Bad Friends, Cluttered Design & Father’s Day

Sixty-seven of the greatest social media minds in midtown Manhattan are currently discussing my blog. It is being explored, investigated, consumed, digested and dissected by gurus and ninjas.

Twenty-seven percent of those people are legally blind, 67 percent are clinically insane and 56 percent have IQs that would make Einstein jealous. Just ask those people and they’ll tell you it is so.

Confession time: I made that up. Every one of those stats and some that I didn’t share.  Don’t feel badly for believing it because many people have a nasty habit of believing everything they read online. We won’t talk about whether they know how to do simple math or how many tried to add up the percentages to see if they equaled 100 percent.

By now it is probably clear to you that I am someone who prefers to do things a little bit differently. That is accurate and not just because I march to the beat of a drummer who has no rhythm.

Bad Friends, Cluttered Design & Father’s Day

I am irritated with some of my friends. I won’t bore you with a long list of reasons nor make excuses for them because I demand a lot. I know that I can come on like a freight train. I know that I am really intense. That is me. It is who I am.

If you don’t like it than you don’t have to be my friend. But understand that if you are my friend I take it seriously when you say things like “I’ll be there for you.” I don’t accept friendship from everyone. I don’t like everyone nor do I expect everyone to like me. But if I say that I am going to be there for you than I will. Do the same for me or don’t bother doing it.

I don’t want a million friends. I want good friends. I want friends to love and those who will love me. We are talking platonic love of course. I am very lucky and blessed to have some of the finest friends anyone could have. But recent events have reminded me that not everyone understands what it means to be a good friend.

If you are among my core group I will fight to the death with you and for you. People remember how you make them feel and when bad things happen they remember if you are there to help. They notice if you are only around when things are good.

Cluttered Design

I am tweaking things again on the blog. It feels a little bit cluttered so I am working on a few things to try to clean it up. One of the things I love about blogging is that it is so easy to turn on a dime and make adjustments.

There are several adjustments in the works. It just takes a little bit of time to make the changes. That is because the budget for my IT department is about $496,000 away from the half million dollars that I want to be in there. Maybe I better start pushing the affiliate links a little bit harder.

One of the areas I am looking at doing something with is my “related links” section underneath the posts. I have to decide if that is adding or taking away.

Father’s Day

If I had to prepare a list of items that I want for Father’s Day they would include but not be limited to the following:

  1. New car
  2. New iPad
  3. Vacation
  4. Time
  5. A huge check so that I could focus on my writing.
  6. New laptop
  7. Something that I won’t share with everyone but means a lot to me.

Life is too short to take real seriously so I do my best not to. It is also too short not to try to live the sort of life that feeds your soul. I wouldn’t say that mine is starving but it is hungry enough for me to notice. Time to make more adjustments.

What is new in your world?

28 comments
CrossBetsy
CrossBetsy

Good friends stick with you forever. I have a handful I can count on.

Consistency is good for things like disciplining kids and paying bills. Not much else. I love changing designs. Makes you see what's important over time. Wakes people up, too. Nothing wrong with clutter OR simplicity. It's the tone of the content that matters. Just like a home...or a book...some of the most interesting people and stories live in some crazy looking places.

CrossBetsy
CrossBetsy

Good friends stick with you forever. I have a handful I can count on. Consistency is good for things like disciplining kids and paying bills. Not much else. I love changing designs. Makes you see what's important over time. Wakes people up, too. Nothing wrong with clutter OR simplicity. It's the tone of the content that matters. Just like a home...or a book...some of the most interesting people and stories live in some crazy looking places.

bdorman264
bdorman264

Well, you certainly have the 'right' kind of people showing up than can help you with suggestions. I really don't pay attention to much of the 'other stuff' that goes on at people's blogs, but that's just me. I know some people like to dig in and do all kinds of exploring, but I'm just not that curious with most of this stuff. For me, I like the minimalist, simple approach; wham, bam, thank you ma'am. 

 

What's new with me? I'm better looking than I was yesterday? I'm way cooler than I was in May? I'm still full of BS? 

 

One day at a time I suppose; not real glamorous, but not a lot of drama either. Life is still good......

bdorman264
bdorman264

Well, you certainly have the 'right' kind of people showing up than can help you with suggestions. I really don't pay attention to much of the 'other stuff' that goes on at people's blogs, but that's just me. I know some people like to dig in and do all kinds of exploring, but I'm just not that curious with most of this stuff. For me, I like the minimalist, simple approach; wham, bam, thank you ma'am.    What's new with me? I'm better looking than I was yesterday? I'm way cooler than I was in May? I'm still full of BS?    One day at a time I suppose; not real glamorous, but not a lot of drama either. Life is still good......

