New blog format

Well, it’s that time again, I’ve been improving the blog format. 🙂 I think it must be a seasonal thing. I love the new colour scheme, it’s similar to the old one but with richer colours, very appropriate for winter. The golden-orange contrast with deep blue is sometimes used in art nouveau and I really love it. I’ve also changed from the flipcard system to this new one – (go to the Home page and you’ll be able to see it if you’re on a PC) this one allows you to read an excerpt from each post. If you want to read the whole post (and see any more pictures in it) you need to click on it to open it up.

I’ll trial it for a couple of weeks and gather feedback. If it goes over well it’ll stay. 🙂 I like that you can now see what date the post is from easily, and the new fonts also add something. One potential downside may be that people unfamiliar with this format don’t realise they need to click on a post to read more. If you preferred the flipcard system you can always reset it to that yourself – these are a style called ‘Dynamic Views’ which means you the reader can actually change the way the blog is set up to what you prefer – try playing with some options on the top left hand side.

If you would like to comment about a post, please feel welcome to come and do so on my facebook page, Sarah K Reece. I link every post I write there as a public status update so anyone with a facebook account can comment on it. There’s also a subscribe option there.

For those of you who are, or aspire to be, bloggers yourselves, I’ve found some great tools that are making blogging easier for me. I recently locked in to a two year contract that allowed me to get a fantastic new smart phone. I’ve spent 8 months with the phone company (Virgin Mobile) using a cheap pre paid smart phone I bought last year, and I’m very happy with the service and love the ease of a smart phone. So when a friend talked about upgrading recently I did some research and decided on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It is gorgeous. It has a huge lovely screen, runs incredibly fast (runs ICS) and is making my life easier in so many ways. The sheer accessibility that apps like Navigator provide me is stunning. In regards to blogging, there are some fantastic tools too. My favourite blog app to date is BlogIt!. This allows me to blog directly from my phone, with basic tools to insert pictures, use italics etc, preview my post, save it as a draft, or work on a previous draft, and also to read and reply to comments. I love it. The only feature it doesn’t have that I’d like is the ability to schedule posts. But if you’re desperate you can save a bunch as drafts, then load blogger in your browser and schedule them from there.

Taking and uploading photos directly from my phone is lovely and considerably cuts down time. Originally I take photos with my camera, remove the SD card, inset it into my card reader, insert that into my USB drive, copy the photos to my computer, open them in Picasa, crop, edit, watermark them, upload them to Picasa web, then go into blogger and load them into a post. Now I can upload any photo taken with my phone directly from the phone gallery. The google gallery allows me to very quickly do basic edits like crop or red eye removal. And another app called Add Watermark makes that process extremely simple and will batch edit groups of photos at a time if you need a bunch marked. Typing on the phone is nowhere near as quick for me as on a PC, although I have found that playing about with different keyboard apps can improve things. My current preference is Swiftkey which speeds up my pace on the phone considerably. I still would not like to write a post of this length however!

Pulling my very complex world back into something I can keep track of is huge boon for me, so widgets that allow me to quickly see the next couple of days of entries in my online calendar, or the next couple of days weather forecast are really helpful. Being able to easily blog on the go when travelling or not home much is great. It’s really good to be feeling inspired and excited about blogging again. 

I appreciate hearing from you

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