New year, new look

I’m usually against drastic changes people try to bring about as New Year’s resolutions. I don’t understand what kind of effect a calendar flip has on you as a person. If it’s really that important, it shouldn’t have to wait. However, there is one change on the site worth noting.

It’s Always Game Seven is sporting a new banner for 2011.

It was designed for me by Rich, who covers the Canisius College hockey team for The Griffin and blogs about them here. His blog has a nice banner on it as well. All the credit has to go to him. I offered a few suggestions, but he did all the work.

Especially after a Sabres game like last night’s, I want to reiterate that I am not in any way a Bruins fan. I’m a defenseman, and growing up, Bobby Orr was my idol. I always wore number four, and it’s the reason I have t-shirts like this in my drawers.

The only thing harder than naming my site was finding a picture I liked to use across the top. Some blogs have some really nice banners across the top, but to be honest I don’t know how to make something like that.

I looked around for pictures of people giving a great effort, but a lot of them looked pretty lame. Even after I found a few I liked, fitting them into such an awkwardly long rectangle was another obstacle to deal with.

Half the reason I decided on using Bobby Orr was because he is already horizontal, meaning I wouldn’t have to crop as much of the picture out (seriously). I messed around in Microsoft Paint for a while and finally made it wide enough to get him in the shot, and I was willing to give up some blank space on the sides.

I don’t know if anyone ever noticed (if you did, I never heard about it), but the picture of Bobby really wasn’t even centered on the page. It looked fine because of the sidebar, but it was a good half-inch off. I think those are centimeters actually but you get the point.

See? Told you. But now I won’t have that problem anymore.

I check the site stats everyday, so I know someone out there is reading my stuff. I had over 6,000 hits last year, and December marked the third consecutive month with over 1,000 pageviews (and I’d say I only account for about half of those). I don’t have any idea how that compares to other blogs, but I don’t really care. I love what I do and I’d keep posting even if no one read it.

If I didn’t know better I wouldn’t think anybody reads this, but the stats tell me otherwise (apparently I have readers… awesome!). That’s about the biggest compliment a writer can get. Journalism is a tough field to go into, but (I’d like to think) I’m figuring things out here. Either way, I’m better for it.

I love hearing the things people tell me about my writing and about this site, but I’m open to criticism too. I know I still have a long way to go, and if you think there’s a way I could do something better, don’t hesitate to let me know.

WordPress sent me an email recently, as they do for every blogger, detailing the status of the blog for the previous year and how I'm doing. They said I did great. It made me happy.

Pick up a copy of The Griffin sometime and let me know what you think. If that’s not practical for you, I can mail you one, or you can read us online. The website is still a work in progress, but it’s getting better.

Is this a corny post? Maybe. But I have a cool new banner.

Again, thanks for reading, and I hope you like what you see. Coming back would be great, too. One thing I do want to do more this year is link to more things. There are plenty of other great sites/blogs out there that might know more than I do. If you don’t blog but are interested in writing a guest post sometime, let me know. No promises, but we could probably work something out.

That’s all I have. Go Sabres, go Bills, go Yankees, go Griffs and go Team USA. Here’s to a great 2011.


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2 thoughts on “New year, new look

  1. You can’t go wrong with Bobby Orr on the front page. Being able to add the color – very crafty. Don’t get me started on his greatness.

    I don’t think the stats counter includes your reads – at least when you are signed in to the site.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. I smile when people talk about the greatness of MJ and refer to the fact that he led the NBA in scoring one year and was also named the top defensive player. Yes, that is a great accomplishment. Bobby Orr did it twice.

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