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    7th February 2012

    Those readers who view my posts directly on this site can’t have failed to have noticed a few design tweaks over the last couple of days. I’ve been attempting to improve the readability of the text, and make it easier to delve into the archive. There are a few graphical changes too, to make things look a bit more modern.

    A lot of the changes are really tiny – text sizes, contrast and line spacing, for example – but some of the more obvious ones are the improved handling of archive pages (which now show full posts rather than lists of titles), the ability to flick through the blog chronologically, and the vastly clarified “calls to action” under posts on single post pages.

    The latter includes one-click access to similarly tagged archive posts. Unfortunately, few of my posts actually have tags, as they’ve never had any practical function from the front-end until now, but I am determinedly ploughing through the archive tagging away.

    I hope the changes are to your liking – as ever, I’d be delighted to hear your feedback.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/02/07/tweaking-the-design-of-my-blog


    I’m coming home

    I’m coming home

    Filed on Monday, 2nd January 2012.
    Filed on Monday, 2nd January 2012 under Site Updates.

    I’ve been using Tumblr for a few months now, mainly because of ease of access on the move. However, having become frustrated with the limitations of a third-party service, I’ve leapt back to WordPress sjhoward.co.uk from today.

    I’ve duplicated almost all of the posts from Tumblr – there weren’t all that many, and I don’t anticipate this transition shaking the Earth to the core. I tended to post more varied content on Tumblr that I historically did on here, and my posts were almost all shorter than typical posts here, and I plan to continue that style back on here. I’ll be doing my photo-a-day project via here, for example.

    There’s bits of housekeeping to be done to tidy things up on here, which will no doubt get done in time. Feel free to comment on this post if you spot any glaring errors for me to pay some attention to.

    Thanks for your support over the eight or so years that I’ve been blogging – I hope you’ll continue to enjoy reading!

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/01/02/im-coming-home


    iPad App Reviews: All next week on sjhoward.co.uk

    iPad App Reviews: All next week on sjhoward.co.uk

    Filed on Friday, 8th April 2011.
    Filed on Friday, 8th April 2011 under iPad App Reviews, Reviews, Site Updates, Technology.

    The iPad 2 was released in the UK a couple of weeks ago, and caused quite a stir. Just a week or so beforehand, I’d bought an original iPad at a bargain price, and I’ve been loving it ever since. I haven’t coveted the iPad 2 at all – the original one is perfect for my needs.

    So, with the number of iPads increasing, I thought it would be nice to review some of the Apps I’ve loaded onto my device, to help new owners decide what they want.

    Hence, all next week on sjhoward.co.uk, I’ll be doing a series of App Reviews – one a day, published at midday.

    If you’ve read my reviews in the past, you’ll be familiar with the fact that I’m not a great reviewer, and tend to ramble more than a bit without ever really reaching a conclusion. I don’t think it’s ruining the blogging magic too much to say that this series of five reviews is already drafted, and fits in with that pretext pretty well.

    The first App coming before me for judgement is News International’s “The Times” iPad App.

    Will I like it? Will I hate it? The suspense is killing me!

    Find out on Monday!

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2011/04/08/ipad-app-reviews-all-next-week-on-sjhoward-co-uk


    8th July 2010

    I’ve just noticed that my (infamous) video of Gordon Brown picking his nose has now been viewed over half a million times – 581,610 times to be precise – on YouTube alone. That’s on top of it’s appearance on Newsnight, and pretty much everywhere in 2007. It’s had 2,584 comments – more than the rest of the site put together.

    It’s quite clearly the most successful thing ever to come from this site: A video of someone picking their nose. Crazy!

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2010/07/08/browns-record-breaking-nose-picking


    28th March 2010

    I’ve made a couple of changes to the site’s layout, of which I hope you will approve.

    Most noticeably, I’ve tidied up my handwriting a bit – if only it was so easy in real life! It is still very much my hand, but I’ve straightened out the baseline and reduced some of the letter spacings to more closely reflect actual handwriting. There are a couple of other tiny changes, too – it’s an addictive business, tweaking a font!

    Also, I’ve stopped DailyBoothing. I’m not self-obsessed enough to take a photo of myself everyday as it turns out… Though notice that I am egotistical enough to keep a static photo in the corner up there… And to have a site of thousands of pages all devoted to me, of course…

    As always, your comments on the above, plus the multitudes of other tweaks around the site, are most welcome!

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2010/03/28/little-design-changes


    14th March 2010

    So I’ve decided to experiment with DailyBooth for a while, and stuck a big picture of myself in the sidebar.

    While I get the impression that I’m about ten years too old to join in the DailyBooth phenomenon, I have been thinking for a while that I should stick a picture in the sidebar since I’m trying to make the site seem a bit more ‘personal’, with the handwriting and all… And this way, I get to play with a new website, and don’t have to stare at the same picture of myself for too long.

    The implementation is clearly a bit slapdash at the moment (and I know my collar’s wonky in the first picture), but let me know your thoughts – is this a change for the better, or does my face make you want to vomit?

