28 February 2011

Use this post to offer comments re the format of this blog

A couple months ago I changed the design of TYWKIWDBI.  My principal goal was to have a format that presented photos and images in a larger size in the central column - to avoid the need to always "click for bigger." 

The first revision used a template that caused some problems for readers scrolling down the page.  After that I switched to the current one.  I then wanted to give readers (and myself) a while to adjust to a new color scheme for the background, for the highlights, for the hyperlinks.  I'm not sure whether it's optimal or not, but personally I've gotten used to it.  I know there are readers here with skills and experience in the realm of design, including website design, so if anyone wants to offer ideas or suggestions for further amendments or revisions, please feel free to do so.

The second item I'd appreciate feedback on is the embedded YouTube videos, which for some readers were not remaining anchored in the post, and migrated out of position, even covering adjacent text.  This was a problem of hair-pulling intensity which I discussed in a blog post in January.  I'm not the only one to have encountered this; a Blogger forum and several other discussion boards suggest that there is an inherent incompatibility between the Blogger template and the Safari browser.  Later in January YouTube changed its embed code, and the problem seemed to resolve.

This week I got an email from an "avid follower" of the blog who still encounters YouTube embeds covering the nearby text (using MacBook Pro and Safari).  After hearing that, I logged on with Safari (instead of my usual Firefox) and confirmed that some of the embeds were "loose" (and actually moved as I grabbed the corner and resized the window). As far as I know, there's nothing I can do to correct that problem.  My Google Analytics tell me that 16% of TYWKIWDBI readers arrive on Safari, so it is potentially not an inconsequential problem.  I don't know if everyone is experiencing the same problem, or whether some of you found a workaround.  Please feel free to offer me your experience and any relevant advice in the Comments.

Thanks in advance,



  1. First, reading the Internet is my job -- and I'm good at it. I read a lot of blogs. And yours is my favorite, by far.

    Second, I don't care about the format, because I read via RSS. :)

  2. As a graphic designer from way back in the day (the pre-digital day, that is), I can tell you that your blog is better than many in term of readability, layout, etc. I realize you're somewhat constrained by the template you choose, but you seem to have a natural sense of balance, flow, information hierarchy and that kind of thing - which compensates for the limitations of the template.

    On another note, I never fail to find something to marvel over, laugh at or be intrigued by on your blog; I look forward to checking it daily, often FWing links to friends.

    Keep up the good work, aesthetic and otherwise!

  3. much better now. easier on the eyes.. font is clean.. photos are large.. good job.

  4. I was one of your more persistent complainers about the Safari problem. I discovered that by increasing the size of text (the "A|A" zoom button by customizing my toolbar), the problem is solved most of the time. Unfortunately, I have to do this every time I open the browser on most all Web sites. I guess that's iMac's compromise for really crisp images and pixels.

  5. I just found this blog and I want to go through the archives. The only way to do that now (as far as I know) is to manipulate the url. It would be nice to have an easier way to click through the archives.

  6. The other way to do it is to go through the "categories" in the right sidebar, one at a time (depending on which ones interest you). That way you can skip the politics or whatever is less appealing.

  7. Hello Stan,
    Big fan, seen all your movies.
    Or have I, because I use my Android telephone, and here the embedded videos remain completely inaccessible. However, there seems to be some version of embed code that links to the phone's internal Youtube viewer. If mobile users are numerous enough to consider, it might be worthwhile to look for that code, or to include a normal URL beside the embedded frame.

  8. I am unable to duplicate the Safari issue w/the Windows version, but I can offer this suggestion for testing: wrap your embedded video iframe in another block element with 100% width, then specify and clear margins.


    <div style="margin:4px;clear:both;"> (embed code) </div>

    ... if that fails to resolve the issue, please post a screenshot of the bug in action - and take heart, it's probably a bug in Apple's Webkit (like the one referenced in Chromium Issue #3644) so eventually there should be a patch.

  9. I use Safari from a MacBook. No problems ever. I really appreciate the warm background -- so easy on the eyes. But of course, the best part is the content!

  10. Very easy on the eyes, bigger pics inline are much appreciated...

    Only niggle is the color difference on links "already viewed" is not enough. Links un-clicked are not overly discernible from clicked links.

    Otherwise, same terrific site w/ same terrific insight.

    Please don't take a break for weekends or family holidays...!!!

  11. Z. Constantine, the bug is illustrated in the third and fourth embeds in this post -


    As far as your workaround, it's well beyond the capabilities of this English major - but I truly do appreciate your interest and suggestion.

  12. "If mobile users are numerous enough to consider, it might be worthwhile to look for that code, or to include a normal URL beside the embedded frame."

    I guess that's why the standard format for Neatorama posts is to include the YouTube url as a clickable link beneath the video. I don't know if I have many readers using mobiles, but at least it's a feature I can add without too much additional work (if I remember to do it).

    Thanks, Max.

  13. Since the redesign, none of your videos are visible on my iPad. Someone else pointed out the link idea, but I wonder why the standard youtube embedded player that works on other sites doesn't work here.

  14. I'm here via windows and firefox, so I've never had that problem. The blog displays well, I like the colours, and I'm fascinated by the content.

    As for anon not getting youtube on an ipad, that's not your blog's fault, it's because ipads lack the ability to play embedded flash video, so unless the video is embedded using html5, it won't play.
    Youtube is rolling out new coding, but it's not fully active yet. I think there's an app that converts existing videos.
    Less than 1% of my visitors use safari, it seems, so I don't see it as a problem. Might I suggest safari users upgrade to a better browser?

  15. I use Safari and your blog works fine for me every day. I very much like the changes you've made and the colors too. I think it's a fine blog and works very well. Thank you.

  16. Great blog and love the articles, but in all honesty I do not like the new colour choices. Somehow these muted creamy tomes make the blog feel less dynamic.

    I just thought you should know.

  17. Thanks, Gavin, for the feedback. I might try some more tweaking later.

  18. As others do also, I read your blog in Google reader and there it works perfectly fine. But when coming to you blog again, I do miss the old familiar feelings. Especially the pictures on the right!
    I also find the current color a bit, how to say? Dull?

    But! Overall you are doing a great job :) I really want to thank you for that!

  19. I'm another Macbook Safari user who has never encountered problems with embedded videos.

    I second the many comments about the easy readability and great look of the new formatting,.


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