Hello, I’m a web craftsman with a passion for the modern web. I build web applications and play with social services and communities.
I pushed a little design update to my social web community 3 weeks ago and wanted to post it here since then. The update included a reworked main header of the page as well as a different design for the evening hours with a beautiful sunset. Late at night a pretty sky full of stars appears for the joy of late visitors.
But since it took me so long to post the headers here I decided to include other special headers a well. Winter, Christmas and Valentin Day to be precise. The current version of the-reality.net (v3) is quite old and it’s rather unlikely that there will be other headers before the release of the next major update.
Well this was faster than I thought. Due to some boring classes I had today, I got the chance to fix the few little details in my new wordpress theme that bothered me. So floating images are now displayed correctly, the post date/time is moved a little, image captions look a lot prettier and the comments got a much nicer look.
I’m quite happy with my new feed page so my next thought was to integrate my blog better. So here we are!
I took the design of the feed page and made a WordPress Theme from it. It’s my first self-made WordPress Theme and I really like it so far. Hopefully you too! There is still some space for improvements with displaying images, layouting comments etc. but I’ll look into this later. For now this should do exactly what I want it to do and that is a simple and clean blog that is well integrated into the rest of my page and I can start using more regularly.
By the way, in my last post I was saying that I would look into tumblr. Well the reason I didn’t move to it was that I didn’t see a big advantage over wordpress and that it didn’t offer a simple way to transfer my wordpress blog into tumblr. There are plenty of scripts out there that claim to do the job but none made a good impression to me. And since I’m short on time I decided to go this way and learned how to make wordpress themes on the way too.
Over the last couple of days I was playing around with Feed Collection and some CSS. The result is a new mashed front page for myself with all my activity throughout the web in one place:
Therefore my blog had to move to its own subdomain (on which you should be already):
It’s kinda experimental for now but if it goes well I’ll try to fit in the blog better in somehow. I was also playing with the thought of moving away from wordpress to tumblr. Actually I was playing with that thought for a while but somehow I’m doing hard on going to a full-hosted service.
I definitely agree with the development of simplified designs in order to provide a cleaner user interface. But this is not entirely related to RSS feeds.
However, the main reason that makes me hesitate integrating RSS feeds in my main projects is advertisement. Yes, RSS feeds concentrate on the content. And this is good for people who need to get a quick update without waiting for the full page to load and spend time on looking for the right spot.
But as owner of a website even RSS feeds take server performance away. And the most common way to make money to pay for webspace/servers is banner advertisement. And especially this kind of advertisement is part of the visual design.
So what will happen to online advertising if most of the hits come through feeds rather than actual web site views??
Well the only solution to that is moving advertisement from visual design to the content. That would mean ads show up in the feeds as text-based ads. This would be pretty annoying and may keep some people away from feeds. So we need both. Ads on the page itself and ads in the feeds. More work for the webmasters to integrate those and more things to keep track of.
Another possible “solution” that is already in use is displaying only the beginning of the content in the feed with a “read more” button that redirects to the actual site. However, this does only work for blogs and news sites. And there are a lot of other pages out there that need to address that issue.