Introducing a new look for RiehlWorldView.com
Welcome to a new and hopefully improved look for my RiehlWorldView blog. Don’t let the template, an early New York Times clone, fool you. I’ve not gone over to the dark side, nor is this anything other than my own personal blog, just as it has been for 8 years, since 2004. For fans, friends and long-time readers, I want to assure you that I spent considerable time pondering every decision in the re-design during what amounted to a month long development process with the incredible help of two great guys and able developers, Daniel J. Summers of DJS-Consulting and Ed Burns of Trionic Labs.
I’d confidently recommend both to anyone. And if they can work for me through what was a challenging re-design, they can probably work for anyone! ; )
If you’re wondering about the “Riehl World News” in the banner. The best way to explain it is as a publication of RiehlWorldView.com, which remains the blog’s url to keep archives and old links intact. Candidly, the letters W and V look so unusual in a traditional newspaper banner font style and the design called out so loudly for the word “news” in the banner – I went for it. I’m just a blogger. I can do that! heh! To avoid any confusion, RiehlWorldNews.com also points to the homepage, as does RiehlWorldView.com.
One note of irony, while working with what amounts to a less sophisticated model of what the Times uses today, it struck me as very retro, as there was a time when I actually read and enjoyed newspapers. That sense actually made me feel good about the theme. As for what it says about where the Times is today in terms of presenting content, I’ll leave for others to ponder at their leisure.
While I could go on forever as to the whys and wherefores leading to the many decisions I made along the way to arrive at this particular design configuration, I’ll spare you the rambling and cut to the chase as to how best to read it going forward, if you’re of a mind to do so. In some ways, it’s like having three blogs in one to accomodate three different styles of blogging – each of which I employ most days I am blogging.
This double column you’re reading is the “Features” column, for traditional blog posts with a fair amount of original writing. I’ll also be using it for video in most cases. The column to your immediate right of it is driven by a sub-category known as “News Notes”. For the most part, posts in that column will include from 1-3 short paragraphs of original content, possibly an excerpt of an article with a prominent link-out to same. Nothing is etched in stone, though, and I can use all three columns for any type of blog post.
The last content column to your right is driven by a sub-category called “Quick Hits,” which will mostly contain little to no original content, usually with a brief excerpt and out-link. A key goal that accomplishes for me is to allow the blog to keep updating while following the news cycle, without driving more time consuming feature posts down, or even off the front page prematurely.
The two columns on the right will move much faster than the Features column in terms of new content. If you scroll to the bottom below the formatted content, you’ll see a tabber. It contains headlines for 8 additional items for each sub-category most recently dropped from the front page because of new content posted above it. All in all, combined with the ability to display 8 first column Features, 12 second column News Notes and 11 third column Quick Hits, that means one can reasonably quickly and efficiently scan headlines for my last 55 blog posts. I’m also continuing to build out links to publications and resources in the two sidebars, above and below the mid-banner and will fill them out as I go. That’s also an important aspect of this theme for me. Naturally, you’ll need to view the home page to take it all in. Right-side media and online media in general certainly has grown and advanced over the years.
Finally, as making more news, or content available more efficiently over a longer period of time was one of the goals I had in mind when I approached the re-design, aside from the usual bugs and burps that may pop up as I begin working in the new template, I’m very pleased with the result. I hope fans, friends and readers who take the time to read here are, as well. As always, thanks for dropping in and giving the new RiehlWorldView blog design a look. It is appreciated.