Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Site Changes

In recent weeks, I've been unable to do much geocaching because my wife and I are expecting our second little girl at any time. Instead, I've been sitting by the computer and have been playing around with the site template for this blog. I've made a few small changes - nothing too big or drastic - just a few, small things to hopefully clean it up a little bit.

Under-the-hood, the XML feed has been completely revamped. Now, instead of using the standard Blogger.com ATOM feed, this site uses FeedBurner to host a multi-format feed that works in almost every feed reader I've tested. To do this, I had to manually change the self-discovery links in the template to point to the new feed. For this reason, if you are already subscribed to this site or want to subscribe for the first time, please use the following link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/AdventuresInGeocaching.

The rest of the changes are mostly cosmetic. Near the top of this site, I've included the official Groundspeak Geocaching logo (with permission). Also, the side-bar has been segmented into logical groups with the important sections first and the less important information further down. While making the changes to the side-bar, I decided it would be easier to navigate through older posts by moving all of the archive links into a reverse-sorted drop-down box instead of an ever-growing list of months which was already 12 links long.

Below that, I added a new Subscribe section that displays various 1-click chicklets to various web-based feed aggregators and includes the new standard RSS icon. All of these URLs reference the new FeedBurner feed. The final sections of the side-bar contain the Links and Banners groups. To keep the individual posts from being cluttered by all of this extra side-bar content, only the Previous Posts and Archives section will be visible when viewing individual posts.

In addition, I will soon begin tagging all of my new and old posts to use as community bookmarks or categories at http://del.icio.us/jdlowe. These tags will appear at the bottom of each post right above the white comment bar. If you are reading one of my posts about a specific topic, you can click on one of the tags to see a list of related posts. This feature is very limited right now until I have a chance to go back and add tags to all 47 previous posts.

Finally, as I mentioned in a previous post, the Google search bar and content-sensitive advertisements will continue to be listed in the footer. There are a few other changes that only *I* can see, but that's all you'll notice for now. This is a partial list of the web resources I used to make these changes.

Overall, the basic site structure and design hasn't changed very much. These minor changes are meant to be just basic improvements to hopefully make my Adventures in Geocaching even easier to read and navigate. I welcome your comments and feedback about these site changes! Please feel free to email me through my Geocaching.com profile or use the links below each post to leave your comments.

One final note: since our second child is expected to arrive at any moment and my adventures will be limited to diaper changing and spit-up removal for the next several weeks, I have pre-written several more articles that will be posted during my short absence from geocaching. Some of the topics will include: how-to write a good Geocaching log, information about the original Geocaching website, and more geocaching-in-the-news! Look for these and more over the next few weeks!!!


gulo said...

good luck with the baby !
We just had our baby girl on Saturday Feb 25th and so my geocaching is also on hold now..

Anonymous said...

You updated your self-discovery RSS links in a Blogger blog? That has to put you in the top-1/10th of 1% of Blogger users for technical tweaks. Smart move, by the way.

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