Everyone always says to Think Outside the Box.
Now, picture this: the box is your blog. How can you be different?
This morning, I read an absolutely amazing post about the death of the classic, boring blog, and how people are beginning to move away from it. Of course, this article couldn’t have come at a better time, because I just started the process of redesigning this very blog, and this article just flipped all of my ideas upside down.
After a few redesigns, this was what I was going to use, as of 8am this morning:
Now, however, I’m not so sure.
In designing my new blog layout (and to be perfectly fair, I still wound up grabbing a free design template online and heavily modifying it), I went through hundreds of wordpress themes, and you know what? They were all basically the same. A box of text, some photos, a column (or three)… but they’re out there, and they work, because it’s EASY. I can update my blog in a matter of minutes, piece of cake. The downside to that, though, is that it looks somewhat similar to everyone else’s blog online, and my design tools for each post are basically limited to this:
So here’s the real question: Is this blogazine idea worthwhile? Does it work? Is it worth the time involved in maintaining it?
I know, going through some of the example sites mentioned in that article, there were upsides and downsides to these different formats (Note that these are from a reader’s standpoint, and don’t even begin to address the issues that the blogger/designer would have).
- The design was excellent.
- The articles were better, due to the time involved in publishing them.
- Everything felt a lot more interactive.
- Important quotes or points stood out.
- Navigation was difficult, and it was very hard manuvering throughout the site.
- Being unfamiliar with the layout, I wasn’t sure what was a link and what wasn’t.
- Moving to different articles from within the site was difficult, at best and nearly impossible other times.
All in all, I think the Smashing Magazine article itself was the best example of how this could work, and how it could change the way people write online.
So now, let me know what you think! Here are a few questions I have for you:
- Is this something that will catch on, or will it remain on the fringe?
- Would you consider doing trying it on your own blog?
- What do you think works with this method? What doesn’t?