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Blog Changes. Feedback Please!

Soo, I'd like everyone's input.  I've been changing things here and there on the blog, and I'd like to know what you think and what other changes you might like to see.

Here's a list of what I've done so far:  Created static pages and took some of the clutter off the right sidebar.  Put up a new bio for my "About Me" page.  Changed my RSS feed and twitter links to cute icons.  Deleted some extraneous links.  And, the big one, changed the subtitle of the blog.

I'd particularly like to know if you like the new subtitle and if you have any other suggestions for it.  Also, how many of you think I should change the blog title (Literary Rambles) altogether?  It's been suggested that the blog is no longer a place of rambling, so I've been considering new titles.  I felt the subtitle, at least, had to go and so it has.  If you think Lit Rambles should change too, please throw out some suggestions.

Additionally, I'd like to know if reading on this layout with this color scheme has been a bother for anyone.   Would you like something easier on the eyes?

I'm wondering too if I should create agency labels.  Would it help to be able to view the agents I've spotlighted by agency?

Let me know!  This is basically an open feedback thread so feel free throw out whatever you want.  It can pertain to what I've already mentioned or anything else you have on your mind.  I want this blog to be the best it can be and that really comes down to you, dear readers, and what I can give you. What do you want to see?

Thanks in advance!!!!  I'm eager for your thoughts.

39 comments:

  1. I usually don't like dark backgrounds because it's hard to read, but I have never found yours hard to read.

    I agree that the title doesn't fit your blog postings, but it never bothered me! I never thought about it until someone else brought it up. And I like your new subtitle. Why not just use your name for the title? People will recognize that before they'll recognize a name change in your blog.

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  2. Thanks Laura! I've thought about just using my name and will give it some more consideration.

    Which reminds me, just so everyone knows, the domain casey-mccormick.com will bring you guys straight here. It's easier to remember if you ever want to get on somewhere where you don't have me bookmarked.

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  3. I usually don't like dark backgrounds, either, but I do like your blog. I can't imagine your blog with a different name. It's nice to come visit a familiar place.

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  4. I think you should keep Literary Rambles as the name. It just works, you know.

    Not sure about the sub-title, though. Maybe your name should be in the subtitle somehow...
    "Being a forum on all things literary hosted by Casey McCormick" or something like that.

    Love the new About page.

    I can't tell you how much I love your blog and how often I refer to your agent bios...so don't change it too much!

    Truly, you have one of the coolest blogs out there!

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  5. I concur with those who usually don't favor the dark background but like yours. It reminds me of chocolate and coffee; that's always a good thing. Also, I'd say go with your name as the title so folks would get familiar with it.

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  6. I love your blog, think it's well organized. I'd nix the "Being a blog" in the subtitle, and keep it at: For writers and ...

    While I love the layout, the color is hard on my eyes. White text on black backgound isn't easy to read.

    Cheers!

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  7. Thank you Caroline, Shelley, Sharon, and Alexis. Great feedback. I really appreciate it.

    Since opinions are differing, I think I'll have to weigh popular vote against my own feelings. Wish I could please everyone. : p

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  8. Casey--I like the new pages and the clean look. I think it would be helpful to organize the agents by agency. I would be terribly sad if you weren't literary rambles--I feel like it's your brand. And, you have that awesome purse. And, when you publish, you'll probably start a new blog with your name, or a website with your name. This way, if you keep this title, then you can leave this blog up until it's no longer viable.

    I also like the colors--it feels like your corner of the internet to me.

    That all being said, it's your blog, and you get to do what you like. Follow your instinct.

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  9. I think your blog is so helpful, like I said on my blog last week, and I don't find it hard to read.

    I wouldn't change the blog title, but I like storyqueen's subtitle suggestion.

    I like the alphabetical list of agents although I can see the value of grouping them by agency.

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  10. I really like the idea of organizing by Agency!

    And don't change Literary Rambles - it really works.

