First things first- Happy New Year and thank you for supporting the Simostronomy blog week after week.
It's the first day of a new year and some things here have already changed for 2012. The look and feel of the blog, for example. I had considered giving the blog a facelift but wasn't sure which direction to go. Fortunately, Blogger has come out with a bunch of new templates, and I particularly liked the idea of this one, where you, the reader, get to choose the look and feel of the site according to your taste. What a brilliant idea!
Who am I to force you into some convention I am comfortable with? The new Simostronomy blog gives you seven options to preview and display the various articles contained here.
The Classic look just lines them up in reverse chronological order from top to bottom, showing the whole article. Flip Card shows an image that flips over to the title and date of each piece as you mouse over. Magazine, my new personal favorite, shows one large feature article preview box (most recent) a line of second tier article previews and then more and more arranged somewhat randomly as you scroll down the page. It would take me a lot of work to keep this fresh and randomized looking, so I really appreciate this view. I can concentrate on simply writing, and not worry about web page layout so much.
Mosaic is interesting, but I don't like the way the images get cropped and there isn't enough information in the preview to get me excited about reading any of the pieces. But again, that's me; maybe you like it. If so, great- enjoy. Sidebar is a good look, but I don't like the text color in the titles on the left. I'd like it to be easier to read, but haven't figured out how to edit that yet. I don't really get the Snapshot mode. It just previews all the pictures from all the articles, and I don't think that's very helpful navigation-wise. Your mileage may vary. Last but not least, Timeslide is a very nice way to lay out the pieces, but the text versus background color needs to be adjusted for easier reading. If not for that, this might be my favorite view.
I'll work on it as time allows, so consider it a work in progress. If your'e a Blogger maestro and you have any tips or tricks regarding this template, add them as comments to this piece, please. I can use the help.
The new look is one thing. I'm also looking forward to getting back to writing a lot more than I did in 2011. My workload and travel schedule just got out of hand, and unfortunately, the blog was one of the casualties. I also took on some extra projects and saw those through to completion. I've learned my lesson ( I hope) and have already said no to two interesting proposals since December 1. I just can't add anything else to my plate right now if I want to do the things that are important to me. High on that list is writing this blog, and finishing my big Z Cam research paper in early 2012. I've given myself a deadline of leap year day, February 29th.
I'm going to try to limit my travel as much as possible, but I don't seem to be succeeding at that yet. I'll be going to Austin, Texas next week for the AAS meeting, we're going to Florida for the Winter Star Party in February and I'm already booked to return to Boston in March. We'll just have to see how spring and summer shape up. If I can keep my resolutions, you'll be reading about it all here.
Once again, thanks for your loyalty. I'll try to do a better job of deserving your readership this year.