The Blog has New Clothes

waves

Waves

painting by Sergey Gusev*

Well looky here. Little ol’ jlcollinsnh is growing up a bit. With this post you’ll notice three big changes. We could have done them separately, but just seemed to make sense to plunge ahead. Before we get into all that, let me start with some well deserved “Thank You” shout outs. Truly, with my near total lack of technical skill, none of this would have been possible without the help of giants.

My pal Mr. Money Mustache weighed in with a list of the features that make the MMM site sing.

jlcollinsnh reader Mark T. offered technical support and a list of ideas that helped guide the path.

Sean over at Renewable Wealth, in the nicest possible way, said “…your current design makes my eyes bleed.” While tough to hear, his comment opened my own eyes. And caused me to take a closer look at his site. What I found was what I called then a “stark elegance.” It became the template of what we’ve tried to achieve here now.

But the real heavy lifting was done by The Mad Fientist. He trekked down from his secret Vermont lair to the lavish jlcollinsnh World Headquarters where, for little more than Indian Lamb Curry, Dark Chocolate and a few bottles of French Wine, he began the laborious process of elevating the blog to the next level.

Here are the three big changes:

1. jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com has become jlcollinsnh.com and is now hosted by DreamHost. In my ignorance, I don’t fully yet appreciate the vast importance of this change. But I am convinced it will provide greater flexibility, growth potential and even the possibility of generating revenue. That last is important in that this new hosting is now also costing me money!

2. The blog design is, obviously, all new. Hopefully you’ll agree that we’ve hit the “stark elegance” target we set.

3. We’ve added a new set of features intended to enhance your experience here as a reader:

  • A search function.
  • A list of “Most Viewed Posts.”
  • Expanded “Categories,” section.  I’ll be integrating more as time permits and trying to do a better job of allocating posts into them.
  • A far more user-friendly and accessible “Archives.”
  • A “You Might Also Like…” feature under each post offering further reading suggestions.
  • The chance to edit your comment after you’ve hit the ‘publish’ button. We’ve all noticed some little mistake after we hit “publish” and it was too late.
  • We’ve made it easier to subscribe to the comments and have created a feature to allow you to subscribe to them on any given post, even if you choose not to comment yourself.
  • It is also now easier to subscribe to the blog itself. If you haven’t already, I certainly hope you will now. It’s FREE and when you do each time I get around to putting up a new post, a sometimes admittedly unpredictable event, you’ll be among the first to know.

Now as cool as I hope you agree this all is, it might seem to you it all looks a bit unfinished. Well, it is. And that’s intentional. It’s where you come in. So, shamelessly borrowing the idea from Mr. Money Mustache, I am pleased to announce the first ever

jlcollinsnh
-Logo Design-
-Tag Line-
and
-Name-
Contest

 

I figure it worked well for MMM and the readers here at jlcollinsnh are at least as talented. Many of you are, in fact, the same.

Clearly the ultra-simple logo now displayed needs an upgrade. It should be in keeping with the goal of “stark elegance” while at the same time adding a bit of panache and color. If you’d like to submit a logo, please send it to jlcollinsnh [at] comcast [dot] net.

The tag line, “Business – Life – Money” fit when I launched the blog almost two years ago. Now not so much. With the new design a new tag is needed, and it is especially important. After all, jlcollinsnh is not exactly a clear descriptive title. The Tag Line carries that load all by its lonesome.

Several people have suggested that the blog needs a new and more descriptive name. I thought long and hard about this and in the end am to stay with jlcollinsnh. Here’s why:

– Arnold Schwarzenegger. I remember reading years ago that when Arnold was first trying to break into the movies all the big shot Hollywood poobahs were telling him he had to change his name. Nobody with an unpronounceable, un-spellable, polysyllabic name like that could possibly be a movie star. He told them they’d learn to spell and pronounce it soon enough. They did. I’ve always admired that.

– Over the last 21 months the name jlcollinsnh has earned a surprising level of brand equity. I,m inclined to build on that, not throw it away.

– Very few financial blog titles impress me. Mr. Money Mustache, The Mad Fientist, 101 Centavos and a small handful of others are brilliant. But most are simply derivative. I’ve always figured if someday I stumbled on an idea that matches that sort of brilliance, maybe I’d change. But so far, all the ideas I’ve had or heard don’t measure up. But maybe, one of you has the perfect solution. We’ll see.

There is no prize other than the fun and satisfaction of seeing your work featured as an integral part of this blog, with your name mentioned and a link to your website if you so choose.

Winners will be chosen by a secret panel of close jlcollinsnh advisors and subject to our whims and bad taste. If your submission doesn’t make the cut, clearly the short coming will be ours. Oh, and by submitting something you agree to allow me unlimited use of it both here on the blog and with anything associated with it.

If that last doesn’t discourage you, we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Addendum #1: 

If you haven’t already subscribed, now’s a great time. It’s free and even easier than before.

Thanks!

*Addendum #2: 

I love using art in my posts. If you are an artist and would like to see your work featured here, let me know.

Sergey hit the ‘like’ button on one of my posts, so that works. You can also leave a comment with a link to check out your stuff or send me an email.

Anytime I use one of your pieces you’ll get a credit and a link to your own site, just like you see above with Sergey’s stunningly beautiful painting “Waves.”

I look forward to seeing your stuff!

 

 

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