Harleena Singh
Harleena Singh

I ditto a few things Jack!   Time and vacation for Father's Day would surely be wonderful for you to connect with your kids and family I guess, besides the other materialistic things. :)   Ahh...the clutter on the blog, which reminds me then mine too must be more cluttered than yours! Guess I need to check it out as well. And yes, I agree - a few good friends are better than having many of them whom you really don't get along with.    Thanks for sharing more about you with us. :)

Harleena Singh
Harleena Singh

I ditto a few things Jack!

 

Time and vacation for Father's Day would surely be wonderful for you to connect with your kids and family I guess, besides the other materialistic things. :)

 

Ahh...the clutter on the blog, which reminds me then mine too must be more cluttered than yours! Guess I need to check it out as well. And yes, I agree - a few good friends are better than having many of them whom you really don't get along with. 

 

Thanks for sharing more about you with us. :)

vanitacyril
vanitacyril

you kill me Jack with your stats. :-D

good friends are really truly hard to find and i'm also blessed to have a few that have been there for me as i've been there for them. somethings like "i'm always there for you" along with "i love you" are just too easy for some people to say these days. i really wish some past friends would have put more thought into the concept and it's responsibilities before uttering them.

funny how you've made your site narrower and i've made mine wider. lol.

as for the affiliate links, push 'em big guy. i followed your aweber link today and am seriously considering it since i'll be starting a new newsletter and their signup forms kick butt. thanks for your review in the other post by the way.

vanitacyril
vanitacyril

you kill me Jack with your stats. :-D good friends are really truly hard to find and i'm also blessed to have a few that have been there for me as i've been there for them. somethings like "i'm always there for you" along with "i love you" are just too easy for some people to say these days. i really wish some past friends would have put more thought into the concept and it's responsibilities before uttering them. funny how you've made your site narrower and i've made mine wider. lol. as for the affiliate links, push 'em big guy. i followed your aweber link today and am seriously considering it since i'll be starting a new newsletter and their signup forms kick butt. thanks for your review in the other post by the way.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hear you on the redesign front, mate. Like you say, it's the great thing about blogging, the fluidity to change on the fly as we see fit.

 

If I could suggest a couple of changes? (And feel free to tell me to go and take a running jump!):

 

1. Lose some of the sidebar content. You want people to concentrate on your copy, and at the moment there's a lot of stuff going on in the sidebar. Check your blog analytics and affiliate charts, and see what's getting clicked. The rest? Eliminate.

 

2. Do you really need the floating share widget, or can you be more effective at having share options at the bottom of the post (with perhaps a single button at the top with multiple share options)? It's not always conducive to mobile browsing, and Digg Digg has been known to slow load times.

 

3. (Okay, I know, I said a couple - sorry!). Have a dark background for the wrapper. Perhaps something along the lines of #464646. It makes the content stand out and dark backgrounds always help highlight the body area.

 

Like I say, feel free to use, lose or abuse these suggestions - and look forward to seeing what you come up with, sir!

Latest blog post:

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

Hear you on the redesign front, mate. Like you say, it's the great thing about blogging, the fluidity to change on the fly as we see fit.   If I could suggest a couple of changes? (And feel free to tell me to go and take a running jump!):   1. Lose some of the sidebar content. You want people to concentrate on your copy, and at the moment there's a lot of stuff going on in the sidebar. Check your blog analytics and affiliate charts, and see what's getting clicked. The rest? Eliminate.   2. Do you really need the floating share widget, or can you be more effective at having share options at the bottom of the post (with perhaps a single button at the top with multiple share options)? It's not always conducive to mobile browsing, and Digg Digg has been known to slow load times.   3. (Okay, I know, I said a couple - sorry!). Have a dark background for the wrapper. Perhaps something along the lines of #464646. It makes the content stand out and dark backgrounds always help highlight the body area.   Like I say, feel free to use, lose or abuse these suggestions - and look forward to seeing what you come up with, sir!

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @CrossBetsy You are good about not getting caught up in looks or issues surrounding that. I like that. Not everyone is steady like that.

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @CrossBetsy You are good about not getting caught up in looks or issues surrounding that. I like that. Not everyone is steady like that.

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @bdorman264 There is a lot to be said for the minimalist approach. Simple is good not just because a clean look is cool but because there are fewer things that can cause issues.

 

Too many plugins can slow down a site and make it wonky.

