Back in my entry Various Bloggers, Various Views: Sun Software, I mentioned that I was working in my group, the Information Products Group (IPG), to make blogging easier and better. Some of that involves working on an internal blog.
Contributing to that internal blog has made it more clear that this external blog could use some improving. I've been working on the improving-this-blog thing for a while. Have you ever noticed that the busiest people in the world can always find the time to tell you about how busy they are? Therefore, I'm not saying I'm busy. I'm just saying that I'm not exactly idle, which means I have NOT improved this blog as quickly as I would have hoped. Anyway, slowly and surely I'm making progress.
The story that I've been trying to get to here is that while working on that internal blog, I came across, again, a blog entry by Jakob Nielsen as follows:
Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes
That blog entry was written October 17, 2005. That's almost two human years ago, which is equivalent to 14 blog years. That was a long time ago. Also, I'm not sure it applies exactly to corporate blogs. That's my way of saying that I don't think that everything that Jakob wrote in that entry applies 100% to this corporate blog in 2007. By the way, some people don't like the idea of companies "encouraging" their employees to blog (I've put the word encouraging in parentheses for reasons I'm not really sure of). About the corporate blog controversy, I like to see every side of an argument, however, in this case, I've decided to make an exception.
Back to Jakob. I first read Jakob's "top ten mistakes" about eight months ago, which was before I started this blog. It convinced me that I wasn't crazy since before that I was looking at blogs saying, "I have no idea what this blog is about. This is ridiculous!" Thusly, after first reading Jakob's "top ten mistakes," I decided to make this blog a little more clear. Which is why I immediately started with an "About This Blog" category. But still, I realize now, that I could have done more. So, now I've added a quick Blog Description at the top. Do you see that up there where it says the following?:
Blog Description: A technical writer of Sun Java SystemTM Access Manager Policy Agent documentation is pretty much blogging about the same thing.
You see, that's suppose to make things more clear. I mean, both quick and clear. Do you feel that? I've also got the photo thing going on now. Here, I'll just add the photo again below, so you don't have to scroll or anything:
I'm not convinced that a picture is as important in a corporate blog as it might be in a non-corporate blog. I've added one, but, somehow pictures can be embarrassing. Anyway, I couldn't get myself to add a regular picture, so I added this one that was taken with a camera phone, and set to some special-effect-thingy option. It either looks like an extremely poor quality picture or like I was in a horrible accident of some sort. All the same, that's better than just having a regular picture of me. A cartoony photo like this one just isn't embarrassing. Or maybe it is, but not to me for some quirky reason.
How about them tags at the bottom of every entry? You know what I'm saying? Tags! Like the ones displayed at the bottom of this entry. You see those, like "daytemplate" and "ipg" and such? Isn't that cool? I like it. Okay, I haven't really made good use of them in this blog yet, but it seems I will some day. I'm still toying with the idea of using a tag cloud in this blog somehow.
In Roller, which is the software we use for blogs here at Sun Microsystems (it's used in lots of other places, too), there's a template called the _day template. One would select Preferences>Templates to get to the _day template and that would only work if one had already customized one's theme. Goodness it seems so complicated now. It seemed so simple when I was doing it.
Like I was saying, if one wants to display tags at the bottom of every entry, one could add the following code in the _day template (this would come after the code used for the comments):
<U>Tags used in this entry</U>:
Okay, I think I've explained enough about how I've made this blog better. If I explain any more, at this time, I won't be able to stand it, and probably neither will you.