Movin’ on up

Maintaining a blog for any length of time requires dedication, time and determination. When Sarah and Dave started MGC years ago, it was with an entirely different cast of bloggers than we have now. Over the years, bloggers have come and gone until we settled into the crew we’ve got now. I think it’s a wonderful group of men and women and I’ve loved working with each of them. And no, this isn’t a goodbye post. Far from it. But it is a post about change. In this case, change for the blog. Changes we believe will be for the good.

The main change that you, our readers, will see will be to our “theme”. If you aren’t familiar with WordPress, it allows bloggers to choose from a number of different themes that determine what a blog page looks like, what additional information can be displayed, etc. For the first time in years, we will be moving to a new theme. This one will be a bit cleaner than our current theme. There will also be things like a blogroll, links to recent posts, etc. It is all meant to make it easier for those reading the blog to find previous articles, articles related to the one they are reading, that sort of thing.

The pages of the blog will be undergoing some changes as well. We will still have the page for the Path to Publication. We’re adding a page (or pages) that will help you get to know our bloggers better. From these pages, we’ll link back to the authors’ blogs or websites. We will also have a link to their Amazon author pages and at least some “featured” titles by each blogger.

But the changes go further than that. Those of you who have read MGC for long, know that we would much rather be writing than promoting. When Sarah and I started looking long and hard at the blog and what needed to be done to improve it, promotion was at the top of the list. So, MGC will be getting its own FB page and — gag — probably its own Twitter account. This is one area where you guys can really help us. Once these go live, I’ll announce it on the blog. We need you to help by “liking” the pages and sharing the posts. That is the sort of “word of mouth” that helps writers more than any paid promotion ever could.

The content of the blog isn’t going to change. This is still a blog by writers about issues we think are important to writers and readers. However, there is going to be one big change. It will take time to implement because it means we are having to retrain ourselves, but the blog will no longer be static to a single post a day. That’s another reason for wanting to increase our social media presence. This way, if one of us sees news from the industry we think needs to be shared right away, it will be. The post of the day will still be there, still ready to be read in the morning. But there very well may be second or third post during the day. It won’t happen every day but it will happen whenever one of us feels there’s something we need to share. These supplemental posts may also be reviews of books we’ve read or new book announcements.

In other words, we are going to try to be better about letting you know when we have something new coming.

That means you will be seeing more in the way of snippets. We’re still working on the details about how we’re going to do it. As more details on this are figured out, we’ll let you know.

Sometime during the week, possibly Tuesday but more likely toward the end of the week, you will see the WP theme change. It may take a day or two to get all the glitches out and this is where you can help us. When the new theme goes live. along with leaving your regular comments about the post, let us know if you have any problems with the theme. In particular, we need to know if there is any issue scrolling (yes, I had this happen when I changed the theme for my personal blog) or if the theme runs off the page, is hard to read, etc. We have been testing it using a number of different OS and browsers, but it is easy to miss something.

I’ve rambled on long enough. We’re excited about the changes coming to the blog and hope you are as well. We will always be the Mad Genius Club, sometimes a bit more mad than others. Here’s hoping you and yours have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

46 thoughts on “Movin’ on up

  1. Merry Christmas to you Amanda and all the other bloggers that take time out of their writing to keep us informed. Glad to hear that there will be some changes coming in the future and I look forward to seeing what happens.

  2. Merry Christmas, Amanda and everyone here. I appreciate all you do at MGC very much.

    On a separate note, if you set the table early in the day or even the day before, you will not use up all your silverware while cooking. Nor will anyone else in your family. Just sayin’.

    And, yes, I have learned this from experience.

    1. LOL, Mom and I were discussing doing just that, Laura — both with silver and dishes. And yes, it is something we’ve learned from experience as well. Oh, and glasses. Don’t forget glasses.

  3. I’m not one to leave comments regularly, but I wanted to stop by and let you know that I appreciate your blog. I subscribe to it and read it every day. Thank you for the information you provide to writers.

    1. !. Twitter’s policies are getting strange – please consider Gab.
      2. Twitter’s market share seems to be dropping, if not “plunging” relatively speaking. Please consider Gab.

      Short version – what SNelson said.

      1. If we hit that form of social media, it will have to include Twitter. I don’t like the platform, but we also have followers who haven’t migrated to gab. As for gab, part of that will depend on whether or not there is a widget or plugin I can use that will allow for automatic posting. of course there is nothing preventing you guys from sharing on Gab or the other social media platforms.

        1. You mean a WordPress widget? I have no idea, but it’s something to suggest to Gab’s devteam…

          There exists a function to post to Gab and have it autospit a shortened-with-link post to Twitter, tho I’m not sure how automated it is as I generally don’t post to Twitter anyway.

        2. short version: Twitter’s Alexa Rank is 8. Gab’s Alexa rank is somewhere around 4200. When asking for Gab, please consider how much traffic it will actually create.

    1. Exactly, and that is why any social media linking needs to be automatic. Yes, the individual bloggers will promote as well, but we sometimes forget to do so. This automation will help, hopefully.

  4. It may take a day or two to get all the glitches out and this is where you can help us.
    Ha! optimistic about WP after all this time? I have faith we will still curse WPDE most every day.
    Merry Happy, Christmas New Year and anything else anyone wants to celebrate here’bout.

      1. I’ve been a “member” for 11 years apparently (casual user since about ’99), and at one time was a top contributor of episode synopsis and cast lists. They tried moving everyone to their new set up back in 2010, but let us keep the old style layout if we wanted. They were thinking it would only be a few months before that was shut down. They finally forced it over about two weeks ago, and I don’t know that I’ll be back except for the occasional check as a casual user.

  5. Merry Christmas from Phantom Southern Command in Phoenix AZ!

    This is my favorite blog, you guys. Always a pleasure to read and comment here.

  6. I understand that you want more eyes on the site, but what I expect is that MGC comment section will be overrun with gibberish txtspk and become effectively useless.

    1. I don’t think so, It hasn’t happened with my personal blog or with the other blogs I write for. But it does bring in views and get new followers.

    2. LOL, N00b. ;P

      It’d take a large infusion of new posters to do that. New folks often assimilate to the typical style of the existing folks. The sort of folks on twitter who might be interested in coming and staying probably can adjust. I’ve confidence our regulars would be stubborn in role modeling behavior you would find mostly acceptable.

  7. I’ll try to make some time to participate in debugging, since I expect my usual method is different enough to throw up glitches. Is there an email address that we should use for bug submissions if we can’t post?

  8. Spiffy.
    You mean, I won’t have to use a search engine when I feel the urge to see how Dave’s homestead is coming along?

  9. You might ask your site operator (what, you don’t have someone who runs the site?) about setting up a test site ahead of time, running the new theme and so forth, where selected friends can beat on it and comment without it necessarily being live yet? I know various sites do this kind of an early run (kind of like beta readers) instead of just changing the main site without a trial run anywhere. Avoids some of the embarrassing glitches…

      1. I should have known you were ahead of me. I mean, with a software tester on the team, there must have been someone who would have thought of this… Thanks! And yep, there are always bugs that only crop up in the operational version.

  10. As long as FB is not a dependency but only promotional channel, well alright. Yes, I am one of those who get by sans FB and lump it under Considered Harmful.

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