don’t get paid for this site, clearly, and when you click those ads, it means I get to go to the movies more often. 

Now is your chance to put in your requests.   Is there any functionality you’d like to see?   Do you ever use the category filter?  Should I just lose it?  What about photos?  Should they be thumbnails on the site?  I’ve got a lot of work to do.   Wonder if I should just lose the favorite posts section.  I have no clue.

Google ads might begin to appear like this.  Would that be so bad?




  1. Instead of "Bloggers I Know" either replace with, or include, Blogs you Visit, or Sites you Visit. The regular stuff. The daily read stuff. The top 10 stuff.

  2. I agree with Annie; your "Blogger Reading List" (for lack of a better term) would be a more informative use of real estate than just a shout-out to your friends/acquaintances. (Whaddya know? Howdoya know it?) And how about making your Greatest Hits sort of a rotating list of entries, rather than a random-ish 30-odd list of stuff?

    Just my two cents; I don' know nuthin'.

  3. Random line of question inspired by your decision to reshape / remonetize your site…

    I was wondering about your experience w/GOOG.

    1. Do you notice any increase in monetization rates (either in terms of increase in click thru or increase in $ per page view)?

    2. As your traffic increases does Google increase the % of your payout?



  4. I personally don't use the category filters. As for the photos, I think they are great. Easy to get to. Could be cool to have a rotating one here on the main page, but you could take it or leave it. As for the favorite posts, I have read (and loved) them all. Plus you link to them enough in regular posting that you don't necessarily need the side section. We can tell which ones you like 'cause you link to them. ;)
    Looking forward to the new look. Good luck with the "remodel."

  5. I actually like flickr's interface more for photo hosting, but yours is very cool, and I would keep them because you like photography and sometimes they express things that words won't.

    I'm really not a big fan of your move with the google ads.

    I don't use the category filter very often, but I think it's cool that you file things under different categories – it ads something to the post.

    I like your favorite posts section. I would definitely keep that because if I just browsed here and was trying to decide whether to keep reading, I'm going to click on those to see what you're all about.

    I agree with the others about changing the title of your "Bloggers I Know" section.

    Good luck!

  6. I know it would be time consuming, but I would love to know who those people are in your pics, like my friend Jen or my friend Michelle, stuff like that. Would make it more interesting! Not that it isn't absolutely great already! Keep up the good work!!

  7. I saw Stephanie on the subway yesterday morning! I'm moving out of NYC for grad school in a week so it was cool to see you in person before I leave the city. Was going to say something to you but didn't want to intrude on your morning commute. Keep up the interesting writing, I enjoy it.

  8. I think a live streaming update of race results from Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga would be a great value-added feature. Then I wouldn't have to keep switching back and forth to to see if I'm still alive in the Pick 6.

  9. I'm going to give you the same advice I gave Derek Stubbs about his blog. You need to add Page 3 Girls like in The Sun. It's what the readers want!

  10. keep the favorites
    lose bloggers i know

    I have used the catagory filters and found them useful.

    Love the rest of it!

  11. I love the favorite post section, but I would like to see a more personal masthead. Good luck with the designing!

  12. OH, big question… when viewing a photo album do you prefer it to open in a new window or not?

    Also, besides the "about me" page… how about an "about them" page giving a bit of history to my often mentioned cast of characters, so you know about whom I'm speaking…

  13. I want the photo album to open in a new page, so you can flip back and forth and see who you are talking about! I also like the "about them" but what about them, would they care????
    Now my friends ask me if they were on my blog and get pissy if I don't mention them! LOL

  14. About them is an awesome idea, assuming the people don't mind, or assuming you don't care if they mind.

    I prefer a photoalbum opening to a new window.

  15. I just wanted to say that I came across your blog and you write so well that I couldn't stop reading! I think you should keep your favorite post section, many of your posts are really inspiring! Good luck redesigning your site!

  16. the pictures are just so much fluff. it's as though your d70 or whatever just puked them out. it makes me not want to wade through the endless bad party pix. ugh. cuz the thing is, you have taken some really fabulous shots.

  17. Thumbnails? To hell with thumbnails. Apropos of a prior post, all of your photos should be of girls kissing other girls!

    (Oops. Let the frat boy inside me out for a minute. Bad frat boy, bad.)

  18. S,
    Whatever you do, don't get rid of your favorite posts. It was from clicking those that I became addicted to your writing. And for that matter, don't ever stop linking to your posts in your posts. I love flipping around.

