Thursday, 7 March 2013

The More Things Change . . .

You know what's difficult? Or should I say 'impossible'? Writing a blog post when my computer is off. My house has had two blackouts in one hour. So I haven't been able to get around to this until now. What a damn pain.
I was angrily stomping around my house, damning the injustice of it all, when I decided that there was nothing I could do about it. So I decided to go for a walk. But by the time I put on my jeans, the damn lights came on again, so I sat down to finally write this thing. The fun thing is, this all relates back to my word of the day.
Because after a while, I realized that no matter how much I bitched and moaned about the power being off, it wasn't going to change anything.
The Word of the Day is: 'CHANGE'

Change /chaynj/ n. v.t. 1. To make different, alter in condition, appearance, etc. 2. to transform or convert. 3. To substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind or value. 4. To give and take reciprocally; interchange. 5. To become different; alter.

Now I know what you're thinking:
  "Wow, nice segue, Nerd!"
Yeah? Well, shut up. I wanted a chance to complain about the power outages. But now that I'm done with that, let's move onto something more important. You may notice that my blog has changed.
If not, you're either blind, a moron, in another reality or a new reader. So for those that don't get it, my blog was originally blue. And crap. The words were on the left side of the screen, the right side was cluttered with all kinds of nonsense, and it was generally a very bland site. I think the template was actually called 'Simple'.
There is a reason for that.
I didn't like it, but I kept it for a while because I didn't want to change. Just last week, I was toying with the sliders to change the colour from blue to indigo (since indigo is my favourite colour). But I didn't like it, because it looked different. I was worried that it wouldn't feel like my site anymore.

You see, I don't like change. Not in a 'back in my day, it was better' kind of way. But in the way that I like it when I can rely on something. Things must change, but there are some things I like to stay the same. Perhaps it is nostalgia, or over-sentimentality, but when something changes, I can't help feeling a little bit lost.

So even though the site looked like crap, I felt like changing what it looked like would make it not really my site anymore. And for the longest time, I was of the opinion that:
  "This is all about the words. Who cares about the rest?"
But that all changed.

It changed because I wanted it to be better. And part of that comes down to Envy. I was reading my friend's blog: Cascades of Dreams and I was saddened by the fact that she had an open comments section, and I didn't. I wanted one.
People could comment before, but it was two clicks away, on a separate page. I've said before that as much as I like to monologue, I like to encourage dialogue, so it was not conducive to my own social philosophy.
So I gritted my teeth and changed my site template to one with an open comments section. And I picked this one!
"Dynamic Template - Sidebar"

Ooh, fancy.

[If I change my blog in the future, the following piece will make no sense. But on the upside, you're in the future! You've got aliens, neon clothes & hover-bikes. You have nothing to complain about.]

Look at this thing: I have a sexy banner up the top which is purple, as I wanted. I added a  description up the top, courtesy of Dictionary (I didn't add one before, because I didn't know how best to represent my blog. Now I do!).
The whole left side here is now just links to my old posts. So you can scroll down all the way to the beginning. Feel free to read them (they're actually good, believe it or not).
I also like that now the words are the front and centre of my blog. The posts are right up in your face, taking up a good 70% of the screen, and I like it that way. Because this is about the words.
Also, the template was even nice enough to shrink down my illustrations into thumbnails for you nice people! Isn't that sweet?
On the right side, Hidden in a little pop-up, are all the options that used to clutter up the right side. But now you just hover your mouse, click and can access everything like before.
My profile (learn about me), the blog archive (read more from me), Google's +1 button (let me know you like me), the Translator (understand me) and even a Subscribe button (stalk me).
The archive is a little more bureaucratic than before, and I'm not overly fond of it. But that's okay, because all my posts are now listed in the left sidebar. Did I mention that?
Because I think it's awesome!

Oh, and of course, the Comments Section. Rather than being on a separate page, now it's right down the bottom.
I did this for you, people.  I wanted you to be able to comment on my blog much easier, to talk to me or others, and have others reply to you, & even so you can reply to others! Isn't it great?
I feel like part of a community already.

Of course, that all relies on people actually commenting. I am not going to force people to comment (at least, not until the machine is fully operational), but if you want to say something in reply to my blog post, or say something to me, or give me a challenge or suggest improvements, I implore you to do so.
Hell, you can even suggest 'Words of the Day'  for me to do, if you are so inclined, or ask for my opinion on topics. I love the idea of having a responsive audience. And since this is about improving my writing, I would like to learn how to write stuff that will make my audience happy.

That's right. I will whore myself, and my writing skills, out to you kind people, if you so wish. It all starts with a simple comment.

Oh, but there's one other thing. Because I don't like change, there's one aspect about the 'Dynamic' template that I don't like. Because it was literally dynamic. And I don't mean 'literally' in the Valley Girl lexicon. I mean it was "pertaining to force of motion".
The template would change and move, if you asked it to, just by clicking the button up the top-left.
I didn't like that idea at all. It made me feel dirty thinking people were bending the template to their own sick desires:
  "Yeah . . . yeah . . . organize in a mozaic for me, you know you want to.  Oh yeah, Flipcard, do it for me . . ."

Yeah . . . made me feel weird. So I removed the option.
Now there is only the 'Sidebar' option . The only remnant of the old template options, is the little triangle under the header, and if you hover your mouse over it, it will impotently swivel around as if to say:
  "I'd love to give you the options . . . but I have no power here!"
Muahuahua! Yes, swivel you feeble JavaScript button!
Because I don't want other people changing my blog.

And that is, after all, the thesis of this blog post (beyond describing the new format a little). Although I have managed to change a little, in the end I am still the same person who does not like change. So you can change whether or not I will affect change. But you can never change who I am. For even Change will never change how much I don't like to change. Because, as they say:

  "the More things Change, the More they Stay the Same."

And to think, if I got a dollar for every time I said 'change' in this blog post, I'd have an awful lot of spare change.

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I would love to read your words.