Sunday, January 18, 2009

My coffee has me thinking

Just have a couple of random questions.

1. What are peoples thoughts on me changing this whole thing from a blog to a website? Pro's and Con's anyone? I'm not much fussed either way but people who just turn up here or who are actually looking for something in particular seemed to be fussed about it because I get their emails mentioning stuff they missed or didn't see or only just found. The blog is brutal for actually trying to find anything and that is mainly my fault because of the post titles and that I don't use post labels and that sort of thing. So tell me what you think or what you think would be a good way forward.

2. I was talking to Fergus Connelly the other day...he's just like me only smarter and more informative. He's currently working as the 'Mr Spock' of the Welsh Rugby Union and he was saying that he thought I really should integrate some sort of forum with the blog where people can ask questions and generally waste their time when they should be working or doing something constructive? I was thinking about this as well with regard to the upcoming seminar. I am going to video the whole thing...mainly so I can for want of a better word 'analyse' it afterwards. See what works really well and what didn't and what I need to make clearer and what I can brush over. This first seminar is really going to be a pilot seminar as it'll be the first time that I've used the format I'm planning. What I am thinking about doing though is finding some way to post bits and pieces of future seminars as an 'opener' for discussion on the subject. So people can ask specific questions and get specific answers. I also want to create a training resource. I want to document my work process so people can take pot shots at me and rubbish me both on my own forums and on others...I like giving people something to talk about.

3. I'm also wondering if anyone has any suggestions regarding other gadgets or features that they've seen or like on other better blogs than this one that they read or have seen that I could possibly rob or add to this less than spectacular blog to make it seem like it was better when new people first come here...I mean before they actually read what's here and discover there is much less to it than they thought originally when they first find this site?

So give me your thoughts and or suggestions on this topic or others? What do you think I should do with the blog? How do you think I could improve it? I mean bedsides getting someone else to write it.

29 comments:

garrett said...

maybe a forum would be a good idea, you could have stickies on various subjects that link to your videos or writings on that.

Ian M said...

Websites are a pain in the arse- the good think about this format is that you can edit and add info. when you want. Forums tend to run out of control with either "biggunz74" or "bigsquat42" telling everyone their ridiculous thoughts on something they aren't qualified to talk about- though that I guess is the idea of a forum, I suppose Lyle knows about that a bit more. Depends what you want Will- a website depicting what you think is good practice or a forum that you will ultimately get thrown off of for having a bad attitude:)

Barry Oglesby said...

What Ian said. There's plenty of fora. :D
The good thing about your blog is that there's no shite on it from anonymous morons clouding the real information.

You know you could just learn how to tag properly.

Will Heffernan said...

garrett said...
maybe a forum would be a good idea,
Don't be too committed there Garret.

you could have stickies on various subjects that link to your videos or writings on that.
That was sort of what I was thinking...here's all the stuff on strength training...and here is all the discussion about strength training.

Ian M said...
Websites are a pain in the arse-
Cmon...you have to embrace modern technology...do you even use a microwave?

the good think about this format is that you can edit and add info.
I like that as well....cause I always just spew forth and don't really edit or even think through what I'm saying...so later I can come back and edit it when I realise how ridiculous it is after I re read it.

when you want. Forums tend to run out of control with either "biggunz74" or "bigsquat42" telling everyone their ridiculous thoughts on something they aren't qualified to talk about- though that I guess is the idea of a forum, I suppose Lyle knows about that a bit more. Depends what you want Will- a website depicting what you think is good practice or a forum that you will ultimately get thrown off of for having a bad attitude:)
I will end up banning myself constantly. I figure since there is only about 12 of us that read the blog if we were to have a forum it would be reasonably quiet anyway and we would attract many of those '21inchgunz' type posters in the first place...we could just have a place for discussion on training and rubbish each other? I'm still not sure I'm convinced about the idea myself so no one should get their heart set on it or start thinking of forum names and picking out avatars for themselves just yet.

Barry Oglesby said...
What Ian said. There's plenty of fora. :D
Is there anyone reading this fucking blog that isn't illiterate? I mean I know I am...I just thought I might attract a better class of reader.

The good thing about your blog is that there's no shite on it from anonymous morons clouding the real information.
I like the fact that I'm the only moron posting as well but that's just because I love the sound on my own voice.

