Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Input, Please--Come Out Of Lurkdom For This!

Some questions I need input on so that poor Karen can finally finish the redesign she's been trying to do for me for weeks now!

1. What browser do you use, and does this site display correctly in it? For me, in IE, the sidebar is way down below all the content, and in Firefox, my profile at top doesn't always show up, and my footer is crazy.

2. Do you use a feedreader (Bloglines, Feedburner, etc.) to read your blogs? Which one? Do you click through to the actual blog only if you want to leave a comment? Does this site display well on your feedreader?

3. White text/black background. What say you? I have not received any complaints, but would you prefer the colors to be relegated to the banner and sidebars, and just have good ol' black type on a white background for the posts?

4. Comments: Haloscan or Blogger? What I like about Haloscan is that you can link directly to the commenter's blog, and Blogger comments don't have that capability.

5. "Rent My Blog": Do you really click through? From my stats, 10% or less of you do. Just clutter, or interesting? I only rent to people I read myself, but I was thinking of just having my own "featured blog" that I want to send traffic to, kind of like Sheryl does with her "Mystery Blog," though I would probably run mine for a week at a time. (I got tons of traffic when I was Sheryl's Mystery Blog, and was like, "What the--the goddess noticed me?" It was great!)

6. Did Doogie Howser just sing "Part Time Lover" on "American Idol?" And if so, is it raining fire yet?

7. Did the resident Hot Chick from Lost really get knocked up by that hobbit?


  1. Hi Belinda. You sure do have a lot of questions! I'm here gathering a little info so I can write a review of your blog. I'll probably post one on Friday.

    I use two browsers, Firefox and Opera. I avoid use of IE unless a site only works in IE. Your blog works quite well in Opera and in Firefox, as you observe, your profile doesn't show up at the top.

    I've never used a feedreader, Belinda. I don't like white type on black background but it's an aesthetic thing, nothing to do with readability.

    Haloscan annoys me a bit but for a serious blogger, it's definitely the way to go. I rarely click through to renters blogs.

    I'm not sure about your "hobbit theory" regarding Lost, Belinda. I'll have to get back to you on that.

  2. Firefox. And no, no profile. I had the same prob with IE and I think it has to do with stuff on the sidebar being too big. At least it was for me--when I shrunk the longest item in my sidebar, the posts came back up to the top like they were supposed to.

    I use bloglines and it displays fine.

    I use Haloscan and like it for the reason you mentioned, but if you like to respond to comments via email (and I know you do), Blogger is probably easier. You can get this option with Haloscan by donating at least $12 to them, but the emails are formatted so that you get the email from Haloscan and not as if it were coming from the blogger herself/himself. Plus, the emails don't always come through, which annoys me.

    Love white on black, but then, if you've seen my new design, you know that, LOL.

    I don't usually click through to renters but that's only because if I take on another regular blogreading, I might have to get a divorce. Kidding, but seriously, no.

  3. I like Haloscan and I love the idea of a mystery blog!

    ps - I hate those VW ads also,they creep me out!

  4. Hi Belinda,

    I use IE at home and Firefox at work. I can't remember if your profile shows up or not when using Firefox.

    I usually don't click on your renter link unless you mention something about that person that really catches my eye.

    To be honest, all of the bells and whistles aren't very interesting to me. I come here every day because I can count on an honest, refreshing, funny daily entry. I love the way you write - it inspires me:) The graphics and such are nice, but it's your life that truly catches my eye!

    Good luck with the spring cleaning!

  5. I agree with Dunnster...some of the blog stuff gets too techy and involved for me. I use Slimbrowser at home and at work and your place always looks fine as far as I'm concerned. Best of all, it's a great read. I don't usually click on the renter unless there is something that really catches my eye.

  6. 1. IE...and yes, it's always kooky.

    2. You're in my favorites folder. I haven't graduated to blogline viewing yet.

    3. I personally LOVE it and my site used to be it. After a looot of complaints, I changed it, though. Apparently, it hurts people's eyes?

