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22 June 2005 @ 09:01 pm
Poll: Form and Function  
So, I've finished tagging all my entries. Notice my index posts that allow all of you, including anonymous users, access to all my tags.

Notice that they look fucking awful. And the print is tiny, so I'm not even sure anyone will use them. Plus, I seriously do not want these to be the top entries in my journal for however long it takes LJ to put a "Tags" link on the info page; looking at them depresses me, and I'm probably the only person who actually looks at my journal regularly outside of a friends list.

But, on the other hand, I did tag all those posts. I have no idea what the point was if I can't find a way to let everyone use them to search by fandom and theme. So this poll is asking, basically, for you to identify the lesser of the evils, because they all look fairly evil to me at this point.

And while you're here, could you weigh in on other appearance aspects of this journal? I mean, if I'm going to pitch a major wobbler over the hideousness of my index posts, surely I could also spare some time to worry about the fact that my journal is, well, pretty darned hideous? And that it may also make other people's friends lists hideous?

I mean, OK, I'm going to spare that time anyway, so I guess what I really want is for you to spare enough time to form an opinion. I would greatly appreciate it.

But mostly, please god someone tell me what to do about this whole tags issue, because - the horror. The horror. My dogs are averting their eyes from the screen, here. Dust mites are scoffing at my primitive grasp of website design. It's all very very bad and wrong. Help meeeeeee.

Poll #518389 Looking - really bad, actually.

Oh my god. The tag index posts look horrible. What should I do about this?

Screw it. Tag individual entries, but don't give us a tag index. In time, LJ will provide, and in the meantime - please please please spare us from this hideous eyesore.
Move it. Shift the index entries off the front page and just give us a single link to them. Then at least we won't have to see them when we aren't using them.
Bear it. It sucks, but it's only a stop-gap measure, and function beats form any day, right?
Obey me. I have a brilliant solution to this problem, which I will relate to you in the comments so that you may worship me as I deserve.

While you're here, tell me - should I start using cut tags?

OMG yes. Please. I'm begging you. You're the longest entry on my friends list. I don't even care how - just cut tag already.
Yes. Put the intro, the titles, and the links on the front page; cut tag the summaries. We're here for the stories, man, not the verbiage.
Yes. Cut everything after the intro, or maybe even the intro if it's long. I'm maybe not in the mood for recs all the time, thanks.
Yes. But only weird things, like polls and rants. Not recs.
No. I hate having to open a new window, and I'll read it anyway, so it's just one more click toward carpal tunnel.
No. Why bother? Everyone who keeps you on their filter knows you're wordy. And they know how to defriend if they get sick of it.
OMG no. Cut tags will just make your posts more messy and cumbersome.
Other, which I will tell you about in the comments.

So. Layout. Huh.

Oh, totally change it. It will be beautiful and shiny and new, despite your total lack of graphical skills!
Change it. All the cool kids are doing it. And it looks awful on your laptop.
Why throw away what works? Just change the column width, maybe add a sidebar - you know, decorate. Spiff it up a little.
Don't touch it. It will be a disaster. You know this. I know this. Accept it, and the world may yet be saved.
I never see your layout, because I only see you in my friends list, so what does it matter?
I'm so enthused about this layout project that I'll help you! So that your new layout doesn't suck!
I'm so filled with hate by the very thought of a new layout that I will stalk you if you change it!
I have something else to say about your layout. Comments, sister!
Tags: [poll]
peeps wanna see peeps boink: easymusesfool on June 22nd, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
I wish your comments page was the default LJ comments page instead of your LJ style. Mostly I use ?style=mine, which gets me there, so it doesn't matter much, but like right now? I've got your style (which is by no means awful - at least the comment box is white and the text I'm typing is black).

But you did ask.

Also, you should rec more Ocean's 11 fic. *g*
tried to eat the safe banana: Flowerthefourthvine on June 22nd, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
See...I had no idea it was even doing that. I went through the laying-out-your-LJ process once, shortly after I created this, when I was still a free user. And then I never did anything to it again, on the possibly-correct grounds that I am so unskilled at design that any changes I made would only make things worse.

But, see, back then I didn't understand what most of the choices would mean in terms of every day use.

And, wow. There are many options in there that I totally do not remember even seeing, let alone choosing. Although I suppose it's relevant that virtually all of them are set to "default." Exploration of layout styles is in my future, I'm thinking.

