Bloggiesta is kind of a blog spring cleaning, if you will. It's a weekend over which you try to accomplish all those niggling blog maintenance things you always want to do, but never get around to. Here's my list of hoped-for accomplishments. I will cross them out as I achieve them:
Write a review policy Write an About Me post
- Make tabs under my header so that I can clean up my sidebars. Tabs for:
About Me, Review Policy, Rosie's Riveters, With Reverent Hands, Reviews by Year(Only starting in 2010) Update Blogroll
- Update & Organize Google Reader
- Make a Favicon?
- Research consulting costs for "branding" blog with a very clean new look, gravatar, favicon, columns, etc.
- Figure out how to make my sidebar background images slimmer to jive with the actual width being used (N/A as I unexpectedly and completely changed my blog layout)
Figure out how to properly use the break-up post thing on Blogger so that I can do the "Read More" thing on posts and de-clutter the site. This didn't work last time I tried it due to sidebar issues.
- Prepare meme questions for With Reverent Hands series
- Can I import really old posts from LiveJournal into Blogger?
Backup Blogger and LiveJournal posts to both computer and new backup blog on Wordpress Add Meta tags Clean up and possibly decrease number of labels DECLUTTER Figure out what "Alt" images are and improve mine.It is far too onerous for me to go back through all my posts and add ALT tags, so I did it through mid-November and will try to make sure I keep it in mind going forward, too.
- Should I add "Digg" and "Delicious" links to each post?
As of Saturday, just before noon, I have spent about seven hours on the blog. The last hour has been spent doing the ALT tags, which seem to make a big difference on the "Website Grader" since my score went up 3% to a 93 after I went through my most recent posts and added image tags. However, I don't know how objective/subjective website graders are, so who really knows? Anyway, "alt" tags are ways for you to define and describe any images you have on your blog. Here's a site with information on adding alt tags.
I backed up my blog to Wordpress and to my computer, which meets the Farm Lane Books mini-challenge.
After mulling it over for a while, I decided against adding "Digg It' or "Stumble It" or anything of the like to my posts. I really am not in a contest to get the most readers and as I am currently not making money from my blog, I don't see the need to find ways for it to be more exposed on third-party sites. Also, I am not myself a member of Digg, Delicous, StumbleUpon or any of those other sites, so... it would be a bit odd for me to try to get other people to vote up my post on there.
I also tried to import my old LiveJournal posts into Blogger but it's not working. It keeps giving me errors. I'm not sure how to do that...I'm not overly bothered as those entries are set up in a completely different way than the ones I write here, so generally, it would be a lot of work to get them in shape for this blog.
I think, instead of sorting all my past reviews by author or title, I will now just create a tab to do that for 2010 and go forward from there. I can't be bothered to set that up for 2009!
As a couple of people have expressed interest in it, here's the link to the website I used to figure out how to put in tabs in Blogger. She links to other sites she used, all of which I clicked through to and used as well. And voila! It was much easier than I thought it would be! But does require downloading and hosting images on other sites, so beware. It doesn't require a change in template at all.
I also put in Meta Tags in my blog's HTML, so now when you do a Google Search for BookLust, it comes up with the meta description "Reactions and musings catalyzed by books. I read. Then I react. Then I share my musings with you." This jives with my header and description above, which makes me happy :-)
My review policy and About Me section have been updated, but I don't think they're very exciting. I also cleaned up my labels. I had a lot of labels by country before, but now only England (because so much fiction I read takes place there) and America have their own labels. Everyone else is basically by continent (except Asia is broken up to the Far East and South Asia). I also got rid of labels that had only one or two posts assigned to them. Some I think will get bigger as I continue reading in new genres, so I kept those (graphic novels, for instance). This meets the Beth Fish reads mini-challenge.
Some may have noticed that my blog is completely different than it was yesterday! This was quite unexpected. I started out by trying to clean up my sidebars. And then I started to think my sidebars were too cluttered. So I gave Rosie's Riveters its own tab above, which got rid of a big long list of links. I also changed the way my archives are presented, making it a drop down menu instead of a hierarchy. This also made a lot more space. I got rid of my Google Friends box, too. I wasn't sure about this, but so many people who subscribe to my blog due it directly through a blog reading service, so Google Friends wasn't really reflecting subscribership, anyway. Plus, I am currently all about the blog looking clean!
I have my blogroll now imported from Google Reader (which is SUPER easy to do if you're using blogger, as it's just a different way of presenting the Blog Roll feature it provides to you), and I made it so that only blogs recently updated show up. So if you're on my Google Reader, then you will probably show up on the side bar soon! This is one I'm really happy about as my blogroll was so outdated, and I didn't want to import everyone new I follow all the time. So, now it does it for me!
And woohoo! I got the clutter cleaned up so much I got rid of the 3-column format and returned to two! I'm quite happy about it, at the moment as now I can do that fun "Read More" feature with jump breaks in my posts!
Well, that is probably far too detailed an update for all of you! I hope to do more of the challenges and such this evening and tomorrow. Hope you're all having fun with Bloggiesta, if you're participating!