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A Blog’s New “Clothes” – A Better Theme for 2014

You may (or may not) have noticed, but I changed the blog theme. I’d say “again!” but changes haven’t been excessive considering I started blogging in 2006—really, check out the archives, it’s… scary!

WordPress changed, I changed, the world changed… and I wanted a theme that would load faster, with more emphasis on the pictures and the articles. Sahifa, the theme I installed in March, didn’t really deliver. There were too many bugs and I have too little spare time to waste on fixing them. It was best to start again from scratch (if only life was as easy!).

I usually pick a theme and customize it myself using all kinds of tricks that invariably involve a good dose of Googling and mucho hair-pulling. This time, I decided to aim for functionality rather than “look at me, I’m so pretty and different!”

Maybe this blog is coming out of its teenage years. Gosh, remember the stupid things we used to do as teens? I dyed my hair with henna paste (leaving my hair and the bathtub bright red), wore platform shoes, had my navel and nose pierced and then my ears pierced eight times (still wear all those piercings, though) and I rolled my own cigarettes (very badly).

You make the same kinds of mistakes when you start blogging, actually. I used to pile up widgets in the sidebar just because… you know, widgets are fun and free. Everybody displayed this little world map where you could see who on planet earth was reading (or more likely, stumbling upon) your blog. Link exchanges were popular—nowadays I only recommend blogs I truly love, not some random guys who want to swap http:// as if we were exchanging phone numbers in a pub late at night. I used to track my stats religiously—oh my God, two visits today! Ah non, these are from my own IP address. An easy mistake to make.

I don’t care much about stats anymore—not that I ever cared about numbers. Numbers are too goddamn hard to read anyway. I leave that to the Asian half of the household (I’m perfectly entitled to stereotype).

What I care about is the faces behind the numbers. The people who reach out by email asking questions, sharing their experience, thanking me or just saying “hi.” I’m still amazed by the number of readers who, at some point during their busy day, spare a few minutes to read words that, at some point during my busy day, typed before hitting the “publish” button.

I’m a nobody but it makes me feel like someone.

Thank you.

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