I believe, however, that I have fixed this specific annoyance. Possibly. Let me know if that doesn't do it, because, seriously, I feel like I'm looking at the entire "Customize" area for the first time, and so it will take at least thirty minutes of giddily experimental clicking before I really come to grips with it all.
(no subject) - musesfool on June 22nd, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - strangerian on June 23rd, 2005 09:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 24th, 2005 03:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - strangerian on June 24th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
shayheyredshayheyred on June 22nd, 2005 09:13 pm (UTC)
Tag? What? Where?
tried to eat the safe banana: Huh?thefourthvine on June 22nd, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)

Down yonder, just below this post, if you click over to my LJ. I deliberately forced this entry to appear ahead of everything, so that it would be on top; that will change, very soon. Basically, as soon as I make a decision about the sheer hideousness that is currently infesting my journal.
the girl with her many obsessionswistfuljane on June 22nd, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC)
Have you considered changing your layout and adding your tags links to the sidebar? If you changed your styles to s2 Component or Flexible Square, there are codes to add additional sidebars if you go over the 30 links limit - which you will considering all the theme lists and fandoms. And I could help you with adding those codes, if you like.
tried to eat the safe banana: Evil planthefourthvine on June 22nd, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC)
I have changed my layout to Flexible Squares; I seriously love what I have, as I like things simple simple simple. But it looks like hell in my laptop, so I'm easily swayed by tempting promises of links that will be prettier than my current tagging horror.

And I would love some help with this, yes. Love it.
(no subject) - wistfuljane on June 22nd, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wistfuljane on June 22nd, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wistfuljane on June 23rd, 2005 07:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wistfuljane on June 23rd, 2005 07:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wistfuljane on June 23rd, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wistfuljane on June 23rd, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wistfuljane on June 24th, 2005 02:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - wistfuljane on June 24th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: sexy starbuckdramaturgca on June 22nd, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC)
I'd totally help you do a new layout, I'm very layout jazzed at the moment.
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 02:07 am (UTC)
At this point, I'm just trying to get my tags at the top, or at any rate somewhat separated from my post, and my links list on the sidebar long enough. But since it took me roughly 4 hours of color blending and experimentation to get the current color configuration, well, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a look at it and just...see if it looks all right. Because I seriously would not know, and at this point I think I could've ended up with neon orange and neon green and still gone with it, just because I couldn't stand any more color modification.

Basically: suggestions? Hints? Comments? I clearly need a lot.

*weeps for lost simplicity and cleanliness of old style*
(no subject) - dramaturgca on June 23rd, 2005 02:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
out_there on June 22nd, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
My comment about your layout is pretty much, "Eh. Whatever makes you happy."

I tend to look at your posts on my FList (which is the most basic of basic black-text-on-white-background-layout) but when I do look at your LJ, I like the soothing colour scheme.

As for the tags, they don't appear too ugly to me (but my screen's on 600x800 resolution, so that might be part of it). And I've just skimmed through your old SN recs, which has proved that the fandom-based tags are a godsend.

(I get in the mood for a certain fandom, and the only minor complaint I used to have about your recs was that despite the great summaries and the funny, I couldn't just pick a fandom and find a bunch of recs for it. But now I can!)

If it really drives you nuts, maybe you could just put one short entry at the top of your LJ, and link to the lists of tags. That'd work well.
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 02:10 am (UTC)
(I get in the mood for a certain fandom, and the only minor complaint I used to have about your recs was that despite the great summaries and the funny, I couldn't just pick a fandom and find a bunch of recs for it. But now I can!)

See, yes, exactly. The memories feature drove me insane, because with a five-tag limit, I couldn't possibly tag by fandom, and I need to be able to search by fandom even more than most users. (This would not be a problem if I was absolutely consistent with updating and maintaining my recs database. But...well, it is a problem. Yeah. Moving on.)

So, despite the ugliness of the tags, and the fact that I have had to change my layout to try to make good use of the tags, still, I love the tags. Not unconditionally, mind you, but there's definitely love in there.
HJ: quiet hands - by calendaehjcallipygian on June 22nd, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC)
Er... I totally had a brilliant solution to your problem if you didn't have approximately two hundred million bazillion different tags, which I did not realize was the case until after filling out the poll. So ignore my brilliant solution answer -- I say just wait until they have a better tag listing function.

