Welcome to Beth's Blog for the Next Decade | Beth's Blog

Welcome to Beth’s Blog for the Next Decade

Housekeeping

Dawn Near the Bay of Bengal by Joisey Showaa

Welcome to the new and improved Beth’s Blog!  After almost a decade of blogging and most of it at the same place,  I’m starting over with a new platform and look thanks to Allyson Kapin and Jared Seltzer of Rad Campaign .

Moving to this new blog put me in a reflective mood. I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for almost a decade and seven years over at Beth’s Blog. According to the stats in Typepad, my blog has had:

  • 1206701:  Lifetime Pageviews
  • 3129:  Total Posts
  • 7641:  Total Comments

My very first blog was about my trip to Cambodia to bring my son Harry home in February, 2000.    I hand coded the html myself!  A year later, I launched my first professional blog  on the software that eventually became Google’s blogger.   I wrote about nonprofits, technology, and training.

In those early days, I lacked the discipline and inspiration to keep blogging on a regular basis.   I had a couple of false starts.   In April, 2003, I  started blogging on my http://beth.typepad.com in April, 2003 soon after Six Apart launched its TypePad hosting service.

My very first blog post was called “Blogspiration” and I shared my goal of blogging regularly.   I revisited some of my first posts and, ironically, my early blog posts were very short, some only a few sentences, a pre-shadowing of micro-blogging that would come into its own a few years later.

I did not form the blogging daily habit until January, 2004 because we had just added to our family.   That post was magical because it was the first comment I had received and that comment was from a Cambodian Bloggher, Tharum.   His comment inspired me to start a personal blog on Cambodian culture and connect with other Cambodian bloggers.

I had outgrown my information design as well as my blogging platform a couple years ago.   It had become increasingly difficult to find older posts because I have too many categories and an idiosyncratic way of organizing them. If it was hard for me to find content, than I can’t imagine how what it is like for you, the readers.   Allison Fine once joked that my blog was like entering the portal in Being John Malkovich.

I really needed a professional web/blog designer!  In April, I hired Allyson Kapin and Jared Seltzer of Rad Campaign who lead me through a blog redesign process and set me up on the Word Press platform.   They did a fantastic job and I highly recommend them!

They created a cleaner version of Beth’s Blog with less clutter, but still retains my personality.   They listened to me about my important goals for the look and feel: authenticity, conversation, generosity, and fun!  (One feature is that my photo in the side bar will change according to different themes, so stay tuned)

I will keep the old Beth’s Blog as an archive, so I can start fresh over here. As I enter this new journey in blogging, I’m inspired to work on improving my writing so that my blog is more effective at helping networked nonprofits use social media to power change.

What do you think of my new blog?

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110 Responses

  1. Wow. It’s like you’ve now a third child:).
    This just feels huge Beth. Did Harry and Sara help Allyson and Jared? I have to think they gave the thumbs up. 🙂
    Grateful to learn from you daily. And thrilled for this expanded sharing of your knowledge. Just a huge hug. So happy for you.

  2. Michael Sola says:

    Always inspiring and always walk away learning more – thanks for asking and answering the same questions I have in trying to maintain a dialog. Congrats on the new format and look, looking forward to the next decade!

  3. Nice new blog look Beth! And I’m really looking forward to being able to find stuff. Sweet!

  4. Susi Walsh says:

    Hi Beth,
    Congratulations on the new blog–the design is really nice, and i LOVE that photo of you! I will look forward to many more years of your fabulous content, now presented in equally fabulous fashion! Congrats!

    When you get a chance, please check out our newly renovated website/blog- also done on wordpress! We are still adding all the films….

  5. Wendy says:

    Beth – First of all congratulations on the redesign. I’ll have to poke around and see if I can find my way to the 13.5th floor. Looks great so far.

    Second, I love reading your personal blogging history. I didn’t even know about Blogspiration and I consider myself an advanced Bethologist.

    Keep up the great work and thanks again for EVERYTHING.

  6. Very impressive! great teacher to learn from

  7. Wau very nice Blog, looks like a Big step forward.

  8. Laura Norvig says:

    I love it! Clean and organized.

