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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Same Blog, New Format

Those of you who have visited this site before will immediately notice some rather significant changes in its overall look and feel.   Rather than boring everybody with the details of this transition here on the front page, I'll reserve my comments about this for the extended text.   Please click below if you would like to read more.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There's more...
When I decided to start this blog, I knew next to nothing about website design, HTML, CSS, etc., thus explaining why I was immediately drawn to the simplified user interface offered by Blogger.   Shortly after signing up and picking one of the service’s pre-formatted "templates," I began experimenting to see how various modifications to the template would impact the appearance and behavior of the blog itself.   After playing around with this for some time, I eventually managed to change the margins, background color, and layout of the original template to something that I found a bit more to my liking.

As I continued to experiment with HTML and CSS, however, I discovered an array of additional methods and "tricks" for getting my site to look and behave as I would like it to.   A fantastic resource in this regard has been the Food Blogs S’cool site, in which a large number of food bloggers from all over the world confer regularly in order to assist one another and share thoughts about website design and implementation.   The founder of Food Blogs S’cool is Sam Breach, whose wildly successful and popular food blog – Becks & Posh – has also been an extremely valuable resource for me.

The revision at which you are now looking is an attempt to move my site a bit closer to what I ultimately envision, although I undoubtedly still have a long way to go.   Here is a short summary of the changes that have been recently implemented (or that soon will be):
  1. New color scheme:   Although I felt that the colors used in the previous version were preferable to those offered by the template with which I began, I was never really all that enamored with them.   When I came across the colors you see in the current revision, however, I knew immediately that a change was needed.
    Hopefully, you will agree with my assessment that the new color scheme is much more pleasing to the eye than the old one.

  2. New title bar:   The old title bar came straight out of the original template, and I was never happy with it as it was very plain and utterly drab.   The new title bar is intended to reflect the spirit of the site, and to do so in a more distinctive, visually-appealing manner.

  3. Links to other food blogs:   In the right column, I have now included links to some of my favorite Bay Area food blogs.   I will soon be adding a separate list of links to favorite food blogs from outside the Bay Area as well.

  4. Truncated front page posts:   Some of the front page posts, particularly restaurant reviews, are necessarily quite long.   In order to enable readers to quickly scroll past these if desired, I will now be including only the first portion of long posts on the front page.   The full post can be accessed by clicking on the “There’s more…” link at the bottom of the truncated front-page version, which will then redirect the viewer to a separate page containing the full text of the post.   Shorter posts will still appear on the front page in full.
Please note that the content of the site, including all old posts, remains the same.

That is basically all for now, although I’m quite confident that I’ll think of several new changes to implement just as soon as I finish with the current ones.   So, stay tuned!


Blogger Jennifer Maiser said...

I didn't get a chance to see the blog before you made changes, but you have done a fantastic job of making this site look very "non-blogger" like. Great job!


July 18, 2005 9:53 AM  
Blogger NS said...

Jen -

Thanks so much for the kind note! I appreciate it very much, particularly since I've been an admirer of your blog for quite some time. You, Sam Breach, and a small group of others have done an incredible job of blazing a trail for us newer food bloggers to follow, so we are all permanently in your debt. Thanks again!

July 18, 2005 12:12 PM  
Blogger Fatemeh Khatibloo-McClure said...

NS -

Very nice site you have here; IMHO, blogs are a perpetual work in progress. I'm always fiddling around with something -- the best tip I ever got was to have a "test blog" that mirrors your current blog to play around with. That way, you're not making any changes that will affect viewers of the site "live".

On another note, I really like your restaurant reviews, and the nice little "at a glance" tables you embed. It's a fabulous idea!

Welcome to the Bay Area blogosphere!

July 18, 2005 2:16 PM  
Blogger NS said...

Wow, I'm so honored to have yet another one of my favorite bloggers stopping by my humble site! Thanks for the encouraging words and great tips, Fatemeh -- I appreciate them very much. As you might have gathered from the links on my front page, Gastronomie is another regular read of mine, and it's one that I have always thought is extremely well done. And I certainly count you in the small group of food blog pioneers that I referenced in my comment above to Jen. Thanks again!

July 18, 2005 4:16 PM  

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