Recently, in the announcements category…
If this posts successfully, I’m going to guess my upgrade to Movable Type 4.1 went just fine.
I may write more about it later, but my 30 second review is: looks good. The new layout of the entry screen is definitely an improvement. However, they still haven’t fixed what I consider a usability bug: Tabbing from the Title field takes you to the text format drop-down (Markdown, Textile, etc.) before going to the body edit box. How often are you going to change the format on a post? Almost never, so it’s a wasted keystroke, and not the expected behavior.
First, apologies to folks who read this site via feed reader: You probably just found ten new posts from me in your reader, but only one is actually new. On the one hand it’s annoying, but on the other it’s a signal that you need to go to the site and see what’s changed.
In this case, quite a lot has changed. The Sandbox theme is gone. WordPress is gone. Now I have my own design—“TreeGoat”—built atop Movable Type 4.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I sure feel better.
The last 2.5+ years with WordPress felt like my blog and I were openly hostile towards each other. We never could see eye-to-eye. It didn’t want to do what I wanted to do, and vice versa. That’s what I like about MT—it always wants to do what you want to do.
Anyway, it’s late and I should be in bed. There are no doubt things that are broken. I’m sure there are pages missing, and posts that have been carried through countless redesigns that now look bizarre. Some of those things will get fixed, others won’t. Such is life on the web. That’s why we all stopped using “under construction” signs.
Yesterday, we officially launched the all new Smart Goat website. It has a new look, new features, and, with any luck, a new tendency to get updated regularly.
This redesign has been a long time coming. We’ve been working on it off and on for months, when time permitted. In the last couple of weeks, though, it’s been our primary focus. We’re looking at doing a lot of new projects in the next few weeks and we wanted a proper place to showcase those projects.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting here about the technical aspects of the new site — the techniques we used and how it all came together. And on the Smart Goat blog I’ll be writing about why we did it the way we did and the business advantage of those techniques.
To start things off, here are a few highlights of the new site:
Movable Type 4 — The new site is completely powered by the new Movable Type 4. MT4 is an absolute joy to work with — so much so that when I get around to redesigning this site, it will go back to being an MT blog.
Newsletter — We’re going to be publishing an email newsletter about once a month. It will basically be the same as what’s posted to the blog, except with slightly more stories about goats.
Events & Links — The page footer displays business-related links we’ve delicioused and events we’re attending.
Best of all, the design is actually finished, something I never achieved with the previous design. And by finished I mean I still have a list of 30+ things I still want to do to the site. But still, it’s finished.
I’m proud to announce the launch of the latest member of the Smart Goat family: SweepsGoat. SweepsGoat is a community site built for people to share online sweepstakes. Web 2.0 folks will recognize it as a Digg-style site — just like Web 1.0 folks recognize Digg as a Kuro5hin-style site. This has all happened before, it will all happen again.
Anyway, if you like entering online sweepstakes I hope you’ll drop by and give it a try. Right now it’s your basic “submit and vote” website, but we have some features on the way that will make it more useful to dedicated sweepers.
We had various motivations for creating this site. Angela’s something of a sweepstakes hobbyist, and we’ve talked from time to time about the various sweepstakes communities that try to keep some or all of their listings behind a pay wall. This is a topic for another time, but one of my main rules for business is:
If your business model is based on the scarcity of information, you’re doomed.
So we were kind of interested to see if a thriving sweepstakes community could be built around the idea of everyone sharing everything. Of course, we would like to make a little advertising revenue off the whole thing, but if the site can just pay its own bills, I’ll be happy. Basically, this is another business experiment, and it will either work or it won’t.
I should also mention we have other stuff in the works that I will hopefully get to announce soon. I’m almost done with a new design for this site, and we’re also polishing up a new design for Smart Goat. Gift Goat is still in the works, but I have no idea when that will be ready. As I get to work more on our various ideas I’ll be writing about them here. So you’ve been warned.