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Hipstercrite: It's Blog Redesign Time

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Blog Redesign Time

Every once in awhile I get a giant bug in my ass to change my blog.
Much like changing your hair color once a boyfriend breaks up with you, I'm constantly anxious to shake things up a bit when I'm feeling complacent.

In the past, this anxiety typically builds and builds until one night I'm pacing the living room, drinking wine out of a juice box, and watching the same episodes of Arrested Development over and over for inspiration. Then I usually get distracted by something else and end up making only minute changes to my blog or dropping the idea all together.

However, this time I can't shake the desire to make a change. It's been months in the making and now has reached a point where if I don't make a change, I fear that I'll begin resenting my blog and shooting it disdainful glances when I wake up in the morning.

This may all sound a little over-dramatic, but I'm sure many of you can relate to wanting the aesthetic of a product of yours looking snazzy. Outside of looking more polished, I also want to make the blog more functional. However, that is what I'm in the process of figuring out.

This is where you come in.

As of now, Hipstercrite is a common one-column blog that broaches topics anywhere from the personal to pop culture to fashion to music to film. What I would like to do is have a more Gawker-style blog, with shorter post blocks in one column. This means I will be writing more posts in a day and they will fit into different categories such as "Pop Culture", "Lifestyle", "Austin", "Social Media" etc. There will be tabs at the top of the blog to go to these individual categories as well. I want to broaden my blog, in other words. If there is a new Austin band I like, I want to be able to write about it and then stick it on my Austin page. If there is a new social media-driven non-profit sprouting up somewhere, I want to write about it and stick it on my Social Media page. If I want to write a list about the Top Ten Best Photos of Nicolas Cage's Hair Plugs, I want to stick it in my Pop Culture section. If I want to write about how my blog has become more important than dating, I want to stick that in my Lifestyle section. This is a way for me to talk about more things that I want to talk about and support other writers, musicians, creative thinkers, and innovators. That doesn't mean that I won't talk about my own personal adventures. In fact, I hope that this will help me write more concise personal posts. The voice of my blog won't change- it will just get louder and bigger.

My question to you, dear reader, is will this change be welcomed or do you think it's unnecessary?

Secondly, should I migrate over to Wordpress or should I stay loyal to the platform that has been so good to me and figure out a way to get the changes that I need?

Thirdly, if anyone is interested in helping me understand all of this. I'd love to talk with you.

Fourthly, what do you guys think of Disqus? 

Fifthly, does anyone else feel like they need a blog mentor because figuring out this shit is hard.


At 8:00 AM, Blogger Tryna or Trina said...

I think it's just logical. You're growing and wanting to build is good! No matter what you do, I think you should add Disqus. It gives readers the ability to comment using their twitter, facebook or OpenID accounts. Yes?

Can't wait to see your new look! :D

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Gwen said...

change is good.
and i like the layout you're going for.

and if you move over to wordpress I will still follow :D

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Tryna or Trina said...

Oh oh! I think you MAY need to transition over to Wordpress, but Blogger's improving and catching up to Wordpress so perhaps not. I, too, don't know much about the aesthetic part of blogs, so hopefully you'll find someone to help out soon.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Nequam Compleo said...

Personally, I'm a big fan of simplicity. Sometimes the information overload kinda gets to me, but again, just my personal preference. That being said, the "gawker style" would probably mesh well with what you're wanting to do.

And change is inevitable. And can be a good thing.

Go for it.

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Rob said...

I get the "URGE" about twice a year. Go for it ... nothing in life is static. Why should your weblog be?

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Hipstercrite said...

Trina- Yes! Disqus. That has been on my to-do list for awhile. Thank you! Thanks for your support. It's always ALWAYS appreciated.

@Gwen- :D Thanks! If I do move to Wordpress, I'll make sure it's seamless so you won't have to do anything.

@Nequam- I like simple too, but I think I need bigger simple, if that makes sense? I want to be able to write more and divide the categories up more. I want to expand my Austin posts b/c I love this town and people have been so good to me.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Nikki said...

I think it's cool. I just re-designed & re-focused my blog - launching today 9am LA time! Please visit! gratefulsparrow [dot] com - and yes, I moved to wordpress. I'm with you on the "it's a hell of a lot to learn" excuse-wagon; it took me months to face the challenge of formatting, html & widgety-widgets, but once you get started, it's so fun. Keep me posted & if I can help in any way (with my very limited knowledge of WP, but still...) I'd be glad to. YAY for exciting changes!

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Konrad said...

Sounds cool! Im excited to see the change. :)

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Penny Lane said...

I like the simple nice layout you have now. But I welcome change. I know that I always get the urge to mix things up, so I revamp my blog every once in a while ( just did it about a week ago) so I understand. Go for it !

At 9:00 AM, Blogger One Blonde Girl said...

I currently hate my blog and it's content, which is why I have been avoiding it for months it seems. I have become all sorts of resentful and stabby towards my blog, so I understand your frustrations. I'm so itchy to make a change and since my real-life seems to be settling in (finally) I think that change must be made to my imaginary online life.

I have also contemplated the WordPress move, but, honestly, who has the time for that shit? At times I wish I had someone who could just take all of my ideas out of my head and make them happen for me. For free.