    4. I don't really care. :)

    5. I always click through. Of course, I have renters too, so that might fuel it. I'm always interested to find new bloggers. I find it really helps to announce it like you did with mine. Of course, everyone GO READ MINE. Thanks :)

    6. & 7. I don't watch tv. I think maybe I've made the right choice if Doogie is singing. LOL

  7. 1) I usually view it through AOL, I am not sure what browser they use. Your profile always shows up at the top and the rest of the stuff is at the bottom.

    2) I don't use a feedreader

    3)I think a white background gets too bright for readers

    4)I am not familiar with Haloscan so can't advise there.

    5) I usually do click through your renter, but like the featured blog idea also.

    6 & 7) Don't have a clue as I don't watch TV at my house (don't have cable, yet)

  8. 1. I use IE, and your sidebar is down at the bottom for me too.
    2. Uhhh?
    3. I'm a black and white kind of person, I think your text is fine.
    4. I use Blogger, but only because it's the first one I came across.
    5. I don't always click through... but would if you put mine up!
    6. No, but I believe hell is freezing over.
    7. REALLY??? I hadn't heard that... must go search for gossip

  9. Hi--I use ME browser at work and home and I don't use a feedreader to read blogs--just my trusty favorites list. I have haloscan comments (that the brilliant Karen installed for me) and they are working out just fine. I don't go to the rent blog feature I guess because I'm not clear what it is really and owuld probably respond better to a "Featured Blog," like you outlined. As for Doogie on Idol, I am not "allowed" to watch Idol. My husband will not let me. We only have one TV. I am "allowed" to watch the final evening only. With my son. I don't watch "Lost." I am comfortable being the only person in the universe who does not.

    Good luck on the process!! Oh, and lately in my ME browser I have not been able to see your right sidebar features.

  10. Oh--and I forgot--I am not too crazy about a black background just for weird, inexplicable superstitious reasons. I just think black type it the way God intended type to be. Which is why we have "Wite-out" and not "Black-out."


  11. 1. I typically use IE, though occasionally also Firefox. The sidebar is at the bottom for me with IE.

    2. I usually read this site via Bloglines. Your entire posts show up on the feedreader, but the photos don't usually make it, so for photo-intensive posts, I click over.

    3. I like the black/white combo you've chosen.

    4. No preference on comments.

    5. I've clicked through to your blog tenants in at least two cases, and in each case I was very glad I did. However, since I typically read your site through a feedreader, I don't know they're there unless you specifically mention them in a post.

    6. Didn't get to see it last night, but now I'm really sorry I didn't.

    7. Can't help you out--I've resisted Lost's siren song so far . . .

    I really enjoy your blog!

  12. Hi Belinda,

    I mostly read your blog via the feed with NetNewsWire, and when I do click through (to read or leave comments only) it seems to render ok from within NNW's builtin browser, which I think is based on Safari and WebKit and stuff. I don't really pay any attention to profiles and sidebars, just go for the entries and comments.

    Count me in the anti-white-on-black camp - I find it really hard to read. It's one of the major reasons I mostly read the feeds - I can read it in a font and colour that's comfortable for my eyes. But hey, your blog, your rules. I'll just keep using my software my way, and we're all happy :)

    Don't click through to renters, don't know what Haloscan is, and trying to avoid reading the other stuff for fear of spoilers (things play late down under).


  13. ~ IE, and your sidebar is wonky.
    ~ no.
    ~ i don't particularly care for the black background (pretty obvious i'm not working if what i'm looking at is black...)
    ~ blogger.
    ~ i don't usually click through, but i made friends with cindy already! do the mystery blog...
    ~ i love doogie howser.
    ~ i've never seen the show, but i'd guess yes. hobbits are pretty wily...

  14. 1) Macintosh Safari

    2) NetNewsWire Mac... text looks fine. Yes, I only click through when I want to leave a comment or read the archives here.

    3) Looks okay to me, but I mostly read your feed, which IS black on white.

    4) Both sometimes have problems for me, so I guess it doesn't matter.

    5) I never click on these... and don't know why. :-)

    6) I don't watch American Idol.

    7) I don't watch Lost either. :-)

  15. 1. IE -- and your sidebar has migrated south. I have found that this happens on my blog when I post pictures that are wider than about 420 pixels.

