Hey, please check out my new blog!

blog

Word count: 765 words

Reading time: About 3 minutes

It’s taken me a year of work, but, at last, I’ve replaced my old website with this brand  new blog. Please, check it out…

This will make me sound old-fashioned, or maybe just old, but I can recall when the TV universe could be contained by a relatively small number of acronyms: CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS and, here in Canada, CBC.

Then, some 26 years ago, back when I worked at a metropolitan daily newspaper, the TV dial exploded. Instead of a small handful of stations, we suddenly had more than 18 of them (trust me: this was a big deal in Vancouver in 1986). And, tragically, a day’s worth of listings would no longer fit on a single page of my paper’s television magazine.

The magazine fell under my purview and its editor and I were asked to redesign it. We laboured for weeks on this task, worked with professional designers, did some market testing and finally, unveiled a new design. The solution? We flipped the TV “grid” (the little checkerboard containing the list of TV programs) from vertical to horizontal so it would fit. Our bosses loved it and we were pretty pleased with ourselves.

We launched the new magazine with intensely happy hearts. Then we heard from our readers…. who HATED the new magazine. Not just a little bit. But a whole lot. The editor – one of the smartest, most hardworking people I know (we’re still good friends) – earned three death threats from total strangers. Our switchboard collapsed under the weight of 10,000 angry phone calls in one day.

I will never forget seeing my colleague pick up her phone, open a file cabinet drawer and hurl the phone into it then kick the drawer shut with her foot.

As a result, redesigns unsettle me.

That’s why I am telling you gently, nervously, that I have redesigned my website. I don’t think you’ll harbour negative feelings anywhere near as intense as the ones we encountered in 1986, but I expect it’s possible you won’t like the new look right away. So, let me tell you, quickly, why I made the change

  1. My new website is a WordPress blog.  This means you can now make any comments about it you like. (If you’re reading this on the blog page or home page, click on the title to get to the individual article page, where you can comment.) I typically receive about two dozen emails for every column I write and it’s made me sad that I haven’t been able to share them with all my readers. That problem is now fixed and I’ll also respond in public. Ta da!
  2. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be blogging four times per week. (The other blog entries will be much shorter than this one.) I’ll always provide links for the previous week’s worth of blogs in my weekly Power Writing newsletter so if you prefer to receive communications from me by email, that won’t change one iota.
  3. Because this is now a blog, you’ll also have the new option of subscribing via an RSS feed. If you don’t understand how RSS feeds work, check out this extraordinarily helpful video by my friend Colleen Wainwright.
  4. While changing the website, I also took the opportunity to formalize a coaching process that I’ve been doing only casually up until now. I’ve announced a price structure that presents typical “packages” most useful to writers. If you’re interested, book soon because the prices are going to rise within the next three months. March is already sold out.
  5. I’m going to be launching a membership site. I won’t say anything more about it now because it’s not quite ready to go yet but I’ll give you all the details in my newsletter of March 27.

Please allow yourself a bit of time to adjust to my new look. Feel free to stroll through the site and poke around a bit. And be sure to let me know if you find any broken links or glitches. (People who post a note on this page about a glitch or broken link before March 11 will have their name entered in a draw for a free copy of my book, 8.5 Steps to Writing, Faster, Better OR a one-hour coaching session — your choice if you win.)

By the way, the redesigned TV magazine succeeded in the end. We made a few tweaks and the public eventually adjusted. In a similar fashion (well, minus the 10,000 phone calls!) I hope you’ll also become accustomed to my new blog and find it more useful than the website it replaces. As Schopenhaeuer put it: “Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.” Or to quote Billy Crystal: “Change is such hard work.” Amen, brother.

No death threats, please, but I will appreciate your feedback.

Photo courtesy Infrogmation, Flickr Creative Commons

Posted March 6th, 2012 in Power Writing

  • Good luck!. My organization is in the middle of a complete re-organization as well. I hope I don’t get that many calls!

  • Tina

    Your new blog is wonderful! No more guilt about the need to praise you. I can do it with as much ease as absorbing your wisdom. Thanks Coach!!

  • Yet again, Daphne demonstrates to those of us who feel there aren’t enough hours in a day, that it’s always possible to shoehorn in one more project. I don’t know how you do it, but thank you for being a living example that we are often the only ones holding ourselves back.

    (Oh yes, I love the blog. I have a weakness for typewriters.)

