Tidying up the side bars (31-day-challenge)

Todays challenge in 31-days-to-a-better-blog is to declutter my blogs side-bar.


I've been concious that whilst I'm seeking to bring weave together Recent posts tabbed blockthinking on technology, youth participation and social change – the audiences interested in those elements are often quite distinct. I had thought about a 'posts on participation' and 'posts on technology' block for the side-bar, but felt that would be too cluttered… however, thanks to the tabbed blocks module for drupal, I've been able to put together a nifty widget which allows visitors to see the recent posts they are most interested in. So, if you're a participation worker or a youth worker and you want to skip over all this stuff about blogging and find the content relevant to you – just click 'On Participation' in the 'Recent Blog Posts' list in the right-hand side-bar area.

I've not got the design of the tabs properly tidied up yet… but I'd welcome feedback. Is this a useful addition? Do you find the tabbed recent posts list intuitive.

There wasn't all that much other clutter in the side-bar – so I've just rejigged it a bit to bring recent comments higher up, and re-theming the comments, borrowing from the style on Andy Roberts blog so that the lists displays the name of the post the comment is to instead of a usually uninformative title or mini-extract of the comment. Hopefully that makes it easier for reader to identify if a new comment might be of interest or not.

Archive pageAs the archive block has moved further down the page in the re-shuffle, I've also added a new Archive page which offers a variety of ways of looking back through the history of Tim's Blog posts.

This restructure has got me reflecting a bit on accessiblity and page load times as Laura has also. I do find the MyBlogLog widget slows down the page load time quite a bit, and it delays the page fully rendering until it has loaded – but it's a very handy widget indeed. Perhaps I need to rework the theme so that the page can load before MyBlogLog appears…

In other news

I'm aware that much of the time I want to be spending on writing up blog post ideas and reflections has been eaten up refining the blog. However, with the joy of an impending long train journey coming up, I'll hopefully be posting a lot more non-31-day-challenge content come next week.

One thought on “Tidying up the side bars (31-day-challenge)”

  1. I think this is excellent and will be very useful for a lot of blogs and especially for readers – I’ve already found this is a bit of an issue (as someone new to blogging) – a lot of the blogs I’ve seen have a parallel interest – technology and issues related to participation/society

    It can be hard to dig through the geeky stuff to get to the other stuff and vice versa – not any more though!

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