Saturday, September 18, 2010

Change Is In The Air . . .

Made some minor adjustments to the blog recently, though I don't know if any of you noticed. Probably not, since they're mostly window-dressing type changes.

One of the more significant of these non-significant changes (heh, heh) is the addition of the "READ MORE" jumpover function, which allows me to hide large portions of text behind a convenient new page link whenever my entries take up too much bandwidth. Which, as you know, they often do because I like to ruminate at the mouth when I blog. This is very convenient for those entries where I'm embedding a lot of pics and/or videos -- such as with my most recent cruise reports. Hiding all that processing-heavy code behind a jumpover makes my main page load a lot faster now. Hallelujah! This naturally only applies to folks who arrive on my blog via the front door, and not by way of an entry-specific link since those pages are automatically expanded to their fullest.

Secondly, I got rid of my old 3rd party share buttons and replaced them with the Blogger proprietary ones which is a little more streamlined and not as buggy. Plus, that annoying pop-up window no longer shows up whenever your cursor even so much as looks in the buttons' general direction. Ugh! I hated that. The new buttons are unobtrusive and only there if you really need to share my blog with your various social media sites. Which I'm not sure many of you do that, but, hey, it's there in case you do.

I had to jump through some gnarly hoops to get these functions added to my particular blog, because my page is not the standard template at Blogger. Because of earlier modifications I had made to the site, whenever The Powers That Be decide to add some nifty new tool, I have to go into my source code and mess around with the HTML in order to implement it. And if you don't know what you're doing, you can royally screw up your site by rummaging around the source code.

Needless to say, I've learned a lot about what I can and cannot do with this blog over the past few nights. I've discovered ways to improve this page that I never knew about, let alone thought was possible.

All this is my way of prefacing the announcement that The Bimillennial Man will be getting a makeover in the next few days. At least, I hope so. It's very likely that I'll screw something up big time and will end up reverting back to this current template. If that happens, I'll ask you to forget all about this entry. If it does work, however, then the place will have a new visual look. I'm thinking of getting rid of the whole black-and-green color scheme. What do you think?

Another major improvement, if it works, is that I'll be overhauling my comments section -- eschewing the standard Blogger comments model (which, to be quite honest, totally SUCKS!) and going instead with a 3rd party offering called "Disqus" to manage all my comments. I've heard and seen some great things about this service, so hopefully I'll get it to work. If it goes through, I think you guys will really like what you see. It will require me migrating over every single comment ever made on this blog first, though. I don't want to lose those. But this makes the process a very long and mayhaps tedious one -- YIKES!

All in all, I don't anticipate any major interruptions on the main site as most of these improvements will be worked on behind the scenes. One second the place will look like it always does, and the next -- BOOM! Whole new look!

The comments migration and upgrade will probably happen at a later time, however. Can't do everything all at once, now, you know?

Anyway, wish me luck! *crosses fingers and toes*

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