The website make-over: a tribute to the re-designer
Regular visitors to the Ephems blog (i.e. this) and to my website will have noticed that both have recently been radically re-designed, both technically and visually, and that Ephems has been fully integrated into the website. The redesign (or as the Reality TV programmes would call it, the make-over), including the composite picture of me with the dove, etc. (about which I have certain reservations!), was entirely Owen Barder’s work, gallantly — some would say recklessly — volunteered without my asking him to do it, and involving countless hours of labour, some of it still continuing. The integration of the old Ephems blog, with its separate website address, into the main website was a work of art in itself, never mind all the sorting of the numerous pages of the website into categories, indexing them, and re-formatting them into a single elegant uniform theme or design. I have had many messages expressing admiration and envy. Unfortunately I can’t claim so much as a milligram of the credit. My sole contribution has been to ask for more and more bells and whistles to be added, requests which have all been uncomplainingly answered (so far!).
A post on Owen’s own blog gives some idea of what was involved in just the transfer of Ephems from one blog host to the present one as part of the integration with the website. But the whole make-over of course entailed much, much more than that.
Initial teething problems were astonishingly few, considering the complexity of the operation. It was difficult to begin with to write and upload a comment on blog posts since registration was initially required, and finding a way to register proved somewhat taxing. That was quickly sorted out (or ‘sorted’, as those younger than me would say) — by Owen, of course, by removing the requirement to register. Owen also responded quickly to appeals for formatting tags for writers of comments who didn’t fancy having to write their own html, although many did. The facility for sending me messages directly from the website has been abused a few times by mindless spammers, or perhaps by simple-minded experimenters, and if that continues we may have to introduce some kind of filter or test to stop or hinder that kind of nonsense. But so far it’s been manageable.
I hope regular visitors to Ephems will enjoy the new look and the new facilities on offer, and that they will check in more frequently than ever to see what’s new and what new comments, generous or scathing, revolutionary or reactionary (or Third Way), have been added to spice things up. Please make full use of the various indexes (~ices) to Ephems old and new by using the lists of titles and subjects by category in the right-hand column of the main Ephems page, the list of most recent Ephems down the right-hand side of the home page, and the full site index (which has a link at the bottom of the home page) — or just by clicking on Ephems from any page and scrolling on down until you see something that interests you. Where you see that there are some comments at the foot of an item (post), do click on them to read a few: they are often more interesting and provocative than the original post. By all means add a comment of your own. And do try out some of the links to other blogs and websites underneath the ‘Categories’ and ‘Archives’ down the right-hand side of the main Ephems page. I’ll aim to add to these now and then, and I hope other bloggers will reciprocate by adding links on their sites to this one, if they haven’t already.