Gosh, the weekend is already almost over! I know that Bloggiesta doesn't end for some hours yet, but my Sunday will be focused on looking at other participants' blogs and commenting on them, rather than working on my own. So, what did I accomplish during my first ever Bloggiesta Fiesta?
A lot, as it turns out! It's funny, I signed up for Bloggiesta just on a whim and didn't even think I'd really do much to participate. But then I saw everyone else's ideas and then got my own ideas and just wanted to make sure I wasn't slacking on my poor blog, so I got to doing one thing and then that thing led to another, and another and now... well, BookLust is quite different!
I now have tabs at the top of my blog. This is probably the improvement I'm most thrilled about as it gives me so much more room and maneuverability with my sidebars. Because of it, I was able to return to a two-column format, which is much appreciated. I also think the blog looks a lot cleaner and sleeker now than it did before but I may be biased. I also like that now I can keep track of all the books I read going forward in my "2010 Books" tab.
I cleaned up my labels. There are many fewer labels now, and I don't think anyone notices that but me, but I feel blog clean-up is more for the blog administrator than for anyone else, anyway.
I graded my blog and it went up from an 85% in mid-December to a 93% earlier today. That is exciting! It seems to have gone up in rating solely because I added meta tags and alt descriptions to the most recent entries. I am not sure how I feel about the website grader. I don't know if what it grades on is actually important, or is more archaic or maybe is just an opinion. It didn't really hurt to put meta tags on the blog, and I admit that I'm glad that now Google search results show a blog description instead of the first sentence of the most recent post. Other than that... I don't know if anything really makes that much of a difference. I don't think that is going to change my Google page rank that much, or bring so much more traffic to my blog. But it didn't take too much effort to do, so I'm happy with it.
I also participated in some challenges. I did the Farm Lane Books back-up challenge and the Bookalicous copyright challenge (thanks to a tip from Marg for help on how to do this). I also accidentally participated in some challenges from the last Bloggiesta, but they helped improve my blog, too, right?!
I did a pretty minimal Google Reader update by removing all the blogs I subscribe to that haven't updated in several months. That's about all I did on that goal! I didn't make a Favicon, either. I am not sure how to deal with that mostly because I got specific permission from an artist (the fabulous Canadian artist Oliver Ray) to use his painting "Girl Reading" in my header. I love the painting and hope to buy a copy for myself as a present for getting into graduate school but I feel bad using it too much for my own "branding." This led to my goal of wanting to rebrand my blog by using a different image set, but that is a bit out of my price range right now and I don't know what I want to do, exactly.
Overall, I'm really happy with my Bloggiesta accomplishments. I did a lot of things I didn't even consider doing before I started (like re-formatting the entire blog). I thought I'd just focus all my time on labels, but I didn't. I hope I can keep up my organization with the image tagging and including all books read in my 2010 Reads tab!
Thank you so much to Natasha at Maw Books for hosting Bloggiesta! And thanks to everyone who was so nice and supportive about my blog changes. It's great to start 2010 off on such a hopeful note, full of resolutions on reading, and a new look for the blog.
Now I'm off to read my first book for the Flashback Challenge, The Phantom Tollbooth, my favorite book from childhood. I'm so excited!!