Monday, July 13, 2009

The Future of Exfanding Your Horizons

As promised, Alex and I met this weekend to discuss the state of the blog and our future plans for Exfanding Your Horizons, plus we also did some other entertaining things that maybe I'll write about later this week.

Maybe.

Anyteaser, because I'm a proponent of openness and keeping people informed, presented below are the key points we discussed as well as a summary of our plan for the immediate and near future. As always, we encourage you to leave a comment or e-mail me (laffman85 [at] aol [dot] com) if there's anything you'd like to say about all this.

In general, Alex and I are pleased with Exfanding Your Horizons. We're fond of the banner and design and layout, so we're planning to keep those the way they are (minor alterations notwithstanding). We're also hoping to stick with the same kind of writing we've been doing, though we're looking to "get back to basics" and return, at least for a time, to the types of posts we did at the beginning.

Essentially, we're going back to writing about fandoms and how we relate to them; recently, we've been writing more about ourselves and how fandoms relate to us. It's a subtle difference, but it's the difference between being a geek blog (which is what we aim to be) and a geek's blog (which isn't a bad thing, but perhaps less novel). Subtle, right?

We made this decision after a lot of discussion, with consideration of all the feedback you've given us through posted comments, polls, contest participation, face-to-face conversations, etc. Your feedback is great because it helps to flesh out who our audience is, brings some things to our attention that we might not realize, and prompts us to reexamine why we do certain things.

To help us go back to our roots, we'll be dedicating a whole week in the near future to describing and demystifying some of the general fandoms we enjoy most, covering a different fandom each day and presenting each post in a slightly different way to help keep things fresh. After that, we'll return to our regular weekly format, which now officially consists of:

- An issue of Alex's weekly comics update, Waiting for Wednesday
- One official Exfanding Your Horizons post, in which we exfand, or introduce/discuss, a new fandom in greater detail than a plain ol' review; this will tend to be on a Friday or Saturday
- Nothing on Sunday
- Whatever we feel like for the rest of the week

We will also strive to be more consistent with changing our sidebar's Link of the Week every Wednesday.

Other plans for the near future include:

- Revising our blog description to something more concise--the kind of thing we can place right below our banner in about a sentence or two that really sums us up.
- Creating an "About Us" page
- Adding a "Best of EYH" widget in the sidebar for easy navigation to some of our biggest and best posts
- Installing a search box that functions properly
- Checking to make sure the blog looks the same in a variety of different browsers
- Giving our guest posts a unique "Guest Post" label instead of the "Exfanded by Nathaniel" tag they currently have
- Going back through our entire posting archive and check for basic spelling/grammar errors and missing/erroneous labels (such as "Sci-Fi" and "Stories of Fandom")
- Continuing optimizing the blog for search engines
- Doing a better job of keeping up with our Facebook page
- New publicity efforts both online and offline
- Celebrating the blog's one-year anniversary with something tangible and something a little more... not exactly tangible (It's a secret to everyone. Except Alex and me.)
- Probably some other stuff I can't think of right now

Phew! So there you have it! Once again, please don't hesitate to leave a comment or fire off an e-mail if you'd like to give us some feedback.

2 comments:

tarepanda said...

www.browsershots.org is a great tool for checking your site's compatibility with any number of browsers. I made a CSS-heavy site for a friend (www.mfa-gunma.com) and BrowserShots was incredibly helpful then. Saves you the hassle of installing different versions yourself.

Flashman85 said...

I'll be sure to take a look, thanks!