I’ve made a decision that shakes things up quite a bit with regards to theLogBook.com. If you don’t read theLogBook.com…skip this post! Seriously. ‘Cause that’s all it’s about – my lovely, geeky website that’s old enough to ask for the keys to the car.
Effective immediately, I’m switching theLogBook.com’s main menu from being a big, weekly splash page to something a bit more concise and automatic. To put it simply, I haven’t had a lot of time to pour into the site lately. Being a dad eats up a lot of one’s time, and to put it mildly, it’s had my free time for lunch. There’s a lot of stuff I haven’t been able to do, and keeping the site up and running is just one of them. It hasn’t helped that FTP has been inaccessible for the better part of two weeks; WordPress has been up and running, but there’s been the matter of those big graphical menus – namely getting them onto the server without FTP.
For those who have any affection for the aforementioned big graphical menus…I’m with you. I love ’em, and I’ve loved doing ’em. But there have been times lately when I’ve struggled mightily to land on a “theme” for them – I’ve loved it when stuff like this or this or this or this or this or this lined up perfectly with the right inspiration and just the right visual material. But too many times I’ve done what I thought was a themed menu, and nobody got it – a case of “hey, see what I did there?” I loved writing the little blurbs with obscure song lyrics in them, and finding either just the right still shot from a given show, or an absurdly funny one. That stuff was fun – if I had the time and energy for it.
It came out looking boring and forced if I didn’t. Let’s face it, a half-dozen “Best of show” links over 3 years isn’t the greatest track record ever.
Effective immediately, theLogBook’s main menu will switch over to something a bit less visually dazzling, but far more functional and practical. Since the entire site is built on a series of WordPress installs, each section of the site generates an RSS feed – and when a new item appears in each feed, the main menu will point you toward each entry, with a bit of a “teaser” to show you what in the heck each entry actually is. Where possible, I’ll try to step in keep these notices at least a little visually interesting with a shot from the show in question, or an album cover, what have you – I’ll automate that process if I possibly can (i.e. if I’m clever enough). This also potentially – but not necessarily – loosens the “weekly update” shackles. If someone decides to post a music review in the middle of the week, by golly, you’re not just getting new stuff on the weekends. The site should be content driven, not driven by a schedule that, let’s face it, even the webmaster hasn’t been able to keep up.
Will there be stretches with no content? Almost certainly. I’ll try to avoid it when possible, but as recent weeks have proven, sometimes it’s inevitable. And yet the content for the past two weeks has been written in advance and posted itself on schedule – not that anyone could tell for the lack of a main menu. The piece of equipment that’s really falling down in this equation is…well, me.
With the news section going dormant, and little going on in the movie reviews section, and several other sections down to bi-weekly or even just monthly updates, I suppose there’s an obvious question: is the site just slowly closing down?
I’m not going to be so arrogant as to rule that out.
20 years is a good run for any published entity. For one that’s weathered as many changes in media as theLogBook has, with the rules changing under its feet as many times as it has, this under-funded little labor of love hasn’t done bad. But in the end, there’s another little labor of love that comes first. I’m not giving up on theLogBook yet – not by a long shot. But some corners need to be cut and some processes streamlined to keep it from completely falling by the wayside.