    One little tip on the organization: even though it’s hard to plan, have you thought through what your categories might be? I don’t think tags are enough – the key to helping people find stuff is to create and refine categories (yeah, I’m a librarian). So, for instance, this first post shouldn’t be “uncategorized”! Even if you just call it “Blog Housekeeping” “Miscellaneous” “General” it still is a bucket that has more meaning than “uncategorized”. Just my .02

    Here’s to another inspired decade of Beth blogging – keep it up!

  9. Very nice indeed, love it, and it is good to move once in a while!

  10. frank says:

    Nice work on this Beth (and Rad Campaign). I’m excited to see you get a face-lift … it’s such a valuable place for nonprofits so making it simpler to find content and use will absolutely help those visiting. Well done.

    – frank
    http://twitter.com/franswaa

  11. Adin Miller says:

    Wow! It’s looks great Beth. Congratulations! It’s get such as great clean look and interface.

    -Adin

  12. Anne says:

    Congratulations Beth! Looks great – excited to continue to follow your sage advice and learnings for nonprofits! You are an invaluable resources to the entire sector!

  13. Noah Flower says:

    Fabulous new look, Beth! I’m so glad to see your insights get the quality website they truly deserve.

  14. Congrats Beth. I know I’m biased but I can’t resist chiming in. We loved working with you on the redesign. Can’t wait to read all the great articles you are going to fill it with.

  15. celeste w says:

    Many congratulations — it is gorgeous, and I love the Malkovich joke.

  16. Beth Kanter says:

    Laura:

    Yes, I have limited myself to 15 categories – but I didn’t think about a housekeeping one. Thanks for that tip.

  17. Beth Kanter says:

    Thanks everyone for cheers! This was easy yet hard thing to do – easy because Allyson/Rad was so wonderful to work with – hard because it is change …

  18. Kate says:

    Lovely! But I wouldn’t expect anything less from Rad Campaign. And they did a great job of making it comfortable yet professional at the same time. – K

  19. Woo-Hoo Beth! Congrats, and welcome to WordPress!

  20. John Powers says:

    The site looks very nice and your personality is essential to it 🙂

  21. Roger Carr says:

    I love the new design! Thanks for the recommendation of Rad Campaign. I have a couple of sites that need an overhaul and you have given me the inspiration to get started!

  22. Jon Aston says:

    Congrats! Love the new design.

  23. Rocking (but I’m biased, too)!

  24. Beautiful blog Beth! Great job to all involved 🙂

  25. JD Lasica says:

    Very nice, Beth, been hoping to see a new look for a while now. That image you chose to kick off your new journey is just marvelous.

    Glad you’ll still be blogging for next 10 years when others are peeling away to do less substantive things …

  26. John Kenyon says:

    I love your new online home Beth, congrats! Engaging with you enriches us all.

  27. Congrats on the new blog, Beth! I like! I’m getting a MS in information management, so like Laura, I’m curious about the information design of your site. What are your 15 other categories besides housekeeping? What went into the decision to dedicate the real estate on the right column to Recent Comments instead of, say, your Twitter feed? As a user I personally, get a lot out of seeing someone’s tweetstream on their blog.

    A couple more ideas to consider. Of course, take them or leave’em :).

    1) Contact page. I’d list at least your Twitter handle and other ways of reaching you like Facebook, Linked In, etc. Yes, you have the buttons on your homepage, but some people don’t “see” graphics even when they’re right there. If they did a Ctrl F search for “Twitter” to try and find your Twitter contact info, they wouldn’t be able to find it. Plus it’s good to have a number of different ways for readers to get the same information. They’ll have a number of access/entry points to your blog, and often users think they’ll find all contact information under Contact.

    2)About page
    a) hyperlink “Beth is the CEO of Zoetica” and direct users to your “Work with Beth” page.
    b) Add the word “Contact” and hyperlink it to your Contact page. (Many users expect to find contact information under the About page.)
    c) I’d nix the “Full Bio” link because the exact same bio text appears in the link you provide.
    d) I’d provide a link to the old blog in this sentence “Beth is the author of Beth’s Blog (see the ‘old blog’ here).”

