Thursday, August 20, 2009

PODBRAM Technical Update

A few days ago I updated the template of PODBRAM to match the newer design of my other blogs. Several new features are now at the disposal of Captain Curmudgeon to enhance the PODBRAM experience. If you look carefully at the homepage format, you will see these changes, and I am sure that new and regular readers will enjoy utilizing all these new tools.

Here are the changes, listed from top to bottom:

The Search feature in the blue band in the upper left hand corner can be used in several ways, but its capabilities are somewhat limited. The best use of this search box is to enter the name of your favorite PODBRAM reviewer, click Search Blog, and then bookmark the URL that pops up. This search feature works great for doing this, but not much else.

The next thing down the page is Search PODBRAM in Detail. This search box has been set up to search for reviewers, authors, titles, or keywords within the context of the many pages of PODBRAM. Although this search feature will not take you to outside links, I think this is probably the most efficient use of this particular feature. You can always click any of the links in the link lists at the bottom of any post or in the left column of the home page to follow a particular subject outside the internal realm of PODBRAM.

As on my other blogs, I have now added a revolving poll question box to PODBRAM.

The new system alphabetizes the links automatically in a manner it chooses, so I can no longer plug in each new book reviewed wherever I want it in the link list using the HTML code. The only change effected by this is that you will find the alphabetical list in a new order, and the new pattern will continue into the future as more titles are added. This means any title beginning with The or A will be listed according to those letters, not in the traditional manner of listing book titles alphabetically.

The Blog Archive by month and year has now been moved to a point near the bottom of the page. This section was left near the top of the old format because you could not create a direct link to any post title from the title in the old system. You needed to click the title listed at the top of the Blog Archive to do that. The new system allows you to simply click the title of any post to open the comments on that post and create a URL that you can bookmark.

The Followers section is listed next. I encourage any of our regular readers to join us as an official Follower.

The last change, going down the page, is that the Live Traffic Feed now displays the site from which a visitor arrived, rather than how long ago he or she arrived at PODBRAM.

The new format allows me a little more control over appearance and arrangement features, too, but you may not have noticed the few changes I have made so far because they are very subtle. I may make more such changes in the future if a new idea comes my way. The main one that bugs me is that the creator of this Harbor design that I like to use for all my blogs has not allowed for easy changes to the link colors. If I figure out a better color scheme that I can use, I may change this in the future. On my monitor at least, I can barely discern the presence of any unclicked link contained in any PODBRAM post.

Something that I have been mulling over for a while now is the development of an index by author. I may consider setting this up in the future. The process will be quite time consuming, so I want to be certain of the details before undertaking such a task. Adept use of the two search features will accomplish most of the same process in the meantime. Thank you to all of our fans for supporting PODBRAM.

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