Monday, 25 October 2010

State of the Blog: evolution

Monday, 25 October 2010
You may have noticed changes to DMD this past week. Most obviously, there's a LinkWithin widget to every post's footer now (a gizmo that suggests related posts to the one you're reading). Let me know what you think! Is it working for you? Are there any problems? I'm aware it doesn't display in old browsers like IE6 -- but that isn't a problem for most of you, right?

There is also a rotating video-advert in my sidebar, accompanying my Google Ads and VoucherCodes sponsorship. Now, I'm not going to arm-twist readers, but I'm sure you're aware that clicking on those ads benefits both the advertiser AND yours truly. I'll say no more...

I've also decided to stop linking to the IMDb pages of actors in my reviews. I've never been sure anyone clicks through on those, or if people find them useful. They certainly don't benefit me in any way -- they just eat up time having to create them. And while that isn't a huge undertaking, it can become a chore. Maybe I'll just link to IMDb if there's someone I want to draw special attention to in a review. Either way, such links won't be as common as they used to be. Sorry IMDb, I know you relied on me for 50% of your traffic...

Incidentally, does anyone ever click on the Amazon carousel of DVD/Blu-ray releases on my monthly listing of UK discs available to buy? Is that worth continuing with -- beyond the fact the carousel looks cool?

I may also start uploading larger photos in the body of reviews, instead of word-wrapped thumbnails. The original thinking was to conserve storage space on Picasa, while giving reviews more visual pizzazz, but now I've swung back the other way and think readers would appreciate bigger, clearer pictures. And I can afford to increase my Picasa account if I use up my free space. Do you agree bigger pictures would be best?

Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts about these changes. Maybe you have ideas of your own you'd like to share, too? These alterations are preparation for an overhaul of DMD in the near-future. Not that there's anything wrong or ugly about this blog right now (um, right?), but I have ideas about how to improve things -- to take advantage of social networking like Facebook and Twitter, amongst other things. The web's constantly evolving, so you have to keep up with trends and developments.

Regarding that last point, if there's anyone reading who's a genius HTML coder and could help me fix some template code I'm having problems with... please do get in touch! There must be someone out there willing to help me. I can show my appreciation with a permanent link to your site/blog here, and will sing your praises in general. Anyone interested?