Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Obstacles to Designing This Blog

I have been using xanga for my blogging (I dislike how it displays my archives) and my browser's "open all in tabs" bookmark function to check other blogs for updates -- Blogspot gadgets handle these things much better. So I'm trying to design a blog here, but I've hit some problems, and blogger's help guides are shockingly unhelpful.

  1. The sidebars waste so much space with their giant margins. I zeroed out every value that the "edit HTML" page let me zero out and the margin still didn't go away. The sidebar text is so stupidly cramped! I can't sacrifice one column to give the other room because I need both the "Blog List" and "Archive" to be visible without scrolling.
  2. Need a color scheme, once I figure out where all the page elements are hidden.
  3. Need to find how the "Recent Comments" gadget limits the size of each snippet, and splice that code into the "Blogs List" gadget.
  4. Need to find a version of the twitter gadgets that (like the "Blogs List" gadget) compiles tweets from several different twitter feeds, and then figure out where I can put it that has enough room. An extra column running off the right side of the screen, maybe.
  5. The mandatory "Attribution" is superfluous. (Hell, it even duplicates a link from the toolbar up top.) Since users can't drag-and-drop rows and columns like they do gadgets, or adjust margins/padding/spacing/shadows on a similar easy diagram (ie, can't create new templates), there simply aren't enough to warrant "Attributions." I've tried moving the gadget somewhere less wasteful, but then a new one spawns and adds extra fields to the foot of the layout.
  6. The default "Profile" gadget has two separate links with the exact same URL, neither of which occupies the box's title ("About User")? Assuming I can uncramp the sidebar, definitely sticking my bio inside a simple text box instead.
  7. The point of the "Followers" gadget is to help people who like your blog find other people who like your blog? Blogger keeps telling me that it adds to my "Reading list," but half the reason I'm trying Blogspot at all is to track people's updates from my public front page.
  8. Why can't I "configure blog posts" to have the hour (or other mobile items) alongside the date (or other immobile items)? How come "Day, Month Date, Year" is listed twice -- shouldn't one entry reverse the order?
  9. The editor has options and effects I can't get to or see without posting at least one entry.
If I do adopt Blogspot, I am really going to miss the ability to indent text inside a post.