Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Help--?

So, I need some input from you people out there. I'm considering swiching my blog from this handy (free) Blogger account to a different host that would charge me for the honor. Why? Well, I recently came across the blog/portfolio of a French cartoonist named Caroline B. What I liked about her blog page is that it has her portfolio embedded into it. Check out this link. Notice the galleries on the left side of the page. I think that's pretty cool. Right now I have a portfolio website that is separate from my blog. I think it would be nice to have them all together. Also, I can only imagine that it is much easier to update those blog galleries than it is for me to rebuild my own website.

But I'm torn.

The nice thing about this Blogger blog is that it's free and part of the whole "Google" experience. I know nothing about the host of Caroline B's blog: Typepad.com. Anyone out there have experience with Typepad? Do you think it's worth the cost (about $9 per month)? Are the templates easy to customize? Any bad experiences you can share with me?

Also, perhaps it is better to keep the blog and portfilio separate. It seems like putting them together is a good idea, but maybe I'm not thinking of something. Anyone out there have an opinion?

I need some guidance.

Now I must work. But first:

Listening to: Herman's Hermits. Not sure why. I'm so hardcore.
Watching: Last night we finished watching The Longest Day. Have you seen that one? Good D-Day flick. Unbelievable cast: Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, John Wayne, Sean Connery, Edmond O'Brien, Robert Wagner and about a zillion other faces you'll recognize.

12 comments:

Marc Siry said...

I must be missing something- when I visit the page I just see some images that link out to a portfolio that happens to be in the same domain, but it's a different page. Is that what you mean? Couldn't you do the same with the 'generic html' feature in Blogger? I'll have to look at my totally lame, non-customized blog to see.

Steve Buccellato said...

I don't think you're missing anything, Marc.

I guess I'm just being lame. If I want to delve deeper into Blogger, I'm sure there's a way to replicate such a gallery. But I'd probably need to host the gallery pages somewhere else (suggestions? maybe imac or Picasa?).

Am I just being lazy? Is there value in having the galleries & blog hosted in one place? Can I design a Picasa Web Album to have a similar look to my blog?

I JUST DON'T KNOW!

(more help, pleez)

Steve Buccellato said...

This just in: I just "found" another comic book artist whose blog/portfolio is on TYPEPAD:

http://joshhoward.typepad.com/

Am I just beijng seduced by how EASY this looks to set up? Is "easy" BAD?

Steve Buccellato said...

Marc just emailed me this directly, but I'm posting it here so nobody needs to repeat it. BUT, I would like further opinions on the subject...

I see what you mean about hosting your galleries... I found a link that might be helpful:

http://adsense.blogspot.com/2007/01/embed-photo-gallery-with-picasa-web.html

Looks like you can embed the Picasa album but can't customize it. For the price (free! And Googleified!) that might be good enough.

Sara Kocher said...

Mmm, I disagree about Caroline B.'s portfolio. I clicked over, clicked through her "entry" screen (what's the point of that?...please, waste my time some more), waited for her very slow loading page, and then had to scroll down though tons of blankness to see all her thumbnails and perhaps pick one to view larger.

Her art's pretty cool, but her site's design leaves me cold.

I think Marc's suggestion might be your best route. Sticking with Blogger does mean having your content in two columns instead of three, but you can't beat the price. And maybe there's a way to tweak the Blogger templates to allow for a good spot for the portfolio graphics?

Also, how often do you anticipate updating your portfolio? If it's only a couple times a year, you might prefer a web page instead of a blog for this. More control in exchange for slight hassle when updating. On the other hand, if you're posting new material a couple times a month, you'll probably value easy over pretty.

Steve Buccellato said...

OK, well, I tried the Picasa thing out as a test. Here's a link to the result, if anyone's interested:

http://stevebuccetest.blogspot.com/

The galleries show up nicely on the blog template. Right now, the downsides appear to be:

1- You can't customize the look of the Picasa gallery to make it seem like part of the same site.

2- You can't link back to the blog. People need to use the browser's "back" button. A possible drag, but not the end of the world.

What do you all think? It was really easy to set it up. Unless it looks terrible to you, this may be the best way to go.

How come nobody has commented on The Longest Day or Herman's Hermits?

Steve Buccellato said...

If you're still following this thread, you might be interested in what Marc just emailed me. He looked at the "test" link (above), and addressed the following questions: As far as the aesthetics go does it bother you that the galleries look so...generic? Would that be a turn-off to a client? Or would they even care as long as the art looks nice? Should someone claiming to be "digitally proficient" have a more customized portfolio?

Marc: Well, I don't think you're going for a job as an HTML or PHP coder, so I think the quality of the artwork and coloring is going to be far more of a factor than the customized frame.

I've seen plenty of designers who use Flickr as a portfolio website! Whatever does the job.

The only downside is there are a few extra links and touts to sign up for Picasa- sort of clutters the page.

If you have iPhoto, I think you can create a very simple gallery- but then you have to figure out how to host it (if you don't have a .Mac account) and upload it and embed it in your blog.

For the sake of expediency, I would start with the Picasa thing, get it up and running, and then figure out how to make it more elegant later.


I think he's right! Any last words on this...?

Steve Buccellato said...

For some reason, people aren't posting comments today, but instead are emailing their comments. Here's what Don says:

I think I like this Picasa format.

And as for Hermans Hermits, The put out a movie I think is called 'Ferry across the Mursey'. Fashioned after ' A Hard Day's Night' I'm sure.


I thought it was worthwhile to post it here, considering the Herman's Hermits reference!

Brian Buccellato said...

Yo checkit!

I put up my coloring portfolio on my blog using your picasa suggestion! Pretty nifty i think.

:)
bri

Allen Gladfelter said...

I don't care what you do, just so long as your blog is still linked to Comiculture.com. I click to your blog from Comiculture, so if Comiculture doesn't lead directly to your blog, I probably won't frequent it so much.

Steve Buccellato said...

Allen: of COURSE it will still be linked to Comiculture!!! (gotta update that site...)

Even still--that's so LAZY! Why not bookmark me directly here at http://stevebuccellato.blogspot.com/

Actually, regardless of how it's hosted, once I combine the blog & portfolio, I will also have www.stevebuccellato.com directed to it. So, there will be many ways to find me here.

mishka said...

sorry I'm late to this party but you can certainly tweak the Blogger template to display images and links on an additional side column. You just have to add them into the CSS template - which does indeed happen to be a pain in the ass. BTW I use Wordpress. Same deal.