Alright! New year, new you, whatever it is people say.
For a few months now, whenever I checked out the site here I saw a few things that needed updating. I couldn’t do anything, of course, because for the past few months if I had an itch I had to schedule a time to scratch it. But I finally said that’s it! I made it a priority and I’m getting it done! And I did. It took me like 2 weeks but I think it’s where I’d like it to be. Funny thing is, after doing nothing but working on it, the changes I made are barely noticeable unless you really knew the layout of my blog. Oh well, it still makes things look better around here so that’s what counts! Why so long to fix it up? Thanks to big responsibilities like cooking and cleaning, and smaller responsibilities like taking care of the kids, I only have like 2 hours at night to work on stuff. Then there’s the internet and that dark hole, so don’t get me started.
I do feel bad though. Whenever I’m focusing on something to do with this place I tend to put everything else on hold. So things like twitter and gaming took a back seat while I got this done. See! Remember that when I go weeks without a post.
So what were these changes? Let’s check them out!
- First, there was this ugly, white bar that mysteriously appeared just below the header one day. Absolutely no idea how or why it popped up, but it did and it stood out like a sore thumb. Now I’ll be honest with you despite how crazy this may make me out to be, but that little bar was the reason why I started updating stuff. That tiny, insignificant little strip of white threw off the whole feng shui of my site. It was an eye sore and I had to fix it. Then, after I fixed it, I figured I might as well do this, then that, then that. So I guess I should be thanking that white bar. But you know what? I’m not.
- Next I fixed my little welcome message on top of the sidebar. That needed to allons-y pretty bad. It was long, had like 3 fonts, and then my logo was awkwardly in the middle. It looked like a letter left behind by a pirate. I swear, none of you are my friends for letting me have that up there so long. I made it short and to the point instead of dragged out. Decided to not add a picture, but instead I did sign it properly. And behind the signature, in lighter text, is my name I’m using for every social network – The1llusiveMan. I decided a few months back to fully embrace the name I signed up on twitter with all those years ago and just use it everywhere. It’s how I’m known, and it only makes sense to carry it with me wherever I go.
- If you click on the updated welcome message (like it tells you to do), it takes you to my newly spruced up About Me page. If you’ve never been, you should check it out and let me know what you think. I get a little wordy, but you’re going there wanting to know.. you know.. about me, and I’m a wordy kinda guy so you asked for it by clicking. I updated it with more info, a picture of my hiding face because that’s how I roll (I’ve never posted my face anywhere except to a small circle on Google+), and a sweet music player! I’m really happy with the music player. I loaded up over 70 of my favorite songs! Yes, I went crazy and channeled my MySpace page from 15 years ago. Am I sorry? Heck no! It’s a shuffling playlist too so whenever you go to the page a different song will play. And yes, it automatically plays. I figured no one would press play on their own so I did it for them. Everyone will probably mute it or quickly hit stop, but I know it’s there and I know it’s cool. And just like high school, that’s all that matters.
- Back to the sidebar, I removed and relocated a few things. The buttons for following me on Feedly and Bloglovin’ are gone, and so is the email subscription form. The last two were relocated but the Feedly button was ditched.
- The email subscription form (or, link) is now in 3 different spots – in the top bar, all the way in the bottom of the footer, and directly under the comments. I changed my delivery service as you may have noticed if you’re signed up, so now subscribing to emails is a lot more convenient, organized and cool. I copy and pasted the list of current subscribers so if you’d like to get on that list what are you waiting for?! Click on one of the links and get the ball rolling! But… If you were already on the list (you should know because of a spiffy new email from me regarding this post), I must ask a favor: Click on one of the links – if you dart your eyes to the top right corner of the page you’ll see it, or just wait till you’re leaving a comment telling me how awesome my updates are 😀 – and update your profile with your name so I know who is who. There are a lot of addresses and I’m curious about the spam:person ratio.
