Day’s Verse:
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
John 8:6-8 (context)

Framed SunsetAt my new job, I’m learning to that input from many different people will make a venture far more successful than trying to do it all by myself (this Sesame Street song comes to mind). I have spoken to a variety of volunteer managers about their organizations’ volunteer programs including employees from KEXP, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, Mayor Daley’s Bicycle Ambassadors in Chicago, and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland, and the Bicycle Ambassadors with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. These people all have a variety of insights into running volunteer programs, and I’m confident that I’ll do better work for the Bike Alliance having talked with these people. I have emails out to a number of other groups, and one more interview lined up for Monday (the Outdoors For All Foundation). I ask every one at the end of the interview for suggestions of other nonprofits — not just bicycle-related ones – that have good volunteer programs. They can be anywhere in the country. Which reminds me, if you guys know of any nonprofits that have a good volunteer program…

In the spirit of listening to people, I’m soliciting your input (“Iiiiiiiinpuuuuuut!”) about my blog. I’ve used this same page design for almost 4 years now. Although it’s served me well, forces beyond my control — Blogger ceasing support of FTP sites and my commenting system administrator, Haloscan, shutting down entirely — are moving me to make a change. As I’m looking at totally revamping my blog, I would like your input: What should I change about my blog design and layout this time around? What do you like about my blog? What’s horrible that I should ditch? What would make you more likely to visit more often or comment more frequently (I know that’s as much content as design, but I’m asking anyway)? What are some blogs whose designs you think are cool that I should take a look at? Your comments will have a real impact on my new blog design.

I’m fully aware that my provincial blog will never achieve the stratospheric heights of the most famous bloggers and I’m not doing anything to change that. I don’t write topical posts and I’m not funny consistently or even frequently. In fact, I’m one of millions of bloggers who just writes about my everyday life, and I have come to accept the fact that my kind of blogging doesn’t attract huge, devoted readerships. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try make sure that when you visit my blog, you have a good experience and want to come back. So, please, leave me some constructive thoughts about what would improve my blog — and no, sorry, I won’t be getting a hilarious, insightful ghostwriter to do my posts for me.

KF quality

4 thoughts on “Short Circuit

  1. im glad you are getting different comments, these ones don’t even load half the time! the one commenting system i hate is on blogspot, where they only allow you to comment using other accounts from different sites, like livejournal or aol. i dont want to link those accounts! leave me alone, blogspot. personally, i have been using tumblr, which is to blogging what those inflatable bumpers are to bowling. my other item of constructive criticism is more pictures! i know you are taking them!

  2. I did a project with Outdoors for All once – and was on their mailing list for a long time afterward 🙂 They do seem to run their volunteer program well.

    I haven’t done much with the Seattle branch, but I know the Ronald McDonald house relies on volunteers and has been a pleasure to work with in Colorado Springs.

  3. As a WordPress blogger, I’ll go ahead and promote them; obviously I’m just a casual blogger and I’m not doing custom CSS or anything, but I’ve had a much nicer time with my WordPress blog than with my old Blogger blog.

    Concrete suggestions:
    1. Make the titles link to the post’s permanent location, or at least have the permalink somewhere on your post.
    2. Put the comments on the same page, rather than in a pop-up. Pop-ups are annoying, especially if you’re tabbing, and while I’ve never had problems with yours, they have more of a tendency to load improperly.

    Also, I appreciate your graciousness in referencing Lonesome Joan without mentioning that it virtually always came up in the context of me as a kid refusing to do things 🙂

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