Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ta Da! PhillyCollector Blog Update - You Like?

I have thought that I needed to do something to de-clutter my blog's appearance. I tweaked a few things myself, but I didn't feel that things were as I wanted them. Only I was not sure what I wanted. Then I learned about this new service through a FaceBook blogging group. There were people who would test the usability of my blog at no cost. No cost, I exclaimed to myself. Sign me up, now. So I submitted my blog url to Peek and waited to received the feedback.

Because that was what I felt my blog needed - to be cleaned up. It looks Spartan now, but I like it. It looks crisp and professional. It needs additional layers - pages and photos and maybe some font tweaking. Overall though, it made me think of something that experienced a thorough spring cleaning. Or as if I had lost some weight - smile.

But about the service ... what was that like, you may want to know. Okay, I submitted my blog url and then, I received a link to an audio file. I clicked on the link and heard a man with a British accent mention my blog title. Squeal - confession - I LOVE British accents. I could listen to Roger Tabor talk cats for hours on end and smile all the while. Ahem. Well, there I was all enchanted when slam! I got knocked sideways. Because Mr. British Accent moved on from describing my blog as "quirky" (me likes), "unusual" (ditto), to "fun for hobbyists" but as not particularly interesting to him. 

WHAT!!!!

Splat. Deep breath. OMG. You mean there is someone - people - who do not find playscale dolls and action figures FASCINATING? Pant, pant. I - I - I - I am so accustomed to being surrounded by friends and allies online, that someone who could NOT understand how I and others like me feel passionate about dolls ... well, that was ... um ... startling. Shocking. I know that most of my family members and most of my friends in my vicinity do not find my hobby interesting. But to hear this Voice state that my blog was ... gulp ... whisper: "boring." Oh! Sigh. Well, that was not pleasant. However, it was good for me to hear and good for the blog.

WHY?

Because I learned that red text against a multi-colored background is difficult to read. 

Because I learned that my blog needed layering to avoid being "flat." 

Because I am aware that I need to tweak my fonts to provide visual stimulation. 

Because now I have a challenge to make my blog so fascinating to read that even the most disinterested non-collector - British accent or not - has to pause to skim its contents. 

Yes! By the wit of my mind and the manipulation of words, I WILL conquer other audiences.

Cough. Descending from my soapbox - the height was going to my head, I want to thank Arlett from the blog Chasing Joy for suggesting Peek through the Philadelphia Area Bloggers FaceBook Group. Thanks, Artlett. Thanks Peek!

28 comments:

Cindi Mortensen said...

What do they mean "boring?!" Your blog's not boring! I love to read it. And I DO find it interesting and fascinating! Of course, well, I'm a Barbie collector, and D**M proud of it! LOL But change is good sometimes...:-)

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Playscale is definitely not boring! But sometimes a little change is nice.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

I like your new look. I don't particularly care for the side items that keep popping out when I attempt to scroll down to read.

I enjoy reading blogs that look like a white piece of paper with black writing, and for these old eyes, the larger the font, the better. If it mimics text on a piece of paper (white with black characters), it's on in my reading world.

dbg

Anderson's All-Purpose said...

The only difference I see is my phone browser won't let me view the regular page version anymore, so I'm afraid I can't give you any input... That service sounds pretty interesting though, never heard of anything like it. How come it's free?

D7ana said...

Hi Cindi Mortensen, Barb the Evil Genius, and Black Doll Enthusiast!

@Cindi and @Barb - Ah, to be among fellow enthusiasts! Yeah, Playscale rules. It is not boring. I sometimes peep at other scales .... Some times ...

@DBG - I hear you about needing the larger text! I press and hold the Ctrl key and press the + (plus) key on the top of the keyboard to increase the font. Now I see it ;-)

I'll see if I can tweak those side call-outs, DBG. Maybe shift them to the top or to the bottom? Those are for translation, subscription, about me, archives, popular posts, etc. Tucked away they are. I prefer black print on white or light background, too.

Glad you like the new look. (So Peek did help. Hearing the specific suggestions opened my eyes - see the word play. Oh, God, I AM boring. No, no! Kidding.)

D7ana said...

Hi Anderson's All-Purpose. Darn. Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to ask about mobile support for this dynamic view version.

Peek is free because they want everyone interested in learning about the usability of their websites to have that ability. And they hope that people would become interested in using their "for pay" services. It's fun to have. Watch out though for the comments though ;-)

Muff said...

Boring?! Pfft! Just because it's not full of Benny Hill antics doesn't mean it's boring. (Benny Hill was the only British reference I could think to make for some reason, lol)

If you like it, tweaked, untweaked, or whichever, I think that's what matters in the end.

Black Doll Enthusiast said...

CTRL plus + are not functions on Apple devices, but in most cases (blog text panes excluded) the view can be stretched with thumb and index finger.

dbg

jSarie said...

Boring? For shame! Who could find dolls and figures boring? ;)

I do like the new colour scheme though - it looks great!

