Geek Love

Is it Just Me?

Earlier, thanks to J-Mo Jen, I started browsing through the Well-Designed Weblogs Volume 2. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some really nice sites on that list, and I am sure they have great code integrity. (Something I plan to getting back in to over the next few weeks.) However, I noticed something as I started to scroll down the page.

They all start to look the same.

There are some exceptions on the list, and some are truly unique. I noticed them. Some are prettier then others, and several “new finds” had some cool information – I’ve wandered off in to new lands, and it’s a good feeling. I’m updating my “Cookie Crumbs” over there on the sidebar again in case you have stopped reading them.

But the colors all started to blend together, especially in the middle of the list. The formats were just … the same. Somedays, I just like to see something that stands out. Has some zing. Is different from the rest of the crowd. Content is ultimately king, but having some unique “flavor” to your weblog is important too!

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

20 replies on “Is it Just Me?”

i agree … although if you look at my site it’s kinda a pastel and looking kinda similar to some of those too. I used to use bold colors and big graphics — but then I wanted to be more accessible and easier on the eyes. So I stuck with lighter backgrounds for the text … and then things just went pastel from there. I started having more text on the site, less graphics — so I needed more light backgrounds (because for me, I think dark backgrounds are sooo hard to read). So I guess with all the focus on “BEING ACCESSIBLE” to everyone for every machine and every browser … maybe we’ve all gotten kinda blah. Given up too much creativity for accessibility? When you go to a site … if it takes longer than 10 seconds to load — do you wait? I don’t much anymore. I used to. Geez I used to have the big graphics. Oh well. I’m done blabbing. Just wanted to say I agree — most of them to look alike. This makes me want to go and use some bold colors wherever I can on my site now!

they all started to look the same to me.

my blog is very plain, too… sidebar on the left, content on the right. i have yet to add some sparkly goodies; i haven’t had the time (or the energy) to look for cool code to add.

*sigh* Everyone was inspired by my grey and white design… πŸ˜‰ (Alright, so I shamelessly borrowed my style from Apple – perhaps this year is the year of the Mac. πŸ™‚ Looking at these, though, makes me really want to redesign my site!

*Must* resist urge – at least for awhile.

That’s why I don’t worry so much about vaildation. I worry more about presentation. As long as it looks the same on different browsers who cares?

By the time you get everything validated, your blog looks just like everyone elses, except maybe in color scheme. Heck, a lot of people use the same basic templates!

I always design from scratch. I just think I get what I want better. Oh, and I love Blue too! Blues are some of my favorite design colors.

I noticed the same thing while perusing that list. Every single site was either white background, black text, and grey highlights, or some equally kinda bland color scheme.

Your blog is your identity online, you should…jazz it up some while still making it viewable. Of course, you know most of those guys probably went to a site like Blogplates (I believe is one of them) and just grabbed a template, fiddled a little with it, then published it.

I hope with my site to make it stand out a bit. Now, whether or not that will be accomplished is another matter.

Hello everyone,

I am surprised that people here think all the sites “look the same”.

I’m not arguing with your opinions. I respect them (with some exceptions) and welcome any constructive criticism.

As a possible explanation to our wildly differing views, I think this very much depends on ones preferences for the ideal: you seem to have an imaginary “norm” blog that you compare these designs to, and perhaps it’s just that your norms differ from mine.

There’s also the fact that over time weblogs seem to have evolved into an almost de facto layout: two columns, right hand sidebar, black text on light background, etc. This is a good thing. It works, yet has room for a lot of variation of a large number of parameters.

This is not to say there aren’t other distinctly different layout and color schemes that work, which is also what I said in a response to Catherine’s comment. It’s just that they are harder to find. At least for me.

Of course, I’d love to see concrete examples of what you are referring to. I’d be particularly impressed if they were your own creations.

Brian, I find your comment disrespectful and amusing at the same time, especially after seeing your own weblog. I hope you didn’t expect to be taken seriously.

My question then is, are we in some kind of competition? Absolutely not. The fact that they are de facto in a sense is good for me – I know where to look for links, and so on and so forth.

Style is indeed king, and I think a lot of times when a site is noted for being “ubercool” I ultimately think that webmaster is trying entirely too hard and it annoys me.

