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Matt has redesigned his home
February 7, 2001 3:50 AM   Subscribe

Matt has redesigned his home and it's certainly not the same as before. It seems to be the season for redesigning your weblog. Lots of change is in the air, and the results are a breath of fresh air, if these sites are anything to go by. (Note too, that he's using custom coldfusion/SQL code on this box to serve his personal site.)
posted by grestall (43 comments total)

 
It took me back. It looks very good Matt, and the photograph is rather beautiful.

Since we're mentioning redesigns, I want to say that sapphireblue.com looks very pretty now*, and I like it, too.

* = not that it wasn't pretty before. You know.
posted by hijinx at 4:15 AM on February 7, 2001


Nice! But why the move from haughey.com?
posted by barbelith at 4:42 AM on February 7, 2001


The design is nice, notice the same type use as the original site? Is that bodoni? or? And yes, why the new domain?
posted by tiaka at 5:03 AM on February 7, 2001


Not to mention eatonweb.
posted by sylloge at 5:36 AM on February 7, 2001


Nice looking, and I too like Brig's elegant simplicity a lot. But wait, I have to say that the the new domain name reminds me of Seinfeld too much... so now Matt's will be the weblog about nothing?
posted by tremendo at 6:47 AM on February 7, 2001


But, but, Sapphireblue is no longer. . . BLUE!
posted by Dreama at 8:13 AM on February 7, 2001


Sapphires can be almost any color they want.

(but sapphirepurple.com sounds pretty dumb.)

Matt: pretty-pretty... I love the photo!
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:51 AM on February 7, 2001


It's interesting to note that since last week, Sippey, Signal vs. Noise, Brig, Fresh Hell, and Matt have all moved to managing their content without Blogger, the latter four moving to Greymatter I think (and Heather made the move quite some time ago). The early adopters are opting out...not a good sign for our favorite Web app.
posted by jkottke at 9:12 AM on February 7, 2001


Well if I had perl access I would certainly use Greymatter too, I think this is a case of what your able to run rather then which one runs better.
posted by thirdball at 9:30 AM on February 7, 2001


A whole lotta nothing presented via an elegeant design.
posted by riffola at 9:37 AM on February 7, 2001


I'll be moving to greymatter shortly myself -- though I was moving in that direction already for greater flexibility. I'm trying to learn PHP, too. Yes, I suppose this counts as a vote of no-confidence in Pyra, though I continue to wish Ev well.

What I find interesting is this wave of blogs not just redesignign, but reconceiving. For myself I feel I've drifted ever closer to a journal and what I really want to do is return to first principles. Maybe that's just my way of cleaning house? I know I've been affected by the general malaise that struck blogs in January, and the business with Pyra, and now I'm being reenergized by this Tibor Kalman cult that's suddenly burst out.
posted by dhartung at 9:44 AM on February 7, 2001


PHP is very much worth it, for the record. I moved to PHP for my phlog and am looking to draw up a whole content management doohickey (technical term) with it. However, I still very much use Blogger for at least a few other projects, and the Blogger logo is much cooler than any phonezilla.net logo. :)
posted by hijinx at 9:47 AM on February 7, 2001


It should be noted that Kim (Fresh Hell) is using Greymatter to serve her journal, but is still using Blogger for her weblog.

Despite toying with Greymatter a bit over the last couple of weeks (a second go-round) I've decided to stay with Blogger myself. The interface just doesn't jive for me. Short of learning CF, SQL or PHP or using Perl to build my own custom content management system, I still have to stand with Blogger as the best way to get the results I want. In this case, simplicity rules.


posted by Dreama at 10:02 AM on February 7, 2001


Looks like something's up with onfocus, and megnut as well. Both passworded protected right now.
posted by xiffix at 10:16 AM on February 7, 2001


Oh that's just our shitty server crapping up again. It does that periodically. No need for conspiracy theories, it just needs a reboot. I'm going to move megnut soon because this is starting to happen all too often.
posted by megnut at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2001


No need for conspiracy theories

Actually, I was referring to the original topic: redesigns. I'll save my conspiracy theories for Microsoft and Freemasonry. Although, I wouldn't put it past you guys...
posted by xiffix at 10:49 AM on February 7, 2001


whoa, sapphireblue looks amazing! Great work Michelle.
posted by mathowie at 11:22 AM on February 7, 2001