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  11. Thanks Heather! A lot of you seem to like the brand I've already created with Lit Rambles and its look. I'm okay with how it is. I just started to wonder if it shouldn't take on a different direction given how much its developed in the last year.

    Lotusgirl, the list would stay alphabetical in the left sidebar. I would just be adding a label or category for the agencies in case anyone wants to compare agents.

    Thanks K.M.!

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  12. The dark background gives your blog a different look than most. I'd keep it.

    Literary Rambles is fine but I imagine you could come up with something that might reflect more of your focus on children's and YA books. When I first stumbled onto your site I wondered if "Literary" meant you were more into high brow works.

    Grouping your agent list by agency would be helpful, especially for new people looking for information.

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  13. I like storyqueen's suggestion of the subtitle and I concur with everyone else... Lit Rambles works!

    The coloring is still difficult for me to adjust to but that could be because I stare at a computer all day long.

    I think the idea for agency categories is great. Any way to cater to the different search styles of readers is helpful, IMHO.

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  14. I like the set up and the new cleaner look. Love the About page. The spotlight for the agents is fine. I personally love the velvety sense I get from the dark cocoa color of the background. Hmmm...Title? I can't imagine Literary Ramblings not being there. Maybe a combo of a few earlier ideas. Use your name as the title and then 'A forum of literary ramblings for writers and readers of children's and teens literature.' ";-)

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  15. I think your title is clever, but that's just me. :0) Perhaps you could just change it to Literary Spotlights....seeing as you do so many agent spotlights and other interviews. ??

    The background is a bit difficult for my eyes, but I'm usually the exception to the rule. I don't like plain black and white either, so what do you do?? :)

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  16. I've been spending a ton of time on here lately doing agent research and I like everything about the layout. The colors don't bother me at all. And keep the name. I usually google it to get here.

    One small suggestion: As you add more agents to the sidebar, you might want to alphabetize by last name.

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  17. I love the name,and think it's great branding,and the background color. It's never bothered me : ) and also agree with Storyqueen about the subtitle.

    Thank you Casey!

    Your blog is my favorite since I discovered it!!

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  18. I wouldn't change the name . . . it's you.

    I confess, I do have a little trouble reading it would the dark background, white text . . . even the comments are easier to read.

    But again, it's your blog. Do what feels good. :)

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  19. Love your blog! I'd definitely keep Literary Rambles, but I'm not loving the "Being..." in the subtitle to be honest.

    Everything else is awesome. Very easy to navigate.

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  20. Casey,
    Seems to me your blog spends loads of time keeping writers up on new and interesting goings on in the PB, MG, YA genres... If I were to change the name, I'd pick -- IN THE LOOP with Casey McCormick, because that's what you do... keep us all in the loop. And you do a great job!

    Or you could call it... RANCHING WORDS IN NEW YORK CITY!

    Or... LITERARY POTHOLES

    Or... TRASH TALKIN' PATICIPLES

    (I like the background... black lace becomes a Lady)!

    Haste yee back ;-)

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  21. I love "Literary Rambles"! I think it's quirky and interesting, and that makes it easy to remember. I agree with Paul's comments, that alphabetizing agents by last name might be slightly more convenient. I've never had any problem with the colors or font of your blog.

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  22. I like the layout...like the subtitle! I would not change the blog title itself because I don't feel the name conveys aimless rambling, but rather an easy-going wandering across the literary landscape.

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  23. Count me as one vote against the light type on a dark background.

    It's pretty, but too hard to read on a regular basis. My web site uses white text on black, but copy is limited and I use a little bit larger text.

    My blog is strictly black text on a white background. Color I keep only in the background where it won't interfere.

    I read your posts on my g-reader which mercifully only puts black text on white.

    Hope that helps.

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  24. Thank you Thermocline, Stephanie, Sheri, Kristi, Paul, Robin, Janet, Chandler, Haste, Beth, DL, and Maria!

    I'm keeping note of all your suggestions and will weigh them out.

    Keep 'em coming!

