Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Becoming Bloggers

When Calvin first proposed blogging to me I didn't know what a layout, a widget, or a button even was. I have since learned their definitions, but still understand very little about how it all works.

Many very helpful superbly awesome people have been offering to help us with a lot of different blog things... including what I mentioned above, and also with stuff like HTML code and what not. Our blog would be a shell of what it is without them.

As you can see we have a new layout. This was done for us by Leelou of Leelou Blogs. She offered to help us a while ago, and we were pretty lazy in responding to her. We thought the idea was cool, but had no clue what we wanted. All we were sure of was that we didn't want our layout to be "mommy blogger" like. Nothing wrong with those, but we're not mommy's.

We weren't altogether unhappy with our previous layout, and could have lived happily with it for-evv-errr. How-evv-errr, we received SEVERAL emails requesting that we change our layout from readers. The gave reasons like "hard to read", "hurt's my eyes", "it's too simple", "it isn't credible." Pfft, "credible"? that person obviously doesn't read our blog... we are far from credible.

Anyway, our back and forth between Leelou included stuff like, "Think, Terminator, Chrome, Motorcycles, Football helmets, you know guy stuff." "We want it to be man-ish, we are after all men." "Your cute, are you dating anybody?" "Stuff like DVD menus for Saving Private Ryan and xBox and stuff."

Amazingly she was able to filter through all my gibberish, ignore my inappropriate advances, ask follow up questions and create what we were looking for. We think its awesome. We will of course make subtle changes as we work with it, but you gotta admit, it's very man-ish, and is pretty far away from the "mommy blogger" layouts that we see all around.

So, you love it, you hate it, you don't care and wonder why we haven't posted anything for several days, whatever... tell us. Oh and pretend you're intelligent and tell us why. We will take into consideration your thoughts... or we might just laugh about you and make fun of you behind your backs.

Leelou, you are awesome. We love you like a sister and I lust you like a love-triangle-female-character chick from LOST.



Busy Bee Lauren said...

I LOVE Leelou. She rocks me world.

Brenn said...

Very nice guys! If I promise I'm intelligent, will you believe me!? Post more!! I need something to make me smile between classes. Cause you know, it's not like you guys are busy or anything. ;)

Little Debi said...

I love it! I think the text is a little big, but that might just be on my computer.

Kate Weber said...

I like it very much! I was shocked when I checked the blog yesterday and everything was different. Looks great!

Katie said...

I'm pretty sure I like it. Not positive though. Something about it reminds me of nephew, who is four years old. But your blog looks a little more special now. I think the font is a tad bit big, and I'm really not a fan of the font, but beyond that...It's good. I kind of feel like going into an indepth analysis of the pros and cons of it, mainly because I just came from my print publishing class...But I'll spare you from that. Overall, it's better than the last one for sure, and I think it's really good for all intensive purposes.

And you guys need to post more. That is all.

sarahnichole87 said...

I'm highly disappointed. I thought you guys were going to post about the sleepover! This post was kinda, gay.
The layout looks good, but i'd like to read more of the stuff you guys herd from the sleepover.

Kristin Lee said...

You can't love someone like a sister and lust them at the same time, you hillbilly.

I love the new layout though.

Rissy said...

really liking the new lay out AND yes I was wondering why you hadn't posted in a few days. Then I thought "hmm Carissa maybe you should stop acting like this a guy you havent heard from after a date."
I don't go on date really though so you guys are all i have most of the time. Sad life huh? jk! (kinda)

Allison said...

Haha, I love it! I also love the (ink splotches?) on the sidebar- VERY nice.. and manly. :D

Anonymous said...

WARNING: honesty, wall of text, some technical jargon

well, sorry to leelou, but i don't like it. despite all the text being outrageously enormous, it's still barely legible (in the post area) because the texture behind the posts is too busy. it's like those dots are eating away at the letterforms, making me very sad. that's just in the darker part of the gradiating bg img, the lighter part is great for legibility, so fortunately since it's fixed i can scroll until the next paragraph lines up with a light section and then read it.