Pretty as the site is now, it's always prettier with a pic of Michelle on it.
posted by mikewas at 11:33 AM on February 7, 2001


Oh sorry, I guess I over-reacted. Lots of people have been thinking, what with all that's going on, the sites were down on purpose.
posted by megnut at 12:16 PM on February 7, 2001


kudos to both matt and michelle (i just love the fan).
posted by heather at 1:01 PM on February 7, 2001


I would completely agree about Blogger's interface being superior to anything else out there... I have the technical knowledge to run GreyMatter but the amount of work required just seems like way too much. Maybe the Blogger exodus will make the service run faster?

Now I feel like a bandwagoneer again for having redesigned. Sigh. But what else is an unemployed web guy to do with his time, I ask ya?
posted by anildash at 1:07 PM on February 7, 2001


jkottke, are you still using blogger? I can't find the link to them that I used to see...

I'd love to use Grey Matter, but I, too, discovered I don't have full CGI access with my hosting service. And it's not worth double the price, which is what they want. I like Blogger, I just hope it will be reliable now that the support staff is down to one.

lovely redesigns, all.
posted by jmcnally at 1:34 PM on February 7, 2001


i think that we all have different reasons for not using blogger. blame mine on the casio wrist cam. i wanted to have daily pictures but currently don't have cgi access that will allow for anything fancy. i'm hoping my current design will sqeeze into cgi access and grey matter. until then it's cut and paste, but then again, my grade eleven math teacher always said that i was good at cut and paste.
posted by heather at 1:47 PM on February 7, 2001


Wow, the first time I've been linked in a MeFi post. Thanks, Greg. Though I feel somewhat humbled to have my 24-hour get-it-up-before-the-words-are-too-old design mentioned in the company of Matt's and Michelle's fine work.

Dan Hartung's comments about 'reconceiving' raise some interesting questions about form and function. With my previous log I found myself straying further and further into journal territory, which came to a head in its last incarnation where I had a big travel photo changing every 2 weeks at the top of the page. Looking at that every day was encouraging me to look inwards, rather than outwards, and while that was okay for a while, I felt I'd taken it about as far as I could without seeming wayyyyy too self-obsessed. It all seemed such a long way from my proud feeling only one short year ago that 'hey, other people were using their personal sites as journal sites, but mine was different...'

But I still liked the idea of weblogs - that constantly changing space that can be about anything - and didn't want to abandon that. The trouble was, the Zannah filter-log model of posting a link and a one-sentence comment every twenty minutes was never going to work for me; even journalists don't report that obsessively, and they get paid.

So, I ditched the every-hour and every-day paradigm and shifted to one from my student-mag days: weekly. Save up links over a week and put the best ones in a side-log, with a couple of longer pieces in the main log. Save the off-the-cuff comments for MeFi and email (yes, email - remember that? We don't email each other enough these days). I've only just started, but it feels good already. Kind of like a personal zine. Hence the newspapery design, kept simple so that I can focus on discussing ideas rather than discussing myself.

As for not using Blogger - well, even without recent events, it would seem pretty silly to save myself 'all that bother' of FTPing the log to my site when I only plan to do it once a week...

I'm amused by Greg's juxtaposition of Neale's shift in direction and my own. He's turned wetlog into a personal journal just as I've turned my personal journal-blog into a (less-regular) wetlog (without the obsession with clown porn). (Noticed your comments about the hits falling off dramatically, Neale. Welcome to journal-land; you'd better get used to it!)
posted by rory at 1:52 PM on February 7, 2001


Might I point out several other redesigns of late...torrez, glassdog, and I may as well point out my own launch

It's sad to see the exodus from Blogger, I noticed it on quite a few sites as well. I've found Blogger to be too limiting on what I want to do with my site. I was really looking forward to having the functionality of Blogger Pro, but now I wonder if that'll ever see the light of day. I hope it will, but in the meantime, I'll be writing my own.
posted by igloo at 1:54 PM on February 7, 2001


It should be noted that Kim (Fresh Hell) is using Greymatter to serve her journal, but is still using Blogger for her weblog.