 

Who says that you are not a better looking man than yesterday. Today you are showered and clean shaven... ;)

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @bdorman264 There is a lot to be said for the minimalist approach. Simple is good not just because a clean look is cool but because there are fewer things that can cause issues.   Too many plugins can slow down a site and make it wonky.   Who says that you are not a better looking man than yesterday. Today you are showered and clean shaven... ;)

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @Harleena Singh Hi Harleena,   Time is really what I want. Not just time, but time where I am relaxed and no distracted by work or other responsibilities.   This blog like I said to Vanita and Danny is going to continue to be tweaked, but hopefully not to the point where I make myself crazy. Balance, always seeking balance.

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @Harleena Singh Hi Harleena,

 

Time is really what I want. Not just time, but time where I am relaxed and no distracted by work or other responsibilities.

 

This blog like I said to Vanita and Danny is going to continue to be tweaked, but hopefully not to the point where I make myself crazy. Balance, always seeking balance.

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @vanitacyril Hi Vanita,

 

I am a hardass about some of these things. I am sure some people will say that my intensity has made it too difficult to deal with, but I am cool with that. We need good friends who are reliable and who accept us for who we are.

 

Some people can't and that is ok, better to find out sooner than later.

 

As for the site, well this place is going to continue to be adjusted. Until I come up with the perfect solution I figure I'll keep tweaking it so that I can improve things. Always room for that, or so they tell me. ;)

vanitacyril
vanitacyril

Hmmm...Just saw DannyBrown's comment. thought i should mention, i didn't even notice the aweber in the sidebar. it was the post that lead me to checking them out. just a bit of feedback. ;)

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @vanitacyril Hi Vanita,   I am a hardass about some of these things. I am sure some people will say that my intensity has made it too difficult to deal with, but I am cool with that. We need good friends who are reliable and who accept us for who we are.   Some people can't and that is ok, better to find out sooner than later.   As for the site, well this place is going to continue to be adjusted. Until I come up with the perfect solution I figure I'll keep tweaking it so that I can improve things. Always room for that, or so they tell me. ;)

vanitacyril
vanitacyril

Hmmm...Just saw DannyBrown's comment. thought i should mention, i didn't even notice the aweber in the sidebar. it was the post that lead me to checking them out. just a bit of feedback. ;)

bdorman264
bdorman264

 @DannyBrown Whew, just stay the hell away from my place............

 

Actually, for what Jack is trying to do your suggestions make sense but then again, you are smart like that anyway...........:)

rdopping
rdopping

Damn, I can use that advice. Just relaunched for real now and have a laundry list of stuff missing.

 

Jack, I have no advice here (so why am I writing?). I am less than experienced in these matters and am starting the self-host learning process today. I think the next month or so is going to be tweaksville over at my place.

 

I like your site. The writing is always engaging but I guess that's the deal-eo then isn't it? The rest is to make it easy to navigate (at least for me). Now that I am off the "free" site thing we will see if I can cut it in the real world.

 

I love the sidebar advice.

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @DannyBrown Hi Danny,

 

I appreciate the feedback and don't mind multiple suggestions at all. I am not adverse to removing Digg Digg if I can find a clean option.

 

It never hurts to have an unbiased eye look at these things. I figure I'll tweak, push, pull and bang on this a bunch of times. If that helps get me to where I need to be so much the better.

bdorman264
bdorman264

 @DannyBrown Whew, just stay the hell away from my place............   Actually, for what Jack is trying to do your suggestions make sense but then again, you are smart like that anyway...........:)

rdopping
rdopping

Damn, I can use that advice. Just relaunched for real now and have a laundry list of stuff missing.   Jack, I have no advice here (so why am I writing?). I am less than experienced in these matters and am starting the self-host learning process today. I think the next month or so is going to be tweaksville over at my place.   I like your site. The writing is always engaging but I guess that's the deal-eo then isn't it? The rest is to make it easy to navigate (at least for me). Now that I am off the "free" site thing we will see if I can cut it in the real world.   I love the sidebar advice.

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @DannyBrown Hi Danny,   I appreciate the feedback and don't mind multiple suggestions at all. I am not adverse to removing Digg Digg if I can find a clean option.   It never hurts to have an unbiased eye look at these things. I figure I'll tweak, push, pull and bang on this a bunch of times. If that helps get me to where I need to be so much the better.

TheJackB
TheJackB moderator

 @rdopping Hi Ralph,

 

Your feedback is still useful. Content is reason why people continue to visit. A good looking blog without content is like an empty suit and that is something that I really don't want to emulate.

 

I look forward to seeing what you do with your blog too. It is an adventure.

TheJackB
TheJackB

 @rdopping Hi Ralph,   Your feedback is still useful. Content is reason why people continue to visit. A good looking blog without content is like an empty suit and that is something that I really don't want to emulate.   I look forward to seeing what you do with your blog too. It is an adventure.