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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35 Comments

  1. Posted March 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jim,

    The new site looks great!
    I’m actually a fan of your ‘Business – Life – Money’ slogan. I think you should keep it.
    But since that’s not really a vote, and since your site is really about how to live well and not run out of cash, I’d recommend something like:

    Jlcollinsnh – ‘Currency for life’.

    I think that has a ring to it, and also stays in the same key as your previous.

    -Fran

    Fran

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Hi Fran….

      Congrats on being the first commentator on the new jlcollinsnh.com!

      I also like “Business – Life – Money” so unless something really cool get suggested it will stay. Or maybe morph into “Money – Life – Business” which based on the posts is really more accurate.

  2. Fritz Hahn
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Logo Design: the Greek God ‘Janus’
    Tag: “achieving your goals and dreams by making money with your money.”
    Name: “The Golden Greek”

    OK ya’ll, the Taos New Mexico contingent has spoken – your turn!
    Signed,
    the New Mexico Lobo
    (#11 in this week’s college poll; lsten up here – our main cheer is:
    “everyone’s a lobo, woof, woof, woof!”)

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      Mmmm….

      I think that Janus logo idea is being used by a mutual fund company already….

  3. Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been a reader for about a year now, and I always assumed that you just really liked that theme. It never looked particularly attractive to me, but what do I care, I’m visiting for sage financial wisdom, not interior design. Anyway the new sleek design is easy on the eyes and rather refined.
    “A Simple Path to Wealth” is my favorite post of yours, and it might not make a bad slogan…

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, CR….

      Sleek, easy on the eyes and refined. I like it!

      That post title you mention is also the working title for the book I hope to pull together, so I’m glad you like it. As for the blog slogan, it feels a bit limiting to me as I like to range beyond that theme.

      As for the original design, I was very fond of it. Still am on some level. But increasingly it feels like some of the old ties hanging in my closet. I used to think they were the bees knees back in the day too. Now I just wonder what I was thinking. ;)

  4. Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    “Brilliant”? Heh! Glad I didn’t go with the first choice in blog names!

    The tag line is just swell. It nutshells what the blog’s about, isn’t that what a tagline is supposed to do?

    I likes the new design. Leaving a comment on the old blog was pain in the rear.

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      Yeah. “100 Centavos” wouldn’t have the same ring.

      I’m a little horrified to hear leaving a comment was a pain before. I didn’t know. It was easy for me, but then my user experience was apparently different on a couple of fronts. For instance, I never saw the ads WordPress put on the site and only learned they were there when a friend showed me one day. They never appeared on my version.

      Glad to hear leaving a comment is easier now. But how is it different? It is the same for me…..

      • Posted March 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Most times, I had to sign in into WordPress. The pain was because I kept forgetting the password.

  5. Posted March 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Great new site Jim. I’ve been following your blog for about a year now and always look forward to you posts. You are very much a “Teacher of all things in Life”

    Indian Lamb Curry! I have not had that since I left the UK 5 or so years ago. Not easy to find in the US :( Being British means I love a good curry and a beer.

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 5, 2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Gareth….

      …what a wonderful compliment!

      Glad to hear you’ve been hanging around here for a while.

      As for the Lamb Curry, whenever I’m in the mood the world’s best is available to me. I need only persuade my Goan wife to prepare it… ;)

  6. Posted March 5, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I always liked that your name was your name – it just seems more personal. So… I guess what I’m saying is that I wouldn’t change anything there.

    As for the logo, I’d keep with that theme and make it something personal. Someday I hope to do the same with my site, but for now I’m stuck keeping it anonymous…

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 5, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Thanks, BLN…

      …when I first launched the blog in the spring of 2011 I really only intended it for friends, business associates and family. So using my name, with the descriptive tag-line, made sense. It really never occurred to me it would find a larger audience who, at least at first, would have no way of knowing what a “jlcollinsnh” was.

      But I have grown to like it and, as I said in the post, it seems to have developed some brand equity I’d hate to throw away. Even the best new name would be starting from scratch….

  7. Betty
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Nice. I do appreciate the clean atmosphere. :)
    I know you are up for adding a new logo but, I like
    it the way it is now. Sophisticated.

  8. jlcollinsnh
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Thanks Betty…

    ..me too!