Brini said...

Ok, I don't get the boring but anyhoo... I like the new look. I'm thinking about improving my look later in the year but not right now. As long as your happy that all that matters.

D7ana said...

Hi DBG! Oh, I did some ass-uuming there ... assuming everyone is on a PC. Congrats on your Apple device.

I may change this again. I miss the sidebar being out and being able to see where readers are from. Shrug.

D7ana said...

Thanks, Muff! I think Benny Hill is gross; he and Mr. Bean are two British characters I need never see, lol. Give me Doctor Who, Torchwood, Midsomer Murders, etc.

To be fair, if I were viewing a sports blog, I would have mentioned that I find sports boring. Shrug. I was surprised to hear anyone talk about my blog ;-D

I like it somewhat now. It could use a little more personalization, I think ...

D7ana said...

@jSarie - yes, indeed! Who could find them boring, ;-) They certainly interest us.

Thanks for the compliment about the new color scheme. I wanted to keep some of the blue from the old scheme.

D7ana said...

Thanks, Brini! On reflection, I can understand why that reviewer would not stick around. If I were reading about sports or money laundering, I would not have interest in those topics. As you say, as long as we are happy with our blogs, that matters. Except ... I've grown accustomed to the camaraderie that we have among ourselves. So if someone comes along - like these Peek folks - and their suggestions make a more pleasant experience for my readers, well, I want to put through those changes ;-)

Nymphaea said...

Looks good! It suits your blog. It's a great service for free, great you found out about it!

D7ana said...

Thanks, Nymphaea! I agree - it's a great service for free. I'm happy to have found it.

Roville said...

I like the new look. It feels like... like... you're all grown up. (>‿◠)✌ Very cool, D.

D7ana said...

LOL, I like that Ro! "Grown up? Moi?" LOL. Well, we're getting there, me and the blog ;-D

Chasing Joy said...

Awe!!! That is so sweet. :-) I am glad it was an overall good experience for you even if your favorite accent betrayed you a little.

D7ana said...

Oh, I don't feel betrayed, Arlett ;-)

No, I was awakened to my slacking off. If I were doing A-level work, I would have laughed. Me, boring? But writing-wise, I got lazy. And I knew I had to makeover the blog layout. Just didn't want to lose anything. Love those horizontal links up top. I've seen them on other DAF enthusiasts' sites, but did I look into them? Nope. Not until Mr. Charming Accent lanced my inflated bubble.

Now I am chasing [the] joy of blog transformation. Thanks again for sharing that link.

Excuse me, I am off - charged!

Vanessa said...

I'm not sure I'm seeing what everyone else is seeing. In all honesty, I'm a person who likes color and some extra interest on the blogs I read. But like Muff said, if you like it, that's all that matters.

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: I see that you change the design of your blog. Such models sometimes causes me problems but you're right. This model is clean and clear. Your blog and your posts are always interesting and inspiring to me. Your blog was one of the first that I follow since I created my blog. Keep in touch

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Did you see that jSarie nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award too? Just checking to see if you didn't notice, you didn't want to participate, or you've been too busy.

D7ana said...

Hi and thanks to Vanessa, Marta, and Barb the Evil Genius!

@Vanessa - I miss the color and the links I had. I also miss my entry into Blogger, SiteMeter, the new doohickey thing that let me see where visitors were coming from and other aspects of my previous set-up. I like the neatness and the spareness of this version though. So I will be tweaking or revising my blog again.

@Marta - Thanks for your kind words. I especially appreciate them because you have such incredible settings.

@Barb the Evil Genius - OMG! No, I did not realize that jSarie nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award. I would definitely have wanted to participate in that. I am behind in some blog readings. Thanks for letting me know though.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the pictures anymore. What am I doing wrong?

D7ana said...

Hi Anonymous! You are doing no wrong. I have not put photos up in the last few posts. I'll be adding some soon though.

Also, this blog format doesn't show the photo icons unless you click the one of the icons in the black bar on the upper right side. I'm happy with this format, but it needs some tweaking to show photos, etc.

Ms. Leo said...

I must admit when I first came to the page I thought I was at the wrong place! I was use to your banner at the top! I will have to see it with pictures and then I will get an overall feel. I do think that what people look for in a blog or anything esle that they read detemines the style. People who don't do dolls look for one thing and peope would are doll fans are use to something else. I hate it when I go to cooking blogs and there isn't a print button for the recipes. Because pictures have to be a certain size to post, you can't always get a good close up shot on dolls and plants/flowers. I do miss the side bars and the scroll. I would notice somethings that I might have missed in posts. It does appear that more post can fit the page without going to "older posts". For being a professional site for doll information, this is a great layout. It has that news fed feel.

D7ana said...

Hi Ms. Leo! I miss my banner, too. And the sidebar stuff. I think this looks neater but unfinished and impersonal. Shrug. I'll have to work on it. Add my old photo or a new photo ... updating, right ;-) ... and bring back some sidebar stuff.