Voting Now On at 2004 Canadian Blogging Awards

The polls are now open at the 2004 Canadian Blogging Awards over at Robert McClelland’s website. I made my nominations in this post. Agree with me, or disagree with me, I still think you should vote. It’s fun!

Oh, and I’m in the running for Best Non-Political Blog. You can vote in favour or against that assertion here

Robert appears to have taken a page from the Greatest Canadian book and has allowed users to vote once per day from now until January 15, so when I say vote early and vote often, I’m not actually advocating anything illegal.

I do hope we do this again next year, although I’d like to repeat my request that we raise more categories on the arts and culture front.

By the way, Don at All Things Canadian asked and I didn’t answer him: when I went on about the poor quality of the standard templates offered by Blogger (and Movable Type), did I not like his orange colours? Well, my answer, Don, is yes. And that also goes for you, Greg. You both have blogs that are interesting to read, but that double orange sets my teeth on edge. It looks amateur, I’m sorry to say.

This isn’t your fault. It is, after all, one of the standard templates offered by Blogger, which seems to have come into this world with no experienced web designers. Not that Movable Type fares much better. This is an example of one of their out-of-the-box designs. The black background, two column layout doesn’t grate on the eyes as the orange on white, but it’s still a little on the boring side.

I think the best out-of-the-box blog templates come from Wordpress. Something about their look is slick and professional, easy on the eyes. I’m not an experienced graphic designer, so I can’t give you a detailed rundown on what works or not, but Blogger has also been improving. The Armchair Garbageman uses a good example of one of the better new Blogger templates: two floating columns, anchored by a soothing green background and a title bar that stands out. Nice.

I understand the challenges in designing a blog when all you want to do is type and talk. I especially understand the challenges of getting a blog to look right when IE, Mozilla and Opera don’t cooperate. Insert my rant on not meeting internet standards here. But it would be nice if we paid just a little more attention to our appearance. Nicer still if the blogging programs out there could pay more attention for us.

True, not everybody has the skills of Blogography or Rannie Turrigan, but there’s a reason that not everybody is leaping up to take blogs seriously, even as we bloggers came to be runners up in Time Magazine’s Man of the Year Award.

P.S. No, I’m not perfect either, as I discovered when I found that Firefox on my father-in-law’s computer rendered this page differently than my copy of Mozilla. If you think that there’s something not right, please feel free to contact me and tell me so. I’ll see what I can do.

Contextless Link

Courtesy Jordan Cooper: a church made out of Lego and dedicated to the owner’s cat…

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