    I think the current logo works very well and I love your description of it as “Sophisticated.”

    You may very well win this logo contest with your submission of the current logo!

    • Betty
      Posted March 5, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      “Go ahead, make my day….” ;)

      • jlcollinsnh
        Posted March 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Ha!

        Clearly you know your way around this place. :)

  9. Alram
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Hi Jim,

    New site looks great, congrats!

    Reading the comments so far highlights for me what I love about your blog: you bring true mentorship – a humble and yet authoritative perspective that comes with maturity. I think your simple title and tag line work, yet the word “business” (especially coming first) is the least fitting (IMO). What if you changed to Wisdom. Life. Money. Sounds similar, yet seems more accurate to me…the wisdom part doesn’t need to sound arrogant, it can describe you sharing the wisdom you’ve gained(you are a teacher as Gareth said above), which works with your pursuit of learning, the way you like to share links and books etc. while also highlighting your unique selling proposition – you’ve been financially independent longer than most in this community.

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Wow, Alram…

      ..that’s very, very kind! I might be blushing a bit.

      Not sure I could maintain my humility and start touting my wisdom at the same time. ;)

      Your point about the word “business” is spot on. My original plan was to post much more on that, but the “money” and “life” posts have stolen the show. Those are, I think, what this audience is more interested in. Maybe we should move them up in the order to reflect that…..

      • jlcollinsnh
        Posted March 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Just changed it to:

        Money – Life – Business

        looks odd, but that’s likely just my old habit dying hard.

  10. Michael
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Looks great, thanks for investing in the blog!

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      My pleasure, Michael…

      Thanks for checking in and being a reader!

  11. arebelspy
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Congrats on the smooth transition. The new site looks great!

    When is UraniumC getting its own domain? Or an update, for that matter. In that vein, any chance of meeting UraniumC if we go to Ecuador? ;)

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Thanks! and a tough question.

      UC is a very private guy which is why, I guess, he has chosen to live in a very remote area of Ecuador. Probably why he is after me to tell his story, rather than doing it himself.

      We’ll not have a chance to meet him as a group, although I’ll very likely try to get up there before or after the event.

      Since I’m too cheap to pay for a unique domain, UraniumC will remain on WordPress.

      The fact that there has been not recent updates there are described in my last post on the site. I still haven’t resolved that in my own head.

      For anybody interested, my best suggestion would be to hit the subscribe button. It’s free and that way if anything more gets posted you’ll know. Plus, if enough people express an interest maybe that will help me get motivated. ;)

  12. Kurt
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoy your writing and like the new look! Good luck with the logo contest.

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Kurt!

      I appreciate the encouragement!

  13. RW
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Nice upgrade!
    I think it would be nice to have some of the art featured, seems to be part of you speaking. Not sure that would be possible. Tag line, I wanted to piggy back on one of the commenters ideas.
    Wisdom-Life-and why you need F-U money (or pursing FI), I’ll be watching to see..
    Good luck!

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Thanks, RW…

      …and you reminded me of something I forgot to add in that post:

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

      I found Sergey when he hit the ‘like’ button on one of my posts, so that works. Or you can 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!

  14. Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I think it should somehow incorporate the idea of F-You Money, I don’t know if that was your term originally or if someone else coined it but that’s what I think of when I think of your site.

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Hi David…

      Nope. Not original to me, and for that reason I’d be uncomfortable using it in a tag or name for the blog. That said, I’m glad the term reminds you of the site!

      I came across it in a James Clavell novel. Not sure it is original to him either.

  15. Posted March 6, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    My pleasure, Jim. I’m actually hoping arebelspy talks you into moving UraniumC to a new domain so that I have another excuse to come down and try some more of your wife’s incredible cooking. That lamb curry was amazing!

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      Nah.

      Next time you come down we’ll still have the curry but I won’t make you work.

  16. cjb
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Hi! I just found you last week but really glad for the new design. Looking forward to reading your older posts now since your sight seems so much easier to navigate.

    Thanks for the changes and for sharing you knowledge!

    C

    • jlcollinsnh
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Welcome C!

      Glad the new format is working for you! Hope the content does, too! ;)

  17. Posted April 5, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Jim, I have a logo design but not sure how to post it here.

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