New Hotness

I thought since Wade is getting some traffic blogging about DC and Food Trends that his blog shouldn’t have an ordinary blog theme that anybody could use. So I made a new one for him! Gotta look out for the Swalrus Network. The header image is from his trip to Lake Tahoe I modified it so that I can swap out the lake and mountains in when he gets tired of that image. Then ‘Little Wade’ can be taking a picture of anything.

Comparison picture after the break.

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One of my little daily annoyances in reading blogs is that there is no standard way to navigate through the archives of posts. I think we’ve all agreed that there needs to be some kind of links at the bottom of the front page that lead to more posts. But what word to use in that link is where the confusion comes in. Some blogs use the word “Next” to denote that you are moving to the next page in the blog, as if you are digging down into the list of posts. Which is technically correct, but the fact that the posts were published previous to the ones on the first page confuses me some of the time.Because they use previous to get you back towards the front page.

It took me a while but I’ve really come to admire Engadget’s new layout. I think it’s very forward thinking and cleanly designed. So I’m using a version of their OLDER AND NEWER links for my blog design.

I’m starting the Society for the Standardization of Blog Navigation Links.

our mission:

  • use Previous to refer to the older posts.
  • or the simpler OLDER POSTS/ NEWER POSTS
  • that’s it.

VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

*UPDATE*

Turns out that I might be on the short side of the argument with this one. Right now Cinematical uses the opposite PREV and NEXT technique and so does the entire GAWKER network… and the rest of Engadget’s sister sites also… But sometimes a small band of rebels can conquer and entire empire.

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Before

After

This blog redesign is still a work in progress, my strategy has been to get something out there that is functional and then add onto it piece by piece until it’s perfect. I’d always noticed that the posts themselves were a little plain, but I just couldn’t find something that fit the style. I thought it would be cool to have a sort of Apple-ish calendar poking out of the top of every blog post…. so that’s what I made. Doing these little things is a good way to keep my design skills fresh in between actual paying design jobs. Which are few and far between.

On the code side it’s not that much of a change, just added a fee floated divs here and there and a couple lines to the CSS file. I’ve pushed this template so far that I’m begining to think I should make an actual theme out of it and submit it to WordPress.

Maybe I’ll get there eventually, but it’s not perfect yet.

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I’ve been thinking about this blog more and more this week. I’m helping my friend Sean redesign his layout and move to a new server. It will eventually be on SeanWelker.com/blog but for testing im hosting it on welker.swalrus.org Modifying the theme is a little more tricky than I would like, but I’m coming along with it. It’s going to be a simple design but very tightly designed. It makes me want to redesign this theme… and I probably will in the near future.

It also makes me rethink having two blogs. mark5four0.swalrus.org was supposed to be some kind of middle ground where I could dump anything that I was working on and not be afraid to show it. I was trying to keep some distance between my professional side, my personal side, and my artistic side. What I’ve realized is that no matter what I’m only one person. If I put Mark Schumaker in the meta tags of all the pages, I’m really not separating anything. So I might as well just put all my blogging and art in one place and have a portfolio site in another. So I’m shutting down that blog and bringing all the content over here.

I’m still keeping MarkSchumaker.com… because everyone should own their name.

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It looks so good. But looks can be deceiving. The upgrade hosed my catergories, all of them are now blank. Really it’s not that big of a deal, I’ve been wanting to get rid of a few of them anyway. I’ll just use this as an opportunity to fix my catergory system and maybe add a few meta tags while I’m at it.

Later!

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I figured out how to upload pictures directly to this blog… it was in a box 2 inches below where I type the blogs in… and I design web pages for a living. Oh well, it’s working now, so I think I’ll spice the place up a little with some camera phone pics of whatever I’m talking about.  Could be fun.

In the same vein, I’ve also decided to use the “notes” feature on the 8125 to get down all the little tidbits of blog comments that I think of. When I’m on the Metro I constantly think of little things to say. But I never have the time to get them up on the blog, not that it really matters because nobody reads this thing. But it would be nice to get the old ideas out of my head (to make room for new ones). I’m pretty sure I can only have like 30 things going on in my head at the same time, that includes appointments, projects, upcoming birthdays.

Today on the way home I’ll try to set up the mo-blog again. I had it working on the Treo but it was never a smooth system. With windows mobile I’m hoping I can just call up this page and log in like normal. Should be a pretty smooth process.

Later!

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