Monday, May 31

Many roads traveled; Many changes coming; Many roads yet ahead.

Hello! Ok, so one thing is immediately clear — The metamagical overmind who (barely) controls this site has shifted into experimental mode and all hell is breaking lose. Actually I'm experimenting with physical widths, static vs flexible sizing, color schemes, alignment, fancy post-breaks, minimalism vs a sidebar with navigation features and widgets, how many entries to display at once (performance vs convenience), typography, and no end of other things.

So... don't think this is the way it's gonna look from now on. It's in a state of transition and may end up very similar to the old design simply improved in some way to better handle multimedia and interactive features like polls and surveys, plus upgrade the code base to HTML5 + CSS3 and begin deprecating Flash and other non-native or "plugin" architecture elements as time goes by. OR it could end up totally different. After all, the second Death Star looked JUST LIKE THE FIRST and what happened to it? It got blown up just like the first. I don't want my blog to be blown up.

Secondly, and not clear at all unless you're me or you're some sort of savant with post counts, this is my 2000th official post! Yay! That's five years of blogging at more than a post a day. True, I have a few hundred additional posts which have been retracted and are sitting in "draft" status for various reasons. But that doesn't matter. Neither does reaching 2000, really, except, like a batter in baseball, it's a good number of posts indicating hopefully that at I've managed to commit to and stick with at least ONE think in my life, and for a batter it's a sign that he's had a very good major league career.

But for that batter, 3000 immediately beckons: He knows that Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Joe DiMaggio, Paul Molitor, and Pete Rose have all passed that magical number of base hits. And for me, I see 2000 as the end of the first era of my tinkering and learning what to do, what not to do, and how to reconcile what I want to say with what people who read this blog will enjoy. Now I'm entrenched in my own little league; it may not be the Major Leagues, but to me it's a significant little corner of my life which I enjoy and at times, frankly, just need. And I know now I won't be booed out of the stadium or demoted to a double-A farm team. So I'm looking at my trek to 3000 not as more of the same, but as a period of growth in the technological capabilities of this site while keeping the content as genuine and heartfelt and at times as brutally honest and uncompromising as it should be. I want to become an All-Star now and not just "happy to be here," to keep extending a shaky metaphor.

I'll never allow ads on my blog. I'll never attempt to sell something, or to make this place commercial or anything other than a place for me to write what I feel like writing; and secondarily as a place for friends and readers to discuss - if I'm lucky - what I've posted and to engage in interested conversations in the comments section with people from around the world. If I ever did have an impulse to pursue a commercial venture, I'd make a brand new site for it and not connect it in any way to this one. This is private, though I share it with you all.

So in a sense, I want it to be what it already is... I'm just playing with the technical aspects of it to make it fit into the year 2010 more than 2000. And the style needs an update, let's face it. I'm as fond of nostalgia as anyone, but I'm going to play with the look until I find the right blend of antique and modern that suits me aesthetically. It will probably look nothing like this. I still have lots of plans for a unique logo, better fonts, new features. So bear with me as we go through this renovation together!

Thank you very much!


billybytedoc said...

Nice look so far.

~Ry~ said...

Yay Meta! Expirementing is fun! Can't wait to see the what you come up with!

Mandula said...

I like the way it is wide. :)

Raelha said...

Congratulations on 2,000 posts! I'm sure we'll all enjoy reading up to 3,000 and beyond.

Also, I like the change already, it quite possibly has something to do with the splendid photo you've included in this post. I agree that being able to post larger pics (and vids) is much better. Oh, and the, erm, not sure what you'd call it, but the swirly thing (for want of a better despcription/le mot just) at the end of each post is cool too. Let's see what other changes you come up with next... :)

The Metamatician said...

Thanks everyone, the encouragement really helps! Makes it fun to experiment. =)

An Gabhar Ban said...

After that first rather sudden shock of "Oh what the hell happened!!?" when what I expected didn't appear... I love it. =) I'm sure you're going to be tweaking and fiddling around with it for a while to come but like those who have posted before, I like the wider look, the larger (and is it coincidence?) super rich, gorgeous photos, and the divider that's reminiscent of a fleur de lis (may I just say if you don't keep it in the final blog I'm going to steal it for my own.)

Congratulations on post number 2000 as well! I know that's a hell of a milestone for you and I only hope I can manage something so long lived for myself.

Keep on posting and we'll keep on reading!

The Metamatician said...

Besides using a custom background (ok, so it's white, but the fonts and page elements have to be placed and so one), the post divider graphical element that everyone seems to like (flourish or filigree are two names for it, and it is not a fleur-de-lis, though I agree those are lovely and have thought about getting a tattoo of one on the opposite shoulder where I'm going to tattoo my Eye of Horus; both represent virtues and commonalities in history which are important to me and which I won't explain) wasn't part of a canned template either, but rather I made the image in Adobe Illustrator as a vector file, converted it to a jpg in Photoshop, hosted it on a free location on the Web, then used my newfound (and still developing, to be sure) CSS skills to insert it into the template at the right place. Tricky the first time, piece of cake now!

I think I need to put a blank line before it as well as after... I don't want anything to feel crowded, and would like there to be plenty of white space, like a fashion magazine or something. Big colorful photos, elegant text that is allowed to breathe and not feel hedged in, and a minimalist design philosophy that's not minimalist to the point of absurdity. It's NOT there yet - But like I said, I've just begun to play with things.

And it's 2010, and I'm revamping the ol' blog like I said I would! Oh happy day.

The Metamatician said...

One more thing: I'm phasing out Flash in order for people on iPhones and iPads to be able to see all the content on the site.

This means fewer YouTubes videos for now, but I'm going more and more with Vimeo now anyway, an HTML5-based video site with fewer offering than YouTube (though it's growing fast), and which caters to the higher-end... many more videos uploaded there are larger (higher-res), up to some true HD sizes, and suffer far less compression artifacts.

The may load a tad slower for now, but while I'm getting off to an almost-new start here, I've made the decision to banish Flash going forward (I won't be changing many if any of my back posts, even if they look funny or don't work on some platforms) as well as other outmoded or deprecated technologies. I'm trying to anticipate but things will look like in another 5 years and when that time arrives hopefully things won't be TOO out of date or silly looking.

Five year refreshes? We'll see. But I think enough people have large monitors and broadband and reasonable fast computers now that I've decided to opt for a more high-tech look and feel and not stay behind for the few stragglers (sorry if you're one).

JOVIAN said...

like the new look. it looks 'fresher' and provides so much more real estate to play with. ahh, the possibilities :)

just fyi but nearly all Youtubes are watchable on iPhones/iPads. They converted their catalog awhile back just for that purpose. for instance, i JUST watched your newest post/video on the iPhone and it works great.

congrats on the milestone. very impressive!

Metamatician said...

Ah, thanks! Good to know about 'Tubes.

And thanks for the other comments. I'm still playing around with it, but I definitely wanted to "freshen" the look as you put it very well.

Some clash of minimalism and fanciness... like Piano Magic's site.

I dunno what I'll settle on, but for now this is ok. And it isn't a fixed width, it resizes with the browser, which in these days of people viewing on anything from 30" monitors to smart-phones, is pretty important.

That's one feature that will definitely stay.

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