    2. Bloglines, but I always go styraight to the source from there when I want to read.

    3. Black on white is always easier to read, though not as 'snazzy'. Visual purists like moi always go for the clean look of black on white.

    4. Blogger. How do I use Haloscan?

    5. I'm one of the lazy ones re. rental blogs but I often visit if it's a featured blog.

    6. mashed potatoes and gravy

    7. I'm far too moral to comment on that one.

    I believe in uncluttered blogs so have done what I can to simplify mine without removing everything. I thought of getting a funky new template then realised how much I like the simplest one that Blogger provides as it means readers are looking at my art and not my layout!

    Happy tweaking.

  16. I just noticed the width of your Sitetracker and Bipolar icons at the bottom of your sidebar. That might be the culprit.

  17. 1. Firefox 1.5.1 on Mac... everything seems okay. However, like you said, the profile does not show up. Didn't know you had one until you said it.

    2. Bloglines... I click through if it's something I'm interested in. I read only enough in bloglines to decide if it's worth continuing to read in its entirety.

    3. No preference either way. If I was printing your blog, I'd worry. But I'm not.

    4. Haloscan is cool. Blogger's not bad either for us non-Blogger people. If you just click the "Other" radio button, you can enter your URL and it'll show just fine. No click through to a Blogger profile.

    5. I never paid attention to "Rent My Blog" before. May have to see what it's all about now.

    6. Don't watch A.I. Sorry.

    7. If he did, the Hobbit dies. There are too many Hobbits on TV right now. It's scaring me.

  18. #6- And what was WITH his "dance moves"?? He looked like he was doing the funky chicken.

    #7- Where did you hear that? She's pregnant?? I think they're a cute couple, actually...but, pregnancy will be a hard work around in the show, considering she hasn't actually SLEPT w/ anyone yet.

  19. Here ya go.

    1. Firefox. I don't see your profile anywhere. The BOB is the first thing on the side bar.

    2. No

    3. I like the white on black as it is now.

    4. ???

    5. Yes, I always click on your renter.

    6. He's a good singer, you just can't look at him!

    7. I don't watch the show

  20. Firefox, no blod feedreader, I like the white on black, and I do click through to the renter sometimes.

  21. I read you in both Safari and Firefox. Both work equally well.

    Like a bad blogger, I don't use a feedreader, either. Though I do subscribe to The Queen (Mimi Smartypants). Still, I have her linked.

    The black screen was shocking at first and I must admit that places like Sheryl's make it easier to read. But I suffer, because I obsess over you.

    Haloscan? I see another tutoring session in my future.

    I read your renters the first coupla times, but not now. No time, but nothing to do with disinterest.

    Finally, if he was IN the hobbit costume, that'd be fine. Otherwise, eeewwwww.

  22. Answering:

    I only use IE.

    I don't use a feedreader because I love going to see all the little subtle changes that people make all the time. I also like to read the comments by others and have the freedom to make mine quickly and swiftly. I like visiting individual blogs.

    Black backgrounds with white text never bothered me, though I know it makes the bitches at it2m insane. I don't see the big deal. My preference is white bg and black text, but not because of my eyes. Just because I think it looks "cleaner".

    Well, with blogger, you link to the commenters profile page. Their blog is usually listed right there. I don't mind the extra step. I always hear people having problems with haloscan. I don't bother with it.

    I don't click the "Rent My Blog" spots. I did once...and I was kind of disappointed with the person who was renting. They seemed to have very little in common with their host, and therefore, with me. I don't know, I don't like someones blog shoved up my nose. I would rather feature a friend now and then and write a meaningful post about why you should give them a read. Not just put someone there because they had enough credits to pay me to.

    Wasn't Doogie. It was the little kid from the Partridge Family all grown up. He sucks.

    Don't watch "Lost". Can't help you there.


  23. 1. I read you in IE, and yes the sidebar is off. I had the same problem, did what others here have mentioned (shrink some of the strings of info in my template) and it popped back up. Might be a photo is too big.

