Request

I was hoping that someone could take a little bit of their time and check out rmmproject.blogspot.com. I'm not sure if I'm missing any features that are pretty important for a serial, so if anyone spots something missing or deficient in some way, give me a shout out.


Additionally, if you have even more time, go ahead and check out my progress so far. I took part in epiguide's serial writing month and put out an update each day of August, and had to put out an extra four updates to complete the current arc (last update goes up in less than 2 hours). My goals in writing this were to maintain a conspiracy theme while adding in a couple one-liners here and there to keep the tension from getting too thick, which kind of gives it some touches of dark comedy. I also wanted to keep things moving at a somewhat decent pace so things don't drag out to the point where I'm beating a dead horse, and some detail might have suffered as a result of it (this is probably more obvious in the diary entries than anything else).


If you have any suggestions for improvements, say something and I'll see what I'm able to do. Due to starting a new job, I'm going to have to put this project on hiatus for at least September, so while I'm not putting out new updates, I want to at least fix up what I have for now.


Thanks


Hi Rick - Did a quick surfover and the "Everything Begins Here" thing was something I completely glossed over. If I might suggest something ... please use a more obvious pointer like "Start Reading Here" . Not sure what kind of font customization or image customization you can use, but that one link needs to stand apart from the others. Right now it's completely lost with "Home" and "Character Profiles" on that sidebar.


Another thing I might suggest is that a lot of information on your blog design is hidden at the bottom including your RSS subscribe function and your post about your hiatus. I had to scroll far down to see that. My thought is it might be better if you can institute a "read more" option on each of your story entries so that you can shorten your screen length to one screen length. Or - move those elements on the bottom somewhere else. Perhaps consider a three column navigational space if blogspot will allow it.


I'd put a link widget on the right side of the blog that says something like "Chapter Guide". Below that just link chapter 1, 2 etc. in descending order like a regular index (not the reverse order Blogger forces on you in the 'archive' tab).


I also think every post should have 'previous chapter' and 'next chapter' at the top and bottom (or at the very least on the bottom), preferably alongside a link that says something like 'jump to chapter 1' so if they start reading and think it might be something they're interested in they can start at the beginning.


Okay, first of all, thanks for the input.


I'm not totally familiar on how the RSS thing works, but I moved the part that I think it is to the top of the page, so it will show before the post. I've also moved the twitter feed to the side of the page, which will put it near the top.


As for the start link and character profiles, I moved them to a tab near the start of the page with a different color than the rest of the page (completely black), which hopefully will call more attention to them. I can't seem to adjust the font, the size, or the font color beyond this just yet.


Lastly, I looked at the way that the archives are kept. I reversed them so that the older posts will show higher than the new ones, but they will still be listed in chronological tabs. Hopefully this will make things a little easier for someone who wants to navigate from the side.


As for shrinking the posts, I can't find a way to automatically do that, but when I have time, I could manually insert jump links. First I'll try to find out more about how to do that before I go edit 35 posts.


Once again, thanks for the input.


Much better! I now know immediately how to start with your first installment :).


I'm not too sure if this will work with your specific blog (as I've not had a blogger/blogspot one in a long time) but look into the After the Jump feature (http://support.google.com/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=154172)


MOre or less this allows you hide the text behind a "read more" so you can keep your screen from becoming one long scroll entity.


Ok, here goes.


1) In the header, the last phrase is not a complete sentence. That scares me away from wanting to read further.


2) The layout is a bit bland. If you want to stay with the grey/white scheme, could you put in a background in somewhere, or a small graphic that gives us the whole post-apocalyptic feel? Nothing fancy is needed. A b&w line art of ruined mountains with some jagged bits of steel would suffice.


3) What SgL said about the long episode length. Breaking it up is highly recommended!


4) Links to some of the acronyms/phrases/proper names would be helpful to new readers, though I realize that's a pain and more work. :| You could put in a short glossary (maybe expanding?) as another widget on the right instead.


5) I like the Sideline widget, though I'd rename it to "Status" or something that's used in the story, and put in a small graphic of a heartbeat graph, to give it some additional kick.


6) If you have the space on the right, you could do a blogroll of stories that are similar in style/tone and get some link love going. It usually takes a while (at least if my experience in political blogging is any measurement) but it does help to get traffic from other places.