Nesting and Blogging

I don’t know if it is the change of seasons, feeling overwhelmed and discombobulated (love that word!), or just tired of moving stuff … but I’ve been on a tear to thin, organize, or otherwise streamline just about everything around the house.

The same thing goes for my virtual world. These last two weeks or so, I’ve been spending lots of time on blog and website admin. Some of it – like building widgets – is fun. But it eats up a lot of time in the interest of long-term efficiency.

Odds are I’ll come home after KidlitCon09 NEXT WEEKEND (squee!) and have even more to do, but until then (and as long as I don’t think about the FTC)  I feel like I’m gaining some control and order. We’ve had enough administrivia for the week, but I did want to let you know about some of the bigger changes.

New format for book lists. As I mentioned in the Reading Ahead post, I have moved to OpenBook, a WordPress plugin that actually gives me back time! I only have to type in the ISBN and it grabs everything else I need. No more searching for book covers, uploading, etc.

  • Our monthly booklists and review previews will be “prettier” because they’ll have book covers.
  • If a book isn’t listed with Open Library, it will just have title and author data.
  • I will check near the end of each month for any books that may be still missing to give authors a chance to check Open Library.
  • I have added information about Open Library in our information email to authors/publishers, too.
  • Note: A new update is on its way to resolve the slow page load problem.

Restructured post format. I have never liked having the comment link at the top of the post; ditto the tags. The “opening line” should be neat and clean. Now the comment bubble and tags are at the bottom of each post with the categories.

Our Blogroll has moved.  I don’t like clutter, and between the category lists, tag lists, widgets, and the blogroll, the page was cramped! Something had to go.

  • We have a separate page for linking to other blogs/sites, so I just made sure everyone on the links list is now on Our Blogroll.  It’s right up there next to “Home.” You can’t miss it.
  • Because each category is a separate page, they are easy to locate under the “Pages” directory on the home page, too.
  • If I don’t have you listed, please let me know.

New Reading and Literacy Wiki Widget. Say THAT three times fast! In lieu of all of the blogroll links, I’ve added a widget that takes you to the Wiki.

  • It is like starring items in your reader, only better. As I peruse blogs and websites, if I find “timeless” items or resources that can help librarians, teachers, and parents engage kids with books, it’s going in there.

New Articles Widget. Last month, I was asked to be the Children’s Book Expert for I am writing articles with tips, ideas, and book recommendations for busy parents. The articles are short and sweet, but there is no real mechanism for creating a feed.

  • Aas I write them, I’ll add them to the widget over on the right.
  • I will also link my Booklights posts there.

Still Under Construction: Categories. The bane of my existence. I was trying to be *smart* and pull all of the former versions of Scrub-a-Dub-Tub here so that everything would be in one, neat, nice place. As anyone who has moved from Blogger to any other platform will tell you, Blogger has a nomenclature all its own, so my “tags” are” categories” and I’m sorting/sifting/shifting all that stuff. Oh, the tedium!

Still Under Construction: Moving the Literacy Resources on the Website to the Wiki. I need to clone myself, not my work. So I am going to transition the content of the Resources and Articles page to the Wiki. It just seems smarter to keep everything in one place.

N-O-W the weekend can begin.

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