Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Saturday, January 24, 2009

The blue jeans look was clear on my laptop but it was quickly apparent by the comments that on some screens it was hard to read. I've therefore changed the layout again! Blogs are very different to books. In a book the author is king. A successful blog is a community which has to reflect the collective wishes of the readership: you, the readers are more important than me. I hope this layout is better for you. By request, the main publishing area is white again.

It's that community element I want to bring to this blog. There are excellent blogs out there like Andie Byrne's Egyptology News which publicise official press reports; however, I find it frustrating that there is a lot going on in the Valley but no dig diary or press reports. There are eyewitness reports of people who have recently visited the Valley of the Kings - plus other news and gossip. They may not be as reliable as peer-reviewed articles, but as a community I'd still rather share them - with anything official that comes out as well. At times that means some reports will prove to be wrong - but then even Dr Hawass has that problem!

Best wishes

Update 27/1/09

I'm continuing to find and fix a number of 'issues' in the layout. The third party template I picked looks good, but it's got a whole host of problems. I've successfully moved the labels to the bottom since they aren't terribly useful, and corrected the post header so that it prints my name. That's not just vanity, I'd rather sort it out now in case in future anybody else ends up authoring posts.

There are still two big isssues:

1) When you get to the bottom of the displayed posts there is no way to navigate to the older posts - the link is missing. That's proving elusive to reinstate but I will get there eventually. For now I've set it to display 200 posts. That's not ideal as it slows load times, but it is a workaround. Anything older than that, use the archive.

2) I can't get commenting below posts to work. Again the template is 'buggered' as we northerners would say. Having worked out how to fix the labels I'm hopeful I may know what sections of code to tackle. For now I've left the full page commenting in place. As that works perfectly, commenting doesn't seem to be a big issue.

There are a handful of minor irritations as well that I won't bother you with. If you do spot anything else though, say and I'll move it up the priority list.



Andie said...

Thanks for the nice comments, Kate. Fully reciprocated. And I very much like the new look and feel to the blog - very smart and easy to read.

I agree with you about the frustration of finding out what is actually going on in the field in Egypt. As you say, I publish anything that I can get my hands on, but it is usually very formal and official.

I do hear all sorts of things off the record but am unable to publish them. The reason for this is usually that no information can be released without an official sign-off by the SCA, specifically Zahi Hawass. Excavation and survey projects who release such details and enable them to go public before SCA sign-off are directly contravening the agreements by which they receive permission to dig. I understand that it can be a very fine line between being helpful to tourists who are asking obvious questions and breaking the rules. The recent posts on the KV63 website make this clear - they need to wait for permission before the blog can be updated.

But sooooooo frustrating!

I have added your blog to Google Reader and am enjoying your updates. It is a great idea, and should generate lots of interest.

All the best

Kate Phizackerley said...

Cheers Andie,

I've read your blog from the very beginning after the previous Egypt News folded - can't now remember who ran it *:(=

Professionally I work in an environment where I know I lot before it's public. I'll always respect anything I'm told professionally or personally but since I'm outside formal egyptology for myself I don't have to watch my back with the powers-that-be.


Andie said...

The other blog was probably Mark Morgan's, which was excellent. We started at more or less the same time and used to exchange notes. A seriously nice guy. Changes in his job made it more or less impossible for him to keep updating the blog.


Admin Control Panel