Renovations and Site Updates

The site has long been overdue for an overhaul for a while so I finally spent some time digging back in. Some of the updates: adding in a blog component so I can incorporate other types of content, embedding the Instagram feed into the front page, converting the subscription list to a mailchimp list (so I have more control over the output — the built-in Jetpack subscription functionality is not customizable at all), re-doing the search result display so it’s more useful, redoing the front page. Oh, I also tweaked a bunch of the fonts since they were looking a little dated. The Related Posts section is gone now temporarily. It was obnoxious to maintain, mostly because I basically had to manually add related posts. I’m on the lookout for a plug-in that will automatically populate and do it well, but we’ll see.

A big benefit of converting to a mailchimp list is getting better analytics regarding the subscribers. I was pleased to find that 70% of the subscribers actually open the e-mails, so it’s nice to feel like I’m not writing into a void. Beyond that, I’ve also been catching up on some reading. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean. Non-fiction. It’s a collection of stories involving the human brain, focusing on incidences of trauma or injury that resulted in interesting anomalies and other revealing behaviors. I’m liking this a lot so far.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. Fiction. Won a pulitzer and everyone says it’s good, but I’ve had a hard time getting into this book in the past. I’m about half-way through and have some mixed feelings.

Hild by Nicola Griffith. Historical fiction about the Dark Ages, supposed to be fantastic. Bit of an undertaking though. Just started it, so no thoughts yet.

Anyway, I’m still tweaking some other stuff and trying to think of what other stuff to add to make the site more useful. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to drop me a line. :) Otherwise, happy reading!