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Friday, May 02, 2003  

Blogospherics: How blogs look

As someone who has only been blogging for six weeks, I still look at blogs as a reader more than as a blogger. However, since getting the key to the washroom of Bloggersville, I have learned some things about why blogs look the way they do I didn't know as a reader.

Colors. I was asked to change the color of Mac-a-ro-nies because it was too dark. I complied with that request to an extent by lightening the blue and green parts of the page. I attempted to lighten the gold background where entries actually appear. It was a bummer. If that color is lightened, it becomes difficult to read the links, which are white. So, I returned to the default gold. The people who decided on the colors for these templates already did quite a bit of balancing colors, and they probably made the right choices most of the time. Sometimes colors can be changed with no unsettling consequences.

Links. I hate the Blogger blue page of 'You're lost, Hansel or Gretel,' as much as you do. I have tried to keep my links as functional as possible. I also try not to send you to pages at other blogs that won't turn up. However, the bugginess of Blogger makes both impossible. I believe links become scrambled because our archives are stored haphazardly on different servers instead of each blog's contents residing in one place. Efforts to repair the archives and thus the links, seldom work. Blogger doesn't seem to care, at least not about its budget users. If you want to see a more linkable Mac-a-ro-nies, feel free to toss a few dollars my way so I can move up to Blogger Pro. Until then, the key to finding an entry that has a bloggered link is to go to the main URL of the blog and scroll down the page.

Uniformity. Blogger likes to boast about how many templates are available. However, as a reader of my blog, I suspect you browse mainly 'name' blogs, the ones that form a cohesive community that is tracked by several ecosystems. According to The Truth Laid Bear, there are about 2000 such blogs, with about half of them having at least ten incoming links. So, why do so many of the blogs you peruse look alike?

They look alike because the same templates get used over and over again. The same templates get used over and over again because they provide what most of us need. The seldom used templates don't without tampering that can foul other aspects of a template. Look here, here and here. Notice something? That template is called Currency. I've seen it more than any other among 'name' blogs that use Blogger. Currency is popular because, in addition to archives, it offers preset blogroll space, permalinks and ample room for pictures. It is also clean-cut and direct. The default colors for the banner are three shades of green. However, as you see with Silver Rights, the colors can be changed.

Mac-a-ro-nies' template, Bold Lines, does not turn up as often as Currency. However, since I feel somewhat possessive about it, I wish I saw even less of it elsewhere.

I'll point out other interesting insider information from time to time.

11:08 PM