Blogpiloten.de relaunched (and I’m happy)


Over the last few months, we’ve been working hard on relaunching Blogpiloten.de, best described as a German blog magazine that has been around since 2006. (Full disclosure: I’m project lead for blogpiloten.de.) Today around noon, the new site went live, and I’m really happy about the way it turned out, for several reasons.

One, I think it looks pretty awesome. Fork did a great job with the design, and our coding team in Hamburg did a great job implementing it. Here’s a screenshot:

Image: Screenshot blogpiloten.de

What doesn’t quite come out in this screenshot is the massive place we reserved for video. Our video on the startpage is some massive 870px wide. Awesome, eh? There’s also some kick-ass video content, namely a series called “Klartext” (translates roughly: “in plain German”), where we ask bloggers and other experts to explain web terminology in a really easy-to-understand manner. (The cool new trailer came from Hobnox, by the way!) Internally, we go by the rule of “no tech arrogance”. (Yes, we really even call it that ;) There’s enough folks out there hiding behind tech speak. We’d rather go out there and help interested newbies get into the game. I hope we’ll be doing a good job.

Two, I found it very interesting and cool to coordinate this relaunch between quite a lot folks who were spread out all over the place. There were two agencies – working from four locations – involved in the design process (Fork for the design, Hobnox for the video trailers). The coding was done at Netzpiloten HQ in Hamburg. Managing editor Steffen B├╝ffel is based in Cologne. I’m in Berlin, most of the time. That’s a lot of folks, and a lot of loose ends to connect. It’s a great team, too, and a good learning experience.

Three, I’ve worked with Blogpiloten for quite a while now, so naturally I’m really curious to see where we can take it. I’m curious about your feedback. If you have an opinion on Blogpiloten.de, please share!

Relaunch: Slowly getting there


Slowly, but steadily, I’m getting to the point where my website looks acceptable again. To be fair, that’s only partly my achievement: The design is to a huge part based on on Boris Anthony‘s theme for Joi Ito. (Of course Boris and Joi are referenced in my blog’s footer, and I’ll keep trying to get a hold of Boris, but since Twitter has been very shaky all day, this hasn’t happened yet. Sorry there, and thanks in advance.)

So what had happened here? I basically killed my old blog theme WP Premium. I liked it a lot, but was still looking for something lighter, something with as little ballast and restrictions as possible. Something very, very simple. So I started coding a new template from scratch, but kept using design elements of Boris’ & Joi’s website, which hopefully they won’t mind. The design is completely CSS’ed, so as far as I can tell right now the code should be pretty clean. It certainly is well commented. Also, I’ve asked a Melbourne-based pixel artists for a logo design, so let’s see how that will turn out.

What you see right now is, hopefully, a functional site. There’s still be occasional glitches for a while, I’m sure. If there’s anything major that doesn’t look like it’s supposed to be the way it is, I’m very thankful for a hint. (Also, I’m looking forward to seeing the Twitter badge work; so far it’s commented out due to Twitter’s outages today.) However, with all the behind-the-scenes work at Twitter HQ, I’m convinced my favorite micro blogging service will be up again soon.

So what’s new? As mentioned above the code is much, much cleaner that the old theme after I had customized it. Also, now I know much better what’s actually going on behind the scenes. The top navigation has switched from horizontal to vertical, and I cut out some points. I kept the RSS and email subscription. Only the five most recent posts are displayed on the start page. Recent posts and comments are much better to read now. The Dopplr profile is new, although I stuck to the classic look instead of any of the fancier options. A new Twitter badge is in the making. Links to my other profiles etc are now much easier to read. The section with external links to cool projects and other kudos (formerly called “Bumper Stickers”) is now in a format I like much better: Full 376×60 pixel glory.

In short: The whole thing is now much easier on the eyes, or so I hope.

[please ignore: design changes]


Just recently I’ve made a few changes to this blog’s design, but somehow wasn’t happy with the way it ended up. So again, I’m tweaking a little. For the next few days, the whole site is very likely to look somewhat deranged. My apologies for any inconveniences – once it’s done, it’ll be more fun.

Working on a relaunch


As I’m looking into a bit of an optic overhaul for this blog, the site might look somewhat odd occasionally over the next few days.

Also, if you get too much traffic through my RSS feed, please just ignore it – chances are my site hasn’t been hacked by spammers but I just ran into technical trouble of sorts. Feel free to drop me a line so I can fix it even quicker.

That said, I’m looking forward to your feedback once the new design is up.