Friday, July 14, 2006

Time For A New Template


Thoughtport is about as low-tech as a blog can be these days. I am using one of the default Blogger CSS templates. I compose most of my posts by hand on my Palm PDA and I have to manually edit the code of all the outbound tag links. Ouch! Did anybody say labour intensive?

The benefit of this set-up is low maintainance: write it; post it; forget it. However, the designer in me (or more realistically the incessant tinkerer in me) keeps nagging at me to take the plunge with some grown-up blogging software and create a bespoke structure and layout for Thoughtport. Now the very thought of the time commitment involved in learning how to hack WordPress to some level of competence is usually enough to send me back into the comfort zone of Blogspot. But every now and then do I see a site that makes me say “if only...”

I was looking at Ben Hammersley’s blog yesterday. His primary blog posting page looks great. It incorporates the better aspects of web 2.0 design tropes: using large, legible, 37-Signally, sans-serif post headings and the like. But there is more. If you click on the photos you see each post presented with its text superimposed over its photograph. Nice. He is appropriating the editorial design conventions of magazines to create a very unique blog design here. Admittedly, this structure implies short post lengths, but that is the metier he has chosen to write in, and his photographs tell half the story anyhow.

My Bloglines feed-reader cannot currently present those posts in that visually rich format. Does anyone know a feed-reader which can? Or maybe I should just migrate from Firefox to Opera 9?

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