I’ve made a few minor changes to the blog, only one of which is likely noticeable. And that’s my main purpose in writing today.
I’ve adjusted the blog so that the homepage only shows excerpts, rather than entire posts. My reasons for doing so are three:
- I’m saving money. I pay for internet usage by bandwidth. So it ends up costing me some serious coin to load my own homepage when any of my six most recent posts has lots of photos (and these seem to be some of your favorite posts). Occasionally my own site won’t even load as a result of the kilobytes involved (yes, I said kilobytes…).
- I think it looks better. The titles of my six most recent posts are visible with enough information to let the reader know if he wants to read more. For most entries a photo is shown, and all this is done without heaps of extra text on the page.
- As a result, my homepage now gives a more complete picture of my blog’s focus. It used to be that a visitor might first see 12 paragraphs of some long, boring post about baptism and have to scroll way down the page in order to know if I ever write anything interested. Now, though, in one quick glance my objective is clear for all to see. [Which, let’s be honest, is simply to write whatever I feel like writing that day, no matter how serious or how silly. Blog experts say a good blog should have a narrow focus. But blog experts don’t care if I enjoy writing my own blog, do they?]
So, this is the biggest change I’ve made to the blog in quite some time. And it comes with unintended consequences. One of my biggest pet peeves is when authors don’t allow their full posts to load in a reader. I subscribe to blogs (in Google Reader) in order to read them without having to go the actual site (like reading the paper*). But some bloggers are so concerned with traffic and numbers on their sites that they only allow an excerpt of each post to load into a reader, forcing us to click onto their actual site to finish reading.**
I have for some time wanted to make the change that I have on my blog, but I’d not been willing to do so if it would prevent feed readers access to the whole post. I was able, though, to make this change while still sending the complete post to feed.
However, I believe email subscribers are now only getting an excerpt. I feel really bad about this, and am considering returning the blog to how it previously was.
So here’s what I want to know:
- What do you think of the changes? Aesthetics? Ease of reading? Functionality?
- If you subscribe by way of feed reader, are you indeed getting full posts?
- If you subscribe by email, are you indeed getting only partial posts? And if so, do you care? Or is it not a big deal to click over if there’s something you want to read. [I feel like email subscribers only read a small fraction of what goes to inbox anyway, but I have no support for this theory at all.]
- Any other changes you think ought to be made?
- If you could have any superpower that had to involve water, what would it be?
Also, if you’re not subscribed to aliens and strangers but read often, do consider subscribing. You can subscribe by email to the right of the screen (just under the search bar). [If you use a feed reader, I assume you already know how to use it.] Currently the blog is at 195 subscriptions (between WordPress and Google Reader), and the 200th subscriber gets… well, nothing more than my appreciation.
* You really should consider it if you haven’t.
** Admittedly, probably of more concern to me — because I pay by usage — than to most others.