It's time for another CoasterBuzz

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 11:47 PM | comments: 0

It's crazy hard to believe that I launched v5 of CoasterBuzz almost three years ago. It still feels sort of new to me. I think I'm finally on the up swing of paying attention to it. My coaster enthusiasm admittedly waned a bit the last year and a half. Life has been busy, and there is definitely a cycle. It's time for a refresh.

That last update did quite a bit for traffic. The long-tail organic search traffic was crazy good after that. People aren't really making it a habit to hang around and contribute much, but even with declining ad revenue, those short and infrequent visitors are strangely more valuable (on a per-page basis) than frequent visitors. Go figure.

Some of the reason I'm interested in overhauling it is so I can start using the newer version of the forums, which is already in play on PointBuzz. To do that, I need to redo all of the markup to use Bootstrap. That's probably a good thing, because it gets to the responsive design that I should be using. Three years ago I went the route of different views for mobile, which I still think is a good idea in certain circumstances (way less markup and CSS), but for stuff that's more content than form UI, as this site is, responsive makes more sense.

So I'm not after anything new, just "roughly equivalent." It's mostly tedious and uninteresting work, but there will be some efficiencies for sure. I'm not going to go nuts on a new look, though I do want to try some new typography (which I hate doing).

One of the things that I always encounter in these redesigns is the square logo. Square logos are a pain in the ass. I know everyone hates Buzzy, but he's been with me for 15 years. I think I'll keep him, but I need something inspired by it that's horizontal.

There is one other motivating factor here: ASP.NET 5 is going to be radically different in terms of project layout and convention. Getting the forums there, and then a real site, is going to take some time to get right. I don't want to get too far behind on that. I feel like that's pretty important in terms of professional development.

It's not lost on me that all of this effort doesn't really consider the audience much, and I totally realize that. The problem is that I go through these long three or more year cycles, during which time frameworks and tools change enough that there is a ton of work just to stay current on that. Feature work almost becomes secondary. But I am still thinking about features... I just haven't decided what to work on first.


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