    2.No, I actually click through my blogroll, which I know is the old way to do it but I'm still learning.

    3. I've always liked your black background because it makes the pictures you post that much more vivid. But LOL at the person who said it made it too obvious that they were reading you at work!

    4. Blogger, because they come with the blog, and again, still learning.

    5. Yes, I usually do. It helps if you give an interesting description.

    6. "Doogie"-ha! My problem with last night is that most of them sang off-key, or had trouble following the tune. There's a reason there's only one Stevie Wonder.

    7. And gee, another Hollywood couple in the throes of infatuation hooks up and has a baby. How long before she's in Us Weekly with an arrow pointing to her "bump"?

  24. Just so you now I'm de-lurking for this. Just because you asked. LOL!!

    1. I use IE. The only problem that I have with your blog is that: It. Takes. Forever. To. Load. F.O.R.E.V.E.R. and I mean that. (I've got Direcway)

    2. No go joe on the feed burner.

    3.Hey, it's YOUR blog, "have it your way" (notice I used the BK slogan- I FREAKING HATE THOSE COMMERCIALS BTW)

    4. See #3

    5. No, unless you post something about them that interestes me.

    6. Don't watch AI. But I watch Doogie Howser when it was on...

    7. You never know what's gonna happen next on LOST, so who knows. I am sooo totally addicted though.

    Ok, now I'm on to lurk some more! :D

  25. Belinda,
    I use IE. Your side bar stuff is at the bottom for me.
    I like the idea of a feedreader, but haven't tried one yet.
    I like the white print on black background. It is readable, and goes well with the design.
    I looked at the blog renters a couple times, but mostly I don't.
    I am deeply ignorant about popular culture questions and will leave those to those better informed.

  26. Firefox - can't see your profile.

    I don't use a reader - just go straight from my blog to yours.

    I prefer black on white or at least dark on light. The other way around is tougher to read for me.

    Blogger for comments.

    Like the idea of you featuring a blog that you want to promote.

    Don't ask me 'bout them 'merican shows.

  27. Hey Belinda. Your site looks great. I use Firefox and bloglines. I usually scan through the new entries and pull up the blog if I want to read the whole thing. The black background works fine for me. My own blog is on Typepad. I get the comments routed to my e-mail and can respond right away if I want.

    I love the poodles. We have a black standard named Triton. She's two now but still a big puppy.

  28. I use firefox and only use IE when I'm working on my site and need to see how it displays. I hate IE.

    ALthough I have my blog on a feed reader, I don't use one myself. I am getting ready to use some kind of markup to show when a blog has been updated, though. I'm tired of clicking on blogs to see the same damn post for 2 or 3 weeks. What is the point of blogging if you don't update daily?

    I like black background and white text because it's much easier on my eyes, but I'm probably in the minority. I think a black and white blog can be very classy, though.

    Haloscan is the better commenter, especially when blogger is acting up, but it is so freaking slow sometimes.

    I don't click through to renters blogs very much. I've never really understood the reason for the 'rent my blog' thing, anyhow. I'd be more inclined to look at a 'mystery' blog, because the blogs you rent always are known quantities, at least to me, by using blog explosion occasionally.

    Don't know anything about anyone preggers on Lost, but I'm gonna research this later. I'm so darn busy these days WORKING that I have no time for me top priority, television. It stinks.

  29. 1. I use Firefox 1.5.something. And your profile IS missing, and your footer IS weird. But I don't really care. You still have one of my all-time favorite blogs.
    2. Yup - I use Bloglines.
    3. Your text/background combination is easy for me to read. I like it.
    4. I use Blogger, but I'm thinking about changing to WordPress.
    5. I do click through - every time. Because I generally like a lot of the same things you like. But I think the mystery blog thing's a good idea.
    6. Nah, but Hell froze. :P
    7. Not sure.

  30. 1. Firefox and Safari never IE

    2.I use Bloglines but I always click through.

    3. White text/black background doesn't bother me.

    4. Never used Haloscan

    5. Your own "Featured Blog" would be better.

    6. Didn't watch :(


  31. 1. IE 6.0 Displays fine, just takes a while to load ALL of it. But worth the wait.