  • Fantastic! I’m thrilled you switched to a blog platform so I can add your content to my RSS reader. It’s much faster for me to access your great content via RSS than my email. Thank you!

    ~Luke

  • Very attractive and fresh-looking—and I love that I can now comment on what you’re writing! I’ve appreciated receiving your newsletter, but it felt like a one-way conversation in which I was always receiving and never giving back!

  • Mona

    Congratulations on your blog. I like this platform as well as individual articles so I will not be making any threats. : ) Look forward to reading your posts.

  • Thanks for the kind words, everyone. By the way, I have just heard from a reader that she was LOCKED OUT of posting a comment! This is incredibly frustrating for me. Every reader should be able to post here. If you have a similar problem please send me an email at daphne(at)publicationcoach(dot)com.

  • Welcome to the world of blogging!! I think this provides an excellent opportunity for interaction with your followers.

  • Evy

    Hi Daphne, Great job on the site and here are some glitches:

    Trying to leave a comment and it said Woops! only members can comment here, then Not a member yet? Click here to sigh up now! (SIGH)

    When I clicked the button to sign up I was sent to QUAD – was that right? I didn’t see anything to fill out there

    5) I’m going to be launching a membership site. I won’t say anyting more about it now because it’s not quite ready to go yet but I’ll give you all the details in my newsletter of March 27. (ANYTING)

  • Maggie

    Greata blog! Love the new design. Thanks for thinking of everything including a highly readable font that doesn’t disappear into a shaded background.

    More importantly thanks for the fabulous content, week after week. You are inspiration to more people than you probably know.

  • Susan Clarke-Romero

    Beautiful new site. I had the same problem as Evy below. I can comment here; I clicked the link in the email, but if I go to your Blog page from here and click on the “communications” link, I get the members only comment.

  • Susan, can you tell me what you mean by the “communications” link? I’m not sure what you mean and I REALLY want to figure this out. I’m getting lots of emails from people who say they are unable to post and I want to be able to help them.

  • Daphne, congratulations! I’m happy to have the opportunity to comment with ease. I always enjoy your newsletter and take time to read it–if not right away, within the week. Your new site looks great.

  • Janet’s House

    I always enjoy reading your posts and will tell you that some of them have really stuck with me, especially the one about not editing as I write. Oops, I just did it when I didn’t capitalize the I and went back and fixed it. (Really!) I may be a slow learner but I do learn. Thanks for all your insight.

  • Here is a note from my webmaster for people who have had difficulty with the comment: “The comments section is powered by Disqus which is a third party that allows you to post anonymously. Perhaps they have a Disqus account, so maybe that is where they are getting confused.”

    The main thing to know is that you have to be on the particular blog entry when you want to comment (you can’t be on the general blog page). To go from the general blog page to the particular entry, simply click on the headline, then you will be taken to the individual page. (If you’re able to read this comment, you’re on it now.)

    Sorry this is a little bit confusing. At the end of each weekly newsletter, I will provide a link to the individual page. Then you’ll just have to scroll to the bottom to find the comments. Hope this helps! -daphne

  • Lorilipsky

    Best wishes with your new blog, Daphne. Looks wonderful.

  • I, too, had to convert a decrepid web site over to WordPress… still trying to tweak it… but the change has given me and my blog the better chance of being read and tracked by SEO robots and spyders. Got to keep up with the technology. And your changes are welcome. Keep up the good work, too.

  • Michelle

    It might help your readers to put only an excerpt of the blog posts on the home page with a Read More… or some other link to get to the whole post so they can leave a comment.

  • Intelli-comm.com

    Congratulations on your new site. It is so much more professional in its appearance and has a fresh colorway that picks up on the colors of your photo beautifully. This design is also a big improvement in how your site supports perceptions about the quality and value of your work. I think you will see a definite increase in referrals and new (paying) readers/clients as this design continues to represent you. Nice piece of work.

  • Beautiful look, Daphne. Redesigning a website can be tough, but the look and feel seems to really fit you.

  • Mickey

    Oh Daphne, what’s not to like. It’s clean, neat, simple, professional and always informative. Love the changes.

  • It’s fabulous! YOu’ll get 10,000 happy comments 🙂 Great job!!

  • David Carlson

    Great! I logged in from my Google account.

