Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Monday, 5 November 2012

Pondering the Blog


My blogaversary always finds me pondering the blog. As a result I've been tweaking away under the 'bonnet' - fixing broken links, tidying up the sidebars and correcting out of date content in the Pages.

I have quite a long list of that kind of thing left to do, which will get worked on gradually over the winter months. As you can see from the above picture I'm also pondering some larger, more obvious changes too. It's a while (2-3 years) since I had a major think about the blog's template and because I'm pondering some major changes, for once that merits trying things out on my test blog first.

That in itself was a salutary lesson because I exported Veg Plotting as of October 10th and then imported it into the test blog. Not everything arrived, so my To Do list now includes fixing my blog backup process. If you have a blog, you might like to have a go too and see how you get on. Having almost lost the Meet @ Malvern blog on one memorable occasion, I know how distressing losing a well-loved blog can be.

One of the major template changes I'm considering is enlarging the blog post text area. The test blog shows I can make it quite a lot wider, BUT I know not everyone will be able to see everything should I do so. That means looking at lots of different browsers and computer configurations to see what will work.

November is usually the time when I join in NaBloPoMo. I don't think I will be this year, though my blogging buddy Mark is taking part again. It's not because I've ran out of things to say, it's just that most of them are more complicated and that takes a lot longer to blog! Instead I've decided to resurrect National Commenting Week, extend it over the month and not lurk so much as usual. I hope to see you over at your place very soon :)

If you have any suggestions for what you'd like to see changing on Veg Plotting or have any difficulties with reading the blog, leaving comments etc., then now is a really good time to tell me. Leave a comment below, tweet me @malvernmeet, or email me at vegplotting at gmail dot com. Thanks.

Do you have any plans for your blog over the coming months?

27 comments:

  1. Ah! You have reminded me that I pondered ours last winter but never got anywhere, now you have me pondering again! I like the idea of your commenting week, I have been reading but not commenting for too long, people will think I've lost interest!

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  2. Mo and Steve - I'm sure quite a lot of my pondering will stay in my brain too. I've also been pondering comments. Lots of people are saying about their comment numbers going down. I've decided this was a nice way of doing something about it.

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  3. Pondering the blog is good once in a while, and I have been doing some of it myself, as you know. I've been blogging less and less, in part because keeping up with people on social media has become so much more complicated. It is also the reason I've visited other blogs less, which is a shame, since the blogs who a side of people that FB can't.

    I like the idea of turning November into a commenting month. Sign me up!

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  4. "who" is supposed to be "show" in the comment above. :-)

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  5. Hi Susan - yes social media makes this whole thing a lot more complicated than when we first started and I'm sure it's why lots of people are saying they're seeing less comments on their blog. I get quite a few tweeted comments from people I didn't know were reading for instance.

    Nice to have you on board for a spot of commenting :)

    Luckily my inner editor read 'who' ;)

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  7. happy blogaversary! Love the magazine style option; it looks so modern!

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  8. Hello Emma - welcome! Did you click on the link to look at that option? I like to give people options to read the blog in the way they'd like. It seems to be a bit of a marmite thing - people either love it or hate the magazine style!

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  9. Not only time to boot out of date links on the baby blog, but to figure out what I can actually do with blogger. There are a few social media pages that I need to tighten up!

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  10. I hadn't seen the magazine style option before. Black on white always easier to read, which has some big advantages.

    I think it is good to refresh every now and again,. I need to do the same, but will tread carefully.

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  11. How do you find broken links? Is there a simple tool that will run thru my blog and give me a list of broken links? I have a bunch of photos with dead links from the weeks that I used LiveWriter.

    (People say comments are down, and in the same breath they say they are too busy to comment ...)

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  12. Petoskystone - there's lots you can do. 5 years later and I'm still learning...

    TBS - it's been there for quite a while. I find there's quite a few problems with it. NB white and black isn't always better. Ideally it should be black on yellow for the most readability!

    EE - there are tools, simple is another matter. I'm using something called Broken Link Checker (!). The drawback I'm finding is it isn't checking the entire blog and tracking down exactly where a broken link is can be tricky sometimes. However, it's better than nothing. I'm starting with most most recent stuff and working backwards. If anyone knows of a really good checker, please tell us!

    Re comment comment - quite.

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  13. Pondering here too with a facelift VP and other changes. Have not really had the time to do this for some time. However life is slowly getting back to normal, so I have more mental energy and spare time on my hands. The only obstacle is that I'm currently setting up a website for our allotment association. Using Wordpress for this so somewhat of a journey into the unknown. Hope that you leave the rainbow shining at the top of Veg Plotting. Good luck with your plans.

