So it looks like my web site is finally ready for a soft launch. Now I have to figure out what to do with the Japanese version... Anyway, thanks Justin, for helping me get this far. I think this blog format is much better than my old static page which I had edit html directly. For anyone who isn't using blog software to do their web page, I highly recommend it. If you don't know what a blog is, google for it. ;-)

Any comments about the site would be really helpful.

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Welcome to the blogosphere, Joi! One feature you should add. In addition to the links you already have, you ought to have a section for links to other blogs you follow. It's part of the blogecology. This article (better than its name) on Is Blogging a Fad? ( http://www.corante.com/bottomline/articles/20020621-875.shtml ) makes the important point that the value of blogs is in their aggregation, not particularly in the individual blogs (although a few individual blogs have high value in themselves).

Thanks Howard. I hope to get a good links section before this goes live July 1. Justin, any thoughts on where they should go from a design perspective?

Well I've been noticing lately that most of the weblogs carry their links up front. They're in a sidebar on the front page, showing the top few sites that are read regularly. "Links" pages are a bit too static - having your links where most people read forces you to look at them often too.

I tend to like to link to people I'm reading in the course of my writing. I do a lot of embedded links in my text. But I think that only appeals to a certain sort of fractured attention span.

For my frequent links, I made a page I use as the default home screen for my web browsers:
http://www.links.net/mindex.html

For your public page, you've already stuck a few links in your right hand sidebar. I would experiment with making that list far too long and then see where else those links might run!

From my observations, three levels of links are useful:

At the level of the post, there are the embedded links, the link to the permanent entry, and (important for the community aspect) the link to whoever might have suggested an item, or the blog you found at.

At the level of the specialty of the blogger, there are the links they think are important in regard to that specialty.

At the level of the blogosphere, there are the links to other blogs that Joi reads. This list needs to change more often than the resource links.

IMO

Archives by date would work better, I think, if you had the archive links on the top page arragned only by year, and save the month by month links for a deeper page, one for each year.

Thanks for your thoughts Howard. I agree...

Justin, is there any easy way to do the year by year thing one level deeper?

Yeah, you are a special case. I think when they built this software they didn't expect people with 8 years of archives up front, at least not for a few more years of operation. I'll poke around to see about yearly archives - good suggestion Howard.

Looks like "Yearly" updates are on the ToDo list for MT.

http://www.movabletype.org/support/ib3/ikonboard.cgi?s=3d1b3a61a2b7ffff;act=ST;f=12;t=240;hl=yearly

They've already released one MT update since we started working on your site; I'll bug them to include this in the next version.

One stupid html/style question. Should I be using tables to organize the text and the picture better?

I think for the big pictures, it's okay to have them floating above the text. For the smaller images, like the picture of Mizuka, you might put an "align=right" in with the img src HTML - then the image will align right with the text flowing around it. See how you like that!

For most of your posts tables are probably overkill.

So there are A LOT of blog packages.

Here's a web page with a comparison.

Thanks Tai

I like pMachine, because the developer uses Mac OS X. ;-P

Yeah, that's a useful page tracking the latest releases. For a while it wasn't updated - they've recently added some other software that's out there, but they still haven't updated for the latest on some programs. But that's nitpicking -

this chart helped my decide Moveable Type had the right range of features (many), at the right price (free with donation), with the right platform (unix - server side). But it seems like there's a new blog software package each day - an explosion of creativity engines! so many of them are client side - I travel too much to want to keep my weblog on my harddrive - though I always have my laptop with me, I like the idea that my weblog is somewhere that I'm not. Besides, most of the web logs I run I run in collaboration with others, so client-side weblogging software would depend on me being on one stable internet connection. That don't happen much. But maybe when the world is covered in wireless I'll be ready to go client-side weblogging softs. But by then I'm sure all the weblogging software will be consolidated into Office 2006.

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