Clap-clap, you won an award. Can I just read what you are thinking? Can I see your innermost thoughts on love? politics? life? relations? sex?

I’m not there for your unique code, and I am most certainly not there for any other reason than I want to read your thoughts.

I have seen some fabulous sites, but then read the content and felt sorry that the person’s only thoughts revolved around a purchase of shoes and how they won’t match her dress. Hey, that’s cool and the gang, but the site design had me ready for something more deep in nature.

Lars, my site has skins, you can see a variety of my designs. And granted – my default skin is white with dark text, and I love my gray designs.

If you go through my blogroll – especially the people I’ve met in person, you will see what is the “norm” for the blogs I read – and what everyone reads is different. The blog world is *HUGE* – which is why it just struck me as odd & amusing when I hit the middle of the list and they all started to look the same. It was refreshing to get to Dooce’s site on the bottom of the list and see something so green!

Well Designed Weblogs?
Or not.

Lars Holst, who has a beautiful WordPress-powered blog, has been doing a bit he calls Well-Designed Weblogs. I have been pretty disappointed with the second round (and to some extent the first round) of “Well-Designed Weblogs.” It is…

Believe me kids, this isn’t an arguement going on only in the web design world. I work in the custom cabinetry industry and I have to say, if I see another award handed to a “Tuscan” style or “Traditional” style kitchen, I might scream.

People come to me for cabinets because I take what’s currently popular and then give it a kick. Mix it up. Use color. Don’t follow the herd.

Back to the design issue at hand: I truly hope that next year Lars will include some people with a “kick” to their web design.

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Is it Just Me?

Is being paranoid part of being an adult? I mean, is it just me? Have you ever had one of those days where you just feel like people are talking about you behind your back? When did this happen? I wasn’t this skeptical of people when I was growing up. I wasn’t like this 10 years ago. Now I look at people some days and just wonder what their ulterior motive is; what it is that they are out to gain by their actions. Not everyone, but some people. It is all amplified in the web world. Maybe I’ve just seen too many people get screwed over and stabbed in the back. I don’t know. Maybe it really is just me. Either way, this feeling sucks. Mean people suck.

I woke up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed this morning. I didn’t mean to, obviously. This whole paranoid issue came up and got me thinking, and I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. I must pull myself out of this funk. I can’t stand being in a funk like this – I would much rather be happy. I’m a paranoid optimist – I can’t handle being a paranoid pessimist. So to help defunktify myself, here are some positive things for me to focus on:

:: It is a nice, sunny day outside. Little white puffball clouds. The downtown skyline is shimmering from within.
:: My workout plan is showing. I have lost 2″ already. Ok, 2″ isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s better than nothing. More importantly, I can see the results and feel it in how my clothes fit.
:: My Cirque du Soleil CD, Allegria, is on. I love the music. Soothing.
:: My first roll of film from the Kiev 35A will be ready to be picked up today. I can’t wait to see how the pictures turned out!
:: I have wonderful family and friends that I know love me. (Even in my most paranoid of moments.)
:: Jason said this morning that he is feeling better – a lot better than he has felt since June 8. Yes, he’s been battling this tummy crud for a week and a half, and it was good news to hear he was feeling better.
:: You guys amused me and really made me happy with the 100+ comments on the Mission: Comments post. Sometimes it’s the little things in life.
:: Ste’s comment on that thread prompted me to e-mail him and tell him of my “Commenter Blogroll” wish. Within hours, I had code to put in to place and it works perfectly.
:: I found some really good new reads. I had no idea that some of you were blurking here – I’m glad you came out and said hi. Don’t be shy – feel free to speak up any time.
:: Mike. Mike rocks, and I don’t tell him often enough. Mike? You ROCK. *mwuah!*
:: Speaking of Mike, the Lager Rhythms will be performing for public consumption on Saturday night. You can come hang out with all of us at Anderson Fair for good times. I’ll post the full details later or you can read them at the H-Town blogs site.
:: As for the H-Town bloggers, I’m considering trying to get them together for the 4th of July. Who’s game? Fireworks in downtown, day in the park!