    3) Best of Beth page.
    a) I’d give a heading to this page in a similar way that you’ve given a heading to your About, Speaking, Work With Beth, etc pages. Otherwise it’s a bit confusing because in your sentences describing the page you don’t use the phrase “best of.”
    b) Perhaps move “Top Ten blog posts” up to the top because people who click on “Best of Beth” are probably expecting to see your top posts.
    c) I like how Dan Meyer presents his “best of” content. He has a “People’s Choice” page: http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?page_id=836 and also an “Author’s Choice” page: http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?page_id=836 .Now you probably don’t want two separate pages, but it’s one way to think about organizing the information.

    That’s all for now. Congrats again on your redesign. And thank you for all that you do. I, and countless others, benefit from your mind and writing.

    Best,
    Emily
    @emahlee

  28. It’s almost tweetable 🙂 Beth’s Blog is no longer typepad! I do agree with Allison’s assessment of the portal – but it was also a treasure hunt and every time I came back out I had new morsels of previously undiscovered gems.

    In Hebrew there is a saying “titchadesh” which is what you say when someone buys something new. It means, “that’s new! that’s nice! Congratulations!” Titchadesh to you!

    Congrats on the new blog redesign. Looking forward to reading about your journey for the next ten years on this beautiful blog in its new home.

  29. Gautam John says:

    I love it Beth! Is a fantastic new place.

  30. Katya says:

    It looks fantastic, Beth! I look forward to the next 10 years:)

  31. Beautiful, Beth. Love the photo — dawn on the Bay of Bengal and dawn for Beth’s new blogging.

    I appreciate you and all you do for non-profits!

    Diana

  32. Virginia says:

    A great new beginning, Beth. It looks wonderful and is a great fit for your current situation and influence. Congratulations!

  33. Craig says:

    Nice, clean, refreshed look! Very easy to navigate, and helps solidify you as the nonprofit social media guru!

    Well done, good and faithful soldier!

  34. Rose Vines says:

    What a terrific move, Beth. It looks great, full of energy and a sense of you. Congrats on the move.

  35. Beth says:

    Hi Emily:

    Thank you so much for your great advice. The information design flowed out my goals/objectives which included:

    -Purchase the book
    -Highlight opportunities to work with me
    -Encourage conversation in the comments

    The categories show up once there is a blog post assigned to them. I reviewed my category list from my blog – almost 200 categories – and narrowed it down to 15-20 categories which will show up once I have blog posts on those topics. I hope to keep the categories broad and evergreen, but use the tags/keywords in posts to get more specific and show things can be found via search.

  36. Congratulations on the launch! Can’t wait to see what insights and inspiration are ahead for this decade.

  37. John Haydon says:

    Welcome to the world of WordPress, Beth! 🙂

  38. Looks great — really comes alive. WordPress rules, doesn’t it?

  39. Wow Beth, I love your new site design! It’s so much more inviting and easier to read. Allyson and Jared did a great job!

  40. Robin Mohr says:

    Congratulations – I like the new design and the simpler URL. And the transition was seamless on my email subscription.

  41. Zara Brunner says:

    Congratulations on the newly designed blog. It’s very fresh, interactive, and inviting. As a small, federal government operating unit trying to engage in social media and blogging, I really appreciate your posts and insights.

  42. Here’s to the next decade Beth – love the new site, but even more important, I know that the content will continue to inspire and teach us all!

  43. Lee Westell says:

    Love the new look! So welcoming and engaging. You just want to spend time hanging out and reading posts — both new and old ones.

  44. Dan Hutson says:

    Congrats, Beth. The new site looks great! No doubt that it will provide you an even better platform for the outstanding content you’ve been sharing for so many years.

  45. Love it!! Clean, concise, edgy, fun

  46. Maddie Grant says:

    Wow. Fab-u-lous!!!

  47. The site looks absolutely amazing. Really like the simplicity of the design. Lots of white space. Very nice.

    Good work.

  48. Matisse BH says:

    Beth- a great, clean design, enhancing your always accessible and useful information sharing! Congratulations. We have been working to update our blog presence as well and just launched our new blog last week too! Work in progress but its now at http://blog.witness.org. As always appreciate your feedback/ insights if you have any to share re our blog.