Home Forums General Blogs Life after Blogging!

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  • #45306
    Norm S
    Participant

    Life after blogging!

    That sounds a bit more dramatic than intended – while I miss the old blog, I thought my new workhorse for gaming presentation may be of interest to other bloggers. I recently closed my blog and instead use my own web space to discuss and share my gaming stuff.

    This has required a slight re-design of the site, so that part of the functionality that I enjoyed at the blog can to some extent be replicated at the website. I hope the merging of two styles (blog and web page), even though resulting in an overall reduction of volume of reading material, actually produces something that is a little more immersive for the reader, even if they are only occasional visitors.

    From a blogger perspective, I find the web site an easier space to organise, but it’s size and scope is limited, even for this paid version. It is the virtually unlimited picture space and archiving capability of the blog that I miss most. Arguably it is less easy for people to ‘follow’ a website.

    I have just put up an article on converting the game TANKS to hexes. Links to the file will be on the ‘This week’ page for 7 weeks before dropping off, as that tab has a 7 week cycle. It will also have a more permanent home on the article page under the ‘hexing games’ category. The ‘this week’ tab also has sub-information, so for example in the case of the tanks article, it also advises the reader that there is a work in progress at the ‘Painting Table’ page.

    Anyway, please have a look and see what you think. Does it work for you? Any ideas or thoughts are gratefully received.

    thanks Norm.

    (still no picky before clicky – sorry :-). )

    LINK –

    http://commanders.simdif.com

     

    #45307
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Quick observation…

    As a visitor, how do you know if new content has been published, is there any sort of follow/subscribe feature?

    #45309
    Count Belisarius
    Participant

    I agree that a website gives you much more flexibility on how you display and organise stuff. The issue is letting people know when something is new. I’ve been VERY slowly trying to migrate the content of my blog over to a website. I realised that a lot of my blog is static pages and galleries and a website can do this better. My intention is to keep the blog (I have it as a subdomain to my main site) and eventually I will merge the two so that the blog is nothing more than an announcement tool where I can notify people of added content on the main site. I hope to merge the style of the two so the swap over is transparent. Storage for pictures isn’t really an issue as both sites are hosted by me (via TSO) so I can just draw on the existing blog for the images. But, as ever, it takes time that I don’t have…

    What you’ve done looks fine. It’s nice and responsive. What you could do to notify people is to set up a linked Facebook page and post updates with links there? Depends how you feel about Facebook…

    It is possible to set up your own RSS feed but not sure how easy that would be with the host you are using.

    Andy

    #45313
    Norm S
    Participant

    Thanks Gents.

    Mike – I update the ‘This Week’ page every weekend and my hope is that people will go there on a weekly basis to see what is new. I will comment there on anything major, so the reader can click on the relevant sub titles. In addition, some content will just change over time to keep the place fresh and so I see people deliberately coming back with a coffee to a site they have previously enjoyed just to have a mooch around and they will pick new content up as they go.

    I really want to get away from the going to every forum to announce new stuff all the time. I will just keep it to the occasional post as part of the promotional side of thing, especially for the the bigger articles, but I am trying to get away from worrying about traffic etc – so I don’t have a counter on the website and I don’t use Google analytics.

    Interestingly the way things are set up, if I go to a forum, it would be better for me to simply describe the file there and put up a direct DropBox link, rather than directing them to the site first, as the site description may only be a one liner with a link anyway – or will be on a page in which the info will cycle off the page, together with the link, so the archive aspect of things is still a bit of an issue – though my ‘Articles’ page set-up will have the capacity to deal with that … For a time anyway.

    Andy – interesting, I did think about using the blog as a sign post, but having called it dead, I think it needs to remain so and I don’t really want the reader to have to go through a series of clicks to get to a download file …… Feedback has already shown a resistance to that ­čÖé

    The RSS feed does intestest me, and although I have no idea (yet) how it works, the context in which is talked about would suggest it is the ideal tool, I will explore that further. I suppose the good old fashioned favourites or a click link on a Windows screen would be pretty effective, but the world is moving on to tons of content being put right in front of people’s faces. I’m afraid I have never done the Facebook thing and so have an inbuilt, but probably unjustified aversion to it – my loss I know.

    #45317
    Norm S
    Participant

    I have just been contacted by a blog follower, who has found a way to track my website.

    he is using VisualPing (google it), which is free for 30 pages, if you track more than that, you pay. It works by e-mail alerts.

    He has set up a track for my THIS WEEK page, which seems a good idea, as that will be my regular weekly update that will notify of other main files created that week.

    He has tried it and said that he got an e-mail alert for my new THIS WEEK UPDATE – Andy that sound like something you might want to explore.

    #45318
    Count Belisarius
    Participant

    That looks like it might be useful. There’s a few sites that I like to keep an eye on. Thanks for the info.. I’ve set it to monitor yours!

    FB is a love or hate. I only really use it for friends and hobby. I’m not even ‘friends’ with my wife. We both know that the deluge of posts to our respective timelines would just annoy each other! ­čÖé

    Good luck with the website.

    Andy

    #45668
    Count Belisarius
    Participant

    And I can confirm that VisualPing works fine as just been notified of your latest page update!

    #45671
    willz
    Participant

    Cheers for your post Norm, I found your new site both interesting and informative.  Very professional, shinny and snappy, easy to navigate.  So is it a blog or just a web page?   There are lots of interesting things to look at on it and I found it easy to use, not bad for an old Luddite like me.

     

    #45699
    Norm S
    Participant

    Thanks all – I am still exploring how to use the site to best advantage, but creating the THIS WEEK tab, has been a much better way of highlighting new content, while also giving a space for the chatty stuff, which I never really did on the blog as it was article led.

    I think navigation is potentially better on a website, though archiving needs a bit more thought, but I have some plans for that.

    I will tend to stick the new stuff at the top of pages and the old stuff will move down the page until it drops off (max 14 items per page allowed). So I envisage people who know the site is there, just popping in form time to time when they have a coffee, and want to have a rummage amongst the tabs to see what is new – also as the THIS WEEK posts last for 7 weeks before they fall off the page, a browser can come in and catch up on say the past month.

    The main theme will remain gaming in small spaces, also I want to start pursuing a section that looks at 28mm gaming on a 4 x 3 space that can be grown to a 6 x 3 space, which I think is a relatively small space for that scale – so it may prove interesting.

    My subs are due in October, so I should know by then whether the site is doing what I want.

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