When A Blog Isn't A Blog

Noticed Something New?  I've given Feint.me a big overhaul.  Here's a little background:

My Blogging Isn't Blogging Anymore

I asked myself a question - what is the point of this blog? Why do I write the articles that I write? My answers:

  1. Share My Work: I build web apps, I create designs and other work.  Much of this I give away.  And what better place to give it away then your own site.
  2. Share My Ideas: I have my own ideas on lifestyle design, productivity and startups. And I like sharing them with the world.  These ideas are the basis of my articles.
  3. Make Money: I'm not going to deny the fact that I use this blog to make money.  There are a couple of pages on this blog which generate over $500 in revenue (affiliate) each month .  I don't have another job.  This work on the intertubes is my livelihood.

So they were the three things I believed my "blog" should be about.  Now I don't believe a typical blog fulfils these needs.  So goodbye blog, hello:

Content is King

Content now takes pride of place above everything else on the site.  I've taken away many of the graphical elements of typical blogs.

Articles are the first thing the user sees.  Gone is the usual snippet or full post display that most blogs use.  I've gone for juts a heading.

ReadabilityFTW

I've messed around with a bunch of fonts, font sizes, line spacings and headings, trying to make the content as easy to read as possible.   In UI terms, its a never a good idea to user either black or white - use a shade in between.  I also set the background to a sepia tone.  I found this the most pleasant to read on.

But its not just about the fonts.   I want you to read the content using the method which best suits you.  So I've integrated with Instapaper and there is a custom coded "email me this post"  feature.  This will email you a plain text (I might do a html version later) copy of the post.  Read it in your own time, in an environment that suits you.

I've also added a Random Article Feature.  Not sure what to read, just head here for something to read.

Apart from the ad, there is nothing in the sidebar.   If you really want people to read your content, don't give them an excuse to get distracted with flashy widgets, blogrolls or newsletter subscriptions.

Comments No More

This was a tough decision.  Some of my posts have had incredible discussion.  When I blasted Twilio, I had great responses from developers, Twilio itself and their competitors.  I just sat back and let the conversation take place.   However, other posts, had little chatter.

Some of the most respected blogs I read, have great content, but absolutely crappy comments.  It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the people commenting were doing it solely for the purpose of getting a link.    These blogs, formed a giant comment pyramid.

My solution was a heart.  I was inspired by Vimeo.  If you hang out on Vimeo, you'll soon discover that its nothing like Youtube.  The comments are actually useful and the feeling in the community is really positive.    Unlike youtube which allows you to like/dislike a video, on Vimeo you can only like it.

I've taken this "liking" approach.  If you appreciate a post, just give it a quick like (at the top of each post).   If you don't like it, fair enough - hit me up on Twitter or email me.

Integrating Twitter

I hate 90% of the Twitter integrations on blogs.  I've never seen the use in displaying your last few tweets - they never seem to make any sense.  I don't want to put my Twitter stuff on this site, but I do want to thank people for sharing this blog in Twitter.   If you tweet this post, or any content on the blog, you'll be added to the post.

Books

I haven't paid for a book in a long time.  It's not that I'm a pirate, its just that I earn enough each month in Amazon affiliate commissions to get a gift card each month.  How I make these commissions?  With reviews.  When I read a book, I review it.  And now I have a purpose built section on the blog for adding book reviews.

Tools

Just like books, but for the numerous tools I use every day.  I get emails all the time asking what sms provider I use for Task.fm or what theme I used to build my blog.  Now I can help answer these questions with another purpose built platform.

What do you think of the new design?  Tweet me up!

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