I'm not sure I can explain this but the font combination choices make me feel queasy. ?? probably a personal problem. although, there is very little hierarchy in effect as every different section has equally huge, bold type.

i don't feel like there is any cohesive theme outside of "blue and gray," it's like, throw as many mannish things in as possible to avoid being unmanly! (and ftr i don't think century gothic is a very manly font)

man, i don't know, i just don't like it. to the point where, (because what things look like is basically all i care about) as much as i enjoy reading the blog, it's gonna be a little painful and sickening from now on.

btw i'm a graphic designer, which explains why i'm a hypercritical jerk. sorry again to leelou. in the world of stay-at-home moms, mormon girls who scrapbook, css hobbyists and the general small-blog population, this kind of thing is probably perfectly acceptable. it's just not my bag.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah i forgot one thing. (this is a NICE thing i'm about to say.) i do approve of switching the content of the two sidebars. good informational-design-decision on that part.

Anonymous said...

honestly, not a fan of the new layout i like the old one better. the color scheme is just. too many things going on, the text is too big. the long posts are going to take forever longer to read. annnd i don't like the silly splat things on the left side of the screen, very childish messy.
i love the header, very manly-esque.
i guess i can get used to it though. just not my fav. but i like simple things so you know. anyways
way to be leelou! your brave for taking on these boys!

Anonymous said...

oh p.s. COMMENT APPROVAL?.. boo because the comments are what makes the post totally amazing.

Little Miss Paige said...

YAY! I am so happy that I can actually read your blog now. I used to only read it in FB because the inverted text made my eyes go bonkers. Thankssss leelou :) (PS I am a tad bit jealous that MBP lusts you like Kate).

Little Miss Paige

Meghan O said...

Leelou is awesome. I love this layout a whole heck of a lot more. I can actually read it without seeing spots afterwards.

Julie said...

LeeLou did a great job. It is much easier to read. I like the black type on the gray background. However, I think that you need to move the link to your T's up higher on the page. It is to far down and I think it will cut down on sales. You could end up with 100 t-shirts in a box under the stairs in your basement.

Anonymous said...

As a man I would just like to say a few things.

1. Its gay that you had this done up.
2. Its less gay that you had someone else do it for you.
3. I like it and it makes me feel less gay about reading your blog.
4. Not less-gay enough to use my real name.
5. My favorite bit is the mimetic polyalloy. What the hell does that mean you ask? It is what the T-1000, an advanced prototype terminator is made of. {in my best Arnold impression} Liquid Metal.

The content of your blog is awesome. This'll do for delivery.

***I mean "gay" in the not-homosexual and not-happy-go-lucky way.

colleenroselle said...

it kinda looks like the layout my dad has for his gun mfg. business.

Emily said...

Hey, I don't think I have ever commented on your blog...I really like the new look. Although I get sick when reading the post. Something about the texture and the text. Not sure. I like everything else though.

Crystal said...

I dont really care either way about the layout but this one works nicely. :)

I find it disturbing that you love her both as a sister and as a love-triangle-female-character chick from LOST. I think there might be something wrong with that....just sayin'.

And yeah, post more often. I was bored all day.

Punk said...

I'm with the naysayers, unfortunately. Alyssa, your graphic designer commenter above, pretty much hit on all of my complaints (font, font size, and the dots behind the text, which make me feel like I'm trying to focus on one of those illusion puzzles). However, I'll add that the black on gray in the sidebars is simply bad design practice.

I was pretty excited to see how you updated the layout, but I have to say, I'm disappointed. Manly? Meh. The mercurial splotches and headers maybe. Those are even sort of cool. Mostly, though, it's just dark, gothic and more difficult to read, which I'd imagine is the opposite of what you're going for.


Mary said...

i dont like it. the font is too big. the background for the posts is annoying, probably because of the dizzying dots and the extreme amounts of gray.
its too hard to find things on the side-bars because everything is huge so you have to scroll all over the page. i liked the former simplicity.
also, it doesn't actually seem that manly to me. your old layout was better. thats all.

Anonymous said...

I like the layout. The last one was too hard to read and that's really all I care about.

Also, I love that as I am typing this your Twitter feed is calling me "temp gf" This is the best temporary relationship ever

Rissy said...

I think Calvin asked Jake to write this post even though either of them could have because he thinks Jake will get a better response. Calvin, people stopped liking Jake with the whole "I love you. I don't love you." thing

Autumn said...

Hmmm... I think I like it? Kinda. I don't know about the bigger font. I'm glad you know about the love triangle though. Now, where on earth is my lovely, oh so wonderful, private rating? I love you guys, and if you like your layout, keep it. :]

CindyLou said...

i like it. i dont have to squint to read. :]

Krys said...

I'm not a fan of the gray on gray, texture-behind-text thing. And the font IS too big.

Jade said...

I like the changes you made with the links being black to blue rather than just blue, the all blue hurt my eyes, haha. But overall I like it, still getting use to the new look, but it indeed is very studly and manly looking.

