Unless you’re reading this in an RSS reader, you’re likely thinking that the site looks different. You are correct! Brainthoughts now has a brand new theme, a logo, and not just a favicon, but a whole suite of device-specific favicons!1Try adding a shortcut to the blog to your smartphone’s home screen, and you should see what I mean.
As I mentioned recently to Rachel, playing with my blog is my version of going out into the garage and tinkering with a car for hours on end. I’m always tweaking things to bring it more in line with my (ever-developing) sense of what I want it to be. This change, for instance, came about in part because I’d been yearning for a theme with great, eye-catching typography, clean lines, and striking imagery–something not dissimilar to Medium. The theme is Anders Norén’s Lovecraft, with some modifications of my own.
Some other changes:
- Thanks to my dad’s help, the database that my site runs on has been cleaned up. Until a few weeks ago, the blog was filled with odd characters here and there like Ã¯ or â€¦. In addition, in many cases, Japanese text had been replaced with strings of question marks–and any Japanese I added to posts got replaced with question marks too! All of this is fixed, so there should be no more odd characters in the blog.2Save for me. HURR HURR HURR
- A lot of older posts were shot through with crummy, messy HTML, like tags with unnecessary
styleattributes, or unnecessary
<span>elements. Aided by an assload of regular expressions, I’ve eliminated most of this goofiness.
- When you share a link to the blog (which I know everyone does, all the time!), if the part of the site you’re sharing doesn’t have a specific featured image, it will now fall back on a very handsome default image.
- Since this blog is now over a decade old, I’ve gone back and added a special “Stale content alert” to certain old posts. This yellow box will sit at the top of these posts and remind you that the content you’re reading is oooold.
- I’ve added a new category, Inkblots. Inkblots is for my brief quips and asides–the sort of bite-sized bits that I might otherwise share on Twitter. They’re typically excluded from the front page, so you’ll have to go to the category page to see them.
- Speaking of categories, I’m working on renovating the system of categories I use to make them far more useful, like removing the ridiculous “ramble” and “rant” categories. Seriously, why do I have those?
- Because this theme does not show post excerpts, many (most) of my old posts are now displaying in full in the stream. I’m working on adding “Read More” links to keep the stream from getting overwhelmingly long.
- Some old posts, like Riding the Wave, have received featured images, and more will in the future. There’s no rhyme or reason to which posts I’ll give them to–it’s just whatever posts I feel like.
- A new archive page is coming soon. When you’ve kept a blog for ten years, it’s really not feasible to keep an archive in the sidebar like I used to, even if it’s a collapsy-expandy one. The new page will be a better jumping-off point for people who want to browse the blog’s history.
In the pipeline and the maybe-line:
- Category-specific featured images, so if you’re exploring the archives of a specific category, you get a relevant image at the top of the page.
- A fix to whatever’s causing featured images to display slightly blurry, which is probably something that only I have noticed.
- Custom short URLs?
- Multiple post formats. Unlike Brainthoughts’ previous theme, Pinboard, Lovecraft only supports two post formats (“post” and “aside”). I’d like to restore other formats, like “photo”, “gallery”, “chat”, “link”, “video”, and so on.
Finally, I know there’s been a bit of a post drought lately, but that’s because I’ve been working on a big project–possibly the second-biggest blog project I’ve done. It’ll go up this month. I’m excited about it.
Thanks for reading my blog, folks! I’m stoked about what I’ve done with it, and I hope you like it too. Here’s to many more years of blogging!