I’ve got a couple of blog-related status reports for you today, just in case you missed some things that happened earlier this week.
(1) If you’re like me, you probably do most of your blog reading via an RSS reader of some sort and don’t visit the blogs themselves very often. Also, your feed reader probably brings you many blogs where you don’t comment regularly, so you don’t really need to go to the sites all that much. You may not even remember what some of the blogs you read even look like, since you may not have been to them more than a few times since you originally subscribed.
All of this is leading up to my telling you that I unveiled a new layout of The 3 R’s on Monday, and if you haven’t seen it yet, please come by and take a look!
I’ve been thinking about some changes for awhile, and with Book Blogger Appreciation Week just around the corner, it seemed like a good time to spiff things up – new visitors and all, you know. I’ve been wanting to try out a three-column format; they seem to make smarter use of the space. The template I’m using is new to me, but not created for me; it’s a customization of the very flexible – and free – Professional template from OurBloggerTemplates.com. The header and logo, however, were custom-created by my in-house illustrator/graphic designer – a/k/a my husband, a/k/a Tall Paul (a/k/a RamsesTMagnum to his Twitter followers).
I’ve removed a few widgets because they weren’t behaving properly with the new layout. The Book Blogs Search Engine widget was taking up too much space no matter where I placed it, and since I couldn’t figure out why, it’s gone – but there’s a link to it above the header. The Google Followers widget is installed, but may or may not show up; that may be a Google/Blogger issue more than one related to the template, though. If you don’t seen the widget, you can still follow the blog via the “follow blog” link in the Navbar at the very top of the screen (or subscribe using one of the links on the upper left.) I also moved all of the blogrolls out of the sidebars and down to the bottom of the page.
Thanks to Janelle and Natasha for mentioning on Monday that the sidebar fonts were too tiny; I think I’ve addressed that, and I’m now very glad I attended that CSS Geek Lab session at BlogHer’09, since I actually had to play with the style sheet to change them! I don’t have access to the code for some of the widgets, so it didn’t help with all of those, but I hope most of the text is easier on your eyes now – unless you’re Chris, who told me that everything was too BIG. I did all of the layout using Firefox on a 13″ MacBook , so a different browser and/or operating system may affect your view. Also, my husband the graphic designer informs me that a lot of this depends on how your own screen resolution is set, so you can always try playing with the zoom settings on your browser – I do that all the time myself, but I want to make you comfortable when you visit, too.
I’m still doing little tweaks as needed, so if you notice any problems, please let me know! (And if you just plain like the new look, please feel free to let me know that as well!)
(2) In other self-referential news, I have reluctantly come to the decision not to accept any more book-review offers for the rest of this year, and I updated my review policy accordingly. I still intend to put in requests for LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer batches if anything looks good, and I may respond to some of those Shelf Awareness ads here and there, but otherwise, I really feel like I need to cut things off for awhile. The stacks are getting ridiculous, and sometimes I just miss reading what I want to read when I want to read it. If something amazing comes along, I reserve the right to bend my own rules, but since a lot of the pitches I’ve been getting lately haven’t really been right for me anyway, I’m not sure I’ll miss much if I take a few months off and say “no.”
Have any of you felt the need to declare a moratorium on review books? How did it work out?