You know you could just learn how to tag properly.
I think we all know that not likely to happen.

Ian M said...

Maybe we shouldnt tell anyone else about it to keep "the standard " up.....and yes I have a microwave-I do squats on it because it vibrates when on full power because that will be good for my running speed.

Will Heffernan said...

Ian M said...
Maybe we shouldnt tell anyone else about it to keep "the standard " up.....
I don't think I really attract the type that you're worried about in the first place. I don't really tell people the secretz of getting totally ripped. I don't really actually have any completely made up exercises that people can do in the gym that enable them to feel superior. I think those two things are vital for really drawing big crowds.

and yes I have a microwave-I do squats on it because it vibrates when on full power because that will be good for my running speed.
That was a fad that came and went faster than most didn't it? A vibrating machine that you could stand on for 10 minutes that would increase your strength and power by 129% and get you ripped simultaneously...it took anyone with a brain about 6 minutes to realise that no matter what the research said in reality it did approximately absolutely fuck all.

Ian M said...

It always matters who's paying for the research! We had one at our gym for two weeks on trial,their sales guy had all the patter but was flawed by the question "doesn't almost all types of exercise work for beginners?" He then told us that 5 premiership football teams had them... that was when the laughing started... their massage teams would get the players to rest their legs on the platform to warm them up before a massage!

lylemcd said...

Re: website vs. blog, the distinction is becoming very blurred these days. My 'site' is built around Wordpress blog software, I just modified a pre-built template to make it look like a 'site' but I still update it just like a blog. Basically, Wordpress is being used as a content management system so you get the 'best' of all worlds.

Re: forums. They can be an expensive pain in the ass and take up insane bandwidth if you're not careful. And they tend to attract guys like Heffernan who just troll all the time.

Will Heffernan said...

Ian M said...
It always matters who's paying for the research!
How did you get so cynical?

We had one at our gym for two weeks on trial,their sales guy had all the patter but was flawed by the question "doesn't almost all types of exercise work for beginners?" He then told us that 5 premiership football teams had them... that was when the laughing started... their massage teams would get the players to rest their legs on the platform to warm them up before a massage!
Oh well then...in that case it must be OK then.

Some of the most retarded and completely ridiculous training methods and practices I've ever seen have been thanks to professional sports in general and professional athletes in particular...and god bless them too because I've laughed so hard at times I've cried at times.

Will Heffernan said...

lylemcd said...
Re: website vs. blog, the distinction is becoming very blurred these days.
That's just because you are old and your eyesight is going.

My 'site' is built around Wordpress blog software, I just modified a pre-built template to make it look like a 'site' but I still update it just like a blog.
I knew you'd make this all about you...such an egotist...this is about me...me I tell you...ME.

Basically, Wordpress is being used as a content management system so you get the 'best' of all worlds.
I just thought I would do people a favour and maybe organise the posts a bit better. I'm just not sure what the best way to do that is.

Re: forums. They can be an expensive pain in the ass and take up insane bandwidth if you're not careful. And they tend to attract guys like Heffernan who just troll all the time.
You've just said the magic word...expensive. I think I'm over the forum idea now.

garrett said...

well if you dont want a forum , then you should just organise your rambling shambolic musings into some articles on the subjects you'covered in the blog already .

garrett said...

An article outlining the strength standards you use and why or something on imbalances and how to spot and correct them ??

Will Heffernan said...

garrett said...
well if you dont want a forum , then you should just organise your rambling shambolic musings into some articles on the subjects you'covered in the blog already .
I might start by going back and re-tagging previous posts. Then maybe adding some sort of 'tags' column thingy if that's possible. That might help with people looking for very particular information.

garrett said...
An article outlining the strength standards you use and why or something on imbalances and how to spot and correct them ??
That sounds a lot like work to me...I started the blog as a way to avoid work...so your suggestion doesn't really make much sense to me.

Barry Oglesby said...

My gym's site uses Joomla, which is a content management system, but because I wanted the gym and me to have seperate lives I have my blog on blogger.

With Joomla you can update the frontpage as a blog like I have in the news section, with the only problem being that you can't have people comment on your entries. Or, at least, I haven't figured out how to make the interweb magic work to enable comments. So basically it's more like a news site.