And please get up another post about something.... oh i have an idea for your post, how about the MG package that you guys dropped of at the sleepover....

Abi said...

So glad I can read it better now without straining, even if the font is huge. It's better that way than the other though :)

Also, I really like the header. Looks very manly without going overboard. And like it's been stamped with approval or something.
Looks legit.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Overall I like it, but I agree that the font is too big. And the "comment" link is invisible.

The Lady Girl said...

The layout won't defer me from reading the blog because it's the content that matters, however, I don't think it's a very big improvement. It's still quite boring.

Leelou Blogs said...

Wow, I never thought dots and grey could cause so many angry words. I was just giving the boys what they asked for...well almost all of what they asked for ;)
I am married guys. Sorry.

Blazzer said...

Given the description you gave Leelou I think she did a very very good job.

I think the big font complaint might have to do with the browser that one reads the blog on. Also, I wonder if people know that they can hit contol + or control - to adjust the zoom of the screen to a desirable view.

I played with it and the blog stretches to fit the screen at whatever size. Very cool guys.

The background does make my eyes water a touch, maybe just a matte finish lighter gray.

Also, maybe add another color or two. To give a little more depth to the design. Perhaps the "graphic artists" could suggest some that would "go".

In any case, bravo, looks cool.


p.s. the liquid metal is an especially nice touch.

Anonymous said...

The new look is good, but the text is harder to read than before. Tell Leelou you need a serif font. She will know what that means, even if you don't. :)

Anonymous said...

Katie? Here's a friendly FYI: It's not "for all intensive purposes", you mean "for all intents and purposes".


Font--terrible. Too big and bold.
Little gray dots--icky.
Shine in middle--love.

Alexis Mullino said...

I actually like the font big because I'm so blind, haha. I think it'd be nice if the header linked back home though, because I clicked from my Reader the specific blog entry and now I have no way to get to your homepage from here.

Alexis Mullino said...

Oh yeah, and you just justify the text of each blog to make it cleaner looking. :)

Heather Guymon said...

Leelou is awesome. I like it. I am a serial blog changer and this is sweeeeet.

Veronica said...

YES....fix the comment link, its invisible. Also please make the font smaller. It's so ugly and horrible to read.

Maybe lighten up the side bars, so they aren't so dark, but other than those things, I think its a good change.

Nate said...

Too much eye candy makes it run and load too slowly. You should have stuck with the quick and simple one that you had.

Bonnie said...

This layout disgusts me. seriously. i think the font is hideous, the side bar and main section should be either a flat color or no dots, the dots are hideous. i basically hate everything about it. I think it looked more manly to have a non layout. the blue and gray logo bleh. i can't handle it. haha.

the shine is gay.

dud dude said...

I think a good tell to this layout being a good choice is that for the most part guys think it's cool. I know I do. Girls are the only ones who seem to hate it.

Well duh.

brie said...

the day i became a real woman; a real blogger, and had my blog professionally done, was indescribable. glad you are now One of Us.

love ya pal.

Anonymous said...

"This is what people are saying about MMB" who is MMB? shouldn't it be MBP?

I still can't see any of the results of the polls.

There is just something about the new look that I don't like. It is still hard to read and not pleasing to the eye. Overall it is better than the old one. Don't give up leelou, put on your thick skin and think of it as a rough draft... then use all of the "angry words" to improve the look of it.

Anonymous said...

The gray text on a light grey/dark grey with dots background is definitely hard to read. The font of "Mormon Bachelor Pad" looks like something advertising a haunted house. Actually the whole thing looks like either a) an ad for a haunted house, or b) an attempt to decorate a boy or teenage boy's room to look "masculine."

In my opinion, the most masculine guys don't worry a whole lot about how to make things *look* masculine. They just are what they are, and stick with that, with confidence.

Stick to worrying about the content, not the packaging, make it legible, and I'll keep on reading. Good luck! :)

Jocelyn said...

What was wrong with the other layout?... I don't like this one nearly as much. It looks like you're trying to be macho, lets be honest... you are both less than manly, despite what you'd like to think ;)

ha, Nah, it's not that bad, but I do like the previous one better.


my brain hurts said...

Just admit it, you are gay!

I don't like that "meet the" and "bachelors" are in 2 different fonts. It looks like you are trying too hard. There are so many busy things all over the blog that my eyes are jumping all over. There are so many different fonts and font colors that it is distracting. Simplify, but still make it look cool.