  19. Between you and Chris DiClerico my whole world is changing. It's too much. Up is down. Black is white. Straight as a corkscrew. Mr. Inside-outsky. Like some goddamned Bolshevik picking up his orders from Yank central.

    Sorry. Sometimes I channel Miller's Crossing.

    Think the people commenting here have some good advice for you Stephanie.

  20. I'd:
    – nix the category filters
    – add thumbnails
    – add a list of bloggers you read
    – redo your header to show something about who you are. Everything else on this site is descriptive but that.

  21. It was your "must reads" that introduced me to your work to begin with—don't do away with that! If I fell in love with your writing that way, then others have and will also. Perhaps "Bloggers I know" should become "Bloggers I read", but I have mixed feelings on that. I wouldn't have found Barbara or Blue Jake without those links. I've always found your current manner of posting photos completely fine and easy to navigate. No need to change that.

    Good luck with the re-design. Looking forward to seeing more of your design talent.

  22. I love your site. Personally I think the re-wording of the bloggers is a good idea, and maybe cut down on the number of favorite posts (and link to another page with more listed if readers want to go there?) keep it at 5 or max of 10. But none of that is a big deal, your navigation is very good. It's just the Redesign I really look forward to – new header, new colors, something more descriptive of this person we all see in the writing.

  23. I always right click and open the photos in a new window anyway. That way it can load while I keep reading the post.

    The about them idea is good too, as long as they are all ok with it. But definately put pics there so we know who they are, since you don't often caption the pictures (which I can totally relate to, as I recently stopped doing it too!).

  24. In my evermost humble opinion–and, without reading the scores of other previous comment….I would first narrow down your favorite posts to reveal only your most loved and self-revealing posts. I love your photos–but you need a photo editor. Just remember the K.I.S.S. rule. Keep it simple stupid. Less is more. You need to broaden your link list–blog buddies, so to speak. I know you have a book deal and all but if'n you link to lots of people, won't that mean more possible book sales? Cause if you linked to me, I would definitely buy your book. Get it? In any case–whatever happens with your redesign, please don't sweat it. Just be real and truthful in your posts and folks will come back. Afterall, this hillbilly keeps checkin in.

  25. For what it's worth, I agree with most of the above. "Bloggers I Know" might be redefined to a Top Ten, and Bloggers I Read. More homework and judgement calls for you…

    If I had to add One Fresh Idea, it'd be some more detail on the captions to your photos. So much great stuff, but no mention of Who, When, or What Context. OK, we know it's you when there's a pic of you, but let us on on all the other Usual Suspects, or some details on the Location/Event. It's much more interesting. Besides, we want to know who took those shots of you when you look really looped. Still more Homework. Well, you asked.

    Think of it as the Freedom Of Information Act in it's best possible form… America needs to know.

  26. I would also love to find out about the people in the pics – just to know where they fit in to knowing 'you' etc. :)

    Maybe just start up a normal blogroll – people in your life, other sites you frequent etc.

    Personally, I love the categories and it is an easier way for the reader to get a whole picture of a subject – but that extra clicking may be a pain for you. So either way, its all good.

    You know what is nice though? A writer/designer who cares to ask. :) Thank you!

  27. NY-squared, since you asked, I'd like to see your banner, or the whole site for that matter, become a little more "Stephanie." Include personal stuff that we identify with you. Maybe a collage of sorts. I dunno. Linus, or a cool self-portrait you've painted or sketched, things from sensory overload?

    I like the photos opening up to a new window; I like your lengthy list of faves cuz it gives a new reader a chance to see your best of; keep the 'Bloggers I know' in some fashion or I'll lose 50% of my traffic.

    Seriously, I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  28. Yes, I'm very aware of the traffic-scratching, so I intend to keep a section for the bloggers I'm friends with. I guess we shall see.

  29. your content is incredible, among the absolute best, and reliably always among my favorites.

    design-wise, though, i had a hard time getting into your site at first, way back, due to:

    compacted line-height, squished together
    lack of white space
    all page elements pushed against each other
    font hard to read on-screen

    basically, everything's all jammed together, and feels a bit crowded. white space, and perhaps a not so jammed together font, maybe adding a larger space between letters, greater line-height, this might make for a more comfortable reading experience.

    also, i would gladly give you my email address when leaving comments, if an option were available whereby my email address wouldn't become public on your site.

    the content, however: absolutely amazing, always and forever. you are truly talented.

