July 06, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
Back in May of this year, I overhauled my site's theme, moving from a notepad-themed display (courier-new font and everything) to a more traditional blog display. I think it was a fairly successful transition, as my readership hasn't decreased as a result of the change.

Well... I think I'm getting bored of it already.

The traditional blog (which pretty much looks like every blogspot blog out there) is useful if the only thing you have on your site is a blog, or even a series of blogs. However, if you have other kinds of content along with a blog, it might make more sense to take a different approach.

Liz, from Esme-After, told me that her brother's site,, recently got accepted into, a site that pitches itself as a community of the best weblogs in the world. Pretentious, maybe. But his site was apparently deemed good enough to become a member.

If you look at his site, you'll notice that the layout covers the entire span of the browser, which is strange to me. I guess it's strange because I have a hard time disconnecting the layout of a web page from the layout of a book; a book is fairly linear, and I have a deeply-rooted expectation that a webpage should follow suit. Deeplyshallow is laid out more like a news site like CNN; it has columns and different sections in the body of the page, which makes it hard for me to find a central theme.

... and maybe that's really my biggest hang-up with sites similar to his. When I visit a site, I want to know exactly what the site is about, and I want to know that what I'm viewing on the start page revolves around that theme.

I'm sure that other folks have different expectations about a site when they browse. In the end, it's just a matter of different philosophies.

But what do I know? My site hasn't won any awards, nor has it been invited to join an elite group of "the best weblogs in the world." So, I guess I'll just keep working on a design strategy that'll capture everything I want to present, while sticking to a layout that is intuitive to me.
np category: site


Jg said:
My site's built for a widescreen audience; I don't think there's anything that strange about this. The majority of my readership is viewing the site at 1024x768 resolution or higher.

That 'central theme' you're looking for? Look dead center on my site, directly beneath the logo. See that little block of text that begins with 'Deeply Shallow is'? That's the brief overview of the site, and it appears on every page. Is that central enough for you? DS is a personal site. My readers -- with one notable exception -- seem to understand this.

Now, I shouldn't have to tell somebody who works in the industry this, but: web sites aren't books. If you insist on treating them as if they were, then let me make a suggestion: when you take a break from stamping out stupidity, go ahead and send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope. I'll be happy to print my site out, bind it, and send it back to you. I'll even inscribe it for you.

Meanwhile, I dare you to find a site on 9rules that's less appealing than the one you're cultivating right here. I doubt you'll find one. There's an awful lot of talent collected there, and I'm proud to have been accepted. It's a nice bit of validation after eight years of satisfying work. Nothing wrong with that, I'd say.

July 07, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
I wasn't trashing your site, Jason. I think your site is fantastic, and I think your portfolio demonstrates that you are a superb web designer.

Your site, however, just doesn't appeal to *me*, because we have different design philosophies. I know what I'm looking for when I'm browsing sites. You like what you like, and I like what I like... and we should just leave it at that.

July 07, 2006

Jg said:
July 07, 2006

Td said:
Uh oh. You've been called out by an internet tough-guy. If this was arm wrestling, you'd be in trouble. But as long as it remains debate and ideas, I doubt you have much to worry about.
July 08, 2006

Jg said:
Td, it's impossible for this to actually be 'debate and ideas' when the author of the blog keeps making snide comments, then thinks better of them, deletes them, and replaces them with safer, high-road comments. Josh has never had the balls to stand behind his own bullshit.
July 10, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
Jason, somebody asked me to pull the comment, and out of respect for them, I did. Who do you suppose might have done that...? Balls indeed.

If you want to talk about having balls, let's talk about your passive-aggressive "I want to break his knees" post on your blog, and the one you deleted. (although you can still kind of tell something was there from the comment at the bottom of the valid link...)

Deleting whole blog posts? I guess I'd only do that if I really stuck my foot in my mouth.

Want to keep playing?

July 10, 2006

Jg said:
You've posted/deleted two separate comments on this particular entry. It's impossible to maintain the integrity of a 'debate' when one party is in control of the message. Reconfiguring your side of the 'argument' is a half-step away from changing the other person's -- which you haven't done yet, to my surprise.

The post on my blog was removed when you did the responsible thing and paid up for the damage you did to my sister's face. That was always a condition of that post, and the post itself said as much. I certainly don't consider the post an example of sticking my foot in my mouth -- just up your ass.

What's sad is that it took being called out -- yes, on a blog -- for you to own up to your responsibilities. You certainly weren't man enough to do it voluntarily.

July 10, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
Oh... haha. I also deleted "ZING!" after you wrote "pussy" because I felt it was equally clever. I yanked it because it crossed my mind that I wasn't sure if I wanted to do the back-and forth thing with you in the conversation yet... but since you brought it up:



The thing is, given my good reason to pull the first comment (which I think we both understand), it's also difficult to call this an argument on the grounds that nothing is actually being argued. Nothing is in context with anything. Are we arguing about the original post? Are we arguing over whether or not I should have heeded the original request to pull the first comment?

Incidentally, I don't recall any condition on your yanked post. I certainly didn't take care of things just to have you pull it, because that would be absurd.

But... how about this? Let's give each other the benefit of the doubt. Let's say that there are reasons neither of us have disclosed as to why we've done or said what we've said. You didn't originally know why I pulled the comment, and I didn't originally know why you pulled your post. We can assume the worst (I'm a pussy, and you're a hypocrit), or we can allow for some room for both of us to make reasonable decisions that both of us would make in each others' shoes.

And maybe you don't know all the circumstances surrounding last year's incident. Maybe your blog post doesn't have as much to do with last year's incident as you think it does -- maybe things don't revolve around your world like you are assuming.

July 10, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
Edit (typo): Maybe your *comment* doesn't have as much to do with last year's incident...
July 10, 2006

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