At CANSCAIP's Packaging Your Imagination conference, I was given reason to have a good hard think about my whole online presence. It's been literally years since there's been a blogosphere. The action that used to happen among Canadian bloggers moved over to Twitter and Facebook by 2012. The number of comments i receive here has diminished. And I couldn't help but notice that writers like Arthur Slade were making their online presence felt far better than I was without a blog. Of course, the caveat there is that Mr. Slade is far more prominent an author than I am, and so can import a lot of his fan base into a mailing list that he can build and build. However, you have to start somewhere, so I gave some serious thought about ending this blog and moving over to a mailing list.
But I got further advice from two people I met at the Packaging Your Imagination conference during an audit of my online presence. Websites, they said, still matter. Because kids these days are turning away from Facebook and Twitter. They've moved onto platforms that I have no experience with whatsoever, but rather than chase them, this site is still an opportunity for them to come to me, eventually.
However, I needed a new look that wasn't rooted in 2005. I needed to put my books front and centre (or, at least, in the top right corner (see above). I needed to declutter and make it easier for prospective readers to see who I am and what I am selling. And I needed my front page to be more dynamic -- no more hiding my blog behind an initial splash page.
They also recommended that I switch over from Movable Type to WordPress, and while that advice is good in theory, I did find the prospect of transferring over and learning a new platform just too daunting. So, Movable Type this site remains. This slightly modified Movable Type theme (called Rainier) also offers a big advantage in being mobile-friendly -- something I wasn't able to achieve with my previous design.
My blogging output has suffered in the past couple of years, especially this past year, as I dealt with deadlines, and also a pure lack of energy brought on by life events. However, I still find the blog useful, even if the audiences aren't what they were in blogging's glory days. It has helped me remember past events that I would have forgotten -- like the online diary that this blog was started as back in 2002, written primarily for my own benefit, and the interest of whoever might be passing. So, I guess I'm still into blogging. It remains an outlet for my writing that I'm not interested in giving up.
There will be further changes to this site in the coming days as I complete the renovations. I may still set up a mailing list. Either way, stay tuned, as I continue to send out words into the ether, regardless of who's around to hear them.
If you're here to hear them, thank you. It's good to talk to you.