Redesigning my site is always a special time. It’s a time to start fresh, re-examine all my assumptions and past decisions, ask the hard questions. It starts with the content. What should I keep? What should I add? What should I drop? Before I even get to work on the design, I need to know what I should be designing for.
My Queer History Project? Oh, it stays. Even if I didn’t have any incoming links to it, I’d keep it just because even after 10(!) years I’m still enormously proud of it. It’ll share the stage with the other Web design projects I’ve got going on: VGVA and Team Vancouver
Quotes? For years I used to have lots of quotes, several pages’ worth, including a ginormous one dedicated to the great Terry Pratchett. I decided to drop them in the current version, but I keep going back and forth on it. Thing is, I’m just not sure how to incorporate them in the design. Should I have a random quote in the sidebar? Or a whole, separate page? I still don’t know. Very few of the blogs I’ve seen have have them, so… well, we’ll see. I don’t have to decide today.
Photo thumbnails in the sidebar? Sure thing. I’ll have to find new WordPress plugins to handle Flickr. So far I haven’t seen any that’ll do exactly what I want it to (display a block of square thumbnails just like the Gallery plugin does), but I’m sure it’s out there. Or I’ll do it myself.
In addition to those thumbnails, I plan to show my daily shot of Sunset Beach. Yes, I’ve been keeping that up, though there are a few gaps. Good news for me, Flickr can create slideshows from sets, so I don’t need to futz around in iMovie. Showing off my daily photo will keep me motivated, and provide a bit of regular fresh content.
Twitter and junk? Well, I don’t twitter. Maybe I should? If nothing else, Twitter and Lifestreams and such would be another good way to add content on a regular basis. Why not? My site started out with “essays,” long pieces that took weeks or months to write. Then I moved on to blogging: smaller, more frequent updates. Maybe micro-blogging is the next logical step.
Speaking of which, part of me is still deciding if I want to keep the stuff I wrote “pre-blog,” dating back to 1997. They’re WordPress pages instead of posts, since I don’t have exact publication dates for most of them, and I don’t want to just invent some. Picky, maybe, but that’s just my thing. Part of me is considering dropping the large archive page listing every single post/essay, and doing with category/tag pages (more on tags in a later post). Or maybe monthly archives, but a master list is feeling more and more unwieldy to me. In that case, I’d have to come up with a special page for older writing (like I briefly did, while designing the present version), or drop it entirely.