Will Heffernan said...

So how would you 'tag' this post for example?

What tags do you think I should use? Strength, conditioning, testing...tag the sport involved in the post...what would be a good way to do it?

lylemcd said...

I think you should tag them all fat idiot.

Barry Oglesby said...

"How do you think I could improve it? I mean bedsides getting someone else to write it. "

Yeah you be soooo literate. Just saw your other post, fora is the plural of forums. Remember you insulted my Literature degree? Well it's come back to bite you now.

I don't have a clue about tagging, which is why my website gets 2 hits a day probably.

Will Heffernan said...

lylemcd said...
I think you should tag them all fat idiot.
Obviously I tag any post that features myself with the appropriate tag.

Will Heffernan said...

Barry Oglesby said...
"How do you think I could improve it? I mean bedsides getting someone else to write it. "
Stupid spell check hangs me out to dry again.

Yeah you be soooo literate. Just saw your other post, fora is the plural of forums.
I had no idea...and now that I do know that I can't ever picture myself needing to know that again.

Remember you insulted my Literature degree? Well it's come back to bite you now.
Don't worry...that won't stop me insulting your completely useless degree.

I don't have a clue about tagging, which is why my website gets 2 hits a day probably.
You're not supposed to count your own visits.

Kira said...

I read your blog for five things ...

Rants

Training concepts

Example routines

Specific exercise focus

You taunting you athletes



Just tag those five things and I'd be happy :)

Sami said...

Will said...

I like that as well....cause I always just spew forth and don't really edit or even think through what I'm saying...so later I can come back and edit it when I realise how ridiculous it is after I re read it.

You need a "recent edits" subcategory or something.

IMO, blog is fine, if you just make the searching easier.

Somekind of hybrid between a forum and a blog would be optimal. If the comments section could function more like a forum making conversation easier. It's PITA reading and writing these narrow columns.

Jonathan said...

I think moving to wordpress would be in your best interest as far as organization goes. Plus there are many more options for widgets and the like.

Will Heffernan said...

Jonathan said...
I think moving to wordpress would be in your best interest as far as organization goes. Plus there are many more options for widgets and the like.
Since it was your idea you can do it then.

Michael Sullivan said...

Ummmmm...just hack Lyle's site and put your name on it.

The only reason people visit Lyle's site is to get training, diet and marital advice from Will.

Will Heffernan said...

Michael Sullivan said...
Ummmmm...just hack Lyle's site and put your name on it.
The thought did cross my mind. Mike Robertson just re did his website and I quite like its format as well.

The only reason people visit Lyle's site is to get training, diet and marital advice from Will.
Because we all know those are the areas in which I excel.

Kira said...

Here's a few things I've noticed ...

1. Your busy work schedule ensures that you are inconsistent with your posts. If you're staying up until 2 in the morning doing the content ... what makes you think you'll have the time to do a website/forum/write concise articles.

2. You ramble (ie you lack defined structure in your writing—both per post, per week and per month). I'm surprised a dude who's job is to structure other people's training lives has such a 'chatty' writing style ... you're weird!

3. You're writing style resembles a dude talking to his mate at the pub. If you do start to write structured articles, I hope you don't lose your natural larrikin 'voice' ... Lyle's work is great, but the more structured and formal you get ... the less like YOU, you will get.

4. Your writing reflects whatever you're into at the time. From a readers perspective, this means we never know what you're going to crap on about next. In contrast, Lyle will take considerable time, sometimes using multiple posts to systematically analyze a given topic (I'm just using him as an example because you know him).


It seems obvious to me that the blog format is perfect for you. All your readers need is a consistent tagging structure.

You need to work out a tagging structure that YOU like and one you're prepared to use.

I've been going through your blog and systematically critiquing it anyway ... so if you want someone to tag what you've done so far, I'm happy to do it. As long as the tagging you chose isn't ghey (ie ... more than a dozen tags).

From my perspective as a reader, your strengths are ...

1. Your passion (read: emotional instability)
2. Your humor
3. Your 'chatty' writing style
4. Your content

If I wanted to read well structured, concise, articles on fitness I'd just read Lyle's blog.

