Introducing the new Solution Watch!
Please, do not take the following quote too seriously. It is a unique shorthand my brother, Tim Benzinger, enjoys using when sending an email to me that I have ironically learned to understand.
“Brian website have. Designed Tim by have good. Look good. Feel good. Good. I have site now. You have site now. Together, we have site now. Viva site.”
- Tim Benzinger
It is hard to believe that the person that wrote the above words, my brother, has actually created this new design of Solution Watch. The words are from the contents of an email he had sent me upon completing the final concept of the new design. Over the years, Tim has developed this shorthand that very few can understand. I am unfortunately one of them. To help you understand, let me translate it for you:
“Brian website have” actually means that this is the new design for the Solution Watch website. “Designed Tim by have good” is how Tim says, I have designed a site I am sure your readers will love. “Look good. Feel good. Good” means, the site was designed to look good, but also function well. Lastly, he writes, “I have site now. You have site now. Together, we have site now. Viva site.” What he is really trying to say is, long live Solution Watch! You now have a site that I hope everyone will enjoy.
As Tim has said, I do hope everyone likes the new design. Once the design was completed, I used my weekend coding it in Web Standards and them created it into a custom WordPress theme. With this release, it really is a breathe of fresh air for me as the old design was really starting to get on my nerve. The old design wasn’t user friendly, rough on the eyes at times, and didn’t provide the flexibility I was wanting. That’s what I get for whipping it up so quick 10 months ago. I feel this new design solves all of the problems that I had with the old design and more. You will notice the layout is wider, high in contrast, involves more white space, and the wide right column allowed me to fit more content and respects in the sidebar.
Side Notes is a new feature that I am excited to release as well with this new version of Solution Watch. Side Notes will act as a small link blog and just an area that I can make small mentions about something. I can’t wait to get started on it because one of the problems I have is that I feel I have set my own “guidelines” when writing and sometimes things I want to mention don’t meet these “guidelines.” So, I present you, Side Notes, a place I can mention other services, things on my mind, and just overall news that I probably wouldn’t normally write here at Solution Watch. You may grab the Side Notes RSS feed if you’d like to keep track of them, but I am not including it directly in the normal feed because I understand some may not like the mix of posts and side notes.
While on the topic of RSS feeds, if you are a subscriber, you have probably noticed that Solution Watch now runs full-text feeds. It took a while of convincing to do, but I have finally went through with it after receiving numerous requests. I have always had these two feelings with full-text feeds: Why make my feeds full-text when I know the content can be easily stolen and when I would prefer subscribers to visit my site instead of viewing the content through a feed reader? Well, my feelings have changed and I can say that it really has only been of benefit so far. So, I thank my readers for requesting this and also Scoble for mentioning some benefits of full-text.
There have also been various improvements around the site in comparison to the last. First, you will find that the commenting area is now clean and organized, seperating the comments from the trackbacks. At times, things got a bit cluttered and reading actual user commentary just became a task when mixed up with the trackbacks. Also, I have added coComment integration to the site so if you are a member of coComment, it will automatically run and fill in the proper information for the post. Another new feature is the “Extra” tab on the headings of posts. You will find that when you click it, a new box will appear displaying related posts and method of bookmarking to various social bookmarking services (may add more sometime soon).
Designed by PARALLEL?
Glad you asked! You will find that it states “Designed by PARALLEL” in the footer and find logo in the right column. You probably wondering why it says this when I clearly stated above that Tim Benzinger is responsible for the design, so let me explain. Parallel is actually a new creative company that my brother and I, along with a friend, are starting. We specializing in design, usability, and development for websites, print, identity design, and content management. We have been planning on starting this company for years now and the time has finally come. We’ve got big plans for our company, so expect to hear from us again! By the way, if you are in need of some work, head on over to the temporary site and pass us an email.
Thank You and Enjoy!
The past 10 months of Solution Watch’s existence has been excellent and I thank all of you (and the startup companies for giving me something to write about!). I’ve got a lot planned for the future of Solution Watch, so stick around! Also, just a quick thanks to Media Temple for being the best hosting provider I could ever hope for. I switched over from my old host to a dedicated server at Media Temple a few months back and I couldn’t be happier. That about concludes it! Thanks everyone and I hope you like this refresh of Solution Watch!