Sunday, May 14, 2006

Socialist Unity suggestion box


with the election over it gives us a little time to give the
main site a spring clean. Which is a good opportunity to use this blog (and the fact it's easy to interact and discuss on it) to get some feed back about improvements people would like to see.

This blog itself came from a discussion about how to make the site more interactive and has been a real success I think, although personally I'd like to see a wider variety of posters and contributors.

Although political comments about the site's direction (or lack of it more likely) are welcome I'm really looking for thoughts on subjects we are not covering, sections we should commision and/or decomission, the kinds of contributors we host, the look and feel of the site, technical points - anything that you think would improve the site. Obviously we might ignore you, but more likely even if the idea itself is impractical there may be ways of adapting the suggestion into an idea that we can implement.

If you'd prefer to comment confidentially, that's fine, email me at


anonymous said...

Been reading ur blog for a few weeks now, find it interesting, but It could have been better if your blog layout is neat and nice. Try changing the looks of your blog - download different Blogger Templates at that site. They've got tons of beautiful templates for your needs.
p.s. If you can't find the layout that suits you, try searching Google for alternative. :) keep up the good work

Renegade Eye said...

I'm happy with your message. As you can see at my blog, I have links to several Trotskyist, Hekmatist, and Maoist blogs.

I will link to this blog today.

This is another template site. I dislike the lime print here.


Jim Jay said...

Thanks for that Renegade and Anon.

I'll have a go at the blog links later today. Are there any other blogs out there that we should be linking to? Suggestions welcome...

Also I reckon I need to get them into some sort of logical order, and perhaps clear out some of the blogs that haven't been updated for more than a month

As to the lime - one of the difficulties is of course that different monitors / systems see the site in different ways. We went with the colour scheme of the main site but for some (a minority I think) the colours are quite garish whilst for many others they are far cooler and calmer - so coming to a compromise on this is more difficult.

I'll have a look at the alternatives - what do others think, what's the best way to improve the template - or do you like it the way it is?

AN said...

I would like to see the text column wider

Jim Jay said...

There is probably a much better way of organising links than (almost) alphabetically - but at least it's less of a mess now.

I took off three blogs that seemed dead (they can always come back if their owners get posting again) and I've added two ("renegade eye" and the new left feminist "stroppy blog") feel free to suggest new links people.

On templates, I think the best improvement we could make is to have a nice picture logo at the top - and I'll have a go with photoshop (although I admit it's not a priority) and without a major overhaul many of the templates are essentially different colour schemes - some of the other layouts are less appropriate (for instance those that give a big space to the owner of the blog, as a team blog that wouldn't make sense) but it's something worth looking at for the future.

The poor old lime colour scheme was chosen to coordinate with the main socialist unity site - both colour schemes are actually quite easy to change. We had a bit of a debate about the colour scheme at the time so I'm loath to change it now, BUT, obviously down the line we will change it in a spruce up and so we'll probably change the blog scheme at the same time - don't worry this blog will be used to help readers choose which is the option they prefer

As to the width of the text box I agree. Here is the technical problem. Eagle eyed readers will have noticed that in the past we had problems with the placement of the right hand column (in that it has appeared under the left hand column) other blogs have had this problem too and i was stratching my head trying to work out why.

It's a width thing. Basically if either column is too wide and therefore added together they take up too much space, even by one character, blogger places one below the other. So I went in rooted around and found the offending hyper link, shortened it and hey presto... soooo... this is a long way of saying unfotunately to achieve this, on the face it, simple task we'd need to choose a different template. Tsk. Certainly this be on our list of what we want if and when we go for a new blog template, but I also think it's unlikely to happen this month.