Edit: Goal results are below.
I am glad that I participated in Maw Books Bloggiesta. Friday totally slipped by me, and I had a commitment Saturday morning, and I wasn’t really prepared mentally, but I think that I spent about 5 or 6 hours of time on it. Reminder for next year — and yes, I want to participate next year — be prepared (don’t forget about the first day!), and make plans.
But I’m going to keep working on these goals (namely indexing book reviews), and I’m glad that I was pushed to finally do a few things that I know I needed to do.
I also ended up “meeting” some new book bloggers, though not as many as I’d have liked. I left about 5 comments around the blogosphere.
2010 has been all about changes here at 5 Minutes for Books. We’ve changed up our community events like the Classics Bookclub and the Children’s Classics carnival (now a Children’s Classics Mystery Challenge) and we also tweaked the I Read It carnival. So far, response has been great.
But there are a bunch of other changes I’ve wanted to make to make the site more user friendly, and so I decided to join the Bloggiesta challenge at Maw Books. The idea is to take some concentrated time over a 3 day period (which started yesterday) to catch up on all that bloggy maintenance. It could be writing reviews that you’ve neglected writing, setting reviews to post, or cleaning up and organizing all of those behind the scenes things.
I have my own ideas, but I would love to hear feedback from you if there’s something that you think would make 5 Minutes for Books better. Just leave a comment.
As for my goals —
- My primary task is to make our past reviews easier to search. This is also a mini-challenge being hosted by Beth Fish Reads. One relatively quick fix I’d like to add is a menu on our navbar that will take you directly to categories of reviews. I had thought about just using our tags, but all that does is pull up a list of the reviews in order by date. That’s not very user friendly, is it? So I suppose I can make a separate page for the categories. I’d like to divide them by Fiction, Non-fiction, Children’s books, and Young Adult reviews. Some Questions: How would you like it indexed? I’m thinking alphabetically by title? Would other categories be useful?(edit: I made a plan, and I tried to download the new nav bar, but I think I need to update WP press)
- I also have several reviews I would like to write. I have at least four reviews that I need to get in draft, and if I think about it, I could probably write a few more. I would also like to write two On Reading columns (book bloggers — we are always looking for guest posters!) (edit: I wrote three reviews and no columns).
- I figured out that it would be a lot more effective for me to set up the posts in advance for the regular community events that we host. What’s On Your Nightstand? and Kids’ Picks and I Read It! all happen each month, so I’d like to get those link-up posts ready to go for the next few months at least (edit: I’ve set up posts for all 3 carnivals for at least 3 months — woohoo!)
- Our “Join In” page is out of date, since we’ve changed the way we are handling some of our Tuesday events, so I’d like to update that (edit: DONE!)
Even though I’m late getting started, this is a good day, since I will spend much of the afternoon and evening sitting beside my husband as he cheers for (or yells at) his two teams — the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas A&M Aggies.
Great ideas for making your blog more user friendly. I try to evangelize for that over the web! I do have one suggestion. Your recent posts links are too far down on your side bar. People will be too distracted by all the other stuff to find that and that creates more clicks to your other stuff.
Jennifer (5 Minutes for Books) says
Thanks Pam! I’m going to move them up right now. I personally don’t generally use those links, but I see what you mean. You can check it out and see if it’s better now.
I mostly read in a feedreader, so I don’t “use” the site much. But I think it’d be nice to be able to easily access past reviews. Keep up the good work!
I also subscribe by feed – but it would be good to have books indexed by author. Thank you for your hard work – I love your site!
Thanks for participating in the Bloggiesta! You’ve got a lot to think about. Your site is already so awesome. Good luck!
Sheila (Bookjourney) says
Woo! You have some fantastic goals. Have fun and I hope you get a lot done 🙂 Yup… a rhyme….
Congrats on getting all that done! I *try* not to be online too much on the weekends, so I couldn’t participate, but I sure needed to! 😉