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  25. Nix the dark background, light text, please. The overall dark is too much; maybe you can use it as an accent, or just on some of the sidebars, or ?

    Those who have commented about your name being in either the title or subtitle are probably correct. I like your title, agree it doesn't lead me to think aimless, but putting your name in the subtitle will give you a leg up on name recognition when the time comes. (If it hasn't already--like a said, I'm new to your blog.)

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  26. Like "I" said, not a.

    (didn't preview, can you tell?)

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  27. Your blog is a bit dark. On one hand, it makes it really pop when you do have color; on the other hand it does distract me a bit when I'm reading posts--as in, my eye sticks to the color (on the picture in the post, or on the sidebar) instead of the actual words in the post.

    (Not too bad--the layout def works better than most--but since you want thoughts, here they are!)

    I like the subtitle.

    As for Lit Rambles--not a huge fan of it. "Rambling" is a bit overdone in writers blog, and it doesn't seem very apropos to what you're doing now, anyway, as you pointed out. On the other hand, you've got a bit of a brand name with it already, so it might make sense to keep it. Basically--it's up to you. It's not a make-or-break detail by any means.

    What I like about your blog: it's very well organized and presented professionally. These other changes don't matter compared to that!

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  28. Count me in as someone who'd prefer you lose the dark background and light type. Hard on the eyes.

    I agree your subtitle might be reworded to reflect your focus on the children's market.

    Don't know you find the time to do it all, Casey, but you're doing great!
    ;-)

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  29. Since we're voting:

    I'd rather a light background. I've been pondering this for my own blog...I may change it to light pink. I even have a hard time reading it.

    I think you need to CUT: "Being a blog" Definitely not necessary. And if you HAVE to have blog in there, get rid of "being". It makes my tongue stumble. (Or my brain scramble.)

    Literary Rambles has a nice ring. Don't change that, whatever you do! I think you still ramble...tee hee!

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  30. Thanks Kathryn and Pam!

    I've decided to keep Literary Rambles, change the subtitle again, and add the agency categories.

    I'm still up in the air about the blog layout. I'm going to play around with the html tomorrow and see if anything can be done just where the text is with what I'm using. If not, I may look into having something custom designed as I haven't been able to find another template that meets my wish list.

    I appreciate the feedback, everyone, and will keep you posted!

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  31. I'm late in commenting on this, but I really like how it looks. The whole theme of the site flows well, I like the dark look (I can read it just fine), and I like how professional it looks. This is a really classy design. Oh, and I like the subtitle as well. Nice job.

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  32. I love your blog in general. I do tend to think "Rambling" is overused in writing blogs. It doesn't have a particuarly a good connotation either. However. I do think you have successfully etched out a niche for yourself in it. I know I've googled Literary Rambles more than once when trying to quickly come up with your blog.

    I also LOVE the idea of organizing them according to agency. I am so glad you are going to do that.

    I am up in the air about the format. It isn't too hard for me to read, but that is personal, I think. Keep us updated as you do tweak it around. :)

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  33. I like the Literary Rambles name. You've created a name for yourself under this name, so I wouldn't change it as some people might have mentioned it to a friend, they later remember it when they see something, & visit your site. I don't have a problem with any of your layout, the subtitle, or the content. I'm so impressed that you're keeping it all up with school & everything else you are doing.

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  34. I'm weighing in late, but I like the changes you've made. The new lighter background makes it easier to read yet keeps the "chocolate" look. I also thought the "being" should go, but love your blog name.

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  35. Thank you Eric, Heather, Natalie, and Lisa.

    I think I found a middle ground! But is this background light enough if I go this route?

    I'm still not happy with the subtitle. Still thinking about that one.

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  36. For some reason the new color makes the print seem smaller even though I know it's not, so I voted for the old.

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  37. Like the new look, but I'm having trouble reading the font. Anyone else?

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  38. Tracy and Natalie, is the font better now?

    DL Hammons, I keep thinking about your lovely comment. I'm wondering if I could turn your description into my subtitle somehow.

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