- The Bloglovin’ button also found a new home in the social network bar. Have I ever mentioned how much I love that bar?! I think it’s my favorite thing about this place. If you look to your right, you’ll see the newly updated icons for all the social networks I’m a part of. I reached the maximum limit because I’m a dork so if I ever get a hair up my butt and go back to Google+ I’ll have to remove one. Sorry, but it’s going to be tumblr. I already decided and it wasn’t even that hard of a choice.
- Along with Bloglovin’, there’s another new icon – Twitch. If you’re unfamiliar with Twitch, it’s probably because it has to do with gaming. The PS4 launched with the capability to live stream whatever you’re playing to Twitch, so ever since then it’s been used like crazy by PS4 owners because of it’s ease of use and integration in the system. If you’re totally clueless to what any of that means, it basically shows video in real time (with a slight delay) of whatever I’m playing. So if you’re interested in checking out a game and I happen to be streaming it, you can come watch me play and interact via chatroom. It’s the freaking future, let me tell ya. I put the icon there because I love to stream games I’m playing. Hardly anyone ever checks me out, but whatever, it’s still a fun feature!
- Further down the sidebar you’ll notice I took out the Tag Cloud. I don’t know why, but I really like the tag cloud. So much, in fact that I relocated it to the bottom of the site in the footer. It’s front and center and impossible to miss. So if you’re ever extremely bored and want to randomly check out posts, give the tag cloud a spin and see what’s there.
- On either side of the tag cloud you’ll notice quotes. I love quotes! All sorts – from movies, real life, motivational, whatever – there’s always room for a good quote. These are are all some of my favorite quotes from some of my favorite movies, so I hope you enjoy them. If you don’t know where they’re from, I linked the movie to the character’s name. So you can look more into it if the quote really tickles your fancy. I don’t know, I love real life quotes like from powerful figures in history, I mean, those are supposed to be the ones that really mean something. But something about movie quotes really get me. I think it’s my love of characters and their development. If you have a favorite movie, then you should also have a favorite character. And if you do, then you know what I’m talking about. Learning about this fictional being, who they are, what they represent, is half the fun of whatever movie they’re in. And the things they say either embody or define they’re character. So I really love to pay attention to their lines and words. My favorite one down there? Probably Snape’s. It’s just one word, but everything behind that one word? Ugh, fuhgettaboudit.
…Just in case you were wondering why I have quotes in the footer of my blog…
- Along with the font that I also changed, I think that about covers it for the updated stuff to the main site. The sidebar was a big concern for me and it was addressed. Now it’s streamlined, cleaned up, and doesn’t feel like it’s all over the place. The social bar has a new look with new icons and new designs, the footer is being utilized more than ever, and the email subscription service is more reliable than ever. And let’s not forget the excommunication of that ugly white bar that started it all. So yeah, it took me 2 weeks, but I’m insanely happy I did it. Happy New Year, blog!
- Oh, I organized some other areas too by adding some categories. If you scroll up and hover over The Man in the menu bar, you’ll see I added a Humpday Updates section. I figured it’s going to be my somewhat-weekly updated tag so I gave it it’s own spot. Also, under The Dad button in the menu, I added Family Travels. I always seem to have posts dedicated to weekend getaways we have, so I started a category for that.
- Also from the menu, you’ll see I’m currently working on finishing up my Links page. I have a lot more stuff to link to, but if you want to go check out some of my favorite places to visit on the net, click on the Cool Links button under the header!
Aaaaaaaaand I think that’s it! Wait… That’s all I did?? I guess it is, haha. No, it’s not a major overhaul, but it cleaned up a bit. Consider it a .xx update rather than a x.00 update. I still really love the layout of this place and don’t see me changing it soon. So I hope you like it too!
So how is the new year treating everyone? If there was something you were guaranteed to accomplish this year, what would it be? And nothing crazy like winning the lotto because I already picked that one. And don’t forget to either subscribe or update your subscription! I hope to put out a lot more stuff around these parts.