    2. No idea what ANY of those are.

    3. I like the white on black... erm... the text I mean. (singing chorus to Jungle Fever by Stevie Wonder).

    4. I prefer Haloscan... I STILL manage to get spam comments from Blogger, tho....

    5. I mostly just read about you... never do the Rent My Blog stuff.

    6. OMG He really DID... it was scary. And Paula LOVED it. What a skank.

    7. Yes. Matthew Fox is on that island and that cow chooses the hobbit??? I don't get it.

  32. 1) Mozilla FIrefox

    2) Bloglines, yes, and yes again.

    3) Don't care but no multicolor posts. That is annoying.

    4) I like Haloscan but not all PCs are Haloscan friendly. That's the only reason I don't use it.

    5) That's how I met Celena; hence, I do click it.

    6) Don't know

    7) Don't care.

  33. IE6 SP2... the sidebar is in fact below the content. I also use a blackberry browser...It looks fine but takes a long time to load.

    I use Feedburner. I click for comments.

    black type on white is classic look.

    I use Blogger

    I have clicked through.

  34. I forget everything you just asked except about the colors: I do find the white on black hard to read, but my screen's pretty mini.

  35. Firefox and Safari. I vote no for the white text on black. Don't usually click through to your renter. The thing I don't like about Blogger is this whole separate window for commenting, plus the blogger "look". Seems limiting somehow. I use Wordpress for one blog and typepad for another... Wordpress is great. Can't help with haloscan, not familiar with it. And also don't use feedreaders. I'm a little primitive, I guess. Good luck with the redesign!

  36. 1.IE and your blog works well.
    2.I tend to save my reads to Favourites. Also Bloglines.
    3.White on black reads well, as does the traditional black on white. Both good.
    4.I'm easy, as long as you write I'll read :)
    5.I like the idea of the featured blog, although I do click through.
    6.+7. *chuckle

  37. Howdy. Happy to oblige!

    1. mac/firefox - no profile showing up for me.
    2. bloglines / I click through all the time, cuz I like pretty colours.
    3. not fussy about white on black - go with your gut on this one.
    4. haloscan intrigues me, though I still use blogger comments.
    5. I don't click through. I can't afford any new blogs without giving up my day-job.
    6. Yes, yes he did. He may never leave that competition, just to spite me. My only saving grace is that I'm Canadian, so it's not. my. fault.
    7. Is she the only hot one? I kinda like Evangeline Lilly, but maybe just cuz she's Canadian too (don'tcha know).

  38. I don't think I'm gonna be much help. Let me just say this first: I'd read your blog regardless of how it looked. I can get used to anything as long as the comment rocks.

    I only use IE, and I have noticed the sidebar-at-the-bottom problem with a number of blogs. I myself had it a couple of times too.

    I don't know what a feedreader is. I get to the blogs on my blogroll through Blogrolling.

    I don't know much about the other stuff. But when the dust has cleared, please let me know how you enjoyed working with Karen. I have heard good things, and I have been mulling some changes down the line.

  39. Ha! Goddess of WHAT, is the question! I prefer black text (I have an astigmatism), and I use Fire Fox. I use a feed reader and I click through, because I want to see people blog-face. Ultimately you should do what pleases you the most.

  40. Sorry for the delay in answering your questions - it's been a week. I really don't have a good answer for most of you queries....I use typepad, don't use feedreaders. I like the white text on black background for your posts....I wish I watched Lost (it is on my Netflix queue). I like the featured blog idea.....and I can't remember the rest...which means I should go fix some lunch.

  41. 1. Firefox; dunno if it always displays correctly because I am too flaky to notice things like that.
    2. Nope! I like visiting the actual sites.
    3. White on black is better than the other way around, but I prefer a softer non-white background colour. Like ... blue! But black is okay too.
    4. No preference.
    5. I would probably be more likely to click on special "featured blog" links, since that translates as a personal recommendation/endorsement.

  42. You guys have all been super-helpful, and the redesign, she is a-comin'!! Thanks a million, especially everyone who came out of Lurkdom!