Several years ago I started an outdoor blog (mycountryside.org.uk) where I posted about the countryside, walks, trips and kit. This was followed a couple of years later by a web related blog (daylightgambler.com) about web development, social media and freelancing. At around the same time I built Social Hiking, a site that lets you share your outdoor adventures, and I began to get interested in how people share, now and in the future, their experiences outdoors on the web – this has lead me to build relationships with some great outdoor bloggers and people who create and share content. This collision between my outdoor and web worlds has caused a few problems!
The first problem is where do I post things? For example a review of a social network for sharing location specific photos: outdoor blog or web blog? A tutorial on setting up a blog to share outdoor experiences: outdoor blog or web blog? A post on the talk I did at innovex on the web, mobile apps and the outdoors: outdoor blog or web blog? You get the idea!
The other problem is updating: I was finding it harder and harder to keep up to date multiple blogs, I was losing the conversation as I jumped between blogs, and I was avoiding writing posts I wanted to write because they did not really fit with either blog.
The solution: philsorrell.com
Excuse the vanity url!
philsorrell.com is made up of three sections: ‘The Outdoors’, ‘The Web’ and ‘Sharing Adventures’ (easily accessible from either the menu on every page or the three featured boxes on the homepage)
- ‘The Outdoors’ replaces mycountryside.org.uk – it will continue to be my place to share my outdoor experiences in the countryside, including trip reports, reviews and other things related to the outdoors.
- ‘The Web’ replaces daylightgambler.com and will cover the internet, developing for the web and being a freelancer.
- ‘Sharing Adventures’ is a new (and currently sparse) section that will cover using the internet and social media to share your adventures. I hope to also include some great examples of what others are doing, as well as looking at concepts coming in the future.
Each section is separate with it’s own slider (the photos at the top of page of featured stuff) and sidebar (so for example ‘The Outdoors’ sidebar has outdoor categories, latest outdoor posts and outdoor related links). More importantly, each section also has it’s own RSS feed – if you are not remotely interested in sharing your adventures or in the web, then you can just subscribe to ‘The Outdoors’ feed (there is also a feed you can subscribe to for all posts, which available from the homepage).
If you were already subscribed to mycountryside.org.uk, then your subscription will have automatically been transferred to philsorrell.com: The Outdoors. Likewise if you had subscribed to daylightgambler.com, this has been transferred over to philsorrell.com: The Web.
Apologies for the few stray posts you would have received during the transfer – there was as glitch in the redirects!
Mobile / tablet friendly
As befitting a web developer, the new site template is mobile friendly. The site uses a technology called ‘responsive design’ – basically this means the layout of the site is changed depending on the size of the device you are using. Where possible content in the posts, like images, are also resized before being downloaded to keep the site as light as possible if you are on your mobile.
I would really appreciate any feedback you may have on the site. There is a contact form at the bottom of every page, or leave a comment, send a tweet, get in touch on Google+ etc.
Now to get on and write some blog posts!
(It is probably worth mentioning that both my personal blog and the Social Hiking blog will remain separate)