Awake At The Wheel Is Evolving

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For those of you who tuned this morning, you’ve probably noticed a whole bunch of design changes in the blog. This actually reflects a bunch of much bigger stuff that going on behind the scenes, all to benefit…you!

Here are the highlights…

  • Full-feeds in the house – I tend to write longish columns/articles, so I have been using excerpts on the home-page to try to avoid an insanely long front page of the blog. This also meant I had to use partial feeds in my subscriptions and rely on a bit of copywriting to encourage people to click through. It was never about bumping my traffic, because I don’t really advertise.Great news! I’ve found a fabulous plug-in called Post-Teaser that lets you display excerpts on the frontpage and still deliver full-length articles in my feeds and e-mails. You can see Post-Teaser at work below. It even lists the word-count of each article. So, if you’ve been scared away by my partial feeds, come on back and subscribe today! Now every feed is a full-feed!
  • Sumo-subscriber dude – you’ve probably already noticed the little animated sumo-dude next to the new subscription links on the top-right. This is a Sitepal. He’s there to explain a bit about blog updates to new visitors. If you click on him, he talks.
  • Ask Jonathan – There’s a new box in the right column called “Ask Jonathan,” that’s there to encourage you to ask me questions. I get a lot of question from readers in response to my articles, and I’d like to make an advice column that gives more details input a regular part of my rotation. So, if something’s on your mind…ask away!
  • Wider main content-area – I made the main content area much wider. This really helps readability, especially with longer columns, and lessens the need to scroll.
  • Simplified categories – I’ve been streamlining the categories to add a bit of clarity and make it easier to find stuff. There are still a few more few categories that’ll be introduced over the next few weeks.
  • Refining focus & new small-biz blog coming soon – One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I have an unusually broad basket of interests. This has been both a plus and a minus for this blog. Because, if you were only interested in my lifestyle writing, you needed to pretty much suck it up until I cycled through all the different topics and circled back to the one/s you like. Or, if you liked my marketing columns, you needed to wait until I circled back to them. And, while some people have similar scope of interests as me, but, I’ve learned many more don’t. Which has led me to “temper” what I write and not go as deep into certain areas as I’ve wanted to.No more. Rather than making people wait a while for their favorite topics or water down anything, I’m taking a giant step. In a few weeks, I will be launching a second blog that focuses purely on nuts and bolts small-business tools, techniques and technology in a lot of detail. I’ll also be including a ton of interviews, podcasts and more. This will let me focus more on lifestyles, career, personal growth, motivation, success, productivity, health and fitness, blogging and, still, a touch of entrepreneurship here.

    So, if you’re more drawn to all my lifestyle topics, just keep on tuning in. If you like more of my nuts and bolts business/marketing topics, you’ll have another blog to subscribe to soon.

  • Comments include Gravatars – The comment section have now been made a bit easier to navigate and you can now have your personal Gravatar displayed along with your comments. For more info on Gravatars, click here.
  • Recent Posts – To make navigating a bit easier, I’ve added in a “recent posts” section in the new right column.

Well, that’s pretty much it. Let me know how our new digs and features are working for you. Ask questions in the new Ask Jonathan form on the right and, as always, share any thoughts or ideas that you think will help make this blog more valuable, informative and entertaining for all!

Finally, a giant thanks to all who’ve embraced and help grow this wonderful community in a remarkably short time (only 4 months).

And, stay tuned for news about my soon-to-launch hardcore small-biz blog!

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19 responses

19 responses to “Awake At The Wheel Is Evolving”

  1. change! i hate change.

  2. Hi Jonathan,

    Great change and I love the more simplistic user navigation that you have added. The blogs looks clean, sexy and very modern.

    Well done and keep up the great work.

    BTW, I love your little sumo man 🙂

    Monika

  3. Not really. Change is wonderful. And I love the new layout. Good stuff, Jon…

    Cheers,
    Ellesse

  4. I’m happy. You gave me full feeds. I like your thoughts and to read your work, because it often gets me thinking, but I had to really, really, really want to read to come on over.

    Now I can read each time you post. Happily. With low frustration levels 🙂

  5. I love the changes, Jonathan. Navigation and such feels much more natural to me now.

  6. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Michael Brito – man, you have to just get over your shyness and learn to speak your mind already! hehehe! 😉

    @ Monica – yeah, I was mixed on the sumo-dude, but then figured, hey, why not. Freaky to hear my voice coming out of his mouth, though!

    @ Ellesse – Thanks for the kind words, and, yp, I’m in the change is good camp, too!

    @ James – I know, we’ve debated this and I think I finally found a good balance with Post Teaser and full-feeds….scrape that! hehehe!

    @ Joshua – thanks for your input, my friend!

  7. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ everyone – hey, did anyone else notice the really optical illusion when you look at the career renegade image on the right? it looks like it’s slightly rotated to the right, but, if you measure it, it’s actually completely level. Weird, eh?

  8. Ha! That’s quite amusing. I didn’t notice it before, but now I can’t make that box look like it’s at a right angle. 🙂

  9. “Wider main content-area – I made the main content area much wider. This really helps readability, especially with longer columns, and lessens the need to scroll.”

    Heck YEAH. Love it. I also love that Freelance Writing called your blog ‘sexy’.

    Sexy.

    Woah mama.

  10. Why is the comment box cutting off the bottom of some comments? (Or is that just my computer.)

  11. David N says:

    Can you add the list of blogs you read?

  12. Nice, Jonathan! Glad to see your SitePal avatar, too. The sumo guy is way different.

    See you at Small Biz Summit I hope.

    Anita

  13. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Hayden – yes, wide is beautiful!

    @ David – yes, blogroll will likely make a comeback, still a bunch of fixes and tweaks we are working out with new design.

    @ Anita – thank for the kind words! Yes, will see you at Small Biz Summit on Monday…I may even be cajoled into wearing a suit, though it’s not too likely you’ll see a tie in the mix!

  14. Patrick Badstibner says:

    Like I have commented before “Everyday and in everyway you must place yourself in places and around things and people that radically challenge the way you think, act, and belief, everyday and in every way,”

    As us surfers would say, the tube is the only place to be, radically dude. Love all the new the new changes.
    Pat

  15. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Pat – mmmm, now you’ve done it! Got me thinking about surfing, so much for any more work! hehehe!

  16. daniel says:

    Thank you for full feeds! Very nice layout changes as well!

  17. @ Hayden: Jonathan’s blog is the new sexy in the blogosphere. 🙂

  18. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Monika – niiiccccceeeee! Hehehe! 😉 That makes ONE thing about me that’s sexy!

  19. […] at the Wheel is expanding and evolving. Jonathan Fields has made some significant design and functionality changes to improve readability […]