  30. Do you ever use the category filter? >

    Should I just lose it? >

    What about photos? >

    Should they be thumbnails on the site? >

    Wonder if I should just lose the favorite posts section. I have no clue. >

    Google ads might begin to appear like this. Would that be so bad? >

  31. Do you ever use the category filter? > yes

    Should I just lose it? > no

    What about photos? > please keep

    Should they be thumbnails on the site? > whatever

    Wonder if I should just lose the favorite posts section. I have no clue. > NO!

    Google ads might begin to appear like this. Would that be so bad? > Not at all…

  32. nice that you would like our input, thanks. it should be as simple as it is now…i mean, in ease of use and accessibility. simple and comforting, ya know? like a nice grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup.

    one idea however is to incorporate little pop-up bubbles coming out from the photos. we (the readership) can get the perspective of what was actually happening, as opposed to some random pictures of random people, in random locations (random to us that is). kinda like in blind date, or vh1's pop-up video. now that would be interesting!

  33. although, you should add a bio/aboutme page, like a miniautobiograghy of sorts, and more pictures are always better, just without the thumbnails (sorry, dial ups)

  34. i wanted to say that you are VERY brave to ask people their opinions. what you have on here is personally chosen, you know, so reading what people do and dont like about it would make me want to punch people! brave….very brave!

    i just want you to keep writing so I can keep reading. selfish. i know.

  35. First of all, make some money if you can. Seriously, do it. I thnk you like the word "crabass" – well you certainly get enough crabass email to deal with, I think you should be paid for it at this point. Second, I've never personally used the filters, I usually like to read in chronological order so I don't get confused and I have a better understanding of what is going on in the writer's life. Ok, that's my 2 cents and now I'll shut up.

  36. Dear Steph,

    please keep/develop:
    -favorite blogs
    -current movies/books==> thumbnails with a link to amazon
    -categories (but also in a sidebar similar to fav posts)
    -about them
    -Top 5 lists on anything
    -fav posts

    Love, Jules from Germany

  37. Please keep the photos, i love them. You have so much talent for it. To show the photos you could use this programme. It is really great, a friend of mine uses it for his site..
    It is fast and looks great, and you can modify it to your hearts content.

    I love your site and i think that whaterver you do with it, it will look great.

  38. Don't get rid of the category filter..I love it!! It makes it simple for me to find my fav posts easier. I know whatever you do it will rock as do you!!!!

  39. I think a running tally of the number of deaths and casualties among American soldiers fighting in Iraq would be a welcome addition to your blog. It would provide an interesting counterpoint to most of the discussions that go on here.

  40. Hmm… I think the Google ads are great!
    I also think you should keep the photos and your lists.

    Can you make more lists?! Please.

    I'd also love to see some quizzes, if you do those.

  41. Categories are good, but I get confused without a chronological archive section – what was your first ever post? Where is it now? Am I just being stupid and blind in my inability to locate this? (Highly possible). Boring, but useful perhaps.

  42. If you sort by date, you can see my first posts…

    I am all about lists. Perhaps some suggested lists? I will get cracking right away.

  43. My two cents:

    * Google Ads, Schmooogle Ads – I'd rather see the "ScarfHair2" pic in the center. Personal favorite.
    * Category Filters are cool.
    * Photos are even more cool and we are in desperate need of much more of your photographical talent. Thumbnails seems to be the way to go, as long as you can click to view a larger image.
    * New window for a photo album? – Not a huge fan of having multiple browsers opened for the same site, but whatever . .
    * Favorties are good – would be even better if you updated your fav list every now and then. Lists are cool, updated lists means you are l33t.
    * Cast of Characters? – Tough call. Maybe and quick profile if these "characters" also had blogs you could link to.

  44. I am still not a terribly big fan of the Google ads, but if you need the money … you need the money.

  45. I like the way your photos are presented, and I really like the artistry of some of them, but sometimes there are just too many–the pictures from some nights become redundant with the same people posed in slightly different ways. Maybe edit out some redundancies? Also, I really like the candids–better than the lined up, smiling faces. Just some thoughts!

  46. Thanks for warning us watchers about the change, cuae I know I hate it when a site (of any type) just *poof* chaanges drasticlly overnight, and everything is differant, and in differant places. End up spending waaaaaaay longer just to find what your looking for, and that is just plain wrong. Thank you again for asking the reader's opinions, that is balls, pure balls, kid. Damn, you are nice and gutzy. What can't you do?

    your loyal watcher :)

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