Design Review: The Daily Rambler

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The Daily Rambler The Daily Rambler is a blogging blog. If you’re looking for a new place to get your daily dosage of blogging tips, then you might want to check it out.

What Has Been Done Well?

  • The header. The image in particular is striking, and easily the most memorable aspect of the design. The clean black of the rest of the header fits perfectly with the sleek car.

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Your Favorite Aspect of a Blog’s Design

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This week has been pretty hectic, hence the lack of posts. I wasn’t prepared for a blogging emergency. Sorry guys. Thankfully, that’s just about over.

Today, I want to start ask you a question.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a blog’s design?

I’ve written before about what I think makes a good design, and we’ve talked about those aspects. But if you were forced to choose just one thing, what would it be?

I’ll collect together the best answers (And post my own in the comments of course!), and we’ll see what we can come up with.

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Celebrating New Design Services With Free Tips

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newservices.jpgPro Blog Design is finally offering professional blog design services.

To celebrate, I’ve got an offer for you; 5 pointers about your blog design, for free. And you don’t have to do anything to get them.

The Design Services

I’m offering two different services; the first is a complete blog design, which speaks for itself really.

The second is a design appraisal, where I will assess your current design, and suggest any improvements that could be made. This way you can perfect your theme, without all the expenses of getting a new design from scratch.

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Design Review: Two Magazine Themes

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The Block Magazine Theme We are going to look at two, magazine-style, premium themes from Adii. The first is Block Magazine, and the second is Your Revolution. They’re both sold at Unique Blog Designs for $79.

And lastly, Adii paid me to review these themes, but that’s not going to influence my opinion (as you’ll see ;) ).

There has been a fair bit of hype about magazine style themes for blogs lately, but are these two worth the cash? I’ll start off by looking at my favorite of the pair, Block Magazine.

What Has Been Done Well?

  • Structured layout. The layout just fits. Everything has its place, and it doesn’t feel cramped. The regular, grid-like, columns give the sense of structure that is crucial to the newsletter feel.

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Let Readers Read In Peace

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Continuity of a path. The first step to increasing readership with design is to draw attention to the article. The second, equally important step, is to keep attention on the article.

Continuity is the idea that when the eye is following a line, it will continue to follow that line until something else draws its attention away, or breaks the line.

We can apply this principle to a blog post as well. When a user begins reading, we want them to continue following the article down. There should be nothing to steal their attention from the column of text.

Ensuring that their focus on the article is not interrupted allows them to more fully, and easily, immerse themselves in the words. In return, you may gain a new subscriber or comment.

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Get RSS Subscriber Count in Plain text

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Text subscriber count. When I reviewed the new Freelance Switch design, one thing I noted was how they display their subscriber count as plain text, not using the little FeedBurner chicklet.

This trick isn’t one that you usually see around the blogosphere, so I did a little investigating. The effect can be achieved using FeedBurner’s Awareness API.

Unfortunately, I’m yet to find a guide as to how exactly…

However, there is good news for WordPress users. Francesco Mapelli has put together a very easy to use plugin that does all the heavy lifting for you. Install the plugin like any other plugin, then fill in a few options, and you’ll end up with markup like this in your HTML:

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A Time For Action

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Nature Photo by Tonyelieh Today is Monday 15th October 2007, Blog Action Day. If you don’t know what that means right now, you will by the end of the day. Blog Action Day is one day a year when bloggers around the globe unite for a common goal.

This year, bloggers are dedicated to helping the environment. I’m not going to make a speech about our planet, what our shortcomings are doing to us, or what they will do to us. There are better, wiser bloggers who will do that much better than I.

I’m going to ask a single question; when it comes to our planet, have you done more harm than good, or more good than harm?

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