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November 6, 2010

New blog template

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog may come to it today and say "hey, what happened to your buttoned-up mind?"

That's a good question.

I've been using the same template for almost a year now, and it was starting to wear out its welcome. Not that I didn't like it, but there were parts of it that were getting annoying.

First, the columns were too small. In my weekly one-hit wonders posts, some of the videos were getting truncated unless I edited the HTML to shrink them. Even if I did that, I was thinking that the middle column was just too narrow.

Secondly, I was beginning to feel that the gadget columns were becoming crowded and clunky-looking. In that template, both gadget columns were on the same side, with the blog itself being on the left. This was fine, but as time went on it started to look kind of bland. Plus, the colouring was fading (not literally, of course, but just in my head). I don't necessarily want bright colours (if I did, I certainly wouldn't have chosen *this* template), but I wanted something that blended into the background a bit, something softer.

The final straw was when I saw the cool Neoseeker globe on my friend Dawn's blog. I decided I wanted it on my blog. When I installed it, however, the column was too small and it was truncated too! In fact, the right-hand part, which controls the globe itself, wasn't even on there!

That was just going too far.

So I went looking for some suitable 3-column templates where the columns were much wider than my previous one.

Fairly quickly, I stumbled upon the Notebook 2.0 Blogger template. I was in love, but I wanted to check around a bit more first. I did find a couple of cool ones, and one of these days I may actually try one of those templates with a "featured article" rotating item on the front page. They still intimidate me, though.

In the meantime, I tried this on my "Testing Blog" and saw that it worked even better than I had hoped.

I just needed some spare time so I could customize it.

Tonight, I had that time.

So what do you think? Do you like it better? Do you prefer the other one (it's an academic question, because I'm not going back unless this one starts giving me technical problems, but I'm still interested in opinions) or do you like this one better?

A couple of points:

1) One feature of this template is the "Pages" menu just above the start of the blog. This is where it says "Home," "Contact Info," and "About this Blog". Blogger now lets you create static pages and this template automatically puts any pages you create into this menu bar. You can take them out if you wish, of course.

Thus, if you want to contact me, just click on "Contact Info" and it's all right there!

Having an "About this blog" page allows me to remove it from my gadgets columns, streamlining them a bit.

2) I also got rid of a couple of things.

First, the "Share This" thing is gone. Instead, I'm using Blogger's sharing tools that have the basics: Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc. Nobody was using the "Share This" button anyway, so why let it clutter up the blog?

I've also consolidated a few things on the side, just to clean it up. I now have fewer gadget labels because I combined them (like the video games and blog awards)

I would really appreciate your input and suggestions, if you have any.


  1. I like the new set up Dave. The 'old world' feel of the background is completely my thing, looks like linen paper. The layout is good- easy to find links and such.

    I have been thinking of starting a blog myself so I will look into the Notebook. I know NOTHING about blogging but I write all though time though it's done in Pages and never 'published'. Then again, that might be a good thing. Would like you thoughts on it though as far as pros and cons, what NOT to do, etc.

  2. I'd be happy to help, Raquel! They actually make it very easy to set one up as long as you don't want to add a whole bunch of your own bells and whistles.

    I don't know how to do Wordpress, but Blogger is very easy. I can help you get set up if you want. Shoot me a message.

    As to dos and don't, it actually depends on what you want to get out of it.

    I did a post on blogging tips that might be a good start on deciding whether you want to do it and how you want to get started:

    Send me a message if you'd like some more thoughts. I'd be happy to send them your way (email, Facebook, whatever).

    Glad you like the layout! The linen paper feel is what appealed to me, in addition to the wide columns.

  3. LOVE it Dave, but on my page your header is cut off on the right side, so it reads, "Dave's buttoned up"<--that is where it cuts from on my side then the left hand is perfect, but the right column is cut in half where the header is. Otherwise I think this is a classy look for a classy guy! Perfect graphics, font, and everything. The size things should be an easy fix, and mebbe it is just me, so you might wait to see if other's notice this!

  4. Hmmmm. I wonder if it's a resolution or screen size thing? It looks perfectly fine on mine.

    Is it just the header that's cut off? Because on my screen, the right-side of the header is just over the right-hand column.

    Anybody else having this problem?

    Sadly, I don't know enough HTML to know how to change it. :( So any help on that front would be appreciated too.

    Glad you like it otherwise!

  5. Hey David love the new look. I do have the same problem as WIDOW does. It's cut off on the right side. Other then that it looks real classy. Change is always good.

  6. Hmmmm. Wish I knew why.

    Is it just the banner that's cut off? Hopefully the blog itself isn't.

    If it's not harming your reading of the blog, I think I'll leave it as is. Unless somebody knowledgeable in happens upon this who can suggest something.

    Thanks, ladies!

  7. You can read the blog with no problem. It's just what's on the right side of the blog.


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