Thursday, 6 September 2012

Interaction with readers.

I do enjoy and welcome feedback about the blog. I am interested in any constructive criticism and welcome your ideas for improvement. A couple of weeks ago I made a change to the layout and the way the blog is presented. The changes were made in response to a couple of previous comments from regular readers.

One comment a while ago said that having to click back to read older postings if the reader had not visited for a few days was irritating. So I upped the number of pages displayed from one to four. However, my  verbiage can vary in number between one and three postings a day.

This brought another comment that some of my more long winded verbose postings when presented on the opening page (along with with four other postings) made the page very long and slow to load.

Another said that the pictures were to large and were difficult to load over a slow internet connection. So I cut the default size down to a more manageable 500 pixels in width.

Another comment said it would be better to have a summery of each posting and if the reader is interested in reading further they could click a link to the full posting. This was the more recent changes.

I do spend some time tinkering and doing comparisons with other blogs. I don't want the blog to stand still, unchanging. I want it to constantly evolve over time. One of the changes I made over a year ago was to the background theme which now changes heralding each of the seasons.

I have made a few less obvious changes to the blog to make it load quicker and to reduce the amount of material on the opening page. I have resurrected  the Popular Postings link. There are many other postings that could be in the Popular Postings link. It might be fun just to search through the blog and see what you can find.

Some of the content are items that are well known on the canal. Others are me venting my spleen at the total disinterest and an appalling level of customer service by some companies who should know better.

Humour, can be both true and factual with the names and minor details changed just to protect the irritating.

Alternatively it could be me just being a bit of a sartorial observer. I don't know what it is, but sometimes things seem so incongruous that I can't help poke a stick at them. I have an over developed sense of humour and I see things to laugh at all around me.

I have had a few requests to bring back the post-it-notes feature. Containing a little chuckle or observation on life such as:-

There are things that relate to my interest in any gadget or new technology that comes along.  There are a few items that I have written about, because I needed to understand pieces of boating technology for myself. Researching and analysis of available peer materials. 

There are bits of observational stuff about our trips out onto the canals and rivers. The people we have met and the places we passed through. 

Knowledge of nature has been a passion for all of my life. You will see from my musings, that I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.

For some time I have thought of running a "campaign page" for changes to the way that things happen around the waterways. A smaller version of 38 degrees.  Encouraging readers to write a letter to CART to bring pressure to ensure that positive and beneficial changes are made. Albeit poorly maintained locks, discrimination, a poorly run marina or bullying behaviour by individuals. A few hundred letters from waterways users to CART could help to bring attention upon such issues.

The latest comment is from John: "Hi, I've been reading you blog for sometime and would like to comment on the recent change of format, to only show the first couple of paragraphs with a link to the rest of the article. I sure you have a reason for doing this, but from a readers point of view (well mine at least) I find it a bit disruptive, especially if I've not read the blog for a couple of days. Instead of just scrolling down to the last article I've read and then reading back to the latest one I continually have to click and back tab to read the blog. I hope you don't mind this slight criticism of what I think is an excellent blog, but I do find it irritating and have been meaning to write to you for a week or so about it."

I take your point, a bloggers life is so hard.... So what to do.  

I shall give it some thought over the next few days. I shall look for a compromise or I might even revert to a previous incarnation... I love the word incarnation - makes me think of strawberries and cream as a kid!

Watch This Space.


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