Custom Publishing

Why I redesigned

By | Branding, Content Strategy, Custom Publishing | No Comments

When people ask me what I do, I sometimes struggle to come up with a definition. During the course of my career, I’ve been a lot of different things. I’ve been a newspaper reporter, a Web designer, a programmer, a marketer, a strategist and probably a slew of other titles that I can’t recall. My favorite title is probably “husband.” While I wear this one full-time, I sometimes wonder if I’m cut out for the job. Thankfully, I have the best co-worker a man could ask for. But I digress.

Dan and Vita at BW3

Despite my career meanderings, the thing that has never changed is the fact that I’ve worked to produce engaging and meaningful content. It’s exactly for that reason I redesigned my Web site. The previous two versions of my site were creatively driven. I used this space to showcased my design skills, my creative portfolio and my love for music and art. I maintained a blog that largely came second.

As I have become more interested in social media and in developing content solutions for clients, I’ve realized it’s time to take my own medicine. It’s high time I start being more congruent – to practice what I preach – and to produce some quality, engaging content of my own. And with my redesigned site, powered by WordPress, I believe I have the right tools in place.

Hopefully, we’ll have some interesting conversations and we can learn from each other. I’m looking forward to a more frequently updated, more usable I’m open to your thoughts and suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Dear Blogger: It’s not me, it’s you.

By | Custom Publishing | One Comment

Dear Blogger:

During our six year relationship, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. When I met you in 2001, I was a cocky college sophomore who had heard about Blogger and Pyra Labs through a band I was quite fond of. When I met you, your sexy, clean interface and no-nonsense editor immediately had my attention. I decided to leave AngelFire for you. No longer would I spend my sleepless nights hard coding HTML and constantly breaking my layouts by forcing images into nested tables. You liberated me through the beauty of CSS and templates.

For the first three years, I was so happy. Together, you and I created blogs for bands, blogs for my personal turmoils, blogs to cover local elections and blogs that shared music with fellow audiophiles. These were the good times Blogger. I look back on them fondly. You are owed a great deal of credit in helping me to become a solid designer and in sharing my crazy thoughts with the world. After I graduated from college, we brought …hush… to the masses. We were dedicated to blogging about music daily and low and behold, people started paying me to write, sending me CDs and video games and I learned that I could spread my message to the masses (it was at this time I also started getting some of those cease and desist letters from Record Labels, but that really wasn’t your fault. I’m sorry I blamed you for that.). And then in 2003, not long after I left Grand Rapids for my column and police reporting job in Monroe Google came to court you.

I was so happy … a Ménage à trois with my favorite blogging service and my favorite search engine seemed too good to be true. My geeky brain was overloading with fantasies and I was excited at the myriad of things the three of us would accomplish.

But it was also around this time my dear that others started stealing my attention. Friendster, MySpace, Xanga, LiveJournal. These things offered the comfort of blogging, but the elements of social networking. But I stayed strong. I was hopeful that Google would be the sexy new lingerie I needed to keep my attention when it came to you.

I wasn’t disappointed.

In less than a year, Google gave you the major redesign you needed. I loved the web standards-compliant templates, individual archive pages for posts, comments, and posting by email. I was satisfied and I truly thought we would be together forever. But in 2005, I got busy, I bought a house and switched jobs. I started working on the Crain’s Detroit Business Web redesign, and learned to be a full-time programmer. And all the while, I hadn’t seen anything new from you. And around that time, she started whispering in my ear. Who was this WordPress? She kept telling me all of these things she could do for me. She kept telling me that she could give me things you never could. She kept telling me that I’d never be more satisfied with a push button publishing platform. But I resisted. I stayed true. I even painstakingly tried to use your tagging language to skin you to match my newly designed personal Web site.

You redesigned again in 2006, and migrated my blogs to Google servers while introducing, including label (tags) organization, a drag-and-drop template editing interface, reading permissions (to create private blogs) and new Web feed options. But alas, I had grown too advanced. What good does drag-and-drop template editing do for a very experienced designer who wants total control. You failed to fix the ease of template modification. But still, I stuck with you.

But I have to fess up darling. Since August, I’ve been using WordPress. I launched my food/recipe blog The Would Be Chef on WordPress. I’m not going to lie. I’ve never been happier. I love the interface, love the built in analytic services and really enjoy the easy to modify templates. It breaks my heart to say this, but, to be honest version 2.5 has only made me realize we’re over. She’s everything to me that Google won’t let you be.

I love that she sends my blog information to both Google and Technorati and allows my readers to subscribe to RSS or Atom feeds. She offers the best traffic stats available including views, top posts, referrers and search engine terms. It displays stats for the previous thirty days in a line graph and relates feed stats.

She also supports private blogs and has a search comment tool and a spam blocker. In short, she has a lot of things that you’re just lacking.

I hate to tell you this, but I’ve even decided that WordPress will officially be my new interface for She’s replacing you entirely. I’m sorry I’m telling you this way. I feel horrible for doing it, but it’s not me Blogger. It’s you. Maybe if Google had given you more attention – developed you the way you deserved to be developed, we could have made it work. I’ll owe you a lot, but I’ve changed and that sorry excuse of a prom dress that you call an interface just doesn’t rev my engine anymore.

Take care of yourself. I’ll always remember my first.


All Content ©2019 Daniel Eizans Strategic Services LLC