What I'm also hoping is that they'll have a combined-tag function in the future, so you can look for stuff that is tagged, say, both food-fetish and Ocean's-11 -- so you only get Rusty Eating Candy fic, or whatever. Know what I mean?

And, just to give you an idea of how much of a dork I am... I have already figured out how to accomplish this programming-wise in my head.
tried to eat the safe banana: Horsethefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)
if you didn't have approximately two hundred million bazillion different tags

It's the curse of my multi-fandom nature. My LJ contains *multitudes*. Of fandoms, anyway.

However, thanks to wistfuljane, I have evaded LJ's discrimination against the aggressively polytagged. My link list is the stuff of legend. Or, OK, broken scroll wheels, but I like it.

And, just to give you an idea of how much of a dork I am... I have already figured out how to accomplish this programming-wise in my head.

Oooo. Oh, please please please go work for LJ immediately. Because that...that would be shiny beyond anything.

*is dazed by sudden vision of LJian utopia*
Anna S.eliade on June 22nd, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
Not sure my answer to #1 is relevant. I couldn't figure out what you meant by "tag index." I do see that tags on the top of posts are kind of messy. Eh. I actually haven't figured out the point of tags yet at all, to be honest. I haven't been paying attention. But your LJ is grand. Also, memories work fine for finding things, yes? I'm all confused and probably confusing. Ignore me!
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
Ignore all that tag-index babble; it was the raving of a woman driven to the brink. (Actually, the index posts do exist, but because of their basic hideousness, they now hide in shame under a private label - the only filtered posts I have in my whole journal, amusingly enough.)

I actually haven't figured out the point of tags yet at all, to be honest. I haven't been paying attention. But your LJ is grand. Also, memories work fine for finding things, yes?

Memories work fine for finding most things. But they never worked for indexing my journal. Because, see, you're limited to a mere five tags per entry in memories, and even if I just categorized by fandom, I'd still be over the limit in about 15% of my posts. But tags...now, tags are unlimited. You can create one for every word in the English language and append them all to every single post, assuming pretty much infinite time, a sub-atomic boredom threshold, and some minimal programming skills.

What this means: at long last, I can index by fandom! My glee knows no bounds, because I am just a really, really big dork.

And better still, thanks to wistfuljane, I no longer need the nasty horrible fat hobbit - I mean, index posts. Because I have a sidebar. A sidebar that, with some prodding, was forced to surrender its pretense that there was a link limit. And so I can put my fandom index right over to the side of my posts!

Oh, there is much rejoicing about this, I tell you. OK. Only by me, and right now it's tempered by my pathological abhorrence of change, but - oooo! Index!

Ignore me!

Won't. But I will tell you an amusing story about your icon, which is that I just recently realized that's not a picture of you. See, it's a fairly androgynous photo - in fact, since you can't see the lower part of his face, it's sort of natural to assume he's a very pretty girl with very short hair. At least, it's natural to me.

But then I beheld all of your userpics and noticed the keyword "Elijah." And I experienced a belated epiphany.

This happens to me a lot, actually.
Susan the Neon Nurse: Swing Girlneonnurse on June 22nd, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC)
About the layout and all else I say, Whatever makes you happy, dear. :)
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I am much, much happier with the hideous index posts replaced by a sleek and shining sidebar. I have a sidebar index now, and I am a better woman for it.
PICK MY TEETH WITH A DINOSAUR BONE-AGE: bluemanasseh on June 22nd, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, I just used your tags to find and read a ton of Master & Commander fic.

...Okay, that really only made me feel better. Still, the tags are not completely evil, just ugly. But, to echo the above comment, do what makes you happy.
lectissima femina: StephenJackAmiculiartyartie on June 23rd, 2005 11:13 am (UTC)
Hee! I wasn't the only one who did that last night!
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - manasseh on June 23rd, 2005 03:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Auburnauburnnothenna on June 22nd, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
I am pointedly ignoring the existence of tags. But really, that isn't half as hideous as some of the customized journal layouts I see. I say, do what you like.

But, you know, simple and soothing colors are better.

