Part 1 - Possible tweaks to this blog:
Like I said, no massive changes. No new templates, no new logos, no changing formats to a comic blog or something. Same ol' weird card blog as before. I'm looking at most to make some slight cosmetic changes. Many of you (41 at the writing of this post, to be exact) noticed the poll on the upper right corner of the blog. What should I add to the blog, if anything? it says. I'm going to be honest and say that the results were not what I expected. Here are the current results:
Slideshow of card images
Sell out with AdSense
Personal stuff that doesn't have anything to do with cards, like favorite music and movies
The "Follow This Blog" gadget
A list of the Labels used on the posts
The Newsreel gadget so you can stay informed
A Video Bar for when the posts get boring
Don't change anything, stay mired in the past
Basically, there were a couple of things I wanted to try, I added a few more options from the new Blogger gadgets that looked interesting and mixed them all up to see if the stuff I wanted to add was actually wanted or not. Over half the votes went to "Don't change anything" which I didn't see coming at all. In fact the first couple of days, it was a complete landslide for stagnation. It also seemed like people were voting for only one thing, when you could check as many as you wanted. Ok so the hardline traditionalists, would only need to check one thing, but the rest of you could choose all of 'em if you liked. There's only 59 votes among 41 ballots which is under 2 per person even if you take out the "don't change votes.
Maybe this is the perfect blog, I don't know, but it seems to me that my not explaining the poll I caused the results to get buggered up. So here's what I'm gonna do: I'm redoing the poll and explaining a) that you can vote more than once and b) what each of the options ultimately means right here. I've got the results from the first one saved up above, and if they correlate the second time I'll follow them and do nothing. Let me make my case for the changes first:
Slideshow of card images - I have about 250 meg worth of images in my Picasa account, I may as well do something with 'em. You can see what it looks like on Shoebox Legends. Not every picture I used was a card, so there will be some interesting weirdness popping up from time to time.
Sell out with AdSense - Ok, this was pretty much a joke and it ended up the second most popular change. C'mon, people. No one ever clicks on those ads anyway.
Personal stuff that doesn't have anything to do with cards, like favorite music and movies - Basically what it says, I'll put up lists of whatever tidbits from my life you want to know about. Last movie watched (Caddyshack), Cd in the player (Mojo Ska compilation), Book I'm reading (um... nothing actually) etc. Nothing too personal, this isn't Livejournal.
The "Follow This Blog" gadget - You can see this in action on Dinged Corners, among others. This has popped up on a bunch of blogs recently and I'm intrigued by it. I really want to know how 6 people are following the blog even though I haven't started using the gadget. I'll follow other blogs if I see the gadget but I haven't figured out if people like it or not.
A list of the Labels used on the posts - This is a big list of the labels I use on the posts put over on the sidebar. You can see this in action on A Pack A Day. It's pretty useful for searching, but with the huge number I've used so far - many of them being really random - it may end up slowing down the load time for the blog.
The Newsreel gadget so you can stay informed - This could be interesting for card, sports and Braves news. Dinged Corners used to have it, but it's gone now. Might slow down the age load, or it might not.
A Video Bar for when the posts get boring - There are scads of box breaks on Youtube, I could try to post a few on the sidebar for fun. I know for a fact that videos = slow though, but it could be worth it.
Don't change anything, stay mired in the past - This again, was half joke, half giving you a way to express resistance to change. If this is what you really want, I'll respect it though.
Recent Comments - Here's one I missed on the first poll. White Sox Cards, Tribe Cards and quite a few Wordpress blogs have this feature and I like it. It's fun seeing what the last few comments have to say.
Last time I randomized the options on the poll, this time not so much. Pick as many options as you like, I'll use your input on any changes I make. Also, feel free to make comments if you want to see anything not listed in the poll, or if you want to make a case for stability.
Part 2 - Things I changed already or will change:
I've shuffled the sidebar slightly to move the Daily Reading list up to the top and shuffled around some of the lesser seen/defunct features to the middle. Right now the Daily Reading list shows the 25 blogs in my blogroll with the most recent posts. I can bump that up to all blogs, BUT... There's 108 blogs on the list right now so you're looking at 4 times the size of that list. I'll probably prune anyone who hasn't updated their blog in over three months as well if I go that option. Anyone with an opinion on this, leave a comment.
The profile image is going to change, I'm retiring the 07 A&G card I made of myself. Blogger keeps chopping the top of my head off and I'm getting a headache. I'm not sure what it's going to be yet, but it will be changed soon. If you love that card and have to have it, it's time to download it now. The goofy title bar and the obscure movie reference logo will stay the same until further notice.
Video - I'm attempting it. Failing miserably so far, but I'm working on it. Expect to see something, sometime, maybe soon, or not. Possibly.
Part 3 - Content
Is there anything you want to see on here that I'm not doing? Anything I used to do but don't anymore that you want back? My focus has gone off the rails recently and I've very susceptible to the power of suggestion right now. Use this power wisely, all you readers who have actually read this far in this insanely long post.
Part 4 - Facebook
Ok, I have no interest in this, but my wife and my best friend have both been pestering me to sign up. One comment from one reader who wants me to do it so I'll friend them will probably push me over the edge. Again, please use your power responsibly.
Part 5 - Auto-Matic For The People
In case you haven't noticed, after a strong start, posting on that blog has been extremely erratic lately. I haven't run out of autographs, it's more a combination of lack of time and lack of interest. There are four options I can see going forward:
Keep everything the same and post when the autograph Muse strikes - The sensible position. No changes, no making waves, quite possibly no posts 'till Thanksgiving.
Add relic, vintage or insert cards to the mix - Kinda do what Bad Wax used to do with Bad Hits, and does now with Tales from the Bargain Bin. Adding some jersey cards might get me out of the rut and back to posting regularly.
Dump it, migrate everything over here and focus on this blog - Let's face it, I haven't even done a title image for the blog yet. It's kind of a distraction from this blog as well. I wouldn't delete it outright, just copy the posts over here one by one and post all future autographs here.
Add new writers to post their own autographs - I could open it up to new blood to keep the posts coming on a more regular basis. I would have several conditions for doing this including strictly sticking to the current format and adding a tag for each writer so I could keep my posts seperate from theirs. It could be doable, if you're interested leave a comment or send an e-mail.
These are my thoughts for now, I'm pretty sure something will be happening here soon, but rest assured there will be no major changes without the reader's approval.