Thursday, December 14

Tidying up around Here

You may have noticed some changes here at Learning Circuits Blog. I just wanted to take few moments to point out the enhancements, in case you missed one or two.

Wider is Better

Based on the fact that 96% of our readership is using screen resolutions of 1000 pixels wide or greater, we took the opportunity to widen LCB from the standard 680 pixels to 1000 pixels. This move allows for more content on the screen, a wider sidebar, and easier integration of graphics.

Feed Me

Our RSS/Atom feeds had been a bit messed up for a while. You should find it much easier to grab the feed in a number of formats now. We had a Bloglet feed as our primary feed, but unfortunately, as a one-man shop, Bloglet is nearly defunct and their services have been on again, off again at best. Feedblitz has stepped in with Bloglet's blessing and set up a migration tool, which we have utilized to transfer nearly 2000 email subscription to LCB over to Feedblitz. If you were one of these subscribers, you should have alread received a couple Feedblitz mailings.

As an alternate to Feedblitz, I've set up feeds (both email and RSS/Atom) with Feedwhip. There is also the Feedburner feed which can be saved to any number of social bookmarking sites using the button provided in the sidebar.

A Matter of Good Forms
As a part of The Big Question, I've been trying out a few of the new database/forms tools. I took a look at all the free tools available and landed on Zoho Creator as the best blend of ease-of-use and powerful functionality. One weekend when Zoho took Creator offline to upgrade their servers, I swapped in a Wufoo entry form. Wufoo's easier to use than Zoho Creator, but it's data analysis capabilities are not as strong and you can't embed a live report into your blog.

I've also used Zoho Creator to create a form for submission of possible future The Big Question
questions and a contact form to drop me a Dear Blogmeister message (thus wiping out the massive email spam attacks that came with having a mailto: address on LCB).

Peekaboo FAQ
The here today, gone tomorrow FAQ is back yet again. No more ads, no more services going belly up, and no more Comcast accidentally wiping out my FTP content. If you have a question that isn't answered in the FAQ, please fill out the Dear Blogmeister form that's conveniently located on the same page as the FAQ.

Take this post and .......
I've added a few of the Feedburner Feedflares at the end of each post. If there's a particular Feed Flare (ie, Save to Spurl) that you'd find beneficial if it were included, please drop me a note and i'll to accomodate your request.

That's it for now. Have a Happy Holidays!

your humble blogmeister


Ben Watson said...


The changes make the blog look a lot better! The best just got better.

Your comments on some of the service providers going belly up is interesting as I have noticed the same thing recently. I think the spat of innovation seems to be settling down a bit as the big boys muscle their way in (i.e. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo buying more and more early stage companies).


Ben Watson
VP, Collaboration - Thomson NETg

Matthew Nehrling said...

Good job.
Have you thought about adding in a rss feed specifically for mobile phones or PDAs?

xfruits provides a feed converter. I just took the RSS feed from my site, created a new URL for it and had xfruits convert it for mobile.

Regular URL-

Mobile formatted URL-

Dave Lee said...

Thanks Ben and Matthew:

The mobile phone/PDA RSS feed is a great idea, Matthew. I'm familiar with xFruit and will put it on my to do list.

As a note to everyone, please feel free to make suggestions of how we can make LCB better for you.

I'm going to post a reader's survey after the holidays, but you don't need to wait. Either comment here or send me a message using the Dear Blogmeister form.

During the first several months of the year we'll be working on a rebuilding of LCB which we hope to launch before our 5th Anniversary in April. I'll keep you informed and involved as we progress.