Yeah, yeah, lot of help that is. You can wallpaper it with dayglo neon sunflowers and I'll still read your recs.
tried to eat the safe banana: Everybody wants a rockthefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:35 pm (UTC)
Hee. I dislike many of the customized journals I see, too; I think of them as Migraine Journals. But I tried to make mine not aggressive. Simple. Soothing. I think it meets these goals. If you get a chance, let me know whether you agree.

Also, I now have a sidebar index, which is just as shiny as can be. I too was initially inclined to give tags the cold shoulder, but then I realized that I could index by fandom, and it was all over but the slavish fawning and the quickie marriage in Las Vegas.
Chrischrismm on June 22nd, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
(wandering in from friendsfriends, avoiding housework)

You can make URL shortcuts for each tag, and put them as Links over on the sidebar:


is the real URL. Prettier link like so:

Graphics Posts

It's still a little unwieldy, and you'd have to add Links as you add tags, but it's prettier and easier to understand.
Chris: oops (Dean)chrismm on June 22nd, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
Of course, now that I look closer, and realize that you have 3,293,003 different tags, um, my solution is prettier, but a hell of a lot of work. So maybe not...
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
apatheia_jane on June 22nd, 2005 10:26 pm (UTC)
the more links I click at work, the more will show up on history, which I can't delete.

Therefore, no cut-tags. Makes it easier for me to skim thru at work & then seek out the places I want to go later.
tried to eat the safe banana: Workthefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 01:51 pm (UTC)
That is the best cut-tag-related argument I've heard yet. Although it's kind of sad - for you, I mean - that it boils down to "Big Brother Is Watching You." Where do you work, the Ministry of Truth?

And in all honesty, I will likely continue to cut tag Fandoms I Have Loved (length) and rants posts (because, shocking though it may be, some people would prefer not to hear a lot of random vituperation). But those are so rare that it shouldn't have much effect on you, or so I'm hoping. And I won't be cut tagging anything else, I don't think. We must all work together to defeat Big Brother.
(no subject) - apatheia_jane on June 23rd, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cupidsbowcupidsbow on June 22nd, 2005 11:09 pm (UTC)
Obey me. I have a brilliant solution to this problem, which I will relate to you in the comments so that you may worship me as I deserve.

Put links to the Tag entries on your User Info page. You could combine this with one entry of links at the top of your LJ. Or you could just create a sidebar/header with links (see the FAQ on overrides, there's a tutorial too). That way the info will be easy to find, but not take up huge gobbits of space at the top of your LJ.

I have no problem with the length of your posts, but then I don't usually read you on my flist, I come and actually look at your LJ. Cutting polls or other oddities would probably be polite, as they aren't your primary thing, and people may or may not be interested. I quite like having the rant at the top and then a cut, so I can decide if I'm interested or not. But, really, you're entertaining and I don't mind one way or the other.

As for layout. A change is always nice, and I can understand why you want one, but really? It's all good. I don't come to your journal for eye candy. I come for the text :)
cupidsbowcupidsbow on June 22nd, 2005 11:10 pm (UTC)
And, I should probably have said that I haven't actually played with Tags yet, so the advice is all based on previous stuff I've played with, and could possibly be incompatible with Tags.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 02:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
torch: tallyhoflambeau on June 22nd, 2005 11:13 pm (UTC)
Psst, you forgot to reset the date on this post, so your tags aren't on top in your lj. You're still living in the future. ;)
tried to eat the safe banana: I've been badthefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC)
Whoops. Yeah, I experienced two giant morale flops and had to go hide for a while (first from change, then from the absolute evil that is arbitrary links list limiting), so I totally forgot to fix the date weirdness. (It was all weirdness last night.) But now my tags index posts are hiding in the distant past, my fandom index is living on my sidebar, and life is good.

*is fulfilled*

*is vaguely worried that LJ can bring such fulfillment*

*is stubbornly fulfilled anyway*

cimness on June 23rd, 2005 03:17 am (UTC)
why not link the different tags in the link list that's built into s2, or in your userinfo?
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on June 23rd, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
As it turns out, that's pretty much what I ended up doing. (If you do this, note that you can't actually use the link list, because it tops out at thirty, which is a mere bagatelle to the truly multi-fandomed. But wistfuljane taught me a workaround that is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.)

The index posts are gone, repressed, forgotten. The new era dawns today, and it is filled with sidebars and love.