You Voted! Time for a Blog Redesign

Thanks to everyone who participated in the redesign poll! You’ve sent some very helpful feedback, and I’m going to share some of the results with you:

TEXT

An overwhelming number of you said you’d prefer to see the posts as dark text on a light-colored background.  This is a complaint I’ve received for years, so I may as well accept it. What can I say! Sometimes old habits die hard, but I’m listening.

COLOR SCHEME

There was a definite majority for keeping the current mix of browns, blacks, and grays, taken from Raphael’s portrait of Castiglione in The Louvre; a detail of that painting is used for the site masthead and thumbnail icon.  Castiglione is, as many of my regular readers know, whom I call the “Patron” of this blog – not only because “Blog of the Courtier” is a pun on his famous “Book of the Courtier”, but because I think we have a lot to learn from him.  And to that end, I’m planning to sketch out a permanent tab of some sort to explain who he was, and why you should get to know him.

IMAGES

By an overwhelming margin, voters thought the current image ratio – just wide enough to fit the width of the post – is fine,  but you also want to see more pictures in the text of the posts themselves.  So we’ll give that a go, and see how things develop.

ADD-ONS

Three of the eight options listed in the poll had a fair amount of support, so they’ll be added to the new site:

  • Masterpiece of the Month – Each month I’ll pick out something from the cultural world – painting, sculpture, literature, film, music, architecture, etc. – that people should try to know about, and give it its own dedicated section, sort of like a microblog within the larger blog.
  • Most Read Posts Section – This will basically be an All-Time Top 10 List, to give new readers in particular a flavor for the variety of subjects which readers seem to enjoy reading the most. And of course I’ll update it periodically as statistics on the most popular posts change.
  • Photo Gallery – Quite a few of you asked for a separate photo album section, so I’ll do my best to see how to integrate one into the site. Unfortunately I’m not sure exactly what sort of photos you want me to be posting. Should it be a Courtier Instagram feed? A gallery of dogs and cats I have known? Me with other bloggers making odd faces? Perhaps you’ll do me the great favor of leaving some feedback ideas to let me know.

Again, thanks for your votes and your comments; please keep them coming as these changes toll out.  Be sure to check in Monday and let me know what you think.  And as always, I am very grateful for your readership!

"Sketch of Raphael's Portrait of Castiglione" by Rembrandt (1639) The Albertina, Vienna

“Sketch of Raphael’s Portrait of Castiglione” by Rembrandt (1639)
The Albertina, Vienna

 

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