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  14. I tried to get to your blog via a comment on Wellywoman, I only reached the gravatar. So I put the name in google. You might want to check that out before other things as comments are how I find most blogs. Christina

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  15. PS, Christina again, you might like to try wordpress, no spam ever gets sent for approval it all ends up in the spam box and is easy to delete. Christina

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  16. Anna - thank you. I've had a WP blog for a while. I find there's pros and cons to both. The ideal would be a combination of the two!

    Cristina - thanks for taking the trouble to come and find me. Unfortunately WP defaults to the gravatar, which for once I forgot to change. I've already tried WP on another blog thanks. Blogger's spam system now works in a similar way to the way to akismet.

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  17. Belated happy blogaversary! I look forward to the next 5!!!

    My goals for the coming months is to write more, read more and comment more (sigh) :(

    A little frustration I have with blogger blogs is the comments opening in another page, I always forget, then have to reopen the original post as I like to read through it while I am commenting, but hey thats just a personal grip, I am not asking you (or anyone) to change anything.

    I like that you have resurrect national comment month, as I enjoyed the 3 comments you left on my last post - they made me smile a lot, thank you
    K

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  18. PS I thank my lucky stars whenever I do leave a comment here that you dont have that verification thingy turned on at the mo - it does stop me leaving comments on some blogs, especially as it seems to take me 2 or 3 goes to get the letters right, it makes leaving a quick comment very difficult when it takes longer to get the thing published than it did to write it.

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  19. Oops sorry VP, I missed commenting on your Blogaversary post – a huge Congrats there! I always forget you began in November too and yes I also have been doing blog housekeeping with links etc ahead of my ‘day’. No visual changes planned for me this year – more frequent posting and commenting should be my plan when I am able to properly get back into blogging again after some difficult family times.

    Wishing you my very best wishes for your 6th year of blogging – it’s always a pleasure e-meeting you and perhaps one year we will meet up face to face :-)

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  20. A belated happy blogaversary from me too, VP - sorry I missed it.

    A wider text area would be fine for me. I must have a look at the magazine style - hadn't noticed that before. Like Karen, I like to be able to see a post while I comment on it - I do read some blogger blogs which let me do that, but I'm not sure how they are set up.

    I haven't any particular plans for Clockwork Dodo at the moment, but I am working on something else, which I will be launching soon ... :-D

    How do you back up a blog?

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  21. Ha ha, yes you can add my blog to your list. It looks fine to me, I'm IE8.

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  22. Karen - that's interesting. I've been hoisted by my own petard - I had to page down again whilst in the middle of writing this to see what you said!

    Shirl - here's hoping next year is much better for you and yes, it would be lovely to meet you one day :)

    Juliet - it's one of the settings you can change for the blog. Interesting that you've said the same as Karen as I've seen a very anti pop ups message this week. It goes to show that a blogger can't please everyone, so the options they choose are the ones they feel are the best and/or suit the majority of readers.

    There are quite a few ways in which a blog can be backed up including websites set up for just this purpose. However, I have no idea of how reliable they are. I've taken a simpler approach. I export a copy of mine from time to time, but I'd never tried importing it into another blog. I've also subscribed to my email feed - that way I get a copy of every post I publish. It'll be a pain to re-load them all to re-create my blog but it would be possible.

    Liz - welcome and thanks :)

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  23. I wasn't thinking of pop-up comment forms, VP - I don't like those at all! I meant something like this blog, where the comment form is on the same page as the blog post.

    Thanks for the information about back-ups - I do get my posts sent to my Akregator, but they only go back so far. I should probably ask R about exporting copies as I don't know how I'd go about doing that.

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  24. Hi Juliet - thanks for clarifying. I'll be looking at that option again, as part of my continued blog ponderings :)

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  25. Hello, I've recently joined the blogging world and I'm very interested to read about how you'll reshape your blog. I've enjoyed reading it very much. I'm no techie and I've found crafting a blog can be a bit baffling. Growing veggies is an important part of what I do and I found your blog through a small chain of gardening blogs (a bit like knocking on one door and then the next). I see that entering the "blog" world is a bit like following a mysterious path that can lead anywhere!

    Wendy

    blueborage.blogspot.com

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  26. Happy anniversary and you remind me I have work to do this winter on my blog as well.

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  27. Hi Wendy and welcome! The key thing with blogging is to keep going :)

    Donna - I've just visisted a good blogging friend and the To Do list has lengthened ;)

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