Best of luck with whatever decisions you end up making (my shoulders are tensing by my mere mention of that 'd' word).

Change is good. It keeps us young and alive (or maybe that's just a lie I tell myself).

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

Go for it!

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Rebeccammendations said...

Hi Lauren! I would be happy to talk to you about this topic. I went from Blogger to a Wordpress pre-made template to Wordpress with a custom template that is magazine style, similar to what you're thinking about. I also have an awesome "blog ninja" that is super reasonable and helped me with my redesign and ongoing maintenance. Let me know if you'd like to get together to finally meet and chat about blogs!

At 12:12 PM, Blogger laurenne said...

I hear you, friend.
I say try it.
I'm about to do the switch.
This chick is not necessarily a blog mentor, but she writes lots about blogging. Here's a wordpress/blogger entry:

At 12:16 PM, Blogger rebecca joy said...

first of all, i TOTALLY resonate with the restlessness of complacency. i have a long history of post-break-up hair changes as well. :)

second of all:
1. you should definitely revamp. it will breathe new life into your blog and motivate you.
2. don't do it. wordpress is better in some ways and not in others. plus you will inevitably lose followers which will add a real sour note to your make-over.
4. HATE disqus.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Austin Eavesdropper said...

Have so many thoughts on this one Lauren, but @Rebecca Joy, I'm dying to know: Why NOT Disqus? I'm feeling the siren song myself. But be my devil's advocate: Why do you hate it?

At 1:11 PM, Blogger William said...

Sometimes blogs get too damn busy....which is why i love your simplistic layout ( even the white background)

I don't mind you jumping around different subjects under one column, because you never know what you'll get on Hipstercrite :)

At 1:36 PM, Blogger Hipstercrite said...

@Rob- Thanks Rob!!!

@Nikki- I'll check out right now. Thanks!

@Konrad- Thanks, Konrad. I hope the change comes sooner than later though.

@Penny Lane- Thanks! I'll check out your blog too.

@One Blonde Girl- Yes, you should get back into the game. Maybe a re-haul for you will fee good too!

@Jessica- Thanks!!

@Rebecca- Ha. I keep sending you a million emails. I'm sending you another one.

@Laurenne- Shanks, dear. I will check out the link. Can't wait to see your changes.

@Rebecca and @Tolly- I'm curious to hear why you don't like Disqus either, Rebecca...

@William- Very good input. Thank you. I will consider this. Appreciate the feedback.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger kellynD said...

I say go for a layout change but stay on blogger! I'll still follow you BUT I like that you show up on my dashboard!

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Natalie said...

Blogger is dead, WP is so much better and more user friendly. I changed mine up a few months ago and witched. I am so much happier + WP is better for SEO and getting found on the web. Just my two cents

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Natalie said...


At 3:20 PM, Blogger Randall said...

I'm a fan of blogger, but I have a strong loyalty complex, and the great need to dance with the girl who brought me to the dance.

Aren't you going to need a staff to pull off something Gawker-esque? It just seems like you already work really hard to make posts nearly every day, a lot of posts every day seems like ramping that up, and what you're talking about almost seems like it would need contributors...

You know me. My favorites of yours have always been the extra-long, ass-killer posts, the really touching ones where you personalize in that way you do, that's just... brilliant. But I also understand the urge to want to change, and evolve, so... go with your gut. I just think I'd miss those.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger nancy lili g. said...

Hey, I personally can't help you with the blog re-design (not my forte) but I'm interested in hearing what you'd need from an intern, because I wouldn't mind helping you out with that maybe?

-- Nancy Lili

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

I'm pretty awful at all that sort of design stuff so I'm no help. But I'll be interested to see you go through the process to see any tips I could pick up. I was all proud of myself just for figuring out how to add a twitter button.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger rebecca joy said...

re: my dislike of disqus. the few blogs i have seen it on (not that i am always paying attention) it has been kind of a big ordeal to use. i think those blogs used disqus as their main comment leaving engine, which was annoying. i have no idea if this is a legitimate complaint, but there you go. maybe someone can explain to me the hullabaloo of excitement? :)

At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Christi @ Rumination Avenue said...

I recently had a bit of a blog upgrade with categories to ease browsing. I think you would benefit from more easily accessible categories, but please keep a clean aesthetic, it's what makes Hipstercite easy to read! I blog about Austin topics, too, so drop by and let me know what you think.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Big Mark 243 said...

Since I enjoy reading whatever your decision is, so that is my primary concern. As long as I get to keep up with a town I haven't been to (yet) and with a beautiful young woman I have not met (yet)I don't mind what you choose to do. But having said that...

As you continue to grow with your talents the platform you chose to display that growth should change. Not going to think of anything clever or memorable, but people blog as a profession and the possiblity CLEARLY exists for you and Laurenne to expand and becoming professional blogger/journlists/writers through blogging.

As long as you help me follow and read, I think you should make a change and stretch out and see what you can do!!


At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Skinny Dip said...

I love Disqus! I just switched to it a few months ago and I really like it.

At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Picking up Women said...

I also want to make the blog more functional. However, that is what I'm in the process of figuring out.


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