I think you should stick with a completely black background like before.

MomBabe said...

Aww, thanks for the inadvertent shout out to MMB up there.

Ashley said...

Way to go and flirt with ANOTHER married woman. Brag about it why don't you? Oh. Wait. Yeah, you already did. You make me sick to my stomach. You are a terrible example of our Church.

Don't procrastinate the day of your repentance.

How many souls do you think you are bringing to Christ with the content of this blog? If anything, you are driving people away from our Church.

Stop. I beg you.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha said...

Did you just say "when Calvin first proposed... to me" ???

No wonder everyone thinks you are gay!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure "ha ha ha ha ha ha ha" that you used that joke once already on an earlier post.

And, if you didn't... someone else did... which, I think is worse.

Nice layout.

Haley said...

The thing I hate about this new layout is that it is detracting from your actual blogging.

Jake, hasn't made a non-blog-administration post in a while.

Enough all ready, it could be pink with yellow font in cursive and I'd still read it. Blog damn it! Blog!

Anonymous said...

The dots behind the text are making me SICK! I will have to stop reading if this doesn't get changed!!!

ha ha ha ha ha ha said...

anon 12:59 what are you talking about? I never knew that he talked about calvin proposing before. And yes I tell them they are gay all of the time. It's funny and you are not!

Megan said...

LOST love triangle? are we talking kate-sawyer-juliet? or kate-jack-juliet? or jack-kate-sawyer? or jack-juliet-sawyer?


Wait you didn't mean jack-ana'lucia-sawyer... hope not.

Cassie Lynne said...

It's alright. What you would expect a guys blog to look like I guess

Candace said...

The text is huge, but bigger is better right? The texture behind the blogging is a little off but I like the sidebars.

Pretty sure that I may just be hard to please... Blog away!

Anon 12:59 said...

ha ha ha ha ha ha - I don't have a problem with you telling them they are gay. They do it all the time you should see them on twitter. I was just saying your "Calvin proposed?" joke has already been done on this blog a few times. Sorry that you thought it was original. That sucks when you think you are funny and you find out you're just a poser.

Unless the only way you can be funny is by quoting others. Maybe you have some Talledega Nights quotes for us all. I bet we'd thing you were so funny.

annettechapman said...

I like you both and I like your blog. some of the things you do or say are questionable...but nothing you won't grow out of eventually!

When you look back in a few years you will wonder "was i really that stupid?" Yes, you really were. Stupid but oh so lovable ;-)

Alexandra said...

Looks nice and shiny!
Major props to Leelou for designing it and for ignoring your inappropriate advances.

Katherine said...

yeah... this new layout isn't workin so well for me. it looks like you guys are trying to hard to be manly. i am not fooled boys. maybe lay off the chrome.

~Ivy~ said...

SO MUCH BETTER!!!! I will be back to reading you more often now that my eyes are happy. Sent with love.

ha ha ha ha ha said...

Anon 12:59 - Wow, you seem totally fine and maybe even a little turned on with the possibility that Jake and Calvin might be gay.

What the freak is talladega nights? Some night club or gay place like twitter where you go to meet other homo's so you can hook up and do homo stuff together?

I have a strange suspicion that you are really jake trying to relive his glory days as a bully by picking fights with people.

You wanna fight? Bring it on you homo!

Katie said...

Good job changing the font size. I like it more now.

Anonymous said...

anon 12:59 has to be Jake. What other loser has enough time to sit around all day memorizing this blog and all of the comments?

meliss3092 said...

Not a fan. The polls at the bottom are messed up. And the top just looks too...reality TV, if that makes any sense. Probably not, I only make sense in my own head most the time.

Grand Pooba said...

Love the new look guys! Thank you thank you for changing the white text on black background.

My eyes now have a crush on you.

Anon 12:59 said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha - You keep getting funnier really, I am put to shame with your funnyness.

I am Jake, yep. ha ha (phew) good one.

I bet you could say "homo" a few more times and that would be hilarious, I mean already I'm tearing up from laughing so hard.

I can't wait to see what your comeback is because you are soooo funny and awesome. Even an anonymous person backed you up. Unless that was really you? Or maybe you're Jake? Or (Sixth Sense moment coming up...) you are a homosexual.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:54 has to be Ha ha ha ha ha ha. What other loser has enough time to sit around all day memorizing this blog and all of the comments and make multiple comments under different identities?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha said...

You're right Anon 12:59.

I am sorry.

You are funnier than me.

I do love Brokeback Mountain type man love.