That is correct...sorry about that.

jkottke, are you still using blogger? I can't find the link to them that I used to see...

I've never used Blogger for kottke.org, but I used it for other things (work stuff, playing around with Tellme, etc.). The regular version of Blogger never had the functionality I wanted for my Web site; I was waiting for Pro to fill the gap. Given the decreased capabilities and resources of Pyra, I'm just going to keep on doing it by hand...or see if Greymatter can help me out.
posted by jkottke at 2:10 PM on February 7, 2001


matt - that's pretty nice work man, you must have been reeling over the designer decision for a while... i personally would have gone with this guy... but you did a pretty good job for yourself. if anyone has web design needs, i have a great design special going on...for more details check out my site, www.0type.com/kevin.

no really man, nice job. i especially like the .blah extension. nice touch.
posted by zerotype at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2001


matt - that's pretty nice work man, you must have been reeling over the designer decision for a while... i personally would have gone with this guy...

oh yeah, I was interviewing them for weeks. with so many layoffs, my ad for a designer in the local paper meant dozens were calling me every five minutes. I think I picked the right one though, his name's Scooter McGee and I really think he's going places.
posted by mathowie at 2:41 PM on February 7, 2001


Greymatter was never meant as an alternative to Blogger in the first place - it's much more intended for control freaks (like its author): people who like to tweak things down to the last detail, and who don't mind bothering with all the options that are there, rather than not having the options available at all. (The setup/customisation effort involved is obviously greater, but the posting process is about the same - Greymatter also has right-click posting, as well.) But I'm the first to admit that anyone to whom simplicity is the paramount virtue is bound to be much happier with Blogger.

In any event, I thought I should say this to spare anyone reading this thread from any possible disappointment, if they're looking to check it out and expecting it to be a click-and-go Blogger replacement.

(Oh yeah, re: the original topic - beautiful work.) =)
posted by Noah at 2:45 PM on February 7, 2001


It's kind of funny how a few well known blogs dropping blogger is seen as a bad sign when the amount of people using blogger was never the problem.

Now if they had been paying customers that would be a different story...
posted by gtr at 3:42 PM on February 7, 2001


So, I'll cop instantly to being a decent designer... but not in HTML. Anyone got a used site design they're willing to part with cheap? :-)
posted by baylink at 4:02 PM on February 7, 2001


baylink: you're welcome to mine. :-)
posted by cCranium at 5:51 PM on February 7, 2001


baylink: I also have 7 old ones. I recommend #2.
posted by hijinx at 6:26 PM on February 7, 2001


Hey, a naked woman.

Cool.

posted by dfowler at 6:50 PM on February 7, 2001


I like the redo. I had the browser half extended and could not find the content with a lazy finger and mouse.

May play with a PHP weblog as an emergency back up plan. I live PHP all day and have side projects going with it, so why not one more. Must get Interland to finish the change to PHP4.
posted by vanderwal at 9:32 PM on February 7, 2001


Can I bum a used design too? Without some basis to start from, I'm never going to get anywhere.
posted by aaron at 11:35 PM on February 7, 2001


must ... not ... self-promote ... !
posted by crunchland at 4:28 AM on February 8, 2001


Hey, I hear that crunchland has some INCREDIBLE design skills!
posted by Skot at 8:29 AM on February 8, 2001


Well, hijinx, I'd love to steal one... if I could *find* them...
posted by baylink at 6:15 PM on February 10, 2001


Pssst. Didn't see your glowing endorsement until this thread resurfaced. thanks, skot!
posted by crunchland at 3:51 AM on February 11, 2001


Humph. Shameless linkwhore that I am, I was desperately hoping that in this mess of mutual redesign love, someone would mention plasticbag.org (note - no link). But no one has. Am unloved. And self-involved. Oh noose, my only friend...
posted by barbelith at 2:42 PM on February 14, 2001


Hey, did you see the excellent redesign over at plasticbag? Gotta love that 'random link' button and the devilish photo peeking over the top. Onya, Tom!
posted by rory at 3:28 PM on February 14, 2001


Yardsale's Blog is of course, not an a-list site, but it has endured a redesign as well...functional? Yes. Classy? Who knows? ;)
posted by Yardsale at 10:18 AM on February 18, 2001


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