You know what? That really does help make me feel better. What are some of the positive things that make you smile? Feel free to share, I could use the lift.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

14 replies on “Is it Just Me?”

Aw, shucks. Thanks. Feel free to tell me anytime you like. πŸ™‚ And no, no ulterior motives here. And the comments plug-in looks nice – can’t wait to read about how it actually works.

I think being a grown-up does make you paranoid…or maybe it is just having to work in corporate America to get ahead that does it. Whatever I’m ready to be 10 again and to lie in the grass and watch those big puffy clouds.

Those are some nice thoughts to cheer you up – I know what you mean about ulterior motives, there are just some people you can’t help but suspect sometimes. I always feel bad about suspecting them, but my suspicion’s have been confirmed so many times … anyway, the script looks like it’s working well, though I notice that you are showing up on there, too – to fix that, you could just post comments without your URL (or I could modify the code slightly to exclude you. πŸ™‚

– It’s summer. Finally.
– Realizing that unplugging is a *choice*
– Being an adult and working on a difficult problem to the end unlike shirking difficult stuff when young
– Realizing that age does provide wisdom, and liking being wise more than wanting to be younger
– Noting that staring at big pink cookies did not make me hungry for a cookie

congratulations on your 2″ – that kicks ass!

things that make me happy… puppies! i am a sucker for puppies. especially little ones.

small temper tantrums always help me out. sounds immature and childish right? usually that’s exactly what you need to get out of your funk. they tell you to cheer yourself up by thinking happy thoughts – i’ve realized it doesn’t always work. sometimes what you really need is to ball up your fists, stomp around, whine, cry, and scream, just like you see plenty of two year olds do. They do it because it relieves stress! they just do it too much. πŸ˜› Give it a try though – go off to the ladies’ room sometime at work, and throw yourself a tantrum (might want to avoid the screaming part though). You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel when you’re done.

Jumping in mud puddles on rainy days always helps me too. Skip. Twirl in a few circles.

Being an adult all the time sucks. Be a kid again (call it your inner child if you want) for five minutes, let out all your frustration and then focus on the fun and the smiles and the dorky innocent actions that go with being a kid, and then being a responsible adult again is so much easier.

Jennifer, the world does too revolve me. It does, really. Ask Mike. I have this whole “world revolves around me” hand gesture and everything!

Cindy, I can almost always find the humor. Except for this morning. This morning, it just wasn’t there. It got better as the day went on though. I had a good cry, and that helped. It’s true – sometimes you just need to get it out.

I agree on the paranoid thing, and on the Alegria CD! I love, love, LOVE that CD. Both the one from the Cirque show and the one from the movie too.

I’m going to have to go put a Cirque DVD on now I think.

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Is It Just Me?

While surfing a few blogs lately I’ve noticed a trend, and it’s driving me crazy. The whole “see more” CSS thing is going from being handy to being overly abused. Seriously folks, you don’t need to set up *every* entry that way. I have come to your blog to read. I want to read without having to click “read more” on every single entry. Please? I don’t want to touch the mouse. I just want to read. If you are posting it, doesn’t it stand to reason that it’s worth saying? Then why hide it? Why do I have to hit the “read more” just to read a basic post? Do you do it because you think it makes your site look less cluttered? But … isn’t clutter what a blog is all about?

Don’t get me wrong. I think there is a time and a place for an extended entry. You have a particularly long post that you just want to offer a teaser too – great. Or you have a picture that you want to hide so that if someone is browsing at work your “rack photo” doesn’t pop up on their monitor, that’s wonderful. But do you have to do it for every single post? Am I the only person that this is bothering? I mean, you know …

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

23 replies on “Is It Just Me?”

It’s not really passe, like I said – used in the right time & place I think it is a WONDERFUL solution. It’s when people use it on every single post. I just don’t get it … if you felt it was worth posting, then let me read it. Why hide it? But if it’s a long post, or maybe you don’t want a page full of memes, then hide them. Sometimes there is a reason to do it – but not *all* the time.

I agree – it shouldn’t necessarily be used on every post. If I only post memes and quizlets all day, then I tend to hide them like you said. But hmmm… when I look at yesterday, I hid more than I left unhid. Hmmmm…. maybe I’m overusing it too!

