magpiebrain

Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Those of you amongst the (very) small band of commenters to my blog may of noticed that the comment form wasn’t the nicest around. Most of this was due to the complexities of committing myself to a purely CSS based layout, but it was also due at least in part to me being very lazy. Anyway another excellet article by “Simon Willison(Sitepoint – Simple Tricks for More Usable Forms by Simon Willison)”:http://www.sitepoint.com/article/1273 has encouraged me to clean the comment forms up a bit. The CSS is simpler and the forms look a little better. Feel free to post any comments on the new layout.

I have also decided to put off the upgrade to “MovableType 2.661”:http://www.movabletype.org/news/2004_01.shtml#000882 until Jay Allen has released his next update to “MT Blacklist(MT Blacklist – A Movable Type plugin to eradicate
comment and trackback spam)”:http://www.jayallen.org/projects/mt-blacklist/ – I’d rather upgrade both at once. MT 2.661 includes some spam fighting features – as well as restricting the number of posts that can be made in a certain amount of time, it also uses a redirect link for in comment links, so defeating those spammers who are attempting to increase their Google page rank. Due to the way MT Blacklist works it actually circumvents the comment throttling, but Jay is busy “working on a fix”:http://www.jayallen.org/comment_spam/2004/01/beta_testers_needed.

I have also been toying with the idea of a site redesign again, perhaps this time using colours other than black and white. Part of me thinks that this might be a step too far.

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5 Responses to “Improvements to the blog”

  1. djn1

    I came across your site via your trackback to the MT-Blacklist ‘beta-testers required’ post, and your site redesign point caught my eye, not least because I also have an almost monochromatic blog. I do have graduated grayscale bits though so it isn’t entirely, in my case, grey and white 😉

    Good luck with the redesign.

    Reply
  2. Stefan Fielding-Isaacs

    I would say (1) play with limited color (to highlight important elements), (2) try a subtle background color change now and then – perhaps random, (3) “skin” your site, allowing the user to choose which they like from a selection you’ve created. Track the choices and make a final decision then – that way you involve your readers (if you care about that, that is).

    cheers, S.

    Reply
  3. Sam Newman

    Good points Stefan. This site is all CSS driven, so providing switchable style-sheets shouldn’t be a problem. I think the redesign might get put on hold for a couple of weeks though as I’m currently job hunting…

    Reply
  4. Stefan Fielding-Isaacs

    Hi Sam,

    I came across a site with a tutorial on how to do this, but I should think it may be as simple a matter as writing some PHP code to allow a complete switch of the style sheet. If you want I’ll find the original tutorial and send you a pointer.

    Oh.. and I feel your pain. I’m looking for work too :>.

    Reply

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