Welcome to Sword and Ploughshare 2.0!

Well, here at last is the new and improved Sword and Ploughshare that I’ve been muttering about for the past couple weeks.  I hope you weren’t expecting too much, as, whatever talents I may have in the word-writing department, they are not matched by similar talents in either creativity and aesthetics, or web technology.  Quite the contrary.  Accordingly, there is much work yet to be done in terms of cleaning up the design, and no doubt I shall discover over the coming days several significant technical glitches.   However, this new platform does provide a great deal more flexibility and ease of use, so hopefully the growing pains will be worth it.

But, before saying more about what may yet be improved, I’ll say a few words about what *has* been improved.  

  • You’ll notice that the separate “About Me” and “What is the S&P?” pages have been combined—after all, who really needed to read whole separate explanations of both?  
  • The Writings page has been considerably overhauled, and although copies of old papers are no longer downloadable, I’m afraid, feel free to email me if you’d like to look at something.  
  • “Projects” has been replaced with a page specifically devoted to my main project, my Ph.D thesis work, since most all of the work I’m doing now ties in with that in some degree.  As that nears its end, and I branch out again, I may see about re-revamping that page.  
  • The Blogroll has been moved from a sidebar to a separate page of its own, has had its membership considerably modified, and now is annotated—that is, I try to give you some idea of why each of the links I’ve put there is there.
  • The Old Blog, I’m sorry to say, is gone.  As it contains material that’s up to 5 1/2 years old, much of which I would now want to say rather differently (or in a few cases, not at all), it seemed a bit needless to continue appending it.  For those really interested in digging up old dirt, you can still access it here.
  • The sidebars, as a whole, have been trimmed down considerably.  There was simply too much before.  In particular, the tag cloud is gone.  Tags still exist, and you can access them by clicking at the bottom of posts, or by using the search, but there were getting to be way too many of them for a sidebar.  I may still be adding a “Recent Posts” widget back into the sidebar, if I can figure out how, which I haven’t been able to yet.  
  • An exception to the general sidebar-trimming is the addition of my Twitter feed, since I have just joined Twitter this week.  We’ll see how that goes.  (Goodreads is gone, as i’ve been inactive there for six months, alas.  Hopefully not forever)
  • The categories have been rationalized somewhat.  Excess categories have been merged, and some have been renamed.  

Things that need work

  • The banner.  Yes, I know it’s big, and that depending on what size your browser window is, a lot of the image doesn’t show up.  I’ll be working on that, and maybe replacing it altogether.
  • The categories.  I’ve rationalized them, as I said, but there’s a good deal of work to be done in going back through old posts and reclassifying.  Once that’s done (a week or two), the Categories listing should at last be a genuinely useful tool for browsing this blog.
  • The subscribe button.  There’s no button to subscribe to the Comments feed at the moment; I shall try to rectify that.  I’m crossing my fingers that all those who subscribed at the old platform shall have their subscriptions carry over here without difficulty.  If not . . . well, that could be a problem.
  • Yes the books are too big on the Writings page.  That’s not because I’m super-vain, or trying to yell in your face to buy my books.  It’s just cuz I’m not tech-savvy.  I’ll be working on it.
  • Let me know if you’re running into other problems, as you try to use the site.  I’m sure there will be some.  Just comment on this post, or, if commenting is one of the things giving you trouble (it was glitchy at the old platform), then use the Contact Me form.

Thanks for following me. I hope you enjoy the new layout, and enjoy the exciting (read: controversial) upcoming posts I’ve had waiting on the back burner, which I can now bring to a boil

4 thoughts on “Welcome to Sword and Ploughshare 2.0!

  1. Matthew N. Petersen

    I’m in favor of shrinking down the banner. I’ve always liked it when blogs load with posts, not with a huge graphic that makes me scroll down before I get to the posts. I generally leave blogs with big graphics without reading anything. I come here to read what you write, not to see a picture. (Incidentally, the lack of confusing graphics etc. is what makes the Drudgereport layout almost ideal for its purpose.)


    • Brad Littlejohn

      Thanks. As I said, I’ll definitely be working on shrinking that down, along with a few other things that are rather oversized compared to what I’d prefer. I’m afraid I don’t find it easy to bend an obstinate CMS to my will, though, so it may take a bit.


    • Brad Littlejohn

      I’ve actually just managed to improve it a good deal. Long-term, I’ll probably want to replace it altogether, but as I said, being aesthetically challenged, I knew it would take awhile to figure out something ideal, and I decided that something was better than nothing for the time being.


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