A quick makeover for Thinking Liberal

At this year’s Lib Dem conference I was very heartened by the attention my blog is now getting. It was amongst the five nominees for the Lib Dem Voice Blog of the Year – although I came a long way behind the winner, Jonathan Calder’s very different, and long running Liberal England. It then made its way ) into Teads top one hundred blogs, coming in at 73, the tenth highest Lib Dem entry (and beating Liberal England as it happens).

I also got some constructive feedback – first was that the blog did not work well when viewed on a smart phone. I was also getting a bit tired of its visual appearance, with the rather dull blues of the westward view of the rocks from the Isles of Scilly. The beauty of WordPress is that doing a remake is very quick and easy. So I have adopted their latest standard template, which is more mobile friendly. I have changed the title picture to something brighter and airier  – sand sculptures in Copenhagen – supply your own narrative as to why that should be appropriate for a liberal blog. On a big screen there is also a background picture, which is only partially visible. I have picked the Berlin memorial to the Roma.

There are aspects of this format I don’t like so much. The nice serif text font (Georgia I think) is replaced by a Helvetica-style one, and the headlines are capitalised. The lines are shorter. I feel that I am being pushed into a breezier, shorter style. That’s how many blogs work – little and often. But my blog goes a bit deeper, and articles usually come in at about 1,000 words. The old font worked better for this.

Another piece of feedback was that people found it hard to get email alerts for new postings. As I post less often than many, an email alert is good way of staying in touch. I have found a plugin, and you should see a subscription form on the top of the left hand side bar. Do subscribe – though I don’t promise it will work quite as I would like it straightaway. It should automatically alert you to new postings.

There some more things to do. Most bloggers incorporate a small picture for each article. This certainly looks much better when posting to Facebook. I need to do more of this, though finding appropriate pictures adds to the time taken. I’m not sure how the experienced bloggers do this.

There are other things. My tags are a bit of a mess, and need a bit of a rethink.

Any feedback is welcome though.

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