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2010/03/14/experimenting-with-dailybooth


    Is a blog still a blog. . .

    Is a blog still a blog. . .

    Filed on Sunday, 22nd November 2009.
    Filed on Sunday, 22nd November 2009 under Blogging, Site Updates.

    …when it’s updated as seldom as this one?

    No answer forthcoming from me, but I will be making some effort in the next little while to at least transcribe my Pod Delusion contributions to provide a sliver of nearly-new content.

    My blogging has always gone through, erm, “dry spells”. I’m sure this site will spring back to life at some point in the not-too-distant future… And thanks to all the many thousands of visitors for keeping it going in the meantime – There is now far more user generated content on this site (via comments) than there is stuff written by me.

    So I guess, in a very real sense, this is your site rather than mine.

    Thanks for making it that way, thanks for supporting me, and thanks for your patience. New stuff is coming, I promise!

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2009/11/22/is-a-blog-still-a-blog


    A little light housekeeping – and a new mobile site

    A little light housekeeping – and a new mobile site

    Filed on Wednesday, 1st July 2009.
    Filed on Wednesday, 1st July 2009 under Site Updates.

    I haven’t been writing much on here of late, as you will no doubt have noticed. In fact, in the first half of this year I composed a mere nine pieces – this is the tenth of 2009.

    But the site is not yet dead! In fact, in some ways, as of this week it is newly invigorated, as I’ve relaunched the mobile version of the site. Visit m.sjhoward.co.uk, and you’ll find a mini mobile verison of sjhoward.co.uk – available on any mobile with an internet connection, but with a special version for the iPhone, and a downloadable shortcut for BlackBerries. You’re also able to read my Twitter feed on there, which is updated somewhat more often than the main site.

    I’ve also done a little tidying on the site itself – I’ve fixed the post headers, which had gone a bit wrong for reasons I still don’t really understand, and picked about with a couple of other things – including upgrading the software that powers the site to WordPress 2.8… just a little later than most!

    I also have some new stuff to stick on here some time, but haven’t found the time yet. And when I do find the time, I’ll get round to writing some actual content too… I promise!

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2009/07/01/a-little-light-housekeeping-and-a-new-mobile-site


    Six

    Six

    Filed on Thursday, 7th May 2009.
    Filed on Thursday, 7th May 2009 under Site Updates.

    I’ve been blogging for six years as of today – albeit only the last few of those on this site. Regardless, in an homage to the original post, here’s some stats about this site’s five-ish year history…

    Since its inception, this site’s seen:
    19,428,276 hits
    1,226,728 spam comments nuked by Akismet

    6,081 genuine comments
    1,394 posts
    195 Twitter Updates
    53 reviews
    30 post categories
    3 different straplines
    2 books
    1 author
    1 competitive award
    0 posts in the last month

    Thanks for sticking with me for six years – I know some of you have read my trash since the very beginning – even before the LBSC and the start of blogging proper.

    Once I have the time, energy, and will, I’ll start writing for the site again more regularly. At the moment, the most I can muster most of the time is the occasional tweet…

    I hope you don’t hold it against me, and will stick with me for another six! ;-)

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2009/05/07/six


    Renewed, refreshed, and ready to go . . .

    Renewed, refreshed, and ready to go . . .

    Filed on Monday, 17th November 2008.
    Filed on Monday, 17th November 2008 under Site Updates.

    It’s been two months since I last wrote anything of any substance for this site. As I said a little while ago, you should blame the NHS for that.

    But, really, when you think about it, has anything of political significance happened in the last couple of months? Only an unprecedented economic crisis, the election of the first black President of the United States, the political return of Peter Mandleson, and a few other trifles. It’s not as if I’ve missed anything of any real significance, is it?

    Yet, in what’s likely to be the most sensational political story for months, I’ve given this site a minor refresh, to feature much more of my childlike scrawl. I hope it makes the site look modern and friendly. After all, there’s no point going for an overly professional image when making predictions like this and this.

    You’ll also notice the disappearance of the word ‘political’ from the title of the site… with good reason. Heck, when someone like Peter Mandleson can make his seventy-second political comeback, it’s getting beyond satire – it’s too depressing to be fun to write about. So expect some more ecclectic stuff, more like the good old days. I’m talking Eurovision, funerals, nosepicking and amphibian genitalia. Frankly, that stuff was always more popular anyway, and if that last link doesn’t guarantee hits from Google, I don’t know what will.

    Of course, there will still be the odd bit of politics – how could I help myself – but I’m hoping the wider coverage will better reflect the fact that I now find myself reading heatworld.com more often than totalpolitics.com… though whether that’s good for my sanity remains to be seen.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2008/11/17/renewed-refreshed-and-ready-to-go


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    I've been writing here since May 2003, and waffle on about all sorts of stuff. See this page for more about me, or follow me on twitter. Enjoy browsing, commenting, and getting involved!




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