Try and monetize your blog, if that's what you want to do, but my advice is to at least keep an authentic 'voice' when you write. And don't put any extra burdens on yourself which may turn writing into a chore ... My guess is, if it starts to become a chore, you'll find other things to entertain yourself with!

cheers!

Will Heffernan said...

Kira said...
Here's a few things I've noticed ...

1. Your busy work schedule ensures that you are inconsistent with your posts. If you're staying up until 2 in the morning doing the content ... what makes you think you'll have the time to do a website/forum/write concise articles.
Because I'm a dreamer.

I actually just thought it would be easier.


2. You ramble (ie you lack defined structure in your writing—both per post, per week and per month). I'm surprised a dude who's job is to structure other people's training lives has such a 'chatty' writing style ... you're weird!
You don't get any awards for noticing that...you're not the first to point it out.

3. You're writing style resembles a dude talking to his mate at the pub. If you do start to write structured articles, I hope you don't lose your natural larrikin 'voice' ... Lyle's work is great, but the more structured and formal you get ... the less like YOU, you will get.
I'm not talking about changing my style...just maybe thinking about what I write before I write it.

4. Your writing reflects whatever you're into at the time. From a readers perspective, this means we never know what you're going to crap on about next. In contrast, Lyle will take considerable time, sometimes using multiple posts to systematically analyze a given topic (I'm just using him as an example because you know him).
You really hate Lyle's work don't you? It's OK...you can just let it out. I hate him as well if it makes you feel any better?

It seems obvious to me that the blog format is perfect for you. All your readers need is a consistent tagging structure.
Talk about smashing me over the head to prove a point. I think I'm getting it now....basically everyone is saying just tag better.

You need to work out a tagging structure that YOU like and one you're prepared to use.
I'm going to have a go at working out some logical tags and we'll see what people think.

I've been going through your blog and systematically critiquing it anyway ... so if you want someone to tag what you've done so far, I'm happy to do it. As long as the tagging you chose isn't ghey (ie ... more than a dozen tags).
You must have been REALLY bored!

From my perspective as a reader, your strengths are ...

1. Your passion (read: emotional instability)
2. Your humor
3. Your 'chatty' writing style
4. Your content

If I wanted to read well structured, concise, articles on fitness I'd just read Lyle's blog.
Please...don't get so low and desperate that you ever do that...life's not that bad.

Try and monetize your blog, if that's what you want to do, but my advice is to at least keep an authentic 'voice' when you write. And don't put any extra burdens on yourself which may turn writing into a chore ... My guess is, if it starts to become a chore, you'll find other things to entertain yourself with!
I definitely wasn't talk about monetizing my blog...I was talking about rustling up $50 a year in total for hosting.

Kira said...

Will said ...

'I'm not talking about changing my style...just maybe thinking about what I write before I write it.'

Umm ... I thought your style was NOT to think and just shoot from the hip???


Will said ...

You really hate Lyle's work don't you? It's OK...you can just let it out. I hate him as well if it makes you feel any better?


Nah! His site is one of five fitness links I have on my blog (you're another one) ... So I don't hate him!

He probably thinks I'm a mouthy dickhead (because of some of the comments I've made on his site) and I think some of the short term approaches to weight loss he's pushing can lead to long term problems.

So outside of me thinking he doesn't understand human nature very well, I think he's awesome!


Will said ...

Talk about smashing me over the head to prove a point. I think I'm getting it now....basically everyone is saying just tag better.

You're a sensitive soul, aren't you? Then again, perhaps I'm becoming an insensitive bastard ... I've been offending people a lot lately ... Anyway, sorry about that. I was actually trying to help :(


If you decide against tagging and go with setting up a bigger site, I'm happy to contribute some $$$. It won't be much (because I'm a poor bastard), but it's the thought that counts, right?

BTW, I'll start pimping you on my blog a bit. I haven't got a huge amount of readers (around 300-400 a day atm) and most of them are heavily biased towards fight-training, but I think all of them would benefit from your site.

Anyway, I'll pimp soon. Whether any come over for a visit is anyone's guess.

Cheers!

Will Heffernan said...

Kira,
Thanks for the constructive comments. I take everything that people say on-board then pretty much ignore it straight away.