Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ZenTiger New Years Renovations

Template Change
It's been more than a year since we switched to this template, and I'm getting a hankering to apply some major renovations. Any comments you care to make before I hit the button, now is the time to do it. Should I get an 88% clear vote, then I'm liable to do a John Key. Hey, you think we are in a democracy? Whatever gave you that impression? OK, OK, unlike John Key, maybe I will listen to the people.

What do my fellow authors think about a template switch, and how involved would you like to be in the process? I haven't checked my email in months, but I will do so (or drop a comment). If the 88% includes the cabinet (and we are all Prime Ministers) then feel free to smack me about the ears until you get what you want. It's not as if a light smack is a crime or anything. (Well, OK, depends on who you ask, and at what time of the day but now you are quibbling)

I'd really like to have different style sheets based on the screen resolution - one for iPhones, one for standard resolution and one that grows to handle the increasingly common large screen displays. I'm not sure the blogger community is that sophisticated as yet, without bulk custom work, but worth a look.

It would be very cool to create a proper "NZ Conservative" graphic and logo, and incorporate that into the template. It would provide a more distinctive look. Ideas for what this could look like are invited. A virtual chocolate fish for the best ideas.

Categories
Also, I am looking at refining the categories and try to use them to better advantage. Based on blogging statistics for people searching our category labels, they are not often used. I want them to be used though, so it's a matter of exploiting them differently.

As a general rule, we do not need categories for something that will come up in a text search. For example, searching on "David Bain" would get more items than the "David Bain" tag, simply because we may not always tag things as thoroughly.

Indeed, a tag for Bain is not really required for this reason. Therefore, our tags may work better if we use them for directing readers to posts that get high reader counts, even after they scroll off the page.

Ideally, there's a way of implementing categories with sub categories, but failing this linking categories to display post summaries based on hot topics, particular themes or high reads may be a more useful use of the sidebar.

Other Ideas
What other ideas are there to incorporate? Something radical, like a move to Wordpress and our own domain, or something less radical like more use of the colour blue? Comments invited.

21 comment(s):

KG said...

It needs lightening Zen. Cheering up.Not the content, the first visual impression.
And tidying. More Mies Van Der Rohe and less Granny's back parlour?

(nobody has ever accused me of tact and diplomacy)

Blue Rinse Lady said...

I like it, I think it fits the content. Brown is Conservative. John Key doesn't believe in democracy, just his own (changed) opinion. Good luck.

Blue Rinse Lady said...

I like it, I think it fits the content. Brown is Conservative. John Key doesn't believe in democracy, just his own (changed) opinion. Good luck.

ZenTiger said...

Hey thanks for that KG - I think I feel the same. When I first saw the template, I liked the basic scroll design but overall it was only "OK" and a little dark.

Hopefully, I'll come up with something more people will like, although there will be the shock of change to contend with :-)

ZenTiger said...

You are not alone BLR - a few people like this template and have said so way back when we switched to this.

I might have to avoid National Blue, given they are hardly conservative and I might have a branding conflict :-)

Blue Rinse Lady said...

Yes, avoid National blue. I may have to have to get the blue out of my blog name! National are more red than Labour in my opinion, more high handed and more dictatorial. I really like the brown, and the old scroll look. Happy New Year, ZenTiger, I wonder if Key's popularity will go the wa of Obama's this year...?

Ozy Mandias said...

You are lucky I am here as I am the king of the 'good looking blog'. I have changed my blog nmore time then changing my underwear in 2009.

Firstly, have your thought of the switch to WORDPRESS?? Since doing so my life is almost complete, apart from the fact you cant HTML your own site very much.

Getting back to your site.
COLOUR - light brown (beige) was all the rage when you selected this one, but things have moved on. Blue has links with National, Green would not be any better and red and yellow are both no options. That is why I suggest PINK. The women will love it and you cant be a male in NZ without a dash of pink in your clothing.

LAYOUT
Could we have a picture of each contributor. I am a visual person and this would help me.

STYLE
Stick with 3 columns. You have so much content I dont think it would fit in two.

LETS GET CONNECTED
I will be honest here and say the weakness with your blog is your inablity to connect with me if I am not on your site. If I'm on Facebook how do I cath up with the latest from NZC. Therefore I would like to see facebook, twitter, digg, frink and bingowatzit (and any other social networking tools)all added to your blog so I can keep up with you guys when I am on the move. This could be the start of NZC world domination!!!!

ZenTiger said...

Hi Ozy, all good points. Especially pink. (Never upset the insane)

Although Pink (the word and the colour) might unfortunately be taken by the Gay Lobby, who no doubt owe Floyd royalties.

I'm certainly open to considering our own domain and Wordpress, and I'll look Twittering and Tweeting and all that social media stuff, just to be hip with the younger generation of Conservatives (or are they only mature people by definition?)

ciaron said...

I Really like how the site looks now, IMHO it compliments the tone of the posts. perhaps its just my connection, but the recent comments widget (correct term?)hasn't worked for a while, and if you are considering a change on the comments front, recently, as you are no doubt aware, Oswald & CR have moved to intense debate along with gotcha. for what its worth I like how you can respond to comments directly rather than having to blockquote from a comment a dozen posts above, "kiwiblog style".


Anyways, happy new year to everyone at NZC, Thank you, for all your thought provoking, entertaining work and best wishes for next year.

KG said...

Ja, the Intense Debate commenting system is great.

Lucia Maria said...

I like this template. But then, I've had it for a while, and am happy to change.

KG,

What's this about Granny's back parlour. I prefer thinking of this place as old, undiscovered, until recently, documents, written painstakingly on parchment... and then uploaded to the computer.

:)

ciaron said...

That's exactly the impression I get :)

Lucia Maria said...

Ciaron,

Thanks for that!

I'm so glad it's not just me.

KG said...

Ooops!
I like to think of Conservatism as the thinking person's MP50. Very modern, very lethal to fools, not as some dusty attic relic. ;-)
But hey, I don't have to rummage around in the code, do I?

ciaron said...

Recent comments "black magic thingy" working again :)

Andrei said...

Yes Zen you should check your Email

ZenTiger said...

OK, OK - I haven't checked my email since last year, but it only seems like mere days ago...

Andrei said...

I'll use this forum to tell you the answer to your widgets question is Absolutely yes.

It might be a year before you look at your Email again after all - so why risk it?

ZenTiger said...

Indeed!

Andrei said...

Time for another saunter down to ye olde mailbox methinks

ZenTiger said...

Will check tonight. Off site right now. Zen

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