Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I am One !

Surprisingly, this blog is one year old today, Wednesday August 31st 2011. I say "surprisingly" because I didn't expect to be able to maintain my initial enthusiasm for more than a few weeks when I started out this time last year. I also say "surprisingly" because I didn't really expect anyone to read it, to be honest. But against the odds it's still here, I'm still posting, and you're still here as well, according to the stats tab on my dashboard and the comments that you send me.
Time for some cake, and that's no lie.... (image from www.vexforum.com)
Given that the blog seems to be here to stay, I've recently added an Index in the interests of trying to make it a bit more user-friendly; the more eagle-eyed among you will already have spotted the link to this, imaginatively entitled "Index", under the "PAGES" heading near the top of the right sidebar. OK, so the availability of an index isn't very exciting, but it's necessary I think; since the blog went live I've posted more than 70 entries on a variety of subjects, and up until now the only way that a reader has been able to find posts on subjects that interest them the most is by trial and error. The index, which I'm currently populating with links to every single post I've ever made on here, will allow readers to look through subject headings and quickly and (hopefully) easily access posts discussing the things they actually want to read about.

Something else that I've recently added is a Search plug-in, again with the aim of making the blog easier to navigate as the back catalogue gradually increases in size. I've customized the search function so it'll return hits from both the blog and also sites that this blog links to from within the postings (such as Brickset), and you can find it under the title banner at the top of the right sidebar.

Finally, I've recently added a further new feature called "Bargain Hunt !", which is again linked from the "PAGES" menu on the right. I don't like paying full price for LEGO and hence regularly check the likes of Amazon in particular for bargains. Given this, I've started to post details of the best deals that I come across on the Bargain Hunt page so that other people can check them out and maybe get a bargain as well. I've been experimenting with this feature for a couple of weeks already and trying out a variety of different formats, so don't be surprised if the format continues to change over time as I try to figure out more elegant ways of doing things. Because it's only me here, and I have limited time, I'm only able to sniff out and post deals from Amazon's U.K. and U.S. sites at the moment, so apologies to readers outside the U.K. and U.S.. Please however feel free to send me links to any particularly good deals you find in your countries and if they look genuine I'll consider adding them to the list. If you order items by clicking on the Bargain Hunt links it brings a small amount of revenue into the site. The Bargain Hunt feature is work in progress, and I'd be particularly keen to get feedback from you on the format and things I might be able to do to improve it.

So that's a few of the things that I've been up to recently. The core of the blog is, and will remain, my weekly postings, but hopefully the new features will make the blog easier to navigate and maybe help you find some good deals as well. And now I'd be interested to hear from you - do you have any suggestions for things that you'd like to see more or less of on here ? Or should I just keep things as they are ? Please feel free to leave comments below or e-mail me your suggestions via the contact button in the right sidebar.

Thanks for reading, and happy birthday to me !

David.

3 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Here's to the next year!

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  2. Congratulations and well done on keeping it going for this long. I don't comment very often, but as you know am a regular reader.

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  3. Cheers, guys - much appreciated !

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