HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2005 marks the 10th year that I’ve had a presence on the internet, and to start the year off right I’m now launching the most advanced website I’ve ever made.
Off on a Tangent version 16 marks my switch to the flexible Mambo content management system. As a result, there are a lot of new features and I’ve made some organizational changes. Let me tell you what I’ve done:
- Stylistic Changes—The style of this site is obviously different from the last several versions of Off on a Tangent. I was going for clean, elegant, professional, and pleasant. Let me know if I was successful. I’ve also integrated the Scott Bradford Creative Enterprises logo (the stylized S) into my header.
- Advanced Navigation—Menu items can now have sub-menu items, lists of items can be searched or narrowed-down or sorted on-the-fly, the site-wide search (in the left menu) actually works, page titles are actually relevant, and lots more! I hope that Off on a Tangent is now much easier to navigate and much more flexible than it has been in the past.
- Comprehensive Front Page—The Front Page can now feature any content item on the site, which means it is now the best place to go to see what’s new (whether it be a Rant, a short story, a song, a book review, etc.). The Front Page is much more functional and has a lot more stuff on it than any previous version of the site.
- Print and Email Links—You can now click the little printer icon to get a printer-friendly version of almost any content item. You can click the little envelope to send a link to a particular piece of content to a friend. So if you love or hate something I’ve written, you can print it to show your friends or just email it to ’em.
- User Accounts—You can create free user accounts on Off on a Tangent (you’ll find the account controls in the left column beneath the menus). Users must register in order to leave comments on content items, and other member-only features may be added later.
- Content Rating—Let me know what you think of a particular content item by rating it on a 1-5 scale! You’ll find a rating object at the top of most individual content pages. No login is required to vote.
- Polls—Off on a Tangent will now feature polls (which appear at the top of the right column). They will be cycled regularly.
- RSS Feed/LJ Feed—Off on a Tangent now features RSS feeds (in RSS 1.0 and 2.0 formats). You’ll find links to the feed URLs at the bottom-right corner of the site. This allows you to subscribe to the site through any RSS news reader and be the first to know when something new is added. This feed is also listed as the user “lifenewsblog” on LiveJournal (should be functional again within a week).
- The Life & News Blog—The L&NB as we knew it is mostly dead, with its categories scattered to the four winds. L&NB content from the “life” and “site” categories is now located in the Life & Site Blog, which you’ll find in the ‘Scott & the Site’ menu. L&NB content from the “news” and “articles” categories (along with a new “analysis” category) are now under News & Analysis in the ‘Chillin’ Stuff’ menu. “Mini-Rants” are now listed in the Nonfiction section, and “Music” blog entries are now located in the Music section under “news.”
- Joke Songs—The Joke Songs (all one of them), previously listed under Random, are now in the Music section.
- Quotes—The Quotes section no longer exists, but three random quotes will appear near the bottom-right of each page.
- Poetry—The poetry section is currently empty. It’s going to take me some time to get it completely reorganized. Rest assured, it will be coming back, but it may be several months.
- Photos—The photos section, under Random, currently only has one category. I’ll get around to posting the rest of them sooner or later.
- LiveJournal Feed—The site’s LiveJournal feed (user: lifenewsblog) is temporarily broken. I expect it to work again within a week.
- Comments—Unfortuantely, there was no practical way to port comments over from the old site to the new one. Thus, all content items have a clean comment-slate as of January 1, 2005. Sorry! There was nothing I could do!
Anyway, I put a lot of work and testing into this site, and I think it is pretty well organized and works wonderfully. But there’s always the possibility that I missed something (possibly even something major). Please shoot me an email via the “Contact Me” page (or a regular email) and let me know if you run across any errors, problems, goofs, or whatever.
Also, be sure to vote in the new poll and let me know what you think of the new site!