I already use the function sparingly, but when I do use it, I use it to keep my page looking tidy. Perhaps the solution is a “show all” function that would expand all entries for those of you who find extra clicks onerous. Any scripty-god(ess) type people wanna volunteer?

I use it sometimes, but certainly not with every single post! The way this is most useful for me (and probably for my readers, too) is when I post my weekly *This-or-That* questions. I post just the questions on top, and my answers appear in the extended entry. This is good because it makes it easier for people to copy and paste the questions only, without having to delete my answers, also, sometimes people might not want to see my answers until after they’ve posted their own.

My general rule is…if I posted a lot that day, I might use it for the longer entries. If not…I just let it all hang out! πŸ™‚

I try to hide images in posts like birthday greetings after the recipient has seen them and/or a day has passed so it will cut down on download time. There have been a lot of those instances lately in my own my blog…

It doesn’t bother me to click on a read more… and I like the break up on other people’s blogs when they use it. I use it if I have a long entry or if I’m doing a meme thing and *I* like to use the “read more” thing on my own blog when I re-read it and really, that’s all that matters to me.

I agree whole heartedly. But then again, it’s easy for me because I never have a shortage of legitimate extended entries (can we say, babbles too much?) and so I get to have fun with the little “read more” toy. Hopefully once other people get the novelty out of their system it will settle down. Otherwise it’s more like scanning a list of entry titles and having to go to each entry (like a diary or journal) than it is a blog.

When I made this post initially, that was exactly what I was dealing with – a blog that was all titles and maybe 1 sentence per post that I could see – and with every post I had to hit the “read more” to read them, for all of them. But like Amy said, it’s your blog and that’s what matters. I was just curious. You know how that is! πŸ˜‰

I use it most frequently on writing prompts like the Monday Mission – the first question goes in the regular entry, and the rest go in the extended entry. If I’m just writing for myself, I usually just put it all in the regular entry unless I’m getting really long and verbose. (You called it a CSS trick though? Mine is done with PHP…?)

I don’t mind it to much if it stays on the main page. I hate hitting the read more and being taken to the archive page though. I came to your page and I want to stay on your page not hop around. Just my 2 cents.

I guess it doesn’t bother me because I haven’t really noticed anyone abusing it. As for my use of that script, I tend to use it only in extended posts (which is rare for me) on my regular blog. Then for photography blog, I use it to hide the photo descriptions. I figure, visitors are there to see pictures and not read…but if they wanted to, they can.

I am on both sides of the fence I think. LOL I don’t *think* I use it on every post but I do use it pretty often. It has kind of become a habit for me I think. LOL Normally my entries can get kind of long and full of babble so I figured it would save a little space on the index page, but at the same time, I do agree with you that there are times when it does get abused. I will do my part and make sure I only use it when it is really necessary. ;o) What you are saying does make a lot of sense to me though… If it were all about saving space on the main page, we would all just have a bunch of links to the entries rather than the actual entries themselves there. LOL

YES!!! I totally agree…I actually will just move on and not read the site if someone does that. I’ve seen that in a few places, where there’s only a line or two, and then “read more”… and every entry is like that. I like scanning/scrolling… It’s frustrating, but there’s a lot of blogs out there. So I just move on and find someone else to read… kind of a shame…but whatever.

I just prefer to reduce the amount of scrolling that has to be done. However, I did realize that having to click “read more” for even the latest post was annoying so I leave my most recent post as the full length and shorten all the older ones πŸ™‚ Of course, I tend to write long entries often …

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Is it just me?

Is it just me, or is it odd that the most dangerous city in the US is one I have never even heard of, and Lubbock, Texas is #19 on the list? On the other hand, Bismarck, ND is #3 safest, and La Crosse, WI is #5. I would move to La Crosse in a minute – it’s near Winona, MN where my family is at. I love that region! It’s soooo beautiful up there! (link thanks to Kathy, who pointed out that NY isn’t as dangerous as we all seem to think!)

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

2 replies on “Is it just me?”

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Is it Just Me?

If you go to Robyn and Todd’s Wedding Pages Index – does the guy in the background, sitting next to the flowers, remind you of Fonzie? Or is it just me?

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

4 replies on “Is it Just Me?”

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