Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A lot has happened in the blogosphere since 2011!

I've just been preparing my presentation for the Britmums Live conference taking place in a couple of weeks, and it's been really interesting to revisit some of the blogs and other resources I researched for the book back in the summer of 2011.

Many blogs have undergone 'refurbs' and are looking mighty smart. For example, Bleubird has a new masthead and minimal layout:
Bleubird Vintage blog

And Bright, Bold and Beautiful the masthead now boasts more white space, clearer social sharing buttons and wider column widths:

Bright, Bold & Beautiful

Many top bloggers are still on hosted platforms, which in a way I find encouraging, having moved my two other blogs to Wordpress.com last year much to the surprise of colleagues. "Why would you opt for hosted rather than self-hosted?" I am often asked. And the answer is really to do with time and convenience. I don't want to have to worry about backups, endless plugin and theme updates, rip-off developers (yes, I've fallen prey to my fair share) and other housekeeping issues. I would rather rent than buy, period!

I've been spending more time on my poetry blog than anything else, and am very happy with the theme I chose, although I do have issues with the menus and having to put all the widgets in the footer. I might change to another theme at some point, although I like the minimalist edge to this one.

Then in the big wide world of the internet there have been plenty of changes of course. Posterous got sucked up by Twitter in 2012, and Tumblr by Yahoo! just a few months ago. Picnik closed its doors last year too, with Google adding photo editing to its Google+ platform. I'm less of a Tweetdeck fan now its owned by Twitter, and although I've been experimenting on new social platform App.net I'm still not sure if it's gaining any traction.

But one thing that hasn't changed is what makes for great blog design. At Britmums Live I'll be talking about blog design for beginners: tips, examples, 'need to know' stuff with a few nice visuals. That's the Saturday morning session which will be alongside Alison Rothwell who's talking about SEO. On the evening before, I'm on a panel discussing how to turn an OK blog into a GREAT one. If you're coming to the event, please say hello!

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