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Home » Culture and Criticism

Odds, Ends, Updates

Submitted by on March 8, 2010 – 9:41 AM17 Comments

toolsYou may have noticed a shift in the categories and tags on the blog; I'm preparing for another redesign. I know it feels like I just ported everything over from the last redesign, but this one should go more smoothly. I will have to shut the site down for a day or two when it's time to launch, but you'll have warning.

The Book of Odds has launched a new blog series called My Everyday Life; five blog subjects rotate each weekday, and coverage includes "a large spectrum of human experience; from a medical student detailing daily hospital life, to a solider documenting his experience in Afghanistan; a working mom adjusting to an instantly larger family and work/life balance; and two singles navigating the early stages of their adult lives and relationships."

All you Vine readers asking about books, help is on the way — reader Dina tipped me to an app called CoverGuess that lets you tag book covers on all their elements. By doing this, you also build up the Library Thing database so that, when it's time to find a book by searching on its cover, their database has the information necessary to do it. Check it out.

Reader Veronica is raising money for her local no-kill shelter by doing a Half Ironman Distance Triathlon in June. If you can spare a few bucks for the cats and dogs, head over here.

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  • Alana says:

    I'm all for a redesign. The blog layout just doesn't reflect the awesomeness of the content.

  • Dan says:

    Thanks for spreading the word about Book of Odds!

    We hope all the readers will check out the "My Everyday Life Blogs"…they're pretty freakin' cool!

  • Veronica B. says:

    Thanks also for the mention of my fundraising effort. For the record, a Half-Ironman Distance Triathlon is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. Any help is appreciated. It's puppies and kitties, people! Who doesn't like puppies and kitties?

  • Jennie says:

    Librarything is awesome! (I have LOTS of books, and it's the only site/organizer that I have found consistently useful and practical).

    Also, wow, for a half-Ironman–good luck!

  • Lori says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on the redesign, Sars. You're more considerate than those b@st@rds at Facebook. (er…not that angry really…)

    I hope you'll resurrect an old feature I loved, where in the archives you'd list the posts by title all on one page, instead of making us scroll through page after page of content for each month. Not that I don't find some buried treasures that way, but the "index" pages were more efficient. Other than that, I for one welcome our new page design overlords.

    Veronica, best of luck! I am in awe.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I can't really control that feature — WordPress themes have their own indexing schemata — but I'll investigate.

    In the meantime/going forward, you might have an easier time using the tags to browse the archives, or just using the search box.

  • Shannon says:

    Thank you so much for the link to Book of Odds. The most recent (and powerful) post from Alex in Afghanistan cut close to home, as my brother is in the Army and is frequently deployed. Maybe if I read enough of his posts, I can build my tolerance up enough to watch The Hurt Locker…maybe.

  • Leonie says:

    Sars – is there any way you could include an advanced search kind of feature?

    It'd be helpful in terms of searching through old Vines, for example. The possibility to search for a certain word within a certain category would be fantastic, or perhaps listing the search results in a way that gives you the snippet of text the word was found in as well?

    It's especially hard now because you only get a list of The Vine of This and This Date-like titles to check one by one. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Vine crawl, and I know it's a lot to ask, but in terms of functionality that'd be AWESOME.

  • Allison says:

    Ah the archives… I go through them every once in a while just to laugh at "that guy" and the palm tree underware. Whatever happened to the phone call dialogs?

  • Jessica says:

    Am very excited by baseball having its own category. Cannot wait for the trash talking to begin. (Not that I have any idea who the Braves even have at this point.)

  • Jenn says:

    The med student's blog sounds really interesting – can't wait!

  • alice says:

    I miss the essays you used to do. Now the site seems more like short snippets of literary/film/TV criticism – not the kickass and hilarious entries you used to have.

    I'm not criticising, I still love the site but I spend most of my time browsing through the archives. I think, especially for international readers (UK here), a lot of your current cultural content sort of goes over our heads.

  • kategm says:

    "Palm tree underwear," Allison? Crap, now you've piqued my interest.

  • Wehaf says:

    Ooh, a redesign; I'm excited! Will comments be numbered now? I would really like it if comments were numbered.

  • Lanie says:

    I'm mostly a lurker, so this doesn't have much to do with me but I was just curious: will the redesign do anything to make the comments appear in a more sensible order? Having the 50 previous comments under a separate link gets kind of confusing, since you already have to click once to get into the entry.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    That's not really a redesign issue, but I've changed the order in which comments appear; we'll see whether that's more intuitive. Repeat visitors to a thread may find it a bit irritating, but again, we'll see.

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