    • chip hinesley

      Nice.Hope to write a book soon about a life of many twist and turns that it may take 3 books but will have to wait till i can recover my lost wages from a accident of someone elses doing.Love all the pics.

  • jenlouden

    so glad it will be easy to say YOU ROCK

  • Duncan

    Hey good job

  • Lane

    Hi. Love your new site! Just started a WordPress Blog myself yesterday – in large part to your suggestions to write everyday. Thanks for the great tips in your newsletter and I plan on visiting this new awesome site regularly.

    Only found one minor glitch (so far : ). Do multiple glitches result in better odds of winning the drawing for your free book???

    From your “Recommended” Menu Tab, the text and link that reads,

    “DETAILS: Spunk & Bite: A writer’s guide to punchier, more engaging language & style. By Arthur Plotnik. Published by Random House, 2005, 263 pages.”

    actually points to the same author’s book entitled, Spunk & Bite: A Writer’s Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style published in 2008. Maybe it is a reprint or revised edition of the title you listed, but the difference in title was enough to make me wonder if I was looking at the right book or not.

    Hope that helps – and I hope I win!!!

    Lane

    • Thanks for the sophisticated catch, Lane! Bonus points for your attention to detail! I will announce the winner on March 12. (By draw, though, so no increase in odds, I’m afraid.)

  • Site looks great, fresh and simple

  • Paul Falconer

    Well done, looks fantastic.

  • Bob Eldridge

    Thank you for your determination and your patience. I have never before seen anything below “Older Entries”

  • Thanks again for all of the kind words. Please note that I added the last three year’s worth of newsletters as blog entries. They seem very lonely without any comments on them so you are all invited to add any comments you like on the older entries as well. I will be notified and promise to respond, time permitting!

  • This blog is a super example of how to design readable content for the Web. Thank you.

  • Anne Brunelle

    I like the new design. Well done!

  • sarah

    Daphne you did a great job on the new site. It’s clean and clear and full of great information. I know the feeling of sheer joy when making such a big change in things – I just did the same, a new website that has re-energized my whole world. It’s amazing how powerful and central websites have become to our business. Congratulations and I look forward to following the unfolding.

  • Success! Both to your great new Website and Blog. So many wonderful options for improving our writing and once I passed the “sign in” hurdle by logging in through the Disqus “expand community box” I am able to send beaming smiles your way. Keep your sun-catcher on.

  • Nice work – no angry reader here!

  • Eanderson

    I like it. Have you considering changing the orientation to landscape and displaying your posts in a grid?

  • Katherien Andes

    I like your site and new blog, too. I’ve been considering doing something similar so that my Easy Web Tips readers can comment … but I’m afraid of the extra work that might be involved in responding to their comments … I guess it wouldn’t be anymore work than responding to their emails, eh? And, no, I’m not Canadian.

  • Katherien, I think it’s easier to respond by blog post. I have always tried to reply to every email I receive and some days that’s incredibly daunting. When people post to the forum, I find it easier to put a general “thank you” although, of course, I still reply to specific enquiries such as this one from you! The big pile of work, though, is STARTING a new blog. This one has taken me a year, including one false start. Given your topic is “Easy Web Tips,” however, I’m guessing you’re more comfortable with technology than I am.

    • Katherine Andes

      Thanks, Daphne. I’ll put add a blog-with-comment-feature to my TO DO list. It likely will take a year! Not because of technical issues necessarily, just time … sigh. Sorry about typing my name in wrongly … it is Katherine.

  • Rohondolita

    Daphne, I’m sure I will love this blog just as much. I wish I had more time to peruse the archives. Perhaps you could repost articles on your “off” days, or provide links to them when you have a similar thread. (If you already do that, ignore me. I can be oblivious.)

    • I’m new to this blogging thing, too! Thanks for the reminder about posting links to previous posts. I’ll start doing that in a week or so. Right now, I can barely keep up with my new schedule!

  • Pam Robertson (Taylor)

    Great blog site Daphne. All the best

  • Congratulations! I am thrilled that I can now tweet many of your great articles!

  • I apologize for not posting this sooner — I was out of town from March 12 to 20 inclusive and that put me terribly behind! In any case, I finally want to announce that the winner of the free copy of my book — OR a free one-hour coaching session — is Lane. (Everyone who pointed out a problem or broken link with my site before March 11 was entered into a draw for this prize.) I will email you privately Lane, as well, to see which option you choose.

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